Bahamas concert set for Oct. 16


Introspective alternative-indie artist Bahamas, with special guest Sam Weber, will take the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall stage on Oct. 16.

The fifth album from Bahamas, “Sad Hunk,” takes its title from a nickname bestowed upon the artist by his wife in reaction to how he was being portrayed in the media.

“Something like 10 years ago I did a photo shoot, and in all the pictures they sent back, I was lit half in shadow, looking all brooding and mysterious,” said the award-winning singer/songwriter otherwise known as Afie Jurvanen. “When my wife saw the photos the first thing she said was, ‘Whoa — sad hunk,’ and after that it became sort of a joke among our friends.”

It’s a fitting backstory for an album that embodies an undaunted self-awareness, each track graced with Bahamas’s wry wit and unabashed heart.

In sketching “Sad Hunk’s” delicately composed batch of songs, Jurvanen drew much inspiration from his home life and all the joy and struggle that comes with building a family together.

Having recently moved to the coast of Nova Scotia with his wife and two daughters, the Ontario native inevitably imbued the album with his surroundings, even while committing to a sometimes-painful sincerity in his lyrics.

“I definitely use music to work things out for myself,” said Jurvanen. “It’s possible I’m too open sometimes, but I really don’t know any better way to be. If I tried to just go write fun songs about hot dogs or something, I’d probably fail.”

2018’s Grammy-nominated Earthtones saw Bahamas joining bassist Pino Palladino and drummer James Gadson (the rhythm section behind D’Angelo’s Black Messiah) and even merging them with his stable of longtime heavyweight musicians on “Kimmel.”

Jurvanen created “Sad Hunk” with those same collaborators — Christine Bougie (guitar), Don Kerr (drums), Mike O’Brien (bass) and Felicity Williams (vocals). Recorded by longtime producer and multi-Grammy nominee Robbie Lackritz (Feist, Jack Johnson, Robbie Robertson), “Sad Hunk” is the next step in Jurvanen’s signature style of restraint as a guitarist.

It also features the graceful guitar work of Sam Weber, a virtually unknown musician whom Jurvanen discovered on YouTube.

“I sort of had a musical crush on Sam, so I invited him to open for us a few years ago, and we ended up hitting it off,” said Jurvanen. “I asked him to come out and record with us without even knowing what I wanted him to play, which is generally how I like to work with people: I always think it’s so much more interesting when you let them find their way into the songs on their own.”

An album born from charmed spontaneity and raw imagination, “Sad Hunk” unfolds in a genre-less groove-heavy and jangly sound suited for Jurvanen’s warm vocal presence. In its musing on what’s essential and what’s expendable in today’s world, the album offers up songs like “Own Alone,” a brightly kinetic track threaded with a bit of self-effacing wisdom (“Too broke to feel so wealthy/Too young to feel unhealthy/Too old to understand the selfie/Too far gone for you to help me”).

“That song came from being fascinated by how being on our phones all the time changes us at a cellular level; it changes the way you think, it changes the way you operate,” said Jurvanen. “I’m not suggesting we become Luddites and churn our own butter, but I do think we need to question whether you really need to have this thing on you at all times.”

Tickets for Bahamas and special guest Sam Weber are on sale now at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre box office and online at All tickets are digital.

The box office is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Only credit card and debit card payments are accepted.


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