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DVD_Frontcover

A Sound Lab Studios Production, Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE to Release as a Full Live Concert CD & DVD on Tuesday, Dec 10th

Based in Asheville, NC, Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work have been mainstays in the SouthEastern roots music scene for several years, and now the band is back again with the release of Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE. In collaboration with Sound Lab Studios, the band recorded two nights at The Lexington Ave Brewery in Asheville in full Dolby digital surround sound in high definition on multiple cameras. Distilled now into both CD and DVD formats Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE shows the band in their most raw, intense, and revelatory release to date and releases nationally on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

Watch Pierce Edens Perform “Money” LIVE by Sound Lab Studios →

Singing, performing, and recording for several years, the songs of Pierce Edens resonate from a calling sparked within him to share a story. It’s a story inspired by old-time tunes, a rock and roll fever, and the downright rural, gritty mountain life of his upbringing. It doesn’t seem to matter whether he is singing a haunting, foothill-influenced ballad with a modern Americana twist, or writing a 21st century stomp-and-clap that calls back to the Appalachian churches, it all gets entangled in his unique storytelling.

“There are few who can touch Edens as a singer or as a songwriter,“ says Bold Life’s Robin Tolleson. “He’s blessed with a soulful, resonant growl that seems to mix Johnny Cash, Eddie Vedder and Citizen Cope.” It’s an eclectic mélange of sounds exemplifying the fact that this man can’t be contained by any one genre; he’s an American musical anomaly.

PierceEdens_Band2013_byStudio828Photography“Pierce Edens heard old-timey mountain music until his teens; that’s when he was steeped in punk and grunge. Both inform his music. His shadowy baritone has a dark, jazzy canter reminiscent of Tom Waits, while the percolating strings below it veer from bluegrass to closing-time cabaret,” says Indy Week. “The punk manifests in the rebellious free-spirited nature of ‘Montana’ as Edens demands, ‘Don’t speak, don’t think, just take my hand and come with. We can work out the details later, if we work them out at all.’”

Along with Pierce Edens’ lead vocals and acoustic guitar, The Dirty Work includes Matt Smith (pedal steel and electric guitar), Jesse James Hongisto (upright bass), Dane Rand (drums and percussion), and Jim Aaron (Harmonica). Special guest musicians on the DVD include Jacob Rodriguez (saxophone) and Justin Ray (trumpet).

Sound Lab Studios is an Asheville-based media production company that is a partnership between More Chi Films and Golden Manatee Productions. The footage was directed and edited by Peter Lutz; produced by Adam Johnson & Peter Lutz, with audio recording & mixing by Adam Johnson and front of house sound by Sean Mack. Greg Herman for the album artwork and digital motion design. For more information about Sound Lab, please visit http://www.soundlabstudios.com.

More information about Pierce Edens and his tour dates can be found at www.pierceedens.com.

CD & DVD* Track listing:
Jailhouse
Pretty
Montana
Good Man
Creeping Vines
Trouble
Money
Mischief
Can’t Sleep
Baby Doll
Ghost on the Radio
Black Shiny Shoes
Let it rain

*DVD also includes special features and additional solo performances of the songs “Queen of Hearts” and “Train Tracks”.

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Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work Release Full Live Concert CD & DVD
 Screening at Fine Arts Theater 11/21; Concert at Isis 11/22

A Sound Lab Studios Production, Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE
Releases Locally in Asheville on CD and DVD this November

DVD_Frontcover

DVD SCREENING:
The Fine Arts Theater

Thursday, November 21st
$5, doors 8pm, show 9pm
(828) 232-1536  — 36 Biltmore Ave  Asheville, NC 28801
http://fineartstheatre.com

RELEASE PARTY CONCERT
Isis Music Hall
Friday, November 22nd

$8 adv/ $10 dos; doors 8pm, show 9pm
(828) 575-2737 —  743 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806
http://isisasheville.com

Based in Asheville, NC, Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work have been mainstays in the SouthEastern roots music scene for several years, and now the band is back again with the release of Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE, a live performance DVD and CD collection. It will release locally with a preview of the DVD at the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville the night of Thursday, November 21, 2103. The band will perform a release party concert on Friday, November 22nd at the Isis Music Hall in West Asheville. Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work are intent on celebrating in full force; fans of the band can expect to see them at their best both on the big screen and in the flesh over the course of two hot ticketed evenings.

Singing, performing, and recording for several years, the songs of Pierce Edens resonate from a calling sparked within him to share a story. It’s a story inspired by old-time tunes, a rock and roll fever, and the downright rural, gritty mountain life of his upbringing. It doesn’t seem to matter whether he is singing a haunting, foothill-influenced ballad with a modern Americana twist, or writing a 21st century stomp-and-clap that calls back to the Appalachian churches, it all gets entangled in his unique storytelling.

PierceEdens_Band2013_byStudio828Photography

Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work. Photo by Studio 828 Photography.

“There are few who can touch Edens as a singer or as a songwriter,“ says Bold Life’s Robin Tolleson. “He’s blessed with a soulful, resonant growl that seems to mix Johnny Cash, Eddie Vedder and Citizen Cope.” It’s an eclectic mélange of sounds exemplifying the fact that this man can’t be contained by any one genre; he’s an American musical anomaly.

“Asheville’s Pierce Edens heard old-timey mountain music until his teens; that’s when he was steeped in punk and grunge. Both inform his music. His shadowy baritone has a dark, jazzy canter reminiscent of Tom Waits, while the percolating strings below it veer from bluegrass to closing-time cabaret,” says Indy Week. “The punk manifests in the rebellious free-spirited nature of ‘Montana’ as Edens demands, ‘Don’t speak, don’t think, just take my hand and come with. We can work out the details later, if we work them out at all.’”

Along with Pierce Edens’ lead vocals and acoustic guitar, The Dirty Work includes Matt Smith (pedal steel and electric guitar), Jesse James Hongisto (upright bass), Dane Rand (drums and percussion), and Jim Aaron (Harmonica). Special guest musicians on the DVD include Jacob Rodriguez (saxophone) and Justin Ray (trumpet).

In collaboration with Sound Lab Studios, the band recorded two nights at The Lexington Ave Brewery in Asheville in full Dolby digital surround sound in high definition on multiple cameras. Distilled now into both CD and DVD formats Pierce Edens and The Dirty Work, LIVE shows the band in their most raw, intense, and revelatory release to date and releases nationally on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

Sound Lab Studios is an Asheville-based media production company that is a partnership between More Chi Films and Golden Manatee Productions. The footage was directed and edited by Peter Lutz; produced by Adam Johnson & Peter Lutz, with audio recording & mixing by Adam Johnson and front of house sound by Sean Mack. Greg Herman for the album artwork and digital motion design. For more information about Sound Lab, please visit http://www.soundlabstudios.com.

More information about Pierce Edens and his tour dates can be found at www.pierceedens.com.

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Shannon Whitworth & Barrett Smith
“Bring It On Home” Holiday Party

The Altamont Theatre
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
$15/$12adv; 7pm door/  8pm show
18 Church St., Asheville, NC  28801
828-348-5327
myaltamont.com

Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith are happy to announce a Holiday Party at The Altamont Theatre in Asheville, NC on Thursday, December 20th. Joining them for the occasion are Mike Ashworth on bass, Jeff Sipe on drums, and Jacob Rodriguez on saxaphone all of whom also performed on their new album Bring it On Home, of which Jazz Times exclaims is, “that hidden diamond that may be the best recording to cross this desk all year.” Don’t be surprised if other special guests show up to sit in as well to perform songs from this new and elegant album!

Bring It on Home is a twelve track mix-tape collection of Barrett and Shannon’s favorite songs by their favorite songwriters. Esteemed writer, Gary von Tersch sums it up nicely, “from Paul Simon’s noir-ish New England tale of  ‘Duncan,’ Sanders and Cochrans’ cozily witty ballad ‘I Get Ideas’ and Leonard Cohen’s oft-covered early hit ‘Bird On The Wire’ to their unnervingly bluesy take on Paul Siebel’s signature portrait of ‘Louise’ along with a similarly bluesy, revelatory version of Van Morrison’s passionate ‘I’ll Be Your Lover Too.’ And it gets even better, with a soulfully wistful arrangement of Sam Cooke’s signature plea ‘Bring It On Home To Me,’ ditto Tom Waits’ atmospheric ‘Green Grass’ (with Jacob Rodriguez’ bluesy saxophone drifting wonderfully alongside Whitworth’s throaty vocal) and A.C. Jobim’s lazily pensive samba ‘Corcovado (Quiet Nights),’ probably the album highlight for me. Timeless tunes timelessly performed.”

Recorded in Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio with a team of talented friends and musicians from the area including legendary drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon) and master multi-instrumentalist Mike Ashworth who formed the core rhythm section. Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez took a break from touring with Michael Buble to contribute on trumpet and saxophone. and virtuoso bluegrass fiddlers Nate Leath and Nicky Sanders (Steep Canyon Rangers) added violins to Melissa Hyman’s cello lines while Michael Libramento, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, played keyboards.

Cover Lay Down writes, “Gentle trumpet, uke, fiddle, banjo and saxophone flourishes lend just the right layers to the songs, showcasing strong and deliberate vocals, crisp guitars and pianos, and arrangements without disrupting the smooth track-to-track flow. And the combination of voices here is heavenly, with Smith and Whitworth’s equally intimate, equally weary voices trading lead and harmony in true duo form.”  Music New Nashville goes on to simply state, “The duo slays the opening cut, and in doing so, reveal a secret in doing a cover – sometimes it’s not about changing a song to reflect your personality, or ‘making it your own,’ it’s simply a case of letting the song  be front and center – which they do rather well here.”

In the holiday spirit they are offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of the opening track, their version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me”

The album was released Nationally this November and makes the perfect holiday gift, attractive to folks across multiple generations. Get it here: http://barrettsmith.com/listenbuy.cfm and also on iTunes.

“From start to finish, Bring it on Home is crafted with love…
a timeless collection”

Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress

BarrettSmith.com
ShannonWhitworth.net

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Shannon Whitworth & Barrett Smith’s “Bring It On Home”

A Duo Album Featuring:
The Songs of Paul Simon to A.C. Jobim to Sam Cooke

Bring It On Home is that hidden diamond that may be the best recording to cross this desk all year.” —C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

From start to finish, Bring it on Home is crafted with love… a timeless collection” —Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress

National Release Date: November 20th, 2012

(Asheville, NC)– Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith are thrilled to announce the release of a new duo album, Bring It On Home. Independently recorded, it is set for National release on November 20, 2012.

In Bring it on Home, Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith offer up a collection of their favorite songs by their favorite songwriters. From Paul Simon to A.C. Jobim to Sam Cooke. All About Jazz writes, “Relaxed and confident, Whitworth and Smith work their way across an almost 100-year landscape of music that is the crowning achievement of the song writer’s craft. They do so with quiet percussion and carefully chosen accompaniment that makes this perfect listening music: appealing to both nostalgia and the appreciation of fine music making.”

In this eclectic album, Shannon and Barrett take turns singing lead, backing each other on harmony vocals, and playing various instrumentations with Shannon on ukulele, banjo and Barrett on electric and acoustic guitars, upright bass, and piano. From the jazzy elegance of “Moonglow”, to the mystic folkiness of Paul Simon’s “Duncan”, to the Latin groove of “Corcovado”; this album pays tribute to the art of great songwriting, with fresh arrangements that make for a truly great listen.

Bring It On Home started as a brainstorming session on a late night, cross-Canadian road trip with the Shannon Whitworth Band, which Shannon had been touring and recording with since her days of leading the The Biscuit Burners and Barrett had later joined in 2010 after swapping places with a member of the acclaimed bluegrass band Town Mountain. In this particular tour, Shannon and Barrett were an opening act for Chris Isaak, and they spent the long slow drive from Winnipeg to Saskatoon trying to compile the perfect mix tape. Somewhere in the late night hours, they realized that this mix-tape was actually a compilation of the cover songs that they had both dreamed of someday recording – their own random dream tribute album.

Two months later, Shannon and Barrett were in Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio with a team of talented friends and musicians from the area who helped to breathe the album to life. Legendary drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon) and master multi-instrumentalist Mike Ashworth formed the core rhythm section, and Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez took a break from touring with Michael Buble to contribute on trumpet and saxophone. Virtuoso bluegrass fiddlers Nate Leath and Nicky Sanders (Steep Canyon Rangers) added violins to Melissa Hyman’s cello lines while Michael Libramento, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, played keyboards.

In recording Bring it on Home, the Shannon and Barrett looked to songs that inspire them, and hope to pass that inspiration on.

Bring it On Home ~ Track Listing


1) Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke) 3:50 Soulful & Rockin
2) Moonglow (Delange, Mills, Hudson) 3:24 Jazzy & Mellow
3) You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor) 3:40 Folky & Mellow
4) Duncan (Paul Simon) 4:13 Folky & Beautiful
5) I Get Ideas (When We Are Dancing)  (Sanders, Cochran) 3:01 Jazzy & Sultry
6) Louise (Paul Siebel) 3:29 Folky & Funky
7) Sway (Molina, Ruiz, Gimbel) 2:52 Saucy & Latin
8) Bird On The Wire (Leonard Cohen) 3:49 Intense & Beautiful
9) Corcovado (Quiet Nights) (A.C. Jobim, Gene Lees) 4:31 Latin & Mellow
10) Green Grass (Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan) 3:47 Ethereal & Jazzy
11) I’ll Be Your Lover, Too (Van Morrison) 4:59 Rockin Ballad
12) You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis) 3:59 Folky & Mellow

 Recorded at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC
Engineered by Julian Dreyer
Mixed by Neilson Hubbard
Mastered by Jim DeMain
Produced by Barrett Smith
Released November 20, 2012

BarrettSmith.com
ShannonWhitworth.net

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Shannon Whitworth & Barrett Smith
Local Release Party for “Bring it on Home”
The Altamont Theatre
Thursday, July 26th

$12/$10adv
7pm door/  8pm show
18 Church St 28801
828-348-5327
myaltamont.com

(Asheville, NC)– Shannon Whitworth and Barrett Smith are thrilled to announce the release of a new all-covers duo album, Bring It On Home. To celebrate, a local release date is set for Thursday, July 26th at the Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville. They will release the album nationally this fall.You can listen to and purchase the album at BarrettSmith.com.

In 2010 Barrett joined The Shannon Whitworth Band after swapping places with a member of the acclaimed bluegrass band Town Mountain. Shannon had been touring and recording successfully with this solo project since her days of leading the The Biscuit Burners. Barrett’s contributions quickly developed into a full time touring and recording job, and he and Shannon have been making music  with one another ever since, whether in the band or just for fun… which is how this duo project came into being.

In Bring it on Home, they have taken a departure from their original music to offer up a collection of their favorite songs by their favorite songwriters. From Paul Simon to A.C. Jobim to Sam Cooke, the album features beautiful arrangements of great tunes which are all performed by an all-star cast of musicians from Asheville, NC.

Bring It On Home started as a brainstorming session on a late night, cross-Canadian road trip.  Shannon and Barrett were on tour as an opening act for Chris Isaak, and they spent the long slow drive from Winnipeg to Saskatoon trying to compile the perfect mix tape. Somewhere in the late night hours, they realized that this mix-tape was actually a compilation of the cover songs that they had both dreamed of someday recording – their own random dream tribute album.

Two months later, Shannon and Barrett were in Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio with a team of great friends and musicians, bringing the album to life. Legendary drummer Jeff Sipe and multi-instrumentalist Mike Ashworth formed the core rhythm section. (Sipe and Ashworth will also be performing at the album release show amongst other special guests.) Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez took a break from touring with Michael Buble to contribute to the album on trumpet and saxophone. Virtuoso violinists Nicky Sanders and Nate Leath added string parts to Melissa Hyman’s cello lines. Michael Libramento, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, stopped in to add keyboard parts.

The result is an eclectic collection of great arrangements. Shannon and Barrett take turns on the lead vocals, backing each other up with harmony vocals and instrumental support. The performances are superb. From the jazzy elegance of Moonglow, to the mystic folkiness of Paul Simon’s ‘Duncan’, to the latin groove of ‘Corcovado’, this album pays tribute to the art of great songwriting, with fresh arrangements that make for a truly great listen. Enjoy!

Bring it On Home ~ Track Listing
1) Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)
2) Moonglow (Delange, Mills, Hudson)
3) You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor)
4) Duncan (Paul Simon)
5) I Get Ideas (When We Are Dancing)  (Sanders, Cochran)
6) Louise (Paul Siebel)
7) Sway (Molina, Ruiz, Gimbel)
8) Bird On The Wire (Leonard Cohen)
9) Corcovado (Quiet Nights) (A.C. Jobim, Gene Lees)
10)Green Grass (Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan)
11) I’ll Be Your Lover, Too (Van Morrison)
12) You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis)

Recorded at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC
Engineered by Julian Dreyer
Mixed by Neilson Hubbard
Mastered by Jim DeMain
Produced by Barrett Smith

BarrettSmith.com
ShannonWhitworth.net

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 “Valorie Miller is early James Taylor re-transcribed in female flesh with some very distinct differences, especially the lyrics to Haunted Hand (an’, hoo boy, you’re not going to hear that one on TV any time soon!).” —FAME

(ASHEVILLE, NC)–  The critically acclaimed North Carolina singer-songwriter and guitarist Valorie Miller will officially release her sixth album, Turtle Shell, at 9pm July 12 at BoBo Gallery at 22 Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville.

Guest musicians at the event will include Will Straughan, Mike Holstein, Justin Ray and Moses Atwood.

Miller recorded Turtle Shell in just 10 hours of studio time at Asheville’s Echo Mountain during sessions for her project as well as for fellow singer-songwriter Rupert Wates, who traveled from New York City to record his new album, At the Losers’ Motel, there with vocal support from Miller. Along with her vocal and guitar work, Turtle Shell features Mike Holstein on upright bass, Will Straughan on dobro and backing vocals, Justin Ray on trumpet (track 4) and Rupert Wates on piano (track 9). It is self-produced and was engineered at Echo Mountain by Chris Medrano.

The record is one of Miller’s strongest efforts, every track featuring her distinctive and expressive voice, expert guitar work and originality—always with a flavor that has branded her as a reviewer at No Depression Magazine put it, “pure Carolina from whisper to wail.” But she’s known far outside of the state, having gained national recognition and sharing the stage with such artists as Merle Haggard and Leon Russell. Lucinda Williams and Tony Arata (writer of multiple hits for Garth Brooks, among others) have praised her songwriting. Some say her sound is reminiscent of artists such as Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday, but these are influences. Miller’s work is strikingly original, and Turtle Shell is a case in point.

The album opens with My Acre, a song with stunning acoustic bass and engaging motion. It exudes hopefulness, curiosity and sweetness as it contrasts fear with joy, comfort with discomfort in the life and place one makes for one’s self. The song conveys great meaning in life, in dreaming about escaping one’s boundaries but feeling self-doubt and the fear of not finding forgiveness for the past. And any artist can relate to the lyric’s conveyance of digging in deep to live the life of an artist—by unwavering choice.

The title track, Turtle Shell, features excellent dobro work and vocal harmonies. One sees a turtle crossing the road not knowing the dangers of being there. The lyric explores the challenges of change, aging, and seeking redemption and forgiveness exposed out in the world versus the desire to retreat to a place of safety, like a turtle shell, although the safety may be an illusion: “Should I pray for heaven instead of hell, or just a big turtle shell?”

With great guitar picking, Peaches Ahead is an upbeat tune conveying the Southern country experience of passing roadside signs advertising produce stands in the summer and looking forward to the peaches ahead. It seems to be a metaphor for a belief that good things are ahead, but the optimism is tempered with realism and the understanding that summers—and life—are fleeting. It brings to mind the lyric of Billie Holiday’s recording of Speak Low by Ogden Nash and Kurt Weill in which Holiday sings, “Speak low when you speak love. Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon.”

Alcohol and Elephants delivers the pleasant surprise of Justin Ray’s trumpet, and it contains visionary lyrics that take the listener to the experience of ghosts in glasses of alcohol (perhaps memories of loves past that return with drink and solitude) and elephants in rooms. It reflects on human relationships and avoidance or even self-deception in the interest of keeping a love alive. “A blind eye is turned and an ether flower blooms, alcohol and elephants in the room. The heart of a good man is tested when it’s in the hands of a woman who’s a bigger bite than he can chew.”

Also very visual, Haunted Hand to speaks to desire for lasting love, a lasting touch and a fleeting opportunity to connect with an unexpected stranger who blows into a town that beforehand seemed empty. The opening line: “Met you in a ghost town tumbling like a weed, I don’t know if you want me, but you surely haunt me.” It also creatively compares the two characters of the song and a passing chance. “I am Carolina, you are Tennessee. You are a spider, and I’m a bumblebee… You better hurry up and get me, for I’m sure you’ll agree—time ain’t nothing but a miser and endings come for free.”

American Women is a witty take on a serious subject—the big-dollar ad campaigns and pop culture that make women fail to recognize their natural beauty and spend fortunes on trying to change their looks, supposedly for the better. But by whose definition? This is a protest song. “The bodies of American women are a country that’s been occupied. From bushes to eyelashes, everything gets modified,” Miller sings, concluding later in the tune that there’s nothing that needs modification. “And love is our final rebellion, intelligence our best tool. American women come home to yourselves in a mirror that’s always half-full.”

The next track, Snowflakes, moves to a jazzy feel with Mike Holstein’s fabulous bass playing and Miller’s expressive vocals and versatile performance skills. It’s another takes-you-there song about the spirit and movement of snow, how it falls on the evergreens as one sits by a warm fire inside and watches through the window.

Drunken Tattoo is country by definition—real country in the same sense that Hank Williams was. It’s about regretting a past relationship, but being hopeful about one day forgetting. It features a great guitar solo enhanced by dobro and contains a line that sums up the how long it can take to forget: “Time flies on a busted wing.”

A perfect conclusion to the album is the final track, Some Other Sky, a contemplative piece (with an unusual and imaginative piano part performed by Rupert Wates) that asks, “Did the day live up to the dream? Did the sun promise to rise, then hand you some dark alibi and light up some other sky?”

Well, maybe it lit up another sky in the song’s story, but not on the album. This one lives up to the dreams of anyone seeking a sophisticated, original and distinctively Southern album—but not by the garden-variety definition of the region. Valorie Miller is an example of what listeners can find in the real South if they look carefully off the beaten path and listen.

For more information & to listen to sample tracks from the album, visit:
www.valoriemiller.com and www.cdbaby.com/cd/valoriemiller

Show Details at a Glance:

Valorie Miller ~ CD Release Show
Bobo Gallery
Thursday, July 12, 2012
$5, 9pm

 22 N. Lexington Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
www.bobogallery.com

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Official video for “Cinematic” from the 2011 Stephaniesid album entitled “Starfruit” which  releases on October 18th.

This video was shot in an undisclosed location in Asheville, NC by Paul Chelmis, Jesse Hamm, Lisa Jourdan, and Cody Wright. It was edited by Stephanie Morgan.

“Cinematic” Official Video (Stephaniesid) from Stephanie Morgan on Vimeo.

Asheville, NC band Stephaniesid return with their sparkling, new pop gem Starfruit, cementing their status as one of the region’s most ambitious, innovative, and influential bands.

In the downtime since their last record, lead singer Stephanie Morgan formed a local songwriter’s group to help spur her creativity.

She began recording the songs that emerged from these sessions, and posting them online for fans. This collection of singles formed the nucleus for Starfruit, and the rest of the band joined her over the course of many months to record more material in the home she shares with husband/co-bandleader Chuck Lichtenberg.

As a result, Starfruit has a much looser, more organic feel than the band’s first three full-lengths, while retaining the band’s penchant for intricate arrangements, unusual textures, and virtuosic playing. The sprawling 14-track effort touches on all of the band’s many influences, even including a faithful cover of Dream Academy’s hit “Life In A Northern Town,” and a cheeky reworking of the Laverne & Shirley theme song.

BACKGROUND:
Stephaniesid quickly became a local powerhouse with their debut Spiral In (2005). The band was signed by Nine Mile Records in 2007 and released Grus Americanus, a record that NPR’s Robin Hilton described as “A mesmerizing mix of songs that can be hushed and calm one moment, and then suddenly dark and explosive the next.” Grus also spawned singles which appeared on HBO’s “Nurse Jackie,” the award-winning short film “The Red Helmet,” and numerous compilations.

In 2008, the band performed at Bonnaroo, and was reviewed in The Bonnaroo Beacon: “…a rather transcendent set …the band was different, melodic, quirky, and just plain good…. A sleeper act which hit the mark with an almost Bjork-like panache.”

2009’s Warm People garnered more national attention for the band, with plays on NPR’s “World Cafe” (“Sharp writing!” exclaims David Dye), and glowing reviews in Blurt, Billboard, and Big Takeover. By 2010, Stephaniesid had been named “Best Rock Band” in Asheville in the (weekly paper) Mountain Xpress poll 4 years in a row.

Touring in support of “Starfruit” are Steph (vox, guitar, synth), Chuck (keyboards, vox), Maine-born Tim Haney (drums), and former NYC horn players Justin Ray and Jacob Rodriguez, with Matthew Richmond (vibraphone) and Jonathan Pearlman (guitar) also appearing on shows in the Southeast.

Find out more about the band at stephaniesid.com

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