March 21, 2013

CMW Review: Japan Nite-Pirates Canoe

My first night at this year's CMW started off with Japan Nite at Clintons last night. Japan Nite is an annual US tour with various Japanese bands organized by Audrey Kimira since 1996 and their showcases are best known for their SXSW appearance. (Hats off to Audrey for being so passionate about the bands and thinking the best for them.) It is not an understatement to say that it started off slowly compared with any other US shows (At the SXSW showcase, it usually packs not only the venue itself, but also the balcony.) However, these five bands deployed their uniqueness and enthusiasm at the fullest during the showcase.

The first performer of the night was Kokyo based Roots/Americana trio, Pirates Canoe. All cutely dressed in green, each member crafted seamless laces of exquisite melodies from their strings. The lead singer and guitarist, Reika Hunt cast her flawless vocal that floated in the air of the venue with Sara Kohno`s banjo. On the top of that Kanako Keyaki sugarcoated it with the dulcet fiddle verse that made the sounds more resonating. The balance of the trio was very cohesive and relaxing. It was as if they took the audience to a field trip to a beautiful country side. Between the music, Reika impressed the audience not only with her more-fluent-than-Canadian- English, but also with the traditional sounds of Americana that's hard to find in Japan. Pirates Canoe ended their set with an instrumental tune that withdrew the audience to the field trip again and I wished that it would never end. 

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