SGHR/JBM present Leslie Mendelson with Alice Peacock

Thu Mar 14 2024

7:30 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Southgate House Revival - Revival Room

111 E Sixth Street Newport, KY 41071

$12 adv/$15 dos

Ages 18+

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Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Leslie Mendelson is supporting her most recent studio album ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ as well as a solo acoustic EP ‘In The Meantime,’ that was recorded during quarantine earlier this Spring. Described by Relix Magazine as an artist with “a loyal, cross-generational audience that hugs the hippie, hipster, coffee shop and society crowds,” Leslie’s timeless musicality and evocative songwriting indeed cuts a wide swath. All Music writes that Leslie evokes “1970s songwriter influences in the vein of Carole King and Carly Simon,” while The Aquarian declares she is “the closest thing one can get to a truly honest musical experience.” 

Leslie Mendelson’s previous work, including 2009 Grammy-nominated debut album ‘Swan Feathers’ and 2017 album, ‘Love & Murder’ dealt with matters of the heart. When it came time to compose the songs that comprise ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ however, she and her longtime writing partner Steve McEwan set out to examine the anxiety stemming from the current socio-political climate with songs like "Medication," "I Need Something To Care About" and "Would You Give Up Your Gun.” It’s fitting extension of a more socially conscious outlook offered on “A Human Touch”—Leslie’s duet with Jackson Browne for the documentary film, ‘5B,’ released in 2019. 

If Leslie Mendelson’s only collaboration with a legendary musician was Jackson Browne, it would be a worthy point to celebrate. What’s truly telling is that Leslie has also drawn the attention of The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir who recorded a duet with her on Roy Orbison's standard, “Blue Bayou,” while no less than classic rock royalty The Who invited her to open two shows at Madison Square Garden last year. She was set to open three more dates for the band in 2020 that were unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic. With some of rock music’s most legitimate voices seeking Leslie out, it leaves no doubt the rarefied air she inhabits as an artist.

 

SGHR/JBM present Leslie Mendelson with Alice Peacock

  • Leslie Mendelson

    Leslie Mendelson

    Singer-Songwriter

  • Alice Peacock

    Alice Peacock

    Americana

    Much has changed for singer-songwriter Alice Peacock since her last solo studio album, 2009’s Love Remains. She’s had three kids, moved to Cincinnati and … gotten 10 years older. “Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders/ Am I wiser or am I just older?” she sings on “Dry Spell,” from her new collection, Minnesota. The record suggests that despite her “wondering what all is yet to be,” she has indeed attained a measure of wisdom.

    She uses the word “midlife” but does not follow it by “crisis.” She views her current outlook more as an awareness of life’s fragility and an appreciation of its sweetness. “Being a parent, I don’t know that I could love any more than I do right now,” she says, “so I’ve also never been more vulnerable. I have everything to lose.”

    Further evidence of this contemplative spirit can be heard on album closer “God Be Near Me,” about which Peacock says, “I wrote a hymn out of nowhere! I was sitting at the piano one day going, ‘Am I completely screwing this all up?’ And I found myself thinking, ‘Help me to stay focused on love.’” The lyrics ask, “Help me to surrender/ And love the world the way you do/ Now and ever after/ And live in love the way you do.”

    On Minnesota, Peacock explores an understanding of love, in particular, that transcends hearts and flowers, Sturm und Drang. “Resting in the Quiet” acknowledges “a glimpse of the divine” in unspoken eloquence: “We don’t have to talk about it/ We don’t have to say a word/ We can wrap ourselves in silence/ Cause I’ve already heard/ Everything your eyes are saying.”

    A departure from romantic love, “Free and Wild” is a lullaby sung from the point of view of someone “with a love so fierce” it hurts. Peacock likens parenthood to “going through life with your heart outside your body.”

    The album’s title track is a love song to her home state, where her family spends their summers. “I’ve lived in Illinois and Tennessee and now Ohio and I love them all, but there’s something about home … As soon as I get back to Minnesota and hear the birds and smell the air, I feel, ‘This is mine; this is me.’” In the song she recalls sitting in “sacred silence,” watching “the electric light show playing wide across the sky.”

    The song “Minnesota” was written in 2018, but some of the album Minnesota was written in 2015, the year Peacock took the third annual Real Women Real Songs challenge – which meant writing 52 songs in 52 weeks. Among them were “Resting in the Quiet,” “Free and Wild,” “In Your Own Backyard” and “Paranoid.” Their appearance on the new record reflects the songwriter’s love of – and commitment to – songwriting itself.

    She says of that period in her life: “I was momming full time. The twins were about three, my first-born had just started school, and it was busy. Before they came along, inspiration would strike and I’d go with it. I used to write in the middle of the night. But now … I need my sleep! I can’t pursue the muse whenever she decides to arrive. I have to just show up and say, ‘OK, here I am. Time to write!’ It’s less romantic but still satisfying.”

    The writing of Minnesota thus progressed at its own pace, but recording an album was another matter. She was able to collaborate on “Dry Spell” with Wayne Kirkpatrick (author of Eric Clapton’s Grammy Song of the Year “Change the World”), on “Isn’t That Me and You” with Minnesotan Jon Vezner (cowriter of Kathy Mattea’s Grammy Best Country Song “Where’ve You Been”), and on “Your Own Backyard” with Dirk Freymuth (Kottonmouth Kings, John Gorka, Peter Ostroushko). Getting in a room with musicians and a producer, however, was a heavier lift. The timing had to work.

    She credits Grammy Award-winning producer/keyboardist Phil Madeira, guitarist Will Kimbrough, bassist Chris Donahue and drummer Bryan Owings – aka Emmylou Harris’ Red Dirt Boys – for helping the stars align: “I got a call. They said, ‘Hey, we’re in town if you want to do some recording.’ And I said, ‘Why, yes, I do.’”

    The town was Nashville, where Peacock and the Boys cut the basic tracks for Minnesota in four days. “They’ve played together so much,” she says, “that they have this easy musical conversation, so the process was effortless. We didn’t do more than two takes. I didn’t even overdub any lead vocals, which was a little terrifying. Sometimes I’d listen to my vocal and say, ‘I might have been able to sing that a little better,’ and Phil would say, ‘No, actually, that was a pretty great performance.’ Or one of the guys would say of his own part, ‘That take didn’t make me mad.’ We just went for it.”

    Peacock, Kirkpatrick and James Hollihan (Bill Gaither, Mighty Clouds of Joy) played acoustic guitar on the record, though John Mark Painter (Brandi Carlile, Kings of Leon, Ben Folds) played the lion’s share of acoustic and also played horns, notably on “Paranoid,” which finds Peacock in a New Orleans musical setting, ever the storyteller, channeling Tom Waits on one of the album’s not-so-autobiographical outings.

    Minnesota was recorded at the Butcher Shoppe with engineer Sean Sullivan (Beck, Sturgill Simpson). Derri Daugherty, lead singer and guitarist for the Choir, mixed the disc and sang harmonies with Peacock on several songs, including the title cut, which she calls “an almost-duet.”

    Peacock had not been in the studio since recording 2011’s Myrick Peacock, her duo project with fellow “preacher’s kid” Danny Myrick. (2014’s Live From Space was recorded live at Space, the intimate Evanston, Ill., venue Peacock played regularly in her Chicago days.)

    But now that she’s done having babies, she intends to return to the studio at regular intervals, having already started writing songs for a follow-up to Minnesota. “When all the focus was on me, on my music, I’d think, ‘I’m looking forward to putting the focus on something else; I’m really tired of thinking about myself.’ These days, as much as it possibly can be, the focus is back on my work.”

    During her tenure as full-time mom, Peacock did manage to “keep a toe in the water” with one-off shows. “Not just for me, not just for my fans,” she says. “It’s good for the kids to see me connecting with audiences, to see the passion I have for music.” With the release of Minnesota, she plans to jump back in with both feet, hitting cities on tour she hasn’t visited in years.

    She acknowledges how lucky she is to have a co-parent holding down the home front, her husband of 21 years. “We’re staying together for the math homework,” she insists. “It takes both of us to figure it out.” Like many couples with young children, she admits they don’t have much time alone together. They fall into bed exhausted. But she also relates: “We ran into each other recently. He was driving his car; I was driving mine. He pulls around and rolls down the window, and he somehow caught me off-guard. I just looked at him smiling at me and thought, ‘Did I really win this prize?’”

    That recognition recalls a line from “Your Own Backyard”: “Before your life goes slipping by you/ Open up your eyes.”

    “Things feel very sacred to me at this time in my life,” Peacock confides. “You reach an age where you begin to lose people. The beautiful moments we have, like being out in nature up in Minnesota – ‘the moon waxing over the water, the loon calling to her lover’ – I keep telling myself, ‘Take it in because this is it.’”

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limit 10 per person
Revival Room

$12.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

SGHR/JBM present Leslie Mendelson with Alice Peacock

Thu Mar 14 2024 7:30 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Southgate House Revival - Revival Room Newport KY
SGHR/JBM present Leslie Mendelson with Alice Peacock

$12 adv/$15 dos Ages 18+

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Leslie Mendelson is supporting her most recent studio album ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ as well as a solo acoustic EP ‘In The Meantime,’ that was recorded during quarantine earlier this Spring. Described by Relix Magazine as an artist with “a loyal, cross-generational audience that hugs the hippie, hipster, coffee shop and society crowds,” Leslie’s timeless musicality and evocative songwriting indeed cuts a wide swath. All Music writes that Leslie evokes “1970s songwriter influences in the vein of Carole King and Carly Simon,” while The Aquarian declares she is “the closest thing one can get to a truly honest musical experience.” 

Leslie Mendelson’s previous work, including 2009 Grammy-nominated debut album ‘Swan Feathers’ and 2017 album, ‘Love & Murder’ dealt with matters of the heart. When it came time to compose the songs that comprise ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…,’ however, she and her longtime writing partner Steve McEwan set out to examine the anxiety stemming from the current socio-political climate with songs like "Medication," "I Need Something To Care About" and "Would You Give Up Your Gun.” It’s fitting extension of a more socially conscious outlook offered on “A Human Touch”—Leslie’s duet with Jackson Browne for the documentary film, ‘5B,’ released in 2019. 

If Leslie Mendelson’s only collaboration with a legendary musician was Jackson Browne, it would be a worthy point to celebrate. What’s truly telling is that Leslie has also drawn the attention of The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir who recorded a duet with her on Roy Orbison's standard, “Blue Bayou,” while no less than classic rock royalty The Who invited her to open two shows at Madison Square Garden last year. She was set to open three more dates for the band in 2020 that were unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic. With some of rock music’s most legitimate voices seeking Leslie out, it leaves no doubt the rarefied air she inhabits as an artist.

 

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 18+
limit 10 per person
Revival Room info
$12.00

Delivery Method

Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.