Singer-songwriters Callie Crofts and Robert Gillies perform at 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at Empty Sea Studios, 6300 Phinney Ave. N. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. The show also will be webcast on The Roots Channel.
From whimsical acoustic folk to edgy alternative rock, Callie Crofts has made her mark as an independent singer and songwriter….Now, almost six years after the release of her folky debut album Zen Garden which launched her into an independent career with an eager global audience, Crofts is preparing to release a new solo EP entitled Reassembled.
“Transformation” is absolutely a fitting word to describe her discography. Crofts’ work over the span of her career boasts a scope and variety that few indie artists can claim. Since her solo debut, Crofts has gained viral popularity with inspiring pop singles “October” and “Electric Stars and Satellites”, shocked fans by starting and releasing two full-length albums with dark edgy rock band ‘My Fair Fiend’, and even reached top-ten positions on Billboard Charts with a family Christmas album entitled Sparrow in the Birch which she produced, arranged, and wrote original songs for.
From performing at winter markets in small-town Scotland to opening for artists like A Great Big World and Andy Grammer in the rush of California, Robert Gillies has come a long way to be where he is. After moving to the US in 2008 to study at Berklee College of Music, alongside classmates Betty Who and Karmin, Gillies made the move out to California to be closer to the scene he’d admired from afar for so many years.
With 2011’s critically acclaimed “Astronaut” and his equally well-received follow-up “The Distance” in 2014, he firmly planted himself in the acoustic singer-songwriter realm, performing countless house concerts and mini tours across the US, but it was in that time that he realized that he wanted to do something a little different.
Next month, on March 4, local favorites Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons perform, after just winning the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. It also will be broadcast on The Roots Channel.
The songs on their new album, Take Yo Time, tap into everything from the hokum jug bands of Gus Cannon and the Memphis Sheiks, to country blues masters Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and Blind Willie McTell. They also touch on ancient English ballads like “House Carpenter”, Appalachian murder ballads like the classic “Tom Dooley”, and the early jazz compositions of Shelton Brooks and Duke Ellington. All of these traditions are tied together in the swirling musical whirlpool of pre-war American music. With a well-rosined fiddle and an old banjo, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are tracing these backroads, bringing the songs back to life.