Bart Davenport

Ivy Room Presents

Bart Davenport

The Moore Brothers, Hod and the Helpers

Fri · February 23, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

This event is 21 and over

Bart Davenport
Bart Davenport
Like Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, Bart Davenport has seen many an era. He’s been a mod, a bluesman and a softrock troubadour. His latest full-length album, ‘Physical World’ (Lovemonk/Burger) is a culmination of all those incarnations and more. With shirts from the 60s, guitars from the 80s and the timeless voice of a real crooner, it’s a one-of-a-kind hybrid of paisley pop and sweet soul. One foot in reality, the other firmly planted in the fantasy world within the three minute pop song, Bart tells of life and love in the modern world with sincerity and a subtle sense of humor.

Davenport recently migrated to Los Angeles to form a new band lineup with the help of bassist and pal, Jessica Espeleta. She brought in Dream Boy, Wayne Faler, whose signature jangly guitars weave their way impeccably into Bart’s songs. Nathan Shafer plays piano and synthesizers while drummers Andres Renteria and Paul Burkhart take turns on the kit. Producer, Luke Top (Fool’s Gold) captures the group’s undeniable chemistry on ‘Physical World’. This is the sound of an artist at his peak backed by an accomplished team of like-minded musicos.

A native of Oakland California, Bart Davenport’s roots are in the 90s garage and blues scenes. His first professional band, The Loved Ones released two albums on the Hightone label. The group performed a rawkus, high energy style of r&b, opening for the likes of Junior Wells and John Lee Hooker. In the 00s Davenport went solo and turned the volume down but not the intensity. Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience singer, Erlend Øye, has called him the “best one-guy-and-guitar performer there is”. Bart’s decision to perform solo acoustic was born out of pragmatism. Traveling light made touring possible and performing alone helped the artist to hone in on conveying subtle and meaningful material. The recording studio was another matter entirely.
The Moore Brothers
The Moore Brothers
Since releasing Murdered By The Moore Brothers (2006) the brothers continue to perform for their small but ever increasing following in the California Bay Area. Luckily an assortment of more successful artists began introducing the Moore’s to a broader audience. In December 2006 Kristin Hersh hand-picked the Moore Brothers to open for a Throwing Muses reunion concert at the Great American Music Hall. In the Summer of 2007, Joanna Newsom invited the brothers to appear with her at a string of European venues, including a night at the Royal Albert Hall warming the crowd for Joanna and legendary British folkie Roy Harper. Recently, Thom and Greg relocated to Grass Valley, Ca, where they are busy writing songs for their sixth release, tentatively titled Who Are The Moore Brothers?
Hod and the Helpers
Hod and the Helpers
Santa Cruz musician Hod Hulphers is a little uncomfortable about that fact that he hired a PR guy to promote the debut album from Hod and the Helpers.

His dream was just to press the album on vinyl, and, you know, have an actual physical representation of his work that would exist outside of the internet. That’s pretty much it.

“I told the guys, ‘I don’t care if we only sell one, I’ll pay the full price for 500 records,’” Hulpher says.

The album was released on Bandcamp on April 20, and will be out on vinyl in mid-July. He reconsidered the importance of promotion with much prodding from his bandmates. (“Do I really want a bunch of fucking vinyl records in my basement the rest of my life?”) Besides, Hulphers reasoned, with a PR guy promoting the album, maybe there would be more benefits than simply album sales.

“I’d love to get some good reviews, and have a good press package, so we can go on the road and play in front of 10 people wherever we want,” Hulphers says. “I’m really looking for some affirmation. Someone saying, ‘Good job.’ Wouldn’t that be nice?”

It’s understandable why the process is a bit unsettling for Hulphers. He’s played music his entire life, first as a drummer in bands like Lost Kids, then as a solo singer-songwriter. After five shows where he was tacked on to the end of the bill, he changed his moniker to “And Hod,” the ultimate self-depreciative name.

“The add-on, the tack-on, the proverbial ‘and,’ like they hired a clown to perform after the serious music was over. I wasn’t about to let that oversight be forgotten,” he says.

Then about four years ago, friend and long-time Santa Cruz musician A.J. Marquez (Slow Gherkin, Dan P and the Bricks, the Huxtables) caught one of Hulphers’ solo sets. He’d seen him before, but was struck with how much better his songwriting and performance had gotten—and was disappointed in how little attention he was getting. Marquez saw potential for more than just an indie-folk singer-songwriter: This could be a killer band.

“I gave him a full Goonies talk,” Marquez says. “‘We need to do this. This could be really fun.’”

The lineup built slowly, including Hulphers on guitar/vocals, Marquez on keys, Greg Braithwaite on drums, Dan Potthast on bass, and Jeff Stultz on guitar. The latter is the moment Marquez feels the band came into their own. (“Not sure whether it was completing the Voltron aspect of it, or just Jeff’s insane talent and focus,” he says.)

Stultz not only offered his skills on the guitar, but also recorded the album. He also provided a counter-balance to Hulphers’ mixed feelings about devoting any resources to marketing, which Hulphers calls “the antithesis of what art is.”

That wasn’t Stultz’s thinking. “Why don’t you have some people hear it? We can spend less focus on the creation process and more on the sharing process,” Stultz told him. “You put so much time and energy and hard work into something, it’s sort of a false humility to be like, ‘I don’t care if anybody knows.’”

The record is brilliantly produced. It captures Hulphers’ eccentric songwriting style, and draws the songs out into gorgeous, mellow psych-folk tunes. Hulphers is part lounge singer, which he smoothly executes, but he also injects a layer of cynical, ironic cockiness. Marquez refers to it as “Texas mogul gone country singer.”

All of these elements create a record filled with humor, social commentary, and a blurry line between truth and fiction, which is indeed a key part of Hulphers’ personality.

“I’ve lost a lot of girlfriends because that line is so blurry. It scares them off,” Hulphers says. “I listen back to what I’ve just written, and I’m like, ‘that’s fucking ridiculous.’ I’m fucking ridiculous. So I inject this levity into it that insinuates I’m totally self-aware of what I just wrote. So you go back and say, ‘Did he mean that last line? Cause he just said this.’ So it’s like this constant battle.”
Venue Information:
Ivy Room
860 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA, 94706