Jacob Whitesides

Jacob Whitesides (8:00 PM)

Castro (7:00 PM)

Taylor Grey (6:20 PM)

Mon, June 19, 2017

6:00 pm

Adv Tix $18.00 / Day of Show Tix $20.00

This event is all ages

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Jacob Whitesides - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Jacob Whitesides
It takes all of 10 seconds to understand the appeal of Jacob Whitesides. For starters, there’s the easy smile, that roguishly furrowed brow, but all of that would be nothing without the rest. His voice— with just the right amount of grit—is perfectly matched to his oeuvre of sometimes-soaring, sometimes-tender, hook filled pop songs. Still only 18-years-old, Jacob has been organically garnering an impressive fanbase for the past four years (his YouTube channel has 16 million plus views). But with the release of last year’s two EPs, A Piece of Me and Faces on Film, (both of which reached #1 US iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart), a clutch of successful tours, plus his debut album out this September, this preternaturally savvy young artist is solidifying the foundation for a career set to endure well beyond flash-in-the-pan hype.

Raised in Sevierville, at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, 30 minutes outside Knoxville and three hours from Nashville, Jacob experienced a fairly average early school life. He played sports, but was neither a jock nor a popular kid—he simply kept his head down. But 13 was the turning point for the nascent singer: he started to drift away from sports, and, thanks in part to an inspiring Chris Stapleton concert, and close proximity to Nashville’s rich history of story telling through song, he picked up his first guitar. With the help of the internet, Jacob taught himself to play three songs—“Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's, “Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved." His father, who played in a band that frequently performed at local bars, encouraged his son’s talent, bringing him onstage to play those very same songs. It was during this period that the singer began to encounter some friction with his peers at school. This, combined with the fact that he was spending more and more late nights performing with his dad’s band, meant Jacob arrived at a juncture, and home schooling was the route he opted for.

Barely a year later his parents’ marriage started to splinter and Jacob chose to move in with his father. Despite the heavy impact of the divorce, the pair seemed bonded by their love of music. Unfortunately some six months later the teen found the relationship with his dad untenable, and returned to living full time with his mom and sister. Yet in spite of this tumult (or perhaps because of it) this was the moment when his desire to truly pursue music came into sharper focus.

Doing what is now standard, he began posting lo-fi covers on YouTube. From watching other artists in action, Jacob knew that dedicated fans would be critical to his success, so when his videos first began to gain even a trace of traction, he made it a point to interact with every single burgeoning Whitesides devotee. Tirelessly responding to comments, setting alarms to hop on Facebook to chat with fans in different time zones, offering advice, and words of encouragement, and even opinions on outfits (when requested), even to this day he manages to maintain a level of tailored interaction that’s practically unheard of. And the metrics are proof, given that today his fans number in the several millions (over 5M in aggregate) and cover every corner of the planet from Brazil to the Philippines all the way back to Tennessee.

“From the beginning I always kept everything super personal. A lot of artists will just go online whenever they're announcing something, like new music, or a tour—they'll post the link and then disappear for weeks, until they need something else from the fans,” says Whitesides. “My number one priority is to never take advantage of the following I have online, and to keep giving them good stuff to read and listen to and look at.”

As Jacob’s online presence grew and his covers kept garnering clicks (including an early rendition of “One Thing” which One Direction’s Liam Payne tweeted in support), in 2012, scouts for a TV talent show came calling. Persistently. Eventually Jacob gave in (sailing through the first round and getting cut in the second), but the experience was largely notable because it gave the singer a formative glimpse into the inner machinations of at least one side of the music biz. He became intent on finding out more—what really goes on behind the wizard’s curtain—so that he could utilize this knowledge when the time was right.

Fast-forward to 2014, and Jacob’s next logical step was to release his 3AM EP—a collection of ballad renditions of songs by John Legend, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and more. It stands as a transitional release because 2015 is when Jacob finally hit his stride, gaining the confidence to pen pop songs of his own, with the help of his creative partner, Nashville songwriter/producer Dave Spencer—someone he trusts implicitly.

“Most of the time when artists sign a major deal, they are brought to the Hollywood Hills to get thrown into sessions with a new team every single day, and I knew that I would not be able to function in that kind of environment,” he says. “I really wanted to work with people that I could call friends and be able to talk to them about personal stuff without it being uncomfortable or forced,” says Jacob. “I was really thankful for that.”

It was this trust that enabled Jacob to dig deep and lay his own stories on the
line. Take “Ohio,” off the A Piece of Me EP, which features such searing lines as, “Last time I saw your face you were screaming that I don't have a clue / I'm not a deadbeat piece of shit Dad/ I’ll never learn that for you.”

“That song was a big step for me,” he explains. “That was pretty much about the whole situation that happened with my dad, and of getting out of that. It was the real stuff that was going on in my life, so that really created a good path for me to get to where I am now. ‘Ohio’ made it clear to my fans that whatever I would write or sing about would be really connected to my life.”

On September 8, Jacob will release his debut album, Why?. Recorded, mixed, and largely written, in Nashville in six swift weeks, it was, funnily enough, this daunting timeframe that the 18-year-old says pushed him to his full potential. A powerful thirteen-track collection, it’s brimming with standouts like the finger-clicked soul-pop of “Lovesick” (“A fun song about getting in trouble with your girl”) and “You Told Me So,” which deeply refects on the stresses of a long distance relationship. His songs are, by and large, heartfelt and relatable, sometimes they’re breezy, but even when they’re upbeat, there’s often another level to the lyrics if you lean in.

“‘Love Slow’ was inspired by the struggle of being 18 and in a relationship and pretty much everything in my and my girlfriend’s life being very adult-oriented,” he explains. “Now we're doing almost everything that adults do, but still have to pace ourselves through the struggles of being kids.”

When he sings, “I was old before I was young” on “Bury Our Love”—the line rings particularly true. Consider that for all the impressive stats, all the downloads shifted, and all the followers amassed, Jacob could have easily signed to a major and handed over his future to the bigwigs. But he’s too discerning for the handcuffed strictures of a traditional 360-deal. Instead, he created his own label, Double U Records, working in conjunction with BMG and ADA, to release his music.

“I have all the services of every other artist who's signed to a major, but I have control of the music I want to release, and when I want to release it,” explains Jacob. “It's really a special deal that I'm thankful for and I fought hard for it.”

Jacob’s story is quintessentially modern: the rise of an immensely likable, warm-hearted Tennessee boy from a modest background, who, for all his pin-up appeal has revealed he’s a remarkably shrewd talent to boot. While his business acumen is both fascinating and, to a degree inspiring, it’s Jacob’s music—honest, unabashed pop songs—that are the crux of his appeal. Ask him what drives him to compose and perform and the reasoning is the same as when he first picked up the guitar at 13.

“I enjoy music so much and whenever it was taken away from me, whenever I stopped playing live, I was heartbroken,” he says. So Jacob poured his heart into his songs and his fans, with a future that lies resolutely in his own hands.
Castro - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
Castro
The pop/folk trio Castro is a breath of fresh air. Self-aware but never self-conscious, fun but never trivial, Jason, Michael, and Jackie Castro’s free-range pop soars thanks to a funny little twist for a trio of siblings: It is not how the brothers and sister are alike that creates their undeniable chemistry, but how they are different.

“We all have very different tastes in music,” says Jason. “That's been a big part of this project: How do we bridge all those gaps and make something that's true to all of us?”

“It's hard to fit our music into a category, and I'm okay with that,” agrees Jackie. “I feel like the way we do this together is really unique because we each write on every song, so each song has part of each of us. We listen to very different music, and I think we capture that variety of music in collaborating together.”

That appreciation for the distinct, liberating beauty only found in celebrating differences pulses throughout Castro’s debut EP, Diamond Dreams (Fervent Records). Produced by Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Ben Rector, The Lone Bellow) and recorded in Nashville’s Blackbird Studios, the seven-song collection is a harmonies-driven vocal showcase anchored by three powerhouse singers who take turns taking lead and know exactly when to share the spotlight.

Artists confident, ambitious, and skilled enough to incorporate sounds that were once exclusive or niche into sing-alongs for absolutely everyone have long made the best pop music. Castro falls into that tradition naturally. On Diamond Dreams, they swivel seamlessly between bluesy soul, indie folk, and grandiose pop drama with the poise and effortlessness that only comes with loving each sound too much to abandon it. And while the record may be proudly noncommittal when it comes to genre, there is one mission on which all three siblings agree: making others happy.

“I don't know anything about genres,” Michael says. “I guess I could probably name about five. But what I do know is I am always pushing for more pop than Jay and Jackie. I’m always trying to make music that just makes you feel good.”

“I hope this record just makes people feel happy,” Jackie says. “I feel like it’s the kind of music you want to listen to with the windows rolled down on a summer day with your friends.”

Diamond Dreams introduces an exciting new chapter for the Castros, who have earned thousands of fans individually on strong solo efforts. Jason, the oldest, became a favorite of judges and viewers alike on season 7 of American Idol, where he placed fourth. Jason went on to record acclaimed projects, while Michael surprised his brother and wowed the entire country when he auditioned for Idol the following season, charmed audiences, and began releasing his own EPs. “Jay and I were living together in college at the time, then he went on American Idol and I was like, ‘You can just get out of college by doing that?’” Michael says wryly with a slight laugh, poking a bit of fun at himself, his brother, and the idea that the preternatural vocal gifts the Castro brothers share are available to everyone.

Neither Jason nor Michael had sung before college––a truth almost too hard to believe when listening to their soulful vocals now––but little sister Jackie made her performance debut when she was five and never stopped. “We come from a super musical family,” she says. “There was always a guitar being played, always a chance to sing––and I always loved it.”

The decision to come together to form Castro was motivated by personal reasons for each member.

“I’m coming from a really different place this go round,” Jason says, reflecting on the burnout and lonely time away from home after Idol that had grown more difficult to bear since he got married and became a father of two. “Doing this has helped me get back to the root of what I love about music––and that’s the music, which is just better together.”

Castro co-wrote all seven songs on Diamond Dreams. The EP starts high with the title track’s foot-stomping power. Gorgeous three-part harmonies kick off the song¬¬¬¬––written with Tofer Brown––before Michael takes over. He launches into gratitude for a simple life made up of a car that usually won’t start, loyal friends, and a “mansion made of apartments,” before returning to a chorus declaring dreams of something more. “Dreams are more valuable than anything else,” Jason says. “It’s about realizing, look, a lot of people want to squash dreams, say it’s unrealistic or that you can’t do it. I think a big part of how we’ve gotten to where we are is by really valuing dreams.” The song’s potency lies in the way Castro doesn’t shrug off or hate the humble realities surrounding starry-eyed plans. The band cheers real life just as loudly as hopes.

Michael came up with an infectious chorus in the shower one day, took it to Jason and Jackie, and the three came up with “Rock and Roll,” a joy-soaked ode to finding happiness in contrasts. Jackie, whose arresting soprano charms as she takes the lead, appreciates the song’s playful give and take. “I like emphasizing that our differences complement each other,” she says.

“Waters of Jordan” pulls back, relying on sparse electric guitar and Michael’s room-shushing voice. Listeners feel privy to an intimate moment as the band explores love’s ability to create comforting calm. Jason claims the track as a favorite. “We’d gone through some stuff that had us all stressed out and second guessing a lot,” he says of writing the song. “We were really doubting everything. Should we just quit? Should we just call it a day? You can get caught in this idea of, ‘What do we need to do?’ So that day, we just said, ‘What do we want to do?’”

Other album standout “Automatic” revels in the overwhelming pull of deep love. The three wrote the song with Hank Bentley and Josh Bronleewe, and the result is a lush pop gem with a cinematic build-up––and a favorite of Jackie and Michael. “I really like all the sounds it uses,” Michael says. “I think it might be the best song on there.”

Written with Charlie Peacock and Josh Williams––who also contributed additional production to the track––“Heart’s Coming Home” captures Castro taking risks. The band’s refusal to play it safe pays off with vocals that achieve Prince-worthy swagger. Album closers “Good for You” and “Know Me Well” captivate acoustically. “Good For You” tackles the heartbreak of being in love with an oblivious best friend, while “Know Me Well” calls out for the comfort of unconditional love to soul-shaking effect.

As Castro challenges themselves, their focus will undoubtedly also remain fixed on the ways what they create can touch others. “Music has the power to transform a day, and the power to define a time,” Jason says. “That’s our goal: to be that for somebody. To be the song.”
Taylor Grey - (Set time: 6:20 PM)
Taylor Grey
With the essence of an old soul and a youthful approach to life, 19-year-old singer-songwriter, Taylor Grey, is a promising newcomer to the Alternative Pop community. Known for her emotional ballads and catchy uptempo pop hits, her vocal style and range makes her a fan favorite

Growing up in Northern California and currently a sophomore at Stanford University, Taylor’s love for music came at a very young age. Starting her career in musical theater and trained in classical opera, Taylor began writing lyrics at 12 years old. Shortly after, she started teaching herself both the piano and guitar which enhanced her passion for writing and performing her own music. With a wide range of influences in Classic Rock, Jazz and 90’s Hip-Hop, Taylor continues to grow and develop her own unique sound and songwriting style. Thus, creating a sophisticated and cross-generational refined pop alternative concoction.

Making her debut in 2016, with “Mind of Mine I & II”, a two-part EP that was co-written and produced with up-and-coming producers, Benjamin Taylor and Bryan Morton. Taylor soon caught the eyes and ears of Pop Artist, Jacob Whitesides and shortly after, jumped on his summer “Lovesick” Tour as his opening performer and making it her national debut with a full live band. Quickly, her fan base began to grow and gained even more traction when she joined The Summer Set’s sold out “Made For You” Tour as a special guest throughout the USA in the fall of 2016.

Taylor Grey is set to release her debut album, SPACE CASE, executive produced by legendary award-winning Producer, Josh Abraham in the spring of 2017. Along with Producers Josh Abraham and Nico Stadi, Taylor collaborated with some of the most talented writers and producers on the album such as David Kuncio, Jordan Ware and Isaac Hasson to name a few.

Available soon from her debut album, SPACE CASE, Taylor’s first single, NEVER WOULDA LETCHA will release in FEBRUARY 2017.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change