Show Review + Photos: JBM @ The Earl

JBM, which stands for Jesse Bryan Marchant of Montreal, took the stage before Damien Jurado’s set at The Earl on May 23rd. His latest album Stray Ashes released the day before on May 22nd, and he and the backing band played it from start to finish during their set. It was my first time hearing the material, and I was drawn in from the first note on “Ferry” and held firm until they finished with “Keeping Up”.

The musicianship and dynamic suited and expanded the songs perfectly with both energy and urgency as they were interpreted live. Marchant changed between electric guitar, piano, and acoustic guitar with equal command and proficiency. His voice was a mix of Will Johnson and Jose Gonzalez with a healthy dose of reverb and passion.

I have no doubt that JBM’s fan base is growing as a result of this tour. I highly recommend you catch JBM live and check out the latest release Stray Ashes (in addition to Not Even in July, Marchant’s first record).

I knew I was not alone in my assessment when my friend Lee Fowler, the man with potentially the strangest and most diverse musical taste I know (Exhibit A: Toby Keith, Earth, and Boris, a Japanese metal band), turned to me and said, “Finally an opening band that doesn’t suck” (Note: He missed Ben Trickey’s set; Note 2: I mean no disrespect to the host of opening bands that may be aware of having played before Mr. Fowler). That’s high praise from a man of his tastes.