The Parlor Sessions featuring Dean Fields, Jason Myles Goss, Eliot Bronson and Andy Zipf – Tickets – The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC – June 15th, 2014

The Parlor Sessions featuring Dean Fields, Jason Myles Goss, Eliot Bronson and Andy Zipf

MaxxMusic & The Muse present 4 great songwriters in...

The Parlor Sessions featuring Dean Fields, Jason Myles Goss, Eliot Bronson and Andy Zipf

Sun, June 15, 2014

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

The Evening Muse

Charlotte, NC

$10.00 - $12.00

Dean Fields
Dean Fields
It takes me a long time to wake up. Often Ill get up in the middle of night, change the cat box, and go back to bed with no recollection of it. Im an over-thinker and an undecider. I make up words. I went to grad school to pursue music and left grad school to pursue music. I moved 7 times in 3 years between 4 states. I have 300 voices with 300 accents for 301 different moods. I cannot park a car.

I hit the road over a 1000 shows ago. Since then I've released 5 albums of my indie-americana music featuring members of Wilco, Bon Iver, and Ryan Adams. I've shared the stage with many of my heroes including Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Emmylou Harris, and Alison Krauss. I also received a few compliments along the way: Rosanne Cash said "Dean Fields is a great songwriter!" (Yep, that's Johnny Cash's daughter.)

These days I live in Nashville where I spend much of my time writing songs for other folks. You might have heard a few of my songs performed and recorded by country star Billy Currington, Lori McKenna (Little Big Town), and Orange county's rock darlings Diamond Carter.

I just released a brand new batch of music for you to tap your foot and sing along to. Its called “Any Minute Now" and it features a live string section and some of my favorite co-writers and musicians. In some ways it feels like I just woke up and while I was sleeping I changed the cat box, recorded 5 albums, and played more than a thousand shows.
Jason Myles Goss
Jason Myles Goss
"Throwing deft lyrical punches, Jason Myles Goss is alternative music dynamite." - Hear Hear Music

Jason Myles Goss grew up in a small, Massachusetts mill town and, despite hanging his hat in Brooklyn, NY for the past six years now, his heart will always be in those small-town streets. After years of making records on his own dime, driving long hours, city to city, to play for a handful of onlookers at a time, and flying well under anyone's radar, Jason has released his fourth album and first self-produced effort, Radio Dial (recorded with Austin Nevins and Sam Kassirer of Josh Ritter's Royal City Band). Here we find a songwriter who has clearly come into his own, with a burgeoning confidence and a distinctive voice that has been sharpened by many late-night drives and gas station coffees. In his latest collection of songs, Jason display a broad range of influences, from the stark and eclipsing lyricism of Gillian Welch and A. A. Bondy, to the lush, melody-driven, pop/rock ambitions of Ryan Adams' "Gold" and The Wallflowers' "Bringing Down the Horse."
Eliot Bronson
Eliot Bronson
Picture a street in working-class Baltimore some 30 years ago. Kids play in the shadows of the row houses that line the sidewalks. Their parents sit on the stoops leading up to front doors. It all seems normal at first glance.

But zoom in on one of these homes — that old duplex built back when this part of town was still mainly open fields. Inside is a completely different community, where fundamentalism, hippie values and volatile, unpredictable emotions coexist and collide. Escape is difficult: the only way out is to pass through the bedrooms of people you might be trying to get away from.

This is where Eliot Bronson grew up. Yeah, he often wanted to slip away from there, but the first thing he saw once he exited was the Pentecostal Church across the street where his father and grandfather had preached and where congregants spoke in tongues.

So Eliot looked inward instead.

“For better or worse, I’ve always been a weirdo,” he remembers. “I was reading about Zen Buddhism when all my friends were getting high and drunk in high school.

“Of course,” he adds, “I did all that stuff later.”

He also observed. In this kaleidoscopic family, where glossolalia and, on occasion, alcohol-fueled ravings, sometimes bled into each other, Bronson found shelter in music. At age 15, he got his first guitar and started teaching himself to play. “Right away, I wanted to write my own songs,” he says. “My house was pretty chaotic, crazy, and unhealthy, so I took to music like it was a life raft. It was something I could do to keep myself alive.”

Punk rock was his shelter at first. Then one day his dad put on a few of his favorite LPs — Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, something by Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. Eliot had heard these albums a thousand times before. This time, though…

“… it resonated with me,” Eliot says. “It wasn’t just in the background. I tuned into it for the first time. There was a magic and a power there. It didn’t talk down to the listener but it was also high art. It asked you to be smart and to become a better version of yourself. For me, this was a moment when it became my music, not just my parents’ music.”

From local coffee houses and venues beyond Baltimore, Bronson sharpened his writing and performance. He cultivated a working approach that involved singing to himself as ideas came to him and never jotting down chord changes or lyrics once he had committed the finished version to memory. A local following grew. Astute observers saw something different in the young artist’s work. The Baltimore Sun even anointed him “a folk singing wunderkind.”

Expanding his range, Bronson toured as one-half of a duo. They moved to Atlanta and picked up a gig in a room frequented by The Indigo Girls, John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and other discerning clientele. When his partner quit to take a sensible non-musical job, Bronson persisted on his own. His songs won first-place honors at MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and Eddie Owens Presents “Songwriter Shootout.” He issued several solo albums, including a self-titled release in 2014 that prompted Glide Magazine to describe him as “a gorgeous, magnificent hybrid of (Ryan) Adams, Jason Isbell and Jim James.” Bop n Jazz upped that ante by heralding him as “maybe the best singer/songwriter since Dylan.”

Writers may have trouble topping these accolades, though that’s what Bronson’s latest album merits. Scheduled to release Aug. 25 on Rock Ridge Music, James offers songs that are more like pictures than movies, capturing moments and digging deeply into their meanings. A stomping beat, raw harmonica and searing electric slide drives the opening track, “Breakdown In G Major,” followed by a selection of songs that only confirm Bronson’s restless, escalating excellence.

“Good Enough,” for example, captures a relationship in its final stage — a stage that may end tomorrow or stretch on for years. Bronson sings it sorrowfully, asking the rhetorical question of whether “‘good enough’ is good enough for you” from this point. “When I stumbled onto that line, I was like, ‘That’ll probably stick,’” he says. “But I think the song really came from the first line, ‘Were we really that young?’ Sometimes it takes just one line to resonate with me and get me to start writing.”

Then there’s “The Mountain,” whose elusive grandeur delivers a powerful message but leaves it to the listener to parse its meaning. “There’s a very literalist current in writing and music right now,” Bronson observes. “There aren’t a lot of layers to lyrics these days. It’s just what you see on the page. So when you don’t write that way, you get, ‘What are you hiding?’”

He laughs and then concludes, “I don’t look at it that way. For me, it’s more about how you feel when you hear it. What does it do for you? That’s the message!”

One more, “Rough Ride,” is a departure for Bronson. Here, the meaning is clear: When 25-year-old Freddie Gray fell unaccountably into a coma in the back of a Baltimore police van, much of America expressed shock and outrage. So did Bronson, but he channeled those emotions into this song.

“I had mixed feelings about writing this because I don’t like inserting my political or social beliefs into art,” he explains. “Art should be about connecting people, not drawing lines between them. But I was listening to Dylan’s Desire album at the time, especially ‘Hurricane.’ I always wanted to write a song like that. It was like, ‘How can you tell a story almost journalistically with great emotional impact and yet not come off heavy-handed?’ I wanted to see if I could do it. Now I’m glad I did.”

Known for his empathetic work with Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and other utterly original artists, producer Dave Cobb played a critical role in bringing James to fruition. “His honesty and old-fashioned vibe were so appealing to me,” Bronson says. “They leant themselves to the way I created. And, of course, it was a huge boost to have this great artist/producer at your back.”

They had worked together previously on his 2014 release, Eliot Bronson. “But this album is different,” Bronson points out. “It’s more sparse and economical. My voice is stronger. And I think it’s a step away from the purely Americana vibe of the last one in a direction that I have a hard time defining. I’m excited to discover how this music will define itself.”

Wherever he’s bound, Bronson promises to write and sing the truth as he sees and feels it. “For the really great artists, like Dylan or Paul Simon, you never quite find what you’re looking for,” he says. “As you get closer, it changes. It stays elusive. What I want to do now isn’t the same as what I wanted to do five years ago. And that’s what keeps me going.” And it’s that shift that drives Bronson to continue to refine his art.
Andy Zipf
Andy Zipf
"I've been doing the more aggressive thing for a few years, so this is a little newer direction for me on a record," Andy Zipf says of 'Jealous Hands.'
Andy Zipf (pronounced ZIFF) has stretched well beyond feverous guitar playing and dug deeper into his coined intimate falsetto voice on his third full length, Jealous Hands. Forgoing the usual process of trying to capture the delicate tight rope of his live show -- revival energy cascading into quiet moments of revel -- producer Jeremy Griffith (Norma Jean, Guiltmaker) and Zipf whittled down the twenty songs culled for Jealous Hands to ten. With a full day devoted to each song, there was no guide other than letting the muse carry each song for the day, often times surprising the two. The end result is the most soft-spoken release of the performing singer/songwriter's career; an Americana record true and pure that stands free of the genre connotations that such a word brings. This is over a year of Zipf's life captured, from the non-stop life on the road to what ends up coming home, Jealous Hands is his story and his soundtrack.
With well over 400 shows played in a little over four years Zipf has held close to a play anywhere for anyone mentality performing at coffee shops, house shows, and the standard venues. Zipf chose out of necessity to go out into the no man's land of touring alone. He held no desire to move to a city cluttered with agents and label relations out of hopes of getting the big record deal. For the D.C. artist music is about the connection it brings and the bond it creates; and the only way to achieve that is to play for anyone at anyplace.
"If you can't do that then why are you doing it?" Zipf remarks. Much like his heroes (Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Simon) Zipf has taken the long road avoiding the begrudging conventional path laid out by the music industry and built an audience through friendships and not quick marketing shuffles, corporate admired ads, and digital spam.
It's these close knitted relationships to his fans and constant touring to earn an audience that has gained Zipf a lot of success without following the traditional model. From being a PurePick at Purevolume twice, to grabbing the attention of The Today Show, XM Satellite Radio, VH1 and MTV, to now having the song Stumble on the Line featured on the ABC show Private Practice. Zipf has shared the stage with artists like Cold War Kids, Jeremy Enigk, Badly Drawn Boy, Rosie Thomas and Dave Bazan.
Each of Zipf 's seven releases have carried their own story on how they were made. For his 2009 sophomore album, The Long Tail, Zipf took to playing a series of fundraising concerts, house shows and investor parties, ending with $45,000 donated to produce The Long Tail, a passion stirring release that brought touches of soul to his ever evolving sound. Without a doubt the album's support proves that belief goes a lot father than a social website's play count.
"I don't think I've ever done anything this personal before," said Zipf, as 'Jealous Hands' is far more than just another record, it's an album of breaking safety. Where Zipf once interjected himself into songs at small moments as a guest visiting he's now made himself the main character, and his life the setting.
"There are things through out the whole record that I'm referring to this hope that I feel and determination," Zipf said. From the confessing struggle that inspired the narrative of Promise and Purpose while on To Write Love On Her Arms tour to Gracious Woman, a song for his wife on her countless support for him, despite the absence his art can cause.
"This is sort of a blue-collar musician's story," Zipf said. And now with a full band to back 'Jealous Hands' a new chapter in that story has begun.
- Matt DeBenedictis
Venue Information:
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC