Thursday, November 30th 7pm-10:30pm
Dirk Hamilton, Adventures with Vultures and Audra Kubat!
Dirk Hamilton was born in Hobart, Indiana and raised in California. Dirk began playing guitar and singing songs when he was 8 years old. I was writing stories and poems before that. At 14 he played in a Chuck Berry/surf music band called The Regents.At 15, Dirk wrote two more songs for another 45, this one under his own name. Both records were on the IKON label in Sacramento.
By the early 70’s, he was playing professionally in nightclubs in the San Joaquin and Central Valleys and in the San Francisco Bay Area. In ’74, he moved to LA where he eventually signed with ABC records thanks to Steely Dan producer Gary Katz who produced his first album, ‘You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right’. Dirk went on to record 3 more major label records, another one for ABC (‘Alias i’) and two for Elektra (‘Meet Me at the Crux’ and ‘Thug of Love’). He toured the country with his band for 5 years receiving good and rave reviews for his records and live performances but somehow never became a huge commercial success.
In the early 80’s, Dirk traded the record business for a seat at ‘The Shamrock’ a bar below a boxing gym in Stockton, California. To this day he says it was ‘the best deal I ever made’. When he ran out of money, he painted walls and guarded sugar as a rent-a-cop at the Holly Sugar plant near Tracy, California. Eventually he became a counselor for emotionally disturbed teenagers and joined a cover band with his buddy Dave Halford. During the following two years he rediscovered his calling as a songwriter, quit his counseling job and began playing solo in coffee houses and clubs with a new band.
In the mid 80’s, Dirk self-released a cassette of original songs called ‘Big at the Blackwater’. The cassette somehow made it’s way to Italy where he was invited by Franco Ratti (president of Appaloosa records and CEO of International Record Distributers in Milan) to make records and tour in Europe.
In the decades that followed, Dirk toured Europe and the US every year, playing solo and with bands, and released 14 more CDs on Appaloosa, Fan Club and Comet Records in Italy, also on CORE (Nashville) and his own Acoustic Rock Records in the US.
Dirk currently lives in Texas, still writing and performing. His latest CD is called ‘Touch and Go”.
Audra Kubat is a Detroit born singer-songwriter. Self-taught, Kubat began composing music on the piano at the age of eight. In her teens she started putting words to the music. Teaching herself to play the guitar, she began performing in local coffeehouses. In 1999 she created the band, “Stunning Amazon”, and in November of that year released a self-titled album. The band became locally successful and the CD paved the way towards bigger shows and media appearances.
In 2000 Kubat was nominated for five Detroit Music Awards, winning one for Best Folk Artist and another win in 2015 for Best American Instrumentalist. Since then, she has received nominations every year up to today (currently up for Best American Singer for 2016). Kubat continued to perform solo and wrote new material, releasing her first solo effort, “Elixir”. This record proved to be a pivotal force in Kubat’s career, and was followed by ‘Untitled for Now’ in 2003 on my own label, Remedy Records.
This led to signing a record deal with Times Beach Records, with whom she recorded two national records – ‘Million Year Old Sand” in 2004, and “Since I Fell in Love with the Music” in 2006. Both records earned positive reviews, appearing in Time-Out NY, NME, Harp Magazine, Hour Detroit, Metro-Times, Real Detroit Weekly, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
Local radio appearances include in-studio performances on WDET (National Public Radio), 89x Homeboy Show, the Mitch Albom Show on WJR, and the River. Television performances include an appearance on Backstage Pass/PBS, Crystal’s Motown Cafe, and ‘Detroit Counsel of the Arts Presents: An evening with Singer-songwriter Audra Kubat’.
Some notable performances have been at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Detroit Festival of the Arts, Detroit Tastefest, Arts, Eats, and Beats, Dally in the Alley, Ferndale Art Fair, Hamtramck Blow-out, The Ark in Ann Arbor, the Michigan Theater – opening for the great Aimee Mann, and opening for Rodriguez at the famous Amsterdam coffee shop here in Detroit.
A folk singer-songwriter evokes a certain image. Matt Sauter breaks that image. With his backward ball cap, knuckle tattoos, and knee-shredded shorts, the lone singer/songwriter behind Adventures with Vultures tinkers with the image of what a folk singer should be. Adventures With Vultures’ Matt Sauter, who was a mere 24 years old when he signed with Original 1265 Recordings, hails from Plymouth—a small town that sits roughly 25 miles outside of Detroit. That location is crucial to his music: a rural area outside a major city. After all, like all good folk music, Adventures With Vultures’ songs are about specific places and the people who give those places their personality. Stylistically, it’s different from what Sauter is used to—he spent the better part of this decade writing hip-hop music, not folk music. Mos Def and J. Cole are cited among his influences, but so are Carol King, Shakey Graves, and Nathaniel Rateliff. Perhaps that’s why Adventures With Vultures brings a welcome, abrasive quality to tender, stripped-down songs.
“The Junction EP isn’t just a project for me,” he states, “it’s for my family that I grew up with in Plymouth, MI. It’s for all the years of making music with my brothers who gave up the same dream I’m still chasing. It’s for all the nights recording at my buddy Fritz’s house until 5am and all the nights playing shows in front of 5 people. This EP is for all the nights writing lyrics and mastering my craft. It’s for Plymouth, Junction street and all the groups I once played with: GATSBY, Second In Line, Here For The Fight and Morte Novella and Real MIT Records. I’m not done chasing my dream, it’s been the same damn dream since the 2nd grade!”
A folk singer, it is true, evokes a certain image. Meet Matt Sauter—an invigorating folk singer who will change that image.