Dustin Kensrue

Dustin Kensrue (10:20 PM)

David Ramirez (9:20 PM)

The Rocketboys (8:30 PM)

Thu, June 4, 2015

7:30 pm

Adv Tix $15.00 / Day of Show Tix $18.00

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This event is all ages

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Dustin Kensrue - (Set time: 10:20 PM)
Dustin Kensrue
It’s a rare singer/songwriter that can credibly display dual sides of his musical personality—one who can quite thoroughly and convincingly operate in opposite realms of popular music. With Please Come Home, Dustin Kensrue joins those elite musical ranks.

If, at the moment, he is known primarily as the voice of Thrice—a respected, conscious underground sensation, lauded for its virtuosity, power and creativity—Please Come Home stands to change all that. Indeed, with this batch of soul-searching acoustic songs, which range from the dark, philosophical and introspective to the tender, Kensrue is more likely to snare listeners more in tune with the work of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Ryan Adams. Combining classic folk with earthy blues, melodic country and deep soul, Kensrue creates a unique aural landscape complementing his music versatility.

Built atop slabs of wisdom and hope, the songs avoid tilting towards the vacuous lighter fare of some singer/songwriters but stops short of the self-indulgent depression of others. It fights to shine lights into the abyss and delves into the dark places with one hand firmly holding onto faith, hope and love. At times stripped bare or awash in organ swirls or harmonica blasts, the disc’s eight songs are inhabited by sinners and saviors in tracks like Blood and Wine and Consider the Ravens. We find men who are morally confused and utterly lost in the title track Please Come Home, and in Pistol, hard-headed women whose love is like a rudder.

“A lot of the material is a little more down to earth, which is one of things that I tried to do with these songs,” says Kensrue. “I get a little heady with the Thrice songs. And I like doing that—I think people like engaging in that—but I wanted these to be more folky, in the sense that this is music coming from a natural place.”

Born, raised and still residing in the famously superficial Orange County, California, Kensrue is an anomaly in the region’s musical scene, railing against the media and the masses for destroying women’s self worth in I Knew You Before. As a teenager who carried his acoustic guitar with him everywhere, his music in both spirit and substance owed more to East Coast music. And certainly Please Come Home is no different. Chocked full of the warmth and introspection of records by the likes of such praised singer/songwriters as Grant Lee Phillips or early, stark David Gray, its songs are thoughtful and hardly light.

In slow-burning ballads or fast-moving strummers, he splays himself open, unafraid to leave himself emotionally naked in songs like the brave and honest I Believe, which deals with coming to grips with faith.

In a sense, the songs filling Please Come Home took root when Kensrue, before his days in Thrice, busked on streets corners in Southern California, playing for change and for the thrill of the interaction with an audience, no matter how small.

Recently he embarked on a pair of brief solo acoustic tours in the Northeast and Southwest (including sold-out engagements in New York, L.A., Philadelphia, San Diego and Orange County). The set was a mixture of new songs and covers, including a haunting rendition of the Counting Crows’ “Round Here,” and a daring acoustic stab at Imogen Heap’s dark synthetic “Hide and Seek.”

When asked about the origins of this record, the singer says Please Come Home eventually took shape when he found himself writing songs that didn’t necessarily fit within the Thrice context. On their latest U.S. tour, he and guitarist Teppei Teranishi committed to bringing these ideas to life once off the road. Co-producing the disc, they hunkered down in the studio with friend and guitar tech Chris Jones, who played drums, slide and electric guitar on Please Come Home. Teranishi handled the organ and piano duties, while Kensrue played all the acoustic guitars and bass on the disc, whose songs were written to be blueprints: They’re structured, says the singer, so that they can be changed live, or effortlessly played with just an acoustic guitar.

“I wanted these songs at their core to work in that street-corner sense—just a guy with his guitar a voice and a story to tell. In the end, even with the other instruments, it is still an acoustic guitar based record,” he says. “It’s the foundation of each track, both musically and sonically, which I think is cool. On a lot of records, the acoustic gets E.Q.’d really thin and becomes a glorified percussion instrument, but we tried to keep it pretty full and upfront.”

“With only eight songs, it’s a little bit of an old-school record,” says Kensrue. “But it’s like the old LPs I love—a lot of them only had like eight, maybe nine songs. I like shorter records, I feel like you really get a sense of the whole feeling of the record, and you can kind of grasp it all in one gulp. Advances in technology have allowed for a longer recording, and as a result, people like to try and fill that space. And I don’t think it’s always necessary. Music shouldn’t be about quantity. I’m excited about it being shorter. It feels very complete to me.”

Hailing from a small, landlocked city in the middle of Orange County, Kensrue was raised by a father with a beefy record collection, and a mother who sent young Dustin to piano lessons, though all he really wanted to play was guitar. If he loved The Beatles and Michael Jackson as a pre-teen, punk changed his course as a teenager.

“With Thrice, it’s always an attempt to combine a lot of different feels and explore a lot of new territory—not that it’s not about writing good songs, but Please Come Home at its core is finding the heart of the song and playing it. It’s definitely more down to earth and less complex in certain ways…I’ve started simplifying things and getting a little more subtle or elegant.”

“As an artist, I always want to be as real and honest as I can be in the songs,” he continues. “I feel like where powerful songs come from—tapping something that’s inside of you, that actually means something to you, and getting that into the song—I think you can hear when a song is not from that place. I try to be an artist who aspires to find hope even in dark places: If I’m down, I don’t want to bring people down to that place with me. I’m looking for a way out."
David Ramirez - (Set time: 9:20 PM)
David Ramirez
A man and his guitar... honest, unfiltered and true. In a landscape filled with Top 40 beats and harmonizing folk groups, a lone singer- songwriter definitely has his work cut out for him. But David Ramirez isn't looking to top the charts. He just wants to tell the truth.

"I grew up on 90's alternative radio. It was fun and easy. In college someone gave me a Ryan Adams record, which led me to discover folks like Bob Dylan. From those guys I learned about the power of words and melody and their ability to affect change in people. That honesty made me want to connect with people through music".

Being just as drawn to artists like Dylan and Adams as he is to The National and Arcade Fire is perhaps what draws both young college crowds and folk traditionalists to his live shows. In 2012, Ramirez played over 175 shows in theaters, clubs, bars and listening rooms from Burlington, VT to San Diego, CA. A Fall 2012 co-headline tour with Noah Gundersen saw many sell-out shows and grew his loyal fan base. "I've been humbled by the response I've received from people. Not only do they come to a show or two but they seem to be in it for the long haul. Touring can be tough, but knowing that people around the country are excited to be a part of my music brings so much joy and meaning to the miles".

Ramirez's career has spanned 2 full lengths and 3 EP's. His 2012 independently released album, Apologies debuted at #2 on iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts and #23 on Billboard Folk, garnering praise from The New York Times, American Songwriter and PASTE. Hometown magazine Austin Monthly calls Ramirez "one of Americana's great undiscovered songwriters..." His latest release is The Rooster EP. Produced in 6 days by Ramirez and Danny Reisch (Shearwater, Okkervill River, White Denim), the 5 songs explore new sounds and test the limits of the folk/singer-songwriter genre. "The songs themselves are still rooted in folk, but I wanted to experiment with different sounds and textures. It's subtle but it's strong".

David Ramirez knows no luxury. All he needs is an acoustic guitar and the words in his mouth to share his story. One that is honest, unfiltered and true.
The Rocketboys - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
The Rocketboys
The Rocketboys’ sound reflects the Texas landscape from which they hail: vast, yet sparse, desolate, yet rich and abundant. Often eschewing familiar lyrical themes of romance and love for songs of brotherhood, family, life, and death, The Rocketboys’ catalog chronicles the band’s journey throughout its existence.

The Rocketboys’ forte is its keen ability to create and capture unique, emotional musical experiences. Hit TV shows “Glee,” “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice,” “Elementary,” and many others have channeled the band’s powerful thematic energy. Reviews often highlight the band’s parity to textural acts such as Band of Horses and Death Cab for Cutie while retaining the mass appeal of Coldplay, The Verve and Keane.

No strangers to the road (the band will perform its 700th show this year), The Rocketboys continually find fans across the country with a beautifully powerful live show.

The Rocketboys is set to release its latest recording project and debut on Black Magnetic Records, the “Left | Right” EP, on January 6th. It was recorded in Los Angeles, CA at Sunset Sound Studios with multi-grammy winning producer, Joe Chicarelli (Manchester Orchestra, The Strokes, The Shins).
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change