Rachel Baiman w/ Vivian & Riley at the 'Dad Lounge
With her 2017 debut Shame, Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman emerged as a fearless voice of the American female experience. Shame was featured on NPRs Songs We Love, called a Rootsy Wake-up Call by Folk Alley, and described by Vices Noisey as flipping off authority one song at a time. On her new full-length album Cycles, Baiman has found a grittier musical medium for her signature unabashed and defiant songwriting, employing a majority-female team including co-producer Olivia Hally, known as the front woman of Indie-pop band Oh Pep!
Cycles is a collection of songs encompassing the many ways that we destroy and rebuild as people, as families, and as a country. Songs about the cycle of life inspired by the birth of a nephew and the loss of a grandmother, songs about internal mental cycles of ambition and self-doubt, the cycle of progress and regression in our countrys political journey, and the cycles of growth and reinvention that relationships take on. At times heartbreaking, at times celebratory, the album is a reflection of a lot of life experienced in a relatively short amount of time, a desire to hold fast to the people we love in the wake of so much uncertainty, and an exploration of the immense and unique strength of women in the face of adversity.
Originally from Chicago, Baiman moved to Nashville at eighteen, and has spent the last decade working as a musician in a wide variety of roles, from session musician (Molly Tuttle, Kelsey Waldon, Caroline Spence), to live sidewoman (Kacey Musgraves, Amy Ray), to bandmate and producer. Fiddle music was her first love, and she is known in the bluegrass and old time world for her work with progressive acoustic duo 10 String Symphony with fiddle player Christian Sedelmyer. Her first solo album Shame, was produced by Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange, and established her role as part of a new generation of political songwriters. Since 2017, Baiman has toured her solo project internationally with appearances at the Kilkenny Roots Festival in Ireland, the Mullum Music Festival in Australia, and the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage in Washington, DC. She has also released a variety of small scale projects; her 2018 Free Dirt EP Thanksgiving, which read as a sort of epilogue to Shame, a duet project with singer Mike Wheeler, which is a more stripped down nod to her acoustic roots, and a 2020 single, Wrong Way Round, which shows more sonic experimentation and hints at musical direction of Cycles.
Inspired by the burgeoning grunge rock scene in Melbourne, Cycles was recorded in Australia in the glorified storage unit known as Purple Wayne Studios (Big Smoke) with engineer Alex OGorman (Angie McMahon). In addition to Hally on bass, piano and guitar, and Baiman on guitar, strings and banjo, other musicians include Melbourne drummer Bree Hartley, guitar players Cy Winstanley (Brandy Clarke) and Josh Oliver (Mandolin Orange), and guest vocalists Dan Parsons, Dan Watkins and Maggie Rigby (The Maes). The album was mixed by GRAMMY winning engineer Shani Gandhi, who is based in Nashville but originally from Australia as well.
VIVIAN & RILEY
Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagnos self-titled record is old-soul roots music to its core. Though both just out of college, the duos musical talents extend far beyond their years. Produced by GRAMMY-winning Cajun roots heavyweight Joel Savoy at his Louisiana studio, Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno (released March 12, 2021 on Free Dirt Records) is not some soulless collection of songs imitating previous masters of American music. Rather, the pair has responded to one of the darkest eras in American history with an album of stunning breadth and originality.
With mass protests, fires raging near their current home in the Pacific Northwest, and no prospect of touring anytime soon, its an aptly biting, bittersweet group of songs for an uncertain time. Yet, Leva and Calcagno balance this with a sense of optimisma notion that at our most vulnerable we might emerge better humans because of it all, perhaps beginning with our own intimate relationships. The eleven tracks elegantly reprise the deep threads of old-time and classic country present throughout Levas debut albumshe did grow up in rural Appalachia outside Lexington, Virginia, the daughter of celebrated old-time musicians, after all. However, the pair fluidly meld this traditional backbone with fresh iconic melodies, expanded production, and the tightly wound vocal harmonies of indie folk. Its an artistic statement made from this moment but built to last.
Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno follows Levas critically acclaimed 2018 debut, Time Is Everything, which garnered rave reviews from publications like Rolling Stone who said the album shone a light on the past without giving up its place in the present. Leva was hailed for her mature, deeply grounded songwriting, surprising for a songwriter not quite 20 years old at the time. She wields the same golden pen on the new album, though Calcagno lends a hand too with songwriting and arrangements, pulling Levas songs in new directions and down unexpected pathways. While their previous album centered around the passage of time, the couples new record explores themes of space and distance. Leva and Calcagno were working on these songs well before COVID, but were separated by half the country while attending different universities. With Leva on the West Coast and Calcagno in Ohio, the two sent each other songs as voice memos or worked on them during weekend visits.
Both Leva and Calcagno grew up in the Appalachian stringband tradition, have noted parents in the old-time scene, and spent formative years running wild around festival campgrounds. They are steeped in an instrumental culture of hard-picking and virtuosic musicianship; indeed there are plenty of online videos of them tearing through all-night jam sessions. Leva recently joined Calcagnos former teen stringband The Onlies, releasing an album of fire-breathing fiddle tunes in late 2020. However, what sets Leva and Calcagno apartin addition to their work as instrumentalistsis their almost preternatural talent as songwriters. Great pickers dont necessarily make great songwriters; its an entirely different art to be able to translate the world of rural Appalachia into a country song that can still make a personal point. As young artists stepping into the spotlight during one of the most brutal periods in our history its clear theyve built something that can last, something that speaks to our present time while reminding us of the best parts of where we came from.
Friday, March 4th, 2022
7pm doors, 8pm-ish show start
$8 / 21+
Trinidad Lounge (View)
421 N. Commercial St.
Trinidad, CO 81082
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|