For the first time in ... well ... EVER - Sam and Megan have been cast playing opposite each other in the Sacramento premier production of Gina Gionfriddo's new play, Rapture, Blister, Burn, at Capital Stage Company. Come see our characters grapple with their life choices and the path not taken. The play runs March 11 through April 12 with performances Wednesday - Sunday. Get your tickets today!
We have to thank the great people at Good Day Sacramento for having us on the show to play live and talk about our roles in Sacramento Theatre Company's production of The Grapes of Wrath. Check out our spots on the show, we played "Wayfaring Stranger" and later our own "Tamalpais".
"It’s not easy to find professional actors as well-versed in William Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard as they are in Woody Guthrie, but Misner and Smith are."
Read all about Sacramento Theatre Company's upcoming production of Steinbeck's epic America tale The Grapes of Wrath in Marcus Crowder's in-depth article in The Sacramento Bee. Included in the article is our interview with Marcus about our roles in the show as actors and musicians playing live music throughout the play.
"Guthrie’s style inspired the original music written specifically for this show. 'It was telling stories, but not as pop music or music that’s gonna make a bunch of money but to communicate a story, in a catchy way,' Misner said."
“ 'There’s something really grounding about having live instruments played onstage by live people during the play,' Smith said."
Read entire article and more about this show at Sacbee.com
We're bringing it back! WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG official cast recording - live at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse - will be released this July!
Help our producers raise the last bit of funds they need to get this double album off the ground! Visit their Indiegogo campaign to donate and become a part of this amazing project!
Every little bit helps! Give if you can and share this video with your fellow music lovers.
We will all be reuniting at the Freight this July 17-20 for a limited run of the production - four nights only!
Get your tickets here: Freight & Salvage July Calendar
The good folks at Empty Sea Studios have launched their brand new ROOTS CHANNEL where you can sign up to watch live shows direct from their state-of-the-art listening room in Seattle! Our CD release show from last October is now being featured on their site! They've also just premiered a video of our song "Seven Hour Storm" from the concert that night. To watch the concert in it's entirety visit The Roots Channel and sign yourself up! Here's a little taste, let us know what you think!
Seven Hour Storm is KRCB's CD of the Week! Check out our interview with Brian Griffith and don't forget to grab your FREE DOWNLOAD of our tune Lovers Like Us! Thanks to KRCB, we love you guys!
Megan on "Next Time Around" -
"Each song has so many stories behind it, but this is a very special one for both of us. Sam wrote this song after we had a very moving experience playing a house concert for a family that have since become dear friends of ours. We learned a lot from them about how to celebrate life in the face of losing a loved one - how to sing together through that pain. "Next Time Around" is a joyous song, and like most of our songs we tried to fill it with hope.
As Sam was first writing it he asked me if I'd like to try singing lead. Singing lead vocals has not really been my focus. As a vocalist I've spent more time practicing and enjoying the craft of harmony singing. From an early age singing songs with my sister in our shared bedroom, then holding down the alto parts in my High school and college choirs, I developed a keen ear and a deep love for singing the 'other' part. But this song was a chance for me to stretch myself and try something new, with Sam's encouragement I gave it a shot.
When we recorded this song for the album a lot of attention was paid to the concept that this was a tune we could build up gradually with the arrangement. Starting with the thumping kick beat (that was my fist against the back of the bass), then the hand claps from Sam and I & Bruce and Jeff, crunchy electric guitar (again by Bruce), then layering in the tickling ivories and organ by the incomparable John R. Burr. We added instruments slowly and built to the splashy Tom Waits-y drums provided by the very talented John Hanes for the very last refrain,
'So, please don't weep when I've gone, when I've gone ...' "
**This month we're doing a sort of 'behind the music' thing. Looking at each song on Seven Hour Storm and telling some of the stories behind the creation of the music. Head over to our facebook page Misner & Smith to see all. Here's the first installment.**
Sam on Miles Away -
"Miles Away was the last song to be written for the album, and actually was based on something that I'd written when I was about 18. I rediscovered it on an old cassette tape I'd made back then and decided to try to re-imagine it, keeping a couple of the lyrics, and letting the music spur the new ones.
Unexpectedly, as we started recording it some of the lyrics began to embody what we were experiencing in the studio. 'For whatever else we're after/there's no finish line or prize' Trying to trust in the process, and trying to remember that there wasn't a "correct" way to approach the music--we were exploring. The meaning is in the journey.
Our graphic designer, Kyle Monhollen (2407 Graphics) responded to one of the lines in the song, too--'There are only two directions/To wither or to grow'--and incorporated it into the album design. As far as the placement at the end of the album, it seemed fitting to end with a song about looking back, reflecting on what came before.
Also, in a world of instant gratification it's so easy to forget that meaning can change and deepen over time. 'You may not hear the first time/You have to listen twice'."
-- Take a listen once or twice, leave your thoughts, and share - if you're into that. :)
Direct from Seattle, Washington! Tune in October 25th at 8pm PST for a full concert with Misner & Smith Webcast Live from Empty Sea Studios! Get advanced tickets for the webcast now by clicking below!
If you missed our in-studio performance/interview with Eric Teel on Jefferson Public Radio's Open Air you can still hear it in it's entirety on JPR's archives here:
Thanks to Eric Teel for a great interview and for these photos!
A short look at the making of our fourth album, Seven Hour Storm. This video includes footage and photos from our time in the studio as well as insight into the choices that were made beyond the recording, the cover art, photos, and the other artists that we collaborated with while making this album.
Seven Hour Storm has been officially released and is available everywhere now! Pick yourself up a copy and then head out to one of our upcoming shows so we can personalize it just for you!
“Seven Hour Storm is full of riches –”Lost and Found,” a beautiful and tranquilizing ballad, brings to mind Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ harmonies, while songs like “Tamalpais” and “Next Time Around” showcase the pair’s upbeat folk-rock style.”
- American Songwriter Magazine
“Seven Hour Storm brims with delicate, lovely songs and the exquisite harmonies. Close your eyes and let the music whisk you away.”
- San Jose Mercury News
“Misner & Smith’s Seven Hour Storm is honest and authentic, yet still contemporary. The pair met when performing as actors, and worked together on the play Woody Guthrie’s American Song. Guthrie would be proud of what he inspired.”
- Detroit Metro Times
Seven Hour Storm is officially available TODAY! Celebrate with us, join us for a concert/chat live from our living room today @ 1pm PST! Post comments/questions to our facebook page and chat about the new album!
Watch on Facebook here: VIDEO WEBCAST ON FACEBOOK
Watch on Google + here: VIDEOCAST ON GOOGLE +
American Songwriter Magazine premieres an exclusive first listen of Seven Hour Storm! Listen to the free stream of the full album available now right here:
Check it out, share the link, and leave a comment. Let us and the whole world know what you think of the new music!
Only 33 days 'til the storm!
We're counting down to the official release of Seven Hour Storm on October 15th and things are getting pretty exciting! We've got some great CD release shows scheduled as well as a couple of great tours including dates in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado!
Since we began this journey over a year ago we've both learned so much about how the music industry works now and all of the details and moving pieces that go into releasing an album independently. It's probably true that those of you who are close to us have heard us say that we've never worked this hard on anything in our lives. Yup, that's still true! And we're so proud of the results!
When we started making this record we knew some about making a studio album but with the support of our fans, friends, and family, we had a budget to really stretch ourselves and experiment during the recording process. We'd never worked with a producer either and we were so lucky to have San Francisco's Jeff Kazor (Richard Buckner, The Crooked Jades), as well as our sound engineer Bruce Kaphan (American Music Club, David Byrne, R.E.M., The Black Crowes). They both approached the project with such creativity and integrity. The result of working with professionals like Jeff and Bruce was that we learned volumes about ourselves, our music, and what we were committing to with this new record.
One of the best things about this project has been all of the fine artists we've been able to collaborate with. Coming soon we'll be sharing our very first music video!
Deb Tullmann is at the helm on this part of the Seven Hour Storm project. And judging from her formidable talents as an independent filmmaker we're in for a beautiful piece of visual art to pair with the title track of the new record.
M&S Music video coming soon ...
San Francisco - based filmmaker Deb Tullmann captures a shot for our upcoming music video for the title track, 'Seven Hour Storm'. We're thrilled to be working with Deb on this project! There will be more on this later ... as well as who the handsome young fellow is in this picture. ❖
And we'll also be sharing another video very soon about the making of Seven Hour Storm. This video will chronicle our journey on this album and will include footage from our time in the studio, as well as behind the scenes stories about how it all came together!
The Making of Seven Hour Storm ...
Stay tuned for our upcoming behind the scenes video on the making of Seven Hour Storm. Including previews of some of the tracks off of the new album and footage of our time in the studio working with our producer Jeff Kazor and our sound engineer Bruce Kaphan. ❖