Hot Gig Alert (8/21): Valley Maker at O’Brien’s Pub
Photo by: Bree Burchfield
Austin Crane, known by his stage name Valley Maker, is a singer/songwriter originally from South Carolina. For the better part of the last decade, however, Crane and his wife Megan have been living on the West Coast in Seattle, WA while he pursued a doctorate in human geography at the University of Washington. But it was in the summer of 2019 that the couple decided to move back to South Carolina and find a home closer to their routes.
The resulting cross-country journey partially inspired the fourth and most recent Valley Maker record, When the Day Leaves. Crane synthesizes some of his most complex feelings into the album’s first single, “No One Is Missing.” A song about reckoning with self-doubt while searching for community, “No One Is Missing” acknowledges the tension inherent in those ideas, especially during our polarized times. On “Mockingbird,” he sings of moving to his Columbia home and planting a new tree, tiny details that induce an intimate portrait for the listener and inspires the question—where does life go from here?
In November 2019, Crane returned to the Pacific Northwest for a three-week session in the woods outside of Woodinville, a small town northeast of Seattle at the foot of the Cascades. He stayed in the loft of Spencer’s Way Out Studio with producer Trevor Spencer and longtime harmonizing partner Amy Godwin, the entire time, getting the album done while removed from the noise of everyday life.
When the Day Leaves is a collection of reflections about the conflict of being awed by and worried for this world. The anxiety of uncertainty—always part of life but now omnipresent—can be vexing, a reality these songs acknowledge. Crane, as he sings at one point, is fully “aligned with my blues.” But these songs also affirm that life is an endless opportunity for renewal, for trying again. As with dusk, when the day leaves and “tries to start again” amid a riot of expiring colors, we eventually learn what comes next.
Valley Maker plays O’Brien’s Pub in Boston, MA on Saturday, August 21st at 8pm. Tickets for the show are $20 and available HERE.
*Please note that this show is 21+*