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New Orleans musicians find way to soothe the city with music

STACEY PLAISANCE,

Associated Press

April 30, 2020

Virus Outbreak: New Orleans Music


Adam Pearce performs a concert from his front porch in Jefferson Parish, La., a suburb of New Orleans, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. With New Orleans music venues shuttered for more than a month now because of the coronavirus outbreak, musicians and fans are finding new places to connect – porches, living rooms, studios and lawns – and reaching their largest audiences online, many streaming performances live on social media platforms. But for the city's club owners awaiting the green light to reopen there's concern about all the uncertainties, like how long it may take tourists to return, how soon the music scene will rebound and when it does, what it will look like. 

On Saturday afternoons, pianist Harry Mayronne wheels a piano onto the front porch of the home of jazz singer Anais St. John for their weekly performance. The duo – spaced 6-feet apart – serenades a handful of friends and neighbors assembled on chairs on the sidewalk and a larger audience online.

For years, the two have performed intimate cabaret-style jazz numbers at the city’s swanky clubs and hotels. But now as the coronavirus has shuttered those venues, they and other musicians have been forced to find other outlets to both make ends meet and musically soothe a city that desperately needs it.

“It’s something that’s become really magical and really special very suddenly,” said Mayronne.

Few cities are as closely identified with music as New Orleans. It's heralded as the birthplace of jazz, and it's a rich melting pot of genres, from zydeco to hip-hop, from R&B to rock. It's a destination for vibrant live performances that can be heard from just about every corner of the city.

But the coronavirus and the social-distancing measures designed to fight it have nearly silenced its music scene. Bars and restaurants, where music could be blaring out until early morning hours, are closed. The numerous festivals held in the spring, which are an important money-maker for artists before the slow, hot summer months, have been canceled, such as this week's New Orleans Jazz Fest. The weekly second-line parades on Sundays featuring brass bands have stopped.

The young musicians making a name for themselves busking on the streets in the French Quarter are gone. Jazz funerals where mourners send off loved ones with a slow dirge and then an uplifting rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” are over.

Musicians have also fallen victim to the virus, most notably Ellis Marsalis Jr. The jazz pianist, longtime musical educator and patriarch of the Marsalis musical family, died April 1 after contracting the virus.

But the city's musicians are still finding ways to get the music out to the people. As the clubs and venues close, many artists are livestreaming from their porches, studios, living rooms, front lawns or wherever they can find space for safe distancing.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/orleans-musicians-way-soothe-city-192639134.html

Rock vocalist Adam Pearce goes acoustic

By Scott Yoshonis / Staff Writer
Posted Jun 7, 2019 at 8:00 AM

New Orleans native Adam Pearce is a busy guy.

The singer and recording artist, who garnered national attention on the competition TV show “The Voice,” has been involved in several projects, most notably his original band Black Magnolia. The band’s debut album, “Fields Are Burning,” was released in 2012 and featured Randy Jackson of Zebra, who played a guest guitar solo on the song “Apocalypse.”

He’s opened for several major bands in his day including Zebra, 12 Stones, Filter, Puddle of Mudd and Louisiana Leroux. He’s also played major festivals throughout the South that had headliners such as Foreigner, Kiss, the Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Temptations, Sublime with Rome, Dee Snider, and Cowboy Mouth.

In 2017 Pearce launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that allowed him to bring his newest songs to life with a new album. This new album was released Oct. 3. It’s entitled “Warbird” and features Kyle Thomas of Exhorder, Terry McDermott of Lotus Crush and Paul Mirkovich, who plays keyboards for and sings duets with Cher.

As a huge Led Zeppelin fan, he also sings with a New Orleans Zeppelin tribute band called Mothership. “I’m really influenced by (the music of) the ’90s. Chris Cornell is probably my favorite singer,” Pearce said. Pearce is a frequent visitor to this area and will play by himself at The Balcony, 7842 Main St. in Houma, on Saturday.

 

“Whenever I play these solo acoustic shows, I mostly play classic rock, and I’ll play originals from the album that I just released,” Pearce said. “I’ll play for three hours, and I don’t have that many originals, but I will play originals.”

Pearce’s success grew following his appearance on “The Voice.” He chose Adam Levine as his coach and made it to the Top 20 on Season 13 (as the “comeback kid” from Season 12). Shortly afterward, Levine invited him to sing for the Maroon 5 Annual Halloween party in 2017.


He is a finalist for the lead role in the touring company of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and said he’s awaiting the word from Andrew Lloyd Webber himself on whether he got the job. “That’s a pretty cool thing,” Pearce said. “He’s got the final say-so. The production team loved me and made a video. They seem pretty confident that I’ll get it.”

In the meantime, Pearce is just gigging around south Louisiana and enjoying performing for local audiences.

“There is nothing like performing live,” he said. “I love playing in Houma, and I tell people that all the time. Any time I get to play Houma or Thibodaux or Raceland it’s always a blast. Everybody’s fun, everybody’s friendly, I love it. It’s the best, one of my favorite places to play.

https://www.houmatoday.com/news/20190607/rock-vocalist-adam-pearce-goes-acoustic

December 23, 2018 By Mark Franklin

Adam Pearce has released a rarity for former Voice contestants, a post-show album with a classic rock feel.

Of course, what else would you expect from a guy who covered Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” en route to a Top 20 finish in Season 13?

“Warbird,” an album featuring 10 songs, also represents the first original music Adam has released since Black Magnolia, the band he used to front, released an album called “Fields are Burning” in 2012.

“I’ve grown so much as a musician between then and now,” Adam told Voice Views. “My influences are much more of the classic, timeless rock songs than they were for my last album.

“I think that shows through ‘Warbird.’ I also wrote this album with a wider demographic in mind. It’s a rock album, but I think it has a little of something for everyone on it.”

Adam goes raucous on “Whiskey Morning.” Electric guitars drive the title track. And Adam’s vocals are front and center on the rock ballad “Gotta Mean Something.”

The album’s title stems from when Adam would play shows with Iridium, a buddy’s band.
“They used to play a montage of ‘Free Bird’ and ‘Warpigs’ and they called it ‘Warbird’,” Adam explains.
“We used to always joke that he and I would someday start a band called Warbird.

“Those were really fun and hard times. We were constantly struggling and working to make it. The song — and this album –is a nod to those days. It’s a song about being a warrior in any facet of your life.”

The album also has a touch of The Voice on it. That’s Paul Mirkovich, music director for The Voice, playing keys on “Everything Beautiful.”

“I reached out to him with low expectations that he’d be able to do it,” Adam says. “He responded that ‘He’d love to’ and insisted there would be no charge. I can’t put into words how amazing of a job he did.

“I know he’s beyond busy with his job, but he took my project very seriously. I shipped some local, Louisiana hot sauce to him as a thank you gift, but I’ll never be able to thank him enough.”

As for the album, Adam says he wrote most of the songs before he appeared on The Voice. A highly successful Kickstarter campaign helped fund the album. Adam’s band still includes Shane Wesley and Casey Freitas from Black Magnolia. Drummer Jordan Lewis rounds out his current band.

You can check out their upcoming shows on Adam’s Facebook page or website.

Speaking of gigs, Adam says his Voice experience led to one. He initially landed a spot on Team Adam Levine.

“After The Voice, Adam Levine personally reached out to me,” Adam recalls. “He wanted me to sing AC/DC at his Halloween party while he played drums. It was one of the craziest weekends of my life. Sammy Hagar even jumped on stage and sang with us at one point.

“He’s kept in touch and flew us out to party with him again this past Halloween. I hand delivered the album to him at his house and I’m hoping he takes a listen. I know he’ll love it. He really is an awesome dude.”

Here’s “Gotta Mean Something” from Warbird. You can check out more — even video of that Halloween party performance — on Adam’s YouTube channel.

https://idolchatteryd.com/adam-pearce-delivers-classic-rock-sound-on-warbird/

Adam Pearce of "The Voice" records CD in Mandeville, shares high hopes for resurgence of rock

Kara Martinez Bachman PUBLISHED FEB 7, 2018 AT 1:00 PM | UPDATED JUL 12, 2019 AT 9:43 AM

On an afternoon in January, Top 20 contestant from Season 13 of "The Voice" -- New Orleans' Adam Pearce -- worked on drum tracking for his first solo project. He was at Mandeville's state-of-the-art JT Studios, putting together a project he hopes new acquaintances Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar just might enjoy.

You see, Maroon 5 frontman and "The Voice" judge Levine was impressed enough with Pearce's run on the singing competition that he invited the 31-year-old to perform at the legendary Maroon 5 Halloween party. Sammy Hagar liked it so much that, well, he just jumped onstage and joined right in with Pearce.


It happened after Pearce -- the singer and guitarist with with long, rock-appropriate hair and an infectious smile -- had already been eliminated from the show, but before it had aired on TV. One day, he received a text from Levine, who wanted to do an "AC/DC tribute" for Maroon 5's big yearly bash.

Pearce said the text read: "I want to play drums, and I want you to sing. I don't know of anyone else that can sing AC/DC like you. Are you in?"

At first, he didn't believe the text was actually from Levine.

"I texted him that I feel like Mark Wahlberg in the movie 'Rock Star,' when the band calls him and he hangs up on them," Pearce laughed. "Next thing I know, I'm practicing with Adam Levine and Maroon 5 and the bass player of Brandon Boyd, of Incubus."

Levine wanted them to costume for Halloween.

"We're at his house, trying on his Victoria's Secret supermodel's dresses," Pearce laughed. "It was hilarious, we're all dressed in drag, playing AC/DC."

The music was perfect for the rocker, who hopes his favorite genre will have a resurgence. To that aim, his new record -- which will drop sometime this spring -- will have a vintage classic rock vibe. He promises sounds reminiscent of '70s and '90s rock, with influences from his all-time favorites, which include Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden.

"Also, the southern twang," he added, of another expected feature. "I was born in the country, so it's gonna have a little bit of Skynyrd in there as well."

Pearce isn't kidding when he says he's from the country; he grew up on a sugarcane farm in Bunkie, south of Alexandria. He moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU, followed by some years as a member of Black Magnolia, with whom he recorded his first group album. About four years ago, Pearce married and moved to New Orleans, where he began performing with Zeppelin tribute band, Mothership. He said he lives in Old Jefferson, "Right by the Huey P."


"I don't ever expect to leave, because I love it down here," he said. "And not just New Orleans, but the deep south. Houma. Thibodaux. Slidell. Hammond. I love it down here."

"From a music support standpoint, I'm very blessed. I couldn't ask for better supporters and friends."

Those supporters like him so much, they donated almost $26,000 to a Kickstarter fund that is paying for his record. He's currently unsigned to a record deal, but his supportive donors are making it a lot easier to proceed as an indie artist.

"That was awesome to see that support from my fan base," he said. "That's huge, man. There's so many great musicians out there that don't have the funds or the opportunity to make an album at the quality that I'm doing it, in a good studio with good guys, great musicians."

Those musicians include Casey Freitas (bass); Jordan Lewis (drums); and Shane Wesley (guitar).

"The guitarist from Maroon 5 is actually gonna play on the album. I texted him and asked him if he wanted to play a solo," Pearce said. "Just the fact that he's on it...he's huge."

The production team includes JT Studios owner Jonathan Treeby and north shore-based David Troia, music producer/sound engineer with Balance Productions.

"The record-making process can be tedious," Troia said, of being in the studio. "It's crucial for a producer and artist to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Adam and I clicked immediately, which usually sets the tone for a great record."

Pearce said he wrote most of the tracks, but co-wrote a song with Jim McCormick, who he described as "the most famous songwriter in New Orleans."


McCormick has penned songs for Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and too many recognizable names to list.

"He reached out," Pearce explained, "and I said, you know what? I've never written a song with somebody. We got together and it's one of the songs we're recording today. It sounds great, everyone loves it."

"There are several other songs where my guitarist composed all the music, and I'm just kinda singing on top of it," he added.

Pearce admits that selling rock in this day and age can be an uphill climb, but he's undaunted in his passion for reviving a genre that gets his blood pumping.

"There are two things that I like to believe," he said. "The biggest is that everything goes in cycles, and that rock is coming back. Hopefully, it's coming back."

The other belief is that he has the ability to aid such a resurgence.

"Even if it's not a complete and total wave of comeback, my ultimate goal, my biggest dream, would be -- what if New Orleans, and my band, what if that could be like the Seattle of the '90s? What if it could be like the British invasion of the '60s?"

"It's not so much a goal, it's more of like...a dream," he laughed. "I think of all these illusions of grandeur, but really, I just wanna make great music and see where it goes."

After all they've done for him, he feels he owes it to those who cheered for him on "The Voice" and anticipate his first CD.

"I have a huge obligation to all the people that pledged and gave me all this money," he explained. "I will not waste that, I will make you proud. And so far, it's going great."

https://www.nola.com/archive/article_85077ae7-ec9d-5417-ae51-2448863257f0.html

Meet New Orleans singer Adam Pearce, the newest member of 'The Voice's' Team Adam

BY JUDY BERGERON | jbergeron@theadvocate.com OCT 3, 2017 - 11:41 AM

Rocking Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" did the trick for New Orleans singer Adam Pearce on NBC's "The Voice" Monday night.

The 31-year-old Bunkie native commanded the stage with his spot-on vocals, along with tossing his long, wavy strawberry blonde locks in true rocker style.

In the blind auditions, Pearce was able to coax judge/coaches Adam Levine and Miley Cyrus to turn their chairs around during his song.

"His voice is dope!" Cyrus told Levine, before they each made their case for Pearce to choose them as a coach. 

 

"You were so wild and crazy, and so controlled and refined at the same time," Levine told the Crescent City singer.


Pearce reminded the Maroon 5 frontman that he had auditioned unsuccessfully for the show's Season 12 with his rendition of  "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum.

At that time, Levine encouraged him to work on his pitch problems and return. Pearce quickly enrolled in vocal lessons, as well as continuing to sing gigs four or five times a week, a news release from NBC says. 

"So I've been coaching you since last season," Levine chimed in.

Eventually, one Adam chose the other Adam, Pearce becoming the third singer with that moniker on this season. Adam Cunningham is currently on Team Blake (Shelton).

Members of Pearce's family were singing backstage along with the contestant during his tryout, while fans and fellow entertainers back home reached out on social media.

"Awesome Adam !!!!!!!!!!!!!" posted Zebra's Randy Jackson.

https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/movies_tv/article_84ca6ec7-2f80-5036-aaac-565a2f059caf.html

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