Cicada Rhythm – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – July 26th, 2018

Cicada Rhythm

Punk and blues-influenced folk trio from Athens, Georgia

Cicada Rhythm

Ashleigh Flynn

Thu, July 26, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$10 ADV / $12 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

Cicada Rhythm
Cicada Rhythm
When Cicada Rhythm hit the road in support of their 2015 debut, they were a homespun, stripped-down folk duo, armed with songs that mixed acoustic instruments and soft dynamics with the intimate charm of two harmonized voices.

Three years later, bandmates Andrea DeMarcus and Dave Kirslis have upsized their sound considerably with Everywhere I Go. Recorded in a string of studios across the southeast, it’s a snapshot of a band on the move, with new members filling their lineup and a louder set of influences propelling their sound forward. There are roots-rock tunes, slow waltzes, politically-minded lyrics, front-porch folksongs and backwoods ballads, all delivered by a group of road warriors who’ve cut their teeth not only in the writing room, but onstage, too.

“In the beginning, we were two singer/songwriters making a living on $50 per show,” says DeMarcus, a Juilliard-trained bassist who met Kirslis — her bandmate and future husband — when he hopped off a freight train and landed in her Georgia hometown. The two quickly whipped up a musical chemistry rooted in the steady pluck of DeMarcus’ upright bass, the rootsy punch of Kirslis’ guitar, and the raw blend of their voices. As romance blossomed between the musicians, so did a career. “We had to keep it a duo,” DeMarcus remembers of their early days on the road, “because we couldn’t afford to bring along anybody else. When we released our debut record, we started touring with a drummer, and the sound just evolved from there. We realized we needed to demand attention, rather than waiting for people at the shows to shut up.”

People did pay attention, taking notice of Cicada Rhythm’s ability to merge both traditional and contemporary Americana sounds along with topical lyrics, which often touched upon modern issues like environmentalism. Among the band’s biggest fans were members of two A-list Americana bands: Kenneth Pattengale, best known as the spellbinding guitarist and harmony vocalist of the Milk Carton Kids, and Oliver Wood, lead singer and guitarist for the Wood Brothers. When it came time to record Cicada Rhythm’s newest batch of songs in 2017, Pattengale and Wood shared production duties, giving Everywhere I Go a broad, diverse punch.

A sense of forward momentum sweeps its way throughout Everywhere I Go, whose very title conjures up the image of a band in transit. Kicking off with “America’s Open Roads” and winding to a finish with the Bob Dylan-worthy “Back Home,” it’s an album written during a time of travel, of growth, of being together. Like interstate poets, DeMarcus and Kirslis write about the country unfolding outside their car window at highway speed, spinning stories not only about the places they visit, but personal and social struggles, as well.

An Appalachian-sounding anthem for the female empowerment movement, “Do I Deserve It Yet” takes a look at the modern woman’s struggle in a man’s world as DeMarcus wails in the chorus, “Won’t you tell me when I am enough? ‘Cause I can never tell.” “America’s Open Roads” resonates similarly in today’s climate of division and controversial leaders, with the emotionally hard-hitting opening line, “Every day starts with a terrible dream.” Although written outside of political context, these songs took on new meanings once Cicada Rhythm began integrating them into their shows.

“We were touring up the East Coast one week after the election, and the nation was visibly shook up,” says Kirslis, who shares vocal duties throughout the record. “Suddenly, a lot of Andrea’s lyrics seemed to have double meanings. The song is about keeping roads open, rather than build walls over them. As we began playing more and more new songs, they began paralleling some things that were going on in the outside world.”

Fans of Cicada Rhythm’s debut will remember the socially-conscious “Do Not Destroy,” an eco-friendly song that urged its listener to take care of the natural world. Much of Everywhere I Go follows in that song’s footsteps, forming a bridge between the two records.

“We’re changing, but we haven’t lost our sincerity,” DeMarcus adds. “A lot of the songs are still political. They’re emotional. They’re raw, which has always been an important part of our sound. We haven’t lost our identity; we’ve just grown around it.”

Producers Pattengale and Wood assisted in that growth by beefing up the band’s sound with strings, Hammond organ, electric guitar, and pedal steel. Working with the producers separately allowed Cicada Rhythm to revisit and revise a number of songs that had already become live staples. “You can’t underestimate the power of a fresh set of ears,” DeMarcus says. “It’s helpful to know what someone else thinks your song can be, particularly someone who hasn’t heard the song nightly for the past two months. A lot of the time, collaboration is the reason something becomes better.”

Embracing Everywhere I Go as “a patchwork album,” Cicada Rhythm tracked its 12 songs in recording studios, living rooms, and gospel churches throughout Tennessee and Georgia. Some songs were performed live in the studio and captured on analog tape, while album highlights like “Even in the Shallows” were tracked more methodically. String sections were added — a nod to DeMarcus’ fondness for the Beatles, whose own songs often made room for symphonic arrangements — without taking away from the band’s rustic charm. Together, the album’s track list blends orchestral folk-pop and ramshackle roots-rock in equal numbers, giving Cicada Rhythm more fuel for their music-filled travels.

“We named the album after a line in ‘America’s Open Roads,’ but hopefully, this album will be our ticket to everywhere we go,” explains DeMarcus. “Wherever we are, these songs will be with us.”
Ashleigh Flynn
Ashleigh Flynn
Like the Ohio to muddy Ol’ Miss, Ashleigh Flynn follows her
troubadour heart. Flynn grew up in Kentucky and cut her teeth on
local bluegrass music and Motown. A prolific songwriter and
performer blessed with unbridled charisma, she has taken the
stage at Bonnaroo and Bumbershoot, Delfest, High Sierra and
Vancouver Folk Fest and toured with the likes of Todd Snider and
the Wood Brothers.
Thanks to two critically acclaimed independently released studio
albums and a live EP, Flynn is making a name for herself in
Americana music. She arrived on the scene in 2008 with the
release of American Dream, a poetic lament to the elusiveness of
that national ethos. A Million Stars followed in 2013 – a
rollicking journey celebrating the women pioneers of the
American West. Her most recent EP, The Low Arc of the Sun, 2016,
was recorded live on the winter solstice in Portland, Oregon as
an offering to the coming of the light.
With a fresh slate of songs in her arsenal, Flynn returned to
the studio in 2017 to develop a bold new project: Ashleigh Flynn
& the Riveters. In both name and spirit, this all-female band is
a nod to the “Rosie the Riveter” archetype and an homage to the
millions of American women who entered this country’s male dominated
workforce during World War II and kicked some serious
The record’s 11 tracks feature Flynn’s compelling brand of
storytelling and soulful vocals, amped-up and virtuously
enveloped by the electrified Riveters. Inspired in large part by
her new guitar player Nancy Luca’s style and skill, the album
hearkens back to early Stones and ‘70s psychedelic country rock,
yet the result feels simultaneously new and necessary.
Produced by Flynn’s longtime musical collaborator, Chris Funk of
the Decemberists, this highly anticipated LP was recorded and
mixed at Halfling Studios in Portland and supported by grants
from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and
Culture Council.