John Louis & Aryk Crowder
John Louis is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter who crafts twangy folk songs about love, loss, living and nostalgia. I think of my music as tonic from the chaos and swirl. Music for the road, or the kind of songs you sing with friends around the fire, said Louis. His songs evoke hope and longing, change and regret, love and death, lost and found, and kindness.
Long before the first volume of his 2x4 EP series, everything about Chicago R&B/soul sensation Aryk Crowder has been about building a sturdy, tangible structure on which his unique vision can thrive. From his early four-track recordings in a studio apartment to recent grass-roots efforts in crowd-sourcing and charity work to the hand-stamped artwork and distribution of 2x4, it's all innovative, creative and certainly DIY, but Crowder's ethic also hearkens back to a time before DIY was hip or underground. With his own two hands, Crowder isn't building walls in order to stand-out, so much as bridges.
After months of perfecting his demo in the late 00's, Crowder began his quest for success in the heart of Chicago. The citys local music scene eagerly opened its arms to its newest musician. Soon after arriving, he had booked live performances at some of the citys most prominent venues, many of which he continues to be requested back to, such as the House of Blues, Reggie's, Hard Rock Cafe, Subterranean, Martyrs' and Uncommon Ground. Whether solo or joined by his infections live band, Crowder has wow'd audiences as an opener for New Kids on the Block's Jordan Knight and singer/songwriter Mat Kearney, as well as at a sold-out, debut appearance at Angels & Kings (owned by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz). Crowder has also racked up several stunning live on-air performances on WGN 720AM, WBEZ 91.5FM, Vocalo 90.7FM and Fearless Radio, reaching worldwide audiences listening over the internet.
Through a slew of engaging, independent releases (including 2010's Ready, Set... EP and 2012's Over Getting Over), Crowder has once again topped himself with the 2x4 series, with Volume II expected late 2015. Accompanied by lush strings, pristine finger snaps and subtle, heartbeat-like percussion, Crowder is at home on Volume I, keeping things at a mild boil musically, while letting his romantic side genuinely runneth over. Though comparisons to Jeff Buckley, John Mayer or Ben Harper aren't unwarranted, Crowder sports more love for true soul music than any of the above, as evidenced through the rustic tones of acoustic plucks. Though the focus is on Crowder's expert vocals and masterful guitar work, this project is rounded out by hefty contributions from Sidewalk Chalk members Charlie Coffeen and Tyler Berg (co-production/keys and drums, respectively), mixer Chris Harden of IV Lab Studios (who has worked with Plain White T's and Hard Working Americans) and Boiler Room master person Colin Jordan, responsible for assisting a who's who of Chicago hip-hop talent over the years, such as Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Twista.
Crowder's connections to his fans and his city are far from done when the final note is sung or the last instrument cable is wrapped up for the night. He's bringing human emotion (and handmade keepsakes in which to collect them) back in an age of a point-and-click music industry.
Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music (View)
1859 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|