- Thursday, June 20
- Clint McCune
Clint McCune is, without a doubt, one of our favorite people. He's also one of our favorite musicians. He plays a monthly gig at SoulFood Books, on the first Friday of each month, and we're almost always there. He last officially played our place in July 2011, in a show he shared with Dan Connolly. Since then, we've managed to get him to come out as an audience member for several of our concerts, and it's always a treat when he lends his talents to the jam session that follows. This time around, we are absolutely thrilled to be featuring him in his own show. Come join us for it - you won't regret it!
Clint McCune is partner and co-creator of the community inspired SoulFood Books and Café in Redmond, WA. A seasoned musician with 11 albums under his belt and an upcoming DVD and CD release; he is a strong force on our local music scene. Using his experience with community development and his artistic sensibilities, Clint has been a vital part of the Redmond Arts Commission for the past three years. He has been involved in projects such as Arts in the Park, Redmond Digital Arts Festival, and hosting city wide open mics. With a musical career that spans 18 years, Clint has opened for such acts as Devin Townsend (with other Alvarez signed artists), legendary guitarist Bill Frisel, and performed at SouthxSouthwest in support of The Hope Project to raise awareness of the genocide in Darfur. Clint has toured across the United States, Europe, and most recently Nepal, and has had the opportunity to play for people in the streets, inside ancient monastaries, and heading the Beaufort Musical Festival for thousands of people. Clint’s roots run deep in the Northwest. Born and raised outside of Seattle, he was greatly influenced by his father, Don McCune of Exploration Northwest, and his strong love of this area. His music, community involvement, and continual collaborations with other artists reflect a true Pacific Northwest heart.
- Thursday, June 6
- Thom Lyons
- When we first got a booking request from Thom Lyons and checked out his stuff, we loved his sound, and had a feeling we would enjoy having him as a Backyard House Concerts artist. The show he played for us last September showed us we were right. We had him back up in October, so he could play with Clint McCune at SoulFood Books. We're very happy to have him back up here for this show. This time, he said he might bring his keyboard player along, too!
Thom Lyons is a singer songwriter born and raised in London UK who, in early 2011, packed a suitcase and a guitar and traveled some 5000 miles to start a new life in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. It was the start of a musical rediscovery of sorts. Inspired by the friends and musicians he began to meet, the songs that began to pour out marked a shift towards the rootsy folk rock he had grown up loving - bands such as Counting Crows, REM, The Frames and Whiskeytown, tempered with the pop sensibilities of older favorites like Tom Petty and Elton John. Employing a combination of beautifully crafted songs and a staggering voice that can jump from a rich, weathered baritone to a soaring falsetto, Thom has been winning over audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. This winter saw the release of his debut album, 10 infectious folk-pop songs filled with gorgeous musical and lyrical honesty.
- Thursday, May 23
- The Lovebirds
- We first saw The Lovebirds perform at an Official Showcase at FAR-West in Eugene in 2011. At this past FAR-West, they played in the room we co-hosted with SoulFood Books. We are thrilled to have them come play Backyard House Concerts!
One has perfect pitch. One has perfect dimples. Together, they make the perfect pair. The Lovebirds are a folk/pop duo featuring award-winning San Diego songwriters Lindsay White and Veronica May. Falling somewhere on the female duo scale between The Indigo Girls and Tegan and Sara, The Lovebirds have shared the stage with many other humans that make music, such as Steve Poltz, Tristan Prettyman, Bushwalla, The Lumineers, Jack Tempchin, John C. Reilly, Glen Phillips, Sara Watkins, Susanna Hoffs, Berkley Hart, Raining Jane, Jason Mraz, and more. Recorded at Berkley Sound, The Lovebirds’ sophomore album “and a one, and a two” is the mischievous step-brother of their SDMA-nominated debut “Nutsy Pants,” and is willing to compete for attention. Caution: a live performance by The Lovebirds is a tornado of sights and sounds which may include short skirts, high heels, bowties, mustaches, percussive guitar, rock ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica, kazoos, stand-up drumkits, and harmonies that won’t quit. Join the flock, already.
- Thursday, May 9
- Jaspar Lepak
- Jaspar Lepak is a folk/Americana songstress whose remarkable gift for melody is only surpassed by her poetry. Playful, intimate, heartfelt, and intense, her lyrics expose a brave vulnerability as well as an art for storytelling, while her clear, strong voice penetrates the heart. Singing with the kind of Americana, lullaby ghost of a voice that listeners search for in roots music (Twin Cities A.V. Club), Lepak charms as she stirs, and her performances will pull your heart onto your sleeve and make you want to keep it there.
Since 2004, Lepak has been sharing her songs throughout the Midwest, but from 2009 to 2011 she lived in Durban, South Africa. Performing on some of the country's premier stages, she gained an enthusiastic following, and in July of 2011, she recorded her sixth original CD, FORGIVING WIND. With the help of talented Durban musicians playing the parts of banjo, mandolin, dobro, bass, drums, and lead guitar, the album shimmers like a brisk west wind rippling over the savannahs (Duluth News Tribune).
- Thursday, February 7
- Ian McFeron
- Ian McFeron, whose lyrical prose has been compared to Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams and David Gray, weaves
together a variety of roots-Americana traditions to create his own unique form of roots-oriented American
McFeron got his start in the Seattle music scene after his self-produced debut album “Don’t Look
Back” (2003) was discovered by “103.7 fm The Mountain” (AAA-formatted KMTT, Seattle, WA). A recent
college graduate and virtually unknown local artist at the time, McFeron’s poetic lyrics and tightly composed
songs inspired the media giant to put the album’s lead off single “Love Me Twice” into rotation. Listeners
responded strongly, and within months, McFeron would share the spotlight with international and national
artists such as Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Shawn Mullins, Brandi Carlile, Mike Doughty, Sister Hazel, Amos
Lee, Hayes Carll, and Missy Higgins.
His early successes in Seattle launched McFeron headlong into a full-time recording and touring career.
Continuing to operate as a fully independent artist and self-functioning record label, he would go on to release
five more albums in rapid succession, delving into a variety of musical traditions such as blues, folk,
pop, gospel, alt-country, and jazz. Currently, McFeron is on tour in support of his sixth album Summer
Nights, recorded in Nashville, TN with a cast of musicians drawn from Ryan Adams’ and Patty Griffin’s touring
bands, including Doug Lancio, Brad Pemberton, Billy Mercer, Micah Hulscher, and McFeron’s longtime
musical partner Alisa Milner.
From the beginning, McFeron dedicated himself to building audiences the old fashioned way: on the road.
Traveling from city to city, state to state, nation to nation, McFeron performs an average of 200 shows a year
spread throughout the United States and Europe, inspiring listeners with his beautifully crafted songs and
honest narratives. On the road, McFeron is often joined by Alisa Milner, a Texas-style fiddler, cellist, and
harmony vocalist and long-time friends Norman Baker and Mark Bateman on bass and drums.
- Thursday, January 17
- Jen Hajj
- Jen Hajj spent her childhood in Tempe, Arizona, taking piano lessons, chasing lizards, and singing in church and school choirs. She moved to Utah in the mid-1980's where her musical career began to take shape, singing with various choirs (school, professional and semi-professional groups) and moving her way into the church music scene. She studied vocal performance and composition at the University of Utah, but dropped out after two years, realizing that she didn't want to sing opera and didn't want to write 12 tone music. She wanted to connect with real people.
She knew she needed a portable instrument (the pipe organ is not a folk instrument!) so she picked up the guitar. She honed her skill in bluegrass jams, and later took lessons to fill in the gaps and learn the styles that she found most interesting. She attended folk and bluegrass festivals and camps and met extraordinary folks who make a living doing music. People like Cosy Sheridan, Kate MacLeod, Brooks Williams, Randall Williams, Joe Jencks: these amazing artists became her mentors and models for success.
For Jen, being a part of the folk music scene is like coming home. She hopes that when you hear her sing, you feel it, too.