The Center for the Arts Discover Series brings an evening of singer/songwriters featuring Nevada City native Mariee Sioux, pop duo Wisewater and folksinger Lauren Shera Friday to the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley.
Following the release of her collaborative Bonnie & Mariee EP with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Nevada County native Mariee Sioux released her sophomore full-length Gift for the End. It was recorded in the summer of 2011 at Placerville’s Moonsoon Studios and Nevada City’s Sun Dial studios. Impressionistic narratives are underscored by thatchwork guitar patterns that showcase Mariee’s voice, an unadorned, naked instrument that rings clear and high above airy atmospherics and mellow percussion. Gift for the End is dream logic at play: a fluid procession of personal and natural imagery that moves from place to place and symbol to symbol.
Joining Sioux on the bill will be pop duo Wisewater, composed of Kate Lee (vocals, fiddle) and Forrest O’Connor (vocals, zouktar, and mandolin). The two became exposed to each other’s music through a producer and mutual friend in Nashville. They hit it off within a few minutes of their first jam together in September 2013, and they began co-writing shortly thereafter. They performed as a duo for the first time with The Long Players at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge in February.
Individually, the members of Wisewater have been playing professionally for much of their lives. Lee has toured nationally, performing in venues such as The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA), The Peace Center Concert Hall (Greenville, S.C.), and The Tivoli Theatre (Chattanooga, Tenn.). She has opened for a number of country and bluegrass artists, including Don Williams (with Colm Kirwan), Rhonda Vincent, Dailey and Vincent, and The Grascals, and in the last couple years, she has backed up Rod Stewart, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sugarland, and many other major entertainers as part of the CMA Awards and CMA Country Christmas shows.
O’Connor, a graduate of Harvard University, picked up the mandolin at age 13 and learned how to play from his father (violinist Mark O’Connor) and Chris Thile. He has performed on BBC Radio as well as in venues throughout the country, including the Strathmore Hall Arts Center (Bethesda, MD), the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts (Franklin, N.C.), and Mount Baker Theatre (Bellingham, Wash.). In the last couple years, he has appeared on stage and/or recorded with his father, Carl Jackson, Melissa Ferrick, Aubrey Haynie, the Carrie Rodriguez Band, Cia Cherryholmes, and the Hillary Reynolds Band, among others. In March 2014, O’Connor won the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship in Clarksvill, Tenn, according to Wisewater’s bio.
Rounding out the bill will be Lauren Shera. On the eve of the release of her third album, Gold and Rust, Shera decided it was time for a change of scenery. She had studied in Chicago at the Old Town School of Folk Music and honed her craft as a vocalist, songstress and multi-instrumentalist on the road and in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she had become a fixture of the folk music scene. With her unique brand of Americana-indie-folk, Shera decided that Nashville was calling so she packed her bags and settled in to the Music City community to partake in its vast resources, according to her bio.
Lauren had been playing guitar and writing songs for four years when, at the age of 17, she self-released her first album, In My Bones. That same year she was invited to perform at the Bob Dylan Tribute Concert at Avery Fisher Hall.
Over the years, Lauren Shera has shared the stage with such artists as Augustana, Ray LaMontagne, Jason Mraz, Vienna Teng, Shawn Colvin, Billy Bragg, Nanci Griffith, Joan Osborne, Wanda Jackson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jackie Greene and Abigail Washburn.
Tickets to the 8 p.m. Friday concert are a suggested donation of $18 for member’s of the Center, $20 for the general pubic and are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at www.thecenterforthearts.org or at BriarPatch Co-op.