Review & Photos – Valley Maker at the Fox Cabaret, Vancouver, Nov 11 2021
Braving heavy rain, and dark fall streets, Vancouverites gathered at the Fox Cabaret on Thursday night. For many, this excursion marked an exciting return. Masks on and vaccine cards in hand, they entered the dimly-lit venue and sat down in the rows of seats that occupied the same floor where they used to mingle and dance. Despite the changes, the audience was captivated and the energy in the room excited. “This feels special”, Austin Crane declared from the stage.
Crane, the singer, songwriter and guitarist that is Valley Maker, performed songs from his latest album, When the Day Leaves, along with several “old jams”. Nimbly finger-picking an acoustic guitar, he opened the show with the single “Branch I Bend”. His rugged voice singing, “Hold on, day, don’t cut me loose / Wash my hands, thin my blues / Contemplate the passing through / All in a day’s work”. Accompanying vocalist Amy Godwin provided a delicate contrast, her hopeful tone harmonizing with Crane’s rawness.
Crane and Godwin are the pictures of Pacific Northwest style. Wearing leather boots and utility jackets, they each sip a can of Parallel 49 Craft Lager between songs. Having recently moved from Seattle to his former college town in South Carolina, Crane cites a nostalgia for the rain and dreary days of the Pacific Northwest; a feeling he captures in the single “Mockingbird”. “Where it came from I don’t know / Fog burns, the day unrolls / I walk the dog and coast / I could not admit my ghost”.
There was a time, Crane noted, when he wondered if touring was ever going to happen again. Thankfully, it has. The reflective tone of Valley Maker’s atmospheric folk rock may seem melancholy, but as the music reverberated through the room it gave way to a feeling of solace. The quiet isolation of one’s thoughts is comforted by the experience of sharing it with others. It was indeed special.
Following their kick-off show in Vancouver, Crane and Godwin are heading down the coast for a ten-show Valley Maker tour ending in California later this month.
More Valley Maker at the Fox Cabaret photos: