Fresh from Florida...
Lauris Vidal, The Cowards Choir (Andy Zipf)
3227 N. Davidson St.
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Lauris Vidal has always treated the neck of his guitars like the skate parks of central Florida, where he grew up. Lauris has navigated both instrument and skate session with an aggression and ease of stride that serves not to impress or intimidate, but to inspire and invigorate.
The Cowards Choir (Andy Zipf)
"I've been doing the more aggressive thing for a few years, so this is a little newer direction for me on a record," Andy Zipf says of 'Jealous Hands.'
Andy Zipf (pronounced ZIFF) has stretched well beyond feverous guitar playing and dug deeper into his coined intimate falsetto voice on his third full length, Jealous Hands. Forgoing the usual process of trying to capture the delicate tight rope of his live show -- revival energy cascading into quiet moments of revel -- producer Jeremy Griffith (Norma Jean, Guiltmaker) and Zipf whittled down the twenty songs culled for Jealous Hands to ten. With a full day devoted to each song, there was no guide other than letting the muse carry each song for the day, often times surprising the two. The end result is the most soft-spoken release of the performing singer/songwriter's career; an Americana record true and pure that stands free of the genre connotations that such a word brings. This is over a year of Zipf's life captured, from the non-stop life on the road to what ends up coming home, Jealous Hands is his story and his soundtrack.
With well over 400 shows played in a little over four years Zipf has held close to a play anywhere for anyone mentality performing at coffee shops, house shows, and the standard venues. Zipf chose out of necessity to go out into the no man's land of touring alone. He held no desire to move to a city cluttered with agents and label relations out of hopes of getting the big record deal. For the D.C. artist music is about the connection it brings and the bond it creates; and the only way to achieve that is to play for anyone at anyplace.
"If you can't do that then why are you doing it?" Zipf remarks. Much like his heroes (Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Simon) Zipf has taken the long road avoiding the begrudging conventional path laid out by the music industry and built an audience through friendships and not quick marketing shuffles, corporate admired ads, and digital spam.
It's these close knitted relationships to his fans and constant touring to earn an audience that has gained Zipf a lot of success without following the traditional model. From being a PurePick at Purevolume twice, to grabbing the attention of The Today Show, XM Satellite Radio, VH1 and MTV, to now having the song Stumble on the Line featured on the ABC show Private Practice. Zipf has shared the stage with artists like Cold War Kids, Jeremy Enigk, Badly Drawn Boy, Rosie Thomas and Dave Bazan.
Each of Zipf 's seven releases have carried their own story on how they were made. For his 2009 sophomore album, The Long Tail, Zipf took to playing a series of fundraising concerts, house shows and investor parties, ending with $45,000 donated to produce The Long Tail, a passion stirring release that brought touches of soul to his ever evolving sound. Without a doubt the album's support proves that belief goes a lot father than a social website's play count.
"I don't think I've ever done anything this personal before," said Zipf, as 'Jealous Hands' is far more than just another record, it's an album of breaking safety. Where Zipf once interjected himself into songs at small moments as a guest visiting he's now made himself the main character, and his life the setting.
"There are things through out the whole record that I'm referring to this hope that I feel and determination," Zipf said. From the confessing struggle that inspired the narrative of Promise and Purpose while on To Write Love On Her Arms tour to Gracious Woman, a song for his wife on her countless support for him, despite the absence his art can cause.
"This is sort of a blue-collar musician's story," Zipf said. And now with a full band to back 'Jealous Hands' a new chapter in that story has begun.
- Matt DeBenedictis
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