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items tagged with Redstone Room

Bursting Through: Lissie, October 16 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-10-07 11:21:34
Lissie. Photo by Valerie Phillips.

(Note: This show was canceled on October 14 and will be rescheduled.)

When Rock Island native Lissie Maurus performed in the Quad Cities in November, she had just released the EP Why You Runnin’, and it seemed to promise that more aching folk would follow.

Three of the EP’s five songs (“Little Lovin’,” “Everywhere I Go,” and “Oh Mississippi”) made the cut on the full-length Catching a Tiger, but only the first of those – with its escalating, building soul – foreshadowed her album’s stunning pop path.

There’s no doubt that Lissie is a strong singer, with a throaty voice full of color and conviction and frayed around the edges. But good folk music requires sterling wordplay, and I worried that Maurus might not yet have the songwriting chops to carry a record of lightly adorned songs, even with her considerable pipes.

So Catching a Tiger – released in August – is a major and welcome surprise. A handful of producers and co-writers developed tracks around Maurus’ voice, and she takes flight within the dynamic tunes. I heard Cat Power and Neko Case in the spare arrangement of her EP, but Catching a Tiger finds her in the smartly fleshed-out company of Tori Amos and Fiona Apple; the aural richness augments and supports fundamentally strong material.


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Jazz Singer Praises Polyrhythms
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Letters to the Editor

2010-09-28 21:38:18

I am writing in praise of Nate Lawrence and Polyrhythms. Polyrhythms is a Quad Cities organization dedicated to bringing jazz music to their community, not only through live performance, but also with workshops for non-musicians and musicians alike. These events take place the third Sunday of every month at the state-of-the-art Redstone Room inside the beautiful new River Music Experience building, which serves as a museum/classroom/performance space for American music (with an emphasis on jazz music that came up the Mississippi River).

I am a jazz vocalist based in Chicago. Last Sunday, I had the great fortune of performing for the Quad Cities community as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz program. The experience was very rewarding because of the combination of the performance and the workshop.


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Succeed Alone: Dick Prall, September 9 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-09-07 19:26:35

Dick PrallIt’s been more than two years since Dick Prall released his last studio album, Weightless, and while that’s a typical gap in the music business, the Iowa-raised, Chicago-based singer/songwriter doesn’t believe it works for independent artists generally, and him particularly.

“For me, it’s kind of daunting to say, ‘Okay, this is what I’ve done the last two years, here you go, and let’s see if that carries for the next two years,’” he said in a recent interview to promote his September 9 solo-acoustic show at the Redstone Room. (He’ll also be recording a Daytrotter.com session that day.)

The problem, he said, is that schedule forces a musician to re-build momentum with each album. So he’s determined to stop fizzling between releases. He’s prepping an EP for this fall, with another to follow in late winter.

In this new age of singles (and single-track purchasing), the EP looks to Prall like an ideal format.


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Simplicity and Truth -- Reflections on “Roots: Jazz/Blues/Spirituals”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2010-08-11 20:33:46

Lois Deloatch"If you're gonna tell it, tell the truth and tell it all!" was an adage I heard often as a child growing up in rural North Carolina, where hard work, honesty, and generosity anchored our deep, abiding family and community values. Entering adulthood, I learned that living this seemingly simple conviction is much more complicated than the phase itself appears. "If you're gonna tell it" implies that you've made a choice, a conscious decision to speak truth, while "tell the truth" suggests that you have knowledge or understanding of what the truth is, that you know right from wrong and fact from fiction. Finally, "tell it all" reveals that the truth cannot be selective, and you cannot conveniently or deliberately omit facts or tell part of the story. When my siblings and I sometimes landed in trouble, as children often do, my mother admonished, "I don't care what you've done or how bad it seems, I need you to tell me the truth. I can deal with the truth, but there is nothing I can do with a lie!"


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Exploring Again: Mat Kearney, July 14 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-07-02 11:56:29

Mat Kearney. Photo by James Minchin.

Mat Kearney's July 14 show at the Redstone Room will feature the singer/songwriter and his guitar. That's a departure for somebody with his adult-contemporary credentials: two major-label albums, music appearing in roughly 20 television shows, four Billboard top-20 Hot Adult hits, and tours with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, and Train, among others.

"I love playing with a band and production, and I would love to be in arenas ... flying through the crowd with Garth Brooks wings on or something," he said in a recent phone interview. But "after all the lights and band and buses, it was time for me to get back in the van with some friends and see where the wind blew us, remove a lot of the pressure and a lot of the schedule and just be able to roll into town and play the songs we wanted and head on to the next town. ... I can stop for as long as I want, I can talk for as long as I want, I can play whatever I want. There's just a lot more freedom for me to connect with people."


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