Nov 09, 2013 - 7:30 pm
Peter Mulvey – Saturday November 9, 7:30 PM
Reserved: Adults $20 advance, $23 day of show; Students $15
“Gleefully mercurial…equal parts breezy jazz and whispery folk. His voice feels like fine old leather, and his guitar sounds like it’s on steroids..a superb musician with a fondness for ignoring the rules…a genre-defying traditionalist – a knuckleballer with finger-picks” – The Boston Globe
Over the past 20 years, Peter Mulvey has pursued a restless, eclectic path as a writer and musician immersing himself in Tin Pan Alley jazz, modern acoustic, poetry, narrative, and Americana stylings. A relentlessly touring headliner, his attitude is “when you love what you do, you can work all the time”. He has also shared the stage with such notable musicians as Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, and Greg Brown, and has attracted an audience that stretches from Anchorage to Amsterdam.
In every aspect of his career, Mulvey draws on an extremely wide range of influence. He is always reading, listening, and eager to hear new poetry, modern minimalist composers, old-time fiddle tunes, Argentinean trip-hop, or top-shelf bar bands. Said The Irish Times, “Peter Mulvey is consistently the most original and dynamic of the US singer-songwriters to tour these shores. A phenomenal performer with huge energy, a quick fire, quirky take on life, and an extraordinary guitar style. A joy to see.”
Still, it is the live performance that defines that work. Night after night, whether performing solo, duo (with David “Goody” Goodrich), or sometimes even with a band, Mulvey attempts to be the sum of his parts, to draw on all the musical legacies he has studied, to make a fresh, vital moment out of everything he and the audience have brought to the table that night. "People need this. I need this. To come together in a room, to try to make music come alive, for real, for right now, and then to let it go and that is the whole deal for me.”
Mulvey’s fifteenth record, The Good Stuff, was released in March 2012. His twenty years on the road, performing songs from his own catalog and from a vast and varied collection of classic and obscure covers, provide the foundation for this recording.
Recorded in just three days, the performances feature upright bassist Paul Kochanski, violinist Randy Sabien, guitarist David Goodrich, and drummer Jason Smith, Many of the songs on Mulvey’s list were unfamiliar to some or all of the musicians in the room and they would create an arrangement on the fly and record it immediately.
“When everything isn’t planned head of time, it can be magical how each musician finds a way into the song,” says Mulvey. “When the performance comes alive, it’s such a charge. You know that old expression, ‘That’s really happening’? It’s literal. It’s such a beautifully concise description of what it means when music is really, really alive; it’s literally happening.”
The point of departure is always a great song, a great classic, whether enshrined in the canon or not. Mulvey’s latest record is an argument for the Great American Songbook not as a musty tome, but as a living, breathing document, always open to renewal and revision.
“There’s always a big challenge for musicians in recording ‘on the fly’ … That it all came together wonderfully is a testament to Mulvey, his band’s musicianship and the choice of original, interesting, and varied songs.” – The Telegraph/UK
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