Queen Orlenes, Yoni Gordon
249 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11215
Doors 8:00PM / Show 8:00PM
This event is 21 and over
In the fall of 2011, my band and I spent a week at White Star Sound in Virginia with my friend and producer, Jamie Candiloro (Ryan Adams, R.E.M., PJ Olsson) and tracked a collection of songs I had been writing over the past two years. The songs on my fourth full-length studio album, Fading Light, were written for different reasons, but this particular collection is some of the most intense, emotional and personal work I've done to date.
I grew up in Rawley Springs, Virginia. Rawley Springs isn't a town -- just some cabins, trailers, and campsites in the mountains just east of the West Virginia state border. When I was a kid my uncle had October-fest parties. At one of these parties I remember this bluegrass band playing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Seemed like the whole party was singing along. My mom gave me Music From Big Pink by The Band soon after. From there music became my obsession.
I started messing around with guitar when I was 3, but I wasn't really playing until 11 or so, and didn't start writing songs until around age 13. My first shows were open mic nights at local bars in Charlottesville, VA. I eventually moved to DC thinking it could be a good stepping-stone to New York. It was in DC where I recorded my first full album, Blue Dreams in 2004. I just went in with my acoustic guitar and sang for a couple hours and finished the same day.
For about 4 years following Blue Dreams, I found myself lost and addicted to drugs. I did manage to record an album in that four-year stretch, Love Verses Heroin - certainly not the feel good album of the year. When I recorded my third album in 2007, ...And I Am The Song of the Drunkards, I was clean and back to enjoying playing music. I formed a band and we just played for the fun of it. There were no expectations, just joy.
In 2010, I was the first artist signed to 9:30 Records in Washington, DC and released a collection of songs I called The Little Fox EP. Since that time, I have been fortunate to perform with Ray LaMontagne, K.D. Lang, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Drive-By Truckers and Badly Drawn Boy.
Seems no matter the struggles in life, I always come back to music. Fading Light is my reawakening.
The story of Queen Orlenes begins in Caldes d'Estrac, a beach village an hour north of Barcelona. Sitting on the balcony of a run down hotel, American-born, London-based songwriter Brooke X opened up her laptop and began typing a letter. It had been one helluva year. A heady cocktail of personal tragedy and professional set backs had left Brooke in a quandary--suffer the same fate as so many music industry casualties, or wipe away the tears, pick herself up, and try again?
The letter, as it turned out, was to her future band mates--long time friend and New Yorker Ian Wolff and native London musician Rob Walbourne. What would happen if they took away all the pressure to be successful? And focused solely on making the music they loved and could be proud of.
The answer came a few weeks later, via a 15-hour drive from NYC to Sparta, Tennessee. The trio set up their gear in the rural farmhouse of Ian’s grandfather and spent the hot Southern summer turning years of angst and anguish into the sound of Queen Orlenes.
Ten Tennessee demos completed, the group returned to London and happened upon producers Richard Cardwell and Jim Duguid, who took an instant liking to the band and promptly cleared their schedules to begin making the records.
In between studio sessions, the band embarked on a self-funded UK tour whilst setting up shop in farmhouses across North Devon and East Sussex where they continued to write songs. "The Ark," one of the sparkling results of a North Devon session, was included on charity album "Songs To Save A Life" to raise awareness and money for the Samaritans.
With four new tracks, Queen Orlenes are readying the release of their debut EP "Helicopters," on their own label, River Gang Records. Title track "Helicopters" is about "finding the courage to talk about the stuff in your life that's fucked you up," Brooke X explains. "Or it will bury you." It's a heady mix of melody and emotion, set to sparse yet hypnotic guitars and a marching drum beat that builds and builds.
This is music made by real people who have lived and loved hard.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Take your seats, the show is about to begin. I want to welcome to the stage the last, living song and dance man; an entertainers entertainer! Somewhere between the sweaty, swagger of soul music, and the heart and humor of a folk troubadour is Yoni Gordon. Someone said it best when they compared him to "Roy Orbison, Tom Waits and Jonathan Richman taking a road trip together through the southwest." Sounds pretty good, right?
Yoni Gordon is a practitioner of the long forgotten art of SHOWMANSHIP. Right now there are hundreds, NO thousands of musicians out there playing music, but Yoni Gordon is out there putting on a SHOW. If he needs to get down on bended knee and preach, HE WILL; if he needs to play his guitar behind his head(and play it better than most kids can play in front of their heads), HE WILL; if he needs to take requests from the crowd, covering everything from Usher to Weird Al and back, HE WILL. Whether he is playing in a bar or a basement or an ice cream parlor, he is the best show in town. And he is here, now, playing in your city. Go see him for God's sake. You won't be sorry.
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