Tim Easton

Tim Easton

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer

Wed, October 17, 2012

9:00 pm


Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

Tim Easton
Tim Easton
Tim Easton is a consummate traveling songwriter. From his Ohio roots through stretches in Paris and Prague, Tim grew his credentials with stints in NYC and LA, leading to his latest encampment in the high desert country outside of Joshua Tree, California. This contemporary troubadour, in the strictest definition of the word, continues to make the rounds in a business where traveling is both the inspiration and the reward.
His continuous adventures down roads both easily traveled and not are evident in the songs on his latest effort, BEAT THE BAND, an independent release from Easton’s own label, CAMPFIRE PROPAGANDA. Another revolution for Easton’s songwriting, the observation and introspection on BEAT THE BAND marks his first entirely independent release since his ’98 debut, Special 20. The album is also his first effort recorded with a traveling band since his college days with Columbus, Ohio’s short lived Haynes Boys. Since those days Tim has shared stages in North America, Europe, and Japan with artists/influences Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt and M. Ward.
“This is a unique batch of songs – not just everyday stories,” says Easton. “Some of these lyrics are brand new, some of them I’ve carried with me for the better part of 10 years.”
BEAT THE BAND was recorded and produced by The Freelan Barons during a five day session at Nashville’s Club Roar, and mixed by Grammy winner Steve Christensen in Houston. Easton’s direction and depth of craftsmanship shine fully on BEAT THE BAND – one foot standing firmly in the history of American folk music, while the other strides deftly into lush pop harmonies and song constructions. The effect propels listeners from the melancholic soul searching of a night where Nobody Plays Piano in Athens, Georgia, to the redemption and hope stirring through the protagonist of Daily Life.
The bristle of Porcupine, Easton’s prior release (New West, 2009), is still present in BEAT THE BAND, but it has gained the polish and shine that come only with a band that has developed a strong collaborative rapport. The songs were worked over prior to entering the studio by The Freelan Barons on a three week tour of the Midwest. The discipline inherent to band sets gave the folksinger with an aversion to doing things the same way twice a good reason to pin these arrangements down.
Knowing Easton’s catalog didn’t hurt either – both Mark Stepro (drums, Ben Kweller), Aaron Lee Tasjan (guitar & piano, Madison Square Gardeners) used to sneak into the music clubs of Columbus, Ohio to hear Tim play. Alex Livingstone, from Austin, TX’s Grand Champeen, rounds out the rhythm section on a Rickenbacker bass. The talent present and time spent bashing these songs out in clubs has given a distinct edge to BEAT THE BAND.
Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer
Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer
Human chemistry is indeed a mercurial thing. And adding any artistic endeavor into that mysterious balance can, every so often, create some true magic. For Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer (pronounced fair), the delicate intertwining of music, life and that always-fine interpersonal equilibrium has borne fruit in the shape of a truly one of a kind artistic partnership.

With the release of the songwriters’ first official collaboration, Seed of a Pine, the duo’s striking ability to blend their lush folk and Americana-influenced styles is on full display. McGraw’s consoling, velvety baritone voice, reminiscent of Greg Brown, coupled with Fer’s soaring and subtly powerful vocal approach, likened to that of Patty Griffin, puts a spit-shine polish on the finely crafted body of songs they have generated together. The intricate weavings of their vocal harmonies are undeniably exceptional. McGraw’s hard-hitting tunes echo narratives of the culture and landscape of the American West, wherein he thoughtfully spins tales of everyday folks looking for a little something more in their earthly existence. Fer takes a more dreamy approach, evoking complex and ethereal imagery within her sultry and haunting melodies. Her potent electric lead guitar playing, in the vein of jazz-fusion guitarist John Scofield, bravely propels this duo through their uniquely heartfelt and spirited live performances, winning over audiences night after night.

McGraw and Fer have amassed an admirable résumé and an ever-expanding fan base during their time playing music together. Having toured the U.S. from coast to coast, performing in highly esteemed theaters to intimate listening rooms, the pair has honed their skills sharing stages with fellow troubadours including Willy Porter, the Swell Season, Tony Furtado, Jeffrey Foucault and many others.

Seed of a Pine itself was recorded in Chicago during the summer of 2011 with renowned producer Zach Goheen and includes contributions from a litany of acclaimed musicians, including Wisconsin singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey, Po’Girl songstress Allison Russell, and Chicago’s JT Nero (of JT and the Clouds). Released February 15th, 2012.
Venue Information:
Hotel Utah
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107