Last night I had the privilege of sitting in on one of local songwriter Gabriel Mintz's rehearsals with his bassist, Geoff Stanfield, at Stanfield's recording studio on the corner of 12th and Pike. Mintz's voice is soft and gentle, but only deceptively so -- his vocals pack a huge amount of power, and it and the bluesy, reverbing electric guitar reminded me of nothing so much as listening to the late and great Jeff Buckley's Sin-é sessions.
I got hear to hear a few new songs from Mintz's lovely Volume I -- the lugubrious country twang of "Miles High," the KEXP favorite "Western Days," swollen with longing and regret, and "Excitement Shows," which Mintz described as "a creepy one about my friend Bradford from Whalebones. He's a creepy dude." I also heard a few new, still-in-development songs -- one called "Skyline," another called "Big Brother," and my personal favorite, "Killing Me," a melancholy love song that tugs on the old heart strings.
You can hear several of these songs -- including "Killing Me" and "Western Days" -- on Mintz's MySpace page. Better yet, catch him and his band live. You have not one, but three great opportunities to do so in the upcoming weeks:
1. Tonight, he's playing KEXP's first Concert at the Mural -- free and all ages -- with Elliott Brood and Grand Hallway. Starts at 6pm.
2. Tomorrow night, he's opening for Pearly Gate Music at the Comet. That show starts at 9pm and is $6.
3. A little further down the line, he'll play the Crocodile with Kate Tucker and Joshua Morrison on Thursday, August 19. That show starts at 8pm and is $8.
Definitely take the time to check out at least one of these shows -- at the end of the month he's leaving the city for a tour of the Deep South. As in Georgia, not Olympia.