Sound Advice: Bobby Long with Jayson Erik Alcott

Friday • Southgate House Revival

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Clichés are truths that are almost predictably repeated, and one of life’s consistently quoted gems is, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

That’s not to say that Bobby Long would never have become a break-out star without a little assistance from a famous friend, but it certainly helped jumpstart the British singer/songwriter’s career by way of a very passionate fan base. Long found his musical voice through cello and guitar and began writing songs at 18. At 20, he enrolled at London Metropolitan University, majoring in film sound and media, and satisfied his musical impulses by playing local open-mic gigs. Through that scene, Long met a number of similarly inclined young creatives, including fellow songwriter Marcus Foster and a musically talented actor named Robert Pattinson.

In 2008, the year before Long graduated from LMU with a film music degree, he found his music career fast-tracked when his pal Pattinson performed the Long/Foster co-write “Let Me Sign” on the first Twilight film’s soundtrack. Upon graduation, Long pursued music with the massive head-start provided by Twilight’s enormous success and Pattinson’s instant pop culture ascension, playing showcase gigs in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville and storming through the U.S. on his Dangerous Summer tour. Long relocated to New York and self-released a trio of albums before signing with Dave Matthews’ ATO Records in 2010.

Since then, Long has released a pair of EPs and two acclaimed full-lengths — 2011’s A Winter Tale and 2013’s magnificent Wishbone. Also during this period, Long published Losing My Brotherhood, a book of his poetry. Long spent the better part of 2014 writing his new album, the just-released Ode to Thinking, his debut for new label Compass Records. Funded by a wildly successful PledgeMusic campaign, Ode to Thinking finds Long taking a detour from the electric Pearl Jam/DMB squall of Wishbone in favor of the Folk simplicity of his early Bob Dylan/Leonard Cohen direction. In either context, Bobby Long writes modern classics, performs them with a visceral intensity and continues to accrue fans at an exponential rate.

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