Gayle Skidmore, Kevin Rees, Porch Yellers

Love The Captive Presents

Gayle Skidmore, Kevin Rees, Porch Yellers

Minor Birds

Fri, May 18, 2012

9:00 pm

Audie's Olympic

Fresno, CA

$4 Advance // $6 At Door

This event is 21 and over

Gayle Skidmore
Gayle Skidmore
A born songwriter, Gayle Skidmore has written over 1700 songs since she began songwriting at the age of 8. Rather than choosing her calling, Skidmore’s natural ability and innate passion for music made her music career unavoidable. She continually processes her adventures, experiences, thoughts and emotions through this malleable medium, writing, playing and singing from the depths of her soul. It is evident from her heartfelt, unguarded performances that Skidmore’s goal is excellence in artistry and expression, and that she truly understands the ultimate purpose of music.

Classically trained on the piano from the age of 4, Gayle Skidmore also plays at least 20 other instruments, including the mountain dulcimer, the banjo and the balalaika. Her attention to detail and involvement in every step of the creative process, from producing her records to doing the artwork for her albums, show that she is completely dedicated to her craft. In late 2010, Skidmore released her first full-length album, Make Believe, on her own label, Raincoat Records. Make Believe comes in a coloring book that she illustrated, with a picture and lyrics for each song. This album encompasses themes of hope, despair, disillusionment and love, and includes songs that wrestle with faith in the midst of loss and death. It is profoundly personal, stylistically diverse, and lyrically brilliant. Skidmore’s fanciful mode of presentation illustrates her desire to translate the trials of life into something beautiful and to remain hopeful about the future.

Gayle Skidmore’s love of whimsy, poetry and magic are evidenced by the sets she creates for her stages, which have included a curtain of origami cranes and a giant octopus holding a teacup. In 2009, Germany’s most prominent newspaper, the Seuddeutsche Zeitung, named her “Die Schutzpatronin der Gartenzwerge,” the Patron Saint of Garden Dwarves, in an interview promoting her tour, which Skidmore found delightful. She has also toured nationwide in the US, and in the UK, Asia and Europe.

Skidmore finds endless inspiration in the whirlwind of life. She has never experienced writer’s block, and she is always experimenting with new formats. When she isn’t busy learning a new instrument, singing, painting, or writing lyrics and melodies, she composes parts for her cellist and violinist. She enjoys baking cookies and making origami for her fans.
Porch Yellers
Porch Yellers
Porch Yellers is Jonathan Hadden.
Kevin Rees
Kevin Rees
“I sing life,” says Kevin Rees. This Morrissey-esque statement about his acoustic solo act, Aspen Hollow, hits the nail on the head. It’s almost enigmatic. He doesn’t sing about life; not of life, not because of life. He simply sings life. “As far as life is concerned, that’s all I write about, so life in itself is all over the place in my music…”

His velvety vocal delivery is reminiscent of Kings of Convenience, or perhaps Dave Bazan’s but with a cleaner tonality –as it floats above effortless, yet elegantly structured cyclic chords. Aspen Hollow makes the type of gorgeous and seemingly effortless music that thousands of wannabe music students try to mimic with their guitars in their bedrooms, failing miserably.

“I couldn’t sing a lick before the 6th grade, but I went to a school of the performing arts and was forced to join choir. It was here that I learned how to hit a note and sing properly.”

His aspirations as a singer-songwriter were carefully guarded, yet formative in his musical personality. Being the lead vocalist and guitar player for an indie rock outfit called A Tear In The Fabric, coupled with work on his church music team also helped define his aspirations. After this season of growth, he felt prepared to venture out on his own as a solo artist. Aspen Hollow gives wings to this new journey. “That period really stretched me, and helped me to write in a whole new way –from my heart. I have always written acoustic guitar music. Now I’m putting my full efforts into making this natural style of songwriting my sole focus.”

Much like an apprentice works with a master craftsman, taking time to perfect a skill before venturing out on his own, Rees wanted to carefully perfect what he was creating. “I waited until I had some really good material, before I began to perform solo with my true but new sound. Once I felt that I had something to offer people, I started to play shows here locally, and I’m being well received by people.”

A personable and conversational guy, with a penchant for humor, Rees admits that his music definitely tends to be moody. “I usually sit down to write when I need to express an emotion that has been nagging at me, or can't be told through words alone.”

Writing his songs comes as a two-part process for him. “I generally have a few concepts that are in my mind that I would like to write about, and I’m always working on new material for the guitar. When the concept and matching music meet up, I begin to form the song.” His take on songwriting is that “simple is good; composition is key. Composition is usually more important than complexity.”

And in life, that’s probably also true. Kevin Rees lives life and through his voice in Aspen Hollow he sings life. “I am not trying to fit into any particular mold, or style. I just write me.”

- Written By L. Jeanette Strole for Amorphous Media Agency
Minor Birds
Minor Birds
Minor Birds is a two piece that play beautifully dark songs of truth.
Venue Information:
Audie's Olympic
1426 N. Van Ness
Fresno, CA, 93728