A John Lennon Birthday Tribute
PERFORMANCES BY: DAVID KITCHEN, LAURA TSAGGARIS, LUKE BRINDLEY, The SWEATER SET, ALEX VANS, BILLY COULTER, KARL STRAUB, BILL WILLIAMS, ED O’CONNELL, TY BRADDOCK, LEA, TOM LOFGREN, MIKE SMITH & more tba
Thirty five years after his untimely death, John Lennon’s enormous impact on popular music and culture continues. The founder of The Beatles, John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s songs have imprinted themselves on generation after generation and their popularity shows no signs of abating. Lennon wrote most of the groups’ insanely catchy early hits such as ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Please Please Me’ blazed a trail of musical confession during the middle years with ‘I’m a Loser’ and ‘Help’ and his later period songs like ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ & ‘I Am The Walrus’ provided watershed moments in pop history. Lennon’s songs, personality, and impassioned & vulnerable vocals seared themselves directly into the open hearts of millions of fans and formed an instant bond that hasn’t let go. John Lennon was the most charismatic and engaging of The Beatles and these qualities and his restless search for truth, leavened with a lacerating wit, served to make him arguably the most beloved post-50’s era rock star.
After leaving the world’s most popular band, Lennon released a string of solo albums kicking his 2nd act off with a more raw, unvarnished sound which served to showcase a more direct lyric style in songs like ‘Cold Turkey’ and ‘Instant Karma’.
This show will feature songs from Lennon’s Beatles catalog as well as the best of his solo years work, faithful reproductions and original takes on classics and deeper cuts, as performed by some of the D.C. area’s finest singers and musicians.
David Kitchen is a soulful singer songwriter who specializes in cutting to the chase. His stick-in-your-head melodies and bittersweet lyrics meld 60’s pop with 70’s songwriter themes and draw on disparate influences such as Lennon-McCartney, TV and movie soundtracks and jazz standards. Early profound musical experiences and years of performing have given him the ability to move an audience with his intensely individualistic brand of rock, that is at times both childlike in its playfulness and adult with its wisdom, sincerity and honesty.
Born into a musical family and raised in Virginia, David’s first instrument as a young child was a miniature brass sousaphone. All through his school years, after switching to guitar, he formed bands and began writing songs in his mid-teens. Finally settling in the Washington, DC area, Kitchen has become a prolific musical force. When his first album, roots rock /country flavored “Low Falutin’” was released, The Washington Post’s Mike Joyce praised David’s mixture of “ … charm, attitude and tunefulness.” His latest effort, an EP entitled “Underground” led The Washingtonian Magazine to admire his “knack for writing clean, pop driven rock with just enough soul and grit”
He has been nominated and has won several awards (WAMMIES) from The Washington Area Music Association. Including Best New Artist, Roots Rock Instrumentalist, Roots Rock Vocalist, Musician of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Debut Album, Songwriter of the Year and Best Pop Vocalist for 2009 and 2010. David was a finalist in the Mountain Stage/NewSong Contest of 2006 with his song “Find Our Way”.
Variously Kitchen’s music has been heard on TV spots for the U.S. Labor Dept. and the Association of Speech and Hearing. His song, “Mystery to Me” appears in the Paramount motion picture “Wild Iris” starring Gena Rowlands. David also found time to write and record the theme song for Washington D.C.’s 48 Hour Film Festival. Kitchen’s songs have also been covered by a number of artists, including blues rocker Tom Principato, who covered “If Love Is Blind”, and the Pacific Northwest’s Fabulous Wailers, who chose to feature his song “ Cadillac To Mexico” as the title track for their 2003 release.
As a producer David has used his roots rock bona fides to great effect first with “True To Life” by American Song, a revivalist group he fronted for a time. In 2009 he was approached by local working class hero Michael Butler to produce his debut album “Should’ve Been By Now”. A popular success, one tune off the record, a paean to Baltimore titled “Charm City” was adopted as a home game opening song by the Baltimore Orioles.
Known as a road warrior in the local D.C. area, Kitchen continues to hone his skills performing before live audiences. In recent years, you might have found him at IOTA Club and Café with his current stellar band, heard him singing jazz with The Cutaways or rocking at Annandale VA’s legendary roadhouse The Sunset Grille with The Thrillbillys. Perhaps you witnessed a nugget of David’s alluring personality last winter at The Music Center at Strathmore as part of the British Invasion show or at The Barns of Wolf Trap’s tribute to another artist like Warren Zevon or Nick Lowe. Earlier this year he played a benefit for Best Buddies, a mentoring program for disabled young adults and was asked to contribute a new song to Hungry For Music’s soon to be released charity CD, “Diamond Cuts”.
He has shared the stage with many national acts including Alejandro Escovedo, Freedy Johnston and Eilen Jewell. As both a bandleader and sideman of astonishing versatility, David’s ambition is rare, his vision unique.
“A great voice singing great songs.” That is the simplest way to introduce you to LEA’s music. While she often draws comparisons to other female phenoms like Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco, LEA’s sound seamlessly blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B into her own style - SoulFolk. LEA was born in Baltimore to a father who toured the world playing trumpet in the funk band Black Heat and a mother who dreamed of opera while performing with her siblings in the Jones Family Gospel Singers. LEA was singing on the pulpit of the Baptist church where she grew up as soon she could speak. When she discovered the acoustic guitar as a teenager, she began teaching herself to play by writing songs. LEA’s final year in high school in Germany at a classical conservatory, where she sang with the jazz ensemble Black & White and co-wrote with the British pop trio Indigo Wild. Having shared the stage with luminaries including Odetta, Mavis Staples, Dar Williams and Anthony Hamilton, LEA performs at a far-ranging array of venues, including arts centers, universities, festivals, and places of worship. She is consistently acknowledged by the Washington Area Music Association* as one of the region’s best vocalists, songwriters and recording artists. She is a graduate of the prestigious Artist-in-Residence program at The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD and a beloved children's music performer among DC families. LEA’s latest recording, the crowd-funded and highly-anticipated “Let You In,” is a collection of songs the artists hopes will cultivate greater compassion for femininity. LEA's stunning vocals and award winning songwriting are supported by rich instrumentation, featuring Howard Levy (of Bèla Fleck and the Flecktones) on the harmonica.
*Washington Area Music Award Nominations: Best Contemporary Folk Vocalist - (2012) Best Contemporary Folk Recording - “Promise” (2012) Best Contemporary Folk Recording - “Get It Right” (2008) Best Contemporary Folk Recording - “Great Big World” (2007) Songwriter of the Year (2008, 2001) Best Debut Recording - “Creation” (2001) Best New Artist (2001)
The Sweater Set
Dubbed by Brightest Young Things as "DC's most endearing duo," listeners are invited into Sara Curtin & Maureen Andary's joyful friendship as captivating harmonies soar over multi-instrumental arrangements. The Washingtonians met in a children's chorus and have been blending their voices together since the age of 12. "The Sweater Set will Pluck at your heartstrings," says the Washington Post about the WAMMIE award duo with featured performances at The Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and the 9:30Club. Backup singers for multiple grammy nominated artists including Dar Williams & Christylez Bacon, The Sweater Set are delighted to sing again on a Newmyer Flyer show.
“The rambling acoustic environment of New Morning—era Dylan and the smokiness of early Townes Van Zandt…his own compelling musical voice.” – Acoustic Guitar
“Digging deep and mining for the soul…One Of The Top 12 Albums of the Year” – Paste Magazine
“Magical…an early contender for one the best albums of the year.” – The Washington Post
I’ve been obsessed with writing songs and the guitar for as long as I can remember. I married young, am an adoptive parent, and the son of a preacher man. I toured a lot for a few years and put out a few records as Luke Brindley, Brindley Brothers, and Native Run. I never quite fit into (or cared about) “the business”. I grew up in New Jersey but live outside of Washington, DC.
Along with my brothers, I run Jammin Java in Vienna,VA – one of the Top 100 Clubs In The World.
The songs have a definite focus on the lyrics and hopefully offer a kind of deeper perspective. I tend to gravitate toward the larger worldview questions such as, Why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing? What does it mean to know another person? To love someone?
In 2010 I released A Hidden Wholeness.
In 2011 and 2012, I released two records with my old band, Native Run.
In 2013, I released a song every week (52 songs) with producer Chip Johnson and some talented special guests. You can download them here: http://bit.ly/1dVeQPL
In 2014 I released The Whiskey Switch, a stripped-down folk/americana record with Taylor Swift sideman, Mike Meadows, on mandolin and banjo and DC’s Laura Tsaggaris on harmonies. Currently, I’m writing a lot with other people, writing/recording my next projects to be released in 2015, raising a family, and running one of the best clubs in the country.
Laura Tsaggaris writes and performs songs on acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and ukulele. Most recently, she completed her fifth CD—a live record funded by fan contributions and pre-orders of over $20,000. Entitled Live At The Atlas, her latest work draws inspiration from some of the great live albums that shaped Laura as a songwriter (Nirvana: Unplugged, Ani Difranco: Living in Clip, Erykah Badu: Live, Fleetwood Mac: The Dance). The focus is acoustic, featuring one new song and fresh arrangements of 16 others from my previous full-length albums. Laura recorded Live At The Atlas on Friday, September 26th and Saturday, September 27th, 2014, before a live audience at The Atlas Performing Arts Center in the historic H Street Corridor of Northeast Washington, D.C. The album was released at the 9:30 Club.
Laura’s most recent studio album, EVERYMAN, was produced by Jamie Candiloro (REM, Willie Nelson) and invites comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow. It features backing vocals from Ryan Adams, guitar work from Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne) and pedal steel from Marty Rifkin (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty). Film talents David Conrad (Wedding Crashers, The Ghost Whisperer) and Mark Schwartzbard (20 Feet From Stardom, Borat) shot the video for the first single, “Dig,” close to Laura’s hometown in Pittsburgh. The music video for the album’s second single, “Ask For It,” is made up of footage from a sold out release show at one of D.C.’s top venues, The Hamilton.
Laura has traveled the country for the last 15 years in support of 5 independent releases from her label, Overtime Records. “Overtime” comes from her days of fitting in studio time in the late evening and early morning hours before she was able to go full-time with music. Laura’s albums span the genres of Folk (EP – 2001, Proof – 2005), Rock (Keep Talking – 2009), AAA/Alt-Country (EVERYMAN – 2013), and Americana (Live At The Atlas – 2015). Chunky Glasses calls her “a skilled assured artist,” and AmericanaUK affirms, “Laura is real talent.”
Washington D.C. singer/songwriter Billy Coulter's distinctive style straddles the line between Roots Rock and Power Pop. Blending diverse influences from Dylan to Bowie he's created a fresh, authentic sound with a nod to the classics that inspired him.
Since his arrival on the scene in 2003, Coulter quickly made a name for himself with his unique songwriting and vocal ability winning him the Album of the Year (Dose), Song of the Year (Party of One), Songwriter of the Year, Roots Rock Recording of the Year and several Roots Rock Vocalist Washington Area Music (WAMMIE) Awards. His inspired and energetic performances have graced the stages at some of the region's top venues and festivals including Rams Head, Birchmere, Strathmore, Barns of Wolf Trap, IOTA, The Fillmore, and often supports national touring acts. Coulter has been nominated for over 30 Washington Area Music Awards over the past 10 years. He has also earned the following recognition for his songwriting:
Beginning as a solo acoustic act in the DC area, Alex Vans has two previous releases; a self-titled debut and the 2010 EP “Old Souls & Other Cellar Songs” both critically well-received. A keen observer of pop culture, Alex Vans turns his observations into guitar laden indie rock with tight melodic hooks and sincere lyrical sensibility. His new album, DJ Booth, was released this year and he can be seen performing with his band Alex Vans & The Hideaway.
Ty Braddock has been honing his honky-tonk craft around the dimly lit clubs of the east coast region for the past several years now. It looks as if this past year could be the springboard he needed to jump into the mainstream lights where he belongs. His new CD entitled "Mr. Honky Tonk" features such stellar stars as Merle Haggard's ace guitarist Redd Volkaert, recent Grammy nominee Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody fame, and Austin Texas pedal steel guitar master Ricky Davis to name a few. Ruthie Logsdon (Multiple WAMA award winning country female vocalist) also makes a duet appearance on the project.
Many are calling him "the voice" of country music on the Washington DC music scene these days and for good reason. Picture listening to someone with Waylon Jennings power and range, Johnny Cash's attitude, and a George Jones like softness to deliver a heartfelt ballad that will surely get the eye faucets running. It's real folks, and he delivers the goods with great passion. He is engaging, polite, and commands a great presence on stage with an often tongue in cheek sense of humor.
Edward O’Connell is a Washington, D.C.-based singer and songwriter, whose albums "Vanishing Act" (2014) and "Our Little Secret" (2010) topped power pop "best-of-the-year" lists and earned glowing reviews from the pop cognoscenti (MOJO: “Brilliant!”).
Bill Williams is a DC-based guitarist, songwriter, singer and arranger who has performed and recorded extensively with Last Train Home, Kevin Johnson and the Linemen, the Tone Rangers, Jelly Roll Mortals and Little Pink, among others. His 2007 solo album, "Handful," earned a handful of WAMMIE nominations as well.