When: 7.30pm on Thursday 7 February 2013
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE
We’re excited to be promoting an intimate show for two very special artists: San Francisco-based Bhi Bhiman and Irish singer-songwriter Marc Carroll.
Bhi Bhiman is an American original, and yet he seems transported from an era when songs were more important than the pretty faces that delivered them. His rich, bellowing tenor can soothe or explode at a moment’s notice. His lived-in, knowing delivery belies his years. His songwriting, too, is quick to captivate. Bhi’s mix of humour and deep empathy puts him in the company of distinguished (and much older) lifelong songsmiths like John Prine, Nick Lowe and Randy Newman. And Bhiman’s technical, emotive guitar playing rises to the challenge that his striking voice presents.
Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder may have first inspired him to write songs, but Bhiman’s approach—comical, curious, whip-smart—remains wholly unique. Of course, it helps Bhiman’s fine songs to have expert help in crafting his sound. While some of the more minimal tracks on new album BHIMAN were recorded by the artist on his laptop, the bulk of the disc was tracked at John Vanderslice’s famed Tiny Telephone studios by engineer Jay Pellicci and produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim), who also contributes instrumentation the album.
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Marc Carroll made an immediate impact with the release of his 2002 solo debut Ten Of Swords, an album that demonstrated his mastery of a number of styles and unerring nose for a fine melody line. Carroll had been working on the music scene for several years prior to the release of Ten Of Swords. Raised in Ireland, Carroll spent most of his time moving between London and Dublin on the fringes of success with first the Puppy Love Bombers and then pop rock outfit the Hormones. Despite making a guest appearance on an episode of top US sitcom Friends (the one featuring the wedding of Ross), the Hormones never managed to make the breakthrough their charming hook-laden pop deserved.
Carroll branched out on his own at the start of the new millennium, recording solo material that would find its way onto Ten Of Swords. The album saw Carroll moving effortlessly between jangly Byrds-style pop songs, rock and traditional folk, allowing his instrumental dexterity and songwriting acumen to be highlighted to great effect. The influence of The Beach Boys to Husker Du, Hank Williams to Neil Young flow through Carroll’s music. The lost songs and rarities collection All Wrongs Reversed was released by Carroll’s record label Evangeline the following year. The album featured the charming Brian Wilson tribute Mr Wilson, and an impressive cover version of Bob Dylan’s Gates Of Eden.
Stone Beads & Silver – Carroll’s fourth studio album – will be released on 28 January. Recorded in Los Angeles and Woodstock during the summer of 2012, it marks yet another turning point in his long and often varied career. Previously playing all instruments on his solo recordings, for the new record, Carroll drafted in a host of high ranking musicians to play on the songs – some of the best working in American music today, including Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket), Nelson Bragg & Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson), McKenzie Smith (Midlake) as well as former Bob Dylan sideman and Levon Helm band leader, the now late Larry Campbell. The Grammy Award winner Chris Testa (Band Of Horses) joined Marc on production duties.