Sophie Webber’s Escape combines cello with choristers of local St. Paul’s Cathedral

And other music news from Tolan Shaw, Steve Poltz, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jason Mraz, more

Sophie Webber wanted to connect Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello with choral singing.
  • Sophie Webber wanted to connect Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello with choral singing.

“I’m working on a new presentation of the Bach Cello Suites, B2C: Bach Cello Suites to Choir, a recording project of Bach Suites Nos.1 and 3 for Solo Cello, alongside my own original arrangement for choir, something that has never been done before,” says cellist Sophie Webber.

It’s her followup to last year’s Escape: Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello, recorded with Grammy winning audio engineer Chris Willis. “Ever since releasing Escape, it’s been my dream to create this segue album with choir. I’ve always loved singing and am a strong advocate for connecting with one’s musical instrument like a voice, so the pairing of solo cello with the human voice seemed like the most natural combination and a wonderful way to bring Bach and classical music to both those who already love it and to those who may not normally find it particularly accessible.” She launched a Kickstarter campaign to record in July with the choristers of local St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Escape was taped, under choir director Martin Green.

“Excited to be touring this year again with BoDeans, this time playing in the band as acoustic guitar player/backing vocalist,” says acoustic singer-songwriter Tolan Shaw, who adds “Hopefully I can feed my Pickleball addiction on the road as well.”

Also touring are reggae rockers Iration, whose 43-date Live From Paradise tour with fellow locals Pepper kicks off April 24 in Albuquerque and wraps August 25 at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Steve Poltz’s summer tour promoting his album Shine On includes festival dates at Northwest String Summit, Mariposa Folk Festival, and Redwood Ramble. He recently performed three new songs during the 30A Songwriters Festival for NPR’s Folk Alley Sessions which can be heard on the NPR website, including lead single “Ballin’ on a Wednesday.”

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe video for “Change My Way” concerns immigration at the Mexican border, shot by filmmaker T.G. Herrington (Free State of Jones, A Tuba to Cuba). The first single from his new album Gnomes & Badgers is co-written by New Orleans singer-songwriter Anders Osborne and co-produced by Austin musician/producer Adrian Quesada (Spanish Gold, Brownout).

Jason Mraz’s single “I Won’t Give Up” was just awarded 6X platinum status from the RIAA for having sold over 6,000,000 digital downloads.

Cindy Lee Berryhill’s early albums will be reissued by Omnivore Records, including new liner notes and bonus tracks, beginning with her Garage Orchestra LP, due in August.

Private Domain drummer Larry Dent, who also played with Comanche Moon, has lost his battle with prostate cancer. Marshmallow Highway guitarist John Ruckle, who also spent time with the Clemson Weed Band and the Heat Show Band, also passed away.

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