$45 | $40 | $35 A band of extraordinary chemistry and exquisite musicianship, I’m With Her features Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. An impromptu show in 2014 at the
$45 | $40 | $35
A band of extraordinary chemistry and exquisite musicianship, I’m With Her features Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. An impromptu show in 2014 at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, CO, sparked the formation of I’m With Her and sent the trio touring the world together the next year. Along the way, I’m With Her formed a special, family-like chemistry, garnering acclaim for their unique blend of instrumental interplay combined with their indelible harmonies, as the New York Times describes, “… that could be sweetly ethereal, or as tightly in tandem as country sibling teams like the Everly Brothers, or as hearty as mountain gospel.” Their debut album, See You Around, was recorded in Box, England, with Ethan Johns at Real World Studios.
Co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and the band and recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in a tiny English village near Bath, See You Around delivers a warmly textured yet stripped-down sound that proves both fresh and timeless. To achieve the album’s intimate feel, I’m With Her recorded live in the tight confines of the Wood Room, all three members performing in the same room without monitors or headphones. With its piercingly lyricism, See You Around also finds I’m With Her showing the uncompromising honesty of their songwriting. That intensity is heightened by the band’s effortless harmonizing, which the New York Times has praised as “sweetly ethereal, or as tightly in tandem as country sibling teams like the Everly Brothers, or as hearty as mountain gospel.”
All through See You Around, I’m With Her exhibit a refined musicality that reflects their deep musical roots. After years of crossing paths in their intersecting scenes, the three musicians came together by happenstance for an off-the-cuff performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in summer 2014. The very same day, a mutual friend texted them with a last-minute request to open a show that night at the Sheridan Opera House. “We had two hours to prepare for a 30-minute set and we said, ‘Let’s do it, let’s skip margaritas and rehearse,’” O’Donovan recalls. “We worked up six or seven songs in the bathroom, and then went on to this crazy-energetic crowd at one in the morning. I’ll never forget how amazing that felt.”
As their chemistry continued to deepen, the trio soon founded I’m With Her and transformed the project into a fully realized band. Although I’m With Her spent most of 2015 performing at festivals around the world, the band also holed up for their first-ever writing session that summer in L.A. “By that point it had started to solidify that we travel well together, play well together, eat well together — it felt like we’d tested our compatibility in all these different zones,” says Watkins. And after just four days of writing, it was clear that their compatibility extended to the art of songcraft. “I loved the songs, we all loved the songs,” says Jarosz of that first batch of tracks penned in L.A. “I think that really sparked the flame for us to make a full record together.”
When it came time to get working on the record, I’m With Her convened at a borrowed farmhouse in Vermont and spent over a week carving out new material, leaving only to replenish their supply of Heady Topper beer. “We were completely on lockdown and didn’t interact with another human being for eight days,” says O’Donovan. “If you can get through that and, at the end, still be so excited about what you’re doing, then that says a lot about the whole creative flow as a band.” Jarosz adds: “A lot of times you approach songwriting as a solitary act, or maybe choose to write with one other person you feel comfortable with. It’s a whole other beast to have three people writing together, juggling all these different ideas and personalities. But somehow for us, all of the songwriting was just so seamless.”
In Vermont, the band settled into their creative stride. With each member playing guitar and handling various aspects of the instrumentation — including fiddle and ukulele for Watkins, mandolin and banjo for Jarosz, piano and synth for O’Donovan — the band cut most of the album live and under exceptionally close-knit conditions. “Ethan had the studio so that we played all in the same room and facing each other,” Jarosz says. “There was really no separation between us at all.”
I’m with Her will also be accompanied by a Festival String Quartet.
(Tuesday) 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm