About Me & My Music
I often describe my music as indie folk, alt-country, or Americana. I’m originally from Virginia and some of my biggest influences are Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Mary Gauthier and Anaïs Mitchell. I also love folks like Rickie Lee Jones, Rufus Wainwright, Ray Charles, Chris Pureka, Roseanne Cash, Joan Armatrading, Gillian Welch, the Wailin’ Jennys and Dolly Parton. I’m influenced by traditional music, but I’m definitely not a traditional musician. My music is very melody and lyric-driven, but I also love getting a good groove going with a band and making space for my bandmates to solo and shine.
Several years ago I had a band called Eli Conley and Hip for Squares and more recently I was in a folk pop trio with two other songwriters called Sugar in the Salt. I’ve also done a couple of tours on the east coast backed by an electric cellist and a mandolin & fiddler. All of those trios involved some amount of three-part harmony. Now I’m putting together a new band to play shows and make my second studio album in 2016.
I have a decent following in the East Bay and a small but growing one in SF. Some local places I’ve played recently include La Peña Cultural Center, Studio Grand, the Subterranean Arthouse, El Rio and the Trans Pride March. I do most of my own booking and publicity, occasionally hiring folks to help.
I have a deep commitment to social justice politics, which is reflected in my songs. I sometimes play benefits and four times a year I play and host a show called Queer Country West Coast featuring queer country acts. You don’t have to be LGBTQ or consider yourself an activist to be in the band, but you’ll need to be comfortable with that.
What I’m Looking For
I’m looking for musicians who play well with others! What’s most important to me is that we all jive well in terms of personality as well as musical style and level of musicianship, and that we have fun playing together.
I occasionally have specific musical lines that I want folks to play, but most of the time you’ll be coming up with your own parts and then tweaking what you’re doing based on my feedback.
I’m looking for:
- an upright bass player or a cellist who can play bass lines
- a lead instrumentalist who plays mandolin, fiddle, dobro, pedal steel, accordion, piano, banjo, and/or slide guitar
- harmony singers who can also play tambourine/shakers
It would be especially awesome if you are a multi-instrumentalist and/or can play an instrument and sing harmony at the same time, but it’s not necessary.
If you like the sound of this band and play something other than what’s listed here and think it could be a fit, feel free to contact me.
Scope & Time Commitment
I’m looking for folks up for playing shows in the Bay about once a month and recording an album this summer. There’s also the possibility for interested band members to come with me when I tour if schedule and funds permit.
Once I find folks who are a good fit, I’m looking for a commitment of at least a year. I have a bunch of new songs and the plan is that we’ll rehearse once a week in January and February to put together arrangements and get comfortable playing together. Rehearsals will be at my apartment in south Berkeley near Ashby BART, most likely on weekends, Fridays or Mondays.
Compensation will vary depending on how much we get paid at each show, but I believe in paying myself and the musicians who work with me fairly. I’ll always guarantee you at least $25 per gig, and hopefully I’ll be able to pay you a lot more as our following and the size of the venues we play grows.
Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you play, a bit about your history as a musician, and some times you’d be available to audition. It would also be great if you have recordings or videos of you playing that you could send me. I look forward to hearing from you!