Acoustic duo Fox and Bones released their full-length album last week, and fans piled into Alberta Street Pub on Feb. 7 to be the first to listen.
The show opened with Laryssa Birdseye’s strong and sincere set. Her original songs “Losing” and “Damage” carried such weight that it was impossible not to feel the sadness in her lyrics. Fox and Bones’ singer, Sarah Vitort, described Birdseye as her favorite local vocalist. (Check out more of Laryssa Birdseye’s work here.)
When Fox and Bones came to the stage, Vitort donned her iconic fox ears and tail. She and Scott Gilmore – who started the band with her almost a year ago – joked with the crowd as they got ready for their set. Having just returned from a tour in Europe, they explained how Gilmore isn’t allowed to tell jokes at the mic anymore since he silenced a German crowd with a bad one last fall.
The band’s first song “Chances” was sweet and affectionate. Vitort fingerpicked the acoustic guitar and bounced notes off the base string. The singers stared into each other’s eyes, singing “In this life, we’re only given so many chances, and I like my chances with you.”
Soon after, they played “Warm,” a song that appeared on the original EP released in 2016. Gilmore played a skillfully smooth guitar pattern. The song tells a story about a couple that drives eastward without friends or family but one another, including lines like, “For days they did not eat. It grew easier to make peace with what they stole.”
These folky themes seemed to drive their songs about love and gratitude. The band’s ability to create this kind of loving and tender atmosphere throughout the album was truly masterful.
One of the highlights of the evening was Gilmore’s “mouth trumpet” solo in the middle of their hit, “Easy to Love.” He belted out some bow-pa-wow sounds in a scat effort to emulate the instrument. The crowd erupted in laughter at the band’s playful attitude.
Finally, the band brought up Laryssa Birdseye’s talented instrumentalists, Agyei Marshall and Matt Brewster, on electric guitar and cajon, respectively. Vitort explained that they’d first sung the song at a cabin party with friends, and it’d been so fun that they wanted to try it again. The four musicians broke into a lively rendition of “Man of Constant Sorrow.” The new instruments provided further depth for the duo’s harmony to build upon.
Fox and Bones thanked everyone for celebrating the milestone with them and announced that they would be touring all spring. The crowd clapped and cheered to send the duo onto their next adventure.
Best wishes to Fox and Bones in the coming months!