Passim Monday Discovery Series
- Indie Folk
Feb 11th: Pretty Saro & Olivia Barton
Mar 11th: Andrea von Kampen and Loida & Lenahan
Apr 8th: Iguana Music Fund recipient showcase
May 13th: Low Ceilings & Abigail Lapell
The Discovery Series is a monthly event sponsored by Nine Athens Music to bring new artists into the Passim community. Through the Discovery Series, we provide a platform to connect new artists with a music-loving audience. These artists may be brand new to the club or may have performed at our campfire. festivals, but the Discovery Series features artists in a room filled with our dedicated members.
The once non-existent band, Pretty Saro, burst into the Boston bluegrass scene in early 2016, shaking up the definition of American roots music. Since then the four-piece string band has crafting their invigorating blend of contemporary songwriting, burnin’ bluegrass traditionals, and pop sensibilities into a sound that is uniquely their own. Dynamic arrangements and high-energy performances enhance the Saro’s (sair-ohs) stories of commitment and desertion, taking the listener on a journey through their personal experiences.
Pretty Saro draws their inspiration from acoustic giants such as Nickel Creek, Crooked Still, Hot Rize, and John Hartford to name a few. Maxfield Anderson (mandolin), Devon Gardner (fiddle), Alex Formento (guitar), and Joe Everett (bass) bring together their wide array of musical backgrounds, to create music that follows in the footsteps of their heroes, without fear of wandering off the beaten path.
The band has appeared on stages throughout the Northeast at FreshGrass Festival, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Club Passim, Daryl’s House Club, and is currently coming off a win in the 2018 Telefunken Band Competition at Podunk Bluegrass Festival.
- Indie Folk
Olivia Barton is a singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida who writes indie folk rock songs in the vein of The Staves and Phoebe Bridgers. Her songs feature a pure voice swimming in dark guitars, singing about sad things she never intended to tell strangers.
Olivia’s debut album, “Bombay” was released in fall 2018. The album has been curating in the basements and bedrooms of Barton’s band mates and best friends, with the sound of laughing, crying, and Victor’s shower, built into the recordings of Barton’s first batch of heartfelt songs.
Andrea von Kampen
With over 7 million Spotify streams and counting, Nebraska-based songwriter Andrea von Kampen has quickly established herself in the recording studio and on the road. Her deft guitar work and intuitive song construction display striking maturity, and her effortless vocal delivery has been praised by Hear Nebraska as “soulful and worn-in.”
Andrea has shared the stage with Tall Heights, Gregory Alan Isakov, Dead Man Winter, John Moreland, Dead Horses, Ira Wolf, The Brother Brothers, and more. She has performed live on Audiotree in Chicago, was featured as a finalist in NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, and has won Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Night in Decatur, GA twice. Most recently, Andrea completed her first coast-to-coast tour across the United States and is set to release her debut full-length album, Old Country, on February 8th, 2019.
Loida & Lenahan
Loida & Lenahan are a synthesizer and vibraphone duo based out of Boston. Julian and Kelly are both conservatory-trained classical musicians who found common ground in their synesthesia, where sound has form, color, and texture. For Loida & Lenahan, the way we see sound is integral into the way we hear sound, and we invite you to be an active listener in our sonic exploration of synesthesia.
Vibraphone, percussion – Julian Loida
Synthesizer, keyboards – Kelly Lenahan
Iguana Music Fund
- Indie Folk
Low Ceilings is an indie-folk project currently based in Windsor, CT. While the group has taken many forms over the years, its core has always been Ben Mueller, who writes the songs; produces, records, and mixes the albums; and handles guitar and vocals live.
Low Ceilings’ recordings tactfully straddle the line between lush production value and intimate, basementy lo-fi in a way that only a college career in the Boston DIY scene could make possible. While attending Emerson College, Mueller, a Connecticut native, started the group with some friends and released an EP and two full-lengths as a full band. Boston, a veritable cornucopia of music venues formal and informal, gave them plenty of room to play. They belted their folky rock with a progressive tilt everywhere they could: basements, bars, living rooms, and venues like Club Passim, Club Bohemia, and The Middle East. Since then, the band has also performed across New England, notably in an empty swimming pool in Nashua, NH; The Met in Pawtucket, RI; and Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT. Digital Wheat Paste’s TJ Foster called their self-titled LP a “tremendously impressive record…songs that somehow sound intimately lo-fi and carefully polished all at the same time.”
After finishing school and moving back to Windsor, Low Ceilings became a Mueller solo project. The 5-song EP Least Favored Painting, out May 1st 2018, is the first release since the change. And change is good: CT Scramble wrote of the EP that “throughout its almost beachside strummings, there is a weary urban beat mysticism that permeates its mood, weighing down what could be easily sunny pop songs with something more literary, wistful, and vibey.” Mueller is currently performing solo and working up to the next Low Ceilings full-length.
Toronto folk noir songwriter Abigail Lapell draws from roots, indie and punk rock traditions. Hailed as an artist to watch by NOW Magazine, she’s toured across North America and Europe, performing on vocals, piano, harmonica and finger style guitar. Closer to home, she’s completed tours by bicycle, canoe and train. Lapell won the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year and the 2016 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award from the Ontario Arts Council. Her new album, Hide Nor Hair, is out now on Coax Records.