Jen Hirsh
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Jen Hirsh

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Band Pop Adult Contemporary

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Jun
15
Jen Hirsh @ Living Room

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

May
13
Jen Hirsh @ Hotel Cafe

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

Apr
24
Jen Hirsh @ Room 5

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Singer Jen Hirsh is releasing her album, Myself in Two amidst a musical climate where good music is finally synonymous with "cool" music, an era during which Arcade Fire and Esperanza Spalding win Grammys over the likes of Justin Bieber and Eminem; where artists like Feist can release fantastic albums that sound like quality adult contemporary but are adopted by both the mainstream and indie crowds. Jen Hirsh proves that the simplicity of soulful vocal musicianship over well-crafted songs is the path less traveled, yet just as worthwhile.

Hirsh has been dominating both coasts for quite some time now. In Boston, she was a touted member of the elite jazz world and when she wasn't sharing the stage with icons such as Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Gloria Estefan, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel, and Michel Camilo, could be found improvising at hole in the wall staple Wally's. After taking hold of the Boston music scene, she relocated to New York where you could find her playing her original songs packed gigs at celebrated venues.

Myself in Two is a collaboration between Hirsh and songwriter/guitarist Adam Tressler. The album features an all-star cast including producer Max Coane (Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin), Patrick Warren on keyboard and piano (Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow), and world-renowned mixing engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney.)

Check out Hirsch at the Hotel Cafe release show in LA on March 5th.

Are you going to check out Jen Hirsh? You should!

—Amy Sciarretto
03.01.11 - ARTISTdirect


Most of us, whether or not we consciously realize it, create our own personal music album defined by various influences and events. Mine is a recipe that includes recommendations from friends, a few timeless college unforgettables and a personal fantasy to have lived as a hippie in the 1960s and 70s.

As I listened to Jen Hirsh's newly released album, Myself In Two, my personal album instantly switched on. I heard the influences of Natalie Merchant and a sprinkle of Sarah McLachlan. Some Sufjan Stevens and a splash of Bob Dylan.

While these connections drew me in, it became quickly clear that Jen has a distinct voice all her own. The self-defined "soulful pop songstress" just released her debut album Myself in Two on March 1. It's a colorful, relatable collection of 10 songs that capture her experience over the past year: heartbreak, feelings of self doubt and "living in LA with my heart in New York."

We recently had the chance to chat about her world, inspirations and a few words of wisdom for other songwriters. Certainly, Jen weaves in the influences of her own musical mentors, but she distinctively recognizes the collective efforts of her experienced team to bring her art alive, including guitarist and writer Adam Tressler and industry veterans Patrick Warren and Bob Clearmountain. She's no novice either: Jen is a Berklee College of Music grad and has since shared the stage with music icons including Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock and Gloria Estefan.

I'm glad to now include Jen in my personal album -- here is a bit more from the interview:

Laura Cococcia: Was there a particular moment you realized you wanted to be a singer/songwriter or did it evolve over time?

Jen Hirsh: Ever since I was a little girl, I was always singing. I think I dressed up as Mariah Carey for Halloween four years in a row. Having a career as a singer has always been my dream, and I've never steered away from that. My interest in songwriting was sparked and honed at Berklee College of Music, where I spent many late nights in my dorm room tooling around on GarageBand.

Through that process, I also found that I work better in collaborative settings. My songwriting partner, guitarist and fellow Berklee alum, Adam Tressler and I have been working together for about three years. Our collaboration resulted in Myself in Two.

LC: What are some of the most satisfying aspects of songwriting for you? The most challenging or difficult?

JH: The most satisfying aspect of songwriting, to me, is the moment where a fan reaches out to me saying that my song has really touched them or hit a nerve. Songs are personal, but one of my main goals is to relate my listeners. One of the more satisfying aspects of Myself in Two was working with Adam who listened to my emotional babble and helped created these tremendously healing songs.

Music is extremely powerful, and singing these ten songs over and over again has molded me into a happier, more stable person. That is satisfying. As far as challenges go in songwriting, I'd say finishing an idea that has been started is really hard without the right amount of motivation and inspiration.

LC: Where do you get most of your inspiration for your lyrics?

JH: Most inspiration for me comes naturally with day-to-day happenings. Conversations, feelings, emotions -- anything. I just try to soak it all in.

LC: What advice can you offer other aspiring songwriter and singers -- or even other writers -- as they start their artistic journey?

JH: Write what you feel. Feel and believe what you sing. Nobody wants to see somebody who is not connected to what they are singing.

LC: What's next? Where and when can we come see you?

JH: The next step is to play out as much as possible and spread the word. If you're in the LA area I'll be playing April 7th at Harvelle's, and April 24th at Room 5 Lounge. NYC and Boston CD Release shows are in the works for spring/summer.

Find out more about Jen on her site and follow her on Twitter. - The Huffington Post


On the surface, it wasn't difficult to see where Guest's skepticism came from. As integral as it's been to several of the movies he's directed ("A Mighty Wind," "Waiting For Guffman") and acted in ("This Is Spinal Tap"), his music would seem to have been secondary to the stories. But Brown read testimonials from jazz guitarist Mike Stern and Benjamin Verdery, chairman of the Yale School of Music's guitar department, that suggested that Guest's contributions to the field extended well beyond establishing a well-needed reality check for musical self-seriousness.

Starting off the concert that followed with "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight," Spinal Tap's ode to underage girls and redundancy, could have undermined that point instantly. But the more than 25 musicians and singers (including four guitarists, a horn section, and a string quartet) appeared to be having quite possibly the best time they'd ever have making music.

There wasn't much radical rearrangement of the material. "Skeletons of Quinto" played up the song's Spanish influence (especially in Jim Kelly's guitar) while adding aspects of jazz and chamber music. The classical and baroque influences of "Cups and Cakes" were brought to the fore in an instrumental version that was as intricately arranged as "Eleanor Rigby." And Elvis Costello, in his prefilmed congratulations, offered a heartbreakingly pretty solo acoustic version of "A Penny for Your Thoughts."

But too much reinvention would have been a self-defeating mistake, imposing a musicality from the outside rather than letting Guest's songs speak for themselves. Most were simply adjusted to fit the size of the impressively honed band, often resulting in glorious bombast. Guest often joined in on rhythm guitar, deferring most of the leads to Kelly and Mirsad "Cuni" Besic.

An array of singers provided uniformly excellent vocals, from Owen McGreehan's chesty bluster on most of the Tap material to Jennifer Hirsh's swinging and charming "Nothing Ever Happens In Blaine," which captured just the right combination of boredom, frustration, and affection. Rebecca Muir's blues-rock take on "Gimme Some Money" faltered only in her failure to intone "Go, Nigel, go!" before the four guitarists traded solos.

Guest's biggest spotlight came during "Stonehenge," with his portentous English-accented intonations and some fleet-fingered mandolin playing that led to an extended Celtic stomp of a coda. But he stepped back into the ensemble for the closer, a triumphant and rapturously received "Big Bottom," which featured approximately 50 giddy bassists flooding the aisles and Brown providing the thunderous drumbeat. Any man who can get the president of Berklee to pound out an ode to large posteriors surely deserves the title of "doctor." - The Boston Globe


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Jen Hirsh feels lucky to release her debut full-length album Myself in Two in a musical climate where good music is finally synonymous with ‘cool’ music, a climate where Arcade Fire and Esperanza Spalding win Grammys over the likes of Justin Bieber and Eminem, where artists like Feist can release fantastic albums that sound like quality adult contemporary but are adopted by both the mainstream and indie crowds. Jen Hirsh proves that the simplicity of soulful vocal musicianship over well crafted songs is well... freakin’ awesome.

Hirsh has been dominating both coasts for quite some time now- in Boston she was a touted member of the elite jazz world and when she wasn’t sharing the stage with icons such as Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Gloria Estefan, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel, and Michel Camilo, could be found improvising at hole in the wall staple Wally’s. After taking hold of the Boston music scene she relocated to New York where you could find her playing her original songs to packed audiences at celebrated venues.
And now she is taking the west coast by storm, releasing Myself in Two, a collaboration between Hirsh and songwriter/guitarist Adam Tressler. The album features an all-star cast including producer Max Coane (Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin), Patrick Warren on keyboard and piano (Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow), and world-renowned mixing engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney).

Hirsh's debut, "Myself in Two", was released on March 1st, 2011. She will be playing at in the Los Angeles area and plans to tour the US this summer.