Damien Jurado Explores Dreams in Solo-Acoustic Iron Horse Show

Though Damien Jurado claims not to talk much onstage, you wouldn’t know it from his performance Wednesday night at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton.

The Seattle singer and songwriter was positively chatty during his 90-minute performance, with a discursive explanation of the origins of his two most recent albums — “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” out this week on Secretly Canadian, which is a sequel to 2012’s “Maraqopa” — and his account of the oddest questions he got on a recent European press tour (“You’re from Seattle, so why don’t you have a beard?”).

The albums both came from a single dream that Jurado said played in his mind like a two-minute film trailer. Indeed, there was a dream-like quality to the songs, which he performed alone on acoustic guitar. Stripped of their vintage-style psychedelic-folk album arrangements, the new tunes were very much showcases for Jurado’s luminous voice. Seated in a chair onstage, he sang as if lost in a world of his own, leaning into the microphone as his vocals welled up around the guitar parts he alternately strummed and fingerpicked. He played a waltz-time figure on the arid “Jericho Road,” evoked a parched desert feel on “Silver Timothy” that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the band America’s catalog in the ’70s, and lifted his voice into a ghostly falsetto as he played with the meter on a riveting version of “Museum of Flight.”

After devoting the first half of the set to the world of “Maraqopa,” Jurado rummaged around in his catalog for older songs. He sang with the fragile air of someone barely keeping it together on the wrenching love song “I Am Still Here,” took on the oddly formal cadences of what must have been a genre experiment on “Abilene” and ended with the spellbinding recriminations of “Working Title,” which included interactions with the crowd as Jurado sought (unsuccessfully) male voices to hit the high notes of the wordless backing vocals, then impishly chastised one over-eager would-be accompanist for singing the wrong notes and the wrong lyrics.

Another Seattle singer, Courtney Marie Andrews, opened the show with a half-hour of songs she sang in a beautiful, crystalline voice.

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