Chris Kasper CD Release Party
Hezekiah Jones, Jason Loughlin and The String Gliders
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
"Nothing cuts to the core like a simple song," says Chris Kasper. More than a dozen years into his acclaimed career, the singer/songwriter gets back to the bluesy basics with his fifth album,O, the Fool.
Inspired by Delta blues, folk music, and the string arrangements of Hollywood film scores, O, the Fool was recorded on both ends of an 800-mile move that took Kasper from Philadelphia to
Nashville. He'd already spent much of his adulthood on the road, traveling from city to city, building his fanbase one show at a time. Meanwhile, back at home, his friends were putting down
roots and starting families of their own. Kasper couldn't help but question his own choices, and it's that swirl of contrasting feelings — uncertainty, determination, and wanderlust — that fuels O, the Fool.
"It's about traveling," he says of the 13-song, self-produced album, "and then second-guessing your travels once you've arrived at your destination. It's about coming to terms with the thing that makes you think, 'Ok, maybe this isn't the right place for me, but I am here, so I should make it work. This is where life has brought me.'"
The album's title was born during a coffee shop meeting with a friend, who spilled a pack of tarot cards across the table. The first card was the Fool: a traveler with a bag slung over his shoulder,
headed toward some unknown destination. The illustration reminded Kasper of himself. Weeks later, another friend found the same card and brought it to Kasper, saying the two troubadours resembled one another. Kasper agreed. "The card embodies that feeling of wandering," he explains.
"It reminded me of the journey that music takes you on, and you can't predict where it's gonna take you."
From a songwriting perspective, O, the Fool is a simple, straightforward album. The chord progressions
are basic, influenced by the no-frills approach of blues musicians and early 20th century folksingers. The arrangements, on the other hand, are downright lush, with Kasper taking
inspiration from the epic, sweeping scores of old western movies. He engineered the string parts himself, working with multi-instrumentalist Kiley Ryan — who contributions to the album include viola, cello, and violin — to create orchestral swells. Cinematic and beautiful, the songs on O, the Fool show Kasper's capabilities not only as a songwriter and evocative vocalist, but as a producer, too.
"This is a realization album," says the songwriter, whose past travels have included opening gigs with the Wood Brothers, Amos Lee, and G Love. "It's almost like a soundtrack — a blues
album meets a western movie. When your songs are simple and direct, you can go nuts with the presentation. You can strip away the fat from your writing, but still turn the entire arrangement
into something bigger. That way, the punches hit harder."
Come to think of it, that doesn't sound so foolish after all.
Hezekiah Jones is the musical vehicle for Raphael Cutrufello, a Philadelphia-based musician who has been recording with his bandmates--AKA the family Jones--since 2006. Their newest creation, In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw, will be released by Woodfarm Records in late fall, 2015.
Drawn to the cartography of imaginary worlds, Raphael began writing soundtracks to nonexistent science fiction films in middle school. He has written about everything from the inability to grow a proper beard to letters from 30 years in the future, to psychic mobility, or the lack thereof.
The perpetual sense of next that defines Raph’s lyrical sensibility has earned him loyal fans who reside in the sweet spot for an artist: they support Hezekiah Jones at live shows in order to re-experience the songs they know, while asking for new recordings to hear what will be. Like Hezekiah Jones, their community is along for the ride.
Raph grew up outside of Philadelphia, where he currently resides with his wife. His parents, a hairstylist and a bookkeeper/pie¬maker, encouraged him to explore his craft, and he spent his early years studying piano and jazz composition. Although Raph’s music is often classified as folk or indie folk rock, he is a writer devoted to serving the songs’ impulses and inherent desires, and doesn’t feel obligated to fulfill or defy the expectations of a specific genre.
Hezekiah Jones has recorded two full-¬length albums and two EPs with Yer Bird Records: Hezekiah Says You're A-¬Ok (2006), Come To Our Pool Party EP (2007), Bread of Teeth EP (2009), and Have You Seen Our New Fort? (2011). His work has also appeared on numerous compilations and side projects including a split 7" with Chris Bathgate, a collaborative full-¬length album with The Spinning Leaves, and a EP with The Moonlight Family Singers, and a number of (real) film soundtracks.
In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw marks a significant departure—and expansion—in style for Hezekiah Jones-this album is the first time the live band has participated in the recording process. Up until this release, the albums were recorded layer by layer on out¬dated equipment in bedrooms and basements across Philadelphia. This new album, though, siphons the energy of the Joneses from the stage, a blood-on-blood transfusion that underscores oosi’s theme of a gentle, loving exorcism, a letting go of the ghosts and demons that haunt our subtler bodies. We yearn to be as free from them as they want to be from us.
The record features contributions from Pocono Jones (Brad Hinton) on guitars and vocals, Pepe Jones (Philip D'Agostino) on bass, Schuylkill Jones (Matt Helm) on guitars, Kiwi Jones (Kiley Ryan) on fiddle and vocals, Roy G. Biv Jones (Daniel Bower) on drums, and interspersed throughout is Dr. Lionel J.D. Jones (Andrew Lipke) on whatever object was placed into his hands. Many additional guests also joined in on the noise-making, infusing the overall sound with the richness of fresh musical collaborations. Some of Philadelphia’s top engineers, including Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten), Jim Salamone (Teddy Pendergrass), Andrew Lipke, and Matt Muir, have ensured In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw is the most cohesive and well-rounded of all Hezekiah Jones records to date.
Upside-down guitar playing, a family band that consists of approximately 75 people, a legend of origins as a snail: there is nothing straight forward and normal about this band, although the unflashy demeanor of the group may transmit otherwise to the unattuned. As Bruce Warren, Program Director for WXPN, says, "Raph is one of the most creative, most unique, and has a real singular voice and vision for his music."
Having spent many years on the road with such acts as Chris Kasper, Chris Bathgate, Good Old War, Samantha Crain and many others, Raph is itching to come out of his touring hiatus to support his own new release.
Jason Loughlin and The String Gliders
Jason Loughlin’s guitar playing has been defining the Brooklyn country
scene. His creative guitar work has supported artists such as Amos
Lee, Rachael Yamagata, Nellie McKay, James Burton, Jim Breuer, Lesley
Gore, Mike Viola and the Sweetback Sisters to name a few. Downbeat
Magazine calls him “an instrumentalist of great range, taste and joy”.
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Dining is available at World Cafe Live. Reservations are accepted for Upstairs Live, our full service restaurant; we recommend scheduling a reservation 1½ to 2 hours before show time. Downstairs Live offers a full service bar, and a limited food menu is available for most shows. For more information, please read the Dining FAQ.
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