- This event has passed.
Aoife O’Donovan | Willie Watson
October 13, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
Aoife O’Donovan (pronounced EE-fa) hit the road as the lead singer and principal songwriter/song-finder of Crooked Still, which grew into one of the world’s most acclaimed progressive string groups over the last decade. The versatility and appeal of her voice led to collaborations with everyone from Alison Krauss to Dave Douglas, along with a role as vocalist in the Grammy®winning Goat Rodeo Sessions alongside Chris Thile and Yo-Yo Ma. Now she makes her Weisiger Theatre debut with her new sophomore solo album, In the Magic Hour – chock-full of the singer’s honeyed vocals that Rolling Stone calls “gorgeous.”
Looking like a man from leaner and meaner times, Willie Watson steps on stage with a quiet gravitas. But, when he opens his mouth and lets out that high lonesome vocal, you can hear him loud and clear. As an original member and founder of the band Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie’s skillful and subtle banjo and guitar accompaniments combined with soaring vocals unadorned for the first time are a true revelation in Americana music.
Aoife O’Donovan’s sophomore album, “In the Magic Hour” — produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Neko Case) and out Jan. 22, 2016 via Yep Roc Records — is a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. Written in the wake of O’Donovan’s grandfather’s death, “In the Magic Hour” is her most introspective effort yet, an aching exploration of memory and mortality. For a decade, O’Donovan wielded her instrument with tensile strength as the captivating lead singer of the Boston-based progressive string band Crooked Still. In 2013 O’Donovan released her debut solo album, “Fossils,” a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The album garnered praise from The New York Times and Rolling Stone, while The Guardian deemed O’Donovan the “next Americana celebrity.” Most recently O’Donovan has lent her voice to the folk trio I’m With Her with singers Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Sarah Jarosz. View the Artist Page for Aoife O’Donovan
Willie Watson’s debut solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1, was produced by David Rawlings at Woodland Sound Studios, the studio he co-owns with associate producer Gillian Welch in Nashville, TN, over the course of a pair of two-day sessions, for their own Acony Records label. The album spans ten songs from the American folk songbook ranging from standards like “Midnight Special,” “Mexican Cowboy” and Richard “Rabbit” Brown’s “James Alley Blues” to the more obscure, like Memphis Slim’s 12-bar blues, “Mother Earth,” Gus Cannon and the Jug Stompers’ “Bring it With You When You Come,” Land Norris’ double-entendre kids chant, “Kitty Puss” and St. Louis bluesman Charley Jordan’s sing-song “Keep It Clean.” Like the music, Willie can be murderous, bawdy or lustful, sometimes in the course of a single song, with a sly sense of humor that cuts to the quick. He counters a masterful bravado with the tragic fragility of one who has been wounded. View the Artist Page for Willie Watson
“Aoife O’Donovan’s singing is almost too gorgeous for its own good.” –– Washington Post
“… a collection of odd, small, private choruses so personal that, after a while, they start to feel a bit like home.” — American Songwriter
“Sweetness and sadness find a tenuous balance in the voice of Aoife O’Donovan — and in the songs on her second album…evokes the reverberant chamber pop observations of Grizzly Bear…[and] the lush austerity of Alison Krauss.” — The New York Times
“Gorgeous…The sparse-but-intricate arrangements speak to O’Donovan’s conservatory training, but are delicately shaded with her pristine voice and smears of electric guitar or wisps of fiddle.” — Rolling Stone