Sat Nov 9 2019
9:00 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)
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Soul'd Out Proudly Presents
ROOTS RISING! featuring Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno & Liz Vice
With over 2 million views on YouTube, independent sales over 30,000 albums, a 2013 European Blues Award, and winning Best Solo Performer at the Memphis Blues Challenge, it appears that the entire world is now discovering Matt Andersen. A powerhouse performer with a giant soul-filled voice and commanding stage presence, Matt has built a formidable following the old fashioned way – touring worldwide and letting the converted audiences and Andersen devotees spread his reputation through word of mouth. Now with Weightless, his debut album for True North Records, Matt’s music has been captured on record as never before.
With Weightless, the New Brunswick native shifts his formidable talents as a blues performer to his song-craft. His reputation as a bluesman won him the 2013 Euro Blues Award for Best Solo /Acoustic Act, three Maple Blues Awards in 2012, and nabbed him 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. “The blues is a big part of what I do, and in my solo show some tunes are straight-up blues, for sure,” he says. “But I would never stand beside B.B. King and say, ‘I play blues, too.’ None of my albums are blues albums—I’ve won blues awards with them, but I wouldn’t say they’re blues albums.”
That’s more than evident on Weightless, where Andersen comes out of the gate swinging with I Lost My Way, one of two co-writes with Joel Plaskett, where he is singing a soul/gospel melody over a reggae groove. Then he channels Van Morrison on My Last Day, before delivering a gorgeous country ballad co-written with David Myles, So Easy. With Dave Gunning, Andersen tells the all-too- common tale of Maritimers heading west to work on the oil sands, in Alberta Gold. Hamilton’s Tom Wilson helps craft a rockabilly ode to a battered rust-belt town, City of Dreams, while Andersen’s Wolfville, N.S. neighbour Ryan Hupman lends a hand on three songs, including the title track, Between the Lines and the spiritual What Will You Leave.
“Writing with Joel Plaskett, he’s always thinking about the hook and has a real melodic quality. I like having different angles on there. Dave Gunning is a really great storyteller, so the songs I wrote with him have more of a storytelling kind of vibe. A lot of the tunes I wrote with Keith Mullins were more a different groove than I’m used to; he’s a drummer who played with me a lot, so he brought a different sense of rhythm and phrasing. Writing with Tom Wilson was trying to play catch-up, because he just keeps writing and writing.”
“They’re all people I’d hang around with outside of music, so it’s more friends just doing what friends do,” says Andersen, who adds that he didn’t feel any pressure on his first album with fully label supported international release. “It was nice and relaxed, a great way to write. If I write a whole album by myself it sounds like me too much, where every song sounds the same, and I’m always leery of that.
“It keeps it fresh for me; every tune has its own personality, which I really like. I realize I write better when I write with someone, it keeps you from settling for a lyric. I go that extra mile. Going back and forth with these people, we get the best out of the idea we could.”
Something you won’t hear on Weightless, extended guitar solos: Andersen will let you wait for his live show for that. “It’s fun to do, but on albums I want to focus on the songs more. I don’t want it to turn into something where every tune is a big wank. There’s just enough on the album that you can hear there’s some great playing, but it’s not a big instrumental feature. I don’t put myself out there as a guitarist; I think I’m more known for singing, and then guitar playing after that.”
Andersen’s extensive discography boasts seven albums, including one Christmas album, one live album, and two albums with harmonica player Mike Stevens. His most recent album, 2011’s Coal Mining Blues, was produced by Colin Linden and was recorded at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, N.Y. This time out he turned to Steve Berlin of Los Lobos for production duties; not only was Andersen a fan of that band, but he was surprised to find out that Berlin produced his favourite Tragically Hip album, Phantom Power. Berlin brought Calgary guitarist Paul Rigby on board, who is best known as Neko Case’s right- hand man. Anyone who’s ever been wowed by Andersen’s guitar chops might wonder why he’d need another guitarist, but he says, “Paul is the kind of guitar player I’m not. He had great melody ideas for arrangements and guitar parts; I had to learn my songs again after Paul was done with them.”
One thing Andersen won’t be doing in the near future is learning other people’s songs to flesh out his set. (Andersen plays at least 200 shows a year). That’s despite the fact that a performance of him transforming Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” has over 855,000 views on YouTube. “When I first started playing, I did a lot of bar gigs, just like anyone,” he says. “Then when I transitioned into my own stuff, I didn’t have a whole lot of original material. And in terms of confidence, when you know what you can get out of a crowd by playing ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ it’s pretty easy to go with that to get their attention. I did that for a while; in retrospect, probably a bit too long. Now that ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ clip is most people’s introduction to me, what they’re drawn to—which is natural. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve shaken off the easy route and focused more on my own stuff at shows.”
After hearing the instant classic material on Weightless, it’s hard to imagine any fan of Matt Andersen—old or new—leaving unsatisfied.
Since emigrating to Los Angeles at age 19 from Guatemala, Gaby Moreno has released five albums, an Emmy nomination, and her Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Among his many achievements, his musical career has allowed him to be on tour with several talented songwriters and musicians such as Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Punch Brothers, Hugh Laurie and Calexico, to name a few. He has also shared international stages with pop greats such as Bono, Andrea Boccelli and Van Dyke Parks.
In 2006, she won the main prize in the "John Lennon Songwriting Contest", where she was the first contestant in the Latin category to win "Song of the Year." Today, Moreno is part of the jury of this same contest. This opportunity opened many doors for him. In 2008 Moreno released his first album, "Still the Unknown", which he produced independently. From that moment, Moreno's career began to advance rapidly.
Moreno was one of the authors of the theme song of the television series "Parks and Recreation," which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010. That same year she recorded the classic song "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin for the Oscar-winning documentary , "The Cove." He also performed "Toast to Freedom," a song commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International, first with Kris Kristofferson on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and then in Dublin where he shared the stage with Angelique Kidjo and Bonus (U2).
Moreno released his second album "Illustrated Songs" in 2011. His third album, "Postales" (2012) was his first album entirely in Spanish with the record company Metamorfosis, founded by his compatriot Ricardo Arjona, one of the most outstanding singer-songwriters of Latin America That same year Moreno and Arjona premiered the duet "Fuiste Tu", a song that was nominated for "Song of the Year" and "Disco of the Year" in the Latin Grammys. In 2013, when Gaby was awarded the Latin Grammy Award in the category "Best New Artist", the "newcomer" had already enjoyed an artistic career for almost half of her life.
During the recording of his latest album, "Illusion"(released on September 9), Moreno decided it was time to return to his beginnings. Musically, the new album captures the pure essence of an ambitious immigrant artist who managed to reach a new country, with only her guitar, her talent and a bag of songs that she was eager to share.
"I wanted the album to sound as authentic as the band sounds live," says Moreno, referring to his collaborators for many years. "I wanted a more human sound."
Embrace imperfections Maybe at some point in the song I was feeling something that made my voice break. That was a pure emotion and I wanted to preserve precisely those details. "
And he achieve it. His album is a collection of 13 new songs that reflect an organic mix of all his influences, from blues to boleros. The natural sound of the disc reflects the analogical philosophy of its producer Gabe Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records in Brooklyn, the independent record label that says to specialize in what it calls "New Sound of Old Soul" (The New Sound of Music Soul ). It is a motto that fits the singer like a finger ring.
"I do not want to sound like an old record, but there's something in those records that I love before," says Moreno. "That's the reason why I wanted to enter the studio with Gabe Roth. For its minimalist approach. He does not use computers, he just lets himself be guided by his ears. We did everything to tape, using beautiful old microphones, and with my band playing together in the same space. We did not have the luxury of making 20 shots of each song and editing them. We recorded three takes, and we chose the best of the three. It was a bit unnerving, but the result was just the sound I was looking for ... honest and real. "
The album includes two versions of the first single, "Se Apagó / Love Is Gone," one in English and the other in Spanish. The song talks about a love relationship coming to an end. Gaby invited the R & B singer and Soul of Nashville, Jonny P, to join their voices in the English version.
Another song on the album, "Borders," reveals a theme of hope in the dark. In a time of persecution towards immigrants, the song extends the hand of the brotherhood to all those who leave everything behind to follow their dreams. The bilingual proverb captures the essence of "Illusion" and the maturity and confidence of its composer at the moment she created it: "And I laugh and dance. It is in my veins. And free sleep. I belong here. "
Liz Vice is a musician best known for her Gospel, soul, and R&B-infused album entitled, “There’s A Light”. Raised in Portland, Oregon and a recent resident of Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Vice has performed and/ or shared the stage with artist such as Cody Chesnutt, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The Temptations, Lecrae, Eric Early of (Blitzen Trapper), Josh Garrels, The Wood Brothers, Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Luz Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Eshon Burgundy (Humble Beast), and more.
With over one million Spotify listens of title track, “There’s A Light” from her first record “There’s a Light”, Liz Vice has performed with and/or shared the stage with artist such as Joss Stone, Blind Boys of Alabama, Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Rodriguez, Lake Street Dive, Lecrae, Cody Chesnutt, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Eric Early of (Blitzen Trapper), John Mark McMillan,Sandra McCracken, Josh Garrels, Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Luz Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Eshon Burgundy (Humble Beast), and more. She has also gained recognition as a performing artist being named one to keep an ear out for in such publications such as OPB’s One Song, World Cafe, eTown, NPR’s Live Wire, Relevant Magazine, and many podcast interviews. Vice has also been a featured artist in Portland for such events as Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, Moon River, Forecastle, Portland Soundcheck, Soul’d Out Music Festival, Siren Nation Music Festival, Music on Main Street and more.
No matter how large the venue, her genuine approach to her artistry and playful interaction with the audience makes everyone feel like they're sitting at home on the couch watching a friend sing their heart out.
Having overcome many personal obstacles, she credits her adventurous life to not forcing anything. “It’s all about risk, and taking risk is never regretful…well, most of the time.”
ROOTS RISING! featuring Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno & Liz Vice
Sat Nov 9 2019 9:00 PM
(Doors 8:00 PM)