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POSTPONED: Midnight North
June 25 @ 9:00 pm
- 8PM DOORS / 9PM SHOW
- ALL AGES
- STANDING ROOM ONLY
There’s Always a Story represents a new chapter for Midnight North. Ten stories told through song on their most polished album to date.
Reflecting on the time since their origin, Midnight North is ready to tell the world its story. A group of multi-instrumentalists with songwriting roots in Folk and Americana, Midnight North is a mainstay on the stages of the national touring circuit. Rolling Stone hailed Midnight North as the “Best New Act” in its review of 2018’s Peach Music Festival saying the band “takes the best parts of roots music and weaves them into a tapestry of rock and Americana.”
Grahame Lesh, Elliott Peck, & Connor O’Sullivan began playing together in San Francisco. In early 2012 they played their first show as Grahame Lesh & Friends. Grahame & Elliott both brought a repertoire of original music to this new project that was a perfect marriage once the band began performing in earnest. In late 2012 the band went into the studio for the first time, tracking the entirety of their debut album End of the Night in just 2 days. End of the Night (mixed & produced by Connor) was released in June 2013 as they officially debuted the name Midnight North.
The band began touring in June 2015, with the release of their second album Scarlet Skies. That began a five year run as a touring band, playing in 36 states in front of thousands of people across the country. They released Under the Lights, their most successful studio album to date, in summer 2017. “Across all of the tracks, when you think you have the band pegged for a style or a genre, all of a sudden a chorus, or a new solo or new instrument altogether, diverts the music boldly but smartly to a new sound and feel,” said The Poke Around in their review of Under the Lights. They also released two live albums including 2018’s Selections From the Great American Music Hall which featured Bob Weir & Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead plus members of Twiddle as special guests.
A pivotal moment for the band came when Grahame met drummer Nathan Graham at a benefit show in Philadelphia in 2016. A month later Nathan sat in with the band for a show, eventually joining the band for their longest tour to date in the Spring of 2017. Bringing on the well seasoned drummer as a full-time member of the band (and learning about his banjo playing, singing, and song-writing skills) represented the next step forward as plans were made to record their fourth studio album.
In January 2020, the band went into a California studio with producer David Simon-Baker to craft their fourth studio album, There’s Always a Story, released in 2021 on Americana Vibes. As the world shut down in March and the band quarantined separately around the country, the album was finished remotely in California and Pennsylvania. As the months ticked by they let the rest of the newly written & recorded songs sink into their consciousness so that when work resumed on the album in June the entire album became even better than they could have hoped.
2022 and beyond is a new beginning, and while Midnight North longingly looks ahead, hand-in-hand with the rest of the world, There’s Always a Story will serve as a collective and reflective narrative.
Hunter Park is finding her way.
She lives with her beloved grandmother, Patricia Smith, who she calls “mom,” and great aunt Fern Tuten. They occupy a little white house in the middle of nowhere, on family land near Jacksonboro. Nearby is blind Uncle Parker Tuten, who lost an arm in a youthful accident.
“It’s very swamp-witch,” she said. “It’s my aesthetic.”
Park comes from a big Southern family, but her birth parents both are gone now. She struggled through her adolescence, attending Porter-Gaud. “It was a great education, but I hated it,” she said. She was misunderstood, rejected, the subject of patronizing talk.
But she found music and, along with it, a purpose and a safe space to express herself.
Now her band, She Returns From War, is gathering steam and attention. In just a few years, Park went from an open mic to the Spoleto Festival USA finale concert this year at Middleton Place. She’s working on a second album with some well-known local collaborators and planning a new tour.
Park calls her musical style “Cosmic Americana.” She strums an acoustic guitar and sings heartfelt, recondite lyrics, often about love and relationships, while her bandmates provide a swaying, understated, embracing sound — a simple beat, tasteful guitar licks, a rich ambiance.
Her physique belies the gentleness of the music. Park cuts a striking, self-assured, hard-to-miss figure. She’s tall, dresses exuberantly, wears her hair long and dyes the ends blonde. She came out as transgender in high school, which wasn’t easy.
“Nobody knew what that was,” she said. “They tried to be nice but in a very demeaning way.”
Park already was drawn to the stage. She appeared in theater productions and sang in the choir. Charles Carmody, a fellow Porter-Gaud student who now runs the Charleston Music Hall, taught Park how to play guitar.
Starting at about 16 years old, Park began to write songs. She spent summers during her high school years in Nashville “trying to get famous.” She posted ads, threw away some money, met some people who were not always helpful.
“But it was a good experience because I understood what was up from an early age,” she said.
When, after Porter-Gaud, she spent six months at Queens University in Charlotte, Park began to get more serious about music, and when she moved to New York City at the beginning of 2012, she spent another six months searching for opportunities — and landing one or two.
But Park is attached to her hometown and inspired by its vibrant popular music scene, so she soon returned from her northern trials and rejoined a Charleston community that provides a safe and creative niche in which she is happy to put down roots.
“I bloom more when planted,” she said.
Being transgender is a little easier now. Park hates that people still think it’s all so mysterious, or that many turn away in fear or discomfort.
“And I think they sexualize people, which I don’t think is fair,” she said. Being transgender is about identity, not sex. “There is still so much violence and fear and ignorance.” But not so much within Park’s musical and social circles. “I have a great community.”