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Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson

Chastity Brown

Wed · February 21, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$21.00 - $26.00

This event is 18 and over

One dollar from every ticket sale will be donated to Black Lives Matter

Andrea Gibson
Andrea Gibson
“Do you want to hear the best story you’ve ever heard in your life?” Andrea Gibson asks into the microphone. The audience leans forward in silent anticipation. “So I met this woman and I went home to her house with her.” She pauses, “already a great story.” The audience erupts with laughter, a happy juxtaposition after being so quietly captivated. Smirking into the spotlight, Andrea continues, “...So we’re about to kiss for the very first time. And right before our lips touch, she jumps from the bed, runs to the closet and grabs a stethoscope, puts the ear thingies in my ears and slides the knob down her shirt onto her heart and says, ‘I want you to listen to my heart speed up when you kiss me.’ And I kissed her! And her heart got faster and faster y’all.” By this point the room itself almost feels like a stethoscope pumping with the galloping hearts of the fans. “Moral of the story, buy a stethoscope,” Gibson says, and there’s that laughter again, followed by music, and they launch into a love poem –with the members of the audience mouthing along.

You’re not alone if when you hear, “poetry show” and don’t envision a scene like this.But then chances are you’ve never seen Andrea Gibson perform live.

One of the most celebrated and successful poets in the field began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. Gibson then leaped into the forefront of spoken word poetry on the national scene in 2008 when they won the first ever Woman of the WorldPoetry Slam. Author of three collections of poetry and currently working on an illustrated collection of their most memorable quotes for Penguin (Winter 2018), Andrea (they/them/their) has also released seven (7) full-length albums.

The most recent album,HEY GALAXY (Fall2017)was created in the midst of another project as a result of the current political upheaval in the United States. Gibson was working on an album entirely about love, accompanied by an orchestra, but after the 2016 presidential election they felt moved to put forth a more social justice-oriented project. “There’s a quote that says, ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’ I wanted to do that. I wanted to make something political and human and gutsy in its revolt.Something beautiful in its sweetness and rage and vulnerability.Something loud and tender at the same time.”

HEY GALAXYdoes just that. The sixteen poems on the album tell the story of our times. Whether it’s “Orlando,”which brutally relives the massacre at at LGBTQ nightclub and Gibson’s own struggles with coming out, or“A Letter to White Queers, A Letter to Myself,” which combats white privilege during the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Gibson’s poems awaken us with their urgency, honesty, and their lyrical meld of grit and beauty.

HEY GALAXYwas written in heartbreak, in heart-mend,in love, in trauma, and in healing. In “Angels of the Get Through” a track written for Gibson’s best friend they plead, “You keep worrying you’re taking up too much space. I wish you’d let yourself be the Milky Way.” Elegant acoustic guitar behind their words helps dedicate and identify this poem to anyone going through a difficult time.

Musical collaborations both on Andrea’s albums and at their live shows arecertainly unique to spoken word, but because Gibson has always written while listening to music, the incorporation of violins, acoustic guitar, and backing tracks felt natural onHEY GALAXY.“I always prefer making art with other people. I was thrilled to work with a lot of talented folks on this record and I’m looking forward to touring with them around the country.”HEY GALAXYfeatures the work of Jesse Thomas, Andrew Joslyn, Chris Pureka and Bryan Wagstaff (who also produced + mixed the record) to namea few.Said Gibson, “I like to work with artists who inspire me into fuller expression, who help pull the bravest story out of me.”

Whether their art is de-stigmatizing mental illness, encouraging people to stay alive, bringing visibility to queer relationships, or inspiring activism that dismantles patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacyHEY GALAXYdoesfeel brave. On stage at packed clubs and theaters around the globe, Andrea will often announce that their biggest fear is public speaking or matter-of-factly announce that they are having a panic attack in the middle of their performance. This attitude might seem strange during a traditional show, but feels right at home here.The vulnerability of Andrea's honesty makes the audience feel welcome as they are, which brings them back to Andrea Gibson shows time and time again.

Along with their books, albums, and posters, you will find a t-shirt on Andrea’s merchandise table featuring an upside-down umbrella and text that reads, “Feelings Are Not the Enemy.” Each night, this shirt flies off the merch table and hundreds of fans wait in line to get them signed.

Gibson finishes a poem and notices someone donning a shirt out in the audience. They shield their eyes from the spotlight and look at the person and smile. “You know, sometimes I take a Sharpie and cross out those words on my own t-shirt. Sometimes feelings really ARE the enemy,” and there’s that laughter from the audience again as they settle in for another poem, mouthing the words, feeling a little less alone.
Chastity Brown
Chastity Brown
Now based in Minnesota but with roots in the Deep South, Chastity has the "ability to distill Southern blues and plaintive North Country prairie influences into expansive, alluring folk songs" (The Current). She is a powerful new voice with the ability to warm, comfort and challenge. She's been hailed by NPR, CMT, American Songwriter, The London Times, and Paste Magazine as a songwriter to watch and has appeared on UK television on Later... with Jools Holland.

Chastity, whose mother grew up in a large Irish family in Boston and whose father was an African-American jazz/blues musician, was born in the north-easterly state of New Hampshire, and moved down to Union City in Tennessee when she was seven years old. Growing up near Memphis, she became transfixed by roots music from an early age. When she first began writing music, she struggled with this influence as she was not exposed to many soul musicians writing "folk" music.

Growing up in a full Gospel church was where Chastity found her voice and passion, but after being kicked out of seminary college for having a same-sex relationship -- she was studying to be a worship leader -- she found her voice as a songwriter.

As a woman of color, she's as influenced by authors as musicians. she says, "I have always memorialized the civil rights movement, the heroines and heroes that arose to sing the songs, write the rousing speeches, sit at the counters, mobilize in the streets. That with their actions and simply just the way they lived they would declare that black lives are sacred, are beautiful, that they matter."

“It's because of these reasons that I write for and from the marginalized experience,” Chastity says. "For the truly triumphant spirit that's been through some shit, and has fought her/his way through it to maintain a sense of dignity and peace of mind. I write from the cultural influence and the perspective of being a bi-racial woman; of being just as much one thing as I am the other. I write from the feeling of being within yet apart.”
Venue Information:
The High Watt
One Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
http://thehighwatt.com/