Wednesday, April 02, 2008

KXCI Benefit Concert: Howe Gelb & Kate Maki, 4/17

91.3FM KXCI Community Radio Presents
Howe Gelb with Kate Maki
Thursday, April 17, 2008
St. Philips Episcopal Church
4440 N. Campbell Ave at River Rd Tucson, AZ
Showtime: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $15 general $12 KXCI Members
Ticket Info: http://www.kxci.org/storeand by (520) 623.1000 x13

“In Giant Sand and on his own, Howe Gelb creates hushed, still scenes with specks of countryish guitar and a 4 a.m. voice. ...Sno Angel Like You [is] an unexpected pleasure...the songs are tidy, concise and grand…” –New York Times

“…[Howe Gelb is] one of Americana’s most adventurous songwriters…” –Paste Magazine

"…[Kate Maki’s music is] an eclectic buffet of old-time folk/blues and country-rock that's at times very Giant Sand-like in its idiosyncrasies without sacrificing one whit of Maki's distinctive personality. ...when she shares the mic with Gelb- notably on "Don't Look Down," a mostly acoustic number haunted by the ghost of Neil Young- a hard-to-quantify chemistry begins to bubble." –Harp

On April 17th, Tucson music legend and alt-country phenomenon Howe Gelb appears with Canadian singer-songwriter Kate Maki in a concert to benefit KXCI Community Radio at St. Philips Episcopal Church in Tucson, AZ. Produced and released by Gelb on his indie label, OW OM, Maki features material from her U.S. debut, On High.

Following his critically acclaimed album 'Sno Angel Like You, Howe Gelb and Giant Sand bassist Thøger T. Lund will preview compositions from several new recordings including his upcoming Giant Sand release, Provisions. Due out this fall, Provisions highlights the desert rocker’s idiosyncratic songwriting alongside standout performances by Danish band members and close friends including Neko Case, M. Ward and Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian. As Gelb gears up for a piano encrusted May 2008 European tour with Willard Grant Conspiracy Pilgrim Orchestra, St. Philips Church is the perfect setting to debut several selections from his upcoming solo piano record, Bottle Some Piano. He’ll also showcase material from last year’s well-received Upside Down Home 2007, which was recorded live at San Pedro Chapel in Tucson.

For half a century, Canada's proved to be a bustling hotbed for the emergence of prolific artists with Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band and Leonard Cohen laying a pathway for such applauded modern talents as Feist, Arcade Fire, Kathleen Edwards and some select others. Maybe it’s Canada’s binding spirit of song, communal music scenes, or the enduring winter elements forcing its inhabitants to write music as a way to keep warm. There's a bit of a mysterious wonder to the unfettered Canadian musical muse, and audiences the world over have enthusiastically embraced their singular voices. Sudbury, Ontario's Kate Maki is of this ilk, as is evident in her indispensable alt-country, indie-folk songs highlighted on On High.

"Kate's music carries its own necessity of illuminating. Her songs represent what the Canadians have, a real natural beauty of writing tunes that feel like a friend you've never met, but that you've known forever. There's a flavor of kindness in the music," says Gelb. He first met Maki in 2004 during the same Toronto visit he became acquainted with the Sno Angel folks. Singer-songwriter Jim Bryson (The Weakerthans) made the initial introduction as they all shared a bill at the El Mocambo. The young Maki made a lasting impression on Gelb, very much like M Ward (Gelb released Ward's 2000 debut Duet for Guitars #2) did some years back. Gelb eventually signed Maki, and now introduces her beautifully minimalistic, lucid songs for the first time to American ears.

Although On High marks Maki's first U.S. release, her Canadian debut Confusion Unlimited (2003) and follow-up The Sun Will Find Us (2004) were both recognized as the "Album of the Year" by the Northern Ontario Music & Film Awards. Maki has appeared on the cover of such notable Canadian publications as NOW and ECHO, placed original tracks in Canadian films Weirdsville and Wilby Wonderful, and shared the stage with top Canadian artists including Tegan & Sara. Over the course of a five-day period in March 2007, On High was recorded live-on-the-floor by Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards) at Little Bullhorn Studios in Ottawa, Ontario. The release is comprised primarily of first-take recordings, and features Maki on vocals and acoustic guitar, Gelb on piano, electric guitar and vocals, Nathan Lawr (Royal City) on kick and snare, and Dale Murray (Buck 65) on pedal steel and acoustic guitar.

Gelb and his band will back up Maki as she debuts her indelible songs to U.S. audiences. As unpredictable in nature as his songwriting, Gelb’s set list will embark on its own adventurous journey through a catalogue of new material as he delights Tucson fans in the very unique setting of St. Philips Church.

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