Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
lood just may be thicker than water when it comes to singing too. That is probably the main calling card of Portland, Ore.-based indie folk trio Joseph.
Comprised of Natalie Closner Schepman, and twins Allison and Meegan Closner, they don't blend their voices like, say the Everly Brothers (although that was sometimes true). Instead, Joseph tended to take different parts, only underscoring the beauty and power of their voices unfurled via their different ranges.
All this with only Schepman playing an instrument – either acoustic or electric guitar and stomping her foot occasionally on a board for percussion purposes. And while Schepman did enhance the songs as a result, the emphasis was almost exclusively on the singing.
Meegan probably took more of the lead singing than her sisters, but, sometimes a few of the sisters took center stage on vocals within the same song.
That was the case on Joseph's biggest song, "White Flag," with gorgeous, but tough sounding three-part harmonies and Schepman's acoustic guitar powering the close to their regular set.
The trio stood out more on these types of songs, such as "SOS (Overboard)," "Good Luck, Kid" and "Green Eyes" a triple threat near the outset of the show, the first of two nights at the venue.
Joseph took turns on a few great back-to-back covers – Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" and the Rolling Stones' "Moonlight Mile" with the twins sharing the singing and Schepman providing the musical sting with the latter a pleasant surprise since it stretched Joseph beyond its typical Newport Folk Festival-ready (yes, they have played there and deservedly so) sound.
There is a lot to be said for family bands. Beyond the singing, there's a certain camaraderie and palpable comfort level, such as in interacting with the crowd. Ultimately, of course, the music must carry the day, and on that score, Joseph filled the bill.
Brother. (yes, there is a period there) of Salt Lake City was a trio on this night as two regular band members did not make the trip. Lead singer Chuck Emery carried the band with a humorous stage patter. Brother. offered a bunch of pleasant songs, although they didn't particularly cut all that deep.