After a successful fall season, the Acoustic Evenings series has returned to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Local musician and presenter Jefferson Jay will host the evenings. Three performers will be featured on each program and will be available at the intermission reception and post-concert meet-and-greet. The project advances the Athenaeum's commitment to supporting San Diego talent.
The spring series begins on Friday, March 1, with Jeff Larson, The Midnight Pine, and instrumentalist Kelli Rudick.
Jeff Larson is a veteran singer/songwriter, having worked with the band America (“Horse with No Name”) among others. His most recent work is 2012’s The World Over, which includes guests America, Jeddrah Schmit, and world music artist Bob Brozman. All Music Guide describes Larson’s music as “classically Californian in its spirit and sound, yet its appeal extends beyond the West Coast as its sweet, mellow tunes have an appeal that transcends geography.”
Folk-inspired group The Midnight Pine consists of percussionist Al Howard, Sean Martin, and vocalist Shelbi Bennett. Sounds in San Diego says of Bennett, “to call her vocals ‘haunting’ seems cliche and trite but it is a word that aptly sums up how one feels after they hear the musical poetry of The Midnight Pine.” It’s been less than a year since the band started and they have already released their first CD, Awake Now, along with an EP of cover songs. The Midnight Pine’s music has a raw, attention-grabbing feel to the otherwise mellow sound.
Kelli Rudick is an American-born composer and instrumentalist who lives and works in New York. Her distinctive style is marked by her passionate curiosity and imagination; she plays with original tunings and chords, percussive rhythms and looped beats. Kelli has scored a number of films including the documentary No Gravity, No Pain (2011) and the Sundance selected short film Awol (2010).
The series continues on Friday, April 19, with much-anticipated return visits by Wes Davis and Jason Burleson, and featuring Matt Reischling.
Singer/songwriter Matt Reisching, of Confessions of a Corn Silo, has self-produced several albums, toured Italy, and even had his songs used in an award-winning Indie film, as well as in a Fox Sports baseball documentary. His songs include the things he thinks about daily: love, death, space, and the futility of the mind.
Wes Davis is a California-based songwriter and fingerpicking fellow who draws influences from Delta blues music and the great outdoors. In 2011, his CD #1 Blues Band was nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the category of Best Blues Album. In 2010, Wes starred in Dylan Avery's coffee documentary called Buzzkill. Look forward to original songs peppered with a few classics by folks like Robert Johnson, John Prine, Mississippi John Hurt, and Lyle Lovett.
Jason Burleson is currently a full-time student of psychology, part-time pourer of potations, and sometimes singer of songs. With an acute attention to detail, Burleson handcrafts his creations with as much care as he does his third-person autobiographies. His music has been known to make a hush fall over a crowd and tangas to fall over talocrural regions. You are invited to enjoy yourself.
The spring series concludes on Friday, April 26, with local performers Lena Evans, John Meeks, and Lisa Olson.
Lena Evans is a San Diego-based singer/songwriter. Her songs touch on a wide variety of topics and emotions. Her delivery brings the music to audiences in a palpable and gritty manner that echoes her experience. Lena is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree and is honored to be playing Acoustic Evenings.
John Meeks spent the earlier part of his life roaming the Southwest with his freewheelin' mother, two younger siblings, and talented and charismatic father who played drums and sang in a working country band. Backed by an all-star list of San Diego musicians, Meeks recorded his first album, Old Blood, and he recorded an EP of duets with Joanie Mendenhall entitled From My Grave. His recordings have garnered much praise from local media, as well as national outlets like NPR and CMJ, and was voted Best Americana/Country Artist in the 2009 San Diego Music Awards.
From soft and sweet to bluesy sass and heart-wrenching loss, the range in Lisa Olson's music reflects her mix of life experiences and exposures. She grew up on a mix of musicals from the Athenaeum and Ella Fitzgerald in the CD player. After college she learned to play guitar, found her songwriter voice, and employed the toils of entering adulthood as fodder for songs. Most recently her songs have been shaped by exploring fjords and Viking roots while living and studying in Norway.