Girlyman with special guest Meg Hutchinson.
Harmonies - if you had to describe the music of Girlyman in one word, this would be it. The story doesn't end there, of course: the band blends modern acoustic, americana, and folk-rock into a musical recipe The Village Voice has called "really good, really unexpected, and really different." The wide range of instruments - acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, djembe, electric baritone guitar - reflects an eclectic sound, and the band members switch off lead vocals and songwriting duties. But it is the stunning three-part vocal blend that creates the Girlyman magic.
Girlyman (Nate Borofsky, Doris Muramatsu, and Ty Greenstein) hails from Atlanta, GA, though they formed the band while sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, NY. In 2004, Amy Ray signed Girlyman to her indie label, Daemon Records, and the following years brought long opening runs with Dar Williams and the Indigo Girls. The band now has a strong national following of its own, and spends a lot of time criss-crossing the country, playing to intensely loyal "girlyfans" who often travel hundreds of miles to see shows. In the past year, as headliners, Girlyman has sold out renowned venues such as The Barns at Wolftrap, The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA.
And the name? "It's great for us, provocative and playful," says Muramatsu. "It makes people laugh. But it also hints at how we've never quite fit in. Nate wears make-up onstage, I'm a Japanese-American playing to mostly white audiences. Ty is a grown-up tomboy. The name Girlyman lets us acknowledge that we're out of the mainstream, but without taking ourselves too seriously."
Girlyman has sold tens of thousands of copies of its three studio albums, and in 2008 the band released a fourth CD, Somewhere Different Now (live). Packed with 29 tracks, the latest album has it all: new, unrecorded songs, covers, hilarious banter, and improvised ditties. Somewhere Different Now is 76 minutes of pure, unleashed Girlyman, with all their intensity, levity, and harmony.
Meg Hutchinson was raised in the small town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by English teachers, so it is no surprise that she is a writer with an uncanny perceptiveness about the natural world and the human condition. Growing up in the Berkshire Mountains, the woods and ponds were her childhood muses, as were the songwriters she listened to, like Greg Brown and Joni Mitchell. When she inherited her grandmothers 1957 Martin guitar at age eleven, her love of words found an inspiring instrument, and there was no turning back. Songwriting is not something I chose, Ive just somehow always known that this is what I love to do. This is what I cant help but do, she says.
Although only 29 years old, Hutchinson has garnered much critical attention for her unique alto vocals and resonating, razor-sharp lyrics, and her sophisticated folk/pop songwriting has endeared her to such acclaimed songwriters as Susan Werner, John Gorka and Catie Curtis, folk greats with whom she will be touring in support of her new album on Red House Records Come Up Full.
After graduating from college with a degree in creative writing, Hutchinson quit her longtime job on an organic vegetable farm and settled in Boston. In between gigs at pubs, coffeehouses and train stations, she won a Kerrville New Folk Award (2000) and was nominated for a Boston Music Award for her first studio album Against the Grey. She went on to win awards at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, the Telluride Troubadour Songwriters Showcase in Colorado and The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in North Carolina, all in the course of a year, causing national publications like Performing Songwriter to take notice, calling her A master of introspective ballads filled with understated yearning and an exquisite sense of metaphor.
After recording her live CD Any Given Day in 2001, and continuing to build a fan base throughout the Northeast, she went into the studio with esteemed producer Crit Harmon (Lori McKenna, Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier) to record The Crossing. Released in 2004, this album was enthusiastically received by critics and DJs across the country, catching the attention of renowned folk/roots label Red House Records. Label president and veteran producer Eric Peltoniemi knew there was something special in the young singer-songwriter, Meg won me over with the profound yet easy depth of her lyricsrich words married to melodies I just cant get out of my head. Knowing her songs could stand alongside those by Red House heavyweights Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka, Peltoniemi signed Hutchinson to the label.
Teaming up again with Crit Harmon, Hutchinson recorded her Red House debut Come Up Full over the course of more than a year in Boston. Combining her raw storytelling folk style with tasteful, intimate production, the album showcases her sweet, earthy vocals that have been the hallmark of her music. Spanish-style guitar fills and light organ parts create a radio-friendly record that is wistful and warm.
Come Up Full is a glimpse of the mature arrival of a brilliant songwriter whom listeners will one day boast they listened to way back when and confirms that Meg Hutchinson is indeed one of the great voices of the next generation of acoustic musicians.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|