Live Review: Black Belt Eagle Scout, Philadelphia, PA, April 17, 2023

Black Belt Eagle Scout’s The Land, The Water, The Sea is, start to finish, the loveliest album I’ve heard this year: hypnotic and grounded, dreamy and earthy, emotionally evocative and rhythmically resonant. Hearing Katherine Paul and her band bring it to life in all its beautiful complexity at Johnny Brenda’s was a thrill and an honor.

In an interesting approach to the opening slot, KP’s bandmates Claire Glass and Adobo split the time—overlapping on one meditative piece—with Glass’ classical-guitar dreampop and Adobo’s experimental looping and shredding serving as invitation and incantation.

Highlights: “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” “Don’t Give Up,” “Treeline,” “Soft Stud” and “Spaces.”

—M.J. Fine; photos by Chris Sikich