Radio Woodstock 100.1 WDST Presents
I ♥ ME: A benefit for Melissa Eppard
22 Rock City Road
Woodstock, NY, 12498
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Arc Iris crystallizes the evolution of composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Jocie Adams, a former core member of renowned indie-folk band The Low Anthem. This is a breakaway moment for Adams, who now takes center stage as composer, lyricist, and lead vocalist. Embracing her new role as auteur, Adams has created a genre-bending style that often shifts between cabaret-infused jazz, orchestral sophistication, grimy
outlaw country, delicate and whimsical harmonies, and big-band exhilaration – sometimes all in the same song. Hers is an all-together different world where fantastical whimsy goes hand in hand with down-to-earth grit, and where rigorous classical training inflects but never softens the visceral rawness of hard-won experience.
Adams is a refreshingly grounded character who draws on the same combination of technical wizardry and lighthearted wonder whether she is grappling with a complex set of notes or rigging up an indoor playground for her cat. She's dabbled in rocket science, but a stint working at NASA isn't really what sets her apart – it's the fact that she couldn't care less about it. That same freedom of spirit compelled Adams, who is a classically trained composer, to make the leap to the world of rock when she joined The Low Anthem in 2007. Now, she's transformed herself once again by carving out a space that is wholly her own within the worlds of lyric writing and orchestral arrangement.
Songs on the 11 track album range in sonic and emotional intensity - from the patient brooding of "Honor of the Rainbows" to the smoky cyclical aura of "Lost on Me."
Adams' vast aesthetic vision is matched only, and appropriately, by the band's multifaceted musicianship, which includes Zach Tenorio-Miller on piano, Mike Irwin on trumpet, Robin Ryczek on cello, Ray Belli on drums, Max Johnson on bass, and Charlie
Rose on steel banjo and trombone. In rehearsing, the group drew inspiration from a range of artists, in particular Dirty Projectors, Harry Nilsson, and Leonard Cohen. The album's unique sound is informed as much by Joni Mitchell as it is by Björk's sonic experiments and sweeping film soundtracks.
Yet while songs on the album pull just as readily from 19th century cello and 1970s pop, what emerges cannot be called mere eclecticism. Adams' style is highly focused at every twist and turn, creating an aesthetic where juxtaposed edges are sharpened rather than blunted. In "Money Gnomes," the rollicking simplicity of a bluegrass bassline makes room for sweeping, cello-infused turns around the dance floor. Part
morning jaunt down a dusty road, part lithe-limbed waltz, the music, like its lyrics, seems to offer potential for adventure and ultimately, in the breathy mantra of its coda, intimacy.
"Swimming," meanwhile, infuses the wry commentary and piano-draping antics of a folkcabaret routine with woozy, orchestral impressionism. Saucy trumpet hits—doubled in
Adams's vocals—and the obsessive ticking of snare and high-hat foreshadow, but never quite give away, the song's eventual, and eminently satisfying, dissolution into wailing rock outro. Together the pieces cohere to explore the concept of the new – an experience that is as intoxicating as it is terrifying. "Arc Iris encapsulates that sense of the future for me," Adams says, "a sign of something beautiful that will hold my hand for a long time."
The group's fearless embrace of juxtaposition is apparent in the way they practice and perform. Members won't hesitate to spend hours tinkering with a few notes if it means enhancing the synthesis of sound and storytelling. "We will always try every single idea," Adams explains. (Her neighbors probably agree – one morning after a rehearsal went past 3 a.m., a crew arrived to install sound-proofing for the house next door). Yet on stage, disciplined background morphs seamlessly into spontaneous innovation. Band members don't have set parts so the group never quite repeats itself two nights in a row. The musicians say that such on-the-spot acts of creation require two key ingredients: mutual trust, and individual nerve. And, they say, "we've got a pretty healthy dose of both." This rare mix of obsessive attention to detail and quirky playfulness is a distinguishing feature of Arc Iris. This is what makes it possible to have, on the one hand, an album so refined and tightly crafted that it considers everything including the cords that connect one track to the next – and yet on the other hand have the musicians gleefully sum it all up as "mystical rainbow fairy kitten astronauts hurtling through the cosmos."
A passionate singer, gifted pianist and insightful songwriter, David Baron has caught the ear of audiences across the globe with his soaring vocals, confessional lyrics, and powerful piano pop/rock sound.
David Baron has sold out numerous venues across the country as both a solo artist and lead singer of the Bryan Bros Band featuring David Baron. After the release of his self-titled debut EP, Baron completed a nationwide tour that included opening slots for Jonas Brothers, David Archuleta, and Brandi Carlile, as well as headlining performances at notable venues such as Great American Music Hall and Slim's (San Francisco), Mercury Lounge (New York), The Viper Room and Hotel Cafe (LA).
In between selling out shows across the U.S., Baron has toured internationally with the Bryan Brothers (#1 world-ranked men's doubles tennis team) as the lead singer of the Bryan Bros Band featuring David Baron. Their debut album Let It Rip reached #12 on the New Releases – Pop charts on Amazon.com, and for his work with the Bryans, Baron has been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, The New Yorker, 60 Minutes, CBS Early Show, and the Los Angeles Times.
A native of South Florida, David Baron graduated from Stanford University and Columbia Law School. While at Stanford, Baron was the lead singer and songwriter of The Spins, a San Francisco-based rock group that won Best Music Video in San Francisco for the Baron-penned song "Tell Her Something". Baron currently resides in New York.
Simi has been a founding member and front person for various bands – including The Duke and the King who disbanded in 2009.
Her exceptional musicianship subsequently made her an in-demand live sideman. The fire to do her own music still burned.
The genesis of the current sound began when Simi Stone and David Baron started writing songs with the intention of selling them to other artists. The first song they wrote together was Good Girl for a boy band in the UK. Luckily, the band never recorded the song.
The song sat around for awhile until Simi was asked to open for Simone Felice in Europe. She had nothing recorded so Simi called David and they made an EP the three days before her tour – tweaking the lyrics of Good Girl to be about the singer herself. The EP and her solo songs were received well.
The pair continued to write songs in the mountains of Woodstock. The team expanded when luminaries Zachary Alford and Sara Lee joined in. The small ensemble kicked around song ideas, arrangements – and eventually honed their own sound.
A successful Kickstarter campaign cemented the deal. The ensemble (affectionally called the Simi Stone Orchestra) was finally able to make a proper Simi Stone record.
Gigs were very well received. The material and productions evolved.
Gail Ann Dorsey came on board with her critically acclaimed voice and guitar playing.
The band also has been fortunate enough to work with friends — Adam Widoff and Danny Blume — on wicked guitars both live and in the studio. Also an awesome horn section with Tony Aiello and Sam Kulik!
The music took on a life of its own – born and raised entirely in Woodstock.