Live for UNICEF Album Launch Party

Sat, Mar 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00am

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Saturday, March 18 / 8pm doors, 9pm music / $10
Carolyn Striho (Rock/Pop)
Jill Jack (Americana)
Mary McGuire (Singer/Songwriter)
DJ Eric McHenry Brown (STFU Radio)

To mark the release of the vinyl format album Live For UNICEF HX Records presents an album launch event Featuring CAROLYN STRIHO, JILL JACK & MARY McGUIRE. With special guest STFU radio DJ ERIC McHENRY BROWN Cover charge just $10.

Carolyn Striho: With a brilliant creative intrigue and regarded as one of the city’s best singer/songwriters, Carolyn Striho made her name fronting the dynamic Detroit Energy Asylum and her work with Patti Smith. And in the last couple dozen years as a solo performer, Carolyn has gained a strong reputation for charismatic, high-energy stage performances with her songs, vocals, guitar and keyboards.

Wildly original, melodic and passionate, Striho’s music has been described as being written “from the silver edge of midnight” All-Music Guide, USA

Besides her infamous live shows at many festivals, clubs, art galleries in the region and Canada, Carolyn’s played Europe and Japan several times. Carolyn’s also played many shows in Toronto and London U.K. with Patti Smith and opening for Steve Earle in England as well, playing also with Tori Amos, Yoko Ono and Sinead O’Connor.

Carolyn has just released a new CD, “Afterthought,” and plans to tour England again next summer. Nominated for nearly sixty Detroit Music Awards in recent years, Carolyn Striho won Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter of the Year two years in a row – 2016 and 2015. Other big award wins include Carolyn’s Outstanding Acoustic/Americana album of the Year 2014 for “Word Attack” and Outstanding Rock/Pop album of the Year 2010 for “Honesty.”

Carolyn is best known for her new music and catchy, magically intense live shows and songwriting. Her live performances with her latest band, her legendary shows and writing fronting her well-known Detroit Energy Asylum band, with Patti Smith, and her punk rock/art rock years with Rough Cut and the Cubes, as well as performing with producer/bassist Don Was and the Was (Not Was) Band, Iggy Pop, opening for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Ramones and many more.

Carolyn’s appeared on VH1, MTV, Much Music Canada, CBC, NPR with airplay on European and Australian and New Zealnd radio, as well as regionally, Chicago, New York, the Midwest, in her hometown of Detroit, and throughout Michigan.

Her dynamic concerts, full of passion and creativity make Carolyn a regular on the festival circuit. She brings her charismatic performance to clubs and art galleries all over the Midwest and Canada, also touring in the UK, Italy, and Japan. Her high energy shows often include Striho playing keyboard with the heel of her boot or her forehead; and she deftly switches between guitar and keys while belting out vibrant vocals. It’s not merely about the music, it is a full on presentation of her art.

Carolyn backs up her songwriting with amazing performances, and for years Striho has earned the respect of her peers. She is well-known in Detroit and has been nominated for over sixty Detroit Music Awards, winning Outstanding Rock/Pop Album in 2010, Outstanding Acoustic/Americana Album in 2014, and back to back wins for Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter in 2015 & 2016 as well as other awards.

Carolyn won a Billboard Magazine Honorable Mention for the Song of the Year for “Enchante”.” Carolyn’s performed in Tokyo and Osaka for 2 months and had yet another Italy tour in August 2014 as she has been played 7 overseas tours. Her music has been played most recently and often on NPR/WDET-FM, WKLT Traverse City and radio around the country and world. A live version of “Afterthought” is coming out on a compilation for UNICEF being distributed by Rough Trade Records.

Carolyn’s videos, including “Promised Land” and “Sing it to Me,” have been nominated and screened for several music awards, Germany and international festivals. Carolyn appears in several international films, including a German film called “Motor City Music” with legendary Detroit artists, recently screened in Germany and France and shown at the Montreal Film Festival and in London. Her music is also featured in the recent Emmy awarded PBS film “The Embrace of Aging.”

From her early punk/art/free form days as the lead songwriter, vocalist, keyboardist on Farfisa organ with the Cubes while she was a DJ on WDET-FM for “Radios in Motion,” Carolyn continues to walk to her own drum down an amazing path.

Jill Jack: She’s got the stage presence, the voice, the ability to interpret songs passionately … there’s a lot of soul in what she does” — Billboard Magazine

Jill Jack’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous artistry. By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation. She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won 30 Detroit Music Awards (see full list) in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter. Much of this provincial success is due to her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting. It’s simply called connecting, and it’s the bounty of a true songwriter open to all of life: her own defeats, victories, hopes dashed, dreams fulfilled, her muse, her loneliness, her misplaced love and her romantic successes.

Jill has built her audience with her whimsical, genuine live performances. Genuine is the defining term here. Propelled by her musical exemplars Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris, there are few performers with less conflict between who they are on stage and off than Jill. She extends the tradition of the confessional (i.e. achingly open, unafraid of intimacy) singer-songwriter, and is proud of that style and its continuation.

You get all of Jill Jack in a performance — her blend of folk and rock traditions, her open humor, her fine band. Jill harbors little of her process from her audience — each performance is about opening a window and shining a light into her songwriting, leading inevitably to the intense relationship with her fans. Her career is founded on folk’s best idea — that there’s a shared knowing between artist and audience, a conversation that flows both ways during a show. Plus she’s a strong woman who’s won over the toughest town in a man’s world — she’s a bandleader, the principal songwriter in a large group bearing her own name, an employer and automatic arbiter of musician’s issues.

“She’s sharp, she’s witty, and she’s got soul. Most important, I think based on her songwriting and style, she’s got staying power” — WDVR-FM in New Jersey

Jill began her professional career singing backup with well known Detroit country and rock names The Forbes Brothers and Stewart Francke. By the late 90s she was writing constantly, fronting her own band and beginning to open for what would become a long list of prominent touring acts — most recently Bob Seger, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Dan Fogelberg, Marshall Crenshaw, Chris Issak, Jethro Tull, and Loretta Lynn, who gave Jill priceless backstage encouragement and advice. As well she developed her reputation as headliner at venues & festivals — Ann Arbor Folk Festival, WYCD Downtown Hoedown, Blissfest Music Festival, The Bluebird Café, The Living Room in NYC, and consistent sell-out shows at The Ark. Regional touring has branched to successful tours of England and the American Southeast.

Her first full length release, Watch Over Me, gave her many audience favorites she plays to this day — the vulnerable title track and “Rosie,” her character study of a now-old woman who comforts weary truckers with her stories of a simpler time. It’s a song about connection, and how we keep things alive through the years. Her style then moved from pliant acoustic folk to slightly tougher country rock with Too Close To The Sun and the raw basics of Live From Billy’s Basement, culminating in Love Hotel, thought by many to be Jill’s most accomplished collection. Love Hotel was a breakthrough in her songwriting and recording capabilities, built on poetic metaphors and Jill’s clear, fetching voice. Jill Jack Live and Unplugged let the uninitiated in on just why so many love to catch her act. It was followed by her lovely commentary on the dangerous intricacies of adults in love, Moon and The Morning After.

“Her voice can soar like opera and smoke like the blues … one of the strongest voices in Detroit, or in the country for that matter.” — The Detroit Free Press

All of this writing, recording and live performance set the stage for the daring All of this writing, recording and live performance set the stage for the daring Songwriter Sessions (2009), a recording of two live performances in southern Michigan that utterly removed any wall between songwriter and world. Songwriter Sessions delivered on the promise that her previous records and performances suggested. Directed by award-winning Nashville producer Colin Linden — Jill, her band, and an extended group of musicians recorded all new material over two nights at the Hartland Music Hall in Hartland, Michigan, in front of fresh audiences both nights. Her fearless approach is documented on both CD and DVD — we see that she has the guts to forgo all spoken introduction to her songs and let them live or die on their own merits.

Writing, rehearsing and recording all unheard material with a large band is an enormous task and immense leap of faith, and Jill and her enhanced 9 piece band made it sound like a well worn set, full of swampy rhythms, bluegrass harmonies, brilliant guitar and pedal steel work and smart arrangements.

Songwriter Sessions revealed an artist in full. Where in the past her singing was a tug of war between Emmy Lou Harris and Dusty Springfield, she’s now firmly in control of her own tone and style. Her songwriting has grown to include classic country (think Harlan Howard’s simplicity), traditional singer-songwriter stylings (Shawn Colvin, acoustic Bob Seger, Bob Dylan), and even the sophisticated chord changes of Broadway giants Richard Rodgers or Cole Porter. “So many people would ask me how I came to write a certain song,” Jill says, “or tell me that they remembered the story behind the writing of a song. that I thought it would be a good idea to just show that process. People are extremely curious about the songwriting process, and I thought having an audience share the experience a little through me telling the story behind each song, and then to perform it in pretty much its virginal state — like I said, it was a huge undertaking, but I thought, if I pulled it off, it’d be really good!”

Songwriter Sessions hit #6 on the Americana charts in Europe, and the Top 100 in the US.

Her success in music has led to recent opportunities both acting in and scoring for independent films. A natural extension of her inclusive music, Jill contributes mightily to her community, playing benefits and lending her name and time to organizations such as Gilda’s Club, Bras For A Cause, the Girl Scouts of America, and Enchanted Makeovers (serving on its board of directors). In late 2010 Jill was asked to write and record a theme song for a Detroit campaign called I’m A Believer as well as lending vocal parts to a new rendition of the Carole King classic “You’ve Got A Friend” that benefitted the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

Mary McGuire: Mary was caller 11 on Detroit’s hit radio station WDRQ with legendary disc jockey China Jones. At the station on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, the closet doors opened and her 11 year old arms were loaded up with the entire Beatles discography. Back at home, Mary dropped the needle on side one of Revolver on her blue Panasonic record player and at that the moment she was hooked. Growing up in 70’s Detroit and learning from the radio jocks of America’s first underground radio stations was all it took for Mary to pick up the guitar and learn her first Beatles, Neil Young, Eagles and Led Zeppelin tunes. Once she started, her appetite for acoustic rock guitar was fueled.

Loads of guitar lessons, gigging solo and stints in bands with like minded musicians writing and recording led her to rack up miles on the highways across America. Mary suddenly found her writing songs about where she was, what she saw and what she was doing from her perspective gleaned in the Upper Midwest.

Moving from the Midwest to the East Coast and back, Mary found that each place had a different soundtrack that influenced her writing – from the rock influences of industrial Detroit to the gentle folk rock influences from the shores of Martha’s Vineyard to the rhythm of the horses clipping along on the car-free streets of Mackinac Island. Absorbing the distinct sound of the people and places where she has lived and letting it all influence her is what defines her characteristic songwriting style.

As a singer/songwriter, her music merges elements of folk, rock and pop, often with poignant lyrics and complex harmonies. Her compositions have been used in films, television shows, General Motors commercials and on the celebrated slack radio show Church of the Subgenius.

“Michigan singer-songwriter and musician Mary McGuire may be one of the most underappreciated, yet most gifted artists in America today.” Joe Montague, Riveting Riffs Magazine