Soulful and Spellbinding Ali McGuirk to Take the Stage at Caffe Lena, Nov. 24th
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Taking the stage at the historic Caffe Lena on Nov. 24th is Ali McGuirk. Recalling the soulful retro stylings of Joss Stone, McGuirk’s music is earthy & pure, propelled by a bold, buttery, spellbinding voice.
Growing up just outside Boston, McGuirk doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a singer. By college, after a couple decades of absorbing ’90s R&B, ’70s singer-songwriters and classic soul of every era, McGuirk found her own aesthetic: earthy, pure, propelled by a voice capable of whispering dark truths or belting out big hooks on her originals. Boston responded with a wave of love. The Boston Globe named her an “artist to hear.” She racked up nominations and wins at both the Boston Music Awards and New England Music Awards. Her standing-room-only residency at Somerville’s Bull McCabe’s Pub delivered electric performances.
“I used to sing a lot of jazz and loved the ‘torch’ singers like Dinah Washington, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Abbey Lincoln, even though so many of the songs they sang felt anti-feminist to me,” McGuirk says. “Abbey Lincoln says a song is like a prayer, and you get what you put out and I found that to be true in my life. The idea that you can be a strong, independent feminist, and still suffer from the leftover feelings of a culture steeped in these historically unequal, gendered power dynamics is something that writing these songs has helped me process.” McGuirk let the songs wander from shadowy emotional spaces to big, bad guitar workouts to delicate little confessions. But her voice – bold, buttery, spellbinding – carries each song to the next til they’re gone.
“Ms. Ali gets it. And she can play that damn guitar, too. There’s a history scattered through soul music, and blues, that speaks to this aesthetic. Boston and New England last saw this combination with a gal named Sue [Tedeschi] a couple of decades ago.” (Boston Globe) On McGuirk’s latest album, NPR station WBUR reflects: “Til It’s Gone is more than just a showcase of musicianship. McGuirk brings a songwriter’s sensibility, and a millennial’s perspective, to her lyrics … In just a few deft strokes, McGuirk paints a devastating and deeply human picture.” And the Boston Herald writes: “With all the hooks of LSD but more earthy tenderness and smart introspection, McGuirk will be the Bay State’s next big export.”
Doors open at 7:30 pm for the 8 pm show. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for members, and $10 for students and children. To purchase your ticket for the event, please click here. For those that wish to catch the show via livestream, they may purchase access for $5. To purchase access to the livestream, please click here.
This show is part of The Bright Series, made possible by the generous support of Kevin & Claudia Bright.