Meloy rolls into town Wednesday

Like democracy? What about the Decemberists? Perhaps just the letter “D,” in general? If your answer to at least two of the questions was a “yes,” celebrate the joy of alliteration by clearing your schedule this Wednesday, April 23, to come check out Colin Meloy at the Barrymore. Meloy, currently on hiatus from his troupe and touring across the nation in support of his first solo album, “Colin Meloy Sings Live!,” released earlier this month. Meloy is joined by the non-threatening singer-songwriter Laura Gibson for the show, which is also serving as a fundraiser for the Madison-based non-profit Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution.

Meloy has been filling venues and garnering glowing reviews throughout the spring with his deeply personal and nuanced sound. Recent shows in Boston and Toronto have turned the spotlight on Meloy’s gift of storytelling through music, which has taken on an added, perhaps slightly softer, dimension with becoming a father (to a son named Hank with girlfriend Carson Ellis) little more than two years ago.

“… It’s a cliché, the songwriter having a baby and then writing these weepy saccharine ballads about how wonderful it is to be a father,” Meloy told The Hook earlier this month. “I actually found I was writing more darkly and more violently in some way. I used to sing him a battery of songs every night. Recently, for whatever reason, he doesn’t like to be sung to and likes stories to be told to him, so I’ve been making something up. Of course, he’s a really easy audience; he’s kind of a pushover.”

Liberty Tree, a “new organization with old roots,” is rooted in the belief that “American revolution is a long tradition whose greatest promise is democracy,” and provides support to pro-democracy campaigns through policy research, publications, legal assistance, consultative services, and the convening of pro-democracy organizers. The organization is currently gearing up for a number of events educating and providing networking opportunities for activists and advocates, including June’s Democracy Day conference and a community organizing retreat, as just two examples.

Tickets for the show, beginning at 7:30 PM on Wednesday at the Barrymore, are still available for $20 from the venue at 241-8864 or online.

– Joe Erbentraut, True Endeavors Communications and Public Relations Intern

One Response

  1. Have you heard about the great work Liberty Tree is doing? These are Madison’s own homegrown American revolutionaries. In their own words, they are, “dedicated to building a democracy movement for the U.S.A.,” providing resources, training, tools, and legal support to grassroots activists working to democratize elections, education, town hall, national defense, media, you name it!

    Last year, none other than The Nation magazine named Liberty Tree an MVP — Most Valuable Progressive. Here’s what they wrote:

    “Most Valuable Think Tank: LIBERTY TREE: Foundation for the Democratic Revolution is staffed by young, smart thinkers with roots in green and student politics who push the limits of the debate about how to repair elections, reform education and renew the spirit of 1776. Fellows such as BEN MANSKI and KAITLIN SOPOCI-BELKNAP go beyond narrow interpretations of both the Constitution and what is possible in a republic to explore what real democracy would look like at the international, national, state, regional and local levels. Read their great journal and visit them at:

    Democracy in the U.S.A.? Now that’s a radical idea.

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