The Rockport Folk Summit returns with a showcase featuring two of the most buzz-worthy, boundary-pushing roots acts on the East Coast. The Suitcase Junket (Matt Lorenz) is a one man force of nature employing percussive junkyard thump into his propulsive folk sound. Twisted Pine recently emerged as a four piece that has upended the string band tradition with forays into jazz, funk and pop.
The Suitcase Junket
From the salvaged sounds of American juke joints, back porches, honky tonks and rock clubs, The Suitcase Junket conjures a fresh, low-fi take on an old sound. The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz: artist, tinkerer, swamp yankee, one-man band. His is the road-worn voice rising over the grind of a tube-amped dumpster guitar, with wild double pitches of throat singing. From The Suitcase Junket’s penchant for thrift and ingenuity comes this full-length album — his debut at Signature Sounds — of original rock anthems, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance-hall festivity, played on instruments built of broken bottles, twisted forks, dried bones, gas cans, shoes, saw blades, a toy keyboard, and an overhead compartment’s worth of luggage.
Full of energy and surprise, wit and subtlety, Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Audiences across the US and UK have been drawn to their forthright songwriting, lush harmonies, musical daring, and “charismatic appeal,” to quote Grammy-winner Alison Brown.
Guitarist Rachel Sumner and fiddler Kathleen Parks share the vocal mic, forming a combination as charming as it is gutsy. Whether switching off leads or blending and bending their voices into unexpected harmonies, these front-women are a commanding presence. On her instrument, Parks is an insatiable risk-taker, seeking out exciting new improvisational territories. Mandolinist Dan Bui is a master of melody and drive, celebrated widely for his dexterous, tasteful picking. And bassist Chris Sartori holds down the low end and a lot more, introducing creative, jazz-inflected cadences that never overwhelm the beat.