A pair of noteworthy singer/songwriters hit the Upland Tasting Room Tuesday night courtesy of The In-Store. The Great American Desert, aka Nebraskan Max Holmquist, and local artist Ryan Puett provided a perfect evening of evocative tunes to ease into Independence Day.
Puett played first, digging into his yet unrecorded catalog of emotional tracks. Puett’s soaring voice was on full display with songs like Honey Bees Dance More on Cocaine and Lights Out 1952. Check out the latter below.
Holmquist was next, on tour for his current album Carson City. Most of his pastoral folk songs focus on the stories of people surviving their Midwestern existence. The minimalist delivery of the music allows space for his rich tenor to beautifully convey the sadness and hope of the lyrics. Songs like Whiteclay, John & Ruth, and Father’s House were gripping vignettes.
The folk music landscape can be difficult to filter through. Holmquist and Puett are both worth taking the time to discover.