Thursday, February 9, 2012

Local songwriter/composer returns to solo stage after a seven year break

Eight or nine years ago singer-songwriter/composer Jason Hausman occasionally played the coffee shop/gallery where I worked during gallery crawls. These must have been some of his last shows because we closed that store - The Queen's Beans on Camden Road in South End - in September 2005. His last solo performance was January 2005. The flyer hangs in the entryway of Hot Sake, the commercial music writing business he owns and operates, coincidentally in the same location of the former Clay on Camden gallery (which connected to the Beans and which I also managed for part of its existence).

Hausman (pictured above) makes his return to the stage Friday, February 10, with his new band at Evening Muse. The band, Jason Hausman & the Shallow Sea, opens for Sunshone Still, the Columbia-based vehicle for songwriter Chris Smith of which Hausman is also a member along with a handful of other Charlotteans. Sunshone Still is celebrating the release of its new album, "The Way the World Dies" (the disc also features Charlotte musician Rodney Lanier, who passed away in December).

Hausman didn't put the guitar away when he retired from performing. In fact his Hot Sake studio is filled with interesting instruments including a few signature custom guitar models by luthier Jack Dent. Instead he focused on writing jingles and scores and creating sound design for commercials, TV, and film. You've likely heard his work in Carmax's Super Bowl commercials, Bojangles' ads, and during NASCAR events and Speed Channel series. The awards he's collected fill the entrance of Hot Sake.

His new album, "Grey Sky Sparrow," won't be released until this summer but he'll reveal tracks from it for the first time live Friday. From what I'm told it'll be darker, more ambient and unusual than what he was doing seven years ago. He mentions David Sylvian, Brian Eno, later Talk Talk, and current acts like Elbow and Sigur Ros as reference points when describing it. Steve Rothery from the band Marillion has become a friend and colleague of Hausman's (the two recently worked on a score for an upcoming PBS documentary) and appears on the record. Live he's joined by Charlotte music veterans Jonathan Erickson, Dan Hood (Uphonik), Allison Modaferri (Volatile Baby!), Stacey Leaser, and Chris Walters.

Hausman and Sunshone Still are joined by Danielle Howle Friday at Evening Muse (3227 N. Davidson St.). $12. Advance tickets are sold out, but you may be able to snag one at the door if you're lucky. 704-376-3737;

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