Concert preview: Dolfish peppers his literary tunes with eye-witness detail

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From the August 14, 2014 edition

Dolfish, the nom de rock of former Columbus denizen (and current Clevelander) Max Sollisch, takes a conversational approach to songwriting. Tunes like “Grown Ups,” about a young child coping with his mom’s alcoholism, unfold like intricate short stories peppered with eye-witness detail (“Boy Meets World” playing on the TV, the mother vomiting in the kitchen sink, etc.).

Like Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, who takes a similarly literary approach to his music, Sollisch’s whinny-of-a-voice can be a hurdle for some, but he utilizes it beautifully to bring a range of bruised characters to three-dimensional life.

This concert doubles as a birthday celebration for the singer, so he should be in high spirits even in those moments the narrators in his songs are struggling with the day-to-day grind.

Photo courtesy of Dolfish