Michael Spain - Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, February 27, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM · Add to Calendar
Acoustic show in the cafe level of the coffeehouse.
Michael Spain is a singer/songwriter who places an emphasis on melodic tunes with harmonic undertones focusing on methodical and advanced guitar techniques with emotional and compelling riffs. Michael Spain uses inspiring poetic lyrics that dig deeper than the surface of life to create an inspiring sound which reaches past the ordinary.
For more information, visit http://www.michaelspainmusic.com/
Max Garcia Conover & Ben Cosgrove- Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, March 5, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM · Add to Calendar
Max Garcia Conover
Max García Conover grew up at the end of a dead-end road in Western New York, listening to 90s rap on his walkman, chasing down snakes and crayfish in the creek behind his house. When he came around to listening to folk songwriters, it was mostly for the words. After moving to Puerto Rico in the summer of 2007, he taught himself to play guitar and started writing songs of his own to play for tips on the sidewalks of Old San Juan. He has written several hundred since, from delicate, impressionistic story songs to full on foot stomping ones, combining intricate fingerstyle guitar work with a gruff voice, a suitcase drum, and a lot of words.
Now based in Portland, Maine, Conover travels the country, drawing on his deep and ever growing catalogue, playing a different set every night, and telling stories and fables between songs. In 2012, he was chosen as Maine’s Best New Act, and he’s since shared the stage with bands like Lake Street Dive and Frontier Ruckus, drawing comparisons to The Tallest Man On Earth, The Mountain Goats, and Shakey Graves. The Portland Phoenix describes Conover as “a hell of a fingerstyle guitarist [with] an arresting vocal style” and Performer Magazine called his last album “engaging [and] breathtaking,” writing that “each work on this folk masterpiece is chilling [and] unmistakably appealing.” Writing and releasing a new song every week and constantly on the road, he follows in a long line of scrappy, prolific folkies, making compelling music in a style all his own.
Ben Cosgrove is a composer, pianist, and multi-instrumentalist based in New England. He performs regularly both as a solo artist and as a sideman, tours widely all over the country, writes scores for films, plays, radio, and television, and has produced several well-received albums of original instrumental music. His live performances on solo piano are at once dazzling and intimate, the music both delicate and commanding. From 2012 to 2014 Ben served as the Signet Artist-in-Residence Fellow at Harvard University, and he has also held residencies and fellowships at Acadia National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Middlebury College, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
In recent years, Ben’s interests in landscape, place, and ecology have become the strongest forces guiding his composition and performances. “I don’t think of my pieces as rendering places in music,” he notes in an article in Harvard Magazine, “but more just as responding to places musically. Writing music just turns out to be a great way for me to process the world.” For years, Ben has been inspired by the ways people respond to built and natural environments, and through songs with names like “Prairie Fire,” “I am Walking Inland,” “Nashua,” and others, he seeks to recreate these phenomena with sound. A year spent researching the preservation of natural soundscapes in America’s national parks has also shaped much of his new material. “I’m interested in the relationship between sound and a sense of place,” he says. “So much of the North American soundscape is becoming clouded with drones and mechanized noise that it’s quickly losing the rich diversity you see in the continent’s visual landscape.”
In 2014, Ben released Field Studies, his first full-length studio offering since 2011′s Yankee Division, which focused specifically on the environment of north-central New England. The music on Field Studies looks through a broader lens, considering the human experience of many dramatically varied physical landscapes across North America. Different sections of the album utilize field recordings, innovative arrangements, and elegantly interwoven melodies to evoke deserts, wilderness lakes, prairies, mountain ranges, coastlines, and sprawling suburbs all in turn. In one piece, swirling arpeggios capture the disorientation of a fast drive across the plains; in another, murmuring dissonances suggest the swell of the tide. Taken as a whole, the new record and the performances Cosgrove has given in the wake of its release offer a one-of-a-kind aural tour of the continent and a totally unique expression of place. At the end of 2014, Sound of Boston named Field Studies one of the best local albums released that year.
In addition to his solo work, Ben has performed and recorded with a wide spectrum of other artists that includes David Berkeley, Saint Anyway, Charlie Christos, Jamie Kallestad, Wisewater, and Dedric Clark and the Social Animals. In 2014 Ben produced, arranged, and engineered a new record, ellery, for the Maine-based singer-songwriter Max Garcia Conover, and he also constitutes one half of the folk duo 90-Mile Portage. He regularly composes string and horn arrangements for others’ projects and has recorded original music for clients including Grand Teton National Park, WHRB, Bristlecone Media, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
For more information, visit http://maxgarciaconover.com/
Derek Fawcett - Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, February 6, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM · Add to Calendar
WHEN DEREK FAWCETT’S BAND (CHICAGO’S DOWN THE LINE) started out without a drummer, he taught himself to play the djembe (hand drum) he bought in Africa, and it became a staple of the band’s signature sound. When the group needed help booking gigs, he took the reins, ultimately landing performances with Ben Folds, Peter Frampton, Lifehouse, America, Pat Benatar, Colin Hay, Gin Blossoms, and many more over their hundreds-of-thrilling-shows, 11-year, 5-album tenure. Time and again, Fawcett went to extraordinary lengths for his music, though many of those efforts were far from the spotlight. With the October 7th release of his solo debut FEEL BETTER, the breadth of Fawcett’s talents are thrust where they belong: Front and center.
Even more remarkable, FEEL BETTER producers and performers Cody Fry (Hunter Hayes, Ben Rector, Charlie Peacock) and Niko Xidas (Matt Wertz) are actually Fawcett’s former music students. “Niko and Cody were such strong musicians early on that I had them play with me to accompany other students. The vibe was so good even back then, that when I was figuring out who to work with on this album, I thought ‘I’d love to play with those guys again!’”
Through ‘digging deep’ in his songwriting, he has pushed his limits vocally, as well, with stunning results. “Unwittingly, I kinda kicked my own butt with how challenging some of these songs are to sing and play,” he admits. “When we finished the vocal sessions, I felt lucky to have made it out alive!” Influences on display include the contemplative playing and singing of Jackson Browne, the angst and power of Billy Joel and Tom Petty, the chaotic energy of Imagine Dragons, and the mournful warmth of James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen.
Fawcett’s take on the future sounds like that of a pragmatic, hard-nosed performer who’s focus is rooted in the road ahead. “We’re all constantly striving, in one way or another, to be understood,” he says. “The songs on this album tell compelling, unique stories that are likely to resonate with just about anyone. My hope is that all who listen to this album will hear something that speaks to them, to the extent that it brings them joy, solace, solidarity…and hopefully, even encourages them to sing along for awhile.”
Highlights from Derek’s tour last fall to support FEEL BETTER’s release included performances at Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), the Fox 2 Morning Show (St. Louis), Cameron House (Toronto), Johnny D’s (Boston, opening for Rhett Miller of the Old 97s), and The Basement (Nashville). Shortly thereafter, FEEL BETTER was named “Best of 2014” by Something Else Reviews, and was featured in Huffington Post. Fawcett’s fall 2015 itinerary includes Chicago’s storied Lincoln Hall, and full band shows in Kalamazoo, MI and NYC.
For more information, visit http://www.derekfawcett.com/
Frank Viele - Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, March 19, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM · Add to Calendar
Acoustic show on the café level of the coffeehouse
Cold Weather Company & Colton Kayser - Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, February 20, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM · Add to Calendar
Acoustic show on the café level of the coffeehouse
New Jersey singer-songwriter Colton Kayser grew up daydreaming in class and writing songs by the binder. As he grew, so did his work ethic, and he has been quietly chipping away and perfecting his craft ever since.
Kayser’s self-titled debut album has been an anticipated one—as he has gained a strong NJ fan base prior to releasing any official material.
Influenced by artists like Bob Dylan, Wilco, and John Prine, Kayser mixes rock, folk, country, and pop music styles, and places a strong emphasis on lyrical content and melodic structure. He has also been fortunate enough to play venues all over the United States and connect with people from all different walks of life.
“Music is how I observe and react to life. Every song I write is a little part of my experience.”
The songwriter’s talents have not gone unnoticed, with nominations for Top Male Acoustic Act in the Asbury (Park) Music Awards in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and Top New Male Act at the 2012 Jersey Acoustic Music Awards.
His record has garnered praise as well with a nomination for Record of the Year at the 2014 Asbury (Park) Music Awards. His song “You and I” was nominated for Song of the Year as well.
Colton’s Self-Titled Debut Record is available on ITunes, Amazon, Spotify and everywhere else there’s good stuff on the web.
Cold Weather Company
Cold Weather Company is a New Jersey-based independent alternative folk band. Combining the songwriting experience of its three members: Brian Curry, Steve Shimchick, and Jeff Petescia, the band carries a diverse sound, rich with vocal harmonies and instrumental builds.
In what seems like a scene out of Forrest Gump, Brian and Jeff met in 2011 on a park bench at Rutgers University. The two instantly recognized various similarities between them such as the clothes they wore, the guitars they carried, and their overall music goals. They played a few songs together and exchanged information. They would soon met up again, but after a rushed attempt at starting a band, the two lost touch until late 2012, when they reconnected at a series of open mics hosted on the College Ave campus of Rutgers University. Standing out amongst the other musicians at these events was Steve Shimchick, who the two quickly befriended. Steve had been producing his own original music for some time, and his unique voice and approach to the piano separated him from his peers. Another year passed.
In the Fall of 2013, the three began collaborating in a college house on Huntington Street in New Brunswick. After one or two jam sessions, they were already in the middle of writing their first song, “Horizon Fire”. Excited and ambitious, they played their first show on November 15th, 2013 at a charity event at Rutgers. The response from the audience served as verification that the group was on to something, and this officially gave birth to what would eventually be called “Cold Weather Company”.
A mere three months after their first show, Cold Weather Company was playing multiple events a week. They even managed to open for the up-and-coming group, Jamestown Revival, at The Saint in Asbury Park. While they were gaining traction, one obstacle stood in their way: Jeff was leaving to study abroad in New Zealand for five months. With this in mind, the band turned their attention toward recording their music and piecing together all of Jeff’s parts before his departure.
Jeff returned on July 1st, 2014, and the band reunited to play a show just two days later in Asbury Park. They then spent the rest of the summer playing shows in the New Jersey/New York area, while focusing their efforts on the last stretch of recording for their debut album.
In October of 2014, the trio spent an extended weekend in the Catskills to record “Recollection,” “Fall Low,” and “Seafarer,” the three final tracks for their debut album, “Somewhere New.” The 13-track, 14-song album was released on January 22nd, 2015. Looking to do something for the greater good with their album release, the band ran what they called the “Cold Weather Coat Drive,” allowing fans to receive a copy of “Somewhere New” in exchange for a coat donation. They later donated all of the coats to a local homeless shelter.
Currently, the band is working on writing and recording new material for their second album while also playing shows in the Northeast throughout fall 2015.
Fawn - Live in the Coffeehouse
Friday, February 19, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM · Add to Calendar
Acoustic show on the café level of the coffeehouse
For more information, visit http://www.fawnsegerson.com/
Kevin William - Live in the Coffeehouse
Saturday, February 13, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM · Add to Calendar
Acoustic show on the café level of the coffeehouse
For more information, visit http://kevinwilliam.bandcamp.com/releases
The 9 Singer-Songwriter Series
Friday, February 5, 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM · Add to Calendar
Founded in 2008 by singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, “The 9 Songwriter Series” is a touring live music event based in Washington, DC. The show was created with the idea of nine artists getting together and combining their talents in order to play in nicer clubs and to larger amounts of people. Each installment features nine solo singer/songwriters performing in rotation and often sitting in with each other, providing audiences with a rich, intimate, varied listening experience. Where else can you hear almost 30 songs from nine different artists for only $10? To date, over 60 different artists have participated in “The 9”, at events in DC, Arlington, Bethesda, Baltimore, Annapolis, New York City, Richmond, Charlottesville, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.
Follow and Like “The 9” at www.twitter.com/wearethe9.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/wearethe9
Daryl Shawn - Live in the Coffeehouse
Friday, April 8, 6:59 PM to 7:59 PM · Add to Calendar
Nylon-string guitarist Daryl Shawn blends the techniques of flamenco and classical guitar with rhythms from around the world. Guitar International notes that Shawn “possesses the ability to take a nylon-string guitar and make it roar with dynamic precision and raging power.” He has recently arrived in Pittsburgh after a decade spent between Brooklyn, NY and Oaxaca, Mexico.
For more information, visit http://www.darylshawn.com/