Sat 23 June // 19:00
Tip your hat and twinkle as we generously welcome back Michael Hurley and Ashley Paul and (just announced) Gwenifer Raymond to Bristol.
With a doodle pip and beautiful rip MICHAEL HURLEY's songs rough-shot and glide through life's small pleasures and wild emotions. Songs bound together by a love for life; jiving' joking folklorik animal characters, tea drinking mystics pals, armchair boogie philosophy . His music moves through the ancient mountains but is well at home in this crazy modern world.
Adv tix are also available in person at Here Shop, Stokes Croft.
He has had timeless quality from the start, he has been on the road for over 50 year now, and it ensures that Hurley's audience constantly renews itself. From the the beatniks in the NYC Village where he started in the early 60s, to the hippies in Vermont, to the Americana fans, indie rockers and freak folkers from the last two decades, Michael's music never fails to find fresh new ears. Pressed for a description, Hurley has called it "jazz-hyped blues and country and western music”.
Michael Hurley grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a teenager in the 1950s he fell in love hearing the music of Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley blast from the radio, and was enthralled by the records of Blind Willie McTell, Hank Williams and Uncle Dave Macon that he sought for his own.
Hurley's early records were released on Folkways, Warner Brothers/Raccoon, and Rounder, while in recent years stalwart independent labels like Gnomonsong and Mississippi have been carrying the torch. Hurley keeps chugging, his songs are vital. An album with brand new recordings, “Bad Mr. Mike”, was released on the Mississippi label in 2016, plus another LP with archival 70s material came out on Feeding Tube Records in 2017. Besides being a wonderful musician, Hurley is also a cartoonist and watercolour artist of some character and note. Check in all you Blue Navigators.
"Whether weaving a yarn about a mysterious hog or comparing the human heart to a mechanic's toolbox, Mr. Hurley create(s) elaborate vistas in a musical version of outsider art" - Ann Powers / New York Times
ASHLEY PAUL seems to make music where every element, each finely pressed note, captured noise, sculpted transmutation knows it is unique but connected. Playing today in a much anticipated duo formation and playing songs from her rich new work 'Lost In Shadows' which came out on the Slip label, we should prepare for fine tuning our senses to move into a beautifully held sound space.Ashley is so adept and in tune with the intuitive integration of song structures with free form approach to sound and clatter. A complexity of instruments including saxophone, clarinet, voice, prepared strings, bells and percussion create a delicate palette, uniquely her own.
American composer/performer Ashley Paul's bewitching Slip debut: an expansive, deeply personal excavation of recent motherhood, told through songs dissolving and recrystallising at the threshold of free improvisation. 'Lost In Shadows' documents a cathartic outpouring; the first time Paul had been able to write since the birth of her daughter 11 months earlier. The record is completely influenced by "many hours spent awake at night in a dream like state of half consciousness, darkness and solitude”
Ashley runs her own Wagtail label, collaborates with many and puts on shows. She is alive to the wee moments and we will share some magic ones with her tonight.
“Ashley masterfully weaves together all sorts of seemingly disparate instrumental and emotional threads and somehow makes it all feel seamless and natural. No one else could make an avant-garde album that is simultaneously fragile, pretty, radical, darkly sensuous, unsettling, melodic, and deeply hallucinatory that feels equally influenced by modern classical, free jazz, and a demented clown making crude balloon noises” - Brainwashed
Gwenifer Raymond is a Welsh Multi-Instrumentalist's Debut Album, You Never Were Much Of A Dancer, out on June 29th on Tompkins Square. She's play hard rock and punk but in the American Primative guitar sound she heard what could be done with a solo guitar. Sparse, beguiling instrumentals drawn from the roots music of Mississippi and Appalachia. Influenced by the likes of Skip James, John Fahey, Roscoe Holcomb and John Hurt.
Tonight comes with fine music on records played by humans.