It’s rare for an artist to bridge the divide between critical acclaim and dedicated fan engagement. Chris Pureka is a Portland-based singer-songwriter whose body of work has resonated deeply with these seemingly disparate milieus. Her bold vulnerability in processing the intimacies of her life in song has long appealed to those listeners who crave authenticity. Now, five years coming, she shares with us another powerful entry in her life’s work, her sixth release, the aptly titled, Back in the Ring.
Chris’s elegant emotionality as a vocalist, and her flair and immediacy as a lyricist have garnered her favorable comparisons to Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, and Patty Griffin. She’s earned accolades from such distinguished taste-making outlets as The New York Times, Paste, Magnet, Billboard.com, and The AllMusic Guide. She’s shared the stage with such diverse and esteemed artists as Dar Williams, The Lumineers, The Cowboy Junkies, Gregory Alan Isakov, Martin Sexton, and Ani DiFranco. Along the way, Chris has remained fiercely independent, selling nearly 50,000 albums through her own label, Sad Rabbit Records.
Chris’s journey in music mirrors her path toward self-discovery. At 16, writing songs became a way of journaling. “I was shy and introverted, and songwriting was a very personal process. I never had any intention of performing,” she shares. Post high school, she went on to complete a biology degree at Wesleyan University, and afterwards, worked in a microbiology research lab at Smith College. Meanwhile, she established a music career parallel to her biology work through touring and issuing a clutch of well-received indie releases. In 2006, when Chris found herself turning down too many opportunities as a musician, she shifted her priorities to become a full-time artist.
Her latest album, Back in the Ring, is Chris’s first studio full length since 2010’s critically acclaimed How I Learned to See in the Dark. “I’m not interested in releasing songs I can’t get behind or records I don’t love,” she says of the five-year span between albums. The title of her latest playfully suggests something of an artistic comeback, but it also references the album’s themes of relationship conflict and making the decision to fight back against dark inner demons.
“My music is the outward expression of the work I’m doing internally. What I do comes from my experiences, and I strive to express these experiences authentically. Speaking my truth, and being myself, is the way that I connect with people,” Chris confides. Her rise as an esteemed artist with captivating emotional integrity has been organic and always on her own terms. For someone who never had an intention of being a professional musician, it’s been a life of far-reaching changes and unexpected rewards.
Singer-songwriter/guitarist Brooke Annibale shines by way of her magnetic voice and expressive songwriting capabilities, with influence from her family’s musical history. Originally from Pittsburgh, her family’s creative roots run deep—her grandfather founded a guitar shop and live sound production company, which continues to operate today. Brooke's latest full-length record, Hold to the Light, continues to push sonic boundaries by offering a fusion of textured electronic and traditional (guitar, strings, keys) instrumentation while remaining true to her acoustic beginnings. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive) and featuring guest musicians Josh Kaufman (The National), Matt Douglas (Sylvan Esso) and Zach Hickman (Ray Lamontagne, Josh Ritter), Hold to The Light marks several major departures for Brooke in terms of both songwriting and production. Brooke’s thoughtful, layered songwriting anchors the production to explore a range of narratives working through themes of seeking truths, letting go, and reconciling the past with the present.
Brooke's songs have been featured on Sirius XM radio in addition to being placed in multiple TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Hart of Dixie, Vampire Diaries and more. On the road, Brooke has shared stages with Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter, Lucius, Margaret Glaspy, Chadwick Stokes, Great Lake Swimmers, Jesca Hoop, Rufus Wainwright, Aoife O’Donovan, The Handsome Family and others. She released her first full-length record, Silence Worth Breaking in 2011, produced at The Smoakstack in Nashville, followed by 2013’s EP Words in Your Eyes and 2015’s The Simple Fear.
Brooke is in the midst of releasing acoustic versions of songs on an upcoming EP (recorded in her new intimate studio in Rhode Island), and is currently writing and recording her next collection of songs.
7pm doors – 8pm show | $17 adv. – $22 day of