Ben Sparaco, Kenneka Cook, Liza and the Hearttakers

Ben Sparaco

Kenneka Cook

Liza and the Hearttakers

Thu, May 9, 2019

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Camel

$7 ADV, $10 DOS

Tickets at the Door

Ben Sparaco
Ben Sparaco
Ben Sparaco and The New Effect formed in 2017 when Florida-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist began playing with drummer Anthony Quirk and bassist Adam Discipio. Now based in the flourishing musical oasis of Nashville, TN, Ben and the band have maintained a massive touring schedule, cutting their teeth playing coast to coast in clubs and festivals.

Sparaco spent his teen years making a name for himself in the jam scene of the southeast, playing with members of the Allman Brothers Band, Dead and Company, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and more before he had even turned 21. This included a touring stint in late Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks’ band. After recording his 2016 release “Bring the Jubilee EP” with a Florida-based group of musicians, he moved to Nashville. There, he amassed a group of some of Nashville’s finest to record his debut solo record “Wooden” with producer Ross Holmes (Mumford and Sons, Bruce Hornsby, Warren Haynes), which also featured a guest appearance from Luther Dickinson.

After finalizing The New Effect’s powerful lineup with Berklee College of Music graduates Quirk and Discipio, Sparaco’s songwriting started drifting from his southern rock roots, showing indie rock, new wave, and pop influences, evident on the EP “Greetings, from Ben Sparaco and The New Effect." Following this with the single "Scared of The Dark" in the fall of 2018, Sparaco and his band have earned glowing press reviews, further establishing themselves as up and comers to watch in the indie rock world.
Kenneka Cook
Kenneka Cook
Kenneka Cook has always loved outer space.

Growing up in Richmond, VA, she was obsessed with the moon, staring out her window at the night sky in awe of its mystery. The title track on Cook’s debut record Moonchild, set for a February 23rd release on American Paradox, is both a product of her intense connection with the cosmos, as well as a tribute to the embracing of celestial feminine energy. Musically, Cook bridges the gap between beat-driven sonics and melodic jazz in a brazenly colorful and tonally rich debut album.

Cook’s early training took place in her church choir and school chorus. Her tastes eventually shifted towards heavyweights like Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu, and The Cardigans, informing her confidently playful, harmony-heavy, atmospheric style. Initially she was making acapella songs with a microphone and laptop during the end of her college career out of necessity, describing her voice as “the only instrument I truly had access to” at the time.

She discovered the process of live looping through Reggie Watts, who sometimes uses looping techniques in the songs found in his comedy acts. She covered the jazz standard “Night and Day” using the technique and it turned out better than she ever could have hoped. From there, she began to fully explore creating music and on the new album, she welcomes a variety of live players into the fold to flush out and widen the unique sound she created on her own.

Moonchild is a glimpse through Cook’s lens, exhibiting heartfelt lyrics and melodic themes on spirituality, technology, and social interaction. The album opens with serious meditations on the state of human connection (“My Universe”, “Don’t Ask Me”) and finds its way to a fun-as-hell-take on the now-classic “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” by Vampire Weekend. “Please” transforms a conversation between Cook and her mother into a soft hymn, and “Brings Me Back (111)” depicts the mutual beckoning of soulmates.

There’s a DIY backbone here too, as the album was recorded entirely in producer Scott Lane's living room, transformed into a makeshift studio that was regularly set up and torn down. It was recorded this past summer over 3 months time, and features players Devonne Harris (piano/Butcher Brown), Kelli Strawbridge (drums/Kings), Caleb Knight (drums/Sammi Lanzetta), Chris Speasmaker (piano/The Congress), Andrew Sisk (drums/Angelica Garcia), Marcus Tenney (trumpet/Foxygen), Russell Lacy (guitar/Mikrowaves), Sid Kingsley (saxophone/Sid Kingsley), Jared Pool (mandolin/Larry Keel), and Scott Lane (production/engineering).
Liza and the Hearttakers
Liza and the Hearttakers
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org