Kacey Johansing, Sera Cahoone

Kacey Johansing

Described by The Bay Bridged as "gorgeous acoustic pop", San Francisco based musician Kacey Johansing creates songs with meandering melodies, lush harmonies and moody aural landscapes. Weaving together elements of folk, jazz, pop and classical music, it sounds as if she spent years studying in old smoky theaters with icons Leonard Bernstein and Joni Mitchell directing the show, and The Beach Boys in the orchestra pit. A soulful, honeyed voice and lilting vibrato land her the leading role.

Johansing's latest release and sophomore LP, Grand Ghosts, evokes the wilderness of the California coastline that she now calls home and the isolated mountain towns in Colorado where she grew up. Sonically and thematically darker than her debut album Many Seasons (2010), Grand Ghosts grapples with loss, paying homage to loved ones who passed during the making of the record. While Many Seasons reads more like a playbill, featuring a rotating cast of skilled friends and local musicians, Grand Ghosts was intended to capture the chemistry shared by the more permanent cast consisting of Johansing (electric guitar, piano, organ, vocals), Jeremy Harris (guitar, piano, vocals, and string arrangements), Robert Shelton (keyboards), James Riotto (bass), Ezra Lipp (drums), and Andrew Maguire (vibraphone, percussion).

Sera Cahoone is a long way from home. Growing up the daughter of a dynamite salesman in the Colorado foothills, she got her start on the drums at 11, and at 12 her mom was taking her to dive bars to sit in with the scruffy old bluesmen. By the time she picked up a guitar, she had been so shaped by these things – the dynamite, the blues, the woods and the hills – it's no surprise she went on to be one of the strongest songwriters in Seattle's ever-vibrant Americana scene.

Since migrating to Seattle in 1998, she has played with Carissa's Wierd, Band of Horses, Betsy Olson, and singer-songwriter Patrick Park. She released her solo debut in 2006, and her widely acclaimed Sub Pop debut Only as the Day Is Long in 2008.

Deer Creek Canyon, her third solo album, sees her ruminating on the gravitational pull of home. Titled for the Colorado canyon where she came of age, where her mother still lives, Deer Creek Canyon delves deeper and sees her voice remarkably stronger than on her past albums. Where her previous efforts explored the complicated throes of dark emotions, this album is more richly focused. Home is even present in the more personal songs struggling with various facets of love and friendship ("Worry All Your Life", "Shakin' Hands").

Deer Creek Canyon was recorded in 2012 at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Wash., then headed to LA where Sera co-produced it with Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver). True to her sensibilities, she enlisted the talents of her long-time live band – Jason Kardong(pedal steel), Jeff Fielder (acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro), Jonas Haskins (bass), Jason Merculief (drums), Sarah Standard (violin) – plus Tomo Nakayama on piano and organ, and Emily Ann Peterson on cello.

All these things contributed to Cahoone singing from a firmer foundation this time around, trusting the simplicity, bending against the elements like those trees in Deer Creek Canyon. Listen closely, the music feels like home.

$12 adv / $15 door

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Kacey Johansing, Sera Cahoone

Saturday, November 30 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Chapel