Yarn knits up an American sound
Devotees and beneficiaries of today’s digital music universe, Yarn has dedicated itself to performing live in small town and venues all across the country. Performing an average of 170 shows a year since 2007, the Grammy-nominated Americana band is coming to Pisgah Brewing Co. on Jan. 22.
“Our fans are like family,” said Blake Christiana, Yarn’s leader and singer/songwriter. “We are so grateful to people to love our music and to help support us in creating it. It’s just remarkable.
“That’s half of my love of the road - we’ve got what feels like family in tons of cities across America.”
Yarn has been nominated twice for the Grammys (“Empty Pockets” and “Almost Home”), has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, has collaborated with singer/songwriter John Oates of Hall & Oates fame, as well as with producer Bill Vorndick (Allison Kraus and Bela Fleck).
Yarn was also featured on CNN’s “OutFront,” CMT’s “Concrete Country” and “Pure Country” and “Zuus Country.”
In a recent emailed Q&A, here’s what Christiana had to say about the band:
Black Mountain News: Sounds like you make it a point to tour small towns like ours. Why is that?
Blake Christiana: We love all the towns, but there is something about small towns that is definitely special. People are more hungry, they really come out to have a good time. The bigger towns can sometimes take these things for granted.
BMN: What do you find in small towns that’s so appealing?
BC: You get to know people, especially if the town really takes to you. We play a town called Martinsville, Virginia, and we’ve been playing it a few years now. And somehow we’ve been adopted. These are our friends now, really great people, it’s really a nice experience.
I lived in Brooklyn for 12 years, and now I’ve scaled down and live in Raleigh, but I might be up for going even smaller. There’s just something “family” about it, and you got to love family.
BMN: How does the small-town experience contribute to the band’s songwriting and performance?
BC: Just like everything else, experiences, people, and relationships, they all find there way into the music. We write about life, the weirdness of it, the darkness of it, and the beauty of it. Every town on the map has got all that.
BMN: The press release talks about your writing about everyday emotions? Can you give us an example?
BC: We’re up, we’re down, we’re tired, we’re excited, we’re heartbroken, we’re in love, we’re jealous - that’s life. Who couldn’t relate to that? We’re dealt new cards every day, and they affect us either positively or negatively.
It’s therapy for me. I’ll right an angry song, just to get it out. I think it’s kept me sane all these years, for the most part anyway.
We’ve got a new record coming out, one song on there is called “love and hate,” there’s such a fine line between the two. One particular line is “every little beating of my heart, every little cut you made that left a little scar loves you.” There’s a bit of hate in that lyric too. That’s life.
BMN: Why does your writing about everyday emotions resonate with your fans?
BC: I’m a bit of a dark soul. I assume the listeners have a bit of darkness in them as well. I assume we all do.
Stitch in time
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 22
Where: Pisgah Brewing
Cost: $12 advance, $15 door