with Brother Roy
with Brother Roy
|Age:||Ages 18+ Only|
Singer-songwriter-mandolin wizard, a critical fave from her late teens, her compositions transcend bluegrass into folk and indie pop.Buy Tickets
Singer-songwriter-mandolin wizard, a critical fave from her late teens, her compositions transcend bluegrass into folk and indie pop.
Genre: Americana / Folk
Ticket Price: $22 advanced / $24 day of show
PARKING: Street parking and paid lot parking available.
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With her fourth album, Undercurrent, Sarah Jarosz makes a studied departure from her previous records, shifting the emphasis from her skills as a multi-instrumentalist to her songwriting and vocal performance. Undercurrent accentuates the growth and maturity that Jarosz, now 25, has achieved since graduating from New England Conservatory and moving to New York City. The change in approach garnered Jarosz two Grammy Awards in 2017-for Best Folk Album Year for Undercurrent and for Best American Roots Performance for "House Of Mercy". She also picked up the award for 2017 Folk Album of the Year from Folk Alliance International for Undercurrent.
On Undercurrent, Jarosz delivers a set of all-original songs, centered around four solo pieces that set the tone of the record. Uncut Magazine describes it as "an enthralling journey from source to mouth," and goes on to say "These are songs about the choices we make, the paths we take and the things we leave behind, a deep meditation on the invisible currents that guide us." The Wall Street Journal notes "This economical approach brings the listener closer to Ms. Jarosz than on any of her previous recordings, and it suits the lyrical theme of passion that, mostly, is forbidden and unrequited."
The Austin Chronicle's Jim Caligiuri declared "For Austinites who've followed her since her early teens, the fact that Wimberley native Sarah Jarosz blossomed into one of the most stirring musicians of her generation comes as absolutely no surprise," while Consequence of Sound''s Michelle Geslani noted the "startling sense of insight" in Jarosz's compositions. NPR's Katie Presley made note of Jarosz's newfound maturity, praising her "uncharacteristically (and deliciously) unyielding" vocal carriage.
Brother Roy is New York City's rock and roll missionary. It’s impossible not to immediately like the guy when you walk into the bar. He looks like that guest who no one invited and was the last one to leave the party. But there’s something timeless about his gruff croon accompanied by an unrelenting pulse on an old battered piano. You can’t help but listen. He lists Harry Nilsson, the Beatles, The Band, Bob Dylan, Neil Young as some of his biggest influences. These are high standards to live up to, and many have tried and failed. But with a refreshing honesty, dedication, and healthy dose of self-deprecating humor, Brother Roy has managed to find a voice for himself in a genre so beloved that it might as well be a religion.
Born the son of a pie maker and a school teacher in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Roy had one of those classic, all-American childhoods: he played baseball after school, soaked up his dad's obsession with 60’s rock and roll, and eventually dropped out of the local college to join his brother’s band. Around that time he took a job with the Scranton Parking Authority—immortalized in his song, “Crazy Bill”—where he would sit for hours each day in the booth in the garage playing guitar, taking tickets, and dreaming of the big-time. One day the Mayor of Scranton reprimanded him personally, “you can’t be playing guitar on the taxpayers dollars!” So Roy picked up the mandolin. Eventually, enough was enough, Roy recalls. “I decided, I’m going to go to New York and play the shit out of music.” That’s exactly what he did. After getting a gig playing rhythm with the gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel, Roy moved into a tiny bedroom in Brooklyn, just big enough for a keyboard, a pedal steel, a busted lamp and his guitar. He slept on a mattress on the floor. One night he brought a girl home who said, “you look like you live in an insane asylum.”
Over the course of the next few years, Roy toured internationally and learned the ropes of being a bandleader from Wrembel and his guitar hero Jim Campilongo (now a frequent collaborator). Eventually he quit the band and moved into a musical apartment in Bed Stuy. His new roommates invited him on a “spiritual exploration trip” to an ashram India. Along with about ten other musicians, Roy studied classical Indian music and practiced intensely for two weeks. The group became fast friends, jammed on Beatles songs every night, and while Roy didn’t achieve enlightenment, he did realize that he needed to make a rock and roll album. He returned home to Brooklyn in springtime, just at about the same time that a vial of LSD that had travelled with a friend’s band all the way from New Orleans was making its way around the music scene (that’s another story… listen to “Brother Sam”). This, combined with the sudden appearance of a true muse at the house—the “Heartbreaker”—sent Roy into a frenzy of creativity. Over the course of two intense months, he wrote twenty songs, lost twenty pounds, and emerged from his trance with a full-length album.
Roy will be the first to tell you his strength and confidence as a leader comes from his community. He has gathered around him a team of top-call, young musicians that show up devotedly to his gigs night after night. In “Last Man Standing,” Roy has tapped into the energy of this group, and with almost no budget or high-powered support achieved what used to be available only to major labels with armies of musicians, engineers, and producers. The entire project was paid for with $50 gigs at the local bar. Roy’s bank account is "hilariously low…can’t tell you how many times over the past few months I’ve called Bank of America and heard, ‘Hello Roy, your checking account balance is $20.’ But I’m not depressed about that because I believe in this music so much! So what if I live a year like a hobo? I’m already close to being a hobo.”
Call it unshakeable belief, lovesick obsession, or just plain survival, Roy has written a collection of defiantly good-timin’ songs. With an unbeatable rhythm section, lush strings, in-your-face horns, and soaring organ solos, “Last Man Standing” has that special vitality that only comes from a cult of talented friends packing into a stinky basement studio and playing rock and roll till the sun comes up. So whether your heart’s broken, your job sucks, or you’re just waking up from the hangover of 1969, do yourself a favor and follow Brother Roys’s advice. "Come on by the House" and stay for a while.