Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.
Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters. Though some may refer to him as a folk singer, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love..., intimate, passionate and enduring.
These are the scenarios that emerge from Ellis Paul’s new album, Chasing Beauty, a set of songs which detail, in typical Paul fashion, stories of people and places that reflect larger truths about us all. “Kick Out the Lights (Johnny Cash)” pays tribute to that fearless American icon name-checked in its title. “Plastic Soldier” offers homage to a wounded soldier returning from Afghanistan. A real-life barnstorming pilot takes the spotlight in “Jimmie Angel’s Flying Circus,” while iconic Boston blue-collar musician Dennis Brennan takes the focus in “Waiting on a Break.” Even the Empire State Building and the Boston Red Sox get their due, via “Empire State” and “UK Girl (Boston Calling),” respectively.
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking 'em dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert's stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert's approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
Grammy-nominated Seth Glier is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. NPR describes his voice as “otherworldly” while praising him as “an engaging performer and storyteller.” His critically acclaimed, emotionally dense catalog of work often draws upon traditional roots music, experimental instrumentation, and moody atmospheres that result in soulfully intelligent stories that can alternatively fight the power or break your heart.
“The music of Seth Glier veers towards being indefinable.” – Paste Magazine
With five albums, five Independent Music Awards, and even a U.S. State Department-sponsored international tour under his belt, Glier has also played with a diverse list of artists such as Ani DiFranco, Martin Sexton, James Taylor, Ronnie Spector, and Marc Cohn. He’s currently on tour and is debuting new music, including his two latest songs “If It Wasn’t For You” and “Stages”, both releasing in 2020. Inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, “If It Wasn’t For You” echoes the young activist’s own concepts about the transformative power of turning one’s trauma into gratitude and awareness. “Stages” captures the magic and secret joy that’s shared when close relationships evolve using the universal art of ritual. Both singles are available on exclusive, collectible 7″ vinyl in a very limited run offered only at his live shows. Glier plans to put out more music throughout the year while continuing to connect with audiences using his eclectic, often humorous, and always insightful artistry.
7pm doors – 8pm show | $25 adv. – $30 day of