Photographs by COURTESY PHOTO
Sinners & Saints perform Monday at The Syc House in Fayetteville.
Friday, December 1, 2017
After six years, Perry Fowler has settled on a name for what he and partner Mark Baran play: mountain music.
"People want to call it bluegrass, but we play drums and we don't have a banjo and we don't have a fiddle, so it's not really bluegrass," says Fowler, who is half of the Charlotte, N.C., duo Sinners & Saints. "But mountain music is kind of in the same vein."
Sinners & Saints
WHEN — 7 p.m. Monday
WHERE — The Syc House, 20 W. Sycamore St. in Fayetteville
COST — Free to ages 18 & older
INFO — 979-571-7772
BONUS — Also performing will be Foggy Bobcat and Terra Nova.
Fowler is the primary songwriter for the duo, who have been playing together since 2011, and says he was inspired by the spirituals of his Southern Baptist upbringing. "That's where I get a lot of my melodies from." The lyrics, he goes on, come from the heart.
"That's not to say that every song is a true story, but if you grow and you live, you gain experiences, you gain heartache and sadness and joy," he says. "Even with some of the happy things in life, there's a sad element, and vice versa. So maybe the melody is happy, but the words a little darker. It makes it a little easier to keep that perspective."
Before he and Baran became Sinners & Saints, Fowler was pursuing his music solo, singing and playing an acoustic guitar, harmonica and kick drum, but he knew the other man's work as an upright bass player.
"I always said if I was going to have a bass player in a band, I'd want it to be him," he says. But when they met at a gig, it was Baran who said, "If you ever need a bass player, call me." Adding more drums for Baran, in the ensuing six years, they've shared the stage with Flogging Molly, Shovels and Rope, Robert Earl Keen, St Paul & the Broken Bones and many others and released two EPs and two full-length albums, most recently "On the Other Side" in March.
"'On the Other Side' wears its Southern country roots on its sleeve (so to speak)," The Charlotte Observer said in a review. "The album illustrates the group's versatility, from foot-tapping bluegrass to tearful honky-tonk to harmony-centered folk. With its feet firmly planted in tradition, it should be as big a hit with the MerleFest crowd as it is with local hipsters."
-- Becca Martin-Brown
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