Live At The Linda: "Singer-Songwriters part II"
Each Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. “Live At The Linda” brings you some of the best musical acts to grace the stage at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio. This week, we feature Jesse Ruben, Matt Nakoa, Mark Mulcahey, and Richard Shindell.
The message that Brooklyn singer/songwriter Jesse Ruben has been spreading through his music is simple and direct. I can. You can. We Can. When Jesse originally wrote his song "We Can", he had just run the NYC Marathon and hoped to inspire people to start running. As it turns out, his message was meant to be much more universal. A few months after he released the track, a Vancouver elementary school reached out, saying they had been playing it to inspire their students. They asked Jesse to fly in and perform the song for their school, and so began "The We Can Project", which now spreads across North America. Jesse began touring the country, visiting schools and helping students come up with personal goals and ways to give back to their community. Amazing things began to happen. Playgrounds were built. Gardens planted. Cancer walks organized.
Just as things were taking off, life threw a curveball. Jesse had just headlined and sold out his entire East Coast tour and was writing new music when he became incredibly ill. It took 9 months and more than a dozen doctors before he got his diagnosis: Lyme Disease. Jesse was so sick, he didn't think he would ever play music or lead a normal life again. Suddenly, the message he had been spreading to students over the past year rang truer than ever before. I can do this. It took two full years to rebuild his health. It's an experience Jesse won't easily forget.
In fact, it's changed his perspective on life and writing. Jesse had always wanted to inspire people through his music, but now has a mission and an even bigger message: No matter what you are going through, you're not alone, and it will get better. Now, he is healthy and more motivated than ever to build his career and pursue his dreams. One big dream came to fruition this year, as "The We Can Project" received national news coverage with a live performance by Jesse on The Today Show. And the dreaming doesn't stop there.
This set is from 2022, here is Jesse Ruben live at The Linda..
Matt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “Between his piano chops and heartfelt originals on guitar, he drops jaws.”
Born on a small goat farm in New York State, Nakoa trained to be a concert pianist before accepting scholarship to Berklee College of Music as a vocalist. He developed his dramatic songwriting style with his college art-rock band, The Fens, and when the band dissolved, he landed in NYC. It was in Manhattanʼs all-night piano bars that Matt developed an uncanny ability to command the attention of any audience.
2012 and 2014 saw the release of his first solo albums, garnering multiple songwriting awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festivalʼs new folk competition. Nakoaʼs newest album, Casting Shadows, is a spellbinding blend of pop, soul, and classical influences and tells a story of childhood dreams crashing headlong into a grownup reality. The Ark of Music magazine proclaims, “What we have here is a truly encouraging sign of what pop could once again become …” Matt played our pandemic era “Open for Take Out Virtual Concert Series,” and this is from 2021. Here is Matt Nakoa live at The Linda
Mark Mulcahy is the former singer of the well regarded and influential Miracle Legion. He also formed the band Polaris and wrote the music for the Nickelodeon show “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.”
Mark’s solo career began with Fathering, an album that received universal praise including Album Of The Month in Uncut and Album Of The Week in The Guardian and featured the track “Hey Self Defeater” which was featured in Nick Hornby’s book 31 Songs.
From there, followed the albums “SmileSunset” and “In Pursuit Of Your Happiness,” several tours of the UK and Europe, countless radio sessions and huge critical acclaim for both his songwriting prowess and his remarkable voice. In 2008 he quit everything to look after his children following the tragic death of his wife. To assist him through these troubled times many of his long-time friends and fans banded together to record an album of his songs as a tribute to his wife and the result was 2009’s Ciao My Shining Star, featuring the likes of Michael Stipe, Thom Yorke, Frank Black, Mercury Rev, Dinosaur Jr, The National, and many others.
This set is from 2019, here is Mark Mulcahy live at The Linda.
Originally from New York, now dividing his time between Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York's Hudson Valley, Richard Shindell is a writer whose songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be. This set is from 2017. Here is Richard Shindell live at The Linda.
Thanks for sticking with us this week. Tune in next week for a very special "Liner Notes" conversation with WAMC's Tim Coakley, and highlights from his 35th anniversary show last month. For more information about The Linda or any upcoming events follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit thelinda.org.