Have you ever heard a song before it was recorded, and then been disappointed by the recorded version? Whether it’s a song by someone you’ve heard develop over time, or a song that you’ve only heard performed live or acoustically, that then gets “produced” into something completely lifeless in the studio?
Daphne Eckman just released her first studio album, Where You Left Me, and I’ve been looking forward to it, but also dreading it. I’ve heard these beautiful, personal songs many times over the last few years — mostly performed solo by Daphne on an acoustic guitar, but occasionally with other support. These are delicate, soul-wrenching songs that could easily be ruined by the wrong production choices. When the album was finally released recently, I was blown away.
The musicians on the album and Shea Springer at Sweetfoot Studios have done a masterful job of capturing these songs. Several of them have changed drastically from the versions I’ve heard before, but I honestly think these are each the best versions of these songs.
At Rams Head on Stage on Jan. 19, I heard the songs performed live by the full band and they did not disappoint. This talented group of musicians brought the energy and a supportive crowd was completely engaged the entire evening.
Stream Where You Left Me by Daphne Eckman on Spotify:
Daphne was backed by:
Graham Furniss on bass and harmonies
Mikko Dumadag on guitar
Thomas “Gingerwolf” Beall on banjo and lap steel
Robin Eckman on drums
All of these musicians were wonderful, but I want to give an extra compliment to Robin Eckman for some of the most tasteful, creative drumming I’ve ever heard.
This was both a record-release celebration and the kickoff of the band’s first tour. After the obligatory encores, including a dance-infused cover of Metric’s “Black Sheep,” the band was packing into a van to spread their music across the Northeast.
Go see them if you can. And make sure you check out this beautiful album full of heartbreak and hope — Where You Left Me.
The opening act, Heartside, was also wonderful. Lead singer Sam Pugh has the voice of an angel, and he was joined by bandmates Todd Kleppinger on keys and Rob Dunmyer on guitar. Heartside was celebrating the release of their new EP, Somewhere in Between. It’s their first new release in a while, and it’s also worth checking out.
Here are some photos of Heartside performing at Rams Head on Stage on Jan. 19, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.
And here are some photos of Daphne Eckman performing at Rams Head on Stage on Jan. 19, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.