Eric Long: “So hold onto the best, and let go of the rest, cause in the morning, them sweet things might be gone” – Live at Sofar Sounds in SF (Aug 12, 2019)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Grateful to have discovered the massively talented singer/songwriter Eric Long at High Sierra music fest this year, and even more grateful to have caught him at an intimate Sofar Sounds show in SF earlier this month. I found myself instantly memorized by his rich, raspy vocals and his blending of folk, Americana, and blues. He stands out as one of the few SF Bay area musicians playing a finger-style bottleneck slide guitar that draws strong similarities to Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, and Charlie Parr. SUCH A TREAT. Songs like ‘Dance with Me,’ ‘Hey Now Baby,’ ‘Leaving,’ ‘Maraschino Cherries,’ and ‘Pennsylvania on My Mind’ had me hooked hard, and I found myself playing his 2018 album, ‘A Long Way From Home,’ during my entire 10 hr drive back to LA the next day. ‘Pennsylvania on My Mind’ especially hit home, considering that I too moved from Pennsylvania to California over a decade ago and had to endure the mixed emotions of uprooting to a new coast in search of new adventure and new possibilities. ‘Hey Now Baby’ is also a beautiful track for the lovers, with lyrics that certainly melt the heart: “Hey now baby.. while your dreaming gets my heartbeat, you are stealing my breath away.” If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be ‘Maraschino Cherries,’ for the melody and beautiful violin, as well as the pensive lyrics that I think we can all relate too: “Still don’t know where I’m going, guess it’s time to move along, don’t know where I’m headed there’s just no where to know. It’s so easy to say, little harder to do, sometimes it’s the sweetest things that you can’t hold on to …Take alot of man to know what he’s after, a better man let it walk away.. What’s a good man to do without a women by his side… Sometimes it’s the sweetest things that fade away before too long. So hold onto the best, and let go of the rest, cause in the morning, them sweet things might be gone.” Eric Long’s music a sweet thing that I certainly want to hold on to, and I hope he will be playing for a long, long time. ❤

 

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The Oh Hellos: “Nothing lasts forever, Some things aren’t meant to be, But you’ll never find the answer, Until you set your old heart free” – The Fillmore in SF (March 29, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

The Oh Hello’s surely HAD US AT HELLO last night at their headline show in San Francisco back in March. This high-octane, Texas-bred folk-rock octet delivered an explosive, high-energy performance that SHOOK The Fillmore like a level five earthquake. Their energy was BEYOND INFECTIOUS, and watching ALL 8 members go APE SHIT on their instruments just had you instantly flailing your arms and stomping your feet to join the madness. I remember from first seeing The Oh Hellos back in 2015 at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and being BLOWN AWAY by extra-expressive fiddle, banjo, and bass players who were jumping around stage like pogo sticks while still managing to shred their strings in mid-air. This band first stole my heart back in 2010 when I came across ‘Hello My Old Heart,’ a song that would pretty much revived my pulse an had me staying calm during very, VERY trying times: “Nothing lasts forever Some things aren’t meant to be But you’ll never find the answer Until you set your old heart free.” Other songs like The Truth is a Cave, Eat You Alive, I Was Wrong, I Have Made Mistakes, Trees, Constellations, Grow, and On the Mountain Tall, Eurus, and Hieroglyphs, have also hammered on my heartstrings and instilled timeless messages that I continue to revisit (especially this one): “The sun, it does not cause us, The sun, it does not cause us to grow… It is the rain that will strengthen, The rain that will strengthen your soul. It will make you whole.” I was so happy they played this song (‘I Have Made Mistakes’) last night, cause Tyler and Maggie Heaths’ brother-sister harmonies absolutely SLAY, and you will be lathered in chills by the end. I would have LOVED if they played ‘Hello My Old Heart,’ but their set was chock full of string-saturated songs (YES) from their new EP, Eurus (a nice EP follow up to ‘Notos‘ released just last year), and this band would not have had time unless they played for 3 hours straight (an actually request by someone in the audience to which Tyler facetiously said would “lead to their demise”). Playing for 3 hours at their pace and their intensity would definitely require serious endurance, but I have no doubt they will get there someday. Even the bango player/percussionist had enough energy at the end to leap onto a high-rise speaker and bang on his drum from 6 feet in the air. EPIC ENCORE. You had me at hello, and you had me at goodbye. COME BACK SOON!  ❤

Climbing Trees‘ is one of my FAVORITES from this incredible folk rock ensemble. Coincidentally enough, yesterday (the first time I saw this song played live) was the birthday of my good friend Hillary who ALSO loves this song and loved CLIMBING TREES and other things (mountain, walls, etc.) Wish she could have been here with me!

LOVE THIS ONE. This timeless track (‘I Have Made Mistakes‘) will forever hammer on my heartstrings with lyrics that bring light even in the darkest of times.
“I have made mistakes, I continue to make them. The promises I’ve made, I continue to break them. And all the doubts I’ve faced, I continue to face them. But nothing is a waste if you learn from it… And the sun, it does not cause us to grow It is the rain that will strengthen your soul (OMG YAAAS)… And it will make you whole.” TRUTH BE TOLD.

I love the honestly and life wake-up-call element to this one. SO FREAKING GOOD:
“I’ve seen the true face of the things you call life
The voice of the siren that holds your desires
But death, she is cunning, and clever as hell
And she’ll eat you alive

Oh, she’ll EAT YOU ALIVE.”    YAAAAAAS>

The lyrics to this ‘This Will End’ just absolutely SLAY. Wow. So heart-wrenchingly beautiful:

“Heartache, I’ve heard, is part of life   ❤
And I have broken more and more

But I can hope how this will end
With every line a comedy
That we could learn to love without demand   (if only it were so easy)
But unreserved honesty

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Previous videos from their 2015 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass performance:

Langhorne Slim: “Now tell me where do the good ones go, when they’re gone.” – Swedish American Hall (February 20, 2018)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

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That time you meet one of the most talented folk/Americana artists out there (Langhorne Slim) after his show at the Swedish American Hall (as part of NoisePop festival) and nerd out with him about (1) effects of music on the brain (why music holds such strong memory), (2) playing music to old people (he loved playing to his Grandpa Sid and I encouraged him to play at nursing homes), (3) our perception of time (why time seems longer when we are in unfamiliar environments like when we are kids and everything is new), and (4) Langhorne (the town where he grew up but the one that I always remember my soccer team never being able to beat!). Never did I think I would have such a heart-to-heart with someone whose music had my heart when I first I heard it. Langhorne Slim is a true wordsmith whose way with words makes you feel so warm and welcome in his company, as if he was a long-lost friend that you have known for years. I couldn’t stop smiling when he was spouting off his deluge of stories (he’s certainly got plenty!) and providing context for how his various songs came to be (some in a dream). Aside from being one of the kindest, funniest, most humble human beings I know, he is one of the most AUTHENTIC, and you will never doubt that every word, whisper, belt, chuckle, howl coming out of his mouth is HIS OWN. He is not like the rest — just like Kurt Cobain (“I’m not like them / But I can pretend”) whose birthday he honored on Monday — but he does not pretend. You can certainly count on Slim NOT being slim with his self, his FULL SELF. ❤

Some of my favorite songs that he played tonight: Changes (“I’m going through changes, rattlin’ cages, I’m going through changes now”), Song For Sid (“Tell me where do all the good ones go, when they’re gone”), Back to the Wild, Coffee Cup, Again tonight and Be Set Free. It was also awesome to hear him cover Leonard Cohen‘s Tonight Will Be Fine” and Jackie DeShannon’s What the World Needs Now. Just also wish he played The Way We Move!

 

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Charlie Cunningham: “What you got to live for, Now you got the whole of the world at your feet, And how much more can you pass yourself round?… Go, take a load off, Letting your wings unfold, And keeping everything down to a minimum” – The Swedish American Hall (March 7, 2018)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Lucy Rose jokingly said, “never bring an opener on tour who is better than you.” She was of course referring to Charlie Cunningham, the super-talented British singer/songwriter who was definitely more of a “show stopper” than “show starter” and who had you stopped in your tracks with HIS stunning tracks. Apart from his exquisite guitar work and super-soothing vocals, his incredibly pensive, poetic, introspective lyrics will seep into your soul and etch some long-lasting “Lines” (coincidentally the title of his debut album). His music reminds me a bit of Nick Mulvey and Jose Gonzalez, which is funny cause apparently Jose Gonzalez is one of the main musicians that Charlie’s record label curator (Magus) works with. Keen hunch! I l also hear a bit of Spanish guitar influence, which makes sense considering that Charlie traveled to Spain to create the music he wanted to play, free from the prerequisite of “having to read music” first. Charlie also learned to play piano before he learned guitar (at age 14), and I hope he brings both with him on his next US tour… which BETTER BE a HEADLINE one. His 45 min opening set at Swedish American Hall was way too short for satiation, and there was a unanimous request from the entire audience for him to keep playing after his last song, ‘Minimum‘ (video below), my FAVORITE (aside from ‘An Opening‘) and one that really hits home:

“How do I walk this earth?
So much work at first, it goes
How should I walk this earth?
So much worse the further, the further you go
Go, take off a load
Letting your wings unfold
And keeping everything down to a minimum
Everything a bit though
Tell’em what you know but all that you know, though
The truth be told you need it more than you thought
But you’re managing, that’s how you evened out, out
Keep on walking that line, the fine line
Between a wrong and a right
You get yours, I’m gonna get mine
Is that what you signed for?
They’re feeding you lines
To keep you on their side
It works every time
What you got to live for
Now you got the whole of the world at your feet
And how much more can you pass yourself round?
What you got to live for now
You got the whole of the world at your feet
But you’re still shaking?
You need to make up some ground
Go, take off a load
Letting your wings unfold
And keeping everything down to a minimum
Everything a bit though
Tell’em what you know but all that you know, though
The truth be told you need it more than you thought
But you’re managing, that’s how you evened out, out”  ❤

 

Mad props to Lucy for bringing him on tour with her! It was also nice that she invited him up on stage to help sing a few of her songs. I was so bummed when I missed seeing him open for Low Roar at The Chapel last year cause of being away for a work trip. This was certainly a super sweet an unexpected treat!<3 🙂

 

 

 

Make it out Alive (Playlist: Jan 15, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

“I felt the music hit my bones and I fell back
I fell into the clouds
My feet weren’t touching the ground
We started to float around” Angus and Julia Stone (‘Make it Out Alive‘)
FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (82 songs!) inspired by some of my TOP PICKS of Iceland Airwaves music festival (Nov 2017) for which I’ll post individual reviews: Mammut (winner of the 2004 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Kiriyama Family (whose track ‘Innocence‘ has been #1 in Iceland for the past 3 months), Omotrack (2nd prize winner of the 2017 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Mani Orrason, Hórmónar (1st place winner of the 2016 Icelandic Music Experiments), Songhoy Blues, Keto (my talented friend Le Hah!), Axel Flovent, Hatari (Grapevine music award‘s 2016 and 2017 ‘Best Live Band of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang), Rökkva, Valdimar, One Week Wonder, Rythmatik (winner of the 2015 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Captain Syrup, Hogni (Grapevine music award‘s ‘Album of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jan ), Mosi Musik, Asgeir (fastest-selling debut album in Icelandic history, ‘Album of the Year’ winner at 2012 Icelandic Music Awards), We Made God (3rd prize winner of the 2006 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir) ), and I am Halo.
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Mammut is by far one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS and have been ever since I first discovered them at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton back in 2013. I am somewhat OBSESSED with their newest album, Kinder Versions, especially after getting hooked on ‘Kinder Version‘ (“I’m bringing all my stories back, erasing all the kinder versions of my past”) ❤ ❤ ❤ , ‘The Moon Will Never Turn On Me‘ (“I want to make this right but I don’t feel right, Cause sometimes life tries to eat us up… but then I take a look around and see how dust turns into gold and I embrace this world, embrace the world, embrace the world and I love it all”), and ‘Pray for Air‘ (“Taste the dirt of the water… you know you’ll never be pure.”) *Note: Air in water unfortunately would mean less blue ice when that water freezes!* Not only did National radio and television RÚV chose Kinder Version as the best album of 2017, but it was The Line of Best Fit selected it at #18 for 2017. Mammut was also awarded performers of the year (Krókurinn 2017, Menningarverðlaun Rásar) and selected to be on KEXP‘s top 10 list of the YEAR. They definitely had a REMARKABLE 2017! Can’t wait to post my review on them! I got some epic videos of their first set of Airwaves in Reykjavik, especially during ‘Kinder Version‘ when Kata pointed to me about a 1 min in and asked “Have you been excited?” with a gaze that stared into the depths of MY SOUL. If I wasn’t excited before, I certainly was after.:)
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Other sources of inspiration for this playlist were drawn from recent shows that I really enjoyed (see reviews by clicking on link) — Henry Jamison, Angus and Julia Stone, City of the Sun, Overcoats, Nick Mulvey, Jaws of Love. (Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives), Caroline Smith, Tune-Yards, Ben Sollee, Emily Scott Robinson, Luke Sital-Singh, Henry Jamison, Gracie and Rachel — as well as new releases by Geographer, The Boxer Rebellion, Trevor Hall, Caught a Ghost, Black Pistol Fire, The Oh Hellos, Sharon Van Etten, Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors), Cosmo Sheldrake, and Van William.
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City of the Sun was one of my TOP FIVE PICKS OF 2017, and their EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING sound (post-rock blended with and flamenco guitar and unique percussion) will SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between‘ (name of debut album).
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Previous Playlists: Up All Night, Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

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  1. So Low- Geographer
  2. Love Yourself- The Boxer Rebellion
  3. Chateau- Angus & Julia Stone
  4. Moon / Sun- Trevor Hall
  5. Kinder Version-  Mammut
  6. Before The Hurting Lands.- Jaws Of Love.
  7. I Don’t Believe In Us- Overcoats
  8. Mountain To Move- Nick Mulvey
  9. Make It Out Alive- Angus & Julia Stone
  10. Chemistry- Kiriyama Family
  11. Second Sun- City of the Sun
  12. Right & Wrong- Caught a Ghost
  13. Trying Not to Love You- Caroline Smith
  14. Pray For Air- Mammut
  15. Speak Of The Devil- Black Pistol Fire
  16. Snow- Angus & Julia Stone
  17. The Wires- Ben Sollee
  18. Remembering- Nick Mulvey
  19. Wander- Trevor Hall
  20. Kai’s Song-  Overcoats
  21. Firefly- City of the Sun
  22. Blind Spots- Omotrack
  23. The Moon Will Never Turn On Me- Mammut
  24. 21st Century Heartbeat- Luke Sital-Singh
  25. Magazine- Caroline Smith
  26. Transform Your Game (We Remain)- Nick Mulvey
  27. Light Years Away- Kiriyama Family
  28. Fed All My Days- Mani Orrason
  29. Baudelaire- Angus & Julia Stone
  30. Torches- The Oh Hellos
  31. Dark Night- Amber Coffman
  32. Wake The Riot- Black Pistol Fire
  33. Love Me Like I’m Gone.- Jaws Of Love.
  34. I Can’t Quit- The Vaccines
  35. Bloodstyle- Caroline Smith
  36. Ekki Sleppa- Hórmónar
  37. Sahara- Songhoy Blues
  38. Time- City of the Sun
  39. Overalls (Live)- Emily Scott Robinson
  40. Imaginary Mountains- Omotrack
  41. We Tried Love- Mammut
  42. Mechanical Advantage- Ben Sollee
  43. Superstar- Keto
  44. Hawaiian License Plates.- Jaws Of Love.
  45. On the Mountain Tall-  The Oh Hellos
  46. Apart- Kiriyama Family
  47. Walls- Mammut
  48. City Dream- Axel Flovent
  49. Ódýr- Hatari
  50. Heart Attack- Tune-Yards
  51. Nothing Stays The Same- Luke Sital-Singh
  52. Up There- Trevor Hall
  53. In Your Hands- Nick Mulvey
  54. All To Myself- Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors)
  55. Come Along- Cosmo Sheldrake
  56. Where It Goes-  雞蛋蒸肉餅  GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang)
  57. I Want You to Know- Rökkva
  58. Revolution (Ft. First Aid Kit)- Van William
  59. Læt Það Duga- Valdimar
  60. Mars- One Week Wonder
  61. Carrie Bell- Ben Sollee
  62. Blackened Pool- Keto
  63. Young Folks- City of the Sun
  64. Geiri á Sjoppunni- Captain Syrup
  65. Angel Eyes- One Week Wonder
  66. Soubour – Songhoy Blues
  67. Bed I Made (Bonus Track)- Allen Stone
  68. Ryðgaður Dans- Valdimar
  69. Time Is A Riddle- Luke Sital-Singh
  70. Traveling Mercies- Emily Scott Robinson
  71. What the Fuck- The Boxer Rebellion
  72. For You- Sharon Van Etten
  73. Peace Has a Pencil in Her Hair – Rythmatik
  74. Kynsvelt- Hórmónar
  75. Queen Of Queens – i Am Halo
  76. Crash- Hogni
  77. I Am You Are Me- Mosi Musik
  78. Trust- Asgeir
  79. The Start is a Finish Line- We Made God
  80. Sunlit Juice- Henry Jamison
  81. (Un)comfortable- Gracie and Rachel
  82. Goodbye- Mosi Musik

Emily Scott Robinson: “So raise a glass to my good long life, don’t dress in black, don’t let me see you cry, I’m not afraid, I’m just headed home. It’s time to let me go’ – Swedish American Hall (Dec 8, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

SUCH A TREAT to have discovered the sweet, sassy, SUPER-TALENTED Southern singer/songwriter from NC (Emily Scott Robinson) who now lives on the road with her husband in their RV, writing and performing across the country and touring with bluegrass/grassroots powerhouses like Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives (Swedish American Hall). Equipped with an angelic voice and natural knack for storytelling, Emily gives us a glimpse into her wanderlust window, exposing us to the “traveling mercies” of life on the road and missing community and a home base. One of my favorite tracks from her set was ‘Better with Time,’ inspired by “the first place you live with someone you love” (which for her was a tiny one bedroom house in Colorado with a beautiful view). Another track that had my was a brand new one (finished only a few days ago) called ‘Ghost in Every Town.’ It was inspired by the monotony, desperation, and loneliness that she witnessed living for a short while in a small RV park in Oregon. The lyrics SLAY, and I could not help but get chills when she sang “The kinda desperate that forces you to kneel… The kinda howling you can only do alone.” WOW. But overall, it had to be ‘Overalls’ (her inaugural Patreon song) that stole the show. Written about her dear friend’s father who served in WWII and passed away this year, ‘Overalls‘ will touch your ❤️ and leave you in a puddle of tears/joy. It’s just so refreshing to hear stories veterans who were so grateful to be alive when they returned from war and who measured their wealth by their experiences and family/community (“I know I don’t have much to show, but I’m the richest man that I know”). I can’t help but smile to imagine this grateful fella who grasped every day as a gift and now looks back on his good long life with pride and appreciation: “So raise a glass to my good long life, don’t dress in black, don’t let me see you cry, I’m not afraid, I’m just headed home. It’s time to let me go.” Having released her debut album, “Magnolia Queen” just last year, Emily has started a Patreon page and will be releasing songs periodically while on the road. I sure hope her RV makes a very long pit stop in NorCal so I can see her again soon!

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives: “I thought I could change the world If I just held you high enough, Truth is, I couldn’t hold you up at all… And I sure ain’t gonna hold you down” – Live at the Swedish American Music Hall in SF (12-10-17)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

A bit numb standing next to one of the most INCREDIBLE CELLISTS and singer/songwriters (his vocals have the warmth of James Taylor and Paul Simon combined) that I’ve EVER SEEN. Even though Ben Sollee is classically trained, he plays the cello in a very eccentric, electrifying way that carves a niche of his own. He ambitiously strings together elements of Celtic, folk, Americana, gypsy jazz, and African percussion to create a grassroots medley that is nothing but generic. This most recent reflection of this has been in his badass “bluegrass without borders” (what I like to call it) project with 4 friends on banjo, violin, bass, and drums that he calls “Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives.” Last night at the Swedish American Hall Ben and his buddies broke all boundaries of what is possible and had everyone’s jaws on the floor for most of the set. The coy call-and-response banter back and forth between the different strings had me laughing and howling all at once. You could get a sense of everyone’s personality just by watching them play, and it was obvious that this quintet is bound by more than just strings. I am just so amazed to watch friends doing watch they love and making the world a happier, more patient, more conscientious place because of it.  The epic encore of Ben and the Kentucky Natives singing ‘Traveling Mercies with Emily Scott Robinson sure did leave me wanting more. Ben will cease to amaze me with his continued efforts to use music as a weapon against hate and injustice. It’s therefore not a surprise that he’s written songs called “It’s not impossible” and “A change is gonna come.” To Ben, anything can be done, even a tour across the states with a cello strapped to the back of a bicycle (yes, he did that back in 2012). You do not want to miss the chance to see him next time he rolls through town!

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy