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Sunday, December 17

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Feature Thu Mar 06 2008

The Acorn Bring Honduran Rhythms to Town

The Acorn create lush, percussive indie-folk inspired by world rhythms. I came across this album (recorded in a rented house in Ottowa) via a press release promising a new album heavily influenced by Smithsonian recordings of Honduran folk songs from the '60s. It turns out that Glory Hope Mountain is actually much more than the result of spontaneous curiosity in other world music traditions; it’s a carefully crafted concept album that tells the life story of Acorn front-man Rolf Klausener’s Honduran mother.

According to the band’s description, the new album was “based on interviews recorded in 2006 and recorded over 9 months, the [album] follows both hope and tragedy in [Gloria Esperanza] Montoya's native Honduras — a mother dying in childbirth, flash floods, an abusive father — and an ultimately life-affirming move to Montreal in the 1970s.”

ACORN_GHM1_credit_Ben_Welland

The Acorn (photo by Ben Welland)

Reflecting this woman’s life, the music on this album expresses highs and lows, sometimes with solo folk guitar and at other times with multi-layered tracks featuring various wacky instruments (the “optigan,” for example, which is apparently an “early electronic keyboard instrument”). The album’s single, “Flood Pt. 1” is one of the highs, and features lots of clapping and catchy string riffs accompanying Klausener’s gentle vocals. “Antenna” opens with the static-y sounds of someone tuning an old radio, and “Plateau Ramble” is a lighthearted track featuring some great finger picking.

If the below You Tube video from a concert in Toronto is any indication, seeing this group live should be a fun, participatory experience. As a bonus: you’ll get to see what an optigan looks like.

The Acorn play Schubas this Saturday, March 8 in support of Grand Archives, and alongside The Builders and The Butchers. Doors open at 10pm. Tickets are $10 and the show is 18+.

About the Author:

David Polk is a producer at WFMT-FM where he's working on a new radio show spotlighting young classical musicians (wfmt.com/introductions). In his spare time, he takes guitar classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, goes to concerts and gets distracted in the wine aisle at Trader Joes.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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