Adam Acuragi, Cheyenne Mize, and Emily Jane White - Starry Plough 40th Anniversary Celebration Kick-Off
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA, 94705
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM (event ends at 1:00 AM)
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Adam Arcuragi is an American-born folk/soul songwriter and musician from Georgia, who also lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for many years. He is credited with being the founder of the musical genre Death Gospel.
Adam's debut album (untitled) was released on High Two in 2006. Upon release of the album, Arcuragi was praised for his complex and often introspective lyrics and his voice garnered comparisons to Nick Drake and Mark Kozelek. Songs from the album were featured on stations and sites such as NPR's All Songs Considered. In 2008, Arcuragi recorded a La Blogotheque/Take-Away Show in New York City and the same year released his EP 'Soldiers For Feet.'
Arcuragi released his second full-length album titled I am become joy in September 2009. The album included collaborations with singer Dawn Landes, Jesse Elliott of These United States, as well as Brian Christinzio of B.C. Camplight The backing vocals on I Am Become Joy were meant to sound like that of a "ramshackle choir as though each song was tracked in a different church across the wide swath of Route 80 that cuts from southern Georgia to Mississippi."
"Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It" was released on January 31, 2012. The album premiered on NPR's "First Listen," and the first single, "You'd Think This Was Easy" premiered on American Songwriter. Positive album reviews appeared on NPR, Paste, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Prefix, Impose, Time Out New York, The Portland Mercury and many others.
Over the past two years, Adam recorded an NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Bob Boilen, three Daytrotter Sessions, and toured extensively through the United States and Europe, with his band 'The Lupine Chorale Society.' He recorded a version of Claude Ely's Ain't No Grave for a compilation called 'The Old Lonesome Sound, alongside artists Wye Oak, Deer Tick, Phosphorescent and others. Reviews, Interviews and articles appeared in Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, American Songwriter, on NPR, in The L Magazine, Magnet, The Philadelphia Weekly and The Washington Post, The Austin Chronicle, The Guardian UK, Huffington Post and many others. In 2012 he recorded a 78 Project that was featured on The BBC.
Cheyenne Mize’s forthcoming release, Among The Grey (Yep Roc), fulfills the promise hinted at with her debut, Before Lately (sonaBLAST!), and subsequent EP, We Don’t Need (Yep Roc). Whereas Before Lately was a slow-burning, introspective, meditative affair, We Don’t Need offered an expansion of her sonic palette and left listeners wanting more. Among The Grey stands strong as a cohesive artistic statement, once again showcasing Mize’s multi-instrumental and arranging skills.
The songs on Among The Grey were written during a relatively short period of both explosive creativity and harrowing self-doubt. Says Mize, “In the midst of this generally positive time I was struggling with huge questions about my life. I had the impression when I was younger that there would be a point in life when all of the sudden I would be ‘grown up’ and have it all figured out. Among the Grey comes from this idea that most of our lives are lived in the in-between places instead of the destinations. Fortunately the good stuff is in the middle, in the process. In that grey area is where you find those little sparks or dashes of color that make it all interesting and worthwhile. The record is like that; it’s dark at times, but has a lot of sparkle to it.”
For Among The Grey Mize worked with a group of musicians who had been touring companions: JC Denison on drums and percussion, Emily Hagihara on bass, percussion and backing vocals, and Drew English on guitar. They tracked the core of most songs live, allowing what she calls a “raw and person-driven sound. Having that human element and letting the songs develop organically was very important for me. In a way I forced my musicians to go in somewhat blind. So much energy comes with not being prepared.” Mize credits recording engineer and co-producer Kevin Ratterman - who has also engineered My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird - for crafting many of the sounds on the record, while also playing some drums and guitar. Mize also enlisted the help of several local musician friends (including her former touring partner Ben Sollee on cello), adding strings, horns, and more vocals to round out the sound.
Sonically Among The Grey is finely polished, and flows naturally between soft and intimate, laid back and lilting, stormy and intense. Mize is equally at ease winding melodies around almost ambient shimmering atmospherics as she is belting out lines over a locked and loaded rhythm section. Recording on the grounds of a church in Louisville, the band took advantage of their access to unique spaces. Using their environment to shape the sounds for each song, they recorded in the gymnasium for soaring guitar tones, the sanctuary for choir-like backing vocals and huge drum sounds, and even the basement, where they found the items used for the unsettling percussion on the song “Give It All.”
Lyrically, Among The Grey moves between buoyant positivity, wistful melancholy, and proud, almost angry defiance; yet all of the songs share a particular intensity of emotion. Interestingly, Mize sculpts her lyrics to fit the energy of the music she’s written. “Being trained as a music therapist, I play from a really emotional perspective. So most often I am playing with an idea, and once I have those sounds and patterns figured out I start to translate the feelings that are embodied by those sounds- they solidify in my mind from emotions and moods to actual words.”
Though Mize writes from a deeply personal perspective, all the things she speaks to on this record are very much universally human. “The last chorus on the record – I wouldn’t go back – kind of sums this up. As much as we look on the past (fondly or not) we don’t want to go back because where we have been is what makes us who we are– at some point we have to be okay with the process that has brought us to this moment.”
Mize introduced herself internationally on the 10″ release Among the Gold with Bonnie “Prince” Billy – an inventive take on a variety of late 19th century American parlor music. After the release of her debut Before Lately in 2010 (which The New York Times described as “sweet without being cloying, weary without hopelessness”), and subsequent performances at South By Southwest, Mize was chosen by NPR as one of their ten “Discoveries at SXSW 2011.” Among The Grey is her third solo release. Mize resides in Louisville, KY.
Emily Jane White
There's a rare confidence to Emily Jane White's songwriting: it's at once generous and tough-minded, reflective and unsentimental. Her work shares some elements with folk music, but the term does not do justice to her ambitious songwriting and robust arrangements. White possesses a singular voice inspired by the raveled threads of the uncanny in American culture, including depression-era blues and classic works of gothic literature.
"Enough gothic imagery for an Edgar Allan Poe novel." - Rolling Stone
"San Francisco-based singer-songwriter with a dark streak, has the perfect voice -- a coarse but beautifully aged alto soaked in rye….a beautifully produced collection of shiver." - NPR
$6.00 - $9.00