I missed singer-songwriter David Mayfield's set at Bonnaroo last Thursday. We were still driving when he hit the stage that night, but luckily he's back in Charlotte this Thursday, June 16 at The Evening Muse (3227 N. Davidson St.). His December show at The Muse was among my top 10 concerts of 2010.
I first encountered Mayfield playing bass for his sister Jessica Lea at Visulite. He wasn't nearly as animated as he is when headlining his own shows, but he still oozed personality perching his big upright bass on his feet during an extended psychedelic folk breakdown. At Bonnaroo he joined Jessica Lea and Mumford & Sons during their sets. But its solo or with his band The Parade where he really shines.
I don't want to give too much away, but his is not your typical folk or Americana show. There's little navel gazing and while some of his songs are fairly serious and romantic in nature he brings the fun and the funny. He breaks down the performer/audience wall with a wink, a booty shake and banter that mocks standard singer-songwriter cliches. My friend, who was completely unfamiliar with him when we went to the show in December, tweeted her devotion to him after the show. I'm initiating another potential convert tomorrow.
The music is good too. His latest album, which features friends Scott and Seth Avett, is one of my favorite releases of the year.
Mayfield plays at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. $12-$14. www.eveningmuse.com