ALIVE AND STREAMING
Kicking-off our Alive and Streaming Music Series, we have a double-bill with Graham Norwood opening for Cliff Westfall.
New York-based country songwriter Cliff Westfall writes songs about heartache, loss, addiction… You know, funny songs. Or he can turn on a dime and dive headlong into a sentimental weeper.
The Kentucky native delivers with a mixture of wit and bravado that, for Westfall, is central to what country music is all about.
“I feel like the humor of people like Roger Miller, Don Gibson, and Del Reeves is neglected nowadays,” Westfall says. “A lot of current country music makes you want to ask, ‘Hey, does anybody remember laughter?’ And you know, it’s not really anything against what anyone else is doing, it’s just that the ability to laugh at your troubles seems to have gotten lost.”
Westfall’s a true son of Kentucky and an honest student of the genre, but refuses to be constrained by its definitions. He cites Chuck Berry as his favorite lyricist, arguing that some of Berry’s songs were much closer to their country cousins than lines of race and genre might have suggested. This is Americana outside the box, made by an artist gleefully rifling through the dusty record bins of American roots music and converting them into something new.
Graham Norwood writes, plays and sings songs of uncommon beauty. His 3-1/2 octave vocal range, dynamic guitar playing, and versatile songwriting allow him to work in a wide range of styles while always preserving his own unique artistic voice. That he has been legally blind from birth only makes these talents more remarkable.
After spending years as a New York sideman and producer with the likes of Bryan Scary, The Dough Rollers, Ward White, Cliff Westfall and others, Graham decided to focus on writing and performing his own original music. Beginning in late 2016, he recorded three sets of demos written and arranged for three separate bands, exploring a variety of different sounds and genres. One of these sessions, recorded by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony & the Johnsons, Evan Dando, Phish) and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Son Volt, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr), has evolved into Graham's debut full-length, Out of the Sea, which is slated for a late 2019 release. In the meantime, Graham has just released a four-song EP called Sundry Songs, available now digitally and soon in limited edition 10" vinyl and CD formats.
ALIVE AND STREAMING is a partnership between NACL and Collabonation Productions