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Joseph Arthur w/ Reuben Hollebon

Genre: Singer-songwriter

For every song Joseph Arthur has released in a critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated career that has spanned nine full-length albums and 11 EPs, he’s probably kept three others in the vault for safekeeping. Indeed, Arthur has been known to start working on a new album — or two — while simultaneously trying to finish another.

It was amid this abundance of riches that the Brooklyn-by way of Ohio-native began molding a collection of music under a single narrative thread: The Ballad of Boogie Christ, described by Arthur as “a fictionalized character loosely based on my own journey.”

At first, it was a song here or there, or a set of lyrics with no accompanying music. Then, those songs would get recorded and set aside. They’d get re-recorded and revised. They’d start to make sense in relation to their brothers and sisters, and then they wouldn’t. And pretty soon, more than half-a-decade had flown by and Boogie Christ was no closer to coherency.

“For some reason, I’ve been avoiding finishing this record for a long time,” Arthur says with a laugh. “It’s been an albatross around my neck. I don’t know why, but it has.”

Yet despite its labored birth, The Ballad of Boogie Christ has defied the odds to become another essential cornerstone of Arthur’s robust discography. Encompassing sessions put to tape in upstate New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Arthur’s own Brooklyn studio, the 11-song album showcases the artist’s signature rich storytelling set to a diverse range of rock’n’roll.

“I don’t know that there’s a beginning, middle and end to the story, but there are definitely experiences, situations and perspectives that point in those directions,” says Arthur. “I wanted to let the listener fill in some of the blanks without telling the whole story in a straight-ahead way.”

The album begins with the surprising orchestral pop of “Currency of Love”, on which Arthur unveils a passionate croon unlike any vocal performance he’s ever given. From there, Boogie Christ offers epic affirmations on overcoming addiction (the seven-minute closer “All the Old Heroes”), anthems of open-hearted solidarity (“Wait for Your Lights”, “It’s OK To Be Young/Gone”) and the kinds of slow-burning narratives (“Famous Friends Along the Coast”, “I Used To Know How to Walk on Water” and a reimagined, hymn-like version of his standout, “I Miss the Zoo”) that have won Arthur a legion of fans around the globe.

Songs like “Black Flowers”, “I Used To Know How to Walk on Water” and the title cut were recorded several years ago with help from the Band’s legendary keyboardist Garth Hudson and bassist Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams, Jack White), while newer additions to the track list such as “Currency of Love” and “Saint of Impossible Causes” were crafted in Los Angeles with assistance from Chris Seefried (Fitz & the Tantrums, Lana Del Rey). Among the other guests on Boogie Christ are Ben Harper (Arthur’s bandmate in Fistful of Mercy), session drummer extraordinaire Jim Keltner, Joan As Policewoman leader Joan Wasser and composer Paul Cantelon (Oliver Stone’s W., Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell & the Butterfly).

“There are certain moments on the album that are just pop music and sugary,” Arthur says. “I didn’t want it to be this diatribe of heaviness, and it had been like that sometimes. I definitely wanted moments of relief within it, where you just get a good jam.”

At the center of the project is the autobiographical “King of Cleveland,” a classic story song that connects Boogie Christ the character with Arthur the flesh-and-blood artist. On it, the narrator apprentices alongside a big fish in a small pond, “playing blues in the back seats, from biker bars to limousines” — much like Arthur did in his early professional career in Northeast Ohio. Says Arthur, “He’s just starting to live the life he’s imagined, playing roots boogie in the real America — Ohio.”

“I’ve heard David Bowie talk about how Ziggy Stardust and some other records were the beginnings of screenplays that he just never finished,” he says. “I could really see this becoming something deeper and bigger than just an album.

“Chuck Prophet reminded me that there’s always the Great American Novel,” he continues. “And that really stuck in my head about Boogie Christ. That’s what I’ve been wanting to achieve with this album. He encouraged me that it was okay to dream big.”

http://www.josepharthur.com/

https://soundcloud.com/reubenhollebon/faces-1

https://www.facebook.com/reubenhollebon



Julian Lage Trio

Genre: Guitarist

"World's Fair." Julian Lage's first solo guitar album, is so spontaneous and intimate in feel it's as if this prodigious guitarist had just arrived in your living room, picked up his vintage Martin, and simply started to play. It's very much a project created in the moment, a dozen acoustic guitar tracks recorded over the course of a mere two days, at Sear Sound in New York City. In concept, however, "World's Fair" was more than a year in the making, as Lage gradually came to embrace the rich musical and emotive possibilities within the austere format of one musician and one acoustic guitar.

"I always had a fantasy about doing a solo guitar project, " Lage explains, "especially one that highlighted various orchestrational aspects of guitar playing and guitar techniques, drawing from the structure of the three to four minute song, pieces that did not depend as much on improvisation but on moods, or musical attitudes. At first, when I was writing this music, I kind of overlooked the sonic and emotional impact of one guitar, trying to find ways to make it sound more robust or like a full ensemble. But then I started recording and I discovered what a rare opportunity this was for me to recalibrate my senses to one instrument and within that recalibration learn to savor the vast world of intimacy and nuance, both qualities so inherent to the guitar."

The album title is a clue to Lage's intentions, the phrase conjuring up a bygone hopeful vision of the future, a "tragic optimism," in Lage's words, since the future never quite turned out as the presenters at those grand expositions had predicted. The understated beauty of these tracks is laced with a certain melancholy, especially on the ruminative opening cut "40s" or when Lage gently delivers a spare rendition of Rogers and Hart's "Where Or When." "World's Fair" seems suspended in time, using the past as a reference yet seeming somehow daring and contemporary in its unadorned arrangements and unabashed melodicism. The mood is often contemplative but, at times, on tracks like "Peru" and "Red Prairie Dawn" he kicks the tempo up a notch, with his fingers scampering quickly across the strings.

While conceiving of and recording "World's Fair," Lage was inspired by the orchestral approach to the guitar of the great Andres Segovia and by the music of the early 20th Century, of "jazz before be- ?bop": "There is this era that is like the wild west, when there were jazz songs that were popular tunes and virtuosic, that had incredible lyrics, from writers like Willard Robison or Hoagy Carmichael." He found a similarly unbound spirit in the early seventies work of singer- ?songwriters like Randy Newman, who managed to incorporate a sophisticated range of ideas into the concise pop- ?song format: "It was hard to pin down what it was, but the music felt so true to itself, completely fresh and yet it you couldn't imagine a time when it didn't exist." He was drawn, in other words, to sounds that were both challenging and pleasing -- work, much like his own, that defies easy categorization.

Though still in his twenties, Lage has already enjoyed a remarkable, genre-crossing career. As the New York Times has put it, Lage is a an artist whose roots are "tangled in jazz, folk, classical and country music." A child guitar prodigy, he was the subject of the 1997 Oscar?nominated documentary short, "Jules at 8."; he made his first recording, with David Grisman, at the age of 11 and subsequently caught the notice of the world at large when he appeared alongside Gary Burton at the 2000 Grammy Awards. His first recording as a leader, 2009's "Sounding Point," garnered a Grammy nomination as Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Up to now, collaboration has been essential to Lage's process; he has toured and/or recorded with such artists as Burton, Nels Cline, Fred Hersch, and Jim Hall, who was a major influence on the young Lage. His most recent project is "Room," a live- ?in- ?the- ?studio exchange with experimental guitarist Cline. Earlier this year, he released "Avalon," a duo recording with fellow guitarist Chris "Critter" Eldridge (of Punch Brothers) that surveyed the American Songbook with an easygoing virtuosity. After seeing that pair in concert performing songs from "Avalon," New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson noted that Lage's playing "is cerebral, and sometimes playful, but because his vocabulary is so expansive, it is also riveting...he is in the highest category of improvising musicians, those who can enact thoughts and impulses as they receive them."

Though Lage alone performs on "Worlds Fair," the project is also, in a sense, a collaboration: he enlisted two long- ?time musician colleagues, the jazz guitarist Matt Munisteri and the multi- ?instrumentalist Armand Hirsch, as, respectively, his co- ? producer and engineer- ?mixer. Munisteri offered extensive knowledge of the early 2oth Century music that was captivating Lage, and served a discerning ear throughout. Hirsch brought technical innovation and an adventurous soul to the recording itself.

"We had a year to figure out the sonic fingerprint of the album." says Lage. "The whole aesthetic is derived from early Segovia. There is an upfront quality to the sound that is almost surreal, like you're kneeling down in front of a guitar and listening to it. Most of the time you hear an acoustic guitar it's been saturated and diffused into the walls. With one recorded source, we wanted the image to be as wide as possible without being goofy. That immediacy and all encompassing quality was something they got so well with those early radio-style recordings.

Being in front of Hirsch's mic set- ?up with just himself and his guitar was, says Lage, "like a psychological marathon. If I were doing something like "Avalon" with Critter or doing a trio session, I would be bouncing off of people in a certain way, You play, you let your mind wander, you listen to the other person, come back to yourself. But this was so focused on the role of the guitar that the quality that took precedence was a sense of losing yourself in the music. I had to forget where I was, to not worry if I was playing good or bad, fast or slow. None of it mattered. What seemed to transfer to tape was the degree to which I could lose myself -- and sound like I was grateful for the opportunity. When I tried to nail it and get it right, I would inevitably be stuck in a paradigm I couldn't get out of. We had two days to make this record so the takes we used are the ones in which I felt the most reckless, and kind of let the sound of guitar swallow me up. " "World's Fair" sets up a new sort of relationship between Lage and his audience, as about as one- ?on- ?one as a musician can get without physically being there. Concludes Lage, "Here are 12 songs that represent this opening into my world, a musical and personal aesthetic I haven't yet had the opportunity to express in full on record. This music, these explorations, this overarching narrative -- taken together, they represent one of my long times dreams, to create music for one guitar, played by one person, for you."

- Michael Hill

http://www.julianlage.com/home


Justin Froese and Road to the Gorge

Genre: Blues , Folk , Singer-songwriter , Soul

Justin Froese is a Los Angeles-based multi-talented artist/producer. Justin is known for his groove-driven alt pop stylings, built on a diverse palate of musical tastes. His mainstream sensibilities combined with ten years of classical music training have resulted in the ability not only to cross genres, but also in many cases, defy them. Bluesy, soulful - Justin always delivers a dynamic, heartfelt performance.

http://justinfroese.com/

YOUTUBE

Road to the Gorge is a supergroup of California singer/songwriters consisting of Justin Froese (Los Angeles), Matt Suarez (San Luis Obispo), and Albert Jr. (San Luis Obispo). Folky, bluesy and always soulful, our sound spans a wide musical landscape where heart and soul reign. Built on a dream to pursue our love of music by sharing music with listening ears and hearts up and down the west coast.


 

Kandace Springs

Genre: Adult Alternative

  1. Monday, October 17 7:30 PM (All ages)


Kareem Kandi

Genre: Jazz , Saxophonist

“Jazz is the only purely American music and the one genre that has embraced elements of all musical forms. This is why it is always exciting to find young artists who push the boundaries to create their own unique style, and Kareem Kandi is one musician who does just that.” The Weekly Volcano

“I’m looking forward to following Kandi’s jazz career. If his Kerry Hall performance was any indication, this young saxophonist will be having a major impact on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene.“ All About Jazz

” If you want a true jazz experience go hear Kareem Kandi. Just sit back and transport yourself to any jazz club in the world where you imagine you want to be and Kareem will take you there because he is a classic jazz musician.” Northwest Jazz Profile

Kareem Kandi

Genre: Jazz , Saxophonist

A native of the Pacific Northwest, saxophonist Kareem Kandi is a performer, composer, and educator, in high demand for his talents both on and off the stage.

Kareem is a versatile musician with strong roots in the traditions of Jazz, Blues, and Funk, and has been performing on the scene for years, gaining attention from critics and audiences alike. While staying true to musical styles of the past, he also keeps an eye towards the future by composing original music as well as new arrangements of timeless songs from the great American songbook.

Kinga

Genre:

  1. Sunday, September 25 7:30 PM (17+)


Kristin Hersh

Genre:

  1. Tuesday, November 29 7:30 PM (17+)


Kyle Morton (of Typhoon)

Genre:

  1. Saturday, January 07 8:00 PM (17+)


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Seattle, WA 98101
Tickets 206.838.4333

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