Last Saturday, June 7, I went to Davis Square Theater in Somerville to see Boston’s own Will Dailey and Australia’s Mia Dyson in a show presented by the The Co-Op, “a central hub for musicians working together to create art … Continue reading →
St. Paul de Vence are, from left to right: Mike Sievers, Kale Lotton, Jonny Gundersen, Lydia Ramsey, Benjamin Doerr & Alex Malloy.
If you’re a musician and someone asks you to write their story, there’s probably a good chance that it’s going to come out in song. That’s precisely what happened when Seattle-based musician Benjamin Doerr set out to write the stories he collected from his grandfather who had come of age in France under the German occupation of World War II, then joined the Free French to fight for the liberation of his country. Though the stories may still find themselves into print in some form someday, Doerr found they initially came out as songs. Eventually those songs evolved into a band and a self-titled 11-song album, St. Paul de Vence, named after a town in Southwest France where Ben’s grandfather was stationed for a time.
Now if you’re yawning and thinking who cares about something that happened decades ago and ocean away, well… I’ll skip the cliche about those who don’t study history, even though it’s true, because the album isn’t a history lesson at all. It’s a collection of 11 catchy tunes with compelling lyrics that will appeal even if you can barely place France on a map, or didn’t know it was ever at war with Germany. It’s just even more fascinating with context. On July 16, I talked to Ben about the project from his home in Seattle about the project, the band, the album, what he’s working on now, and what’s next for St. Paul de Vence.
Hayes Carll fronts the Warren Hood Band at Johnny D’s in Cambridge, MA on June 11
Known for his clever lyrics and turn of a phrase, I didn’t know what to expect when I interviewed Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll. The man writes incredibly clever lyrics that can be awfully sharp-witted at times. And I had given him reason to be annoyed with me. I live in Boston, MA; he in Austin, TX and we set up a time on my lunch break from my real job for a phone interview. I called as scheduled, only in spite of working for nearly a decade for a national non-profit that had one of it’s primary offices just north of Austin, it slipped my mind the city is in the Central Time Zone, so I called an hour early. I sent a contrite text and nervously awaited a reply. Over the next couple hours and a business like exchange, we set up another interview the next day. I expected some sort of reprimand, a demand to keep the interview short, or at least a snide remark. I got none of that, only a gracious acceptance of my apology. It struck me that Hayes might be a nice guy. What a relief! I really needed this interview! Continue reading →