SAFE HAVEN Now that the JP bar has a music license, the Chris North Dream Quartet were able to rock out.
With the Chris North Dream Quartet, singer/guitarist Chris North Alspach retains the sincere Celt-folk vocal inflection and distinctly New England–influenced lyrics of his other, Best Music Poll–nominated band, the Points North. But as opposed to the Irish tin whistle, octave mandolin, and lush, folksy instrumentation we’re used to hearing from the Points North, the Dream Quartet proved over three Wednesdays of an April residency at the Haven — a 10-month-old Scottish restaurant and craft-beer bar in JP — that electric guitars make for decidedly more of a rock-and-roll project. The group are fronted by Alspach on guitar and vocals, with his brother Kyle Alspach on drums and his roommates Chris Wilson McCarthy on upright bass and vox and Max Holbrook on lead guitar.
On April 20, amid the Haven’s antler chandeliers and woodsy ambiance, the Quartet offered a long set that included amped-up versions of the three minimal home recordings posted on Bandcamp late last year. (“The Architects of Love and Forgiveness” is the one to download.) They played several songs from the Points North’s 2009 release I Saw Across the Sound, and some covers, among them their earnest take on Dylan’s “Girl from North Country” and a rendition of “Stone” by Whitehaus friends the Woodrow Wilsons. Their performance was prefaced by sets from BMP-nominated Mount Peru on April 13, Whitehaus staple Morgan Shaker on April 20, and a new-ish twangy JP folk trio Welcome Home on the closing night, April 27.
The residency also celebrated the Haven’s first month with a music license: as a cool bar in JP with free, local shows, it’s now filling a gap in the Boston rock-venue-scape. And it’s getting more of the Chris North Dream Quartet: the band will be playing there on the last Thursday of each month. What’s more, Chris North’s new album, The Story of My Light, is due June 9.