Saturday, July 14, the brilliantly eclectic Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio will perform for Flying Cat Music at the Empire State Railway Museum (ESRM). The ESRM is located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:30. Admission is $17 or $15 with reservations. For information or reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-688-9453.
Heather Pierson has spent her career dazzling audiences while foiling attempts to pigeonhole her talents. She’s fronted a jazz quartet and composed and recorded neoclassical piano works. On stage, Pierson belts out the blues on one song and nails mountain folk on the next. In the words of WVPE DJ Al Kniola, “She can mesmerize you on the piano, the guitar – even the melodica.” And she also writes truly remarkable songs. But Heather Pierson finally met her match in the trio that now bears her name. They are every bit as skilled and versatile as her. In describing Heather Pierson, Acoustic Live NYC exclaims, “Her overall virtuosity is astounding.” In describing the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio, Sing Out! Magazine explains, “(Heather) has created a new trio that embraces Americana styles and gives it a new perspective. Blending jazz, folk, blues with three part harmonies and stellar instrumentals, this band turns heads!”
The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio features Shawn Nadeau on upright bass and Davy Sturtevant on, as Heather often puts it from stage, “everything else.” Sturtevant comes armed with a gorgeous tenor voice and a mighty arsenal of instruments ranging from dobro to fiddle to cornet. Nadeau brings nearly two decades of performing experience to the trio, with rhythmic and melodic sensibilities ranging from rockabilly to reggae to jazz. The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio took the national folk scene by storm in 2015 with their debut EP, Still She Will Fly, whose title track was the number two single on the Folk radio charts that year. The trio’s subsequent debut full-length CD, Singin’, finished 2017 as the number eleven album on the Folk DJ-L charts (based on 14.623 airplays from 135 different DJs).
Rich Warren, host of the nationally syndicated Midnight Special radio concert series, has this to say about Heather and her band: “Wow! She has it all and then some. And the band, were equally impressive. She played three Chicago area gigs and the consensus was she’s one of the best performers we’ve seen in many a year.” Lone Star Music Magazine describes the material they perform as, “sliding from sweet acoustic Appalachian old-timey vibe… to brassy New Orleans blues piano with a bone thrown to Bessie Smith.” Reviews of Heather Pierson seem to describe several musicians simultaneously, each of them superb. Even her vocals elicit different (all positive) responses from reviewers, such as these:
“Pierson’s voice is strong yet vulnerable, conveying tremendous emotional depth and passion.” MainlyPiano.com
“There’s a real pureness to her voice as she leads us through intimate corners of her experiences and tells stories with a Joni Mitchell kind of edge.” Portland Press Herald
“She killed it in a New Orleans style jazzy blues that didn’t seem to be able to come from such a youthful reserved woman!” HoustonMusicReview.com
“Eclectic virtuosity” might sound like a contradiction to some, but for many it describes the sound of the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio.