(Early Show) Pittsburgh Songwriters Showcase & Holiday Toy Drive Benefiting The Children's Center at The Women's Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Featuring Adam Fitz, Alyssa Hankey, Brian Genovesi, Elkhound & Gary Prisby
Co-founder of BentWilli Entertainment and co-creator of Three Women, One Mic, comedian Samantha Bentley, was recently named One of the Funniest People in Pittsburgh That You Dont Know by Pittsburgh Magazine in 2019 and is the 2016 winner of the Improv Comedy Club best local comedian contest.
Samanthas comedy career started in a sketch comedy show titled Off Da Grill, where she played Crazy Cakes. With over ten years experience under her belt, Samantha has opened for Gary Owen, Eddie Griffin, Michael Blackson, Tony Roberts, and Zainab Johnson.
Samantha performs in various venues and for private functions in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas and stars in BentWilli Entertainments ongoing comedy show, Three Women, One Mic.
Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors sound can be best described as can be best described as a mix of American roots rock, with a strong dose of big barreling drums.
The Washington Times calls their music One of the most eclectic and exciting bands to come out in some time...
while Relix magazine says: Sun King Warriors channel unabashed enthusiasm into a series of songs that are both rowdy and rejuvenating....
The band's music has garnered radio airplay throughout the US and Canada, and has charted on Billboards Americana chart multiple times. Their song Hey! Let It Be is currently being featured on AT&T Sportsnet during Pittsburgh Pirate home games.
The band plays regionally at festivals and clubs throughout PA, Ohio, NY and have opened for 10,000 Maniacs, Donovan's former band Rusted Root and many others.
Donovan brings almost three decades of experience to the Sun King Warriors. As a member of the popular Pittsburgh band Rusted Root, the drummer/percussionist helped shaped the groups sound and toured with artists including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, and the Allman Brothers.
He co-authored the bands biggest hit, Send Me on My Way, which has been played 160 million times on Spotify and used as the wakeup music for NASAs Mars rover.
Christopher Mark Jones & The Roots Ensemble return to Club Café for their annual visit, with lots of new lyric and groove- driven songs.
The Roots Ensemble is Christophers performance group in Southwestern Pennsylvania and does originals from his five albums. Christopher has busked in Paris, toured Europe and the U.S. as a songwriter, and led bands in London, Boston and Pittsburgh. Members of the Roots Ensemble include Vince Camut (electric and pedal steel guitars), Eric Kurtzrock (drums and vocals) and Jim Spears (bass).
Guy Russo (formerly half of Broken Fences) will bring his intricate guitar work, spiritual take on existence and his high lonesome voice to start the evening.
In the world of bluegrass and folk, where the collaborative possibilities are endless, what draws some musicians together in formal collaborations is hard to pinpoint. For Joe K. Walsh, Grant Gordy, and Danny Barnes, a newly formed bi-coastal trio, curiosity is the rule, and tunes are just a starting point. We approach every tune with an open attitude everyday. Theres a sort of tacit undiscussed flexibility that we all honor when we play together, explains Walsh. For three musicians who have vibrant solo careers, as well as multifaceted musical collaborations under their belts, the trio has sparked a new level of creative inspiration, a venue to push and pull, learning and speaking with one another through improvisation. We are in some ways three very different musical pieces, but the thing that unites us is a deep respect and affinity for anybody who is improvising, says Walsh. The trio is anchored by banjo player and singer/songwriter Danny Barnes. Barnes is best known as the frontman of the Bad Livers, for his collaborations with Dave Matthews and Bill Frisell, and as the 2015 winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. He is an innovative banjo player and songwriter originally from Texas whose solo album Pizza Boz, garnered him a sort of cult following, and led Sam Bush to describe him as The Great American Un-Sung Hero. The elder of the group, Barnes brings an element of fierce individuality to the trio, with wisdom-infused vocals and straightforward, no nonsense banjo picking.
Gordy and Walsh come from a more jazz and swing influenced background, having first bonded over their mutual obsession with learning David Grisman solos. For Walsh, hearing some of the earl Dawg records was his first impetus to learn the mandolin. However, he is now equally renowned for his bluegrass and old-time sensibilities. Growing up in Illinois and later Minnesota, Walsh first established himself on the East Coast as the co-founder of progressive bluegrass band Joy Kills Sorrow, and as a long time member of The Gibson Brothers. He went on to become a faculty member at The Berklee College of Music, and launch a solo career with his albums Sweet Loam and Borderland.
Gordy, who is originally from Colorado and now lives in Brooklyn, went from being a fan of David Grisman, to playing in his band. Having spent six years in the David Grisman Quintet, Gordy released a self titled solo album to in 2010 to critical acclaim, and has been featured on NPRs Morning Edition, Tiny Desk Concerts, and All Things Considered as well as The Fretboard Journal, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. Darol Anger, with whom Gordy has collaborated frequently, describes his playing as containing Kaleidoscopic excellence, startling emotion, and personal revelation.
The three friends first crossed paths at a music camp in Grand Targhee, Wyoming, where there were each employed separately to teach and perform. But rather than sitting down to play together, they first bonded during a game of disc golf, which became a venue for philosophical musing and discussion. A desire for intellectual growth and challenge became a theme for the three, and their tours often involve car discussions on everything from French Literature to meditation. Perhaps because of this, their music feels like an infinitely extending plane. When we play, everybody is leading with their ears, and everything is possible, its hugely omnivorous, says Walsh.
BAILENs gorgeous harmonies, striking arrangements and evocative songwriting springs from a very deep well. Growing up in NYC, the siblings, David, Daniel (twins!) and Julia Bailen were raised by their professional orchestral musician parents, and the young trio immersed themselves in a record collection that included Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and The Band. Their amazing three-part harmonies have been compared to The Staves and Fleet Foxes, however, on their debut album, Thrilled To Be Here, BAILEN have created something all their own. Produced by GRAMMY-Award winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Manchester Orchestra, The War on Drugs), BAILENs shiny gleam and meticulous songcraft combine with the groups unusual self-awareness, musicality and bite.
Named one of Sofar Sounds Artists to Watch in 2018, BAILEN has toured or collaborated with The Lone Bellow, Amos Lee and Joseph, among many others. Modern, melodic and soulful, BAILEN is twisting pop music in new directions, an undeniable, and welcome new arrival.
Please join us for this special event, The 40th Anniversary of Love' So Tough. We will be playing the lp from start to finish and will be joined ny original member Marc Reisman.
Holding fast to the emotional honesty of Playing House (2017), Common Hollys sophomore record, When I say to you Black Lightning is a look outward; an exploration of the ways in which we all experience pain, fear and self-delusion, and how we can learn to confront those feelings with boldness. A swift change of course, WISTYBL couples a submergence into the dark and dissonant with its consolation in harmony, and a dose of dry humour.
The record is more experimental than Brigitte Naggars debut. It is rougher, looser, louder and more atonal. It feels edgy, but still kind. WISTYBL ditches fear without losing vulnerability, and trades in sadness for the healing powers of anger, and the strength of observing, recognizing and confronting. Through its 9 labyrinthian yet catchy tracks, shaped sonically by the seriously unique visions of Devon Bate, Hamish Mitchell, and Naggar herself, the album observes the complexities of mental health, the precarity of life, and the challenges of finding strength in the face of grave misunderstanding.
On its own, When I Say to you Black Lightning is a phrase which holds authority-- it does not apologize for itself, it stands boldly where it is, and yet it also laughs at itself for daring to take up that space. The title phrase is directiveit suggests a thought without completing it, engaging you to contemplate what comes next and pointing the finger away from itself to somewhere undefined. If Playing House was about personal turmoil, WISTYBL is about humanitys emotional challenges and how we each approach them as individuals. The former centered around one person and one heartbreak, while the latter circles different characters that Naggar has observed or interacted withromantically or otherwise, whose stories cumulate in a whimsically entertaining tale of struggle, and the resulting emotional growth.
This record isnt one singular statement, it documents a period of growth. The songs were written mainly over two years and they all reflect potent moments from that time. While its obviously personal and based off of my own experience, I want this album to feel familiar life gets complicated as we grow, people form relationships to each other, they lose things, they discover pain, fear, self-delusion; sometimes its funny, sometimes its weird, often it sucksand we have to navigate our way through all of that.
This narration of experience is first introduced on the orchestral opener Central Booking, (slang for jail), where Naggar illustrates the story of someone whose troubled past forces them to pick up and start over in Canada. Whispering the hook Im sorry New York broke you, she coyly pairs empathy with aloofnesssuggesting perhaps that for once, someone elses concerns might not need to be hers as wellwhile also playing on the stereotype that Canadians cant help themselves for apologizing wherever they go.
This playfulness is also demonstrated in Joshua Snakes, using sounds composed of quirky materials like bouncy balls, fidget spinners, and accidental recordings of roommates an area where electroacoustic producer Devon Bate (Jean-Michel Blais, Jeremy Dutcher) thrives. Joshua Snakes works through the themes of restlessness, jealousy, even mild obsession, and paints a picture of the damsel in distress tied to the tracks, but this time without the need to be rescued.
Measured feels more sober, a tone not unfamiliar to the album. Its what Naggar calls her thesis statement on love + pain, where she documents a new cynicism, the disillusionment in discovering that romance belongs to a strict formula of loving = losing = hurting = healing = loving again, in perpetuity. The track is sparse and confrontational, and despite its progression always returns to the same verse form, the same quiet moments, and the same last line: I think weve been measured out for pain since birth.
In a self-deprecating and painfully catchy final statement, Naggar sings Dont leave me, Im crazy, ok. Crazy Ok is voiced in the first person, but Naggar explains that the line wasnt actually her own when she first took her inspiration from it, bringing home the idea that most of the record could be as much about her as about anyone else.
WISTBYL feels like Naggars conversation with herself, meticulously penned to work through challenges as they unfold. Its cool, and more than that, it feels important. Its about finding the seeds of strength to navigate adult life, and about the ways in which we all find ourselves in that place of struggle when life starts to show you its cards and you begin to understand, in the artists words, just how real shit can get.
Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Aint Bitin (1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), Zion Crossroads (2007), and blu black (2010).
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, Feel Like Going Home, which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship commonly referred to as a genius award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant, which recognizes individuals from a wide range of disciplines who show creativity, originality and commitment to continued innovative work, described Harris as an artist who forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism. That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine.
Todd Albright is a country blues, twelve string guitar player and vocalist based in Detroit, Michigan. Grounded in the pre-war era of the blues tradition (1880-1939), Todd is a mindful purveyor of blues history. His repertoire upholds musical pillars such as Blind Willie McTell, George Carter, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly. His lifes work continues the distinguished tradition of the very roots of American music as told by the African American musicians who created it.
Todd's vigorous, gritty and soulful performances are accompanied by stories of the masters and a deep intuitive sense of respect for craft, providing audiences with a meaningful experience while creating a transcendent moment. One of the top blues guitarists in the world, Todd is the only contemporary twelve string player in his genre.
Todd began playing the blues while still a teenager, some twenty-five years ago. Initially, he was drawn to the sound of the finger-picked style and has since immersed himself in the foundational music and narratives of American culture. Over the years, Todd has shared the stage with artists such as Roy Book Binder, Charlie Parr, Paul Geremia, and Dakota Dave Hull.
Todd's first full-length LP, Fourth Floor Visitor, was released by Jett Plastic Recordings out of Detroit, Michigan (2017). His latest album, Detroit Twelve String: Blues & Rags, is out now on Third Man Records (2017).
Kate Voegele bio:
Hailing from a little suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Kate Voegele first picked up a guitar at age 15. Influenced by the rock and roll history of the city and her fathers songwriting, she began to pen her own songs from the minute she learned to play her first three chords. Voegele embraced this newfound passion, recording her first EP during her freshman year of high school, and soon after landed gigs alongside artists like Counting Crows and John Mayer. Those shows quickly led to attention from labels in New York and LA, and Kate spent the majority of her high school years diving headfirst into a career in music.
After high school, Voegele decided to attend Ohios Miami University, where she quickly found new inspiration, and simultaneously found herself uploading song after song to her MySpace page. Kate managed to get the attention of the social network's founder, Tom Anderson, and just a few weeks later, she became MySpace Records first signed artist. In spring of 2007 Voegele finished recording her first full-length record with Marshall Altman in LA and decided to swap her text books in for a tour bus and a year full of shows throughout the US.
Over the next couple of years Voegele toured the country playing hundreds of shows. While traveling through LA, Kate auditioned on a whim and would eventually land the role of Mia Catalano on the CW show, One Tree Hill. What was supposed to be a two-episode run became a four-season recurrence, and Kate found herself performing eleven of her original songs to millions of viewers over the course of the show. Record sales jumped dramatically after Voegeles first appearance on the show, and she was subsequently upstreamed to Interscope Records in January of 2008. At this point Kate toured internationally with artists like Natasha Bedingfield and Jordin Sparks. She split her time between the road and the television set, and released a second full-length, A Fine Mess, in spring of 2009.
After her first two records sold over 500,000 units, Voegele signed with ATO Records in 2011, releasing "Gravity Happens. She spent the next two years continuing to tour the US and Europe, writing new songs from airplane
window seats and ultimately embarking on a new chapter in her life.
In fall of 2013, Voegele moved her home base from LA to Nashville, getting back to her songwriter roots. Being in Music City has given Kate the opportunity to work with writers like Nathan Chapman and Liz Rose, and open up opportunities to work with the countrys best creative talents. In November
14 Voegele released the Wild Card EP, which debuted in the top 10 on the top pop albums chart on iTunes, and received an average of a 5-star review across all major online distribution outlets.
Kate released her fifth full-length record, Live In London, in the fall of 2015. Live In London was a released as a thank you to her fans, and included Kates cover of Hallelujah, as well as When The Stars Go Blue, sung as a duet with Tyler Hilton.
Kates latest album, Canyonlands, was released in the fall of 2016.
Tyler Hilton bio:
Tyler Hilton was singing and playing in coﬀee houses as a 15 year old, when a chance encounter with Los Angeles radio personalities Mark and Brian from KLOS led to multiple appearances on their radio show, live concert dates with the duo, and national exposure. He released his first album independently shortly thereafter, which led to major label interest and eventually signing to Maverick/ Warner Records where he released "The Tracks of Tyler Hilton" which garnered two singles on the Billboard Top 40 charts. While on tour promoting the album, Tyler was cast as his child hood hero Elvis Presley in "Walk the Line" where he worked with T-Bone Burnett on the soundtrack, and for which he received a gold record.
An opportunity to sing on TV's "One Tree Hill, a notorious breeding ground
for new musical talent, led to a series long run, several appearances on MTV's "TRL" with the cast, and a national tour with Gavin DeGraw and Michelle Branch who also sang on the show. Taylor Swift admitted to being a fan, and asked Tyler to star in her music video "Tear Drops on My Guitar" which became a huge crossover hit. The two appeared together live several times and later Tyler appeared via interactive video on her stadium tour. The independent comedy "Charlie Bartlett" followed with Robert Downey Jr. and Anton Yelchin and where Tyler met his wife, Megan Park, who was also in the
Tyler moved to Nashville where he began exploring his family's country roots and made several records with notable producers including Dan Huﬀ, Nathan
Chapman, Matt Serletic, and John Alagia. Sadly, non of these records saw the light of day, as staﬀ and roster upheaval plagued Warner Brother Records,
and eventually led to Tyler's departure from the label. One of these unreleased songs made their way to Joe Cocker, who recorded it on his final album. Tyler then started his own label, Hooptie Tune Records, and released "Forget the Storm" the following year. It became the first record of Tyler's to gain international success and led to several European tours and a new fervent fan base. His follow up, the mellow folky country album Indian Summer, was recorded live in studio with a bluegrass band including his uncle, Tommy Hilton, on guitar. While recording, Tyler landed a role in Halle Berry's "Extant" on CBS and continued to film the show over the course of its two season run, touring and filming the holiday movie Christmas on the Bayou with Randy Travis, Ed Asner, and One Tree Hill alum, Hilarie Burton, for which he also recorded the single One Foot in the Bayou.
Following the end of Extant, Tyler worked on a pilot for the ABC sitcom, "The Fluﬀy Shop" alongside Gabriel Iglesias. Tyler is currently based in Los
Angeles, where hes working on a new album.
56-58 South 12th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203 (In Pittsburgh’s Historic South Side)