Front Row

Son Little, Live In Concert

Son Little is the embodiment of the truism that most overnight successes take years. Around Philadelphia, the singer/guitarist who goes by his given name Aaron Livingston has been a known entity at least since (his words) "mumbling/freestyling/singing the hook" on The Roots' "Guns Are Drawn," a dubwise track from the group's 2004 album The Tipping Point.

In 2011, Son Little and DJ/producer RJD2 collaborated on a project called Icebird, a collection of studio-controlled progressive pop and psychedelic soul excursions so luxuriously ahead of its time, people still don't quite know how to process it. Which is to say, Son Little took a long, circuitous, sonically adventurous road to the musical space he presented on his self-titled full-length album for Anti- Records, which dropped in October.

At an NPR Music showcase in New York that same month, playing in what amounted to a blues-rock trio alongside bassist Stephen Greenberg and drummer Jesse Maynard, Son Little pulled at his music and reduced it to its stripped-down core. Gone were the ornamental studio textures; in their place remained something simultaneously ancient and modern, beyond simple genre or emotional qualifications. Yet it's quintessentially American, the kind of sound that takes a thousand and one overnights to develop.

Set List:

  • "Joy"
  • "Montana Way"
  • "Alice"
  • "All Wet"
  • "Oh Mother"
  • "Cross My Heart"
  • "Loser Blues"
  • "Your Love Will Blow Me Away (When My Heart Aches)"
  • "The River"
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