MilkBoy Coffee Presents: An "In The Round" Performance Featuring:
Jason Waters, Angie Atkinson, Jeanette Lynne, Suzi Brown, Nicki Sbaffoni
2 East Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA, 19003
"See This Through EP" - yet another good example of new, accessible rock that hasn’t been dumbed down to appeal to corporate radio or the bankruptcy-bound major labels" - Lucid Culture
There's something undeniably sincere about the way Jason Waters sings to you. Whether he’s crooning a tenderhearted ballad or belting out a rock song, his goal always remains the same: make you feel the music. And not just feel in the way of wanting to get up and groove but to touch upon something deeper and more genuine in the heart of his listener.
Emerging as a promising songwriter on the NYC music scene in 2005, Waters has brought forth his debut release, "See This Through", evoking an electrifying contemporary americana-rock sound with influences ranging from Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Ray LaMontagne. Heart-felt and emotionally drive, his music seeks to speak to the dreamers and lovers in all of us.
The initial driving force that led Waters to seriously pursue a path in music was British rock group, Coldplay. Captivated by the album A Rush of Blood to the Head and relating personally to some of their more emotional songs, Waters began dreaming of becoming a rock star himself. Waters first songs were heavily inspired by Coldplay's meditative, alternative-rock sound and the romantic lyrics of front man Chris Martin, of whom Waters modeled his animated onstage performance. And it was the song “Clocks” by Coldplay that compelled Waters to teach himself piano at the age of 13.
He started songwriting in 2005, which then prompted him to release his first solo demo The Jason Waters Experience (not publicly released). His songs were praised by Good Times (N.Y.) magazine as seeming “much deeper than the 'story song' style of modern songwriting.” The publication described his songs as revealing “a genuinely romantic heart, a rarity to reveal in music these days.”
Waters expanded his song themes to include hope and optimism after being inspired to learn acoustic guitar by his younger brother Jared, a talented musician in his own right. His songs “Strong” and “Hold On” speak of Waters’s admiration for his brother's inner strength after having to endure chemotherapy at the age of nine due to a brain tumor related to Neurofibermitosis (NF).
Developing his songwriting even further, a new sound has emerged from Waters in the past several years stemming from a shift in musical influences from modern British rock to Americana rock becoming inspired by singer songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and contemporary Ray LaMontagne. This resulted in the release of his debut melodic Americana-rock EP, See This Through, which was heavily inspired by a trip Waters took after graduating college in 2010.
He set out for the West Coast for what he calls a “soul-searching journey” visiting the Pacific Northwest for the first time and revisiting his favorite places in California. Inspired to write more songs, Waters wrote the entire EP while out on the West Coast.
Upon returning to New York, Waters immediately hit the studio, teaming up with a foray of talented musicians including, his long-time producer Jim Sabella (Marcy's Playground, Nine Days) and Mike Mulieri, (The Upwelling) at Sabella Studios. Waters also had the opportunity to team up with renowned drummer Steve Holley, who has played with rock legends such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Robert Plant, Ian Hunter.
The first three songs recorded,“Darkness of the Day,” “Honeylips,” and “When I See This Through” were a tribute to Waters's newly found American singer-songwriter inspirations and speak to the introspective mood he acquired from his time on the West Coast. While “Darkness of the Day” is reminiscent of a haunting Johnny Cash, songs like “Ready to Fly”and “Late Night Telephone” represent a more mature uplifting sound. He worked with Sabella and Mulieri to transform those two songs from acoustic, low-tempo to electrified, high-energy rock n' roll. Complete with rock n’ roll power chords and grooving bass lines, topped with Waters’s surprisingly raunchy, but still sentimental vocals, these sounds merge together taking the EP to new heights.
See This Through is more than a personal album about a young man chasing after his dreams and aspirations no matter how impossible they seem. It seeks to reach out to others who feel trapped by demanding social expectations and mundane convenience and makes a call to keep your dreams and passions alive. “I want to promote this idea of optimism and faith, that everything will be okay,” says Waters.
Angie Atkinson is a Harlem based musician with roots in Starkville, MS and Richmond, VA. Growing up in the buckle of the Bible Belt was a challenge for Angie, an early adopter of frequent hair color changes and a non conformist sense of style. The positive attention she received for her incredible vocal ability was tempered with a healthy dose of negative attention for her appearance. She always dreamed of living in New York City, a place where she could be as weird as she wanted, yet normal by comparison.
In 2009, Angie started her life over in New York with very little money and a guitar she was still learning to play. She focused primarily on her acting career during her first year in the city. Then, while in East Texas for an acting gig, she had an epiphany. Something about being in the South again inspired her. Maybe it was the easy sounds of the nearby local honky tonk that drifted through her window every night. Maybe it was the good-hearted East Texans and the forthright way they expressed themselves, so conducive to Angie's frank and personal lyrics. Or maybe it was just all the damn good barbecue. Regardless, Angie resolved to put down the scripts and pick up the guitar. She went back to New York with songs pouring out, and couldn't wait to share them with the world.
They say you can take the girl out of the South, but can never take the South out of the girl. Angie could never forget her deeply ingrained Southern roots, and it is this blend of country mouse/city mouse influences and inspirations that makes Angie's alt-pop-country so unique.
At 22 years of age, Jeanette Lynne is a young acoustic singer and songwriter ready to break into the big-time music scene as she amasses a larger following –almost by the day– in the Philadelphia and surrounding area.
As she finishes her college degree she has her sights set on the road, getting out and sharing her music with her hometown area and then the whole world. This Philadelphia starlet it definitely headed in the right direction.
Writing songs about love and loss and singing with an angelic voice set to smooth acoustic tunes that can’t be resisted, Jeanette is poised to capture the collective musical heart of the Delaware Valley with soulful and engaging tracks such as “Love and you” and “Feels like forever”. You’d be doing yourself a disservice to live a moment longer with out peppering a little “Jeanette Lynne” into your life.
-Nathaniel Dodson (endy photography/blogger)
Suzi Brown is a well traveled and accomplished singer/songwriter, acoustic instrumentalist, and session musician based out of Harrisburg, PA. Having worked as a studio artist, singer/songwriter, and touring musician in many foreign nations she gained experience in connecting and communicating to a diverse crowd. Suzi's guitar work can be found and heard throughout the world on several different projects.
An innovative unconventional approach to the guitar is a signature trademark to Suzi's live performance. Suzi is constantly reinventing her style and approach to playing the guitar. From the gained skills she has had as a session player, Suzi has learned how to accompany other artists not only in volume and control but in musical input for live and recorded accompaniment. Having also studied music abroad, she brings her ethnomusicology background into her melodic riffs, creating versatility in her sound.
Suzi began her independent career in the United States after coming off of a band tour from the East coast of Australia. Immediately she took on working as a session player backing other artists in the studio, and also developing her own craft as a singer/songwriter and performer. Her career has truly developed, as her hard work has paid off with the high profile gigs she has been now landing.
Open, honest, creative, authentic and genuine describes the approach that Suzi has to her live performance, as well as the character qualities she has when working with other industry professionals. Inspired by singer/songwriters as well as story tellers Suzi's performances are very personal and memorable as she remains vulnerable and truthful for each performance. Suzi will take you around the world and even to your own backyard to where you are presently with her memorable melodies and truthful lyrics.
Setting herself apart from most singer/songwriters and performers, Suzi is taking the unconventional and creating the conventional when it comes to venues. Suzi has been found playing in a gay bar in Bangkok Thailand as a venue to playing out on the sunny beaches of Byron Bay Australia, to playing in a prison in Central Pennsylvania. As a musician she has truly set herself apart in taking music where no other musician has ventured to go!
Nicki Sbaffoni, born and raised in southwest Pennsylvania, has been writing and performing music for more than half her life. After moving to the Philadelphia area in 2002, Nicki found herself surprised by the wealth of opportunity in the local music scene and promptly gave up her day job for a new one: Acoustic Entertainer! As summers approach, you’ll find Nicki playing solo shows up and down the Jersey shore and year round performing all over the Philly, NJ, and NY areas.
While Nicki works consistently as a cover-based entertainer, she relishes in opportunities to focus on original music. Nicki’s compositions all fall snugly into the acoustic pop genre, with strong, emotional lyrics, hypnotic melodies, and catchy refrains.
Nicki’s upcoming release, “Falling all the time” combines full band recordings with stripped bare acoustic songs more reminiscent of her live performance, abundant in clever songwriting and refreshing style.
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