Bryan McPherson returned to Boston to kick off his US Tour in support of his latest release, “Wedgewood.”
Bryan McPherson is a folk-punk troubadour singing songs about political issues, the prison system, class disparity and the plight of the working class, broken dreams, and discrimination. Bryan is OFD (Originally From Dorchester), which is a badge he proudly wears on his sleeve. Dorchester is the largest and one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Boston.
The night started off with local acts C.E. Skidmore and Time And Place followed by Louise Distras from the UK.
C.E. Skidmore played solo, but she can also be seen as part of the local punk rock unplugged acoustic trio, Live Nude Girls. C.E. Skidmore played a mix of songs, including cuts from the Live Nude Girls self-titled release. The crowd responded well and cheered most for “Pony Up,” one of Live Nude Girl’s more well-known songs.
Time And Place took over the stage as a four-piece, including stand-up bass, drums, acoustic guitar, and a banjo. Time And Place had a mix of various styles, but folk roots and pub singalongs were most noticeable. The crowd responded well to their song “Above The Law” as the crowd was asked if anyone had been arrested before and who had been hassled by the police.
Louise Distras is a trobairitz, a female troubadour, from the UK supporting her first full-length release Dreams From The Factory Floor. Louise writes about capitalistic society, discrimination, and the broken and downtrodden. Louise commanded the stage in true punk rock fashion with lyrics belted angrily as her spiked black hair fell in her face swinging her guitar around recklessly. Louise was at home on stage and did not miss a beat when her guitar cut out as she continued to sing without the P.A. doing so acoustically in the crowd.
Bryan McPherson took center stage to a sold out crowd in his hometown of Boston with passion and emotion. It was apparent he was having technical difficulties with his harmonica as he tore it off and threw it to the ground during the first song and laughed it off when he could not find it for the next song.
Bryan McPherson opened with anecdotes before his set and between many songs. These stories gave a glimpse into what each song meant and allowed the crowd to become part of the show.
One of the memorable stories included Born On A Highway where Bryan dedicated the song a long time friend that lost both of her parents the same year to cancer. Bryan’s friend received an inheritance and wanted to do something positive with some of the money so she helped fund Bryan’s latest release Wedgewood.
Another memorable story Bryan told explained the song “Dangerous Friends.” The song is about how Whitey Bulger and the Boston Mafia controlled much of the Boston streets along with “dirty politicians, crooked cops, and crooked feds” making people disappear and burying bodies where a beach was built in Dorchester.
The crowd’s interaction with Bryan grew as the night went on and the crowd responded well throughout the night singing along, dancing, and raising their fists and pints in the the air.
Bryan wraps up his US Tour in early July 2015 in California, where he currently resides.