Posted by Liam O'Kennedy November 5, 2012 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by me & thee coffeehouse:
On Friday, November 16, the me & thee coffeehouse welcomes Girls, Guns and Glory to our stage. The Patriot Ledger says “Girls, Guns and Glory just might re-ignite the whole country-rock scene in New England…GG&G has some serious country music chops, but they also kick it up with rock ‘n’ roll abandon.” Opening the who is Robby Hecht. With a voice that’s both commanding and gentle, he puts you in a place of contemplation and perhaps even amorousness. The oft-made comparison to James Taylor is apt; he’s a fingerstyle guitarist who writes shapely melodies and delivers them with a comfortable confidence. Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show at the me&thee coffeehouse which is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.
Girls, Guns, and Glory is the brainchild of Lonesome Day recording artist Ward Hayden. Hayden formed GGG in the Winter of 2005 and within two weeks of the group’s formation they entered Noise in the Attic Studios to begin a prolific period of recording. Releasing three critically acclaimed full-length albums in as many years (Fireworks & Alcohol – 2006; Pretty Little Wrecking Ball – 2007; Inverted Valentine – 2008). Hayden’s original compositions conjure the palpable ache of a crushed heart; they touch on themes of love lost and hope found, and their words alone could be published in anthologies of poetry. Hayden recalls that once he got on stage with GGG, he found he had never felt more comfortable doing anything else.
Performing quickly became an addiction, and it is due in part to his efforts on and off stage that GGG is now an internationally touring band, named Independent Artist of the Year at the French Country Music Awards, and two-time winner of both the Roots Act of Year (Boston Phoenix Awards) and Americana Act of the Year (Boston Music Awards). GGG is also the only band of its genre to ever take home the top honors of Act of the Year (Boston Music Awards) and to win the legendary WBCN Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble. Hayden, who originally hails from Scituate, MA, leads the band on vocals and acoustic guitar.
And after a full shake up of the line-up in 2009, the solidified group that helps him create their sound is a band of Pennsylvania transplants who made their way to Boston to further their musical pursuits: Chris Hersch on electric guitar, Michael Calabrese on drums/vocals, and Paul Zaz Dilley on upright/electric bass. They are a well-trained group: Hersch and Calabrese went to the New England Conservatory of Music and Dilley attended Berklee College of Music. With the demands of a heavy-touring lifestyle, this is a group that cut its teeth on the road, and their resulting chemistry on stage is enjoyably electric. Hayden is quick to mention that, not only do these guys play their focal instruments with mastery, appreciation, and—on occasion—spirited abandon, each one of them is a multi-instrumentalist.
Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Robby Hecht (left) was exposed to his parents’ collection of 70s acoustic pop albums and his dad’s mandolin playing. “My mom loved Paul Simon, Jim Croce, Dan Fogelberg and other classic singer-songwriters. When I started writing songs, I was listening to their modern counterparts, artists like Tracy Chapman, Sarah McLachlan and David Gray. That combination was a big influence on my writing.”
The summer before he started college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hecht made a conscious decision to become a singer-songwriter. “Playing music just never seemed like work, so I knew that was what I was meant to do. I used the internet to teach myself guitar. I discovered I had an affinity for fingerpicking and went from there.” After graduation, Hecht moved to Paris with a friend and busked on the streets to make money. “A guy who played bagpipes used to set up across the street from me; he’d drown me out and make all the money. It wasn’t an incredibly lucrative gig to be an American folksinger in Paris, but still was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”
After returning to the states, Hecht moved to San Francisco where he fronted the folk/swing band All Day Radio and then settled in Nashville to pursue his songwriting career. He toured and wrote relentlessly over the next several years, winning the Great Waters Music Festival Songwriter Competition in 2006, the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition in 2008, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest in 2010 and the Rocky Mountain Folks Showcase winner in 2012 along the way garnering comparisons to early James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Amos Lee.
Tickets for the performance by Girls, Guns and Glory and Robbie Hecht are $16 in advance and $19 at the door. Tickets are available online at www.meandthee.org and can be purchased in person in Marblehead at either the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore or the Arnould Gallery. As at all me & thee coffeehouse events, refreshments are available, including homemade pastries, coffee, and teas. The me & thee has a handicapped-accessible entrance and an accessible bathroom, is a smoke-free environment, and is easily reached by MBTA bus. The me & thee is the oldest continually running acoustic coffeehouse in New England, and probably the country. The me & thee has been and will always be a volunteer, non-profit organization sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. For information and directions, call 781-631-8987 or check the website www.meandthee.org.
Next concert: December 7, 2012 – Guggenheim Grotto – Jenee Halstead opens