Aaron Nathans has never really written a love song.
This 2011 Kerrville New Folk finalist will yodel about grapefruit, and chant about a heavy metal rocker at his Orthodox Jewish wedding. He rocks out about that girl who shouldn't be wearing Goth clothes anymore, and the curious alchemy that makes an Italian bakery turn out the very best bread on the planet.
Maybe that's love after all: You can hear the joy he takes in crafting a song, in the tradition of Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark and Richard Shindell. He's a polished yet unpretentious performer, with a sweet baritone voice and a signature fingerpicking style. While not exactly a humorist, Nathans inevitably makes you laugh.
Since his first solo concert in 1996, Fred Gillen Jr has traveled all over the U.S. and Europe singing his songs of hope and struggle at all types of venues, building a devoted following along the way. He feels at home performing at any type and size of venue, from a "house concert" in Indiana to Irving Plaza in New York City, to the main stages of festivals, and everything in between. He has played at many prestigious and famous venues, and as many farmers markets, coffeehouses, pubs, and union rallies. With his sometimes partner Matt Turk he played for several years in the New York City subways as part of the MUNY (Music Under NY) program. At every performance he opens his heart and pours out the unglamorous but compelling tales of the marginalized and forgotten. His songs have often been described as both painfully intimate and universal, and this is what he strives for in writing them. His live performances are spontaneous celebrations of all that it is to be human; the joy and the pain, the comedy and the tragedy.