MUSIC From Boogie Man Smash comes rising Low Water
The band will play this weekend at Cedar's Lounge.
By JOHN BENSON
Based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., Low Water's singer/guitarist John Leitera has fond memories of Youngstown, and in particular its intimate Cedar's Lounge.
"I love playing Cedar's," said the New Castle, Pa., native, calling from his home in New York City. "It's one of my favorite places to play. I think it's a great bar. I have a lot of history there. I used to be in another band, Boogie Man Smash, and played Cedar's all of the time. It's kind of a home base in a way. Actually, I'm wearing a Cedar's T-shirt right now."
While unable to confirm the T-shirt is indeed of the Cedar's variety, Leitera does come across as earnest and honest, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
As for his Low Water outfit, these are exciting times with all the songs written for its next studio album "Who Said That Life Is Over?" A follow-up to 2004's "Hard Words in a Speakeasy," the new project is due out later this year and marks somewhat of a departure for the trio.
About the new music
"I think it's a lot more raw, a lot more rock 'n' roll -- so to speak -- and a little bit harder," Leitera said. "Also, we're not trying to make a record that's going to appeal to anybody but ourselves."
With a brief three-date tour, including a show Saturday at Cedar's, it's a unique time for Low Water, which is ostensibly road testing its new material before entering a recording studio later this month. Expected tracks from the new disc include "Wyoming" and "I've Got to Be Strong for My Baby."
While Low Water is oft compared to Wilco and The Replacements, Leitera likes to think the threesome is heading into a different stylistic realm, falling somewhere between Frank Black and Television. He hopes to prove that to local fans at the Cedar's Lounge show.
"It's a really good opportunity to see a band that's actually working while they're on stage," Leitera said. "These songs are going to be like a work in progress because they're going to change every time we play them, so it's not real common that you get to hear a record before it's done."