Brad Byrd & Jenny Van West
Thursday - December, 19 @ 7:00pm
Over the course of his career, Brad Byrd has written songs that firmly occupy the rarely-explored middle ground between indie rock and alt-country. He's a genre-spanning musician, carving out a diverse sound fueled by melody, detailed storytelling, and the instincts of a journeyman songwriter who began making Americana music long before the genre had a name. Over the course of his career, he’s shared the stage with a variety of musicians, such as Jay Farrar, Mike Doughty, They Might Be Giants, Everlast, Lee DeWyze, and Family of the Year, showcasing undeniable versatility and commitment to his craft. With his fourth album, Phases, Byrd takes a look backwards, reflecting upon the lessons learned throughout his ongoing journey.
From the start, Byrd's music found himself planting one foot in the guitar-driven world of indie rock, with the other pointing toward a more rootsy, country-inspired direction. His voice suited both styles, and his hook-heavy songwriting drew a line between them. Inspired by modern trailblazers like Nada Surf, Wilco, Kurt Vile, and Ryan Adams, he blazed his own path, unafraid to chase the muse into unexplored territory.
A songwriting lifer, Brad Byrd has charted his own course since the turn of the millennium. When his record label went kaput after The Ever Changing Picture's release, he started his own (Elusive Tiger), ever-focused on continuing his output. When the garage in his California home became overrun with paintings and music equipment, he transformed it into a public art gallery and performance space. Now, with Phases, he examines the human condition from various perspectives, delivering an amplified rock song one minute and a stripped-down folk ballad the next. This is the next chapter in his story; the next step on his remarkable journey, wherever it may lead.
As a singer she could easily succeed at any vocal style she pursued and would destroy (in a good way) the great American Songbook if she chose to.” (Charlie Ricci, Bloggerhythms) Portland, ME-based Americana artist, Jenny Van West’s critically-acclaimed April 2018 release Happiness To Burn, fuses folk, rock, swing, and country in this follow-up to her award-winning 2015 album, Something Real. Happiness to Burn spent three months on the EuroAmericana Chart, peaking at #7. Van West has also dug into the musical community of her hometown, founding the Maine Immigrant Musical Instrument Project, the International Open Mic, and the Women’s Singer-Songwriter-Composer Showcase. A soothing yet riveting stage presence with a voice that engenders depth, compassion, and love, Van West has the ability to write songs that sound like instant classics.
With a crystalline voice that has been characterized as “somewhere between Aimee Mann and Bonnie Raitt,” Americana artist Jenny Van West has just released her new album of original songs Happiness to Burn (April 2018) to international critical acclaim. For the new album, producer Shane Alexander assembled a dream team of LA’s top musicians: Jesse Siebenberg / lap steel, pedal steel, dobro, (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real), Carl Byron (Jackson Browne), / piano, organ, accordion; Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings) / bass, Justine Bennett / vocals (Jacob Dylan, Adam Cohen), Austin Beede (Grateful Shred, Todd Hannigan) drums.
Winner of the 2015 Maine Songwriters Association songwriting contest (“Nellie”) and a finalist in 2017 (“Happiness to Burn”), Van West released her first album Something Real in 2015 and the EP Honey & Hive in 2016, both produced by Ed DesJardins in Readfield, Maine.
650A Congress Street, Portland ME
- Mon: 5PM-11PM
- Tues: 6PM-12AM
- Wed: 5PM-12AM
- Thurs: 5PM-12AM
- Fri & Sat: 5PM-1AM
- Sun: 4PM-10PM
Blue has won Portland’s Best Jazz Venue for several years in a row and dedicates every Saturday night to Jazz at Blue.
We are a DONATION BASED venue. Please show your support to the musicians by donating to the basket by the stage. Because we don’t charge a cover and 100% of your donations go to the musicians we respectfully ask that each person make a ONE PURCHASE MINIMUM of food/beverage to help support the room. All seats are first come, first served (feel free to share a table). We do not take reservations.