Midnight North with support from Mikaela Davis (solo)
(Webcast will be available for 7 days following initial broadcast)
MIDNIGHT NORTH There's Always a Story represents a new chapter for Midnight North. Ten stories told through song on their most polished album to date.
Reflecting on the time since their origin, Midnight North is ready to tell the world its story. A group of multi-instrumentalists with songwriting roots in Folk and Americana, Midnight North is a mainstay on the stages of the national touring circuit. Rolling Stone hailed Midnight North as the “Best New Act” in its review of 2018’s Peach Music Festival saying the band “takes the best parts of roots music and weaves them into a tapestry of rock and Americana.”
Grahame Lesh, Elliott Peck, & Connor O’Sullivan began playing together in San Francisco. In early 2012 they played their first show as Grahame Lesh & Friends. Grahame & Elliott both brought a repertoire of original music to this new project that was a perfect marriage once the band began performing in earnest. In late 2012 the band went into the studio for the first time, tracking the entirety of their debut album End of the Night in just 2 days. End of the Night (mixed & produced by Connor) was released in June 2013 as they officially debuted the name Midnight North.
The band began touring in June 2015, with the release of their second album Scarlet Skies. That began a five year run as a touring band, playing in 36 states in front of thousands of people across the country. They released Under the Lights, their most successful studio album to date, in summer 2017. “Across all of the tracks, when you think you have the band pegged for a style or a genre, all of a sudden a chorus, or a new solo or new instrument altogether, diverts the music boldly but smartly to a new sound and feel,” said The Poke Around in their review of Under the Lights. They also released two live albums including 2018’s Selections From the Great American Music Hall which featured Bob Weir & Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead plus members of Twiddle as special guests.
A pivotal moment for the band came when Grahame met drummer Nathan Graham at a benefit show in Philadelphia in 2016. A month later Nathan sat in with the band for a show, eventually joining the band for their longest tour to date in the Spring of 2017. Bringing on the well seasoned drummer as a full-time member of the band (and learning about his banjo playing, singing, and song-writing skills) represented the next step forward as plans were made to record their fourth studio album.
In January 2020, the band went into a California studio with producer David Simon-Baker to craft their fourth studio album, There's Always a Story, released in 2021 on Americana Vibes. As the world shut down in March and the band quarantined separately around the country, the album was finished remotely in California and Pennsylvania. As the months ticked by they let the rest of the newly written & recorded songs sink into their consciousness so that when work resumed on the album in June the entire album became even better than they could have hoped.
2022 and beyond is a new beginning, and while Midnight North longingly looks ahead, hand-in-hand with the rest of the world, There’s Always a Story will serve as a collective and reflective narrative.
MIKAELA DAVIS “This record is kind of about writing a record,” Mikaela Davis says. The 26-year-old is home in her native Rochester, New York, reflecting on Delivery, her highly anticipated full-length album, as well as the hard journey the classically trained, defiantly original harpist had to travel to become the writer and performer, she was meant to be.
“A lot of these songs came from feeling stuck and also like people were pulling me in a bunch of different directions,” Mikaela says. “I wanted to say, ‘just wait for me. I’ll figure it out.’”
Mikaela’s plea for patience - a little bit sweet, a little bit angry and raw - fed a fierce 10-song collection. A joyride that pulls from rock, 70s and 80s pop, and funk, Delivery manages to be both daring and comfortable, full of not just risks, but hooks.
Produced by Grammy-winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, David Byrne, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Delivery is a triumphant next chapter. “John tries to find that moment instead of the perfect take,” Mikaela says. “That made it all sound really special.”
Childhood friends Alex Coté (drums, percussion) and Shane McCarthy (bass) play on the record - already close from years of touring. Recently, Mikaela’s ensemble became a family affair with the addition of Shane’s older brother, Cian McCarthy on guitar.
Mikaela’s unconventional path to working songwriter began before high school, growing up in Rochester. With plans to join a symphony, she studied harp performance at Crane School of Music, but halfway through, she decided the traditional harpist’s path wasn’t for her.
Following graduation, Mikaela moved to Brooklyn, following in the footsteps of artists who’ve come before her. But in the city, she could never quite find her footing. She kept busy, toured, and recorded an album that would eventually be shelved. Feeling confused and alone, she retreated back to Rochester, unsure of her next move.
Then, the last place Mikaela wanted to be saved her. Rochester’s artistic community embraced her, encouraged by bandmates including Alex Coté and the group Joywave, she hit her stride. Rochester became Mikaela’s sanctuary.
Delivery benefits from it all. “Now, these songs kind of wonder what I should be doing – it’s me trying to get myself back to why I started writing in the first place,” Mikaela says. “writing made me feel better and safe when the world around me was falling apart.”
“Just let my songs resonate with you somehow. That would make me so happy.”
About Levon Helm Studios
Home of Levon's legendary Midnight Rambles, and situated on 18 acres in historic Woodstock, NY, Levon Helm Studios welcomes artists for intimate concerts and recording sessions.
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