Glen Hansard performs at the Lincoln Theatre on June 3, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
When I listen to Glen Hansard’s music — especially songs from the new album, This Wild Willing — I can picture a man who has two feet planted firmly in the past but is stretching out across this temporal divide to grasp the future. His music often straddles the line separating old folk tradition and modern tones and feeling.
Glen Hansard (Photo by Stephan Vanfleteren)
Irish troubadour Glen Hansard released The Wild Willing, his fourth studio album, in April via Anti- Records. Now, Glen visits the Lincoln Theatre on Monday, June 3, to regale us with song and story.
LP performs at the 9:30 Club, one of the best concerts of the year, on March 5, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
As we are nearing 2018’s finale, I have to say that this past year brought with it some of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. From the big production shows in large theaters to completely packed club shows, there was an intensity to most of the performances this past year that I’ll remember for years to come! Here are my 10 best shows of the year.
Glen Hansard listens to the audience at The Anthem on March 24, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Glen Hansard recalled an abandoned car in his neighborhood and how it sat neglected for quite some time. Finally, one day, he peered inside, spotted a cassette deck, and found a cassette in it.
The folk rocker took the cassette and listened to it, delighted to discover it was a mixtape of rocksteady songs from ’60s Jamaica. One song particularly struck him: A number apparently by Ken Boothe that contained the line, “Love is going to find you.”
Glen Hansard sings with a young lad live at Vicar Street in Dublin on Nov. 25, 2013. (Photo by Silvia Pititto)
Glen Hansard was determined.
“I have a friend who always ruins the moment,” Glen told an audience at DAR Constitution Hall on Saturday night. “He’s the kind of person that finds the fault in everything even when everything is going well. He’ll find that one thing that will ruin it for everybody.”
So to brighten his friend’s spirits, Glen said, he brought him along on tour. Glen also wrote a song dedicated his American friend, Thomas Bartlett, called “My Little Ruin,” which captures the spirit of being able to find that fault in everything.
Glen Hansard (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)
Irish folk singer Glen Hansard is well-regarded for his groundbreaking role and performance in the movie Once, and thereafter as half of The Swell Season, and he recently released his second solo album, Didn’t He Ramble, via Anti- Records.
The new album has received very good reviews, with Rolling Stone comparing Glen to another Irish great: “Didn’t He Ramble evokes a feeling similar to one of Van Morrison’s Celtic-soul fever dreams, burnishing the prevailing sense of romantic fatalism with some low-key bravado on the standout track ‘Winning Streak’ (a kissing cousin to Bob Dylan’s early-Seventies’ chestnut ‘Forever Young’).”
Glen is touring in support of the new album, and he makes a stop in DC this Saturday, Nov. 28, at DAR Constitution Hall. (Hey, St. Louis, he’s at The Pageant tonight!)
Watch the official video for “Her Mercy” from the new album on YouTube:
Don’t miss out on what is certain to be a moving show as Glen and his voice are at the top of their game. British folk artist Richard Thompson opens for Glen!
Tickets are available online.
w/ Richard Thompson
DAR Constitution Hall
Saturday, Nov. 28