Christopher Paul Stelling – Tickets – World Cafe Live Philadelphia – Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA – May 29th, 2016

Christopher Paul Stelling

Christopher Paul Stelling

Driftwood Soldier

Sun · May 29, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs

$10 + Fees

Christopher Paul Stelling
Christopher Paul Stelling
“A man and his beat-up, nylon stringed guitar brought tears to the eyes. He’s stellar.” – Bob Boilen, NPR All Songs Considered

“A one-man musical outfit that recalls the intensity of The Tallest Man on Earth and labelmate Glen Hansard.” – Village Voice

“The way this man delivers his songs, it’s not hard to imagine him actually ‘tap-dancing down the edge of this here knife,’ as he sings at one point from within a small tornado of acoustic guitar…” – SPIN

There is a fearless quality to the music of Christopher Paul Stelling. A voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style and lyrics that are both dramatic, and intensely confessional. It’s a sound that channels the restless spirit of a young man who left home to travel the country, haunting and impassioned songs formed by endless nights alone on stage with a guitar, playing to packed houses, other times to nearly empty rooms. Stelling estimates that he’s played over four hundred shows in just the past three years. It places him within a longstanding tradition that serves to nurture ones character and art.

“It takes a lot of work to stay on the road,” he says. “You learn to rely on your songs as a sort of resting place amidst all of the unfamiliarity. You fill your head full of places, and sounds, and ideas — and it all comes spilling out. When the things around you change constantly, you change too. And the things that stay the same become who you are. It’s nurtured my songwriting, knowing that the inspiration is all around you. If you aren’t seeing it, then look harder, and if you still don’t see it, then turn the corner, and if you still don’t see it then look at things differently, because it’s right there in front of you.”

After self-releasing his debut album Songs of Praise and Scorn in February 2012 and his second, False Cities, in May 2013, CPS has toured the US and Europe relentlessly, averaging over 150 live performances per year. Singing his songs with a pure uninhibited delivery, Stelling has become known for the intensity and passion put into his live performances. Owing as much to the bards and troubadours of times long since past as to his contemporaries, Stelling’s ever developing commitment to his craft is obvious.

2015 was his biggest year yet – his most recent album Labor Against Waste was released in June 2015 on ANTI Records to near unanimous praise and excellent reviews. Upon release of the record, he played nearly 40 European dates and then embarked on a mammoth 150+ date US tour (which kicked off with a performance [and marriage proposal on stage!] at Newport Folk Fest) that took him to nearly every state in the lower 48.

2016 is shaping up to be even better! Stay tuned.
Driftwood Soldier
Driftwood Soldier
Driftwood Soldier plays gutter-folk music, a proprietary blend of bitter ballads, fallen gospel, and thumping blue rants on mandolin, bass guitar, and assorted junk foot-percussion.
It was 2013 when bassist Bobby Szafranski first lent his velvet touch to the back-handed poetry and full-throated ruckus of mandolin-wrestler Owen Lyman-Schmidt’s solo work. Since then the duo has been leapfrogging their way up and down the East coast bringing their unlikely sound to bars, living rooms, roof tops, and back alleys.
Scavenger’s Joy, Driftwood Soldier’s 2015 debut, established that musical range for audiences everywhere, with two thirds of the songs receiving radio play on dozens of radio stations around the country including WFUV, WNCW, and WXPN, where Bruce Warren called the duo “a bluesy version of Nick Cave with a nod to Tom Waits.”
In early 2017, they followed the breadth of Scavenger’s Joy with the focused intensity of Blessings & Blasphemy, a concept EP exploring the tension between spirituality and dogma by reinterpreting gospel traditionals alongside anti-religious originals.
This summer, Driftwood Soldier is bringing both records and their liver-shaking live show to some of their favorite spots up and down the East coast. Don’t miss the chance to hear this new beast howl!

Around the same time, down in Philadelphia, Bobby Szafranski was evolving past the guitar, shedding strings and dropping whole steps at a time. After working his way through the low end of a couple projects, he joined the psychedelic-swagger band Mountjoy as ‘Lead Bassist and Auxiliary Whiskey-Swiller’ where he further tuned his four-stringed voice.

By 2013 Owen’s itchy feet and thirty-three year old diesel Mercedes had taken him fifty thousand miles down the road and left him in West Philly. On the way he’d added a suitcase kick drum and a whole range of musical influences from spoken word poets and anarchist punks, to blue yodelers and old-time fiddlers. Mountjoy was dissolving and Bobby was looking for a new home where he could flex his unique melodic style of bass. Owen’s rough edged mandolin and baritone growl were just the right fit and they launched into the task of rewiring Owen’s ever-expanding list of songs for a new two-person-five-instrument arrangement.

Out of this collaboration emerged Driftwood Soldier, a child with old eyes, blinking in the dim light of a barroom stage. This is not some nostalgic reproduction of an imaginary past or a feel-good celebration of a rosy future. It’s a bittersweet love song to an imperfect world, a lullaby that leaves you bleeding.

Their 2015 full length debut, Scavenger’s Joy, was a warning shot across the bows, a powerful introduction they chased up and down the East Coast, through living rooms, corner bars and back alleys. With the 2017 Blessings & Blasphemy EP the duo manage to be both unpredictable and consistent, delivering an intricate story of oppression and faith that thunders and whispers. Find Driftwood Soldier, wherever you can.
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://philly.worldcafelive.com/