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Ali McGuirk with Dominic Lavoie – Blending & Bottling

January 20 7:30 pm
| music

Oxbow Live: Ali McGuirk with Dominic Lavoie

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| Ali McGuirk |

Growing up just outside Boston, McGuirk doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a singer. By college, after a couple decades of absorbing ’90s r&b,’70s singer-songwriters and classic soul of every era, McGuirk found her own aesthetic: earthy, pure, propelled by a voice capable of whispering dark truths or belting out big hooks on her originals. Boston responded with a wave of love. The Boston Globe named her an “artist to hear.” She racked up nominations and wins at both the Boston Music Awards and New England Music Awards. Her standing-room-only residency at Somerville’s Bull McCabe’s Pub delivered electric performances – Til It’s Gone also features key contributions from McGuirk’s Boston bandmates such as guitar ace Jeffrey Lockhart.

The songs on Til It’s Gone are a culmination of McGuirk’s influences, experience and soul searching. Over jazz vamping and an in-the-pocket groove, “Evelyn” speaks to “seven layers of generational trauma that the women in my family have survived.” Somewhere between folk ballad and quiet storm r&b cut, “The Work” addresses how too many people refuse to have honest and earnest conversations about their prejudices – “If we can’t talk to each other and hold space for people when we can, nothing will progress,” she says. “Wealthy people, white people, cisgender people, straight people and anybody who holds institutional power need to first learn what institutional power is, then realize they, or we, have it, then do some work.”

McGuirk also spends time considering and reconsidering love gone wrong, or love gone sideways, or upside down. “Let It Be You” sits happily in its classic blues pop vibe capturing a scorching vocal take that came at the end of an epic 10-hour day in the L.A. studio. “Leave Me” winds through complex emotions – “If I’m gonna sing about the delusions of love, let my head be squarely on my shoulders while doing it,” she says – over an equally complex arrangement that starts with Joni Mitchell-reminiscent folk and rises to a jamming, Grateful Dead-esque climax. With the twang of an Emmylou Harris gem, “Empty Vase” came out of wanting to write some “anti-torch songs.”

“I used to sing a lot of jazz and loved the ‘torch’ singers like Dinah Washington, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Abbey Lincoln, even though so many of the songs they sang felt anti-feminist to me,” McGuirk says. “Abbey Lincoln says a song is like a prayer, and you get what you put out and I found that to be true in my life. The idea that you can be a strong, independent feminist, and still suffer from the leftover feelings of a culture steeped in these historically unequal, gendered power dynamics is something that writing these songs has helped me process.”

2022’s 50 Best Albums of the Year“— “Ms. Ali gets it. And she can play that damn guitar, too. There’s a history scattered through soul music, and blues, that speaks to this aesthetic. Boston and New England last saw this combination with a gal named Sue [Tedeschi] a couple of decades ago.”– Boston Globe

| Dominic Lavoie |

Dominic Lavoie is a singer-songwriter, musician and producer who uses music to stay as true to himself and the creative spirit as possible. Ethereal dreams to jarringly clear human experiences dance in his songs; and become real both on stage and through his albums.

He’s shared the stage with Rayland Baxter, Los Lobos, Dr Dog and Guster; and Lavoie is as comfortable on stage as he is in the studio, having released 7 full lengths, 2 EPs and a self-directed music film.

Dominic’s co-written for artists, like rapper Spose, and collaborated with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick) on his own 2020 release ‘Wave With A Broken Arm’.

[$15 ADV/$20 DOS | Doors 730PM]