Focus Concert: Brad Yoder duo, with Heather Mae
Date(s) - Sunday, February 18, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:45 pm
Brad Yoder believes musical success should be measured in more than just the obvious ways. Acknowledged by Pittsburgh Magazine as “ruling the Pittsburgh coffeehouse scene,” Brad logs over 150 performances annually, playing colleges, cafés, churches, festivals, First Nights, and even the zoo. Along the way, Brad has sold over 7,000 copies of five self-released CDs, including Excellent Trouble (2010), Someday or Never (2007), Used (2002), Talk to Total Strangers (1999), and his 1997 debut disc, Best Sunday Heart. Songs from these recordings have been featured on CBS’s “NUMB3RS,” NPR’s “Car Talk,” the ABC Family Network’s “Beautiful People,” “Dawson’s Creek” 5th season DVD, and as part of the Pittsburgh Regional History Center’s 9-11 Memorial Exhibit.
?The addition of the dynamic upright and fretless bass-playing of Jason Rafalak (plus mandolin and vocal harmonies) has added a new level of excitement and arrangement possibilities to Brad’s live performances. Since their debut at the 2005 Three Rivers Arts Festival, Brad and Jason have been steadily building buzz in Pittsburgh and beyond, playing as widely as Connecticut, Virginia, New York, Philadelphia, and Minnesota.
?It’s Brad’s unique mix of humorous, poetic, political, funky and edgy original songs, covering a musical range from folk to indie rock (with unexpected musical and lyrical twists), that has earned him a loyal following ranging from kids in single digits through retirees.
Heather Mae is that rare artist who startles your senses on many levels, engaging the part of your brain that makes you shake your hips, but also raise your fist in solidarity.
An imaginative lyricist with a powerhouse voice, Heather Mae is forging new ground with her newest album. Entitled “I AM ENOUGH”, the collection was dubbed a KickStarter Staff Pick within it’s first week, smashing through its $15,000 fundraising goal and on it’s official release date – June 10, 2016 – peaked at #58 on the iTunes Pop Charts. All of this without the support of a label.
With producer Mark Williams (Sucker Punch Recording Co.) at the wheel, the collection of five songs is a bold breakout from her former years as a folk singer-songwriter strumming a ukulele. Mae breaks ground in “I AM ENOUGH” not only for her interesting indie-pop sound, but also for her musical take on touchy subjects ranging from LGBTQ discrimination, gender stereotypes, body image, and mental health issues. This is what sets Mae apart—she seeks to write music for those that need an anthem and doesn’t shy away from tackling topics not often heard in pop music.
In 2017, Mae was dubbed the winner of Songwriter Showcase at the prestigious Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, CO. She will be returning in 2018 to play a full set on the main stage. Mae won 2nd place in the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO, was named the People’s Choice Award winner of the Wildflower Festival’s Singer-Songwriter Showcase in Richardson, TX, and landed an Official Showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City. Last year, in 2016, Mae was selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Competition, International Songwriting Contest, and Falcon Ridge Songwriter Showcase.
The FOCUS event will be staged at Tikvat Israel; light refreshments will be available for purchase during intermission. Advance tickets are available through FOCUS’s website. FOCUS member pricing for tickets purchased at the door will be extended to Tikvat Israel members.
FOCUS is a non-profit organization whose mission “is to bring folk and acoustic music to a growing audience through performance, education and participation in the musical folk art.” Tikvat Israel and FOCUS have agreed to a partnership to bring folk music concerts to Tikvat Israel and the Montgomery County community.