Simon Joyner

Simon Joyner makes music that musicians dig. He’s been embraced by Beck, who famously listed a tape of Joyner’s tunes in a Rolling Stone top-10 list, and the BBC’s legendary John Peel played Joyner’s The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll start to finish (an honor Peel had previously bestowed only on Bob Dylan’s Desire). The folk singer’s deadpan delivery eerily recalls Lou Reed, but Joyner is really emulating Leonard Cohen. His bleak character studies come backed by guitar that’s as comfortable as a pair of old sneakers. It’s that stripped, lo-fi sound that brings the Omaha songwriter to the Bull House in Lawrence on his “Living Rooms and Discrete Spaces” tour. The Bull House (named for — what else? — a giant bull statue) is better known as the best place to park for KU football games; but the artistic nook also functions as a practice space for Lawrence’s Fourth of July. Joyner’s songwriting is intimate in its own right, and leaning against a doorjamb while listening to his quavering verses will feel just like home.

Categories: Music