Live Show Review: Megan Jean & the KFB
By Luke Usry
“I’ll send you postcards, postcards from the afterlife…I’ll send them postmarked, postmarked from hell,” sings Megan Jean in “These Bones,” a song featured on Megan Jean and the KFB’s newest full length record “The Devil Herself.” But perched just inside the open door Mercedes Sprinter that she shares as a mobile domicile with husband and musical partner Byrne Klay, smiling sweetly with an angelic little dog in her lap, she doesn’t seem like someone destined for an afterlife of fire, brimstone, and Nickelback records. Jean radiates a warm, amicable demeanor doesn’t come close to mirroring many of the macabre themes in her lyrics. But that’s just another element of the duo’s dark whimsy that their fans find so endearing.
Speaking in the generalities of musical genres, Megan Jean and the KFB’s work is undefinable. They have a few appropriately creative ways of describing it that include “Americana for the end of the world,” and “a metal band, if it was 1927.” Their music is very much rooted in traditional American music, drawing many of its innumerable subtle influences from such pre-rock styles as blues, folk, and cabaret. Performing primarily on banjo, Klay provides refulgent, jangling melodies onto which Jean layers percussion and adds a glorious and powerful singing voice that cries with the echoes of crackly old photographs and cavernous vaudevillian theaters. Together they tell timeless stories against musical backdrops that call to mind images of sepia toned, Steinbeckian Americana with enough Southern Gothic flair to win the heart of even the most zealous blind street preacher.
Megan Jean and the KFB’s latest show at the Roasted Café establishes that the band has developed a habit of stopping in Macon during their near-constant tour cycle. Given the lustrous, jarring, hypnotic performances they bring with them when they come, we certainly hope it will be a hard habit to break. Or, if they never do find their way back, I hope they’ll at least send a postcard.
Field Note Stenographers is a group of musicians, promoters, business owners and live music fans based in Macon, Georgia interested in how live musical experiences can benefit the community. By reviewing shows and musical experiences that you, dear reader, may or may not have had the esteemed privilege to witness, we, the Field Note Stenographers, hope to showcase bits of awesome, intriguing or soul-stirring music happenings in our fair city of Macon with the ultimate goal of convincing you to support live music. in our area. We believe that together, we can improve our city by supporting live music. After all, this is your music scene.
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