The Ballroom Thieves

Night 2 of 2

The Ballroom Thieves

The Suitcase Junket

Sat, February 4, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Sinclair

Cambridge, MA


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This event is 18 and over

Sat. 2/4 show is now SOLD OUT. Tickets for the Fri. 2/3 show are still available HERE.

The Ballroom Thieves
The Ballroom Thieves
Life on the road is easily glamorized: the joy shows, the wonder of new places, the stories. Yet
the lifestyle is also a trying one: the suffocating isolation, the misery of being separated from
loved ones, the unspoken tensions. If unprepared, this life can become your downfall. For
Boston’s The Ballroom Thieves, it became their sophomore album, Deadeye.
The harmony-rich folk on the Thieves' debut, A Wolf in the Doorway, led to guitarist Martin
Earley, cellist Calin Peters, and drummer Devin Mauch spending the last two years in a
sustained state of touring, taking stages across the country, including venerable ones like at the
Newport Folk Festival. Though they were prepared for the sudden lack of a sedentary existence
-- even packing their apartments into storage units -- it wasn't long before nearly nonstop touring
began to take its toll.
As the stability of home faded along the relentless road, fresh anxieties came into focus:
depression, financial burdens, illness, crumbling relationships. Instead of addressing these
troubles, the Thieves doubled down on the band, and the edges began to fray. "I think if you
give everything to something for long enough, you have nothing left for you," Peters says, "and
then you break down." Resentment and stress built up; the only thing that would provide
temporary reprieve was taking the stage to perform the music they so dearly love.
That need to play through the pain led to the band crafting new songs, ones written in the midst
of all their bitter feelings. What couldn't be spoken between the bandmates was put down into
fresh material that transmuted the drama of the past few months into a weightier, expanded
sound. All that pent up negative energy was unleashed as the fiercest music the band has ever
It's evident in the beaten dirge of "For Mercy" and the thick grunge of "Pocket of Gold", tracks
bristling with both regret and resolve. Peters' voice sears with confident fire on the venomous
"Blood Run Red", as does Earley's on the bluesy romance of "Anybody Else". "Noble Rot" kicks
like a tethered mule, as if the instruments are expressing every heated thought that had ever
crossed the musicians' minds.
These are the songs The Ballroom Thieves needed to write. Although they're not proud of how
they've handled these issues, they're immensely proud of the music that has come as a result.
Rough times have helped them explore the darker corners of their sound -- which is why they've
chosen to forgo the standard label release cycle to put out Deadeye on October 21st by
themselves. Sharing it now is exposure therapy, letting their fans pay witness to these hardships
and the resulting creative growth while simultaneously helping the band move on. The struggle
is still very real, but these songs are a reminder that for this band, the only course is forward.
Deadeye captures the band at a time when they were at their absolute lowest, but it may also
prove to be the album that saves The Ballroom Thieves.
-Ben Kaye
The Suitcase Junket
The Suitcase Junket
Matt Lorenz (Rusty Belle) discovered throat-singing in a south-Indian cooking class with Jay Pillay at Hampshire College that had a retro-flexed R in it. (tip of the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth as you say R) Later, while singing and improvising in the car, this new mouth shape happened and I heard an overtone. Just one pure little note up there above the rest. So for the next 5 years I practiced in the car, slowly expanding my range one note at a time and stubbornly pursuing this odd melodic phenomenon in private. Finally, when I heard the buzzing drone of the old guitar, I saw that it was time to add this strange thing that I'd been practicing to the mix. There are many cultures that have developed over-tone singing throughout the ages and part of me feels some old kind of pride, like I got into a club of kinship that I didn't know existed. However, I have avoided listening to other people's throat-singing with hopes to maintain and develop my own style without outside influence. I also recognized the perils of cultural appropriation and argued to myself that if I'd never heard it then I couldn't have copied it. For now I continue my pursuit of this art in the dark with self-imposed ignorance. At some point in the future, when I feel confident in my style, I will open my ears and learn. Recently I have added some more foot-drums and amplifiers to make the sound bigger but the purity of the project remains; one guy making a racket.

His latest album "Knock It Down" was recorded and mixed at Signature Sounds with the brilliant ears of David Goodrich and Mark Thayer. The album is full, grimy, raw and honest.
Venue Information:
The Sinclair
52 Church St
Cambridge, MA, 02138