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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Openers: Get There Early for Garrett Pierce

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 11:37 AM


Cherish the singer-songwriter who knows how to hang when things get dirty. Garrett Pierce writes slow, somber acoustic ballads that are more beautiful than most, but that's not all he does. Grittier rock numbers such as "Lioness & Lion," "Tonight," and "Old Country" show that Pierce can wield a cranked amp with the same deft touch as an acoustic -- and that he can squeeze longing out of a dragging rock tempo.

Pierce used to live in S.F., but moved to Davis shortly before the release of his current album, All Masks, to focus on songwriting and to escape what he's described as the distractions and dark vibes of city life. He almost seems too soft for some of the stories his image-laden, lyric-heavy songs relate. But told through his precious, breathy whine, Pierce's tales convey every bit of his sensitivity: "I just lay just a door from where we were naked through the dawning/ But you say what you say, say it now, say it loud/ 'Cuz you've got a schedule to keep," he sings on "Fireworks," which also includes the line, "My love is a weapon you're avoiding."

Pierce is first up on a three-part bill at Rickshaw Stop this Wednesday that includes SF darling Emily Jane White -- herself a skilled practitioner of the downbeat ballad. Headlining are the more experimental, minimalist Portland duo of Laura Gibson and Ethan Rose. But Pierce's songs, which wander gorgeously through both dirt and delicacy, are worth showing up early for.

Garrett Pierce
Opening for Emily Jane White; Laura Gibson and Ethan Rose
at the Rickshaw Stop, Wed. March 31

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Ian S. Port


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