Ryan Adams. Gillian Welch & David Rawlings. Conor Oberst. Cory Branan. These are names that are thrown around a lot when you are talking about modern day singer-songwriters. What if I told you there may be someone not just like them, but better? Anthony DaCosta might just be.
About 3 hours ago, my brother handed me his new record, a duo album with Abbie Gardner entitled Bad Night-Better Days. I was instantly blown away. After about twenty minutes, my brother dropped back in to tell me, casually, that DaCosta was just 17 years old (cue Conor Oberst reference). This is his seventh record (cue Ryan Adams reference).
DaCosta got his start at the age of 13 doing Bob Dylan and Neil Young covers at local open mic nights (not a bad way to start if you ask me). He gradually began writing his own material and recording. Local producer/songwriter/performer Fred Gillen Jr. took DaCosta under his wing as both a mentor and a producer. DaCosta’s won a passel of awards last year including “Emerging Artist of the Year” at the Folk-Alliance festival. However, he seems to have remained ground and plans to attend college….ahem….after finishing his last year of High School.
The other half of the duo is Abbie Gardner. A member of Red Molly as well as a solo artist, Gardner’s dobro is a perfect match for DaCosta’s songs. Her voice, both in her own songs and accompanying DaCosta, is a subtle blend of Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch. Their duets though are more of the Dylan-Baez variety with DaCosta’s rough voice (think Dylan) being sweetened by Gardner’s achingly beautiful harmonies. Gardner also writes and sings her own songs on the record, creating a great give and take with DaCosta that adds to the drama of the record.
Oh, by the way, the record was recorded in 3 days.
About the author: Specializes in Dead, Drunk, and Nakedness..... Former College Radio DJ and Current Craft Beer Nerd