Eli Conley & Hitch the Pony
Eli Conley is a Bay Area-based singer-songwriter with a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in Americana music and the singer-songwriter tradition, he crafts modern day folk songs for misfits from the raw material of his life as a queer man with Virginia roots. "Oh what gorgeous, soulful music!" raves roots music innovator Laura Love, "Eli Conley's writing and singing are exquisite."
With At The Seams, Eli embarked on his first studio recording in a project completely funded by his devoted fans, which comes out September 28th, 2013. Propelled by an impressive 141%-funded Indiegogo campaign, Eli recorded at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle with producer Michael Connolly, and he is very pleased to be returning to Empty Sea as part of his national CD release tours. Michael plays all the instruments that accompany Eli's acoustic guitar on the album, including mandolin, dobro, bass, accordion and Rhodes piano. The arrangements are spare yet well-balanced, creating space for Eli's songs to shine.
The songs themselves span a wide range of themes, easily flowing between the personal and political while dancing artfully between genres. "Call You Out" features instantly catchy rhythms and is about a secret crush. "Dry as Sin" is a classic political folk ballad drawn from the mountain coal mines of Virginia where Eli finds his roots. The songs gently inhabit familiar ground inviting comparisons to Steve Earle, Elliot Smith, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welchbut never dwell in one place for too long.
Eli has a classically trained voice that spans three octaves, and he makes frequent use of his falsetto. His voice is stunning in its agility and ability to get deep inside an emotion. It's also notable for another reason: As a transgender man, Eli spent several years re-training himself how to sing after losing his formerly soprano voice to the changes brought about by taking testosterone. Many transgender men find it challenging to continue to sing through the vocal changes this hormone causes. Today, Eli works as a voice teacher, teaching singing to people ranging from complete beginners to accomplished performers. He particularly enjoys coaching transgender students through the vocal changes he himself once negotiated.
In December 2011, Eli toured the mid-Atlantic with electric cellist and looper Constance Sisk. Eli and Constance were onetime high school classmates in Richmond, Virginia, and their tour included a stop at the Gay Community Center in their hometown, as well as dates in North Carolina, Maryland, DC and Pennsylvania. In 2010, Eli brought together upright bass player Maia "Papaya" Wiitala and singer Talia Cooper to form Eli Conley and Hip for Squares. Together they recorded the All the Livelong Day EP with producer Justin Vanegas in Wiitala's basement bedroom in Alameda, California. They released the EP in 2011 to a sold out crowd in Berkeley, CA, then brought their show on tour to venues across northern California and the pacific northwest, as well as featuring on stage at 2011s San Francisco Trans Pride March. The EP is available through CDBaby, iTunes and Bandcamp.
Hitch the Pony
Northwest singer/songwriters Gina Belliveau and Andrew Norsworthy forged their duo sound cramming for a holiday concert a couple of years ago. Airtight vocal harmonies and easy instrumental interplay discovered playing "Silver Bells" and "Little Drummer Boy" eventually found a year-round home in the quickly growing original repertoire of Hitch the Pony.
Empty Sea Studios (View)
6300 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|