JAMES MCCARTNEY WITH SPECIAL GUESTS, REBECCA HAVILAND & WHISKEY HEART AND COREY WHITE
Friday, May 31st
8:00pm / doors at 6:30pm
Advance general admission: $15
At the door: $20
Table of 4 reserved seats: $75
The release and international success of JAMES MCCARTNEY‘s debut digital-only EPs, Available Light and Close At Hand, introduced a talented singer-songwriter and his music to the world. Now, James McCartney embarks on the next phase of that introduction with his first-ever physical release: The Complete EP Collection. This special two-disc set produced by David Kahne and Paul McCartney, includes James’ debut EPs in their entirety, along with an additional EP’s worth of five never before released bonus tracks.
The Complete EP Collection is the result of James McCartney working on and off in the studio for over two years. He played most of the instruments, including bass, guitars, and piano—and of course, he sings. “I really wanted to wait until I had the strongest possible collection of songs before introducing them to the world,” says McCartney. “I so believe in this music, and these songs. With the two digital EPs being released earlier this year and now this special two-disc set arriving, I’m right where I’ve hoped I would be.”
The songs on Available Light, Close At Hand, and the five exclusive bonus tracks on The Complete EP Collection were recorded at Hog Hill Mill Studios in Sussex, Abbey Road Studios in London, and SeeSquared Studios and Avatar Studios in New York. There were two main phases to the recordings. Initially, the recordings were done with James playing most of the instruments, with Shawn Pelton on drums and Steven Isserlis on cello. James put a band together partway through those sessions, which included two members of The Dead 60s—Charlie Turner on bass and Bryan Johnson on drums—and Steve Bayley on guitar and keyboards.
After much rehearsing and a couple of UK tours, the band went into Abbey Road to re-record some of the tracks, along with several songs that hadn’t been previously recorded. Rolling Stone calls the opening track on Available Light, “Angel,” a “light and cheerful pop track.” It was written as McCartney explains, “while sitting on the top of the stairs in my house in North London trying to write about when I will first meet my true love.” The upbeat nature of “Angel” and the innocence of the song “My Friend” are deftly balanced on Available Light by the dark and dynamic tracks “Glisten” and “Denial,” and finally framed with a heartfelt rendition of Neil Young’s classic, “Old Man.”
If Available Light is the “side one” of James McCartney’s debut, then Close At Hand is very much the second side, and James had specific ideas for it. “There is only one thing to do with high expectations, and that is meet them,” says McCartney. “I wanted to follow Available Light with something that showed a progression…that had an even deeper meaning, both spiritually and musically.”
From the first moments of Close At Hand, that progression is crystal clear. Above driving guitar lines McCartney asks, ‘Are you receiving what you’re believing / Are you sure just what you are,’ in the EP’s opening track, “I Only Want To Be Alone.” The powerful vulnerability of “Wings Of A Lightest Weight” is the expression of a son’s feelings of love for his mother (‘Watching you fly away / Whilst your wings of a lightest weight / Carry you back through the heat of the wind / Carry you back to me’). 12-string-guitar arpeggios reminiscent of “Glisten” from Available Light return for the uplifting song “The Sound Of My Voice.” The playfully esoteric “Else And Else But Dead” is followed by an emotional tour de force, “Jesus Be My Friend,” where McCartney plumbs the depths of his own convictions (‘Boulder in a stream / Water on a stone / God is close at hand / You never understood / Just who I really was / Just who I really am’). “Fallen Angel” provides a hopeful dawn after this dark night of the soul.
“Some artists are happy doing the same thing again and again, but my favorite artists are the ones who evolve and grow, and I want to be one of them,” says James. With Available Light, Close At Hand, and now The Complete EP Collection, James McCartney has again and again dared to raise the stakes, and in doing so he’s succeeded in filling some very big shoes…his own.
Whiskey Heart : No Artificial Anything
Rebecca Haviland is a petite, polite, pixie-haired 20-something singer who, when she opens her mouth, channels a furious, beat-up, fed-up blues diva standing in a snowstorm at a bus station at 4 in the morning two dollars short of a ticket to nowhere. Her songwriting partner/producer/singer/songwriter, Chris Anderson, only stops playing 4-stringed electric and acoustic instruments long enough to eat and listen to Tom Waits, Warren Zevon, Willie Nelson, Randy Newman and David Gray.
Together, Haviland and Anderson comprise the hotter-than-hell alt-country act Whiskey Heart, who’ve been performing around Manhattan and elsewhere long enough to hone a tight, crisp live show, headlining at Rockwood Music Hall and dozens of other venues where people dig their down-home, all-natural act exploding with heart, soul and guts. The two met at NYC’s Red Lion in 2003 shortly after graduating from Purchase University, where they’d never crossed paths while students. Their common interests and musical tastes quickly formed the nucleus of an eyeball-to-eyeball song and performance collaboration, though, and Whiskey Heart was born. The band began gigging and Haviland and Anderson soon found themselves headlining wherever they appeared – with fans clamoring ever-more-loudly for a recording.
Their debut album, “Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart,” self-produced and co-written by Haviland and Anderson, was recorded live in the studio with full band, featuring Todd Caldwell on Hammond B3 (Crosby Stills & Nash), Rich Hinman on pedal steel and electric guitar (Rosanne Cash, Ben Kweller), and Kenny Shaw on drums (Abby Payne, Hurrah! A Bolt Of Light). It includes the singles “Collide With Me” and “It’s Not Wrong.”
For more information, including more photos and links to tracks off the soon-to-be-released album, friend Haviland on Facebook, Twitter, and check her website at www.rebeccahaviland.com.
Corey White is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Bixby, OK. He has been pursuing his dream of music since 2005, when he fronted the well-known youth western swing group Oklahoma Stomp. While being the front-man for Oklahoma Stomp, Corey got the opportunity to open for industry greats such as the Oak Ridge Boys, Asleep at the Wheel, John Conlee, Red Dirt Rangers and more.
Although Corey found great success through Oklahoma Stomp, he has recently decided to chase his dream of becoming a solo artist. Corey now proudly calls Oklahoma State University his home and is working to create a big presence in the college town known as the home of red dirt music. While going to school, Corey is making frequent visits to Nashville to write with renowned songwriters. Some of the writers Corey has worked with include Michael Heeney (Eric Church’sDrink In My Hand), Michael Dulaney (Jason Aldean’s Tattoos on this Town & Flyover States), Kim Tribble (Montgomery Gentry’s Long Line Of Losers and One In Every Crowd), Troy Johnson (Thompson Square’s Getaway Car and the Dixie Chicks’ Some Days You Gotta Dance). He has also played on stage with country music heavyweights Willie Nelson, Dustin Lynch, and Roy Clark. More recently, Corey has been added to the Thunder on the Mountain line-up (June 6) with Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, and more.
Corey’s dream of inspiring people through his music as a solo artist is beginning to become a reality. Exciting things are happening and the blessings just seem to keep coming!