Great Lake Swimmers/Phosphorescent

Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck
Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck (Photo By Aubrey Edwards)

Great Lake Swimmers/Phosphorescent

Maggie Mae's, Friday, March 17

Tony Dekker is childlike and impressionable, but somehow, beneath his curly locks and focused eyes, there's a wise old man peeking out. His voice is mentholated, a soothing memory of times long gone. Dekker's trio, Great Lake Swimmers, is marvelous simplicity, a sanctuary from the bustling psychosis outside. "Let's Trade Skins," off sophomore album Bodies & Minds (Misra), reels beneath the quiet banjo strum, Dekker's echo shushing the crowd. He's gracious and genteel, and were Dekker not from Toronto, he'd be our Southern gentleman. Picking his acoustic like an old bluesman – skeleton fingers over floppy strings – Dekker's power is in silence. Matthew Houck's pseudo-hippie band of lovers, Phosphorescent – another Misra act – followed. Two drum kits, four horns, two tambourines, a guitar, a bass, and one broken leg: Athens, Ga.'s Phosphorescent is pure, infantile, love-struck giddiness. As the collective hollers in unison, "Aw come aw wry!" (the title of last year's debut), it becomes a family jubilee. Houck mounts the railing, pensively staring into the abyss above, strumming the guitar in a gorgeous daydream. "I'm a Full Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day)" hints to Will Oldham while remaining explicitly Houck, because, although this is a young man standing like a Christmas tree in July, underneath it all is brilliance. Honest, true, and absolutely brutal. Misra should be proud.

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