On Your Radar: Hosted by John Platt from WFUV
Leo Sidran, Skye Steele, Burning Bridget Cleary
185 Orchard St.
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer Leo Sidran was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, which is sometimes referred to as 70 square miles surrounded by reality. His father, Ben, another multifaceted music man, provided his early musical sustenance. His mother, a weaver and travel agent, provided texture and safe passage.
Leo is releasing his fourth solo record in April. 2015. The appropriately titled “Mucho Leo” is his first in a decade, and when we say "solo," well, Sidran not only sings and plays everything on this new effort, he could also take credit for recording and mixing the album.
It makes complete sense, says Sidran, "It's a very personal project, and after a long period of working behind the scenes, it's an important creative statement for me, but I also have a larger story to tell."
We will tell at least some of it right now...
Sidran got his start writing songs professionally as a teenager when the Steve Miller Band recorded four of his songs for their 1993 Wide River album. Leo's father, Ben Sidran — a producer and jazz musician — was working with Miller at the time, which is how Leo made the connection, but even then, at the ripe old age of 15, he was interested in production. So, Steve invited him to play keyboards, guitars and drums on the record.
Subsequently, Leo attended the University of Wisconsin to study History and Spanish. During a year abroad living in Spain, he fell in love with Spanish music, and after college he spent quite a bit of time back and forth between his hometown of Madison, WI, and Madrid. During that time, Sidran developed a strong relationship with several Madrid-based "Latin alternative" artists like Jorge Drexler and Ana Laan. Years later, Sidran would co-produce the Academy Award Winning song, "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" from the film The Motorcycle Diaries for Jorge Drexler in 2005.
After the Oscar win, Leo made a move to Brooklyn and not only started producing records for other artists, but also composed music for film and television commercials amassing a catalog of over 100 major TV ads for clients like Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonalds, Stella, Ford, Garnier and a dozen film scores for outlets such as ESPN, Discovery, IFC, Sundance, and PBS.
In addition, around this time, Leo started a small label called Nardis Music with his father releasing solo projects by father and son, as well as some projects that the two produced for other artists, like Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown's original funky drummer). Leo has produced all of his dad's records for the last decade.
As a drummer, Sidran has played and recorded with jazz luminaries including Phil Woods, Howard Levy, David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry and Dave Grusin, and as an engineer he's recorded projects ranging from jazz great Mark Murphy to British duo Massive Attack.
To round out his penchant for curating the music he loves, earlier this year, Leo launched a podcast called The Third Story (www.third-story.com) in which he interviews musicians, producers, songwriters, and other friends in the creative class about their personal stories and professional journeys.
Mucho Leo is an important recording in the canon of Leo Sidran precisely because it pulls together and crystalizes Sidran's influences and passions, as one can hear strains of Leonard Cohen, Randy Newman, Michael Franks and Manu Chao, among others, but is also struck by the reality of a distinctive 'voice' and an illustrious history that has remained, to some extent, unsung up until now.
Sometimes a year gets out of hand. At the end of 2014 Skye Steele finished work on his first solo album, Up From The Bitterroot, and hit the road playing DIY shows all over a country, over 100 to date. In between his own tours this year he found time to collaborate on violin with Vanessa Carlton, Jolie Holland, Deer Tick, and Bollywood superstar Arijit Singh. In the midst of all this, Skye snuck away to LA for a few days of writing and recording with producer/guitarist Cassorla (Dawes, Blitzen Trapper, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), who he shared an apartment in Harlem with in the early 2000's.
"Take Me On" the first taste of this new collaboration, was premiered by Paste in December-- combining Steele's frank, unaffected vocals and lush violin work with mellotron and a deep drum machine groove. The combination is as infectious as it is heartfelt, and the two have now dived head-first into recording a full-length, whose songs Skye will preview tonight.
"Skye Steele makes violins sound like no other" --Daytrotter
"Rustic and worldly" --NYTimes
“imaginative, insightful, and touching…. Somewhere between Beck’s Sea Change and the psychedelic freak-folk of Devandra Banhart" --Pure M Magazine
"confidence and flair and musical ambition by the bucket load. You’ll have heard few finer such albums this year.” -- AmericanaUK
Burning Bridget Cleary
Once called “the Allman Brothers of Celtic fiddle bands, only prettier”, Burning Bridget Cleary features the remarkable musical talents of Rose Baldino and Deirdre Lockman, who lead the band with high-energy and tightly woven harmonies in both fiddle and vocals. The driving rhythm and bass end is supplied by Philadelphia native, Lou Baldino on guitar, and percussionist, Peter Trezzi, on djembe drum.
BBC has played hundreds of performances along the East Coast, and produced four CDs. Their second production, Everything is Alright, was named “2009 Album of the Year” by Boston-based CelticRadio.net. Their newest CD, Pressed for Time (June 2013), is receiving strong radio attention and praise; it hit #1 on the 8-30-13 Roots Music Folk and Roots Country Charts and spent the entire summer in the top ten of the June Folk DJ Charts.
A debut music video with single release, "Stor Mo Chroi: Darling of My Heart", was published in May, 2012 on YouTube and all the major music download sites.
In the spring of 2011, Burning Bridget Cleary completed a weeklong tour of Ireland where they performed at seven different venues from Dublin to Galway. While there, the band had a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to visit the rural Tipperary cottage of their namesake, Bridget Cleary, who is remembered as "the last witch burned in Ireland".
Known for their captivating sound and engaging stage presence, Burning Bridget Cleary is currently one of the hottest young acts on the Celtic and folk music circuits.
General Admission Seated || *Please note, there is a $10 drink minimum for this show*