Jason Myles Goss, Mother Banjo opens

July 29, 2017 8PM
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$20 / 18

Jason grew up in a small, Massachusetts mill town. And, despite living in Brooklyn for the past 10 years, his heart will always be in those small town streets--the straightaway down by the cemetery, the baseball field built atop the old factory dump, or the parking lot outside the drugstore. After years of making records on his own dime, many arduous solo tours, Jason has released his fourth album and first self-produced effort, Radio Dial. Here we find a songwriter who has clearly come into his own, with a burgeoning confidence and a distinctive voice that has been forged from a variety of influences, both musical and literal.

"With Radio Dial I knew I wanted to make a big, classic-sounding record, and I felt I had a lot to prove to myself. I have always been a melody-driven songwriter; I love big choruses and hooks that swim around your head for days. As a teenager, I would get lost inside albums like The Wallflowers' 'Bringing Down The Horse,' or Counting Crows' 'August and Everything After.' But as I got older, it was records like Gillian Welch's 'Time (The Revelator)' that turned my world upside down--that kind of bare-bones, knock-you-on-your-ass songwriting really taught me what a song could be and what it could do."

To start, Jason enlisted the help of friends Austin Nevins and Sam Kassirer, both members of Josh Ritter's Royal City Band, as well as David Dawda and Joel Arnow. Work began at Vanity Sound in Brooklyn, NY where Jason and engineer Myles Turney decided to record basic tracks live to analog tape, giving the songs a rawness and roominess reflective of the records they loved. They wanted to have musicians together in the same room, breathing the same air, letting the dynamics of playing the songs live shape the arrangements organically. In fact, several tracks that ended up on Radio Dial were taken from the original demo recordings (Keep Your Love With Me, Chocolate Croissant, Bows And Arrows, and Hospital Shirt).

"It's easy to get in the control room and start putting a song together like a science project without letting it run wild a little bit. It doesn't take much effort to kill something by trying to capture it. Tom Waits once said, 'It's easy to cook up the feathers and throw away the bird,' and I didn't want that to happen. I was very fortunate to be working with this band, this was my first time producing a record from start to finish, and I really depended on them for their ideas and know-how."

Several themes run through Radio Dial, but the most pervasive is that of struggle--to find a place in the world, to create light from darkness when death and loss inject meaning into our lives, and to fight for the things you love. Ultimately, it's a record about growing up, about learning how to take your lumps, and realizing that the world is a beautiful place full of painful and magical things that will always be bigger than your heart's ability to decipher them.

"Writing has always been my way of working through my own fears and apprehensions. It didn't dawn on me at the time, but a lot of these songs ended up being about death, and letting go, even songs as upbeat as 'Home and 'Into The Night' have undercurrents of that. I was also reading this book called "On Boxing" by Joyce Carol Oates, and it really made a huge impression on me; boxing became this anchor point for a lot of the material on Radio Dial."

Boxing is mentioned in several of the songs on Radio Dial, (Bows And Arrows, Come Back To Me, Hospital Shirt), but takes center stage in the most cinematic song on the record, Black Lights--a story of a young fighter, struggling to make a name for himself, and the punishment he endures in a vainglorious attempt to "be somebody." A compelling comparison is alluded to here between the reality of being a fighter and the reality of being an artist, how each is a performer at the mercy of their audience, and how each works tirelessly, and mostly in solitude, at something which then culminates in a public spectacle (ring vs. stage), where each has to access a very different part of themselves that, otherwise, has no real place in day-to-day life. Both crafts also focus on the perfection of simple things, find their power in those things, and are both perceived in ways that are very different from what they actually are.

Although the songs shy away from the deliberately autobiographical, Radio Dial contains many threads and ideas deeply meaningful to Goss; even the cover art features loom and shuttle patents invented by his great-grandfather in the mid-twentieth century, whose first job, upon emigrating from Italy, was working in the factory that now sits vacant in the center of Jason's hometown--a unique and deeply-personal tribute to the history of where he (and his family) came from.

"My great-grandfather came through Ellis Island when he was only a teenager. He was a brilliant man--an inventor, an opera singer, and a multi-instrumentalist. I think about the courage he must have had to leave everything behind, and how, with a lot of effort and ingenuity, he was able to build a life for himself and have a family. These patents are his American story, and they have become very meaningful to me, especially as I get older. I feel a kinship with that spirit of working hard to try to create things that you can build a life with. They remind me that, whatever road you take, you need to have faith in yourself."

As an album name, Radio Dial embodies the spirit of these songs, with a keen eye looking back on those days when Jason was a teenager, walking the old town railroad tracks with his head lost in music, while also conveying a sense of hope and optimism for what the future may hold.

"It has this life-affirming quality to it that I feel a lot of the songs speak to, despite the difficulties and darker things lurking in there. I think part of growing up is learning how to be brave in the face of these things. I have alway found tremendous solace in music, in how records would make me feel, and my hope is that this record is able to do that for someone else."

 

http://www.jasonmylesgoss.com/

 

Featuring Ellen Stanley on banjo and vocals, Mother Banjo is a New England-raised, Minneapolis-based songwriter. Called an outstanding poet (Inside Bluegrass), she was a Midwest Finalist for the prestigious Mountain Stage NewSong Contest and has been featured nationally on SiriusXM Radio and CMT.com.

Following up on the success of her CDs Stray Songs and The Sad and Found (named the #10 album of the year by the St. Paul Pioneer Press), she releases her highly anticipated new album The Devil Hasnt Won on her own label So Low Recordings. An Americana gospel collection produced by Steve Kaul (The Brass Kings), it showcases her all-star 5-piece band that includes guitarist Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash, The Roe Family Singers), bassist Eric Paulson (The Roe Family Singers, Jennifer Markey & The Tennessee Snowpants), mandolin player Jim Parker (Ukrainian Village Band, Town Hall Stompers) and pianist/drummer Ben Cook-Feltz (The Federales, Art Vandalay). Featuring lively originals and unique covers of songs that she calls pub gospel, the new album shows why Mother Banjo has been hailed for her poetic songwriting and powerful vocals, winning the praise of such artists as Josh Ritter and John Gorka.

An engaging live performer, Mother Banjo weaves humorous stories with fun covers and her own original material. She has performed at prestigious venues like The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI) and the Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis, MN) and has shared the stage with notable songwriters (Lucy Wainwright Roche, Cliff Eberhardt, Tracy Grammer, Storyhill) and poets (Robert Bly, Todd Boss). She has toured across North America, performed at South By Southwest (SXSW) and played a sold-out release show at the world-renowned Dakota Jazz Club, where legends like Prince, Lucinda Williams, and her banjo hero Bela Fleck have performed. In support of her new album, Mother Banjo showcased at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto and has been playing solo and band dates throughout the year.

 

http://www.motherbanjo.com/

 

Please note that the seating chart has recently been updated, so be sure you are purchasing the seats you want.  If you do not purchase all seats at your table, other patrons may be seated with you.  Your ticket reserves you a place at the table you select but not a specific location at that table.  There is no food or beverage minimum.  All tickets are non-refundable.

$20 / 18
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