Rhiannon GiddensFounding member of supergroup New Basement Tapes and Carolina Chocolate Drops
Monday, September 28, 2015
Doors at 6 PM
VIP Balcony SOLD OUT
GA Standing Room Tickets still available!
It was toward the end of the T Bone Burnett–curated September 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall—a celebration of the early ’60s folk revival that had inspired the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis—when singer Rhiannon Giddens indisputably stole the show. Performing Odetta’s “Water Boy” with, as the New York Times put it, “the fervor of a spiritual, the yips of a folk holler, and the sultry insinuation of the blues,” Giddens brought the star-studded audience to its feet. She was the talk of the lobby during intermission as those attendees unfamiliar with her Grammy Award–winning work as a member of African-American folk interpreters Carolina Chocolate Drops wondered who exactly Rhiannon Giddens was, with her elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit.
On her Nonesuch solo debut Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens and Burnett revisit “Water Boy,” its Odetta-arranged work-song rhythm serving as both provocation and a statement of power. Giddens delivers an equally thunderous rendition, one made all the more striking when placed between a gentle, ruminative interpretation of Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” and a version of Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You,” popularized by Patsy Cline, that Giddens imbues with “an old-timey R&B vibe,” abetted by Carolina Chocolate Drops band-mate Hubby Jenkins. The breadth of musical vision on Tomorrow Is My Turn fulfills the promise of that brief but stunning star turn at Town Hall. The album incorporates gospel, jazz, blues, and country, plus a hint of proto-rock and roll, and Giddens displays an emotional range to match her dazzling vocal prowess throughout.
The life that Giddens explores at the climax of Tomorrow Is My Turn is her own creative one, on the lilting, self-penned ballad “Angel City.” Though she regards herself far more as singer than songwriter, “Angel City,” composed in the course of a single night during the recording of the Burnett-helmed The New Basement Tapes project, fits perfectly at the close of the set, gently paying homage to the elder artists whose work comprise the rest of the album. “It was these women, these artists, who had helped me, who had come with me on this journey, and here are lyrics that represented that.”
Tomorrow Is My Turn was recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville, with a multi-generational group of players whom Burnett assembled. Among them are fiddle player Gabe Witcher and double bassist Paul Kowert of label-mates Punch Brothers; percussionist Jack Ashford of Motown’s renowned Funk Brothers; inventive drummer and Burnett stalwart Jay Bellerose; veteran folk-blues guitarist Colin Linden; legendary backup singer Tata Vega; and Nashville session great, bassist Dennis Crouch. Giddens enthuses, “We had Dennis and Paul on stand-up bass at the same time on some of these tracks. They are all ‘musicians’ musicians’ and they did cool stuff they don’t always get the opportunity to play. It was a bit of a challenge for them too, all these different kinds of music; every day was something new. We’d start the day by watching the original inspiration for the song on YouTube, and then we would go cut it. They were a diverse group of people, but it felt like a real band.” Giddens’ bandmates from the Drops—multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins, cellist Malcolm Parson, and multi-instrumentalist Rowan Corbett—are part of her touring band for Tomorrow Is My Turn.
The songs here, says Giddens, “are all facets of the human condition.” Taken together, they answer the question Twyla Tharp posed at the beginning of Giddens’ solo adventure. Tomorrow Is My Turn is a composite portrait of “Ruby,” of America, and of Giddens herself, whose turn is clearly right now.
The New MastersoundsThe Mastersounds with Earphunk Live at the BAC!
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Doors at 6:30 PM
Tickets on sale Friday, August 7 at 10:00 AM!
This is an 18+ event.
In the late 1990’s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds called “The Cooker.” When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets. Simon Allen and Eddie had played together in 1997 as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw, and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7” singles in 2000.
Fast-forward 15 years and the recorded catalogue boasts 24 more 7” singles, 9 studio albums, 2 live albums, 1 remix album and 3 compilation albums, released variously in UK, USA and Japan, where they continue to tour extensively. Joe Tatton, another veteran of the Leeds scene, joined back in 2007, replacing Bob Birch on organ and piano.
As a band, and as individuals, they have collaborated or jammed with an impressive array of musicians DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note), Corinne Bailey Rae(EMI), Quantic (Tru Thoughts), Carleen Anderson (Young Disciples / Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope(Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr Scruff (Ninja Tune), Snowboy (Ubiquity), Fred Everything (2020vision), Andy Smith (Portishead), James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless), Lack of Afro (Freestyle), Page McConnell (Phish), Grace Potter, Karl Denson (The Rolling Stones / Lenny Kravitz), Melvin Sparks (Blue Note Records), Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis & Maceo Parker (JB’s), George Porter Junior, Zigaboo Modeliste, Art Neville (The Meters) and Ernest Ranglin.
As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger - DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers’ bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon - places the 2001 NMS track ‘Turn This Thing Around’ in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.
Earphunk - Hailing from New Orleans, Prog-Funk band Earphunk has emerged as one of the Southeast's premier jam acts. The quintet has been steadily building a rabid fan base across the United States with their unique brand of high-energy funk, inspired improvisation, and dynamic stage production. In an innovative move to get their music in the hands of live music fans, Earphunk have partnered with direct-to-fan publisher platform BitTorrent Bundle to release content-rich collections of live shows and studio albums. Visit the band's website (www.earphunk.com) to stream and download songs from Earphunk's current discography for free.
The Wood BrothersThe Wood Brothers Live at the BAC!
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Doors at 7 PM
Tickets on sale Friday, August 7 at 10:00 AM!
The cover of The Wood Brothers' gorgeous new album, 'Paradise,' is adorned with an illustration of a mule staring at a carrot dangling just inches in front of its mouth. The carrot, though, is hanging from a stick affixed to the mule's own head.
"In some ways, he's already got it," explains guitarist Oliver Wood. "And in some ways, he'll never have it."
That paradox is at the core of 'Paradise,' an album about longing and desire and the ways in which the pursuit of fulfillment can keep it perpetually out of our reach. It's a beautiful collection, the band's most sophisticated work to date and also their most rocking, with bassist Chris Wood playing electric on tracks for the first time. Recorded at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye studio in Nashville, 'Paradise' captures the latest chapter in the ongoing evolution of a band—and a family—navigating the joy and challenges of a life in music.
Dubbed "masters of soulful folk" by Paste, The Wood Brothers released their debut studio album, 'Ways Not To Lose,' on Blue Note in 2006. You'd be forgiven at the time for expecting it to be something of a side project. Chris Wood already had legions of devoted fans for his incomparable work as one-third of Medeski Martin & Wood, while his brother Oliver toured with Tinsley Ellis before releasing a half-dozen albums with his band King Johnson. Almost a decade later and with drummer Jano Rix added as a permanent third member, it's become quite clear that The Wood Brothers is indeed the main act.
'Paradise' follows the band's acclaimed 2013 release 'The Muse,' which was recorded almost entirely live around a tree of microphones in Zac Brown's Southern Ground studio. Hailed previously by the New York Times for their "gripping" vocals and by the LA Times for their "taught musicianship," the brothers found the live setting to be a remarkable showcase for their live chemistry and charismatic magnetism. But when it came time to record 'Paradise,' their fifth studio album, the band knew the music called for a different approach.
"For this album, we wanted to have a more up-close and dry sound," explains Chris. "I worked on another record at Easy Eye and I just loved the room. Dan's studio is cool because it's not old, but it feels that way when you walk into it. It reminds me of Sun Studios. It just has that feeling of a small room with natural compression, and I think you hear that in the sounds on the record."
The decision to record in Nashville was no coincidence either, as this marks the first album written with the entire band living in Music City.
"Oliver and I spent a lot of hours just in a room together writing songs," says Chris. "That's really never happened before. All the music in the past was written long distance or over the course of touring. It's definitely the most collaborative album we've ever made."
"It was kind of a luxury to be able to play together not just at a soundcheck," adds Jano. "It was a different starting point. Rather than people bringing in compositions that were relatively finished, we were starting from the ground up as a group."
The album opens with "Singing To Strangers," which sets the tone for what's to come both musically and thematically.
"Singing to strangers is something we do every night," explains Oliver, "and there's some satisfaction about singing to strangers. It's this weird thing that I think we get addicted to. It's not that we need attention as much as we need connection. On a good night, when we're singing to strangers, everybody in the room bonds, and you have this amazing sense of connection."
That desire for connection permeates the album, from "Touch Of Your Hand"—a song about what Chris describes as "the most basic human need that there is"—to "Two Places"—a track about longing for home and family while on the road—to "Never And Always," which examines the fundamental emotional experiences of loneliness and belonging. "Snake Eyes" and "American Heartache" both explore the dark side of longing, how the constant need for more in our consumer culture can engender a perpetual dissatisfaction with never having enough, while on "Without Desire," they find the beauty and the magic that the titular emotion can bring into our lives.
"Desire gets a bad rap sometimes," explains Chris, "and people think it's the root of all of our problems. We wanted a song that said, 'Maybe it's not, maybe we need it.' What would it be like if we didn't desire all those good things in life?"
In addition to Chris's electric bass, which appears on two tracks, the album also showcases Jano's "shuitar," a portmanteau for "shitty guitar." The name belies the instrument's complexity, though. It's actually an acoustic guitar that Jano has rigged up with noisemakers to function as an easy-to-travel-with drum kit.
"I made one in The Wood Brothers because we needed a portable drum set we could take to play on sessions and on the radio," he explains, "but then we've been using it so much live, we started writing for it and not wanting it to even sound like a drum set anymore. We wanted to let it be its own thing."
It turns up prominently on "Heartbreak Lullaby," which also features guitar playing from Oliver inspired by field recordings of African folk musicians. There's more to Jano than percussion, though, as he sits down at the piano on several tracks on 'Paradise,' including album closer "River Of Sin."
"That song imagines how when people get baptized in a river, it's supposed to wash away their sins," explains Chris. "But what happens to the water? Where do the sins go? And what if you live downstream from all that baptizing?"
"A lot of the songs are dealing with these themes of longing and desire," adds Oliver, "but the album finishes with 'River of Sin' because it's a positive and empowering message, which is that you can't really do anything unless you're persistent. The narrator is humble and understands that there are all these things larger than him and he's just trying to understand them and he's determined to do better and be as good as he can. And he recognizes the only way to do that is to keep trying."
It's a fitting, lovely, gospel-tinged ending to an album that traces both the darkness and the beauty in our nature, the perpetual hope and the futility of it all. The quest for the carrot often blinds us to the fact that we already possess it, and that's the irony of desire.
"He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have." Socrates said that.
"I can't live without desire / If I didn't want anything / Why would I rise? / Why would I sing?" The Wood Brothers said that.BUY TICKETS
Concerts & Events
Brooklyn Arts Center is the most stunning and spectacular small-market, multi-use event venue in the region. We host weddings, concerts, fundraisers, art shows, upscale vintage flea markets, and other community-driven events.
There is abundant free parking in our neighborhood on North 4th Street or you can park in Historic Downtown Wilmington, two minutes away, and take the free trolley, which stops on North 4th Street in front of the church.
BAC is available to outside promoters. We offer state-of-the-art house sound and lighting systems and the finest event support service in the Southeast. If you'd like to bring an event to the Brooklyn Arts Center, contact Executive Director Richard Leder at email@example.com.
Unless otherwise stated, BAC is a standing-room-only venue. For some concerts, there is limited, first-come/first-served seating on the balcony, with the purchase of a balcony ticket.
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