Kevin Devine

DSP Shows

Kevin Devine

Adult Mom, Beverly Stokes

Thu · May 18, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 18 and over

Kevin Devine
Kevin Devine
KEVIN DEVINE is used to living life in the gray. For the past 14 years, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has oscillated between As and Bs: intimate acoustic moments and bombastic rock songs; deeply introspective lyrics and sociopolitical charges; the storm cloud and its silver lining.

Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and released via Brand New’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors label, INSTIGATOR is Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection BUBBLEGUM and BULLDOZER in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 DEVINYL SPLITS 7” series with the likes of Brand New's Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws.

Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator - from the biting power-pop of "Both Ways" and “No Why” to the angular, Nirvana-esque "Guard Your Gates" & gorgeously finger-picked “No One Says You Have To” - with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself.

That sensibility is present on “Freddie Gray Blues,” a harrowing portrait of the events surrounding the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officers. Over haunting acoustic-based talking blues, Devine pays tribute to Gray before digging deep into his own past to reconcile both his privilege and social status as the son, grandson and nephew of NYPD officers.  “I don’t think there’s a way for a person in my position to sing that song credibly without talking about why I’m in the room," he says.

And it’s there on “No History,” a string of personal vignettes centered on the September 11, 2001 attacks. It’s a song made much more meaningful by both the din of the 2016 presidential election and current global climate—a cautionary tale that one moment in time has wildly lasting repercussions.

When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career-defining “I Was Alive Back Then,” the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.

“That’s how I write records,” he continues. “You want to write about real shit. It’s really trying to communicate what I think it’s like to be me—even though I don’t know that all the time—and in the process help people touch a little closer what it’s like to be them, too.” XX
Adult Mom
Adult Mom is the project of Steph Knipe, Liv Battell, Bruce Hamilton, and Mike Dvorscak. Started in, and forever brewed in a bedroom, Adult Mom is an exploration into the darker subjects of life, the personal and explicit we are often told to keep to ourselves. At the forefront of Adult Mom is honesty and intimacy as Knipe writes clever pop songs that offer a glimpse into the journey of a gender-weird queer navigating through heartache, trauma and subsequent growth.
Beverly Stokes
The story of Beverly Stokes’ emergence as a powerful new voice in the American singer-songwriter tradition is marked first by a series of transformations. A Virginia native transplanted to Ithaca, NY. A classically trained trumpet player turned self-taught guitarist. A childhood musical diet of Mozart and Sondheim traded for the lyric-driven songwriting of Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, and Gregory Alan Isakov. After this quick succession of changes, Stokes became known for her ability to transform noisy bars into listening rooms with songs that embody "an extraordinary mixture of poetry and observation, a gentle lyricism that seems to arise simply, organically from [her] experience and observation."

Her authentic approach quickly gained attention, including a 2014 songwriting residency with the Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming. But after several years of performing, Stokes still had no recorded music to show for her efforts. Songwriting had always been a solitary effort, and it was unclear whether recording should be any different. “For whatever reason,” Stokes writes, "I thought recording was something I was supposed to do by myself, at least the first time. It was something that was always on my list of things to do, but it wasn’t getting done. It was overwhelming and I didn’t know how to ask for help."

Fortunately, help swooped in anyway, in the form of musician and mentor Anna Coogan and pianist Brooks Miner. “Anna encouraged me to start playing with Brooks, and once we started rehearsing and performing together, I began to see my whole musical process in new ways.” After several months of rehearsals and shows, the project turned toward recording. “Anna forced the issue. She basically said that I needed to make a record, and if I couldn’t do it alone, we would do it together.” With Anna Coogan signed on as producer and the solid bones of an album arranged as a duo, the three traveled to Brooklyn to record at Acme Hall Studios. They recruited the help of drummer Mike Hunter, bass man Jeremy Chatzky (Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Ronnie Spector), slide guitarist Joe Novelli (Orkestra Mendoza, Nive Nielsen), and cellist Hank Roberts (Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot) to flesh out the arrangements.

The result, All These Dotted Lines, sounds seasoned and assured. The term “debut” belies the years of writing and performing that preceded this effort. Sonically, the record shifts seamlessly between soulful roots and dark indie folk. While the full band arrangements add warmth and depth to songs like “In the Morning” and “Sault Ste Marie", Stokes’ voice and evocative lyrics stand out against this backdrop as rare and powerful. In this latest transformation from an unknown troubadour toiling in obscurity to an established musician with a collection of beautifully orchestrated songs in hand, Stokes has carved out a new place for herself among emerging artists to watch.
Venue Information:
The Haunt
702 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY, 14850
http://thehaunt.com/