The Bowery Presents
Gentlemen of the Road and Bowery Presents present: Mumford & Sons

Gentlemen of the Road and Bowery Presents present: Mumford & Sons

Dawes, Aaron Embry

Wed, August 1, 2012

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

Pier A (Hoboken, NJ)

Hoboken, NJ

$55

Sold Out

This event is all ages


WFUV Presents

NO PUBLIC PARKING WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVENT.
Click here for transportation options to and from Hoboken


Prohibited Items:
Weapons of any kind
Illegal Substances
Framed or Large Backpacks
Outside Food & Beverage, including Alcohol
Glass containers of ANY kind
Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters or personal motorized vehicles
Fireworks and Explosives
Laser Pointers
Instruments
Blankets
Chairs or Lawn Furniture of any kind
Beach/Golf Umbrellas
Coolers or Picnic Baskets
Pets (except service dogs)
Video equipment - no video recording will be allowed
Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs)
Audio recording equipment
No illegal vending is permitted - no unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed

Rain or Shine

Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons
Since they formed in December 2007, the members of Mumford & Sons have shared a common purpose: to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously. Four young men from West London in their early twenties, they have fire in their bellies, romance in their hearts, and rapture in their masterful, melancholy voices. They are staunch friends - Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane - who bring their music to us with the passion and pride of an old-fashioned, much-cherished, family business. They create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men.

The four friends were playing various instruments in various bands in London throughout the summer of 2007. They were united to perform impromptu renditions of Marcus' earliest attempts at song-writing in front of crowds of friends in sweaty underground folk nights in the capital. They bonded over their love of country, bluegrass and folk, and decided to make music that sounded loud, proud and live - taking music that could often be pretty and delicate, and fill it with enthusiasm, courage and confidence. "It was a very exciting time, and though we loved it and were in awe of the music going on around us, we didn't consider ourselves contenders in the pretty daunting London music scene. There was never any idea of competition, just pure enjoyment", says Marcus. They loved live music so much that they would practise their sets on pavements outside the venues, and also act as backing musicians for the peers with whom they played.

This sense of playing music for the love of it has continued as the main theme through the band's short history. They booked their first rehearsals in the late autumn of 2007: "As soon as we sat down together, just the four of us, we knew we had become a band cos what came out was unique to us four as individuals," says Ben. Out of this session came their first band songs: Awake My Soul and White Blank Page, highlights on their debut album.

As soon as they had their first rough cluster of songs, they hit the road. Straightaway, they won the hearts of their audiences with their harmonies, the way they engaged with their instruments, their bandmates and their crowds - and chased the friendly live reception they got all over the country.

Word spread quickly. The band toured extensively throughout 2008; from a barge-tour of the Thames with eight other acts, through to an island-hopping tour of the Scottish highlands, and a triumphant set at Glastonbury in June, they sold out London's Luminaire in July, only half a year after they got together. Their first American tour followed in support of Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit. A trilogy of beautiful 10" EPs all on Chess Club Records also followed, recorded simply at home. Their eponymous EP debuted the same month as their Luminaire show; Love Your Ground followed in December; while The Cave And The Open Sea arrived in May.

With each release, the music of Mumford & Sons got brighter, bolder and brawnier, with an increasing focus on their empassioned and intimate lyrics. "What we write about is real, and we sing and play our instruments more passionately cos we feel like we need to. We love honest music," says Winston.

Their success continued to build, too, with two glorious benchmarks being their place on the BBC Sound Of 2009 Poll shortlist, and their London ICA show selling out in 24 hours.

Then came the time to record their debut album - and then came the extraordinary producer who wanted to work with them. Markus Dravs recorded Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, Björk's Homogenic and The Maccabees' Wall of Arms, and he saw similar crossover potential in the Sons. He took them to the legendary Eastcote Studios where Arctic Monkeys, Brian Eno, Tindersticks and Laura Marling have honed their music on its vintage equipment; made the band buy good instruments; set them a daily routine; and encouraged them to try and work even more instinctively, to strengthen their already-powerful musical personality. "He wanted us just to sound like us", explains Ben. "He talked about us working on our music's most jubilant and melancholic moments, and make them even more evocative. And over those four weeks, everything came together."

The album begins with the extraordinary title track, Sigh No More, a statement of intent that references the romantic language of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, as they sing: "Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you / It will set you free / Be more like the man you were made to be." Amongst darkly reflective tracks such as Thistle & Weeds and ballads like White Blank Page, Winter Winds and Roll Away Your Stone, by contrast, show the band's sprightlier side, the rollicking banjo of the former conjuring up stormy weather that "litters London with lonely hearts"; the latter a fabulous hoedown about a man unsuccessfully filling the hole in his soul.

As the album moves on, this fervour never dies. Little Lion Man - a track that Zane Lowe named the "Hottest Record In The World Today" on a recent Radio 1 show - is a rampage about regret and unresolved heartbreak: "Tremble, little lion man / You'll never settle any of your scores / Your grace is wasted in your face / Your boldness stands alone among the wreck". And finally, after a wild lashing out in the murderous fable of Dust Bowl Dance, After The Storm arrives, the only track Mumford and Sons wrote in the studio, away from the live stage they knew so well. It stands an incredibly moving final track to an incredibly moving album - the story of a man scared of what's behind and what's before, and creates a considered conclusion to the band's epic debut album.

Mumford & Sons' live reputation goes before them, and now their incredible debut reveals the extent of their magic and majesty on record. Feel the fire in your belly and the romance in your heart as you listen, let your voice break into rapture - and you too sigh no more.

Mumford & Sons are: Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane.
Dawes
Dawes
While the city of Los Angeles has been both an inspiration and a home to the four members of Dawes, they found themselves traveling East last fall to record their third album in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with newly enlisted producer Jacquire King. It was a chance to hunker down and work each day for a month away from familiar landmarks and routines. The tracks they laid down at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Studio have yielded a 12-song disc of tremendous sonic and narrative clarity, book-ended in classic album fashion by two very different versions of the wistful “Just Beneath The Surface” – a misleading title, really, since the songs stacked in between dig so deep. Stories Don’t End is not so much a departure from the quartet’s previous efforts as a distillation of them. It spotlights the group’s maturing skills as arrangers, performers and interpreters who shape the raw material supplied by chief songwriter and lead vocalist Taylor Goldsmith into an artfully concise and increasingly soulful sound.

Once again, Goldsmith displays a particular gift for tunes that balance tough and tender, hardboiled and heartbroken. As a writer, he prowls his psyche like a forties detective, looking for clues to the mysteries of life and love. “Just My Luck” has the irresistible pull of a vintage country tune, though the arrangement is understated and contemporary. If Goldsmith’s vocal delivery weren’t plaintive enough, the band ups the emotional ante with a beautiful wordless coda that intertwines Tay Strathairn’s piano and Goldsmith’s lead guitar. Similarly “Something In Common” is a morning-after shuffle that builds into a bigger and more dramatic track before dropping back to a quiet melancholic finish. Goldsmith takes a few simple words, like “something in common,” and uses them like chapter headings to develop a compelling story, full of unexpected twists, from verse to verse. “Someone Will” includes the same kind of word play while boasting a little more swagger. “Hey Lover,” a cover of a tongue-in-cheek tune by Dawes’ good buddy Blake Mills, is a playful mid-album break with Taylor Goldsmith and his young brother, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, trading off lead vocals.

Before he started composing for the album, says Taylor, “I went through a Joan Didion tear.” It was right after he read the legendary author’s Democracy that he found the title, Stories Don’t End, in her work. Though Didion is currently a New Yorker, she is most associated with Southern California, its culture of the sixties and seventies, a subject she examined in gimlet-eyed prose. When Goldsmith started penning new songs after several months on the road in support of Dawes’ 2011 disc, Nothing Is Wrong, his writing was even more keenly observant. “From a Window Seat” was the first he completed and, he admits, “It’s a very singular song. A lot of the songs on the record can be a little more broad, about a period in someone’s life or trying to explore a certain feeling. This song is about a specific experience of being on an airplane and that’s not a very poetic or lyrical idea.” Yet Goldsmith, employing an accumulation of small details, once again finds the bigger picture, about the narrator’s past and his (and our) uncertain future, about the history lurking beneath the swimming pool-dotted landscape below him. Just as important is the track itself—lean, propulsive and guitar-driven – lending urgency to Goldsmith’s in-flight musings. Similarly, “Bear Witness,” a last-minute addition to the lineup that the band arranged during the Asheville sessions, is an almost cinematically vivid rendering of a man having a conversation with his child from his hospital bed.

Nothing Is Wrong had garnered considerable acclaim, with London’s Independent declaring, “It’s as close to a perfect Americana album as there’s been this year.” Up to then, the band had relied on good friend Jonathan Wilson as producer, cutting its 2009 debut disc, North Hills, at Wilson’s Laurel Canyon studio and its follow-up with Wilson at a larger room in Echo Park. But Wilson’s own career as a solo artist was taking off following the release of his Gentle Spirit disc, and the band began a search for a new collaborator. King boasted an impressive and unusual resume, having produced an eclectic range of artists, including Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Norah Jones and the Punch Brothers. Says keyboardist Strathairn, “He’s really easy to work with. As a producer he doesn’t want to be the artist, he simply tries to make the band sound the best that the band can be. And the work speaks for itself.”

Recording with King and foregoing the quickly cut, straight-to-analog tape approach of its first two recordings was a way, says Taylor, for Dawes “to push the boundaries of what might be expected of us, or feel like a comfort zone for us, while trying to be the same band we always are. That was important to us. We didn’t want to abandon anybody’s sense of who we were and, more importantly, our sense of ourselves. We wanted to stay true to this thing that we had while starting to widen the spectrum a little bit.”

The reprise of “Just Beneath the Surface” at the end of the disc, however, is a first-take document of the band figuring out the tune together, and it was too good not to keep. As bassist Wylie Gelber recalls, “We knew the vibe we were going for and we were running through it while Jacquire was setting up. But we were completely unaware that he was recording us. We were fooling around and towards the end of it, we stopped for a minute and Jacquire said, Hey man, I think we’ve got it. We tried to beat that take but we couldn’t. You can hear it there, you can feel that it’s the first time it’s being played, it’s a simple song and there’s a subtle art to doing it. It ebbs and flows.”

“With Jacquire,” explains Taylor, “we were able to hold on to an essence of what we had been, but I feel now, more than with our first two records, that this makes a case that we’re a band from 2013. There a lot of bands that harken back to a period or style of a different time and that can be really limiting. That was never our intention.”

“The album is very honest,” concludes Strathairn. “It’s us.”

- - Michael Hill
Aaron Embry
Aaron Embry
At the tail end of his three-year stint as the piano player for the Los Angeles ensemble Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Aaron Embry finally found the voice for which he’d been searching. He discovered this voice captive in an arch top tenor guitar, a harmonica, and a small stack of moleskin notebooks. Travel-ready and now equipped with his new discoveries, Embry found a current and the songs came up like a flood.

He wrote at a prolific rate while on tour throughout the late spring and fall of last year, a body of songs born among communal, creative atmospheres of life on the road with Sharpe and of time on the rails with the numerous musicians of 2011’s Railroad Revival Tour. As a songwriter, Embry cut his teeth by recording and touring with greats such as Elliott Smith, Willie Nelson, and Daniel Lanois, among plenty of others.

In April 2012 he began recording, and the outcome is Tiny Prayers: a 10-track collection that explores a wide range of emotions while anchored in the cardinal folk tradition of simplicity. Elemental s ong structures and spartan acoustic arrangements bring Embry up close and in focus as a songwriter, singer, and musician. Lyrics such as “Is my happiness dependent on its own design? Am I only waking up to leave my dreams behind?” are evidence of his love for emotional complexity, while his voice and bare instrumentation carve melodies that are built like something low to the ground yet wide as the sky.

Tiny Prayers was recorded at the Embry’s family home in Ojai, CA.

Tiny Prayers is set for release from Community Music in the Fall of 2012.
Venue Information:
Pier A (Hoboken, NJ)
100 Sinatra Drive
Hoboken, NJ, 07030