Ohio folk-rock band Saintseneca delighted the crowd at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley for a recent installment of Lightning 100’s Nashville Sunday Night Series live radio broadcast. Frontman Zac Little began the show playing a high-slung, beautiful, black and white viola bass (we bass players notice these things); in atypical frontman fashion though, Little stands at the far end of stage right, rather than standing front and center.
The band played selections from their newest record, Such Things, as well as older favorites from 2014’s Dark Arc. Little’s voice is high and lonesome, like our generation’s Hank Williams, Sr., and is beautifully displayed on songs like “How Many Blankets Are In The World”. The intonation, inflection, and tone of his voice would go perfectly on the soundtrack of any indie flick out there. Biblical imagery is woven inside the lyrics and around the beautiful introductory bass solo of songs like “Only The Young Die Good”, in which Little sings “Jesus I’m drunk on the spirit tonight”, before the band presents beautifully lush four-part harmonies in the chorus.
After rousing renditions of “Bad Ideas” and “Lazarus”, Little introduced the melancholy “Soft Edges”, another song from 2015’s Such Things, by telling us that it was inspired by the idea of smart phones. ”Look it up, y’all got smart phones” he said with a laugh.
Little took a moment to bring attention to his bandmates; ”I like playing with everyone in this band. It’s really awesome. It’s not just me, it’s these folks just as much. Whatever,” he said. Much can and should be said about the other members of Saintseneca—Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, Jon Meador, and Matthew O’Conke—all versatile and talented musicians whose chemistry is palpable, and seeing them together live reinforces the fact that these individuals were born to make music together. Jones’ clear and delicate voice began the first verse of “Sleeper Hold”; when Little joined her, their harmony was sweetly soothing. With influences from the 50s on songs like “Rare Form”, to songs that venture into experimental noise and borderline psychedelia, Saintseneca’s music spans genres in the most dazzling of ways. I can’t wait to see them again.
[These lovely photographs were taken by the incomparable Ryan Kanaly. You can see more of his genius on display at www.ryansmallhands.com.]