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Andrew HOZIER-Byrne: Wicklow, Ireland

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Little Green Cars Jack Garratt

Hozier Self Sketch

What are the Twenty First Century Blues? And who shall we find to sing them? 

From trivial first world problems to the seismic shifts in geopolitics, the modern Blues resonate down the years with the same eternal themes – loss, loneliness, longing and regret. New wine in vintage casks. 

Born on St. Patrick’s Day and hailing from County Wicklow, Hozier was raised on the building blocks of popular music: rhythm and blues, soul, jazz and the deep dark stuff stretching from Chicago to the Delta. He joined his first band when he was 15 years old, fronting a soul band with some older heads. Taught himself to play guitar and piano, and went to Trinity College to study music. Whilst there, he bagged a seat on the flight deck of the symphonic B-52 that is the Trinity Orchestra, fronting their missions into the world of classic rock.

However, four years looked like a long stretch, particularly when the goal was to write, record and perform his own music; so Hozier dropped out to concentrate his talents on the creative process full time. He tried out with a few different producers in various studios, experimented with genres; but never felt happy with the results. Home is where the art is, and a simple studio, set up in the attic proved to be the crucible where Hozier would forge a musical identity he could call his own. A place where Stevie Wonder and Billie Holiday are revered alongside James Joyce and Oscar Wilde.

He says: “Listen to any song, from any era; and you’re looking through a keyhole into the artist’s world as seen through their eyes. Art is, in it’s simplest form, the reproduction of the world around us. All artists reproduce their vision of the world, and in doing so create a document that reflects the times they live in”. Which brings us back to the Twenty First Century Blues, and Hozier’s unique, poetic evocations. 

Hozier 1

‘Babe There is something lonesome about you, something so wholesome about you, get closer to me.’

Those lyrics seem to define the very essence of whom Hozier is and what your heart can not deny he was simply born to do.

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REVIEW: Hozier in Vancouver

Hozier 7

‘Babe There is something lonesome about you, something so wholesome about you, get closer to me.’

Those lyrics seem to define the very essence of whom Hozier is and what your heart can not deny he was simply born to do.

Hozier 9
Feeling a little overwhelmed and star struck yesterday entering the stage door of The Orpheum and walking down the hall to his interview. First thing that caught our eye was the colourful signs that pointed out the proper dressing room destinations for all involved. Uncertain of what lay ahead and apprehensive as to whether we could connect with this artist in the short time slot allotted we were armed and ready to chisel away at the task at hand.
We quickly set up while he was finishing an interview with CBC and as if all at once he was standing in the doorway extending a hand and a smile as a refreshing gift that broke down every barrier we may have anticipated. 
Genuine in his interactions and respectful of all those that work with him he is a thoughtful young man that makes you want to see him succeed to great heights yet never lose what makes him who he is.
So sweet upon exit to see some fans lined up to meet him and we knew their tender young hearts would be won over by his presence.

Hozier 11
Day turned to night as the streets of Granville came to life while scalpers hustled tickets to this sold out show and the pre show line up was filled with good energy and expectancy. We got to visit with a Jack Russell rocking a custom made Metallica coat and interacting with his owner heavy metal style and endearing us to the life that breathes good vibrations making our city so unique. One girl went by brushing her hand along the side of his bus singing ‘Take Me To Church’ while another said it is her favourite Hozier song and in truth it made you feel that they were in for something bigger than they could imagine, because he is larger than any hit song on any playlist. He is full of colour so rich and vibrant that is hard to hold it all in one picture.
Thinking ahead and not getting lost in the moment he mentioned earlier in the day ‘the true test is not what is happening now but will people want to listen to a second album all the way through.’ We say ‘have no fear, stay true to who you are, and your gift will only keep growing stronger.’

Hozier 10

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Hozier 2

Hozier delivered a show that grabbed you from the first note of Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene’ and just held you there until he bid farewell 80 minutes later. His ensemble was comfortable in his washed out jean jacket and his hunter green flannel with black boots that are on an incredible journey around the world. But it isn’t these things that matter it is the smile that will never grow old and the life in his eyes full of stories yet to be told. He stands tall at the pulpit while his music and undemanding presence command you to sit up and partake with the choir in all the splendour and love of his congregation.

Hozier 8

Andrew Hozier-Byrne makes it all appear effortless delivering his own kind of cool with a trustworthy show free of dirty words and washing you clean with his rhythm and lyrics that will not fail you. His ticket is worth it’s weight in gold and we look forward to all the good memories in music and want to say thank you Hozier for making us believers in singing from the heart.

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Noel – Birmingham, AL

A NOELLLLLLLL

Formerly of the White Oaks, now standing strong in his own right Noel releases his LP 

 ‘I Won’t Answer’

Echoes of Nick Drake linger around the edges of this album while Noel delivers a sound that is distinctively his own.  ‘I Won’t Answer’ takes you on a musical journey of emotions that at times leave your heart feeling lost, but then you are gently reminded that there are worse things to speak of, and that you are truly blessed to be lost in love.  – Fresh Independence

Name: Noel 

Age: 98

Where are you writing this: In my breakfast nook. 

Home is where your story begins, please tell us about yours.

I grew up in Brimingham Alabama, middle class, Southern Baptist, public school, suburbia.  Religious upbringing. Birmingham felt like a mediocre, industrial ghost-city when i was growing up but now it is experiencing a whole cultural rebirth that is really cool.  Birmingham seems to be finally developing an identity.

a noel 

How did music find you?

By way of my parents’ record player.  And I would improvise on the piano in empty Sunday school rooms while I waited for my parents to get out of choir practice.  By the age of 14, I was the lead singer of my first rock band, “The Royal Nonesuch.” We recorded an album of ten original songs and sold the cassettes at school.  Our parents had to drive us and our gear to the gigs!

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