Yes the Raven performs modern Celtic at White Horse, March 21

Irish-born singer-songwriter Alyn Mearns, aka Yes the Raven says of his music, “My guitar became a kind of miniature band, a miniature cathedral.” He performs a mesmerizing show at White Horse Black Mountain on Saturday, March 21.

Press release from the venue:

There’s something almost shamanistic about a Yes the Raven performance as singer-songwriter Alyn Mearns summons up mysterious timeless worlds in his mesmerizing contemporary songs. White Horse Black Mountain audiences know Mearns as half of the popular Irish folk duo the Belfast Boys, but a very different musical identity emerges in his Yes the Raven persona, which will be on display at the White Horse Black Mountain on Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m.

Mearns grew up in Belfast during “The Troubles” where as a teen he immersed himself in the guitar, absorbing every musical style within earshot. His guitar skills earned him a scholarship at Appalachian State University, and he played in several bands. However, he found himself drawn back to the evocative power of the solo acoustic guitar. Explains Mearns, “I found myself falling in love with the guitar again, not in the traditional ‘lead guitarist’ sense, but in a way that could accompany my songs and provide a satisfying emotional landscape. My guitar became a kind of miniature band, a miniature cathedral.” Although Mearns’ classical guitar background is evident, his style is deeply personal and idiosyncratic. Yes the Raven concerts are filled with guitar moments that leave listeners wondering “What just happened and how did he do that?” Yet the guitar is always a carefully considered equal partner to the deeply literate and poetic lyrics. At times Mearns’ voice takes wordless flight as a true second instrument, and the effect can be otherworldly.

The songs of Yes the Raven, showcased on his CD “Love is Covered in Dust”  feel both ancient and modern, thoroughly informed by contemporary pop and folk music but also drawing from some deep bardic well. Yes the Raven’s lyrics, surrounded by Mearns’ symphonic guitarscapes, create a listening experience that acoustic music maven Joe Tosco says “draws you into a place where music becomes magic.”

Show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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