Marcus Foster

Marcus Foster (10:15 PM)

Sean Rowe (9:15 PM)

Ruston Kelly (8:30 PM)

Tue, March 5, 2013

8:00 pm

adv tix $15.00 / day of show tix $17.00 / limited VIP package $60.00

This event is all ages

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Marcus Foster - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
Marcus Foster
Born and raised in southwest London, from a very early age Marcus Foster began to explore and appreciate a wide range of musical genres. Foster´s childhood and teenage years might seem to offer a few clues as to the wide source of narratives that converge in his music. His poignant voice and the litany of his biographical landmarks are all combined with a salient feature of his personality; namely
, a passionate curiosity for what creativity can conjure in terms of music, art and storytelling.

Music and art served not only as a refuge from the everyday, but as interlocutors that would help him to find his own voice and self expression. This is why throughout his songs there is a broad spectrum of echoes and reference to artists as diverse as Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, D´Angelo, Tom Waits, Prince, Otis Reading, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and, more recently, St. Vincent.

At first sight it might seem counterintuitive to try to render a coherent whole out of such a diverse array of influences. Yet a key drive behind Marcus´ work is a desire, not only to avoid the comfort zone of recreating old sounds, but to challenge himself in such a way that he can produce music and stories that, whilst in debt to the past, have been yet unheard.

It is this creative disquiet that led him to juggle songwriting with his six year long immersion in Fine Art studies. Marcus specialized in sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and completed an MA in 2008 at the Royal College of Art, whilst moonlighting as a singer in bars and clubs across London. It was at the end of his studies for his MA at the Royal College of Art that Charles Saatchi discovered his work, and promptly snapped up one of his creations. Saatchi was not the only one who liked what he saw: his work was subsequently exhibited in Italy and Greece.
After contributing one song to the first Twilight soundtrack in 2008, his popularity with audiences in the U.S. and Europe developed exponentially, which helped to vindicate his commitment to his craft. By the middle of 2010, Foster had already racked up over a million hits on his MySpace page, while his Twitter account was followed in the tens of thousands. As a testament to his constantly growing demand in the in the U.S., Foster was recently invited to perform on the Jimmy Fallon Show performing with The Roots. What’s more, not only has he had multiple tours on both sides of the Atlantic with great success, but he has combined his time on the road with consistent work at the studio. In fact, it is in the interaction with his audiences that he has found a reminder of music´s prime value and a meeting ground where the unexpected takes place. This creative collaboration has left clear marks on his subsequent recordings. Following his first EP Tumble Down, Foster released his critically acclaimed debut album, titled Nameless Path in 2011, which was produced by Ian Grimble (Communion). His music has a timeless quality which, once appreciated, remains in the mind.

For 2012, Foster is about to release a new EP The Last House. The Last House is a concise and exciting journey. Recorded in a barn in Sussex, England, it is his most diverse release to date. In addition to a further series of European tours, he will soon be opening for Michael Kiwanuka in the U.S, whilst completing songs for his second album.
Sean Rowe - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Sean Rowe
Several years ago musician and naturalist Sean Rowe walked out into the wilderness alone. He spent the next 24 days constructing shelter and foraging for food to eat. He would come away from the experience with the songs that would eventually comprise his dazzling debut album Magic. The San Francisco Chronicle described the record as “beautiful and haunting.”

On his new album The Salesman and the Shark, Rowe has created a work that brilliantly reconfigures classic sounds in support of his intensely observational lyrics and the remarkable ever evolving vocals which inspired No Depression Magazine to succinctly state, “Man, that voice.”

Rowe is a native of the lush rolling hills and history rich locale of upstate New York. He came of age listening to his father’s record collection featuring The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and more. But in his teen years it was soul and blues of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles that spoke to the bourgeoning singer-songwriter. “I remember thinking how magical it was that I could listen to that stuff over and over again and it would never fail to hit my spine,” he says. “It was also cool to me that I felt like I found that stuff on my own. No one pointed me to it. I felt like it was mine.”

Upon reading a book called “The Tracker” by renowned naturalist Tom Brown as a teenager, Rowe discovered passion for nature and the wilderness that would continue to parallel and compliment his musical journey. He eventually attended courses at Brown's Wilderness Survival School. “My journey with music and my exploration of nature started together,” he explains. “I can’t really separate the two. Because I spent a lot of time growing up in the woods, the naturalistic elements have always had an effect on my writing. It’s my religion, and I try to convey that in my songs.”

While his philosophy was shaped in nature, Rowe’s powerful baritone was formed in a more traditional manner, singing amidst the boisterous din of local bars. “When I was 18 to 25 you could make a living by playing the bar scene and that’s what I did’” he says. “It was four hour sets with a short break in between. I didn’t have that many originals so I would play a lot of covers. But I never sang a song I didn’t want to play. I did mainly classic R&B, early soul and blues and I loved it. Those years really honed my singing and my ability to work with an audience. “

After several years playing in crowded bars, Rowe headed into the wilderness for some much needed solitude. He lived at a survival school called Hawk Circle Wilderness Education for an entire year and eventually embarking on the 24-day solo survival quest. “I spent an entire year living off the land and going into the woods and surviving on my own,“ he says. “I can’t think of a more pure experience. I wrote most of the songs that were my first album while at the survival school. Writing for me is a very solitary experience. The wilderness is my home and my filter. I try to allude to something bigger in my music, but in a subtle way.”

A creatively reinvigorated Rowe returned to performing with a newfound devotion. A successful tour of England opening for Noah and the Whale was followed by the Anti release of his debut album Magic to overwhelming critical praise. In between touring the world and recording his anticipated follow up album, Rowe continued to write about nature for the Albany Times Union. In November of 2011, he welcomed a son named Jack.

The Salesman and the Shark, is a creative tour de force showcasing Rowe’s gifted writing and absolutely astonishing voice. It was recorded live at historic Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles using only real instruments. It was produced by Woody Jackson utilizing the very same mixing board used to make timeless classics such as The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street, T-Rex’s Electric Warrior, The Beach Boy’s Smile and seminal works by Tom Waits, Neil Young and more.

Appropriately, the soulful and evocative sounds on the record are a faultless blend of the warmly familiar and astonishingly new. The songs move effortlessly between a sense of cathartic intimacy and an epic cinematic like sound complete with a nine piece string section. As Rowe’s explains, “The songs on this record are all very different structurally but they have this consistent sound and feel which has to do with where and how they were recorded. Early on we agreed on the aesthetic of the record which was just keeping it as organic and as live as possible. And I think it really gave it that timeless feel. “
Ruston Kelly - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Ruston Kelly
Ruston Kelly writes and performs the kinds of songs that inspire novels and movies.
You could call him a bastard disciple of Kurt Cobain and James Taylor, and he’d be totally cool with that. He’s just as comfortable wearing a cowboy hat as he is donning a Slayer t-shirt. His story so far twists and turns through heartbreak and triumph, an overdose and rehab, empty dive bars and packed venues, living everywhere from South Carolina to Brussels, and as he puts it, “finally getting my shit together and proposing to the love of my life.”
It’s this unbelievable experience that informs Ruston’s singular style—a gravelly patchwork of folk lyricism, grunge attitude, country heart, Americana spirit, and rock energy. Not only has this troubadour penned songs for Tim McGraw (“Nashville Without You”), Josh Abbott Band (“Front Row Seat”), and more, but his independent solo debut EP Halloween earned acclaim from KCRW, Consequence of Sound, RELIX, Apple Music, and more. He logged countless miles on the road sharing the stage with the likes of The Lumineers and Robert Earl Keen in addition to performing at Bonnaroo and Wakarusa.
It’s no coincidence that he took to music as an infant.
“The first sound I remember hearing was a steel guitar,” he says. “My dad was in some East Texas folk bands back in the day, and he would play steel guitar every night before I went to bed. When he wanted to sneak cigarettes, he’d take me on midnight drives around the neighborhood and play Jackson Browne records. I was fascinated. It seemed like a magical thing to recreate a song you’d heard before.”
As the family shuffled around from Alabama, Cincinnati, and Texas, Ruston learned guitar at 13-years-old. While in Brussels, he immersed himself in classic country and roots.
“Subconsciously, I think I wanted to reconnect with the homeland,” he admits. “It started with The Carter Family, then Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Leadbelly, and Johnny Cash. All of that influences what I do. I was raised with good old Southern kindness, but I was also taught to keep an open mind about things. There are so many different types of cultures and people out there. That’s definitely a theme for me.”
Ruston picked up and left Belgium at 17, relocating to Nashville to live with his older sister. He went on to form the popular jam band Elmwood and tour from 2008 until 2011. By 2013, he had signed his first publishing deal with BMG in Nashville and was landing high-profile placements.
However, his life spun out into a downward spiral.
“Before I was offered the deal, I relapsed into an old drug habit that I had been struggling with for a few years,” he sighs. “I ended up going to rehab. I couldn’t quite get my personal rhythm right. Then, I overdosed in January 2016. That was the last wakeup call I needed.”
Finally getting clean, Ruston released Halloween that June. Produced by Mike Mogis [Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Jenny Lewis] and tracked in just nine days, it formally introduced listeners to his voice. “Poison” racked up over 516K Spotify streams, while “Black Magic” soundtracked the Season Finale of the CBS series Scorpion. With its lilting steel guitar, rough delivery, and enchanting refrain, the track showcases his honesty with the cry, “Love is hell.”
“I think everybody’s been there,” he continues. “You go through one too many bad relationships and get that feeling like, ‘Love shouldn’t be this fucking hard and difficult.’ It’s as if someone cast a spell on you. They’re all really just stepping stones for you to be able to see what you really need as far as love is concerned.”
Signing to Washington Square Music / Razor & Tie and gearing up to record his full-length debut in 2017, Ruston holds nothing back.
“When people hear my songs, I want them to be affected in the way music affected me before I started doing it for a living,” he concludes. “I want them to think, ‘Damn, that made me feel something important I didn’t know I needed to feel.’ I fucking love playing music; it brings me so much joy. If I’m still doing this years from now, that’s more luck than I deserve.”
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change