June 25, 2015

BECCA MARX: June 25th Hoot Preview

Sometimes we get carried away, we do too much, and play too hard, work more than we should. A universal human condition that we can all relate to. In many of us there lives a fire that can’t be put out, a passion that may run hot or cold, but down deep drives us in a way nothing else can. The artists of the Hoot on Thursday will delve into that space, and I’d like you to join the players in that place, no matter who or what you are. That’s the thing with music, if you allow it, it can take you anywhere.

What can I say about J.W. Schuller? His debut solo album “All Important Artists” blew me away! He has mad music chops, intelligent lyrics, and a voice that Jeff Tweedy would envy. Schuller is an ardent Dylan fan, and he recently participated in the Dylan Fest at The Contented Cow in Northfield. In his rendition of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” off of “All Important Artists,” you can hear a Dylanesque vocal sound. Earlier this month Schuller was a performer at the music and arts progressive dinner of sorts: the Kingfield PorchFest. A regular at The Hoot, whether onstage or off, he can be seen performing at venues like the Aster Café, and The Tavern of Northfield. Check out his “Live from the Living room” You Tube series (J.W. Schuller: No mud in joyville (Live from the living room) and catch him at the Aster Café with Brianna Lane on 7/30.

Mary Bue, if you haven’t heard her early 2015 release “Holy Bones,” you should check it out on Bandcamp. It is her sixth release, and she plugs in, voicing a darker side. Bue even held a mock funeral for her keyboard at her “Holy Bones” CD release show, and then commenced to rock out! She’s a member of the musical project The Electric Witch, described as “synth noir, electro, retro, post-industrial, dark romance”. A player of festivals such as Howling Moon Fest, Grateful Friends Fest, and South By Southwest, Bue has played venues reaching all the way to the west coast, but locally you can find her at the Aster Café, The Red Herring Lounge and the Turf Club. She has a talent for singing beautifully about not so beautiful things, and you can see her do it in Duluth at The Red Herring Lounge August 1st. But why wait?  Don’t hesitate, see Bue at The Hoot, I guarantee that you’ll be charmed.

Martin Devaney and The Hoot go way back, in fact, Devaney’s well-known nickname “The Unofficial Mayor of St. Paul” was bestowed upon him by fellow Hoot player Stook. Devaney is a staple of the St. Paul-Minneapolis music scene, with seven albums to his credit. His latest album “House of Rust” was released in 2013, and it proved him to be a real troubadour, and revealed a seldom-heard emotional transparency. A classically-trained musician, he played the saxophone in the late band Roma Di Luna. Interestingly, the singer/songwriter started out with the local hip hop band Heiruspecs. Devaney is also a musician/booking mentor at the MMC (Minnesota Music Coalition), and has played every venue around these parts. No space to list every top-notch musician he has played with, but here are a few: Mason Jennings, Andrew Byrd, Soul Asylum, Mike Doughty, Semisonic and Billy Bragg! 2015 has been busy for Martin, with a May gig as the DJ-in-residence for the Local Current Stream, and his new band Gramofone debuted at Icehouse this spring. Gramofone features former Heiruspecs bandmate Sean McPherson, Ryan Paul Plewacki (Sleep Study), Ryan Otte (Crossing Guards) and Adam Lamoureux (Farewell Milwaukee). Gramofone has played First Avenue and Art A Whirl, and will be playing the Turf Club (7/10) and Music in Mears (7/2). The word is that Gramofone will be working on a record soon, and Devaney has some solo work he’s been keeping under wraps as well. Maybe he’ll share some with The Hoot?

If comparisons to Lucinda Williams peak your interest, then Vicky Emerson is a talent for you to check out. The Wisconsin native has recently moved to Minnesota from New York via San Francisco, and we hope she puts down deep roots here, and will stay awhile. Emerson is an Americana folk singer songwriter who plays often at the Aster Café, and at The Cedar Cultural Center. She has performed for terminally ill patients at Mayo Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, and it might just be her voice that you hear on a Target commercial featured on Pandora. In 2009, Emerson released her critically acclaimed solo album “Long Ride” and followed it up with 2013’s “Dust & Echoes.” You can listen to her live Concert Window show online for a preview before The Hoot. This year she met her Kickstarter goal, and will once more record with producer Matt Patrick at The Library Studio, with a new CD to be released in 2016. Pretty sure that she’ll play a new, unreleased song for you on Thursday at The Hoot!

So, come on over and lose yourself in The Mad Ripple Hoot!

Becca Marx is a St. Paul-based freelance writer and critic and staff reporter for Rift Magazine.


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