Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Aaron Lee Tasjan at the Mercury Lounge

Aaron Lee Tasjan grew up in New Albany, Ohio, teaching himself to play guitar at age 11 by learning Oasis songs. By age 16 Tasjan had performed with Peter Yarrow and been the recipient of the Outstanding Guitarist Award in the Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. He was offered a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music following his graduation from high school, but decided instead in 2006 to move to Brooklyn, New York. In New York, Tasjan formed the arena-rock band Semi Precious Weapons, then played in Drivin' N' Cryin', the New York Dolls, alt-country band Everest, and British-roots rock band Alberta Cross, the Madison Square Gardeners, Operation Juliet with Sean Lennon, and most recently with BP Fallon & the Bandits. In 2013 Tasjan moved to East Nashville, Tennessee, to focus on songwriting and a solo career. Tasjan's released his second and most recent album, Silver Tears, on October 28, 2016.

Having played in many area bands, Aaron Lee Tasjan drew fans from different epochs of his past to his concert at the Mercury Lounge tonight. Although his black suit with white stars and his black shirt with white dots made him look like the villain in a future Batman movie, Tasjan's current trajectory leans toward an alt-country sound. Rather than surveying his musical past, Tasjan performed 12 songs from his two solo albums. His songs painted panoramas of people and places, with some lyrics a bit more reflective and others more playful. His storytelling had bite, and was intensified by his crooning tenor and his skillful guitar leads, which together often steered the songs away from folk-country to slightly off-kilter indie rock. The lyrics ranged from light-hearted, romantic and raw angst, and the eclectic musical sounds ranged from twang to psychedelics, and they blended comfortably.

Visit Aaron Lee Tasjan at

  1. Ready To Die
  2. Hard Life
  3. Dime
  4. Made in America
  5. Little Movies
  6. Memphis Rain
  7. Out Of My Mind
  8. 12 Bar Blues
  9. E.N.S.A.A.T.
  10. Success
  11. The Dangerous Kind
  12. Encore: Lucinda’s Room