Jonah Smith & Upstate
Friday, April 19
Show: 8p | Doors: 7p
Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door ($2 Service Charge Included With Online Tickets. All sales are final, no ticket refunds or exchanges. Seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and seats are not guaranteed with ticket purchase.)
Jonah Smith is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter that is based in Los Angeles, CA. He pulls from the deep well of American blues and many of its offshoots, including soul, country, and folk. Smith is essentially a songwriter with the voice of a soul singer.
In 2014, Jonah Smith auditioned with his band on the NBC show, "America's Got Talent", where he was a semi finalist..He sang his original song Skyscraper Blues and received a standing ovation from judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel.
He has shared the stage with other artists like Los Lobos & Little Feat. He has released several records including the eponymous debut on Relix Records, Lights On, Little Known Cure and In The Kitchen.
Jonah Smith's Full Bio:
The new acoustic recording by Jonah Smith, “Stay Close” began in November 2016 shortly after a reunion with Andy Stack that took place in Des Moines, Iowa at The Flying Mango. The concerts, which took place over two nights in late October, were centered around the performance of a new song called “Ocala” -- a song written for Mike Wedeking, a friend and the owner of The Flying Mango.
The shows were emotional and reminded Smith and Stack of their special musical bond – a relationship that stretches back over a decade and involves hundreds of concerts and several records. The two, now living on opposite coasts, had been pursuing their own artistic endeavors: Smith became a contestant (and eventually a semi-finalist) on America’s Got Talent and then made a record that was released this past May while Stack opened Buffalo Stack recording studio in Beacon, NY in an old schoolroom to focus on producing music.
This old schoolroom became the setting for “Stay Close” – a reference to their finely crafted harmonies – evident throughout these new recording.
In order to capture the most honest performances, they decided to record the album on a four-track analog tape machine – an Ampex 440 built in the mid 70’s. They sat facing each other and recorded a set of songs that encompass love, social commentary, philosophy and stories so vivid that you feel like you were there. Overdubs are sparse and are provided by Smith or Stack with the exception of vocal contributions by Andy’s sister, Melissa Ahern, who brings a lovely feminine quality to songs like, “Toast & Clementines” and “Wimberley”.
The end result is a record of a time and place – two musicians in a room working to serve the music, telling stories through songs and documenting a musical relationship with deep roots.
For Upstate, the last few years have been a time of profound exploration and self-discovery. As the band knocked off milestone after milestone on the road, their sound, their lineup, and even their name all underwent dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging and thrilling all at once, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s dazzling new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.
Recorded primarily over six days at the Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck, NY, ‘Healing’ is the band’s first release with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown. It’s also their first project to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band since their earliest days.
Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, ‘A Remedy.’ The Poughkeepsie Journal raved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while Chronogram hailed their “infectiously sunny organic stew,” and The Alt called them “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.” The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.