Leah Calvert, Neal Fountain
515-B North McDonough St.
Decatur, GA, 30030
Doors 7:45 PM / Show 8:00 PM
"The sonic complexity [of Satellite} is belied by the fluidity of the overall composition, a masterful job of joinery that, seen (or rather heard), from up close, reveals the care and talent of its creators.” -Roots Highway
"Most of Calvert’s songs are more disconsolate and mysterious, but more importantly, they are so unbelievably human. She’s not just shaking mountains with [Satellite]. Calvert is building her own right from her past’s ashes." -Sarah Groth, Surving The Golden Age
Leah Calvert is many things, among them a singer-songwriter and in- demand Atlanta-area fiddler and vocalist. Over the years, she has shared the stage with award-winning artists including Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), Kristian Bush (Sugarland) and renowned songwriter Radney Foster. In addition to her work as a solo artist, she is a member of Atlanta acts The Dappled Grays and John Driskell Hopkins Band (Grammy winner and founding/current member of Zac Brown Band).
Calvert’s work with The Dappled Grays has spanned over a decade, during which time the group has found an audience in the United States and beyond. In 2012, they penned music for and appeared in Clint Eastwood’s film Trouble with the Curve, and their album Doin’ My Job received critical acclaim and heavy rotation worldwide, charting on both Sirius and XM.
With her new record Satellite, Calvert moves into uncharted territory, articulating a sound that is wholly her own. Though the compositions and vocal stylings offer a humble nod to her acoustic bluegrass roots, the record is musically a departure from this sound. With co-producers Marlon Patton and Rick Lollar (of Atlanta rock outfit Weisshund) providing a refined rock backdrop, Calvert deftly maneuvers through forms and styles ranging from traditional ballads to blues.
With Satellite, Calvert launches the listener directly into space; the record soars, it orbits, transmitting complex information in a palatable form. Several themes emerge: the fear and alienation that exists within our current political climate, emotional detachment from reality, and keeping safe the things which are most precious to a person -- which for Calvert include her young daughter. “Having a child,” she says, “augments the weight of the world on your heart.” In the liner notes, she includes several lines from environmental activist Wendell Berry's "How to Be a Poet," lines which ultimately became the inspiration for the record. In the poem, Berry urges readers to “Live / a three-dimensioned life; / stay away from screens. / Stay away from anything / that obscures the place it is in.” Many of the songs on Satellite read like poems, demonstrating both a clarity of thought and an urgency which demands that the listener be present in this three-dimensioned life.
Hailing from the musical hotbed of Athens, GA, 32 year-old Neal Fountain has been playing professionally from the age of 14. Best known as a sideman to prominent local fixtures Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners and drumming phenom Jeff Sipe (aka Apt Q258), Neal’s name is on the short list of greater Atlanta’s finest musicians.
In 1999, he released (on his homegrown label, Archive Music-see: www.archive-music.com), “Megaphone Man”, the debut of his whack power trio by the same name that bravely consisting of bass, sax and drums. In 1995 he released a CD called “Glossolalia”, a biblical term for “speaking in tongues”, that featured a then relatively unknown Jon Medeski on organ and other keyboards, and a post Aquarium Rescue Unit, pre-Leftover Salmon (but phishy nonetheless) Jeff Sipe (probably better-known by the handle given to him by Colonel Bruce Hampton- “Apt Q258”).
In between the release of Sun’s Anvil and Megaphone Man, Neal was a touring member of the Boston-based funk mob, Fatbag, Sipe’s Apartment Projects (whose activities, luckily, were documented extensively by their fervent fanbase coming out of the ARU camp) and the Fiji Mariners (who were documented live on an official Capricorn release entitled Fiji Mariners-Live).