LIVE: Balthrop, Alabama @ MASS MoCA, 8/29/09

August 31st, 2009, 12:56 pm by Greg

It’s not a geographic location. Balthrop, Alabama is actually a band. And a small fictional town. And a state of mind.

Helmed by siblings, primary vocalists and songwriters Pascal and Lauren Balthrop (who actually go by the names Jemison Thorsby and Georgiana Starlington), the rag-tag collection of musicians boasts a somewhat fluid line-up.

balthrop01When I first heard them on WAMC-FM’s “Performance Place,” they were just a duo. When they were back on “Performance Place” again last week bolstered by a pair of sax players, they had grown to a quartet.

Onstage at MASS MoCA‘s Club B-10 on Saturday night, they had expanded once again, this time to a nine-piece ensemble with drums, bass, accordion, electric guitar and banjo as well.

Well, actually, only eight of them were on stage.

Sitting at a table just to the right of the stage was the band’s ninth member – artist Michael Arthur (whose Balthrop, Alabama name is Toxey Goodwater). He was armed with just one clean sheet of paper, a variety of pens, some small toy cars and plastic characters and a full glass of red wine.

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Pascal Balthrop (aka, Jemison Thorsby), What Are You Listening To?

August 26th, 2009, 9:30 am by Greg

balthrop“I can’t stop listening to Midlake‘s ‘Trials of Van Occupanther.’

“There’s a lot of great music coming out of our neighborhood in Brooklyn these days: Rocketship Park, the Ne’er Do Evers, Caithlin De Marrais, the Bandana Splits, Josh Ritter, Dawn Landes and Kyle Fischer.

“And of course, I keep going back to records by Elliott Smith, Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes. Oh, and the Beatles. They were pretty good.”

Pascal Balthrop (aka, Jemison Thorsby) and the rest of the members of his Brooklyn-based band (and small, fictional, southern town) Balthrop, Alabama, will be performing at the Pavillion at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass. at 8pm Saturday (August 29).

And you can also tune into “Performance Place” on WAMC-FM at 11:30am today (Wednesday, August 26) to hear an interview and live music from Balthrop, Alabama.

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