Wood Ville Music and The Toy Hearts are very proud to present, direct from Nashville, Tennessee, the fantastically talented Jeff & Vida. The show will be opened up by The Toy Hearts with Jeff & Vida playing the headline slot. To round off the evening's events, both band's will take to the stage to play together some of their favourite Bluegrass, Roots and Country songs!
Date: Tuesday 4th September 2012
Venue: The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham
To all Toy Hearts friends and fans, this a one off and a very special concert that the band are arranging themselves. Both band's were fortunate to meet in 2006 on tour together in Ireland and have remained friends ever since. After touring together again in 2008 during SXSW in Austin, Texas, Jeff & Vida were kind enough to let The Toy Hearts stay at their home in east Nashville whilst they were making their third CD 'Femme Fatale' and again when they were performing at IBMA's in 2011. For a long time The Toy Hearts have sought to arrange a concert for their favourite band in their hometown of Birmingham and now that time has come. Do not miss the sensation that is Jeff & Vida and support The Toy Hearts in their endeavours to bring the best of Nashville to Kings Heath, Birmingham... This concert will be a REAL treat, there are no advance bookings so be sure to arrive in time to avoid disappointment!
“Jeff & Vida make music that is real and true. Theirs are the songs you long to hear late at night on the interstate, in poolhalls and smoky whiskey bars.”
-New York Times Magazine
“Jeff & Vida bring a rockabilly flavor, or even rock ’n’ roll twang, to traditional bluegrass music. Vida has a girl-next-door voice that crackles with emphasis at well-chosen moments. The couple share long-practiced harmonies that make a listener wonder what joyous collaborations the two must enjoy when they’re relaxing around their Nashville home.”
Jeff and Vida’s nine years of performing and songwriting, have seen them delve into many different genres of music; country, honky-tonk, rockabilly, even a little rock and roll. But throughout their career, which has included four critically acclaimed albums, literally thousands of live shows in the U.S. and Europe, and a move from New Orleans to Nashville, bluegrass has remained a key influence in their style and sound. Nowhere is this more evident than on their new CD, Selma Chalk.
The new record features thirteen original songs, a stellar band, and an enigmatic name. Inside the CD jacket, selma chalk is defined as “an impurity in the most fertile soil of the South”. Intentional or not, the title seems an apt metaphor for the music contained within- an outsiders’ take on fertile traditions of Southern and Appalachian string band music. Indeed, a number of tracks do fit neatly into what might be called a ‘traditional bluegrass’ sound. More often than not however, the record bends bluegrass instrumentation around material that's a little edgier, a little bluesier and a little rougher than your typical bluegrass album.
While past projects have showcased the duo’s ability to move between genres with ease, incorporating a variety of instrumentations and sounds, their latest effort is more sonically centered. With an impressive group of musicians, Jeff and Vida create a sound that combines the raw intensity and high lonesomeness of bluegrass with a diverse palette of influences. Their combination of incisive songwriting, high energy arrangements, and gritty vocals stand out from much of contemporary string band music.
Songs like “Heartache Train”, the quick, hard-edged romp which kicks off the record, capture the listener immediately. The band showcases its chops on catchy instrumental hooks and scorching solos while Vida’s unmistakeable, whiskey soaked vocals meld with Jeff’s bittersweet harmonies to deliver the lyrics with equal intensity. As the record progresses, the music continues to impress with soaring fiddle lines, intricate banjo and mandolin parts, hard driving acoustic guitar, and the unexpected but welcome twang of an arch top guitar. While Jeff and Vida certainly seem to have found the right mix of sounds and players for this record, the superb songwriting for which the duo has become recognized remains front and center. Each track seems to invite the listener into a different world. While the exuberant “Boxcar Blues” dwells on the unique thrill of traveling home; the poignant and melancholy “Alabama Sky” relates almost exactly the opposite sentiment with equal prowess.