FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | BrianP@ScottsdaleArts.org | 480-874-4626
Aoife O’Donovan to play Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Operating in a thrilling musical world beyond genre, Grammy winner Aoife O’Donovan will perform April 15 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts with supporting act Taylor Ashton.
Deemed “a vocalist of unerring instinct” by The New York Times, O’Donovan has released three critically-acclaimed and boundary-blurring solo albums, including “In the Magic Hour,” which Rolling Stone hailed for its “Impressionistic, atmospheric songs [that] relay their narratives against gorgeous pastoral backdrops.”
O’Donovan spent the winter and spring of 2021 in the studio with acclaimed producer Joe Henry (Bonnie Raitt, Rhiannon Giddens) recording her third full-length solo album, titled “Age of Apathy,” which was released in January 2022. This show will feature O’Donovan and her band playing selections from this new album.
“If you are a fan of Gillian Welch or Anaïs Mitchell, you’ll want to check out the lovely Aoife O’Donovan,” said Abbey Messmer, programming director at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. “’Age of Apathy’ is a beautiful album, and I can’t wait to experience it live!”
Of the new album, Pitchfork writes: “On ‘Age of Apathy,’ she taps into the propulsion of prime Joni Mitchell: a restless mind bouncing against the blur of one’s surroundings. She has that same actor’s sense—when to go big, when to bring it backwards.”
Pop Matters also reviewed “Age of Apathy,” writing: “The final results are lushly layered and sophisticated. O’Donovan is often considered a singer-songwriter and folkie, but this release finds her music hard to pigeonhole as its connections to contemporary jazz and even classical music are clearly evident.”
A savvy and generous collaborator, O’Donovan is one third of the group I’m With Her with bandmates Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. The trio’s debut album, “See You Around,” was hailed as “willfully open-hearted” by NPR Music and earned the group a Grammy in 2020 for Best American Roots Song. O’Donovan spent the preceding decade as cofounder and frontwoman of the string band Crooked Still and was a featured vocalist on “The Goat Rodeo Sessions” with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile.
Opening the show is Vancouver native Taylor Ashton, who now lives in Brooklyn and recently released his first solo album, “The Romantic,” an ode to the devastating, ecstatic, gritty, sexy decade of his 20s, woven together through his five-string banjo with the help of 18 different musicians from the Brooklyn music scene and all across the United States and Canada.
Ashton’s career began in Vancouver as frontman and songwriter for Fish & Bird. The Vancouver Folk Fest called the group “Canada’s most unique folk-rock ensemble,” with reviewers taking note of Ashton’s “off-kilter lyrical excursions” (The Georgia Straight) and his “rich, compelling voice” (Exclaim!). From 2006 to 2014, Fish & Bird recorded four albums and exhaustively made the rounds of the festival and touring circuit of Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The 12 new songs on Ashton’s solo debut chronicle leaving a relationship, a band and Canada. He moved from Toronto to New York City, ready to take a break from the heavy touring schedule of Fish & Bird and to find himself in a new setting. He survived by singing and playing clawhammer banjo in the subway, turning heads with covers that leaned more Motown than hoedown.
While making “The Romantic,” Ashton also teamed up with fellow songwriter Courtney Hartman to record a spare duo album, 2018’s “Been On Your Side,” which was nominated for an Independent Music Award and earned praise in Rolling Stone, which said it “packs a punch in today’s mainstream.”
Aoife O’Donovan and Taylor Ashton will perform April 15 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, Arizona. Tickets are $28 – $45. Visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/events or call the box office at 480-499-TKTS (8587) for more information.
All guests age 12 and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within 72 hours of the performance date, along with photo ID, to attend performances. As an alternative, guests may provide proof of full vaccination. Masks are highly encouraged to protect artists, staff and patrons. For full health and safety protocols, visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/covid-19-response.