April 6, 2017 | doors at 8:00pm
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The Bowery presents:
Jon Latham
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Aaron Lee Tasjan
East Nashville-based musician Aaron Lee Tasjan has always considered himself a songwriter first and foremost, writing his own off-kilter folk-inflected songs since he picked up his first acoustic as a teen guitar prodigy. “A lot of the stuff I did previously was never the main focal point,” Tasjan explains. “It’s all just been pieces along the way.” His soon to be released Silver Tears (New West Records – Oct. 2016) will offer a glimpse through the eyes of one gifted songwriter and versatile musician. Whether playing guitar in the late incarnation of riotous glam-rock innovators the New York Dolls, the gender-bending, envelope-pushing sleaze n’ tease arena rock band Semi Precious Weapons, the Neil Young-signed alt-country act Everest, British roots rock band Alberta Cross, Southern rock stalwarts Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ or even as frontman of the devilishly cleverly-named Heartbreakers meets Replacements rockers Madison Square Gardeners, offer a glimpse through the eyes of one gifted songwriter and versatile musician.

While those stints may have never been his main destination, each one has been a stepping stone that has uniquely informed his songwriting and made him a compelling, singular artist. Tasjan’s songs, as first heard on his debut solo EP, 2014’s Crooked River Burning, are indebted to great American storytellers like John Prine, Tom Petty, Guy Clark, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie and Todd Snider. They are imbued with wry wit, a sharp tongue and a lot of heart.

Last year’s self-released LP, In The Blazes, received accolades from American Songwriter, Rolling Stone, Nashville Scene and NPR and suggested Tasjan was an artist to keep an eye on. While that album hinted at Tasjan’s enormous potential, it’s his sophomore effort, his New West Records debut, Silver Tears, that best realizes his artistic ambitions and solidifies him as one of the most intriguing singer/songwriters to emerge in sometime. An inspired and confident set of songs, the 12-track album, which features a cover with Tasjan decked out in a reflective suit and Stetson, careens from woozy pot paeans to brooding, cinematic observations to laid back ‘70s country-rock and galloping anthems to introspective folk and rollicking honky-tonk. “I might have made something that will surprise people,” Tasjan admits. “I didn’t completely abandon the recipe, but I really stretched myself and pushed beyond what people might expect from me. Being true as a musician, I’m not just one thing – and a variety of styles is a way to accomplish that. “

As in the song “On Your Side,” which sees Tasjan warble, “I sing jokes/And call ‘em songs/Nobody knows where they belong/I’ve come up short/For far too long/And what felt right/Now feels so wrong,” Tasjan often turns the mirror on himself, never afraid to cast himself in a negative light. “One of the reasons I’ve been able to connect with people is by being honest and saying this is a really realistic picture of who I am,” he says. “It’s not always the good but it’s me.” s easily. "When I
Half way across America for the 2nd time in two months, Aaron Lee Tasjan is putting his van in storage before he leaves on yet another tour, though this time someone else is doing the driving. For some, playing guitar for Todd Snider in Pennsylvania, driving back to New York City overnight, getting into Alberta Cross's van at 8am and driving straight through the night again to open for them in Milwaukee the following day might be a bit too much…..but this is where ALT lives. These roads are where his stories come from and these stories are his songs. The songwriter, guitarist and producer grew up in the middle of the middle, central Ohio, USA. It was there he learned to play the guitar and by the age of 16, had performed with Peter Yarrow and made his first trip to New York City where he was given the Outstanding Guitarist Award by The Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center. Though a full scholarship to the Berklee College Of Music was offered to him following his high school graduation, he chose to return to New York City instead and it was there he met up with Justin, Cole and Dan to form the band Semi Precious Weapons. As SPW began performing around NYC, Tasjan caught the eye of Drivin' N' Cryin's front man Kevin Kinney who had just relocated to Brooklyn. Kinney subsequently took Tasjan on many tours as both a guitarist and opening act and became a mentor to Tasjan guiding him towards the revelation that in music, you never have to be defined by one sound or genre. This idea would shape the form of Tasjan's own music significantly over the next few years. World renown producer Tony Visconti produced SPW’s debut album, We Love You, which landed them a deal with Razor & Tie Records, however, it would also mark ALT's departure from the group. He went on to perform in 2008/2009 with the New York Dolls as lead guitarist while simultaneously forming his own band, The Madison Square Gardeners. The critically acclaimed "Gardeners," as they became known, were hailed by The Village Voice as, "The best NYC has to offer", and the songs Tasjan penned for them received many accolades for their no frills, simple, from the heart approach to Rock'n'Roll. As the Gardeners slowed down after 3 years of touring and four records, ALT reunited with Rock'n'Roll poet and former Semi Precious Weapons manager BP Fallon to write the song "I Believe In Elvis Presley" which was subsequently produced by Jack White and released on the Third Man Records label. Fallon and Tasjan continued their collaboration joining up with Sean Lennon and Irina Lazareanu in the art rock band Operation Juliet, and the two have since formed yet another project called BP Fallon & The Bandits that also features Rock Hall Of Famers Clem Burke, Ian Mclagan and Nigel Harrison. In 2011, Tasjan got the attention of Texas Country superstar Pat Green, when Pat recorded Tasjan's poetic, socially conscious, rambling tune, "Streets Of Galilee," for Green's album Songs We Wish We'dWritten 2. Green was so taken with the young songwriter that he even invited Tasjan to perform the song with him on the record which reached number 15 on the US Country Billboard Charts. If it seems strange to you that a young man would find himself treading ground with everyone from Peter Yarrow or Pat Green to Jack White or The New York Dolls, Tasjan can explain this easily. "When I
Jon Latham
Jon Latham is a songwriter. He was born in Greenwood, SC and raised in Marietta, GA. He now resides in Nashville, TN. Jon believes that the song is more important the singer, and the audience is the judge, jury, and executioners that decides a particular song's fate.