The Anita Lofton Project

The Anita Lofton Project

 San Francisco, California, USA

Anita Lofton is a guitarist, singer-songwriter who knows her way around wah-wah, smallstone and rat pedals. As former lead guitarist for Sistas In The Pit, the all-black-girl rock band, she toured Europe and China, and later North America opening for Iggy Pop and The Stooges. Anita has just traded in her Marshall half stack and Epiphone semi hollow body Casino for a microphone and a Epiphone acoustic guitar. She's now armed and ready to rock audiences with just some strings.

Band Press

First Friday: Art & Soul Festival Preview Concert – Eastbay Express

You don’t have to wait until the Art & Soul Festival opens Saturday afternoon to get a taste of what’s in store for our all-new street party featuring amazing music, an epic new art show, late night dance party and fun for all!

In conjunction with Art Murmur, we’ll be hosting a FREE Art & Soul Pre-Party. Catch live music from Oakland’s own Anita Lofton Project and Australia’s Rosie Burgess Trio. Heading to Art Murmur that evening? Ride the free Broadway Shuttle (runs until 1AM on Fridays) from the galleries directly to Awaken Café.
Oakland-native Anita Lofton, formerly with the popular punk/rock group Sistahs in the Pit, “traded in her Marshall half-stack and Epiphone semi-hollow body casino for a microphone and an Epiphone acoustic guitar.” She’s still got rock in her blood and this talented singer will be offering up her neo-soul acoustic stylings with a band that includes violin, cello, upright bass and drums.

Folk-festival favorites around the globe, The Rosie Burgess Trio slides effortlessly from folk to blues to gypsy-roots and back, and offers up “more energy than an illegally sparked firecracker” [Drum Media, Sydney]. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, they bring their unique brand of folk roots, catchy harmonies and offbeat humor to kick off one of the top 12 “must-see summer festivals” in Northern California as proclaimed by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nothing goes with great music like great food! Options will include Awaken Café, which serves excellent coffee, lighter fare and desserts and the popular Liba Falafel mobile food truck.

The Art & Soul pre-party happens in the heart of Oakland’s burgeoning Midtown Arts District – which includes Pro Arts, Oaklandish, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Bittersweet Cafe, NNEEKA and Oakland’s newest pop-up store, lOAKal, a mixed-use gallery curated by Ken Harman of Spoke Art. lOAKal in association with the East Bay Express and local designers from fiftyseven-thirtythree.

Art & Soul Oakland 2012 is brought to you by the City of Oakland and East Bay Express, with our Friday night pre-party hosted by Awaken Café!

ShePeoples music and art tonight at Divinity Voice – Oakland Local

Anita Lofton is a guitarist, singer-songwriter who knows her way around wah-wah, smallstone, and rat effect pedals. as former lead guitarist for “sistas in the pit,” the all-black-girl rock band, she toured europe and china, and later north america opening for iggy pop and the stooges. anita has just traded in her marshall half stack and epiphone casino semi-hollow body for a microphone and a epiphone acoustic guitar. she's now armed and ready to rock audiences with just some strings and a mic.

Anita Lofton Project – The East Bay Express

Most famous for her role in the rock power trio Sistas in the Pit, Anita Lofton recently left to embark on a new, concept-driven project that veers between ambient rock and folk music. Like Sistas, its an all-black-woman outfit, this time with three string players and no drums. Upright bassist Wanika Stephens and violinist Zhalisa Clarke manage to keep a pulse anyway, as Lofton strums guitar and sings over them. Lofton writes most of the music -- a mix of stony love ballads and spare blues. Her lyrics bristle with true-to-life detail. In the new track "Can't Understand," for instance, Lofton takes pains to describe exactly what went wrong in a relationship. Her sadness is palpable. Anita Lofton Project celebrates its new EP release on Saturday, June 19 at Era Art Bar and Lounge (19 Grand Ave., Oakland). 7 p.m. free.

The Anita Lofton Project – Impose Magazine

The move an artist makes from punk beginnings to more complicated crafts is fascinating to hear. Anita Lofton makes the trek with the Anita Lofton Project.

Formerly of punk trio Sistas in the Pit, the talented guitarist and singer-songwriter gave up her wah-wah, smallstone and rat pedals for greater things. With her former Sistas she toured China and Europe, and took an infamous national tour supporting a certain James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg and the Stooges during that band's reunion in 2007. She claims to have “traded in her Marshall half stack and Epiphone semi hollow body casino for a microphone and an Epiphone acoustic guitar,” yet she’s got the rock in her blood. With Anita’s new minimal and acoustic approach she expresses a new direction in songwriting that is as candid, earnest, cool and assertive while seeking greater understanding of others and cloaking sentiment in attitude.

The first track Anita sent to me was “I Can’t Understand,” a lover's spat set to strings. “I am up and you are down / I need to plant my feet on the ground / It’s alright, it’s okay / I got you, hold on tight / it’ll be alright ‘cause I got you / something is comin’ and I feel like I’m out of reach / something is comin’ and I feel like I’m out to sea."

The Anita Lofton Project, "I Can't Understand"

On the end of “sea” she echoes the ee sound twice. It's a subtly pensive and vulnerable moment within a song where her mood is a tough-as-nails assertion of the self amid shaking and quarrelsome waters. The compelling antinomies of her verse continue on the second track I received called “I’ll Let You Down.” She stirs a build up beginning with her kinetic/poetic verse.

The third track “Naw Naw” showcases Anita’s eclectic homage to Iggy through a “No Fun” salute. A song that thrives on a punky blues progression while keeping things chill and minimal, including a wise and responsive violin that sounds straight out of the shtetle!

The Anita Lofton Project is accomplished with the help of friends from prestigious musical backgrounds. Wanika Stephens was born to the founders of the Jazz Church of John Coltrane, is the bassist for San Francisco quintet Ohnedaruth and hosts “Uplift” on KPOO. Zhalisa Clarke is a classically trained violinist who has been in both the Harvard-Radcliffe and the Brooklyn Symphony orchestras and shares the group’s affection for building its blueprints from the roots of jazz on up. Anita’s transformation from punk idol to jazz muse I can only compare to hearing Richard Hell’s “Time,” in which he shows the rich Rickenbacker-jangle side to his punk ego. In an even greater departure, Anita draws out new varieties of sounds and acoustic instrumentations to convey larger expressions of greater meanings.

The Anita Lofton Project plays for free at 12:30 in Union Square September 15 – The San Francisco Examiner

The Anita Lofton Project will play a free noon time concert Wednesday, September 15th and if the weather is anything like today it will be a perfect compliment to her beautiful voice. In case you don't know The Anita Lofton Project is made up of Lofton, who plays the guitar and sings and writes all the songs and violinist Zhalisa Clarke and Wanika Stephens who plays the upright bass. You can check out some of their music here at their myspace page.

Between the three of them they've got some impressive credentials. Anita Lofton is a former member of Sistas in the Pit of the Afro-Punk movement, which is still going strong. She's also played with Mr. Iggy Pop. Wanika Stephens grew up in the church her parents founded, maybe you've heard of it? St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church you've probably heard of it just referred to as The Church of John Coltrane Yup, that's the one. And Zhalisa Clarke is a classically trained violinist who has been in both the Harvard-Radcliffe and the Brooklyn Symphony orchestras. Phew! I personally can't wait. So grab your lunch, a blanket, a friend and see you there.