The Cedar Presents
SON LITTLE with Christopher Paul Stelling
Tuesday November 19th, 2019 / Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 7:30 PM
$16 Advance / $18 Day of Show
This is a seated show. General Admission tickets are available online, by phone, Electric Fetus, and The Cedar during shows.
Son Little, the singer and songwriter born Aaron Livingston, is the easygoing musical alchemist of our time. He is a conjurer, and much like those of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix, his songs are deconstructions of the diaspora of American R&B. Deftly he weaves different eras of the sound—blues, soul, gospel, rock and roll—through his own unique vision, never forced, always smooth, each note a tributary on the flowing river of rhythm and blues. The currents empty into an estuary, and into this well water Son dips his bucket—trusting innately in the magic’s existence. And now, with his second full-length album, New Magic, he has delivered a profound statement, a cohesive creation that captures the diverse spirit of American music in a fresh and modern way.
On the heels of his 2015 self-titled debut and the 5-song EP, Songs I Forgot, that came before it, Son Little found his reach steadily growing. His song “Lay Down” had been played over seven million times on Spotify, he had toured the world with artists as diverse as Leon Bridges, Kelis, Mumford & Sons, and Shakey Graves in addition to his own headlining runs, and also became a Grammy Award winning producer, earning a 2016 Best Roots Performance award for his work on Mavis Staples’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” But in the midst of all this success, so too did he find that the window for writing new songs was shrinking. Where his previous releases had been culled from various eras and scattered sessions early in his career, he now craved an opportunity to sit and write a new album in a distinct, unified direction, one that would establish his place in the world of black music. The only problems were: when, and how?
“I was on the road so much and found myself wanting to write, but I couldn’t really find time or space to do it in the way I wanted,” Son Little says. “I was playing around with beats or messing with chord changes; I had all these little fragments, thinking I would later piece them together. I kept the wheels turning by doing those exercises, but I knew it would feel really luxurious to be able to sit down by myself and write something from scratch. I was really hungry to get in that space and chisel out something new, without being interrupted by sound checks and rides in vans and radio. All that stuff is cool and I was having a blast touring, but a crucial part for me was missing. I wanted the writing to be broken up as little as possible.” This energy funneled its way into his most recent album New Magic.
Christopher Paul Stelling is a songwriter based in Asheville, North Carolina. Known for incendiary performances and his own blend of fingerpicked guitar, howled laments, and southern gothic lyrics, Stelling has toured the United States and Europe extensively. After self-releasing the albums Songs of Praise and Scorn (2012), and False Cities (2013), Stelling released ‘Labor Against Waste’ (2015), and Itinerant Arias (2017) on the Anti-Records label. He has been featured on NPR's Tiny Desk series, performed on CBS This Morning, and is a frequent performer at the Newport Folk Festival. His next album is slated for release in February of 2020. When not playing guitar he can be found walking his fierce hound, Ida Mae.