Dead Horses at the Top Hat: Lyrical music that didn’t disappoint

With Daniel Wolff on the upright bass and Sarah Vos on the guitar, the duo Dead Horses had no problem filling the room with sounds that blended perfectly with Vos’ lyrics. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

When Charlie Parr returned to play the Top Hat this week, he brought fellow Wisconsin duo Dead Horses with him. After his first song, he praised Sarah Vos and Daniel Wolff, saying he’d enjoyed the tour because, each night, he gets to listen to their music.

Dead Horses has been on my “want to see” list for over three years. They don’t get to Montana very often, and the performance with Charlie Parr was their first in Missoula.

With Wolff on the upright bass and Vos on the guitar, the duo had no problem filling the room with sounds that blended perfectly with Vos’ lyrics.

As many songwriters do, she draws from her life experiences. Having grown up in an evangelical family has given her profound material. Finding identity of self has been challenging; music has been and continues to be a way of making sense of life.

Her lyrics are poignant and intelligent, addressing trauma and fear, hope and love. NPR described Vos’ lyrics as “evocative, empathetic storytelling.”

She does this with a voice that is gentle and powerful, penetrating the fragility of the human condition and bringing hope out of despair. “My love is a light, yours a mirror,” she sang. “It ain’t such a shame to have lost yourself.”