In support of his brand new, hauntingly sparse, and unexpectedly stripped down new solo LP, perhaps his best release in years, acclaimed singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, also known for Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, and Monsters of Folk, is hitting the road for a string of intimate solo shows, which returns him to Nashville tonight, Nov. 6 for a performance at The Ryman Auditorium with Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon, also solo. Though Oberst has played The Ryman in the past, the vulnerable, dark nature of his latest effort coupled with the unusually stripped down setup makes this outing an especially unique one, perfectly suited for the Mother Church, and tickets are still available right here while they last. Read on for more about the show!
Though he will perhaps always be best known for his work with indie rock/folk project Bright Eyes, a moniker he seemingly retired five years ago, eclectic singer-songwriter Conor Oberst has been doubling down on a proper solo career for nearly a decade, releasing full-lengths both under his own name and with the help of former semi-permanent backing players the Mystic Valley Band. In recent years, Oberst has passed through town both as a solo artist, and with his reunited post-hardcore group Desaparecidos (the farthest cry from Bright Eyes of Oberst’s many projects), and it was on tour with the latter that Conor was forced to abruptly cancel a string of shows for a variety of health complications last fall, leading to the discovery of a brain cyst, and forcing the singer to retire to his home of Omaha to recover. It was there, over two wintery days, that Oberst recorded his latest solo effort Ruminations, which marks an emotional, vulnerable, dark, and sad portrait of an artist confronting his demons in the thick of a Nebraska winter. Featuring only Conor himself, stripped down on guitar, piano, and harmonica, the LP marks Oberst’s most intimate and barebones effort in years, and with its urgency and raw honesty, is a callback to Bright Eyes’ earliest lo-fi efforts. Specifically billed as an imitate affair, we expect Conor’s upcoming show to feature heavy on the new tunes, but plenty of solo back catalogue and Bright Eyes favorites, stripped down and transformed in a whole new way, are likely to make the cut as well. This is a rare chance to see one of the generation’s most gifted songwriters in a whole new format, and one any fan of Oberst’s numerous outlets would not want to miss.
Best known as the primary creative force in folk rock project Sun Kil Moon, as well as for his run with indie group Red House Painters, prolific singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Mark Kozelek has also intermittently released solo albums throughout his career, especially in recent years, as a way to compartmentalize tracks that might not quite fit for his primary musical vehicle, as well as experiment with cover and themed releases. Earlier this year, Mark dropped a stripped down covers album called Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites, and, like Oberst, will presumably be tackling this performance alone in a barebones setting, presumably pulling material from his whole career.
Conor Oberst and Mark Kozelek will perform tonight, Nov. 6 at The Ryman Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $29.50-35.