There are artists that transcend genre. They start in one we love the most or hold dear enough. Though as they grow as musicians they branch further into others. One of those musicians is Dave Hause, who I know from punk rock origins with The Loved Ones and later The Falcon and All Brights. With his solo work, he has branched out further to showcase folk rock skills. This night brought him back to Phoenix with those skills. His band Dave Hause and the Mermaid with the talented Will Hoge and Wheelwright made for a wonderful night top to bottom.
Our opener is one familiar to many Phoenix locals under a different name the past decade and these days performs his new act of Wheelwright. That person is, of course, Jared Kolesar of Jared and the Mill, of which the band called it a day early in 2021. Jared continues song writing and performing new songs of a similar vein as Wheelwright. This night he performed a few of those new songs he has been releasing since Covid paused things in 2020. He touted a song in his set that Will Hoge, our second act of this night, had written with him before. Jared always conveying a charismatic and a delightful personality on and off the stage that adds to his awesomeness live. I’m sure there are many already following his new work, but if you by chance haven’t yet, then make sure to find Wheelwright on your music platform of choice.
After him was the newest to me act, Will Hoge. He is charming and filled the time between folk songs with anecdotes. He made jokes, like talking about how he always promised his wife he would finally record the happy songs about them and tell her the producer always preferred the unhappy ones. That he knew she saw through it. Will told stories about how he wanted and would build the screen porch to enjoy the Tennessee evenings from the comfort of his home. That one circled back to those happy songs he aimed to write and record later in the story. He introduced his last song talking about what a pleasure to have his wife and kids with him watching on this tour. It was heartwarming and humanizing while he played his superb tunes. Will Hoge made a fan out of me more near the beginning of the set, so getting to watch the rest was the cherry on top.
Last was the man that I gave you a little introduction at the top with his band Dave Hause and the Mermaid. The sole full band of the night took up the entire Rhythm Room stage from his brother, Tim Hause, on guitar to the two keyboards stage left. While the crowd more politely was sitting for our first two acts, the front of the stage had filled with fans for this rock and folk music. Dave full of similar charms as our prior acts made jokes and charmed the crowd alike. He alternated guitars between acoustic and electric.
They played the entire new album, Blood Harmony, splitting sections of the songs up with others from the band’s growing catalog. What became the encore was the last track of the album, “Little Wings,” as Dave said he realized they didn’t play the last track yet. It was an excellent night of music to close out a weekend with Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Will Hoge, and Wheelwright.