The Zincs’ James Elkington and Janet Beveridge Bean of Freakwater/Eleventh Dream Day formed the Horse’s Ha in 2002, planning to perform standards in Chicago wine bars for cash. Of course, when creative people get together, they eventually create, hence the band’s forthcoming debut, Of The Cathmawr Yards, a collection of 10 originals. On the stately, moon-obsessed Cathmawr they’re backed by a number of Chicago stalwarts — cellist Fred Lonberg Holm, bassist Nick Macri (Jeremy Enigk, Mark Eitzel) and drummer Charles Rumback (Leaves, L’Altra, Via Tania) — who make the songs feel easy, fluid, and complex at the same time. Literary buffs might note that “The Cathmawr Yards” is the Wales graveyard that shows up in the Dylan Thomas short story “The Horse’s Ha.” I haven’t read it, but I have read Under Milk Wood a number of times, and I can imagine the Horse’s Ha and their waterlogged track “The Piss Choir” and its squeaky strings blending in nicely with the parsnip-gin drinking inhabitants of that dreamy imaginary Welsh town.
The Horse’s Ha – “The Piss Choir” (MP3)
[Photo by JamesElkington]