Four Singer-Songwriters and a minivan: The Parlor Sessions Tour

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Tomorrow night Eliot Bronson, Dean Fields, Jason Myles Goss and Andy Zipf will wrap up their 15-day, 15-city tour at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC. In five previous posts you can read about the tour and what was planned.  … Continue reading

The Parlor Sessions: Coming Soon to Your Town

1343Something that’s been getting a lot of play on my iPod lately is the free 12-song sampler for The Parlor Sessions Tour featuring Dean Fields, Andy Zipf, Jason Myles Goss and Eliot Bronson. It’s a 12-song sampler by four young singer-songwriters who are heading out on tour together June 5-15, making stops along the East Coast from New Hampshire to Georgia.  I knew Dean Fields, who’s been profiled in this site, and am a big fan, but Eliot, Jason, and Andy were new, delightful discoveries for me.  I’m a sucker for a good song and, one after another these tracks pulled me in.

You can hear the artists for yourself over the course of the next four days. Each day I’ll be posting a brief profile of one of the artists, along with a track or two and a brief Q&A, or you can download the sampler yourself at any time.  Of course I’ll be at the show here in Boston, so look for a report on that, too.

In today’s post, however, we’ll look at the tour itself. The Parlor Sessions is a great name for a tour by this kind of singer-songwriter, playing these kinds of venues.  It evokes Continue reading

Live Art: Tree of Life-The Most Heartwarming Show I’ve Seen This (or Any) Holiday Season Isn’t Actually a Christmas Show

LiveArt2013logo-webThe performance of The Live Art: Tree of Life at the Landmark Theater on December 22 had a few problems. Among other issues, a smoke machine set of a fire alarm, more than a few dancers missed their marks, and a pianist was slightly off tempo. Yet the show left me completely spellbound from beginning to end! The problems, with the possible exception of the fire alarm, only enhanced the charm of a truly magical evening that celebrated all forms of the arts, and the joy of participation in them, regardless of skill level or ability. Continue reading

Dean Fields Talks about “Any Minute Now,” Arriving Tuesday

Cover artwork by Brian Thibodeau

Cover artwork by Brian Thibodeau

Any Minute Now is a new EP from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Dean Fields due to arrive… wait for it…. As much as I’d love to type “any minute now” at this point, there is a release date and it’s just days away, Tuesday August 13. The EP follows his 2011 EP Under A Searchlight Moon, a clever and wildly romantic selection of tunes that Fields wrote himself. On this collection all but one of the tracks were co-written with other artists, yet they are tracks that he felt strongly invested, and that he felt spoke for him as an artist. It was a big change for an songwriter who had always worked alone. It may seem odd to follow up an EP with another EP, and in fact, he had planned a full length album.  But a confluence of life circumstances and aesthetic considerations led to the decision to release this collection of songs now, saving the others for a later release. The songs seemed to belong together, and they were ready for release.

I learned about all of this and more in an August 1, 2013 interview with Fields in the Stratton Student Center at MIT, in the midst of a series of concerts in Cambridge, Boston and environs. Now based in Nashville, he grew up in Mechanicsville, VA, just outside of my hometown of Richmond, VA. I’ve been listening to his music for a while, but had not seen him perform. We talked the morning of his show at that institution of the Cambridge music scene, Club Passim. Of course the main topic of conversation was the new record Any Minute Now. Continue reading

Tim Barry on Why He Doesn’t Want to Be a Rock Star, His Secret City, His First Song and More

At the Middle East, July 21st

Among the crowd at the Middle East, July 21st

When I asked Tim Barry how he would classify the style of music he plays, he told me, “I just say it’s Rock & Roll with an acoustic guitar.” I’ll buy that.  I know that his solo set during the show at the Middle East Downstairs on Sunday, July 21st   reminded me of what rock and roll is really about as much or more than did any of the sets by artists with full bands and electric instruments.  He had the nervous energy and desire to please that an aspiring artist might bring to an important audition, yet he was confident and a consummate performer.  He established a rapport with the audience that made it seem like he leading a sing along with a bunch of friends at a pub. This was especially true when he took the microphone stand from the stage and put in on the floor in front so he could sing in the midst of the crowd. This was a guy who was working his ass off to put on a great show, but having a great time at it. He told stories and philosophized, but mostly he played his heart out, and the crowd ate it up.

As he recounted in the post Musicians Egos and…, he had been largely responsible for bringing the show together, and several acts expressed their appreciation to “nice guy” Tim, either from the stage of when I talked to them later.  It was a Sunday night show that certainly didn’t feel like it was happening on a Sunday night! I’ll have more to say about the other acts in later posts, but for now let me tell you about Tim Barry, and incredibly exciting artist I had the good fortune to interview on June 17 by phone from his home in Richmond, four days before the show in Cambridge.

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