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Sun Studies – Chessa Rich – Joshua Carpenter at Arcana
July 31 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sun Studies is a songwriting moniker featuring the wide-ranging baritone of Reid Johnson. Since the mid-2000s, Johnson has quietly accumulated a respected catalog with the band Schooner & other projects. Sun Studies is a more intimate, sparse affair.
“on Sketches, he indulges in his blurriest folk tendencies, crafting accessible, honeyed desolation and several of the strongest songs of his winding career.” -David Ford Smith, Independent Weekly (NC)
“spare, saturnine acoustic folk-rock bears along a striking vocal performance, heavily draped but surprisingly mobile. Johnson’s baritone has the stern majesty of Scott Walker, but it’s softened by the syrupy ache of Roy Orbison…” -Brian Howe, Independent Weekly (NC)
Chessa Rich is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Durham, NC. A North Carolina native, Chessa moved back to North Carolina in 2013 and became a sought-after and reliable collaborator; adding keyboard, flute, and vocals to projects by NC artists including Skylar Gudasz, Body Games, T0W3RS, Josh Moore, Blue Cactus, and producer Jeff Crawford.
Five years of supporting artists across multiple genres has found Chessa Rich with something to say herself. Her anticipated solo material is a stunning synthesis of what she’s learned from years of collaboration and the voice she’s been discovering and developing through deep introspection.
Chessa Rich weaves asymmetrical rhythms on keyboard and guitar with stories told with moving vocals. Her songs paint dream-like images that implore listeners to do less thinking and more feeling.
Video by Dan Schram:
Joshua Carpenter (Asheville, NC)
Joshua Carpenter has done stints with Floating Action, The Nein, and even a handful of gigs here and there with cult-hero-turned-phenomenon Rodriguez. The Asheville, NC resident currently plays with Schooner, Better Twin, & Emily Easterly in addition to writing and performing under his own name. Carpenter has released two under-the-radar-but-stellar solo albums, Full Flight, in 2011, and Prey Tells, in 2017.
Carpenter’s aesthetic lends itself to Big Star’s memorable hooks with the wry, eviscerating wit of Andy Partridge. Catchy, cerebral, and a bit pugnacious.
“…traces back through songsmiths Tobin Sprout and Matthew Sweet to Robyn Hitchcock and Ray Davies – nostalgia obsessives unafraid to dress their melancholy in pop trappings.”
-John Schacht, Independent Weekly (NC)