At times elating and at other times moody, the music of Kites and Crows combines the delicate instrumentation of bands like Horse Feathers and The Dimes with the storytelling prowess of The Decemberists.
Songs such as â€œPaper Chainsâ€ and â€œThe Scales Swayâ€ are excellent examples of the bandâ€™s talented songwriting.Â With intricate banjo lines and haunting cello parts, the music sets the stage for storylines perfectly fit to the music.Â Mysha Carusoâ€™s lead vocals use little or no reverb, giving them a close, intimate feeling that many singers these days shy away from.
Led by Caruso on guitar, vocals and harmonica, a live performance from the band is likely to lift oneâ€™s spirits and renew the hope that intelligent songwriting and intricate, poetic storytelling are not things of the past.
Kites and Crows are rounded off with multi-instrumentalists Jesse Baldwin and Nancy Martin.Â Baldwin sings vocals as well as plays banjo, accordion, chord organ, lap-steel guitar and mandolin.Â Martin also sings vocals as well as playing cello and vibraphonette, and Italian mini-version of a vibrophone.
The band formed three years ago when all three members met at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival while working there.Â Caruso and Baldwin began playing together first, did some touring, then tried to add drummers but werenâ€™t happy with the sound.Â Martin entered the picture, and the sound they had envisioned was complete.
â€œWe like being a trio,â€ said Caruso.Â â€œWeâ€™ve tried adding drummers and it just didnâ€™t sound right.â€
The band cites influences such as Horse Feathers, Iron and Wine, Elliott Smith and The Decemberists.Â When asked what was most attractive about these bands, Caruso replied, â€œpoetic lyrics that are not as easily understood; a bit more cryptic.â€
Kites and Crows have made a name for themselves in Ashland as well as in Oregon and the Northwest.Â They are currently mixing their new full-length album, which will be released within the next month, when they plan to go on tour throughout Oregon.
Kites and Crows play a monthly show at The Wild Goose, 2365 Ashland St., which happens every second Monday of the month at 8 p.m.Â Upcoming shows include Nov. 8th at the Wild Goose, Nov. 9th at the Windance House Concert in Bend, and Nov. 10th at Sam Bandâ€™s Garage in Eugene.