The last (and only) time I saw Shannon Wright in concert was when she opened for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Chicago Theatre. I still vividly remember the odd way she stalked around on the stage with her legs in a posture resembling a crab. Wright’s put out a good number of records, but she doesn’t seem to get quite as much attention as she deserves. She played a riveting, if short, set Friday (Feb. 22) at Schubas. She played the first three or four songs on piano, showing an idiosyncratic sense of tempo and melody. I liked the slightly peculiar tinge of her piano compositions. Then she switched to guitar for the rest of the night. Her guitar songs sound quite different from the piano ones, but there’s a similar eccentricity to the chords and tempos. She really let loose by the end of her set, pouncing on the stage as she riffed (although she didn’t do that crab walk this time) and loudly singing way off-mike on the last tune.
Wright’s backing band consisted of the drummer and bassist from the opening act, King’s Daughters and Sons. Not to be confused with Sons and Daughters, this is a group from Louisville. I’d never heard of them before, but they impressed me quite a bit. Their songs start off mellow, a bit like Iron & Wine folk rock, and then build into long epics. The three-song CDR the band is selling at shows is well worth picking up if you can find it. I’m eager to hear more.