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Woodbridge Township's Music on Main and Avenel
Performing Arts Center are pleased to present solo performances of
two amazing singer songwriters on one co-bill.
West Virginia native Christian Lopez was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as "Best Newcomer" at the Americana Music Festival in 2015. Christian's 3 full length CD releases "Onward" (2015), Red Arrow (2017) and "The Other Side" (2021) translates the iconic America before him with crisp and thoughtful imagery and storytelling.
Brooklyn-based Leslie Mendelson is supporting her most recent studio album ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice...,’ as well as a solo acoustic EP ‘In the Meantime’. All Music writes that Leslie evokes “1970s songwriter influences in the vein of Carole King and Carly Simon”. Leslie’s duet with Jackson Browne for the documentary film, ‘5B,’ was released in 2019. Leslie has also worked with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir who recorded a duet with her on Roy Orbison's standard, “Blue Bayou,” as well as being invited by The Who to open for them at Madison Square Garden.
They said it couldn’t be done. Four different songwriters joining forces to form a single band? There was simply no precedent (outside of CSNY, The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys, The Highwaymen, Monsters of Folk, etc). And yet Fantastic Cat did it anyway, defying the odds and teaming up to record their highly unanticipated debut, The Very Best of Fantastic Cat, out now on Blue Rose Music. Captured in the wilds of the Pocono Mountains, the album gleefully careens between genres and decades, mixing electrified 60’s folk and 70’s AM radio gold as it balances careful craftsmanship and ecstatic abandon in equal measure.
Individually, each member of Fantastic Cat boasts their own impressive resume along with a litany of critical acclaim. The Guardian dubbed Don DiLego “one to watch.” NPR said Anthony D’Amato “sings and writes in the tradition of Bruce Springsteen or Josh Ritter.” Rolling Stone called Brian Dunne’s latest single a “stunner” and praised Mike Montali’s band, Hollis Brown, as “the soundtrack for a late-night drive through the American heartland.” Collectively, though, the four transcend their respective roots, emerging as an instrument-swapping, harmony-trading, tear-jerking, wise-cracking rock and roll cooperative far greater than the sum of its parts.
Debra Devi plays "dreamy blues-rockers" (Relix) flavored with her soulful voice and expressive guitar playing. American Blues Scene says, "Imagine you're preparing a list of today’s top female blues/rock guitarists. No doubt you'll include Bonnie Raitt, Samantha Fish, Susan Tedeschi and Ana Popovic. If you don’t include Debra Devi, your list is not complete."
Devi's new live EP, Jamification Station Vol. 1 has reached #5 on the Relix/Jambands Top 30 Radio Chart. Gov't Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson joined Devi on her previous EP, A Zillion Stars Overhead, which Americana Highways called "mesmerizing and exciting." Devi has opened for Joan Osborne, Jesse Malin, Ana Popovic, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Joe Louis Walker, Marshall Crenshaw, The Bongos and Bruce Katz. She has performed with Kate Pierson (B-52s) and Grammy-winning guitarist Cindy Cashdollar.