Refreshing folk from New Hampshire songsmith
830 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR, 97214
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Derry, New Hampshire native Brendan James started his professional career in New York City. An early champion of his refreshing folk-based sound was Carly Simon, who personally called and invited him for a duet session at her house in Martha's Vineyard. "I couldn't believe she called me, her music played in my house all the time as a kid," James marvels. Simon and James recorded a duet called "Let The River Run" that was streamed during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway.
In 2005 James signed to Capitol Records, but his tracks went into major label purgatory during the 2007 Capitol/Virgin merger. He emerged a free agent and independently issued the EP, "The Ballroom Break-In," and his debut full-length, "The Day is Brave," before signing to Decca Records in 2008. Brendan re-released his debut and his second album, "Brendan James," on Decca Records. During this formative time he played over 300 shows, building a robust fanbase touring with such diverse artists as John Mayer, Paula Cole, Keb Mo, John Legend, The Fray, and Robert Cray. James garnered widespread exposure through his songs being featured on television shows such as "Private Practice," "American Idol," "Bones," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Army Wives," and "One Tree Hill." He also made TV appearances on "Rachael Ray" and "CBS Sunday Morning." Both Brendan James albums climbed the iTunes Top 10 pop chart -- James' sophomore album, "Brendan James," climbed to #1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts.
In 2011, Decca and James parted ways due to budget cuts. Already tired of the industry's constant grind, the break in partnership lead James to rethink his life and, ultimately, rediscover his muse. "I had this summer where I decided to say yes to everything that wasn't music. I went skydiving, shot bow and arrows, went to Alaska," James says. "For the first time in my life, I was free, and I thought, 'Maybe I wont do music at all,' but it led to my most creative year." He wrote and released his third album "Hope in Transition," in July of 2012, toured the country two times over, and immediately began writing a fourth album.
James' latest album "Simplify" is a true return to his roots, written in what he would call his "most centered writing state in five years." It was co-produced by Brendan and producer Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa) and presents Brendan in his purest form. It is scheduled for release in the Summer of 2013.
In October 2007, singer and songwriter Jenn Grinels of Cupertino, California, gave up her apartment, setting out her first tour armed with nothing but her guitar, a beautiful voice and a passion for music. Over four years later, the self-described "soulful, bluesy, jazzy, folk rock, singer/songwriter," has released two full-length albums, toured the country extensively, and won numerous awards for her amazing set of pipes. Despite not having a permanent address for almost five years, Grinels never slowed down, and continued winning fans during her one-of-a-kind performances, sharing the stage with artists like Christopher Cross, JD Souther, Cracker and Rebecca Loebe. Named "2012 Vocalist of the Year" by APCA for the third straight year, and "2012 Performer of the Year" by Campus Activities Magazine, Grinels is notorious for her impressive songwriting ability, incredible stage performance and unmistakable vocal abilities.
From the beginning, Grinels has wowed critics, who praise her voice as "truly phenomenal" (S.D.CityBeat) and "jazzy in its pacing, soulful in its delivery, and heartfelt in its sensuous tone"(Full Value Reviews). Grinels's first full-length album Little Words displays her masterful vocal abilities with a spread of folk-meets-rock/pop songs. Grinels was awarded "Song of the Year" (West Coast Songwriters) for "Can't Stay Here," while music from Little Words was featured on MTV's hit show, Grinels sophomore album, brokenHEARTbreaker spotlights her raw vocal talent, layered with songs that range from upbeat and fun, featuring playful instrumentation, to intimate and haunting tracks, laced with moving harmonies and lyrics. Tracks like "Don't' Want To Be Happy," and "Expectations" showcase upbeat tempos mixed with Grinels's signature wordsmith abilities, while tracks like "Love Again" and "Always" expose a deeper, more intricate message and sound. Indie Reviewer Magazine says, "You'll travel back in time when you listen to the third track, "Don't Wanna Be Happy." It sounds like it could be released in an era decades before Jenn's time. The woodwind arrangement and use of horns makes this a refreshing change of scenery from most of today's popular music." Grinels will be touring nationally in conjunction with her radio campaign for brokenHEARTbreaker throughout 2012, along with her band.
Having settled in New York City in early 2012, Grinels does not spend much time at her new address. Still on the road, she continues touring the country, writing songs and perfecting her craft. Everywhere she goes there seems to be an ever-growing audience embracing her musical abilities. CrazyTalk.com says, "Her voice is just absurd. Two artists kept coming to mind – Martin Sexton and Fiona Apple. Sexton because of her vocal focus & control; Fiona Apple because of her tell-off confessional and conversational lyrics, her penchant for complex rhyme schemes, and her powerful, listen-up-buster delivery."
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