Gifted performers line up to fill a community venue with sweet song
Jazzy pop singer songwriter Julia Biel heads a rollcall of excellent musical artists who are lining up to play at one of the Westcountry's most ambitious community venues over the next couple of months.
Londoner Julia – once hailed as "the next Norah Jones" – takes to the stage at the Studio Lounge in Totnes tonight alongside her special guest, Bristol singer songwriter Phil King in a co-headlining show. They will each be showcasing their own material, embellishing the evening's entertainment with a number of duets.
With her second album of self-penned, jazz-infused folk pop songs poised for release, Julia's rich and distinctive honeyed tones attracted her first major acclaim in 2000, when she won the Perrier Vocalist of the Year award.
A seasoned collaborator, her credits include featured lead vocals with Mercury Prize-nominated cult band Polar Bear, and work with Everything But The Girl svengali Ben Wright. She is also a regular member of south London afrobeats reggae band Soothsayers.
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Troubadour Phil King has played at festivals and fayres, in pubs, clubs and bars, on bandstands and boats, and once in a beautiful treehouse, sharing his country blues-tinged acoustic tunes, delivered on acoustic guitar and topped by his sweet, smooth and emotive vocals.
He has gigged regularly in Paris, as well as Zurich, Barcelona, New York and... Weston-super-Mare. He has two albums under his belt and has received some glowing reviews, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 2.
Opening the evening will be Totnes-based Crow Puppets – the folk pop creation of Cara Roxanne and Emma Marshall – who played a charming set at Live At The Great Hall in Dartington last November.
Coming up in the weeks ahead are shows with folk stalwart Steve Tilston on February 7), winner of the BBC Radio Folk Award for best song last year.
Charming young songsmith Liz Lawrence plays at the venue on February 15. A former Devon art student, Liz first picked up a guitar at the age of eight and started playing in bands as a guitarist at 13. She found her singing voice while performing and writing with a punk ska band. Other names in the pipeline include Broadway multi-award winner Barb Jungr, Lotte Mullan, and re-formed 1990s pop icons Dodgy.
Tickets for tonight's show are £9 on the door, or £7 in advance. Call 01803 862267. The Studio Lounge can be found on the Totnes Trading Estate.