Saturday, October 17, 2009
a tender alto voice that sways gently back and forth
Jenee Halstead arrives with an alto voice that sways gently back and forth between the realms of frailty and strength part Emmylou Harris, part June Carter, part Patty Griffin. Halstead grew up in the Inland Empire mining country of the West, a singing tomboy with a restless heart. Escaping a collapsed love affair, she left the high desert quiet for the fertile folk environs of Cambridge, Mass., quickly taking root at Harvard Square’s Legendary Club Passim. Backed by her nuanced, small-bodied guitar, Halstead draws from the haunting melodies of the Depression Era, patiently distilling folk, bluegrass, and electro to create music that Matt Smith, Club Passim’s longtime manager, describes as “fresh and new, yet familiar and timeless".
With her CD The River Grace, Jenee Halstead puts forth a collection of songs effortlessly suited to her voice, mixing dobro, mandolin, and upright bass with vintage Casio keyboards and subtle electronic beats. From the joyous declarations of Before I Go to the tragic balladry of Darkest Day, The sound is rooted in the past yet beckons the progression of Americana. Recorded in a small cottage studio, and produced by Evan Brubaker, Halstead is joined by keyboard wizard Steve Moore, dobroist Mike Grigoni, mandolinist Zak Borden), and bassist Matthew Weiner. The CD also features background vocals by a host of her most esteemed peers including Rose Polenzani, Holly O’Reilly, and Monique Lanier.
Praises by others for her performances:
ON THE SAME PROGRAM WITH
Tales To Tell
"... His sweet voice and gentle finger style on the guitar enthralls the most jaded listener. The warm and intimate melodies that he crafts beautifully frame the direct and honest stories that he tells..."
James O'Malley was born early on with a bundle of great songs waiting to be born, as well, in his heart. He grew up in Brooklyn and continues to grow up in an old Victorian with his wife and life long companion, Patricia. He performs solo or, occasionally, with a small ensemble, lives in the NY area and attracts fans from all around the world. He is a gifted songwriter and wonderful performer.
Tales to Tell is the latest CD by New York singer/songwriter James O’Malley. This, his third release, is a collection of twelve songs in the lyrical acoustic style that has made James a favorite of the Northeast folk music community. James accompanies himself on acoustic guitar on all of the selections and is complemented by a small ensemble of musicians who add a sensitive embellishment to James’ story songs and captivating lyrics.
This seasoned performer has appeared with Ollabelle, The Kennedys, Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky, Tracy Grammer, Carolyn Cruso, Tom Pacheco, Caroline Herring, Buddy Mondlock, Janis Ian, Louise Taylor, Chuck Pyle, Cheryl Wheeler, Lynn Miles, Jack Williams, along with many other talented artists. James was selected as one of John Platt's picks for "New Voices" and was recently the featured guest artist at the ISS Songwriter's Showcase.
Through the years James has performed at such notable venues as The Brokerage, The Red Cedar Soundstage, Café Siné, Berkner Hall, Gerde's Folk City, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York City's Town Hall, The Summer Festival at Heckscher Park, radio stations WUSB and WBLI, The Hard Luck Cafe, Mountain Finch House Concerts, and on the college coffeehouse circuit, from New York to Tennessee, from Michigan to South Carolina.
James honed his songwriting and performing skills as a member of the acoustic group "The Braid", in addition to recording for ABC/Dunhill. After having several songs published and covered by various artists, he now has three full-length solo CDs available.
This evening was a big treat and gave all a great beginning to the Fall season !!!
Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:
Our host tonight was Dave Waxman,
and our open mike featured performances by: If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...
Our host tonight was Dave Waxman,
and our open mike featured performances by:
If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...