Harmonica Dunn Presents!!
The Little Family Band
Emily Forst, Abraham Mellish
2447 N. Halsted
Chicago, IL, 60614
This event is 21 and over
The Little Family Band
Picture if you will - A ray of sunlight hitting your feet in the morning, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the company of those you love, a sense of home and purpose, a pulse driven heart beat, leading you down an open road with no destination and the windows rolled down... within this stillness there is an energy, that is where you'll find The Little Family Band
Emily Forst takes her place on the blue-eyed soul stage with self-made 2012 debut album, Here We Go. After a bitter breakup, the sultry songwriter recorded her debut album at NYC’s legendary Avatar Studios. The ten track album of masterful craft, musicianship, and deeply emotive vocals has drawn comparisons in the industry from Fiona Apple to Bonnie Raitt. Although all audiences will take something away from the universal themes of the album (heartbreak, loss, and eventual hope), audiophiles searching for fresh chord progressions, high levels of musicianship and polished yet genuine production, will find her music particularly rewarding. These songs, with catchy hooks and lyrics that matter, will stay with you long after the music has finished playing.
Where does the heartbreak come from? Emily relates that, “in 2011, my boyfriend and I broke up. Everything I had built for five years in NYC came crashing down around me. We lived together, built a business together, and it hurt terribly to loose so much so quickly. I essentially locked myself in my apartment for three months and finished writing these songs as a way of coping with everything I felt. I was determined to make something positive out of all the pain and confusion I was lost under. It became my first album.”
She began writing the songs, starting with “Fall Awake”, at the age of 16, after spending a white night in NYC’s Chinatown. The lyrics, “And you and I, let’s get acquainted with the night” echo the sultry, subtle sexuality that underlies the record. She notes, “I was always impressed with singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. They sang using breath and timing. It’s like they told the story in suggestion. That takes real artistry.” Some of the songs took only a few hours to form, and some took years. “Thomas came to me like a flash of lightning. Words, melody, chords- boom! All at once, and the version I wrote in a few hours is essentially the one on the record. ”Song I Never Wrote” took about ten years. On the day I sang the vocals in the studio, I was still scribbling down lyrics, until I finally got it right in the nick of time.” Will we have to wait another ten years for a second record? ”Ha! I hope not!”
Emily was influenced by her father’s record collection growing up. “More than what was playing on the radio, I fell in love with my dad’s LP collection. There were a lot of great singers from the 60’s and 70’s, and a lot of jazz. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, John Coltrane… Appalachian folk tunes, disco, you name it.” At the age of 14, while attending high school in Maynooth, Ireland, she discovered Jeff Buckley’s “Grace.” She reminisces, “I remember a friend giving it to me, and just hating it the first time listening. I accidentally cracked the cover, and had to buy her another CD at Tower Records. I kept the cracked copy and kept listening. It was the first album that had such a strong effect on me. I kept listening, and grew to be so touched by the emotional rawness of his voice, and the pain he just bled out on the tape. It’s the album that’s influenced me the most by a long shot.” There’s also a fair amount of scholarship in the music. “I’ve always been interested in classical music. I started violin when I was 7 and studied classical guitar in college, ultimately deciding to major in Music Composition. There’s probably some of that in the songs too.”
On what she hopes her listeners get from the album she said, “Whatever you need. These songs are here for you to take what you need from them. Whatever that is, it’s yours.”
They say the people who exhibit the most kindness understand the true sting of pain. Abraham Mellish has seen a lot in his 23 years, but he still remains a hopeful and jubilant spirit. After surviving two civil wars in his homeland of Liberia, he found refuge in music. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Lucky Dube, and Fela Kuti, Abraham developed his own sound, combining Western Folk, Funk, and Blues with an African pulse.