by Mica McCurdy
Tim Moxam took the Drake Underground stage on Tuesday night, with collaborators Ivy and Raffa, to croon us all in to a swaying love for the simple things in life: love, nature, family, friends, dimly lit rooms, beer, etc.
Moxam opened with “Blue Sun”, a stand out single representative of his deep folk and country roots. Sounding almost Neil Young inspired, it set the tone for the songs to come with consistently classical themes and strong guitar work.
Ivy and Raffa, backing vocals for the evening, transformed the set from the typical (and often over done) singer/songwriter performance with their perfect pitch and emotive delivery. This was particularly notable in “Coming On” and “Bones”, where their vocals were used for emphasis on lines beyond the chorus and in tandem with Moxam’s harmonica.
Moxam’s songs oscillated between intensity and sweetness, often starting with one and ending the other. His earthy voice holds a kind of rasp that grabs you, but opens up to a beautiful vocal range, as heard later in the set on “Live In The Bedroom” and the jazz/blues number that followed.
Though his time on stage felt short, Moxam quickly built a world that was easy to listen to and easy to love. His charming stage presence created a community from those of us assembled, and it could have only been better if we were sitting outside under the stars he sang about.
Following Moxam, LA’s Miner took the stage with a happy and energetic set. A self-proclaimed “family band” (a pair of brothers, and a married couple), they were one part Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, one part The Lumineers, and one part pure Americana. Radio friendly single “Carousel” was the highlight of the set, complete with a “woo ohhh” sing-a-long breakdown. They charmed the crowd with their infectious foot stomping and head bobbing, hopefully making their long (and first!) trip to Toronto worthwhile.