Concert Review: An Evening of Americana Tony Daunt, Matt Joe Gow, Louis Jarlov at Pah Homestead, 20 June 2021

An Evening of Americana with Tony Daunt & the Dauntless, Matt Joe Gow, Louis Jarlov and the Lonesome raised the roof of the historic Pah Homestead with style and class. Rev Orange Peel files this review.

Americana is the Soul of the United States, if you are interested in locating where that is. The country is currently under existential attack from within, but if they use their ears and their hearts, there is still a path to redemption.

The turbulence and violence of the Sixties also ushered in the Soul era of Motown and Stax, James Brown and Say it Loud. Blue-eyed as well as Black. Americana will serve the same purpose. Tonight, we experienced three home-grown acts who raised the roof of the historic Pah Homestead with style and class.

Tony Daunt and the Dauntless

Tony Daunt & The Dauntless - AmericanaAlso known as Four Beards and the Truth. The beards being Kevin Place pedal steel, Owen Drew drums, Louis Jarlov acoustic guitar and Balazs Sebesteny double bass. Tony Daunt lead guitar and vocals, and all the original songs       

Country music at its heart is melancholy and blue. And from this comes redemption and transcendence. It shares this with Blues. This makes Hank Williams one of the earliest Americana artists and this spirit is all over this band, and the others tonight.

Shivers is one highlight of tonight’s set. Written by Roland Howard, an Australian music legend in himself. Founder of the Birthday Party with Nick Cave, this one from the earlier version of that band as Boys Next Door. I’ve been contemplating suicide. Aching and dripping with pain. It is also wound together with a great melody and carries itself a little like the later Velvet Underground.

Follow that with Misery. It’s about depression but the song is upbeat and done in the style of Johnny Cash at Sun Studios. Daunt matching the lower register vocals.

Methadone Days and the guitar jangles with some counterpoint from the pedal steel. Bright and uplifting, more Sweetheart of the Rodeo than Gilded Palace of Sin. The antidote companion to Heroin.

Rock and Roll does have similar opening riffs to the Velvet’s song. Funk rhythm as well as Rock.

What I Done to Her. Written by Tex Perkins. A Creedence style guitar intro and the band work this up to a nice Country Rock swing.

Similar feel to Set Me Free. I hang my head and pray that I will die. Nice Country Swing rhythm.

Daunt has lived for long periods in Melbourne. The best Australian music resides there. There is a bit of Nick Cave in Gypsy. Ominous and downbeat with some voodoo spirit informing this dark territory. Pedal steel imitates horns.

Tony Daunt may have found a home on high. They don’t play often but well worth looking out for.

Matt Joe Gow

Matt Joe Gow - AmericanaMatt Joe Gow is from Dunedin but has been living and playing music in Australia for many years, and also calls Melbourne home now. He does play behind a band, but circumstances placed him here of recent times (Lockdown and all, y’know), and this is the conclusion to twenty-plus shows throughout New Zealand.

Plays an acoustic guitar and mouth harp, and the most striking part of his music is the voice.

Pure Americana as an artist and from a myriad of influences. There is plenty of Springsteen to be heard, especially on opening track Come Home. Come to Mama, baby/ Don’t be caught on lover’s lane. Big emotional delivery.

Reinforced with Flowers in Your Hair. Country Soul and a harp refrain.

He works up the soulful singing and Old Country haunting melodies to great effect as the set continues. That is Down River and It’s Not Hard. The phrasing is Van Morrison from his classic Seventies period, which peaked on The Last Waltz.

Bob Geldof once replied tetchily to a reporter about the Boomtown Rats copying Springsteen in their early days. Bob snapped back Springsteen shamelessly steals from Van the Man. That’s Irish, Irish-Italian, Irish.

It’s a quiet, seated audience and there is nothing as sexually suggestive as dancing tonight. So, a quiet Folky one gets a chance to resonate. I Let You Be. Skeletal and soft, quietly aches. A great tenor voice stands out.

Steady Life and a sunny opening guitar riff from where follow observational lyrics. Seven years is gonna change a man. Country in sentiment and not too far a stretch to hear a little John Hiatt in the singing.

Somewhere I saw a description of him as being like the Stones.

Well, you hear it on the closing song and title of his current album, Break Rattle and Roll. Acoustic guitar emulates the opening to You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

I came here to tell you I don’t love you anymore. Emotional and broken and that Van man’s touch in the singing.

Gow will be back again in the country touring this year, maybe with a band behind. Watch out for that.

Louis Jarlov and the Lonesome

Louis Jarlov & The Lonesome - AmericanaThis is Daunt’s rhythm guitarist Louis Jarlov on electric guitar, with Tony playing bass. So, it’s a metastatic band from the Mothership. With  drummer Sean and they make up a classic Buddy Holly trio.

And they do galloping Rockabilly, or CowPunk if you prefer, on songs like 23 and Georgia on a Fast Train.

A honky-tonk Bakersfield sound on Don’t Go Out.

I only call you when I’m drunk. The louche humour of the Rolling Stones doing Country with tongue firmly in cheek. Irreverent and lots of fun.

Gasoline starts with twanging guitar cries. A melodic lament until halfway when the drums kick off with a train rhythm and the vocals come up and race off with it, sounding a little like Warren Smith.

Jarlov has a good baritone but tonight gets a little buried in the sound mix.

There is a cover of Hank Williams Jr’s Old Habits, and Tom Petty’s Rebel to finish.

That is how Americana went down in a historic homestead in Auckland. Has an old antebellum Southern Dixieland atmosphere. The artists all took off with it.

Rev Orange Peel