There’s an exciting new showcase for up-and-coming bands, a free music series called The Ames Sessions, taking place on three consecutive Tuesday evenings in Woodward Park at Boston’s Ames Hotel. Not to be confused with The Ames Sessions that were in collaboration with WFNX (which was indoors, very limited capacity, and you had to win tickets), this one is completely free and open to the public. The performances are September 20th (this coming Tuesday) with Anna Rose and Leo Blais, September 27th with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and Supercute, and October 4th with Kim Boekbinder and Audrey Ryan. In addition to hearing some fine music in an intimate setting, there will be specials and prizes to coincide with each event.
It seems the Ames Hotel is requesting that people R.S.V.P. for the shows they’d like to attend. This is probably because Woodward Park is actually the outdoor patio area of their Woodward Tavern (meaning, it’s *very* small and intimate). It looks like an amazing setting for live music.
This series unites the efforts of three Boston-area businesses. There’s Morgan’s Hotel Group, which specializes in upscale boutique hotels in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere (The Ames Hotel in Boston is, I must say, one classy establishment). DigBoston (formerly The Weekly Dig) should be well-known to Bostonians, as their weekly magazine focuses on the local arts and entertainment scene. MuseBox is a public relations and marketing agency, catering to a wide variety of bands and musicians, providing contacts in both underground and mainstream cultures, in the U.S. and internationally. The artists they’ve chosen for this series are especially known for their audience engagement and unique live performance.
Tuesday, September 20th ~ Anna Rose
Supporting Anna Rose will be Leo Blais
Listening to classic and alternative rock in the 90s, more recently getting into blues, soul, some funk and NYC punk, hip-hop and house music, singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist Anna Rose (daughter of musical theatre and film composer/pianist Alan Menken) has a wide variety of influences to inform her songwriting. She has what sounds like a classically-trained, disciplined voice, but isn’t afraid to try something a bit different. Her cover of Arcade Fire’s “My Body Is A Cage” is sung as a soft, stripped-down ballad, and it helped attract international attention to her music. She’s currently in the studio recording the follow-up to her 2010 album Nomad.
Tuesday, September 27th ~ The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
Supporting The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players will be Supercute (daughter Rachel’s band)
All I had to do was watch the video for “The Complicated Life,” and I was instantly sold on these guys. Calling themselves “indie-vaudeville conceptual art-rock pop”, The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players actually are a family. There’s father Jason on guitar, piano and vocals, mother Tina Piña on slide projector (yes, there really is a slideshow as well) and backing vocals, and daughter Rachel on drums and vocals. What started with a chance “find” at an estate sale while dog walking – an old slide projector and a box of slides from a 1959 family trip to Japan – turned into musical inspiration and a unique stage show. In their performances, a slideshow is projected while they play and sing about things that occurred in the places shown in the slides. Released in July of this year on Tummy Touch Records was Lost and Found, a collection of old and new songs plus bonus tracks from the family’s various side projects.
Tuesday, October 4th ~ Kim Boekbinder
Supporting Kim Boekbinder will be Boston artist Audrey Ryan.
Performer, composer, musician and visual artist Kim Boekbinder has a clear, honest vocal style, and accompanies herself on guitar, ukulele, and keyboard/piano. She released her first solo album, The Impossible Girl late last year. After a highly successful preorder campaign that raised $20,000, she was able to record with legendary Boston producer, Sean Slade (Radiohead, Dresden Dolls) and engineer Benny Grotto. She first came to his attention when her previous band (a folk-cabaret duo with her sister Zoe called Vermillion Lies) opened for Amanda Palmer. In fact, she and Amanda recently released a song they performed together (“Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service) as a “split single” (backed with a song of Kim’s). A big believer in Kickerstarter campaigns, she also pre-sells her performances with various packages for different $ levels (great idea!).