Eli Conley, Sarah White, Catherine The Great

Eli Conley

Sarah White

Catherine The Great

Sun, April 7, 2019

Doors: 4:00 pm / Show: 4:30 pm

The Camel

$12 ADV, $15 DOS

Eli Conley
Eli Conley
Eli Conley titled his sophomore album "Strong and Tender," but he might well have been describing himself. On stage he’s an earnest yet funny storyteller. His songs address big themes like gender, aging, and death through the concrete and immediate details of daily life: a stolen truck, a flopping fish, a dime in the pocket.

Eli is so pleased to return to his hometown on the Chasing Spring Tour, playing as a duo with Joel Price on mandolin, violin, and harmonies. He has been featured in the Huffington Post and the Advocate. He’s opened for Grammy-winner Kimya Dawson and the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, and founded Queer Country West Coast, a regular series featuring LGBTQIA+ country artists in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Eli’s music is grounded in folk tradition, and he comes by it honestly. He grew up in Richmond and got his musical education listening to his parents’ collection of hundreds of albums by singer-songwriters and roots musicians. He also spent years studying classical singing and picking out Broadway hits of the 40’s and 50’s on the piano. By the time he picked up a guitar at 15, he already had a working knowledge of song structure and music theory – tools that helped him grow into the careful craftsman he is today.

"Strong and Tender" tells rich stories ranging from the highs and lows of love to fierce political anthems. “Maybe the ozone will open up and we’ll all go to our graves/Maybe we’ll end this mess we’re in, I believe we can still be saved,” he sings on the humorous yet pointed “All That Ends.” “What I’m Worth” is told in the voice of a transgender man dreaming of escape from his hometown, yet demanding in the here and now “don’t try to tell me what I’m worth.” On “Get In My Own Way,” Eli laughs at himself for procrastinating on songwriting yet again. “Strong” is a tribute to the Movement for Black Lives that also reflects on losses Eli has faced in his personal life.

At heart, Eli is a clear-eyed songwriter with high hopes for the human race. His songs urge us to love ourselves even when it feels like the world does not. You can’t help but sing along.
Sarah White
Sarah White
Born and raised in the two Virginias, Sarah White’s musical style is as familiar as it is hard to define - not quite country, not quite rock, not quite folk - but a little bit like all of the above. A chameleon-like performer with ever changing line-ups over the last decade, White has grown into a talented songwriter with a sizable body of poignant, catchy, and moving songs. Backed by a full band including pedal steel, keyboards, and guitars, White heads into 2019 with a new album and a bigger, brighter and accomplished sound.

White grew up on a Christmas tree farm in West Virginia with hippie parents who exposed her to a wide world of music via an extensive record collection featuring bluegrass, country, 60s folk and 70s rock music; ubiquitous music festivals, local music jams, and a songwriting father. Her early albums on the Jagjaguwar label post-University speak to a wide range of influences and a tendency for experiential learning. Deemed back then “a diamond in the rough,” White says that her latest album High Flyer is the gem she’s been working toward all these years. As she says, “This one feels like the one I’ve always wanted to make.”


Sarah will be performing at The Camel solo wielding her well-worn Jumbo Gibson acoustic. She has opened for Merle Haggard, Justin Townes Earle, Earl Scruggs, Will Oldham, Dave Matthews Band Caravan and was once named Best Songwriter in her hometown of Charlottesville.
Catherine The Great
Catherine The Great
Catherine the Great is the solo project of Catherine Backus, formerly one half of Athens, GA duo the Skipperdees. A native East-Tennessean and graduate of the University of Georgia (go dawgs, go b-52’s), Catherine now resides in Roanoke, Virginia, where she splits her musical time between playing bluegrass with old dudes and singing songs she wrote. She writes good, sad folk songs that have won some things people care about, like the Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Her music has drawn comparisons to Kathleen Edwards, Lori McKenna, and Gillian Welch (who also won the Merlefest CASC, in 1992). Catherine can be found all over the internet. She would love to see a photo of your dog.
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org