Alicia Lemke and Friends
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Alicia Lemke is a young singer/songwriter currently attending Berklee on scholarship. Both an accomplished jazz singer and self-taught guitarist, Lemke began writing her own brand of folk music a little over a year ago, and has just released her first original EP titled Shades of Motion. Musically speaking, Lemke is an amalgam of poetic and whimsical lyrics, lilting melody, and fingerstyle guitar, with a clear, graceful, and strong voice. Her songs speak of her own self-awareness, honesty, and personal experience.
Though her first forays into music were in community musical theater as early as middle school, Lemke’s real passion came from 10 years of classical alto saxophone and jazz baritone saxophone. Her leadership in high school propelled her into college jazz ensemble, where she doubled on baritone sax and vocals. Her discovery of vocal jazz inspired her to take a semester off from school to work under the tutelage of jazz piano legend Garry Dial (Manhattan School of Music) in Manhattan. It was during that spring that she picked up acoustic guitar, and upon encouragement from her mentor Mr. Dial, auditioned for Berklee College of Music.
Russell Lacy is a native Virginia fingerpicker who meshes old-time and bluegrass music with his own interpretations of Delta blues and songster traditions. His songwriting drifts easily from ballads to blues numbers, and by playing the chords, melody, and bass simultaneously, Lacy creates a full sound that is reminiscent of John Hurt, Doc Watson, Robert Johnson, and countless others in American roots music.
The Groove praised Nathan Reich's album Arms Around a Ghost as featuring "serious songwriting. . . literary but straightforward, playful but honest."