Triple Burner, smokin'. Photo by Geoff Stairs

Underground above

By Julian Wise - June 8, 2006

Somewhere along the line Martha's Vineyard became a pinpoint on the tour map for icons on the alternative music scene. Credit goes to Christopher Liberato's A Whale of a Production Company, the homegrown outfit that has cultivated ties with nationally recognized underground artists. The latest group to visit Martha's Vineyard is Triple Burner, the side project of guitarist Harris Newman and drummer Bruce Cawdron of the popular indie band Godspeed You Black Emperor.

The show represents the return to the Vineyard for Mr. Newman, who appeared last year on a double bill with guitar legend Glenn Jones. Mr. Newman's style is rooted in the Takoma Records style of Leo Kotke, John Fahey, and other acoustic virtuosos. Mr. Newman adds a dark, abstract twist to the guitar with color added by percussionist Cawdron, who might play spoons on one song and glockenspiel on the next. Triple Burner's sound is often described as a blend of traditional folk, Delta blues, psychedelic folk, Eastern raga, stuttering kraut rock, and other eclectic styles that whirl around each other in a surprisingly cohesive whole. Their self-titled debut, released May 29, received glowing praise from The Wire, Brainwashed, and the Baltimore City Paper.

Local musician Noah Maxner will open the show in his first show on Martha's Vineyard in more than a year. His recent performances have included shows at Boston clubs TT The Bears and The Sky Bar. He will perform a set of original material that blends acoustic and vocal numbers. His meditative, unhurried music reflects diverse inspirations ranging from Arvo Part to Mogwai. He uses the guitar much in the way an abstract painter uses a paintbrush, crafting lush, contemplative acoustic soundscapes that both challenge and entrance the listener.

Triple Burner and Noah Maxner, Saturday, June 10, 7 pm, Aboveground Records, Triangle Plaza, Edgartown. All ages. Suggested donation $5.

Julian Wise is a frequent contributor to The Times, specializing in music, film, and the performing arts.