Dust Bowl Faeries The Plague Garden(Independent)
Akin to a vampiric villain, 2020 seemed like a parasite out for blood. But just as leech venom is used medicinally, surreal events of a perplexing year can beget healing if approached so. Ryder Cooley is a fearless folklorist, publicly exploring the alchemic connection between human and wearable worm in her "Leech House" act. But she's also head mistress of the gypsy-folky Dust Bowl Faeries—stroking a warbling saw, squeezing an accordion, strumming a uke, and bleeding out curious poetry in goth attire with girlish vox, a taxidermied ram's head worn on her back. Her quirky Catskill-based quintet brings uptempo carnival cabaret to The Plague Garden for some funereal fun: a Yiddish vibe permeates a comical poke at cheerful folk in "Dustbowl Caravan"; "Vampire Tango" slinks through polka territory; a promenade up a long road leads to the "Cyanide Hotel"; and a sweet serenade lulls another beloved beast in "Ibex." Purge your poison, circus-style, when they visit Club Helsinki Hudson's virtual performance series.