diversity & minority jobs



Grace & Tony

with Special Guest

Heather Aubrey Lloyd of ILYAIMY

Saturday, May 30th, 6:30pm

Suggested Donation:
$15 per person
$12 ages 10-18 & active military

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Grace and Tony

from Louisville.com:

Husband and wife musicians Grace & Tony are relatively new on the scene, but with their first full-length album released last fall, they have embarked on a touring schedule that is bringing them to the attention of new fans in many places, including an upcoming stop in Louisville on March 22 at The New Vintage. They've honed a unique style that blends the southern gospel and bluegrass that Grace Shultz grew up with and the punk rock leanings of Tony White. White, who is brother to John Paul White of the Civil Wars, spoke to me about how it all came about -- the marriage of two musicians and of two distinct music genres.

Both Grace and Tony were born and raised in Lawrence County, TN and first became aware of one another in their various musical circles. White admits that he had a "secret crush" on Grace before he invited her to jam with friends while he was between bands. 

"We started playing these punk rock songs on banjo and mandolin and acoustic guitar, and that's kind of where it started." As the relationship bloomed, so did their music. "We just started writing in that style and the feel that those songs had in the beginning." That style has been dubbed "punkgrass," and it does seem to fit the driving energy and rebelliousness of the songs that are played on traditional string instruments (and the occasional kazoo). White, however, dismisses putting too much importance on labels. "I believe that a good song is a good song. And once you have one, you can present it in any genre, and it will be loved." 

The songs on November display an inventiveness and sense of play, peopled with evil masterminds, superheroes, and other strange characters. "Electricity Bomb" is a tale of a post-apocalyptic world where technology seems to have been zapped, leaving lovers to consider each other anew. The feel of the words is both antique and post-modern, matching the aesthetic at work in the instrumentation and their voices. White described their songwriting approach: "I am a melody person and Grace is a lyricist. We both do both things from time to time but we naturally gravitate toward those roles....Neither of us like to write about relationships. We're storytellers. We like to write stories. We're definitely more influenced by books and movies than we are other music."

So far, the touring experience has been very positive, according to White. Last November, Grace finished nursing school which allowed them to play more than just the gigs here and there that they set up on their own. They are signed with Rock Ridge Music and have a booking agency, which has resulted in more opportunities. "The venues are better. We're playing with bigger acts and in front of bigger crowds. All of that's good stuff when you're trying to spread the word." They played a string of dates in the UK to appreciative crowds and were also a part of the Cayamo Music Cruise, for which White had nothing but praise, from the music-savvy crowds to the way the musicians were treated. "It was the best week of our lives," he said with a laugh.

Grace & Tony are looking forward to a bright future, and pretty soon they won't have to defend their musical roots the way they do in the song "Blassphemy," which wonders wryly what Bill Monroe might have to say about the way they are creating a new twist on the bluegrass standard. But they are confident in their answer:

Here's to all the pioneers that bled to pave our way/

I'm toasting all of you and respect the things you say/

We'll play our songs the way we want to play.

Heather Aubrey Lloyd

I first saw Heather play at SMAF, back in 2006 when absolutely *everybody* dragooned her into playing djembe for their sets. Now we'll get to have her here, on our stage, singing *her* songs.



More than a decade touring the U.S., Heather Aubrey Lloyd has brought her lush, passionate voice to every type of venue, from folk festivals and bars to bait shops and clothing-optional resorts. A recovering reporter, her songs drift from journalistic to deeply personal, each narrative offered up in her distinctive alto and layered over finger-picked guitar. On her 2010 solo CD, Samples, her voice is so compelling you only slowly realize how strong the songs are lyrically. Her sets are rounded out with a few pieces on djembe, the instrument that has earned her primal reputation as co-front for the Baltimore-based band ilyAIMY. Solo and with the band, Heather wields her wit and warmth from the stage to build a relationship with every audience.  She’s backed and supported Dar Williams, performed as a 2012 Most-Wanted Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and was a Lilith Fair Talent Search finalist.

"Voices this rich and emotionally hard-hitting - equal parts velvet darkness, barely contained heartbreak, and hard-won, unstoppable joy - don't come around often. Sing me the phone book, Heather Lloyd - I'll ask for an encore." - Pat Wictor (of folk supergroup Brother Sun)

Praise for her solo disc, "Samples:"

"She has a great voice - Not a bullshit, American Idol-esque, over-sing-because-it lacks-substance kinda voice. But a genuine, heartfelt, voice that is easy on the ears and she chooses to sing in a manner that serves the message of the song. And the best part of all is that her songs have a message." - Mike Bowers (VA musician)

"The collection on Samples, her first solo record, covers ... from the depths of depression and pain to the exuberant ... Her voice, which is elegantly controlled with a slight smokiness … is SO compelling that it might take a while before you become conscious of just how strong the songs are lyrically. It gives the album the special charm of an intimate presentation, as if she is performing just for the listener." - H. Stephen Patton, Driftwood Magazine

"Lloyd's voice has a powerful emotional and technical range, using everything from a delicate whisper to a bluesy growl to breathe life into the folk narratives." - Michael Duck, The Morning Call

"A pint-sized powerhouse of a singer." - The Washington Times