Jen Zava, David Messier & Robin Mordecai


August 29, 2017 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm
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Time: 6:30pm     Day: Tuesday     Doors: 6:00pm     Ages: 21+ Ages     Price: $10
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Jen Zava-

Fiery and soulful, genre-bending artist Jen Zava speaks honestly about this ride called life. “Born a singer”, she grew up in a south Georgia church and cut her teeth on gospel music, citing her preacher Grandad as her most inspiring musical influence. After high school garage bands and coffee shop songwriter nights, Jen made the move to Austin, Texas where she has been a part of numerous working bands over the last 17 years. With the June 2017 release of her debut album, Power to Change, Jen has put her own music center stage.

Power to Change is an 11-track album that exposes Zava’s vulnerability, strength, hopefulness and desire to improve herself and the world around her. “I recorded this record over the past five years, with songs written during the course of the last 20 years of my life,” she says. Zava speaks of mistakes made, and the redemption that follows. “I am finally, and for the first time, focusing on my own artistic work. I’ve contributed to many bands through the years, but never put true effort into promoting my own music. I am proud of this project and know that I am where I am supposed to be. I intend to make music until the day I die. I’m at my best when I’m singing. I want to share my best with people.”

Zava’s musical influences transcend genres to form a unique sound of alt-folk-rock, mixed with her witty and soul-baring lyrics. “I’ve done a little of everything in music world,” says Zava. “Acoustic duos and trios with my husband, tribal pop bands, rock bands, cover bands, full fledge costumed party bands.” Her musical talent effortlessly flows from one genre to another when working as a hired gun. As one noted Austin musician, Jon Blondell (Willie Nelson, Sublime) puts it, “It’s easy to say wonderful things about Jennifer. I will sing her praises to the world. The first time I heard her, I was taken by her musicality. She sings every style like it’s the only thing she’s ever done”.

"Jennifer is a gifted songwriter who experiments with traditional form,” says her album producer David Messier, President of the Texas Chapter of The Recording Academy and Owner of Same Sky Productions. “It was a pleasure to work with an artist so willing to escape the A-B-A-B, (verse- chorus, verse - chorus) thing. That approach coupled with her unique and powerful voice allowed us to experiment in the studio and truly capture unexpected moments.”

“This record is such an eclectic mix of genres and eras of music with unusual transitions and multiple styles within each song,” says Andre Cantave, engineer and production on the album alongside David Messier. “You can hear influences that range from Nick Drake, Donovan, Dylan and Love, to The B- 52s, INXS, Flaming Lips, Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger and Tame Impala. The thread that ties it all together is Jennifer’s ethereal voice and her complicated melodies that dance throughout the album and bring light and authenticity to the music.”

One of Zava’s greatest inspirations for her music comes from her daughter. “I am a proud mom to one strong willed, amazing young woman. She has totally inspired me to be a better person…to try a little harder every day.” You can hear traces of her daughter’s influence all over the album, particularly on the track, Heartbeat. “I wrote this song for her. Becoming a mom is the single most amazing experience in this world for me, but it’s also not always easy and I am not perfect. I’ve made a complete ass of myself in front of my kid…losing my temper, making the wrong decisions, and setting a “not so perfect” example. The message in this song is saying, every time you feel your heart beat, just know that I love you. Even when I’m making mistakes left and right, know that I love you. The chorus sings, “the past, and the future and the present are fleeting, just know that I love you when you feel your heart beating.” It’s recognizing the fleeting aspect of life, and the constant heartbeat throughout it. It’s about life and love and how we live.”

The title track, Power to Change, is a testament to what Jen Zava stands for, that in changing yourself, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

"Jen Zava is an inspiring new artist,” says Austin musician Shelley King. “Her song, 'Power to Change', is positive and dynamic. The world needs to hear her now!"

David Messier-
Expectations might run high, if, for example, you released your first solo album after an 8-year hiatus from putting out your own music. Perhaps after spending 6 years fronting the Boston-based band Papermoon, it made sense to take a little bit of time to figure out how to present yourself as a solo artist. But 8 years? Singer/Songwriter David Messier has an answer for that: “I've been doing this for 16 years, and I’ve put a lot of work in. I'm more at this point in my career where I'm okay with what happens next, so that is the attitude I have. If it took 8 years for me to get this album out, I'm okay with it. “ The result, Waiting for Eldridge, is more than worth the wait, with Austin’s KUTX Radio saying, “Bringing together keyboard parts, trumpet playing, and sonically charged guitar grooves that intertwine effortlessly with his lyrics, Messier masters multiple sounds and moods, from deep, intimate ballads, to switching and rocking your face off.”
Multi-instrumentalist David Messier was born on the South Shore of Massachusetts into a family that placed a high value on imagination and originality. He was always drawn to creativity, literally, and began writing music in the third grade. Even if he didn’t really understand why, he found himself singing along to songs on the radio, “whatever pop music was about heartache,” and had a compulsion to drum on whatever was around the house. His parents wisely got him a drum set, and he began lessons in Junior High. Fortuitously, David’s dad had once done sound for concerts. “The basement of our house was a kind of a graveyard for all of this equipment he used. So as soon as I started playing the drums, I started recording to tape machines and messing with that. That led me to songwriting and singing to the drums, to guitar, to the piano.” When he was 15, David started his first band, Driftwood. They immediately started writing their own material. The songwriting muscle was exercised once more.
After Driftwood Messier started another band called Papermoon. Papermoon put out 3 albums during their six years together, and had a strong fan following in the NorthEast of the US. Their hybrid of alt-country and pop grabbed a lot of positive attention, eventually presenting them with the opportunity to work with producer/engineer Paul Santo (Ringo Starr/Aerosmith) on their 2007 album “The Greenhouse Effect.” After touring behind the “jangly, jaunty” record, Papermoon broke up.
Citing a bit of “band burnout,” David started to produce records and run his own recording studio, working with artists such as This Blue Heaven, Brendan Kelly, Gina Chavez, Patrick Husband, Lacy Rose, Dave Madden and Jen Zava, whose forthcoming album, “Power to Change,” has a big buzz brewing. After awhile, it was time for David to return to his first love, songwriting. The result is “Waiting for Eldridge,” produced by friend and collaborator Eldridge Goins. If you took a dash of Tom Petty, a sprinkle of Lou Reed and pinch of Leonard Cohen, mixed it in a pot with some alt country, pop and rock, you’d have a hell of an album. Sharp lyrics, harmony-shaking songs and sing-a-long melodies throughout, “Waiting For Eldridge” was a solo labor of love. “The nice thing about starting this record with Eldridge was that there was no band,” says Messier, “I didn't have any body to consider, or any opinions to think about; I gave Eldridge a hammer and said, ‘you are in charge, let’s make a record.’ “
Messier’s perspective is unique – he sits on both sides of the table: A producer, Studio owner, President of the Texas Grammy Chapter as well as a recording artist who bleeds for his art. He loves what he does and sharing that joy with people. “I think what makes me unique as a performer is that I’m not afraid. I like looking right at people when I'm playing and challenge them to listen. As a writer, I really try to tell the truth. Personally, I’m on a search for what is true about me, what’s true about my feelings, I'm a student of myself, I'm a student of life. I'd rather talk about the real human experience.”

Robin Mordecai-
2016 was a big year for Robin, whether he was playing bass for Alpha Rev, drums for Mary Wilson, or working in the studio with Alan Parsons, he was moving and shaking with the best of them. Fast forward to 2017 and we find Robin in the midst of relaunching that solo project that got slightly shelved this past year. Be on the lookout for those first shows coming in late July early August.

Here he is in his own words.

"I was born into a musical family and they forced me to start piano at the age of 7. I hated it and finally one night after seven years of lessons, my mother threw her hands up and said "Fine! You don't have to go anymore." By then, I had shifted my focus to drums. I got my mother's old drum set and quickly began a love affair, practicing every night until my parents begged for sleep. In high school I joined the band program - a world of music that opened my eyes to so much including orchestral, show tunes, avant-garde percussion works and, of course, the jazz ensemble.

My dad is a trombone player, music business man and most importantly a loving father. I learned the importance of understanding the business side of things early on. My mom is a percussionist - fiery-hearted and passionate about life - so I learned to abandon social norms and follow my heart. The problem was there's no compass for that direction, so consequently I barely made it out of high school.

I also play guitar, bass and yes, the piano. I began writing songs when I was fifteen and that craft is as much a passion for me these days as the instrumental aspect of music."


6:30 pm
Jen Zava
8:00 pm
David Messier
10:00 pm
Robin Mordecai