Jerry Joseph, Abe Partridge, Will Stewart

Jerry Joseph, Abe Partridge, Will Stewart

Performers:
Jerry Joseph
Abe Partridge
Will Stewart
$15.00 On Ticketfly
Ages 21+
Jerry Joseph, Abe Partridge, Will Stewart

JERRY JOSEPH

Some songwriters just strike down to the heart of things. Even when they're being tender they nail you in the soul's solar plexus, shaking us with words and wires and something inescapably human. Jerry Joseph is this kind of composer - a rocker with emotional scalpel that cuts deep every time. He wears his influences on his sleeve - Elvis Costello, Neil Young, John Lennon, Steve Earle - but tailors them in ways that are always distinctly himself, probing the politics of love and nations with equal dexterity. By turns tough and unbelievably bruised, Joseph's work manages to be joyfully pissed off and achingly bittersweet, often within the space of just a few verses. There's a healthy restlessness to his music, a stripe of his modernity and tireless engagement with the world that places him next to younger contemporaries like Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Ryan Adams.

Joseph has worked tirelessly since his late '80s/early '90s days in Little Women, averaging an album a year since 1994. Often live-on-the-floor affairs, there's an immediacy and personal reach to his albums like kindred spirits Chris Whitley and Vic Chesnutt, his fellow toilers in the under-sung singer-songwriter field. Like the best musicians, there's always a forward motion to his work, some force that compels things ahead from where they've been, something one hears loud & clear on his latest project, The Denmark Veseys, a malleable band named a controversial slave revolt leader from the 1800's and based around the core of Joseph and master percussionist Steve Drizos that released their self-titled debut in early 2008, which ranges from the Buzzcocks-like punk pop of "Helena Bucket" to the masterful Americana sway of "Cochise" to incendiary agit-prop rockers like "Ho Chi Minh." Produced by David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt), the new record has the measured intelligence of craftsmen able to whisper and scream on several levels at once, a callback to a time when real musicians made thoughtful rock 'n' roll albums that thrive on repeat, revealing fresh details and nuances over time hidden amongst the lesions and frustrations Joseph & Drizos etch so eloquently on their debut.

ABE PARTRIDGE

Abe Partridge is one of the most respected songwriters and visual folk artists in Mobile, Alabama. He released his second full-length release, Cotton Fields and Blood For Days, in January 2018 to rave reviews and substantial airplay on Americana radio and landed Partridge a lengthy feature in The Bitter Southerner. Ranging from the earthy to the surreal, from the spiritual light to the depths of depression, Partridge draws listeners in with a combination of southern gothic storytelling, dark humor and gripping intensity. Savannah Morning News said, “The singer/songwriter has emerged in the last two years as a tour-de-force of a live act, with the DNA of folk heroes named Townes, Bob and John, combined with his own unique perspective of rock ‘n’ roll and his Southern homeland.” Partridge made his debut at The Bluebird Café in Nashville, July 2018 and brought the house down with his passionate performance. He toured the Netherlands and Belgium November of 2018 and performed at the prestigious 30A Songwriter Festival in Santa Rosa, Florida, in January of 2019 along with performers such as Jason Isbell, Steve Earle, Shawn Mullins and more.

Alan Harrison of THE ROCKING MAGPIE said, “...Partridge sounds like a prodigy of Townes, Guy and Rodney the way his lyrics poetically twist and turn via a grizzled and lived in voice over a jagged acoustic guitar”. Tony Paris of Creative Loafing Atlanta, GA said, “ To call Partridge a singer-songwriter/ guitarist would be a disservice. He’s far more than that. He doesn’t just wear his heart on his sleeve, but rips out the one in his chest, putting what’s pumping through his veins on display.” Jim Halfpenny, producer of the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival in Austin says, “Abe Partridge is that special kind of singer/songwriter who has the ability to connect with just about any audience. His songwriting is top notch and his stage presence and song delivery are nothing less than stellar. Everyone should keep an eye on Abe Partridge - his future is bright.”

Partridge is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album he is recording with Nashville guitarist/producer Shawn Byrne. His new album is expected to be out by the end of 2019.

WILL STEWART

In March 2016, Will Stewart headed back home to Alabama.

He'd been away for years, living in Nashville while earning his stripes as a songwriter, frontman, and lead guitarist. His fans reached as far away as London, where The Guardian — one of the U.K.'s most widely-reached papers — hailed his work.

Still, something kept drawing him down South. He'd grown up there, surrounded by the twang of classic country music and the stomp of rootsy rock & roll. Alabama was a complicated place, its history filled with dark characters and cultural clashes, but it was oddly compelling, too. It was home. Unable to resist the pull, Stewart returned to Birmingham. There, after a decade away, he rediscovered his muse: the Modern South, whose characters, complexities, open spaces, and strange beauty are all channeled into Stewart's full-length solo debut, County Seat.

Released in 2017, County Seat is a guitar-fueled Americana record, caught somewhere between the worlds of country and electrified rock. The songs are roomy and lush, the result of an inspired — led by Stewart, who handles singing and guitar-playing duties — whose members recorded all nine tracks in two short days. There are swirls of swooning pedal steel, layers of vocal harmony, and the pastoral punch of a songwriter looking to turn the landscape of his home state into music. Close your eyes while playing songs like "Brush Arbor," whose title references Dennis Covington's Salvation on Sand Mountain, and you'll hear Stewart's Alabama home.

County Seat is also a record about time. On the album's title track, Stewart sings about a lonely man in his twilight years, hoping to find some sort of transcendence from an otherwise mundane, day-to-day life. During the nostalgic "Sipsey," Stewart longs for the wonder and innocence of young adulthood. And with "Heaven Knows Why," he takes a look at his own vices, realizing the hour has come to leave some of those habits behind. Like Stewart's own move back to Birmingham, County Seat finds its narrator in constant motion, hoping to weather the mysteries and murkiness of the 21st century South by holding on to a shred of hope.

Co-produced with Les Nuby (who also engineered and mixed the album) and recorded in a series of live takes, County Seat nods to a number of songwriters who sing about the beauty of their homeland without glossing over its imperfections. There are electrified moments influenced by Neil Young, guitar arpeggios suited for R.E.M., turns-of-phrase worthy of Bob Dylan, and the modern-day folksy charm of Hiss Golden Messenger. On an album that evokes some heavy starpower, though, Will Stewart shines the brightest. This is his first full-length release as a solo artist: a rallying cry from a Son of the South who, having returned home after a long trip, looks at his birthplace with renewed eyes.

Venue Information:
The Hotel Utah Saloon
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107