Rob Mazurek, Sir Richard Bishop, the Renderers | The Owl | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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The Renderers

The Renderers

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Rob Mazurek, Sir Richard Bishop, the Renderers 

When: Sun., Oct. 4, 10 p.m. 2015
Brian and Maryrose Crook formed the Renderers more than 25 years ago in Christchurch, New Zealand, and their music has always expressed a longing to be somewhere else—in song they’ve dreamed of the sea, explored other dimensions, and yearned for the wide-open spaces of the American flatlands. While their first album, Trail of Tears (Flying Nun), had a strong C&W bent, the only remnant of that left these days is the persistent twang in Maryrose’s voice—though the pair made good on their fascination with the U.S. by moving here four years ago. Based in Joshua Tree, California, the Crooks have struck up a simpatico partnership with Omaha-­based multi-instrumentalist Megan Siebe and drummer Kevin Donahue, both of whom are also members of Simon Joyner’s backing band, the Ghosts. Together they’ve recorded the soundtrack for Notes to Eternity, a documentary about the plight of Palestinians that’s making the film-festival rounds, and a new album, In the Sodium Light, which Ba Da Bing will release early next year. The songs I’ve heard make a strong case that musically, at least, the Crooks have never been more at home. On “Sea Worthy” Siebe’s eerie string arrangement draws around Maryrose’s spooked voice like a bespoke shroud, while Donahue’s chain-gang groove provides a corroded frame for Brian’s acidic guitar leads. Siebe and Donahue will be with the Renderers for this concert, the final night of the Owl’s four-year-anniversary celebration and the last show of the Renderers’ first midwestern tour in four years. Playing second is Sir Richard Bishop, whose solo acoustic guitar recital Tangier Sessions (Drag City) is one of the best records I’ve heard all year; Rob Mazurek closes with a solo organ set.
— Bill Meyer

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