(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Pop-rock singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer is bringing the Jack & Amanda Palmer tour, featuring duets with her father from their new release, “You Got Me Singing,” to Basilica Hudson on Saturday, July 23. Percussive polymath Thor Harris and his group Thor & Friends will warm up the crowd for the Palmers. Doors open at 7PM.
“You Got Me Singing” marks the first collaboration between new mother Amanda Palmer and her father, written and recorded while her baby boy was in utero — a fluid family dialogue between Jack, Amanda, and her unborn son. Amanda sings and plays piano and ukulele, and Jack, a semi-professional choral singer, plays guitar and lends his rich bass voice to a variety of cover songs that span decades. The album includes father-daughter versions of songs by Richard Thompson (“1952 Vincent Black Lightning”), Leonard Cohen, the Simon Sisters (Lucy and Carly Simon), Melanie, Sinead O’Connor, Kathleen Edwards, and Phil Ochs, among others.
“The main inspiration behind this record was to share songs and time with my dad,” says Amanda, who was separated from her father when she was less than a year old. “It was a really good reason to spend healing time together, sharing our musical histories, all poetically punctuated by the fact that I was seven months pregnant when we recorded. I knew that from my post at the mixing desk and the mic, this music was being heard in the womb, and so the song selection was really important… We didn’t want this album to sound corny, we wanted it to sound like the connective tissue between three generations.”
Jack Palmer, who is 72 and sings choral music regularly for the National Cathedral in Washington DC, says, “I believe nothing is more powerful than love, and that nothing expresses it better than singing. It was one of Amanda’s songs that began healing our fractured relationship. Years later, I hope the love that went into this project will perhaps touch listeners in the same way.”
During their performance at Basilica Hudson, Jack & Amanda will play selections from their album, and it is rumored that they may bring other family members onto the stage. (Palmer is married to writer and sometime singer and duet-partner Neil Gaiman.)
Opening for Jack & Amanda Palmer is Thor & Friends, founded in the autumn of 2015 by Thor Harris after five years of touring as the percussionist of iconic avant-rock ensemble Swans (heroes of Basilica SoundScape 2014). The Thor & Friends debut LP will be out on LM Dupli-cation in autumn 2016.
Selections from the Jack and Amanda Palmer album are available for free on Patreon, an innovative subscription-based crowdfunding platform that Palmer describes as “a revolution in music-release and art patronage.”
“Spirit sister of Basilica Hudson, Amanda has been a steadfast supporter of our mission and love of our factory since the beginning,” says Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica Hudson cofounder and director. “We are honored to be one of the few to be hosting her and her father’s rare performances in our temple of sound. She is a force to be received, a daring talent — and new mother! MOTHER / SON DRONERS!!!! She and Ash, her six-month-old son, spent the night in our factory at our 2016 season opener, 24-HOUR DRONE! That is a true reflection of her commitment to music, experience and our community.”
About Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer is a performer, songwriter, and New York Times bestselling author who simultaneously embraces – and explodes – traditional frameworks of music, theater and art. Amanda first came to prominence as the piano-playing songwriting half of the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls. In May of 2012 she made Kickstarter history pre-selling 25,000 copies of her solo album, Theatre is Evil, which went on to debut in the Billboard Top 10. She then presented a TED Talk, “The Art of Asking”, which has been viewed more than 10 million times worldwide and expanded into a memoir of the same name, threading together Amanda’s experiences with asking, vulnerability, crowdfunding and trust. She is now making songs and art with the financial backing of over 7,000 committed patrons on the new crowdfunding/subscription website Patreon.com.
About Jack Palmer
Her father and long time musician. In Amanda’s words: “My dad has been a musician all his life… This guitar he’s holding is his 55-year old Martin that he’s had forever. His booming bass voice is stunning. He sings regularly in various choirs in DC, sometimes at the National Cathedral. He’s sung at the White House. He’s too legit to quit.”
Thor’s new project was intended as a vehicle for experimentation within the conceptual vocabulary of American Minimalism, collaborating with a rotating cast of Austin-based musicians. The resultant music is an elongated greeting and ode to Thor’s Austin community, woodworking shop and the instruments his hands shape and bring to life. The ensemble has three core members: Thor, Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah “Goat” Gautier, with its line-up expanding and contracting with the flux of compositional and improvisational contexts.
About Basilica Hudson
Basilica Hudson is a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts center in Hudson, N.Y., supporting the creation, production and presentation of arts and culture while fostering sustainable community. Founded in 2010 by musician Melissa Auf der Maur and filmmaker Tony Stone, Basilica Hudson makes its home in a spectacular solar-powered reclaimed 1880s industrial factory on the waterfront of the historic City of Hudson. Weekend destination events comprise the core of Basilica Hudson’s music, performance, film, food and literary programming, alongside regular film screenings series, art exhibitions, and other community gatherings. The artistic program has taken shape thanks to many partners, collaborators, visiting artists, friends, adventurous audiences and community members.