Thursday, August 27th at 5 pm, in City Hall Park, J&R’s MusicFest 2009 brings to the stage, singer-songwriter Diane Birch took half her lifetime, and traveled across the globe, to get to America, where she literally found her voice and made her remarkable debut, Bible Belt. Though only in her mid-twenties, Birch likes to think of herself as an “old soul,” and indeed there is a startling maturity in her singing and a veteran’s self-assurance in her writing. Hook-driven songs like “Fools” and “Valentino” offer more than just instant gratification: they’re like your new best friends – you’ll want to get together with them as frequently as possible. Birch mixes piano-playing virtuosity with easy-going soul, and she can strike an uplifting groove on even the most melancholy tune. Her work bears hints of Laura Nyro (when she was hanging out with LaBelle) and early 70′s Karen Carpenter (when she was ruling the charts), while effortlessly incorporating New Orleans second-line rhythms, gospel fervor, doo-wop harmonies, country-blues guitar and classic AM radio-style melodies.
Bible Belt was recorded in New York City and New Orleans with a formidable team of Grammy-winning producers: S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Mike Mangini. Among the players accompanying Birch are guitarist Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group, bassists Adam Blackstone from The Roots, and George Porter of The Meters, acclaimed drummers Stanton Moore of Galactic and Cindy Blackman of Lenny Kravitz fame, saxophonist-about-town Lenny Pickett, and trombonist Tom “Bones” Malone, along with veteran singer Eugene Pitt, lead vocalist of fabled Brooklyn vocal group, the Jive Five.
See the complete Music Fest 2009 Schedule.
J&R MusicFest and Tech Expo
Aug. 27 – 30
A week of free music and cutting edge technology.
NYC’s Biggest and Best Block Party.