Eli West plus Amythyst Kiah
Doors at 6:30 pm
First act 7:30 pm
Second act 8:45 pm
(timings are approximate)
Eli West is a Seattle-based acoustic musician. His recent debut solo album, The Both, has him taking the lead on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.
Well-known for his work with Norwegian fiddler Olav Mjelva, Cahalen Morrison, Jayme Stone and more, the Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist oozes understated talent. We recently witnessed both Martin Simpson and Richard Hawley utterly floored by his skill. Truly a sublime musician!
Eli’s recent debut solo album, The Both, sees him taking the lead, on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.
The album focuses on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. They couldn’t have differed more, but together they shared a family. In this spirit, the theme of the album is duality: the first half showcases carefully built arrangements of six American folk songs, the second revisits these as instrumental passages, revealing new sides to the other.
From Johnson City Tennessee, Amythyst Kiah describes herself as a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer-songwriter whose influences span decades and diverse styles. Combining rhythm and blues, country and old-time covers alongside startling originals with an angular contemporary twist, she bestrides both musical spheres with complete authenticity and an authority matched only by her commanding stage presence.
Channelled through her massively expressive voice, her richly layered repertoire confirms Amythyst's emergence as a hugely distinctive new artist who is currently making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Three UK tours in the past year have earned huge acclaim at Hebcelt, Edinburgh Jazz, SummerTyne, Southern Fried, River Town and Celtic Connections festivals amongst many others, culminating in a triumphant main stage set at Cambridge Folk Festival in July 2017. Recent performances in the US, where her star is very much on the rise, include special guest slots with Rhiannon Giddens, Indigo Girls, Old Crow Medicine Show and Valerie June. She returns to the Cambridge main stage this summer as one of guest curators Rhiannon Giddens’ picks. She has just completed a recording project for the Smithsonian with Giddens. Leyla McCalla and Alli Russell of Birds Of Chicago and her new album, recorded and produced in Louisiana by Dirk Powell, will be released in the autumn.