ARI HEST – Tickets – The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC – April 30th, 2017


MaxxMusic & the Evening Muse present



Sun 4/30

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Evening Muse


This event is all ages

On his upcoming June 8th release ‘Shouts and Whispers’, singer-songwriter Ari Hest creates a non-typical collection of tracks that ultimately form a cohesive narrative. With songs of sadness and resignation giving way to lucidity and catharsis, Hest’s introspection and intelligence are on display, creating moments of magic within his poetic, spare lyrics and backing them up with his ear for haunting melodies.
Hest conceived half the album as an acoustic set, while the other half took shape via keyboards, as he explains below. ‘Shouts and Whispers’ begins with the swirling, hypnotic ‘Harvest’, soon followed by a centerpiece track, the stunning, understated ‘Into the Empty White’. ‘How We’ll Always Be’ is perhaps a declaration of giving up the fight, and the melancholy ‘No One Can Stay’ has an elegant darkness. There’s a glimmer of hope within ‘Bona Fide’, and finally a cathartic yowl as ‘After The Thunder’ builds to its crescendo.

Hest comments on the process of making the album:
“At first I wanted to write and record some songs where I put the guitar down and focused on keyboards…I’ve always been into music from Tears For Fears, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Hornsby, and was excited to experiment in that direction. So I asked my buddy Carl Barc if I could invade his studio for a while to experiment with some ideas on his Juno and CP70 keyboards. I loved creating in a way I hadn’t – using those instruments as the backbone of tracks and leaving guitar largely out of it.”

“In the middle of working on those songs I began playing solo shows supporting Judy Collins around the U.S. and Europe. Her show and her audience beg for a more acoustically minded set, so I’d go on stage with just a guitar and occasionally play songs that were fresh out of the oven. I enjoyed being able to take a break mentally from what I was doing with Carl. I was able to focus on how I could arrange these other new songs sparsely.”

Eventually Hest found the time to record a few of them with the help of producer Matt Pendergast at Q Division Studios in Boston, MA. Then he listened to both projects. “After hearing the two finished batches of songs I saw two distinct themes, not only in a musical sense but also lyrically. The vibe of the keyboard driven tracks is intense. I wrote a lot about the uncertainty of what I do for a living. On the contrary, the acoustic songs come from a place of lucidity. I started thinking it’d be cool to combine the two somehow.”

The result is an album that isn’t an album in the traditional sense, but it manages to flow like a complete thought.

“I’ve always been the introspective type. I guess as a singer-songwriter you’re gonna have some of that anyway in your makeup. My previous records were inward most of the time, but ‘Shouts and Whispers’ has another distinct angle, one of understanding the world I live in and embracing how I fit into it a bit easier than I used to.”

Hest has released seven albums, three EPs, and “52” in 2008, an innovative project whereby he wrote, recorded and released a new song every Monday for a full year. In addition, Hest is half of the folk pop duo The Open Sea, along with longtime friend Rosi Golan.

His music has been featured on numerous television shows including Private Practice, Army Wives, and One Tree Hill. Recently, Ari’s song “The Landlord” appeared in an episode of NPR’s “All Things Considered”. He’s also scored a film called ‘Dreamriders,’ which won several independent film awards. And throughout his career, he has toured worldwide to support his records, most recently in Germany as well as several European countries, and built the kind of loyal fan base any musician would envy.

While Shouts and Whispers is an excellent indication of what Hest is capable of, his live show may leave even more of an impression. Watching him play, one can’t help but be thrust into his world, hanging on every word like a child listening to a ghost story.
In a remote, woodsy cabin in the central Tennessee mountains, award-winning singer-songwriter Michael Logen set out on an inner creative journey that would inspire much of his most uplifting and vulnerable album to date. That album, New Medicine, is being released on June 24, 2016.

Michael explains, “I often feel this pull, maybe we all do, to the silence of the solitary, wilderness experience. To disconnecting for a time from the ever-increasing background static of modern life. It's certainly not an original idea with me, many folks have done the same, though it's surprisingly hard to carve out the time and overcome the inner resistance to doing it. Maybe it's because my ancestors were Amish (laughs). I head out to a cabin in the mountains. I take a few books. I cover all the clocks. No TV, no internet, no phone, no social media, no radio, no sound, no input. Songwriting can often feel like a bit like deep-sea diving. And in everyday life you have to surface quite a bit. But out in the woods, you never surface, even if you want to. Each day you just pick up where you left off the night before and go deeper.”

The only noise Michael had to contend with was the inner, residual chatter of the information age we live in. Once that quieted down, like a wheel slowly spinning to a stop, he began to hear the words and music that would eventually become his gorgeously cathartic new album, aptly titled New Medicine.

It’s no surprise that Michael Logen would be drawn to this sort of introspective journey.

He was raised on America’s hard-luck song-canon of folk and traditional country, heartfelt and authentic music. Growing up in a Mennonite home in the beautiful, historic town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, he learned to play guitar, piano and harmonica during informal living-room jam sessions with friends and family. He cut his musical teeth on the songs his Dad loved: Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot as well as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

Though the lyrical sensibilities of Americana and Folk course through his songwriting, Michael exhibits a unique gift for pop songcraft as well. “As soon as I started writing songs, I knew that some of them just weren't for me to sing. I love writing and telling stories for other voices as well.”

Michael’s songs have been recorded by, and often co-written with, many other artists including Kelly Clarkson, Mat Kearney, Jonny Lang, Brandon Heath, The Greencards, Paul Carrack, Will Hoge and Sister Hazel, to name but a few.

His songs have also been featured on several TV shows including Nashville (ABC), Parenthood (NBC), One Tree Hill (CW), The Fosters (ABC), The Hills (MTV), Switched At Birth (ABC Family), Beauty & the Beast (CW), and Kyle XY (ABC Family); including 6 TV placements for songs from New Medicine.

Michael has performed throughout North America as well as Ireland, England, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, opening for such artists as John Hiatt, Sarah Jarosz, John Legend, India.Arie, Jonny Lang and Mat Kearney.

His latest is an album that uplifts the soul with sincerity and gritty, indie folk-pop. “Somehow in art, when you work through your own struggles, you realize they’re all a part of the wider common experience of humanity—we’re all dealing with the same things, we're all connected.” Michael says.

The album opens with the stately piano ballad, “St. Christopher,” which directly references the inner journey Michael was working his way through while writing the album. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. “That song is simply about the journey through darkness to light. I hope each person hears their own journey in it,” Michael reveals.

"Ready Or Not," the first single from the album, starts out small before exploding into a full-on, sing-along, indie-folk/rock redemption story.

The immersive, stunning track, “Breaking Your Own Heart,” written by Michael and friend, Jennifer Hanson, was also recorded by Kelly Clarkson on her album, Stronger. That album went on to win a Grammy for “Pop Album Of The Year.” Here you'll hear Michael's original, stripped down, acoustic version of the song. “I also sing it about 5 octaves lower than Kelly,” he laughs.

New Medicine also exhibits a high-energy, extroverted side. Three tracks feature breathtaking collaborations with female vocalists, and there is also an intriguing foray into electronic looping. One highlight of these collaborations is “That Next Thing” which features angelic contributions from Kim Richey. The balmy track feels like it’s wafting in from the sweet country air while the listener enjoys it from the tranquility of a hammock.

“Best Of You” finds Michael flirting with electronica on his own terms. “I enjoy experimenting with different genres. That song is based on a loop of a rhythm I tapped out on an acoustic guitar. When we recorded it, we kept that loop and played around it live, as a band,” Michael says.

In conclusion, Michael says: “I love the idea that music can be as powerful as a drug, helping us to express the in-expressible. The creative journey of making this record was truly therapeutic for me. I can only hope New Medicine will be that for someone else as well.”
Venue Information:
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC

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