Cold Tone Harvest lets its music come to you, creeping subtly and hypnotically with a sparse, campfire-reminiscent sound. The band, featuring singer-songwriter Andrew Sigworth on acoustic guitar, Ozzie Andrews on stand-up bass, and Brian Williams on drums and occasional banjo, played the Ark for the first time in November, putting on an emotionally charged show for a packed house.
Sporting a thick beard and a well-worn cap with the brim low, Sigworth set the tone with his rich, throaty vocals. There is a longing in his voice that leaves you wanting more, similar to Ray LaMontagne or Jay Farrar. Of the ten songs featured in their set, nine were penned by Sigworth, and most of those appear on the band’s two EPs: Wake Me (2012) and Layers (2014). An early highlight included a terrific newer song called “Stealing Roots,” which perfectly demonstrated the chemistry between the three musicians, as they twice brought the song to a near standstill before finishing in crescendo. Another highlight was a well done cover of the timeless Americana classic “Moonshiner.”
Halfway through the set, the band brought out guest Michael Bush on electric guitar for “Danial” and “Wake Me,” before also adding vocalist Angela Sheppard for the final three numbers. It was a nice touch, since Bush provided extra guitar for the band on both its EPs and Sheppard supplied harmony vocals on the latest release. The guests added layers to the trio’s tranquil yet powerful minimalist sound. Sheppard’s voice meshed well with Sigworth’s, and the electric guitar offered an interesting contrast to the acoustic sound. Unfortunately, Bush’s amp was having feedback issues that clearly affected what he wanted to bring to the set.
Cold Tone Harvest has already been invited back to the Ark (August 20) and, according to Williams, the band would like to put out another EP in 2015. He said the band has plenty of material; it’s just a question of funding the project, which is why the band has preferred EPs to full-length albums thus far.
This is a band that is best seen in an intimate setting, such as the Ark or an even smaller venue, like the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, where the band is playing on Friday, March 13. Many of the subtleties of Cold Tone Harvest’s music could be lost in a noisy bar, so take advantage of a great band in the perfect setting.