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items tagged with Redstone Room

Fearlessly All in: Lewis Knudsen, “Joy, Pain, Love, Songs.”; June 5 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-05-28 16:19:18

Last year, Quad Cities-based singer/songwriter Lewis Knudsen decided to give up substitute-teaching to devote himself full-time to music. Lots of musicians make a similar leap, but few of them commit to it as fearlessly and smartly as Knudsen has.

He performed at open mics and got gigs wherever he could – restaurants, bars, wineries, nursing homes, birthday parties, company parties.

He set out to write and record a new song a week in 2013, a project that ended up generating 40 tracks (all of them available on his Web site at LewisKnudsen.com/songs-from-2013). For the uncharitable who think Knudsen was a slacker for falling short of his goal, the song-a-week project was waylaid by a three-week tour of Europe through the Germany-based Songs & Whispers organization.

He assembled a band and professionally recorded the self-released album Joy, Pain, Love, Songs. – whose debut he’ll be marking with a June 5 show at the Redstone Room.

And while studio recording can be a challenge for neophytes, Knudsen sidestepped that issue in two ways – by fine-tuning the songs in live settings and having the process come to him by tracking with mobile equipment in his quintet’s practice space. “It was exactly like being in my living room and recording the whole album,” Knudsen said in a phone interview last week.


Read More About Fearlessly All In: Lewis Knudsen, “Joy, Pain, Love, Songs.”; June 5 At The Redstone Room...


Unexpected Light in the Darkness: David G. Smith, May 17 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-05-03 14:48:36

David G. Smith. Photo by Avory Pierce.In putting together his new album One House, Blue Grass, Iowa-based David G. Smith “ended up with 10 issues-oriented songs,” he said in an interview last week.

This was a bit of an accident. Smith – who will be celebrating the album’s release with a May 17 show at the Redstone Room – said he brought 21 songs to producer Blue Miller and “figured we’d find an album out of that. ... We ended up recording two albums. ... We’ve got another one on deck. It’s already been mastered.”

And when Smith considered which songs to put on which album, One House’s 10 tracks seemed to naturally go together in the order they appear.

The title track asks the question “Can we live in one house built on higher ground?” “Ivory” deals with the illegal trade of elephant tusks. “Jesus Is in Prison” is about a death-row inmate. “Angels Flew” tells the story of a boat lift rescuing people on 9/11. “Doesn’t Take Much Light” and “Ariel” are specific narratives based on real people – with Parkinson’s disease and the extremely rare Rett syndrome, respectively. (The River Music Experience concert is also a platform to raise money for the latter illness.)

It’s a heavy collection, and for some tastes it will likely be too on-the-nose, even though it’s rarely preachy – which Smith called “the mortal sin of songwriting”: “It’s a supreme challenge to try to write something that will strike a chord with people and at least make them pause and maybe think a little bit.”

The subject matter and directness are countered by folk arrangements that are thoughtful and evocative, but more importantly the album – Smith’s second studio effort – is also filled with hope, conviction, earnest heart, and lovely turns of phrase that elevate it. Smith is at his best finding unexpected light in the darkness.


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Photos from the Ballroom Thieves Concert, March 5 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-03-10 17:12:32

Photos from the Ballrom Thieves concert at the Redstone Room on March 5, 2014. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit MRE-Photography.com.

Photo by Matt Erickson, MRE-Photography.com


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Photos from the Pokey LaFarge Concert, December 8 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-12-11 17:31:34

Photos from the Pokey LaFarge concert at the Redstone Room on December 8, 2013. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit MRE-Photography.com.

Photo by Matt Erickson, MRE-Photography.com


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Photos from the Chuck Ragan Concert, September 18 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-09-24 15:20:51

Photos from the Chuck Ragan concert September 18 at the Redstone Room, with openers Comfort and Jamestown Revival.

For more from Roberta Osmers on the Quad Cities music scene, visit OfTechAndMusic.Blogspot.com.

Chuck Ragan:

Photo by Roberta Osmers, OfTechAndMusic.Blogspot.com


Read More About Photos From The Chuck Ragan Concert, September 18 At The Redstone Room...





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