Black Prairie, Jonah Tolchin | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Black Prairie

Black Prairie

Black Prairie, Jonah Tolchin 

When: Wed., Sept. 17, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $18
When this Portland combo got started about seven years ago, it was a side project for three members of the Decemberists—an eclectic, mostly instrumental string quintet. But since then Black Prairie has evolved into a working band that hybridizes various folk styles with indie rock, and these days it puts hooky vocals front and center. Old-time music, bluegrass, and Irish folk dominate its recent third album, Fortune (Sugar Hill), but now they’re wedded to a nimble, pummeling rock rhythm section, namely drummer John Moeh and bassist Nate Query; even string specialist Chris Funk sometimes plays through effects pedals. The best songs feature the gorgeous singing of violinist Annalisa Tornfelt, whose honeyed voice transcends genre with its spirited charm. —Peter Margasak
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