The sultry singer-songwriter who travels only with his acoustic guitar and percussion, performs this Friday, March 11 at Schubas in Chicago.PERFORMANCE:
Friday, March 11 at 7p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
3159 N. Southport
Cost: $15 to $18.
The release of Sunset Over Hope Street on March 1, 2011, on Downtown/Mercer Street Records, marks Ari Hest's first full-length album of new material in four years.
Sunset Over Hope Street follows Hest's highly successful 2009 Twelve Mondays, an album one could say was "A&R'd" by his fans. In 2008, Hest utilized all the current technology to launch the 52 project, an ambitious web-based subscription service that found the prolific singer-songwriter writing, recording and releasing a new song every Monday for an entire year.
Performing Songwriter called these songs "high-caliber and heartfelt." At the end of the year, his fans voted for their top twelve choices resulting in Twelve Mondays, which The Washington Post praised as "skillful, pretty and straightforward." "How Would I Know," the first single from the album will impact at radio on January 31st and will be available for sale digitally on February 15th.
Sunset Over Hope Street, is a slight departure from Hest's previous work. Ari expressed his self-challenging nature by taking his guitar parts and seeing if another lead instrument, like a piano, could take the guitar's place.
The album is also awash with a variety of string arrangements and unique percussion parts. Also, unlike previous albums, Sunset Over Hope Street was created over a protracted period of time - more than a year. Because of this, Ari was really able to take time, listen back and edit ? a luxury that on previous albums had not been afforded him. There were vocals, drums, guitar parts, and even full songs that wound up being scrapped and others added as the album evolved. His patience paid off and the result, despite this different approach, is unmistakably Ari Hest.
There are a lot of themes covered on this record; from existential songs like "Until Next Time" and "A Good Look Around", to the more politically driven "Business of America" and "Swan Song". One theme that pops up repeatedly throughout the album is the passage of time ? trying to take advantage of opportunities as they arise ("If I Knew You'd Say Yes"), lamenting the missed opportunities ("Sunset Over Hope Street"), wondering if anything better will come along in the future ("How Would I Know") ? these are thoughts that linger in life, sometimes motivating and occasionally stunting one's evolution.
On March 2, 2011, Hest starts a headlining tour which will take the singer across the entire country and Canada in three months. (A partial list of dates is below). Over the past decade, Ari has consistently played 150 dates a year, adding multiple tours in Europe into the mix in the last two years.
Ari Hest's music has been licensed numerous times to shows such as Private Practice and One Tree Hill, and he scored the film Dreamriders, which won numerous independent film awards, and also featured several of Ari's songs. "Now," a new Ari Hest song will be featured in Matthew McConaughey's film, The Lincoln Lawyer, scheduled for release in April, 2011. "Now" will be available on iTunes as well as on all deluxe formats of Sunset Over Hope Street.