Palmer T. Lee is heartbroken, not only does he wear it on his sleeve, he sings it from the mountain top. Going to see the show was like the musical version of watching Terms of Endearment. And while I don’t usually like sad movies, I really enjoyed Winebringer, the show and the album.
This show is a long time coming. Palmer is half of the folky, Americana band, The Lowest Pair. The album was ready last winter but the release was postponed twice due to weather. It’s ironic that an album about heartbreak would be postponed by an act of God. It doesn’t matter how you plan or what you do, you just can’t plan a release from heartbreak.
The album is and the show was very emotional. Palmer’s voice, always intense, wavers in brutal honesty and vulnerability. It tugs on the heart strings. There’s a catharsis in the listening. It’s difficult to tell if it’s cathartic to sing.
Ah Jeez is a storytelling song and one of the few songs with an upbeat feel. There’s a nice and easy tune, which offsets the darkly aching lyrics. Palmer’s voice moves from wavering to fierce. I have noted in a previous show that Palmer can sound like an Irish rebel singer. That intensity focused on a song about lost love is moving.
Palmer noted that Rice and Beans is one of the most popular songs on the album. It is about a strange dream with great detail and the inconsistencies of a dream. I love the way the song fades off in the end; It mimics heartbreak in a funny way. There’s no dramatic ends, it just stops.
Winebringer, was inspired by the Sufi poet Hafiz, and his collection of poems The Book of the Winebringer. It’s raw. Art meets us where we are. It would be great to talk to the whole audience about their experience. For me, it was a reminder that heartbreak is universal. It takes as long as it takes and the best you can do, like Palmer, is somehow use it.