April 16th, 2021 – 7:00pm PDT
Enjoy performances from:
Returning home to the Pacific NW, Moorea began her music career in earnest. Not just writing and performing her own original material, she recorded with El Vy, The Decemberists, sang with soul legend Ural Thomas (who appears on her last album), and toured with Big Wild, and Allen Stone. As a solo artist, she’s garnered major praise from Emily King, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bernhoft and many more. Moorea has been touring with legendary singer KD Lang, and released her debut album to much praise in May 2018.
Mimi Naja (pre-record)
BIO: After spending the last decade in the Pacific Northwest, Mimi Naja has made her way from Portland, OR to her new Nashville home. Raised in the outskirts of Atlanta, the urban south beckoned her spirit when touring paused.
As a founding member of roots-rock sweethearts Fruition, Mimi began her professional music career as one of three friends busking on the streets of Portland in 2008. As buzz grew around Fruition’s alluring three-part harmonies and community-bonding dance floor, they took their show to stages around the country. Still, the band continued to busk in between shows, and eventually met their manager on the streets of Austin during SXSW in 2013. Fast forward to early 2020, and the band had developed into a national headline act including an album release show at Denver’s Mission Ballroom, and became ongoing festival favorites at Northwest String Summit, High Sierra Music Festival, and WinterWonderGrass; with highlight appearances at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Bonnaroo, LOCK’N and more.
Much like her aversion to being pigeon-holed to one genre, Mimi applies the same philosophy when it comes to her instruments of choice. In Fruition, (where she is one of 3 lead vocalists), Mimi is known as a mandolinist and guitar player, but while grounded at home from the pandemic, she took advantage of the opportunity to practice for hours on piano, bass, drums, and even turntables. Growing up on all things radio pop and Southern rap, she ironically found her love of bluegrass upon moving out west, and remains forever inspired by the soul sounds of Motown and Stax. With her raw and direct voice – that’s been likened to Bonnie Raitt- she’s just as likely to croon a slow acoustic ballad as a frenetic rock and roll heater.
When Covid-19 radically altered life around the globe, Mimi found another silver lining by entering a substance treatment program. She continues to take life one day at a time and has remained in recovery since April 2020. Her latest solo endeavor, an EP entitled Nothing Has Changed, shares her latest chapter. Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers says “Mimi’s record sounds so original and refreshing to me…I’m truly inspired.” The opening track, “All You Know Of Me” touches on the pre-recovery period, where the party never ends, and you are never alone. On the track, she harmonizes with herself; evoking the feeling of being surrounded but actually feeling quite alone. An awakening is found in the upbeat “Coin In My Pocket”, a song about renewal, alluding to the token chip of the Alcoholics Anonymous program being a tangible symbol of progress and life’s new season. “No Captain” talks of navigating new territory and the dark history that lingers behind the lifeboat. The final tracks, “Nothing Has Changed” and its reprise are symbolic of the meditative nature of entering this newfound chapter of self-improvement , and the venting of frustrations of shedding old skin for the sake of growth. The EP is honest and revealing, and while the title may seem pessimistic, a deep dive into the layers unveils a call for reinvention. After taking an early listen to the new release, fellow songwriter Anna Tivel said “If honesty had a voice, it would be Mimi’s. She has this way of lighting up the vulnerable depth, a gritty spotlight on a hard won stage where she invites us to see our shared struggles made beautiful. These songs are human, full of questioning and compassion.”
Stephanie Anne Johnson (pre-record)
BIO: A singer’s talent is complete when they can bring a crowded dive bar to a collective hush and also get one of the biggest audiences on the planet to a collective standing ovation. Stephanie Anne Johnson is that special singer. The front person for the Tacoma-based band, The Hidogs, can don a cowboy hat and sing over a slide as old timers weep. And they have wowed judges on the immensely popular NBC TV series, The Voice, showcasing their gifts.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Johnson is so affecting. Their mantra, after all, is “Find your joy and go there.” Their prowess exudes whether they are singing the Black national anthem – “Lift Every Voice And Sing” – to a packed auditorium or whether they’re cooing acoustic lullabies to Saturday night tavern regulars. Their music, which is rooted in all that’s American, expresses the pain of the past, the roots of the down home and the hope that hard work will lead to proper reward.
The Hidogs, which is comprised of dynamic drummer Arturo Ortega Marcos, pocket-perfect bassist Jesse Turcotte and the prolific Johnson, is a nimble trio equal parts capable of shaking the shingles off a rooftop as making any stage feel like a Sunday service. The group’s latest LP, Take This Love, is a blend of Loretta Lynn and Valerie June. It’s a stunning catalogue of surprise and satisfaction.
Stephanie Anne Johnson has opened for acts that include political figure Bernie Sanders, and artists such as Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Ani DiFranco, Cedric Burnside, and Black Joe Lewis.