Advance Base covers Bill Fox, Lucinda Williams

Joel Oliphint
Owen Ashworth of Advance Base

Owen Ashworth’s Advance Base released one of my favorite albums of 2018, Animal Companionship, a lived-in, low-key analog synth record about “the very basic, animal need for someone else to lean on and to be leaned on,” as Ashworth told Alive.

It’s an album to revisit or check out anew before heading to the Advance Base show tonight at Dirty Dungarees with Sinai Vessel, Field Sleeper and Trying.

As far as new music, the former Casiotone for the Painfully Alone frontman recently released two killer covers — one from Lucinda Williams, the other from Bill Fox. On “Sweet Old World,” Ashworth removes the country instrumentation from Williams’ 1992 song and gives it the Advance Base electronic treatment, replacing the band with analog synths, Optigan, drum machines and Ashworth’s endearingly ramshackle vocals.

“‘Sweet Old World’ deals with the grief and confusion that follows the suicide of a loved one. The lyrics are tender and devastating, like many of Lucinda Williams’ best, but the song is ultimately an affirmation of every good and beautiful thing that makes life worth living,” Ashworth told Brooklyn Vegan.

Last fall, Ashworth teamed up with Mike Adams at His Honest Weight (which released one of my favorites from 2019) for Jon Solomon's Annual 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show at WPRB in Princeton, New Jersey. The pair covered “Quartermaster’s Wintertime,” a song from the 1998 album Transit Byzantium by one of Cleveland’s greatest songwriters, Bill Fox, former frontman of the Mice. In this version, which manages to do justice to the excellent original, Ashworth takes lead vocals and plays electric piano and synthesizer while Adams is on guitar and backing vocals. Proceeds from the sale of the track go to Wikipedia.

Check out both tracks below.

Dirty Dungarees

7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13

2586 N. High St., Old North

ALSO PLAYING: Sinai Vessel, Field Sleeper, Trying

Advance Base