Thursday, May 3, 2012

Firstman unveils new band during homecoming show at Chop Shop Friday

The longer singer-songwriter Joe Firstman is away from the Carolinas the closer his music draws to his Southern roots. Charlotte raised Firstman, who moved to Los Angeles over a decade ago, returns to his hometown with a new band, Cordovas (pictured above), Friday at the Chop Shop. He'll also serve as a solo opening act.

His latest solo album and his work with Cordovas follow his recent progression into rootsier music. On 2011's "Swear It Was a Dream," Firstman explores Southern boogie ("Who's Turnin' Your Light Out?"), funky blues ("Standin on the Porch"), and bluegrass ("Angel Moon") as well as rock ("Born Dreamer").

Cordovas features three part harmonies in the tradition of Crosby, Stills & Nash courtesy of Firstman (pictured in back) and fellow songwriters Jaron Lowenstein (middle) and Jon Loyd. Both draw heavily on 1970's Southern rock, blues, and Southern California sounds.

In 2001 Firstman hopped a Greyhound heading to Hollywood with little money and a guitar. He eventually scored a deal with Atlantic Records, which released 2003's "War Of Women" album and put him on the road opening for Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson. Firstman's profile rose further during his stint as house band leader on "Last Call with Carson Daly," where he demonstrated his capabilities in a number of genres. When Daly's show switched from the traditional talk show format to more of a news magazine style show, that gig ended giving Firstman more time to focus on his solo career.

Since forming Cordovas, Firstman has released both his latest solo album and two records - live and studio discs - with Cordovas. You can check out both acts with Steve Everett and John Wesley Satterfield Band at Chop Shop in NoDa Friday.


  1. I will never forget seeing Joe Firstman years ago at World Mardi Gras with someone - maybe Jupiter Coyote. I was fortunate enough to go to school at UNC, and had the chance to see he and his band play for several years before he hopped to the west coast. Great songwriter and performer. Looking forward to this.

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