NOW you can pre-party in the Strand-Capitol lobby! See below for Pre-Show Party details!
An XPN Welcomes Event
The Lone Bellow
Special Guest: Aoife O’Donovan
The Lone Bellow
Zach Williams, the Lone Bellow’s lead singer and principal songwriter, can pinpoint just about exactly when the Brooklyn-based group serendipitously willed itself into being. It was around 9 a.m. one morning in 2010, at Dizzy’s Diner in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the Lone Bellow’s guitarist and Williams’ old friend Brian Elmquist was working a shift. Williams, up to then performing as a solo artist, needed a place to try out some new songs; for a scuffling artist, the diner was as good as any rehearsal space. He asked fellow singer Kanene Pipkin, just returned to New York City from living in Beijing, to meet them at the diner and the trio did more than merely jam. With the beginnings of a repertoire and an already strong communal spirit, that fateful morning they became the Lone Bellow. As Williams recalls, “Three songs in I realized I should quit what I’m doing and just make music with these people.”
And that’s what he did. The trio’s self-titled debut disc is exuberant in its playing, welcoming in its attitude. Though the lyrics have a melancholic undercurrent, the tracks are more often rave-ups than ruminations, with swelling three-part harmonies and rousing group-sung choruses, especially on the electric guitar-driven “The One You Should’ve Let Go” and “Green Eyes and A Heart of Gold,” a we-will-survive anthem that could be about a family or a band. Indeed, there is a strong familial feel to the Lone Bellow, a recurring theme of inclusiveness.
Along with the core group of Williams, Pipkin, and fellow Georgian Elmquist, the Lone Bellow’s recording and touring ensemble now includes Ben Mars on bass, Brian Murphy on keyboards, Matt Knapp on lap steel and electric guitar, Jason Pipkin on banjo and mandolin, and Brian Griffin on drums.
Willams met with Civil Wars producer Charlie Peacock when the Lone Bellow played the Bowery Ballroom and took him to the Rockwood, the modest but well-regarded two-room venue that Williams had long considered his musical home: ”When Charlie came up, I said, let’s walk around the block. I want to show you the venue. The owner, Ken Rockwood, was there and they just hit it off. Charlie was walking around, snapping his fingers close to walls, looking at the glass windows in front of the large room, and he said, ‘You should make your record here.’ Ken gave us the room for three days and three nights. We lived there. Our eight-piece band recorded twelve songs there and Charlie magically made them something worth listening to. I will never forget that experience.”
Afterwards, Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Elmquist joined Peacock down in Nashville for overdubs and fixes with some additional players at his studio, the Art House – an abandoned old church he had retrofitted on a small piece of land – and that location proved to be as well-suited to the band’s sensibility as the Rockwood. The results of their efforts, the Lone Bellow’s debut, are earnest, inspiring and fun. Everyone listening – and undoubtedly singing and stomping along – will surely feel like part of the family too.
Special Guest: Aoife O’Donovan
The thing about fossils is that they take a very long time in the making, and it’s not an entirely intentional process. The making of Aoife (pronounced “ee-fuh”) O’Donovan’s debut album Fossils has hardly been a glacial affair, but it has spent rather more than a decade forming about in her creative subconscious. It was time well spent, for she’s crafted a beautiful, timeless record, the natural evolution of an accomplished singer and songwriter.
The album’s roots stretch back to Aoife’s time at the New England Conservatory, where she dreamed of one day recording an album with celebrated producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Tift Merritt). Upon graduation, Aoife hit the road as the lead singer and principal songwriter/song-finder of Crooked Still, which grew into one of the world’s most acclaimed progressive string groups over the ensuing decade. The stunning versatility and appeal of her voice brought her to the attention of some of the most eminent names in music and led to collaborations across a wide variety of genres with everyone from Alison Krauss to Dave Douglas, along with a role as vocalist on the Grammy-winning Goat Rodeo Sessions alongside Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan.
However, O’Donovan never forgot the call of that solo record and last year she headed to Portland, OR, to fulfill her dream and record with Martine. Rich in songs and unexpected textures, the resulting album bears the remarkable fruits of their creative partnership. Both joyously open and profoundly private, the album is at all times an opportunity to enjoy O’Donovan’s thoroughly modern and deeply rooted vocals. The album opens with “Lay My Burden Down,” perhaps O’Donovan’s best-known song simply because Alison Krauss recorded it on Paper Airplane. O’Donovan acknowledges the risk in this choice, and the reward. “One of my uncles loves to say that nobody owns songs, and I think that’s true. My version is so different from hers, and it really sets a nice tone for the record,” she says.
Most of O’Donovan’s songs are character-driven, and many of them resemble portions of the folk traditions in which she was raised. The second track, “Briar Rose,” for example, is based on an Anne Sexton poem, a recontextualized fairytale. Though she will concede that a couple tracks are somewhat more personal. She is quite properly proud of Fossils.
“This solo album seems like it was a long time coming to me,” she says, the sounds of an airport in the background. “I’ve been thinking about it since I was 18 years old.” Time well-spent. Fossils, after all, are among nature’s most durable, lasting creations.
NOW you can pre-party in the Strand-Capitol Lobby!
WHEN: Thursday, April 3
WHERE: Strand-Capitol Lobby
WHAT: THE CAPLIVE EXPERIENCE JUST GOT BETTER!
Join us BEFORE the show to get the party started!
- Food Trucks
- Ping Pong
- Cash Bar
- Plus, a lobby full of CapLive music fans … now, that’s a good time!
There is NO additional cost to come early for the Pre-Show Party.
Taco Camino serves the best tacos in town! If you haven’t tried Taco Camino tacos, then you haven’t had real tacos … ever.
Baron Von Schwein, AKA Master of Pigs, is all about the pork! Straight off the food truck, you’ll enjoy pulled pork sandwiches, sweet or spicy pork buns, mac and cheese (Grandma’s recipe, seriously), pork bowls, baked corn and signature sodas!
Mark DeRose & The Dreadnought Brigade is a rootsy, soulful, rock ‘n roll band from Lancaster, Pa. featuring Mark DeRose (vocals, guitar and mandolin); Jason Mundok (guitar and vocals); and Aaron Gagne (drums and vocals). The band brings high-energy performances of DeRose’s upbeat, feel good music to stages across the tri-state region, but they’re happy to leave the amps at home and bring the same positive energy to acoustic settings. For fans of Van Morrison, Counting Crows and The Band.
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