DS Show Review/Photo Gallery: Drag The River and Cory Branan – Boston, MA (12/7/13)

That Branan character is a shameless grifter…

On a bone-rattlingly-cold December evening, Jon Snodgrass and Chad Price brought the 2013 rendition of the somewhat-recently-reunited (and very-recently-recording-together-again) Drag The River to Great Scott in Allston, MA. The Fort Collins-based foursome (featuring Chad Rex on bass and the occasionally-shirtless Dave Barker on drums and pedal steel) invaded the hipster capital of the Commonwealth for a barn-burner of a set that lasted til the wee hours of the morning. Apologies to opener Frontier Ruckus, whose set I didn’t really catch. I do know that they had a gentleman playing a saw though.

Drag The River were joined on this particular jaunt by the inimitable Cory Branan. To call Branan a ‘singer-songwriter’ may be factually accurate, but comes nowhere close to truly encompassing what he is as an artist. Equal parts alt-country and neo-folk and punk-as-fuck, Branan is at his best when his performance teeters on the edge, carefully tiptoeing to the edge of a precipice without actually careening out of control. Still feeling the effects of what he reported was a night of too-hard partying in New York city the previous evening, Branan made repeated reference to being not quite fully capable of pulling off everything in his catalog, leading to a request-heavy set that featured a well-received, heavy dose of audience participation.

Drag The River continued the audience participation trend in a set that turned very much into a drunken sing-along (shout out to Boston-based singer-songwriter Matt Charette and crew for leading the charge). Price and Snodgrass alternated turns manning the lead vocalist position for a set that spanned much of the band’s decade-plus on-again, off-again, on-again career. The performance was light-hearted in nature and light on banter (and, I thought curiously, light on the between-band interaction at all), focusing solely on the music, and including a cover of a Lenny Lashley track for good measure (and local Brownie points). Check out our photo gallery below.


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