KINGSPORT – The City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts in partnership with Skyflight Productions presents an evening with Courtney Jaye on Friday May 2, 2014 at The Renaissance Theatre in Kingsport, TN. Shaped by a life spent traveling and observing sounds and styles from all around the US, Nashville-based troubadour Courtney Jaye boasts a personality as massive as the hooks on her latest long player, Love and Forgiveness.
Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Atlanta, Jaye followed her restless heart to such rich cultural settings as Athens, GA, Flagstaff, AZ, Austin, Southern California, and the Hawaiian island of Kauai, before settling in Nashville. Along the way shes collaborated with the likes of Thad Cockrell, Kristen Hall (Sugarland), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Matthew Sweet, comedian Stephen Lynch and members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. That broad range of experience and musical interests comes together beautifully on Love and Forgiveness.
Jayes latest LP is her third full-length, the follow-up to 2010s tropical-tinged fusion of alt-country and classic pop, The Exotic Sounds of Courtney Jaye. The diverse souls and sounds Courtney has encountered along her journey have influenced her idiosyncratic brand of tropical, 70s-inspired roots-y pop just as much as heroes like Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, The Band and Fleetwood Mac have. Recasting those influences Jaye aims to recapture the timeless qualities of a golden era. Ive always wanted to find a way to not be afraid of pop, she says. Im done apologizing for writing big songs I dont want to be afraid of that. Thats the music I love.
While the songs on Love and Forgiveness themselves which Jaye co-wrote with Thad Cockrell, Bryan Cates and Kristen Hall over the last three years boast undeniable pop hooks, Jayes approach to capturing them on wax is refreshingly organic and rootsy. The albums production and musical team boasted a cross-section of veterans and top younger players – Mike Wrucke (Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert) produced the album, and Jaye drafted drummer Fred Eltringham (Dixie Chicks, The Wallflowers), bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple), pedal steel virtuoso Greg Leisz (Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Springsteen) and guitarists Josh Grange (The Jayhawks, Pistol Annies) and Neal Casal (Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson) to help fulfill her musical vision, infusing classic pop sounds with a rootsy immediacy.
Love and Forgiveness 10 tracks are key touchstones for Jaye musical memory fragments about breaking the patterns of broken relations (or true and utter fucking heartbreak, as she puts it) and the singer and her wrecking crew arranged and recorded them live during a marathon four-day session at L.A.s Ocean Studio. The process was spontaneous, with minimal notes and direction, and the result lends an emotional intimacy to the big hooks that, in true pop form, are utter heartbreaks silver lining.
In the spirit of classic album-oriented pop/rock, Love and Forgiveness brims with all-killer-no-filler cuts like the jaunty opener Ask Me To, the bouncy Up On Cripple Creek-meets-Wild Horses homage One Way Conversation, the trademark tropical country centerpiece Summer Rain and the direct emotional tug of Say Oh Say and Morning. The albums Laurel Canyon-goes-Brill Building classic pop production pairs perfectly with Courtney & Cos consummate song craft, and the hooks hearken back the heyday of AM radio as much as they spin from the decks like a breath of fresh air on todays playlists. Taking center stage is Jayes smokey, sky-reaching croon, which cuts through the speakers with freewheeling, unmistakable focus.
A new partnership between the City of Kingsport and Mr. Toby Weisend will result in fresh new musical performances at the Renaissance Arts Center Theatre over the next year. Unlike any concert series Kingsport has seen in the past, Toby Weisend brings his eclectic Skyflight Productions brand to the Tri-Cities and we are witnessing the emergence of an exciting new music scene in Kingsport.
Former Ohio resident and president of Skyflight Productions, Toby Weisend, has focused his attention in adding a new cultural element to Kingsport, Tennessee. Over the last three years Weisend has welcomed artists of all genres, including several Grammy-nominated artists, to rural eastern Ohio from literally all over the globe including France, Canada and Australia. The concerts have been very successful, enhancing and enriching the small community of Barnesville, Ohio. Channeling his ideas, visions and goals into a small town setting certainly goes against the grain of most entrepreneurial promoters. Rather than competing for a reputable presence in an overcrowded metropolitan “scene”, Weisend firmly believes that a small community can support and prosper from cultural expression. “Many artistic/creative individuals in a small town have not had the opportunity or resources to experience the nourishment from some of the nation’s underappreciated musicians willing to share their creations.” Weisend believes that his project will survive from word of mouth, lack of competition and stellar performances. Every show I produce, I put my reputation on the line.
Weisend supports community efforts and energy and believes that this is the forum to make a community thrive. If the concert series is supported and well-attended, Weisend will expand his quest, potentially acquiring larger-scale talent. There will be no boundaries in genre selection; national talent will be of utmost importance.
An incredible line up is already set for Kingsport all the way through the summer of 2014 and plans are being set for fall as well.
All Skyflight Production shows feature reserved seating in the beautiful Renaissance Arts Center Theatre, where there is not a bad seat in the house. The Renaissance Arts Center is conveniently located at 1200 East Center Street in Kingsport Tennessee. Visitors may easily access the facility from I-26, by taking exit 51, Wilcox Drive, and proceeding 3.1 miles to Center Street. At Center Street take a left and the facility is on your right as you top the hill.
For complete descriptions of the Skyflight shows and to purchase tickets visit the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts website: www.EngageKingsport.com (there is no extra charge for online ticket purchases) or call (423) 392-8414 or come by room 224 and visit our office.