Mayda at the Icehouse – TICKETS
“Her R&B-infused pop is undeniably fresh, as she swings between pared-down acoustic struts, full-band funkadelic blasts, and electronic drumbeats and synth flourishes that would make the Purple One proud. The result is a slick, expansive, and evolving pop sound, aided in part by producer and mentor Michael Bland (who drummed with Prince in the early ’90s and currently plays with Nick Jonas), whose Sonic Matrimony Collective label released Mayda’s first full-length, The Interrogation, last year. The prolific young soul singer is just beginning her journey, but it’s hard not to anticipate big things from the petite yet larger-than-life pop songstress.” -Andrea Swensson, The Current
Ghost Light at the Turf Club – TICKETS
Ghost Light is a true musical collaboration; four personalities, four perspectives, and four unique approaches towards one common sound.
Bucking conventional tradition, rather than initially focusing on live shows, the band played together for the first time in a recording studio in Philadelphia. This decision gave the band’s members – Holly Bowling, Tom Hamilton, Raina Mullen and Scotty Zwang – the ability to come to the project with fresh ears and no pre-conceived notions. They developed the songs as they developed their musical communication which led to trust, creativity and an adventurous take on the process.
Scotty Zwang explained it thusly, “It’s a unique and interesting approach we get to take…” “we are being patient with each other and figuring out what the song needs.”
While the recording project has been the beginning point for Ghost Light, the live experience is what will define this band. “In the parts of the sessions where we have had a little more room to just let things go, there have been these little glimmers of what the improvisation will feel like live. That’s a whole other thing and it’s very exciting,” notes Holly Bowling. Tom Hamilton adds, “with this new band, we felt super comfortable going in any direction, knowing that with our new bandmates, the songs will get to where they needs to go. And in the live setting, that confidence is just as strong.”
Donna Grantis at the Daktota – TICKETS
Acclaimed guitarist Donna Grantis, best known as the co-lead guitarist in Prince’s celebrated funk-rock band 3RDEYEGIRL and a member of his legendary supergroup New Power Generation, has released a new track, “MR MAJESTIC”—share/listen HERE. The track is off of her forthcoming debut solo album, DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE, out March 22 via Entertainment One (eOne). Pre-order or pre-save the album HERE.
In support of the record, Grantis is set to play an album release show in Minneapolis on March 28 at Dakota Jazz Club. Info and tickets HERE.
Grantis recently released title track, “DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE,” which premiered at Billboard. Of the song and the record, Grantis says, “‘DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE’ reflects a whirlwind of emotions translated into instrumental, sonically experimental, compositions. From meditative explorations to rock-riff infused improvised jams, the album and its title track were heavily inspired by my musical and life experiences over the past few years, in particular, the life-changing adventure of joining Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL through to the birth of my first child.”
Katy Vernon at the Parkway – TICKETS
As you may know Katy Vernon toured the UK a couple of years ago and it was a trans-formative trip for her. Not only was it a very literal homecoming, it was also the kickoff to a huge creative leap for Katy.
Katy traveled to play two of the largest ukulele festivals in Europe. The Greater Northern Ukulele Festival and the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain. They were six weeks apart so she decided to leave her job and jump in! Katy independently booked over 2 dozen other shows and traveled the entire country on her own.
Katy spent 9 days alone in Brighton by the sea. Every day Katy would walk to the sea and explore the town. This inspired so many songs and also gave me time to reflect and recharge. 2016 was a very difficult year personally, Katy set off on this tour newly diagnosed with major depression and newly sober. Being alone was exciting and daunting at that time. Katy sat by the sea and let all of that fear and uncertainty pour itself into songs.
This record is the most vulnerable Katy have ever been, but it is also more importantly the strongest she has ever been. These songs were written to inspire her to get through life’s struggles. They include happy anthems meant to embrace life. ‘Suit of Hearts’ is meant to reflect the vulnerability of wearing your heart on your sleeve, but also convey the strength of baring your entire self openly and honestly.
One that I think you will enjoy is the song ‘Latest Disaster’. It’s obviously very ABBA inspired. It’s been so fun for Katy to expand her sound and incorporate more pop influence. Katy feels like this is more of a organic growth of the band. They loosening up and started to have more fun.
Another song that means a lot to Katy is ‘Somebody’s Daughter’s Daughter’. Katy was inspired to write this as she walked the childhood haunts of her mum, and her cousin told her stories about the generations of women in their family that she never knew about. Katy wanted to pay homage to them. In addition to a choir of women singing on the song, you can also hear her own mum’s voice. Katy was able to track down this audio from the BBC last year, having not heard her voice since 1984. Kevin Bowe and Katy got chills editing it into the song.