The Balcony Scene to Make Phoenix Debut at Crescent Ballroom
Folk musicians, for the most part, have it rough. Blindly thrust into the Dylan-esque pantheon, the overarching image of a folk-based singer-songwriter is that of the introspective introvert who shyly picks at an acoustic guitar before gracefully exiting whatever forum he holds. Yet when you're young and influenced by the croonings of Damian Jurado and David Bazan, both exceptionally dynamic musicians in their own right, you're bound to take a different approach to such a storied genre.
K.C. Libman Justin Moody of The Balcony Scene
Justin Moody, operating under the moniker The Balcony Scene, is such an example, having recently returned to his native Arcadia after spending the majority of his teens in Prescott. Breaking out of the coffee shop mentality for the first time, Moody is making his biggest debut yet with Tempe powerhouses Dust Jacket, Instructions and Sundressed on Tuesday at Crescent Ballroom.
Moody, like other singer-songwriters his age, spent his high school years playing a coffee shop circuit yet maintained as low a profile as possible out of necessity. Coming from a family that didn't quite know how to interpret Moody's folk storytelling, which often touches on raw, emotive subjects, his parents tended to dismiss his musical ventures.
"I kept it a secret until like my senior year of high school," Moody says. "I get the fact that your parents aren't going to be completely down with you getting paid very little money and playing shows and trying to make it. I feel like that's not really any parent's dream."
Fulfilling dreams or not, Moody's sound borders on precocious, spinning stories of heartache and geographic isolation into something well beyond his years. As an earmark of folk tradition, his lyricism is straightforward, but the underpinnings to his songs are the result of a natural ear, often using angular chord arrangements that attract as much attention as his singing does.
"The Balcony Scene is my way of putting something that everyone feels into a really simple but emotional way," he says. "I don't ever expect any of my songs to really touch someone until I actually hear someone tell me that."