Upstate

Upstate

For Upstate, the last few years have been a time of profound exploration and self-discovery. As the band knocked off milestone after milestone on the road, their sound, their lineup, and even their name all underwent dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging andthrilling all at once, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s dazzling new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.Recorded primarily over six days at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY, ‘Healing’ is the band’s first release with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown. It’s also their firstproject to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band since their earliest days.Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, ‘A Remedy.’ The Poughkeepsie Journalraved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while Chronogramhailed their “infectiously sunny organic stew,” and The Altcalled them “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.” The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.Upstate is:Melanie Glenn, Mary Kenney, Allison Olender -VocalsHarry D'Agostino -BassRyan Chappell -MandolinDean Mahoney -Cajón

Avi Jacob

“My first memories, all my memories, are of feeling completely isolated, sad and alone”, says Avi Jacob. Though it would be easy for Jacob to lose himself in this darkness, his new EP, Surrender, does the opposite of that. Instead of retreating into himself Jacob uses the vulnerability of songwriting as a therapeutic form, for himself and for others. on Surrender Avi Jacob works to uncover his own deepest fears to mine that empathy. As he says “I’m trying to connect people to the reality of their emotions, if they understand them then they can understand and have empathy for others.”

“There was a guy after I sold all the albums opening for Dr. John, this guy came up to me and was wearing all camo, he was in town for a hunting conference. You could tell by looking at him he was very conservative. He had tears in his eyes and said “that song pickup truck was really beautiful, it touched me and made me think of my father”, or something to that effect. That to me was really important because I could tell that was a really big thing for him, to open up like that.”

James and Simone Felice holed up in a barn in New England in the dead of winter with Jacob to record this EP. You can hear the influence of the Felice’s, with an organ flourish, a touch of accordion, coaxing out those spacious, poignant moments on Surrender. Combining folk sensibilities with classic soul, in the vein of Alabama Shakes or Ray Lamontagne, Jacob’s EP is influenced equally by South Carolina, where he spent most of the past decade, and the Northeast where he spent his formative years. It’s a plainly self-reflective piece, not trying to impose itself on your but to bring you along for this frightening, elating, confusing journey.

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