Ari Hest

I discovered singer-songwriter Ari Hest on the 2008 Cayamo cruise.  I only had the chance to see him briefly then, but he made an immediate impression on me.  At Club Cafe, 29-year old Hest was the early show.  He was backed by Ron Calder on bass, Thad Debrock on guitar and Doug Yowell on drums.  The band also co-produced Hest's latest release "Twelve Mondays", from which he performed many tracks.  The concept, as Hest explained it, was that he wrote and shared on his website 52 songs in 2008.  He wrote a song a week and the 12 best, voted by the fans, made it on to this CD.  All sounded like winners to me.  Hest is quite tall, and seems comfortable on stage.  Even though I wasn't familiar with most of the songs, after 1 hour and 15 minutes, I didn't want the show to end.  I wanted to hear all 52 songs and then some.  The music and performer were engaging.  www.arihest.com Tim Brantley opened the show with about a 35-minute set.  He's a singer-songwriter out of Atlanta who plays the guitar and keyboards.  He seemed like he would be more comfortable with a backing band.  He has a great voice and is very personable, making a lot of eye contact with the audience.  Brantley is releasing his first CD next month "Goldtop Heights" http://www.myspace.com/timbrantley P.S.:  I'm going to attempt to do my first CD review.  Actually my first five, as I've been listening to Ari Hest's Songs from 52:  Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and the CD "Twelve Mondays" released on 03.10.09, which is a 'best of' the 52 songs.  Review is here: http://musicblog.wyep.org/2009/03/27/%e2%80%9ctwelve-mondays%e2%80%9d-%e2%80%93-a-cd-review/ Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host