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The Front Porch Series presents John Moreland

Sunday February 11

St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1a S, Saint Augustine

The St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s free Front Porch Series proudly announces that Americana singer-songwriter John Moreland will kick off the 2018 Series on Friday, February 11, 2018. The Front Porch Series is a free music series held on the 4,800 square feet hardwood deck located on the St. Augustine Amphitheatre grounds. The series is open to the public and is all ages with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. and music at 7:00 p.m. No tickets are needed for entry. The replay of John Moreland’s network television debut is glorious, and affirming, and a sucker punch. He is announced by Stephen Colbert, lights dissolve, and the camera slowly focuses on the person midway across the unadorned stage, revealing him beneath muted blue lights. He is a big man. Seated, alone, cradling his acoustic guitar. He looks like nobody who is famous. Then he begins to sing, to caress the song “Break My Heart Sweetly,” and all that remains is to whisper, “Oh, my god.” In Colbert’s studio everybody stood, like they were in church. Moreland sings in one of those accents from flyover country that’s impossible to locate and implausible to mimic. (Texas, by way of Northern Kentucky, but mostly Tulsa, as it happens.) He sings directly from his heart, with none of the restraint and filters and caution the rest of us would apply for public protection. He sings with resolute courage. And writes with simple eloquence about love and faith and isolation; the human condition; what every song and poem and novel is about, at the core: Life. “Break My Heart Sweetly” came from his second solo album, released in 2013 and titled In the Throes. High on Tulsa Heat, released through Thirty Tigers, landed him on Colbert’s stage. Song placements on “Sons of Anarchy.” An emerging artist nomination from the Americana Music Association. Enough sales to compel Moreland to give up his DIY label operation, and sign with 4AD. Big Bad Luv (out now on 4AD) is the record John Moreland made after everything in his life changed, for the better. It’s unmistakably a rock ‘n’ roll record. If, that is, one understands the term to include Ray Wylie Hubbard, John Hiatt, and Lucero. Or The Band, maybe. Insistent songs, coming from a voice as elegant as unfinished barn wood, songs which insist upon their words being heard. It’s his fourth solo album, not discounting two records with the Black Gold Band and a third with the Dust Bowl Souls. Nor discounting early excursions into hardcore which were not youthful indiscretions but crucial training in the emotional honesty of confessional songwriting. A rock album, to be performed by a rock band signifying a partial break with the solitude of solo touring.


St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1a S, Saint Augustine