Music Hall of Williamsburg
Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco

Gregory Alan Isakov, Buddy Wakefield

Fri, November 15, 2013

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

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$48

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This event is 16 and over

Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco
After 20 years in the music biz, self-described “Little Folksinger” Ani DiFranco is still technically little, although her influence on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over has been huge. She still proudly identifies as a folksinger, too, but her understanding of that term has always been far more expansive than a bin at the record store or a category on iTunes, with ample room for soul, funk, jazz, electronic music, spoken word, and a marching band or two. Over the course of more than 20 albums, including the live double CD Living in Clip (1997) and the two-disc career retrospective Canon (2007), as well as the latest one, ¿Which Side are You On? (2012), Ani has never stopped evolving, experimenting, testing the limits of what can be said and sung. Her lifelong tribe of co-conspirators includes everyone from Pete Seeger and the late Utah Phillips to a new generation of twentysomething singer-songwriters who grew up with her songs and shows — and then there's the motley crew of folks like Prince, Maceo Parker, Andrew Bird, Dr. John, Arto Lindsay, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gillian Welch, Cyndi Lauper, and even Burmese activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom she has crossed paths in a myriad of ways.

Born in Buffalo, New York in 1970, Ani spent part of her twenties in New York City, then returned to her hometown where she established first a business office and then a performance venue called Babeville as the twentieth century ground to a halt and the twenty-first one revved up. For much of the last decade she's been based in New Orleans — but at her core she's always seen herself as “a traveler,” covering pretty much the four corners of the earth by now, both solo and with her band. (There's less corner-covering these days, now that she's consciously slowing down a bit and raising a daughter with partner and co-producer Mike Napolitano, but she still gets around just fine, playing venues like Madison Square Garden for Pete Seeger's ninetieth birthday bash and another star-studded lineup at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan for Wavy Gravy's seventy-fifth.)

Early in her career, Ani made a choice that is now so obvious to so many people that it's hard to remember it was once considered brazen: to say no to every record label deal that came her way, and yes to being her own boss. That decision has earned her plenty of attention over the years, but it has never been what brought sold-out crowds to her shows around the world, fans debating every nuance of her lyrics, and fellow performers clamoring to work with her. No, all that has more to do with another choice she made early in life: To use her voice and her guitar as honestly and unflinchingly as she could, writing and playing songs that came straight from her own experience, her boundless imagination, her sharp wit, and her ever-more-nuanced understanding of how the world works. She did it in noisy bars with nothing but a shaved head and a lone guitar in 1990, and she's doing it with renewed intensity today.
Gregory Alan Isakov
Gregory Alan Isakov
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and calling Colorado home, Gregory Alan Isakov has been traveling all his life. Songs that hone a masterful quality beyond his years tell a story of miles and landscapes, and the search for a sense of place.

Music has been a stabilizing and constant force. “I’ve always had this sense about music and writing that I sort of have to do it. Like I’ll implode without it. I probably wouldn’t do it if I felt any other way.”

His song-craft lends to the deepest lyrical masterpieces, with hints of his influences, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen. He has been described as “strong, subtle, a lyrical genius,” but the source of his writing often remains a mystery to him. “My songs have nothing to do with me; they have a life of their own. A lot of times I won’t know what a song is about when I’m writing it. It just has a certain feeling about it.”

Isakov has played numerous music festivals and venues across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. When he is not on the road or writing, he is usually in his garden. A degree in horticulture might seem contradictory to a life spent in motion, but Isakov finds balance in the quiet concentration of the work, creating roots that keep him connected to home.

His new album, The Weatherman, was recorded mostly in solitude outside the quiet mountain town of Nederland, Colorado over the course of a year and a half. “I wanted to make something that felt genuine. We recorded everything with analogue gear and mixed it on tape, which gives the songs a raw and vulnerable feeling.”

The title Isakov chose for the record reflects the nature of his external surroundings as much as his inner experiences. References to the weather are a reoccurring theme in Isakov’s writing, but there is a deeper meaning behind the name.

“To me, the idea of a weatherman is really powerful. There’s a guy on television or on the radio telling us the future, and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I think the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.”
Buddy Wakefield
Buddy Wakefield
Buddy Wakefield of Kingston, WA is a Vipassana meditator, a three-time international spoken word champion, novice triathlete, author of three books of vulnerability for growth junkies, and one book about healthy backyard chicken-keeping practices, called HENHOUSE (based on Penthouse, but for chickens, and their lovers). In the spring of 2001, he left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda, Civic and set out to live for a living. He has been doing so ever since, with people he admires, sharing the experiences of over 1,500 venues around the world ranging from San Quentin State Penitentiary to Scotland's Oran Mor. Buddy Wakefield is an avid fan of peanut butter, power napping and chopping wood while being cheered on by his two geese, The Colonel and Mrs. Marple. He notices manners, melting ice caps, accessible enigmas and people who fly under the radar. He strives to observe his breath, and his sensations, full time, without reacting.

In 2005 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship title again and has gone on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world including Saul Williams, Sage Francis, Alix Olsen, Derrick Brown and Utah Phillips in hundreds of venues internationally from Comedy Central's Hudson Theater and Scotland's Oran Moore to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues (New Orleans) and CBGB's.

In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away all he owned, moved into the small town of Honda Civic, and set out to live for a living, touring every major poetry venue in North America through 2003. He still tours full time while co-managing The Bullhorn Collective (a talent agency founded by Wakefield, made up of 30+ of the most accomplished performance poets alive), and considers his recent tours with Ani DiFranco the highlight of his career thus far.

Born in Shreveport, LA, mostly raised in Baytown, TX, now claiming Seattle, WA as home, Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a lumberjack in Norway, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, manager of a CD store, a bull rider and a booking agent. Wakefield is a growth junkie, an expert witness to the moon, avid player of marbles in the trees, elated son of a guitar repair woman, wingman of Giant Saint Everything, is void of S.T.D.'s, and remains generally hopeful for his health despite an abusive relationship with free range pastry buffets.

Buddy, a Board of Directors member with Youth Speaks Seattle and member of Team Seattle 2006 for the National Poetry Slam Finals is honored that his work is published internationally and has been used to win national collegiate forensics competitions. Also a member of Solomon Sparrow's Electric Whale Revival, Buddy is known for delivering raw, rounded, high vibration performances of humor and heart.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/