The Autumn Defense
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
The Autumn Defense
By day John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone sell thousands of albums and tour the world as members of indie juggernaut Wilco, while lending their writing, playing and producing abilities to dozens of high-profile recordings. But by night these renowned pros are able to sit down, relax and create something special that comes straight from the heart of why they pursued music as a career - and that's the Autumn Defense.
After releasing 2007's The Autumn Defense on their own Broadmoor label, Stirratt and Sansone have teamed up with North Carolina's Yep Roc Records to release their latest full-length effort, Once Around. For the past nine years, this pair of Southerners-turned-Chicagoans has quietly been nurturing the reverent, classic pop of the Autumn Defense. Though the outset of the band saw Stirratt handling the bulk of the songwriting while Sansone lent his talents to production, the duo has steadily evolved into a partnership in both respects. From 2000's debut effort The Green Hour to the critically lauded, salt-of-the-earth folk rock of 2003's Circles, the Autumn Defense developed its late afternoon kickback sound like a fine wine develops and deepens – with time. Once Around is a formidable tapestry of thoughtful, intricate sunshine wrapped around a core of timeless, experienced songwriting. It's the kind of record that needed to be made, for the audience but also for the artists.
But that part didn't come easily.
"I think the possibility of an Autumn Defense album after the self-titled LP was a little bit in question," Sansone says. "It wasn't explicit...but I think we needed a little bit of time to reconnect with why we do this, and realize how much we enjoy it."
The majority of that reconnecting occurred while Stirratt and Sansone were in New Zealand last year to record the Seven Worlds Collide charity LP with singer/songwriter Neil Finn and a host of other talented musicians. "The experience in New Zealand was instrumental in this," Sansone recalls. "We were spontaneously writing new songs, having other musicians that we really respect recording with us and reacting so positively to the Autumn Defense
Like Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, Bart Davenport has seen many an era. He’s been a mod, a bluesman and a softrock troubadour. His latest full-length album, ‘Physical World’ (Lovemonk/Burger) is a culmination of all those incarnations and more. With shirts from the 60s, guitars from the 80s and the timeless voice of a real crooner, it’s a one-of-a-kind hybrid of paisley pop and sweet soul. One foot in reality, the other firmly planted in the fantasy world within the three minute pop song, Bart tells of life and love in the modern world with sincerity and a subtle sense of humor.
Davenport recently migrated to Los Angeles to form a new band lineup with the help of bassist and pal, Jessica Espeleta. She brought in Dream Boy, Wayne Faler, whose signature jangly guitars weave their way impeccably into Bart’s songs. Nathan Shafer plays piano and synthesizers while drummers Andres Renteria and Paul Burkhart take turns on the kit. Producer, Luke Top (Fool’s Gold) captures the group’s undeniable chemistry on ‘Physical World’. This is the sound of an artist at his peak backed by an accomplished team of like-minded musicos.
A native of Oakland California, Bart Davenport’s roots are in the 90s garage and blues scenes. His first professional band, The Loved Ones released two albums on the Hightone label. The group performed a rawkus, high energy style of r&b, opening for the likes of Junior Wells and John Lee Hooker. In the 00s Davenport went solo and turned the volume down but not the intensity. Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience singer, Erlend Øye, has called him the “best one-guy-and-guitar performer there is”. Bart’s decision to perform solo acoustic was born out of pragmatism. Traveling light made touring possible and performing alone helped the artist to hone in on conveying subtle and meaningful material. The recording studio was another matter entirely.
Released in 2002, Bart’s self-titled solo debut was an indie pop layer cake filled with drums, organs and vocal harmonies. He quickly followed that in 2003 with ‘Game Preserve’ on Antenna Farm Records. Next came ‘Maroon Cocoon’ in 2005, a carefully honed lo/hi fi record made on an 8-track tape machine. In 2007, a side project called Honeycut released ‘The Day I Turned To Glass’ on Quannum Projects. Their tune, ‘Exodus Honey’, was featured on an iMac ad campaign as well as the installation disc for Mac OS Leopard and Snow Leopard. Bart Davenport returned in 2008 with his fourth solo album, ‘Palaces’. Featuring production help from psychedelic main man, Kelley Stoltz, the album would be referred to by Sylvie Simmons of MOJO as “a fine example of San Fran’s vinyl and thrift shop culture, turning stuff people throw out into something new”.
Between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Davenport released three European records and spent much of his time touring the continent. There was a covers album, ‘Searching For Bart Davenport’ (Tapete Records, Germany) and two from side projects; ‘With All Due Respect’ by Incarnations (Lovemonk, Spain) and ‘Comedians’ by Honeycut (Discograph, France). In 2012. Bart Davenport’s ‘Someone2Dance’ b/w ‘Cheap Words’ saw the return of longtime compatriot, Sam Flax, as Producer. The Flax production opened a new chapter in the Davenport saga, with drum machine, synth and guitar lines reminiscent of early 80s new wave and power pop. Following that, Davenport relocated to Los Angeles where he gathered together the band that would eventually record ‘Physical World’, scheduled for release on Lovemonk and Burger Records in March 2014.