Smile Politely

Cedarwell leads Shadowboxer procession at M’nM’s Saturday

“The economy doesn’t affect the amount of enjoyment you can get from playing music,” says Erik Neave of Cedarwell.

Saturday night at 10 p.m. at Mike ‘n Molly’s, it’s a melding of cultures, so to speak, as two local bands are joined by two bands from Wisconsin. Sheboygan’s Cedarwell will be accompanied by the pride of Eau Claire, The Daredevil Christopher Wright. Sharing the bill will be artists of local renown, Mordechai in the Mirror and Carl Hauck. The show is the second put on by Shadowboxer, and the cover is a recession-proof five dollars.

Cedarwell is “a floating band with Neave at its center.” His drummer couldn’t make it on this tour, so he will be backed by the members of The Daredevil Christopher Wright (DCW). “We’ve been friends for a while, so they learned a handful of my songs,” Neave noted.

Cedarwell’s folk-based songs (listen to the tune above) work well with a backing band or just Neave on his own, which helps with the versatility. Neave notes, “Sometimes I’ll play with more, bands, but I’ve had a few tours where I was playing mostly folk venues and straight acoustic venues. I like doing both, though. I like having the variety.” This will be Neave’s last domestic date before he leaves for a short tour in Germany on Thursday.

Neave is excited that he has a chance to tour with DCW before they get famous. “It’s exciting because they’re getting ready to release an album in May, their first full-length,” Neave said. “It’ll be the last time before that happens and they get whisked away into fame and fortune.”

Which may not be as far-fetched as one might think, since The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s album (In Deference to a Broken Back, out in May on Amble Down) is being mixed by fellow Eau Claire native Justin Vernon, better known as Bon Iver.

Don’t feel bad if you thought someone in the band was named Christopher Wright; it happens all the time. Alas, that is not the case. “The name was based on a song I wrote as we were getting started,” says the DCW’s Jon Fende. I had written a song called ‘The Daredevil Christopher Wright’ and once Jesse and I were driving and I told him about the song, and he said, ‘That’s a good title!’ “

Although the name was completely made up, it appears that Christopher Wright was the name of a co-conspirator of Guy Fawkes in the Gunpowder Plot, so there may be a daredevil involved after all.

For those not familiar with the DCW’s sound, Fende describes it thusly: “It’s vocal-heavy, a lot of harmonies. We like to try to pair various styles and keep a lot of variety and keep those influences pretty apparent in our writing.” It’s the band’s first trip to Illinois for a gig, so treat them kindly.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the Wisconsin indie-folk scene, then Saturday night will be your best local opportunity for a while.

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