David Earl and the Plowshares are back, will play New Year’s Eve show

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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David Earl and the Plowshares are back. Love ’em. Check them out on New Year’s Eve:

What: The Plowshares
When: Monday, Dec. 31st, 10pm
Where: bobo gallery Lexington Av. 28801
Cost: $8.00

The Plowshares and special guests will bring in “Lucky ’13” at bobo gallery this New Year’s Eve. The origins of the Plowshares trace through bobo where they were the first house band. The Get Right Band will make a cameo as will other surprise guests. bobo will also be celebrating it’s 9th anniversery. The party starts at 10pm Jan 31st and never ends.

Don’t know the Plowshares? Here’s some background:

In early 2008 at a high energy cd release party at the Grey Eagle, David Earl and the Plowshares introduced to the local community the extremely well received ep Local Anesthesia. The release helped cement the band’s steady rise from unknown upstarts to one of the most soulful and powerful new bands on the scene and a group to keep an eye on. The band continued packing shows and Local Anesthesia received heavy rotation and deep praise from the hosts of both local radio shows. Bad Ash of Local Licks (105.9 the Mountain) called “I’m A Wreck” one of her favorite songs and David Earl one of her favorite singers, while Laura Blackley of WNCW’s Local Color listed the Plowshares’ live show as one of the best of the year. Local Anesthesia was voted by the listeners of WNCW as one of the top regional releases of 2008.

Then they disappeared. The Plowshares played zero shows in 2009 and 2010. Longtime drummer Imhotep toured with Rising Appalachia and Sirius B and lead singer and songwriter David Earl Tomlinson gained weight and lost I.Q. points at home on his couch watching American Idol and the Bachelorette while dangerously and irresponsibly exposing his newborn daughter to the same. The local music radio shows still spin the one and only 4 song release the Plowshares were able to muster, and for a bit, it seemed as though that might be all that was left of the band.

But the Plowshares are back and stronger than ever. Granted the David Earl and Imhotep core bangin’ out (so called) swamp gospel with total revel and abandon will be hard, if not impossible, to beat. So why try? The emphasis has wisely switched from the old time sounds of the Alan Lomax era to David Earl’s extremely talented original songwriting. The simplicity of the songs of “Local Anesthesia” has not been entirely abandoned and the witty lyricism remains as well. The set list has gone from 75% covers to nearly 90% original music and audience that at first wasn’t sure what to think of the new sound has started to catch on that one of Asheville’s most soulful singers is also a world class songwriter.

Perhaps the most significant and effective change in the Plowshares is the new lineup. In the past the Plowshares were a rotating cast of some of the best players in town, and though the Plowshares live show was and is renowned, the lack of a solid and consistent group of players took it’s toll on the ‘band’. Having played with Asheville’s most sought after sidemen meant there was only one way to move forward and be considered a band that could legitimately carry on with the Plowshares moniker: David Earl managed to convince some serious talent to be a part of the Plowshares team

Silas Durocher (the Get Right Band, the LoveStruck Suckers) is a classically trained and commissioned guitarist who performs with the Sarasota Symphony. In his bare feet. He is a ridiculously talented guitar player who besides all his classical training implies, also counts the Beatles, Zeppelin, the Black Keys, and Sublime among his favorite bands.

Chris Pyle (a gazillion bands including Royal Trux of Drag City) was practically born playing drums. At a tender age he toured with his father’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band as the drum tech and while watching the members smash whiskey bottles over each other’s heads thought to himself “I’ve got to do this, too!” Chris Pyle is a lifer and an intuitive drummer that lays solid in the pocket until it’s time for skull crushing, in which he has an honorary doctorate.

Bassist Matt Lane is the secret weapon. The leader of his own band, Black Robin Hero, Mr. Lane is one of the very few guitarists moonlighting as a bassist who can actually lay so clean in the pocket you’ll think you’re riding on air. Although he doesn’t yet have the credentials of the other members of the Plowshares don’t be fooled. You will feel the low end as much as you will hear it, and it will feel good. Real good.

Photo by Dathan Brannan.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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