Yarn at the me & thee coffeehouse - Heather Styka opens
me and thee coffeehouse Marblehead, MA
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Yarn at the me & thee coffeehouse - Heather Styka opens
Brooklyn-based Americana/Alt-Country band Yarn's sound owes as much to Gram Parsons and Earl Scruggs as to Jerry Garcia and Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones. Following in a fine tradition that includes forward thinking roots bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of The Purple Sage, Yarn weaves roots music idioms into a fresh sound that turns on hipsters and fans of country music alike, with technically impressive song-crafting and universal tales from the road of life.
On Yarn's latest release, Leftovers, Volume 1 you'll hear vintage tracks recorded during the band's first studio sessions back in 2006 and 2007. With this retro-collection, listeners witness the poignant emotion and emotive story-telling that has come to define the sextet's sound, which straddles the genres of Americana and alt-country, with a dash of jam-band.
Their self-titled debut record reached No. 14 on the AMA and R&R Radio Charts, and ranked No. 79 on the AMA's Top 100 Albums of 2007. Yarn's 2008 follow-up, Empty Pockets, spent months in the top 5 on the AMA chart and was honored with eight first round 2009 Grammy nominations in several categories. Yarn's third release, Come on In, held its own as the #25 record on the top 100 Americana chart of 2010.
Yarn is touring intensively and their impressive live shows continue to build the buzz and the fan base fueled by their first four records.
Chicago singer-songwriter Heather Styka's songs are as fresh as they are rooted in the folk and Americana tradition, delivered by a warm and soulful voice. Also a poet and writer, Styka has an instinct for lyrics that are smart and unexpected but never cryptic, analyzing the importance of moments, places, and relationships. In addition to numerous songwriting awards, her 2011 release Lifeboats for Atlantis received critical praise, hitting #3 on the national FOLK-DJ charts. As "one of the more original of the many contemporary singer-songwriters touring the US" (Tom May, River City Folk), Heather Styka stands at the forefront of her generation of songwriters.
When Styka began touring in 2010 after graduating with a degree in creative writing, she was not a newcomer to music; she had been writing and performing for almost a decade in Chicago, playing venues including Schubas, the Double Door, the Two Way Street Coffee House, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. "When I first started playing out at fourteen, Chicago's music community was very supportive," Styka says. "I had so many opportunities to check out shows, learn from the best." Since Styka's transition from student to full-time musician, Lifeboats for Atlantis has brought her to national attention, ending up on a number of radio DJs' "best of the year" lists, most notably among Rich Warren's favorite albums (Midnight Special, WFMT). She's made an impact at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM), Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA), and Folk Alliance International conferences (FAI), having been selected for official showcases at both FARM and FAI. Styka has also been a featured guest on WFMT's "Sweet Folk Chicago" and interviewed twice on Tom May's nationally syndicated "River City Folk" program.
Heather Styka's background as a poet is evident in her songs. Her narratives rely on snapshots of moments; she "knows the most beautiful and intriguing stories to convey" (AltCountry Forum). With lyrics as candid and intimate as late night conversation, these songs can be deceptively simple, building "through the details of what [she] leaves out, as well as what she puts in" (Oliver di Place). Styka's ability to connect with listeners and her ear for melody has earned her a number of songwriting awards, including first place in the Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Competition (2009) and second place in the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest (2012).
With a distinctive guitar style and a natural, earthy vocal command, Styka gives each song space to breathe, favoring minimal instrumentation. From foot-stomping grooves to whispered hymns, "Heather's unique delivery combines the influences of a fragile Irish air, the warm effervescence of upbeat Americana, soulful country and mournful blues. Her voice ensures these songs hit that place in your chest where emotions reside" (FolkWords). Though unafraid to tackle the darker aspects of human experience, her songs are characterized by a persistent hopeful streak. "A lot of my songs are bittersweet, but there's always this uplifting desire that things will get better," says Styka. "That really seems to resonate with people right now."
Styka's performances are marked by her sincere authenticity -- there's no difference between the cheery young Midwesterner before and after she gets on stage. Conversational and approachable, she brings lighthearted banter to her performances with a quirky sense of humor. From large halls to coffeehouses, festivals to house concerts, she retains that intimacy. "What I love about performing these songs," Styka says, "is that each one is a conversation with an audience. I don't write for myself, I write to connect with listeners." And it seems Heather Styka is doing just that. Currently touring nationwide, Styka resides in Chicago's North Side with a large collection of tea and a family of moss terrariums.
me and thee coffeehouse (View)
28 Mugford St
Marblehead, MA 01938