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Launchpad [Issue #20]
Brandi Shearer & The Robin Nolan Trio:
By Mandana Beigi
Rendezvous At The Nightery (CD Amoeba)

Amoeba Music, the largest indie record chain in the US, is launching its own label in April with three releases including Rendezvous at the Nightery from Brandi Shearer and the Robin Nolan Trio. The album is a diverse collection of Gypsy/Jazz tunes highlighted by Shearer’s silky seductive vocals and the Bay Area’s most celebrated gypsy trio. A series of dazzling in-store performances by the band prompted Amoeba to sign them and celebrate the debut of both the label and the record in the spring of 2006.
A student exchange program to Hungary in the early 90s was the beginning of Shearer’s musical journey. Shortly after her arrival in Budapest, she became a regular at local parties and bars singing and playing the guitar. And there, for the first time, she heard the recordings of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and other artists who ended up inspiring and influencing her musical direction and style. While traveling through the south of France, she was exposed to gypsy jazz and the sound of Django Reinhardt. “That’s where I cemented the way I will probably write songs for the rest of my life,” says Shearer. “I got out of the standard pop and blues progressions and started taking more chances.”

Shearer is a splendid singer whose onstage charm and confidence adds a whole lot of virtuosity to Robin Nolan’s trio. “Glory of Lord,” “Settin’ the Woods on Fire,” and “Everything Happens to Me” are among the most memorable tracks on the album.

Gypsy Jazz music is definitely not a genre that receives much attention or support from record labels or the mass audience. However, if this was good enough for Amoeba, it will be great for us, the indie lovers who can always appreciate good music regardless of the name or the genre!

Rendezvous at the Nightery also features guest artists, Ralph Carney (horns), David Grisman (mandolin), and Stephane Wrembel (guitar).

Rendezvous At The Nightery

Brandi Shearer & The Robin Nolan Trio Rendezvous At The Nightery

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