The Bowery Presents
Brandi Carlile

WFUV Presents

Brandi Carlile

The Lone Bellow

Sat, March 23, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Beacon Theatre

New York, NY

This event is all ages

This show has been rescheduled from October 29, 2012. All tickets for the 10/29 show will be honored.

Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile
Were we ever gonna get out of this town?
- Just Kids - BEAR CREEK
“If you start a band with me, I’ll get us signed and on the road within a year”…… Not only did the determined, confident and tenacious 22-year-old Brandi Carlile come through with her promise to twin bothers and initially reluctant band members Phil and Tim Hanseroth, but she also exceeded their expectations. Carlile landed the prophesied record deal with Columbia Records one year later and with the guidance of producer Rick Rubin, they recorded and released their eponymous debut album in early 2005. “The Twins were local heroes to me, I used to go and watch them play live when they were in The Fighting Machinists, I thought they were cool but more importantly great singers and songwriters.” Carlile, in a vain attempt to impress her newfound comrades, ordered in some dry ice to lure them to their first band rehearsal. “I didn’t know how dangerous overexposure to carbon dioxide could be, so I ended up nearly killing us all from asphyxiation!” Near-death experiences aside, this was the beginning of a unique collaboration. It was a partnership that would see Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth sharing everything from the stage, songwriting and production credits and all creative business decisions, to bunk beds, road pranks, swine flu, confined spaces and dirty t-shirts too.

On the eve of Carlile’s 5th major label album release BEAR CREEK and after almost a decade of extensive touring, the trio and self-confessed “road dogs” and “dirty pioneers” are back with a bang. But it’s not record sales, industry accolades or commercial success that make Brandi Carlile a uniquely compelling artist; in fact some would say she has purposely gone out of her way to avoid it, “I would never write commercially or dress commercially or behave in any way that would inspire mainstream success". It’s tales from the road, where she and the twins have spent the best part of their careers building Carlile’s fan base and audience, whilst remaining under the industry radar, that tells you the story of who she really is.

Unaware of years to come
- Save Part Of Yourself – BEAR CREEK
“I've been singing and performing music since I was seven, so I don't ever remember making a conscious decision to be a musician. I would’ve had to have made a conscious decision NOT to be a musician” Throughout her late teens Carlile had already built up a local fan base in her home city of Seattle through hard work, determination and an unwavering belief in her talent. Blessed with a truly remarkable voice and an innate gift for performing, she always believed she was destined to be a great singer. She would hone her skills by studying and listening to her favorite vocalists, experimenting and testing the boundaries of her voice to see how long she could hold out a note, and how loud and high she could sing. “I wanted to learn to scream my head off like Thom Yorke and yodel like Patsy Cline”. Carlile busked, played coffee houses and persuaded local business owners to give her residencies by guaranteeing the venues would reach their full capacity on the nights she appeared. Carlile recalls how she would personally ensure her fans attended her gigs. “I passed around mailing lists to my audiences and I would take their numbers and call them myself on the day of my next gig to make sure they would turn up.” And turn up they did and still do, except now they number in the thousands.

Over the last eight years Carlile has enjoyed groundbreaking success, headlining and selling out major shows and venues across the United States and the rest of the world. Working her way up from playing acoustic at Medin's Ravioli Station and busking at Pikes Place Market, to fronting her six-piece band at The Ryman Auditorium and leading a symphony at Benaroya Hall; Carlile has earned her reputation as a fearless and consummate performer who is undoubtedly in a class of her own.

Collaborators at heart, Carlile and The Twins have written, produced, recorded and shared the stage and with “anyone we can get to sing with us”, touring with friends Ray Lamontage, The Avett Brothers and Dave Matthews, who refers to Carlile affectionately as “a big fat trumpet head”. Sheryl Crow, somewhat more eloquently, describes Carlile’s voice as “the most amazing voice I may have ever heard. Soulful. Country. Perfect in every way.... and propelled by taste.” And it is that same, unmistakable voice that jumps out and shakes your very foundations when you first hear the opening track on BEAR CREEK.

I can be the engine, you can be the wheel
- Hard Way Home – BEAR CREEK
BEAR CREEK, named after the studio where it was recorded, is certainly a departure from 2007’s break-though THE STORY and its critically acclaimed follow-up, 2009’s GIVE UP THE GHOST. Having been steered on her previous albums by super-producers T Bone Burnett and Rick Rubin, this time Carlile was determined to take the wheel. “I would liken working with A-list producers to going to college,” she says. “You don’t want to be a perpetual student. At some point, you need to apply your knowledge”. For the first time, Carlile was eager to work in a studio environment closer – both physically and in spirit – to her own rural abode. Bear Creek, a converted turn-of-the-century barn nestled among the tall trees of Woodinville, Washington, proved to be ideal. “Bear Creek is very similar to home for all three of us - musically, you’d be amazed at how you act when you feel at home”

Embracing her own philosophy that “a live show should never sound like a record; a record should sound like a live show,” Carlile and the Twins brought in members of her “road family”, including cellist Josh Neumann and drummer Allison Miller, as well as her touring sound engineer and guitar tech, “We basically pulled our bus up to Bear Creek and then everyone got off of it and made a record, band, crew, cheap tour beer and everything…we wanted it that way for once.” Carlile also realized a long-held ambition to work with Grammy award-winning engineer and producer Trina Shoemaker, who fully embraced and nurtured the band’s live approach in the studio and “rough-around-the-edges sonic appeal”. They veered off into new musical territory, fusing classic rock ‘n’ roll, folk, bluegrass, and “Shoemaker-inspired soul” to create their own distinctive sound. Carlile and her band took full advantage of the vintage equipment at Bear Creek dusting off “pianos that smell like Grandma’s house” and experimenting with bluegrass instruments “feeling no self-consciousness about the fact that we didn't know how to play them…. without a producer it was like ‘OK, now what are we gonna do while Dad’s gone?’”

It came upon a lightning strike
- Raise Hell – BEAR CREEK
Comprising of songs inspired by faith, heartache, addiction, childhood, accidental piano chords and thunderstorms, BEAR CREEK promises to be Carlile’s most revealing and personal record to date “It scares me how much of who we are is in this album.” However, she admits “I can talk about making records all day long,” “but what really drives me is what I’ve been doing on the road all this time. When we play these songs for you, what’s going to happen between you and us? That’s what matters most to me.” True to form, Carlile and is now eager to introduce BEAR CREEK to her audience. Summer 2012 will see her biggest headlining tour to date, with stops at world famous venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater and Wolf Trap.

BEAR CREEK stands as a major milestone for Carlile; the moment in which she and The Twins embraced simplicity, familiar faces and trusted musicianship to craft a stripped-back, honest and timeless record; perhaps her bravest work to date “because without anyone to hide behind or acclaimed cameos and guest appearances, it’s just us..... terrifying but real life." In fact, the only guest appearance comes from a chorus of frogs (courtesy of Bear Creek) who appear on the closing track of her most definitive album thus far – and listen all the way to the end?..... You most definitely will.

Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?
- That Wasn’t Me – BEAR CREEK
Firm believers that artists in the public eye have a social and moral responsibility to promote and marry humanitarian efforts with their musical agenda, Carlile and The Twins have used their success on the road to fund The Looking Out Foundation. Founded in 2008, the foundation serves the chronically underserved through its ongoing philanthropic efforts and involvement with social issues. Brandi Carlile and her fans donate $1 from every concert ticket sold to The Looking Out Foundation, channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars and resources to organizations that support the arts, women, public health, the hungry and the homeless. Carlile is particularly proud of co-founding The Fight The Fear Campaign, a community-oriented violence prevention initiative. “It really isn't about fighting other people, it's about respecting the fact that you yourself are worth fighting for.” In true trailblazer style, she and the Twins hope to expand their outreach through music, and make a positive impact on the world for many years to come.
The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow
Zach Williams, the Lone Bellow’s lead singer and principal songwriter, can pinpoint just about exactly when the Brooklyn-based group serendipitously willed itself into being. It was around 9 a.m. one morning in 2010, at Dizzy’s Diner in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the Lone Bellows guitarist and Williams’ old friend Brian Elmquist was working a shift. Williams, up to then performing as a solo artist, needed a place to try out some new songs; for a scuffling artist, the diner was as good as any rehearsal space. He asked fellow singer Kanene Pipkin, just returned to New York City from living in Beijing, to meet them at the diner and the trio did more than merely jam. With the beginnings of a repertoire and an already strong communal spirit, that fateful morning they became the Lone Bellow. As Williams recalls, “Three songs in I realized I should quit what I’m doing and just make music with these people.”

And that’s what he did. The trio’s self-titled debut disc is exuberant in its playing, welcoming in its attitude. Though the lyrics have a melancholic undercurrent, the tracks are more often rave-ups than ruminations, with swelling three-part harmonies and rousing group-sung choruses, especially on the electric guitar-driven “The One You Should’ve Let Go” and “Green Eyes and A Heart of Gold,” a we-will-survive anthem that could be about a family or a band. Indeed, there is a strong familial feel to The Lone Bellow, a recurring theme of inclusiveness.

That sentiment lies at the heart of the album and Williams’ own career to date. The native Georgian first came to songwriting via near tragedy. While still living down south, Williams’ young wife was catastrophically injured in a horseback riding accident. Physicians initially told Williams that, at best, his wife would leave the hospital a paraplegic. But doctors at the pioneering Shepard Center in Atlanta thought otherwise and after months of rehab there she ultimately regained the ability to walk. Throughout the ordeal, Williams had been scribbling his thoughts into a journal; good friend Caleb Clardy, co-writer of “Teach Me To Know,” suggested he turn his writing into songs. The couple’s friends had rallied around them, practically living in the hospital waiting room with Williams, organically becoming the support group he needed. Williams admits, “That was the first time I really experienced somebody trying their best to carry someone else’s burden. It was very moving to me. I was going to classes on how to bathe and feed my wife, and I was trying to process all the fear and anger and the numbness. I started reading my friends these journal entries. I was writing in a kind of rhyming form because it helped to keep my mind focused. Caleb said, these are songs, man, you need to learn how to play the guitar and sing at he same time.”

Having experienced something close to a miracle, a revitalized Williams and his wife decided to head to New York City and pursue their creative paths in earnest. Several of their friends, equally motivated, chose to follow, and they reformed a tightly knit community in Brooklyn, where everyone settled Williams initially worked as a solo artist, backed at times by a hired band. Two years ago, following a soul-searching trip he’d taken with his wife, Williams re-emerged with a stack of deeply personal songs -- tender but frank tales of romantic rupture and hard-fought redemption -- rooted in the country, folk and gospel of his Southern youth, and that’s the material he brought to the diner.
Along with the core group of Williams, Pipkin, and fellow Georgian Elmquist, the Lone Bellow’s recording and touring ensemble now includes Ben Mars on bass, Brian Murphy on keyboards, Matt Knapp on lap steel and electric guitar, Jason Pipkin on banjo and mandolin, and Brian Griffin on drums. After a warm-up gig at Brooklyn’s Roots Café, Williams got a call from The Civil Wars, the Grammy Award Winning duo that he’d befriended while they were playing at the Lower East Side’s Rockwood Music Hall. They asked if he and his new cohorts would open for them in Philadelphia: “We rehearsed for three days straight to try and get our act together and went to Philly and played our first real show as a group. It was so life giving, everything that everyone was playing had the overarching values of honesty, friendship and vulnerability, I felt like we really connected with this group of people in Philadelphia who’d never heard of us before.”

Willams met with Civil Wars producer Charlie Peacock when the Lone Bellow played the Bowery Ballroom and took him to the Rockwood, the modest but well-regarded two-room venue that Williams had long considered his musical home: ”When Charlie came up, I said, let’s walk around the block. I want to show you the venue. The owner, Ken Rockwood, was there and they just hit it off. Charlie was walking around, snapping his fingers close to walls, looking at the glass windows in front of the large room, and he said, ‘You should make your record here’. Ken gave us the room for three days and three nights. We lived there. Our eight-piece band recorded twelve songs there and Charlie magically made them something worth listening to. I will never forget that experience.”

Peacock captured the spirit and the sound of these individuals, both at their most confident and their most vulnerable. Their recording of “Teach Me To Know,” an infectious folk/gospel sing-along, was the by-product of some spontaneous late-night carousing, according to Williams: “We were ten songs in, I was exhausted, my vocals were completely gone, it was like one a.m and it started pouring down rain. Our piano player Brian ran outside and lied down on the sidewalk. So we all ran outside. Two of the band members started dancing in the rain and the rest of us started running around Allen Street with our shirts off. It was a beautiful moment. And while we were out there being dumb, Charlie set up the mics completely differently. When we came back inside, soaking wet from the rain, he said, we’re recording ‘Teach Me to Know’ right now. And we laid it down. And that was the way it was making this record. It was all about capturing moments. We didn’t play to a click; we were just in it. It was absolutely wonderful. I felt like the city just soaked through the windows into the recording.”

Afterwards, Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Elmquist joined Peacock down in Nashville for overdubs and fixes with some additional players at his studio, the Art House – an abandoned old church he had retrofitted on a small piece of land – and that location proved to be as well-suited to the band’s sensibility as the Rockwood. The results of their efforts, the Lone Bellow’s debut, are earnest, inspiring and fun. Everyone listening – and undoubtedly singing and stomping along – will surely feel like part of the family too.
Venue Information:
Beacon Theatre
2124 Broadway
New York, NY, 10023
http://www.beacontheatre.com/faq/index.html