When: Sat., Sept. 8, 8 p.m. 2012
The Black Swans’ haunted intimacy has always been implicit in singer/guitarist Jerry DeCicca’s hushed, literate croon. DeCicca founded the band 13 years ago with Noel Sayre, whose violin imbued the music with a woozy, shadowy grace reminiscent of Murder by Death. Last summer, a month after the release of their fourth album, Don’t Blame the Stars, Sayre had a heart attack in a Portsmouth, Ohio, community pool and drowned. His death looms over their latest, Occasion for Song. Playing banjo, B-3 organ and acoustic guitar, DeCicca dives into the darkness and moves through the stages of grief. He finds some emotional relief in the bubbly “Daily Affirmation” and the country waltz “Fickle and Faded,” where he meets Ramblin’ Jack Elliot playing slots and Warren Zevon shakes his hand, telling him there’s no promised land. Acceptance comes last.