Music: Shawn Persinger is Prester John this Fri., Mar. 11, at 8 PM

Shawn_Persinger_WebGuitarist Shawn Persinger—Shawn Persinger is Prester John—plays a solo show at Best Video this Friday, Mar. 11. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

With a unique blend of acoustic folk, jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, humor, and the avant-garde, New Haven, Shawn Persinger is Prester John has a sound that is entirely his own.

The Chicago Tribune once said, “Prester John has made a career out of balancing technical prowess with pop accessibility (and) a dash of punk-rock rawness.” One minute you’re hearing a pop/rock song in the tradition of Cat Stevens or Jack Johnson, the next you’re listening to music that could have been composed by Stravinsky or Frank Zappa. When it comes to traditional and mainstream styles Prester John’s authenticity is also difficult to match; their bluegrass repertoire sounds straight out of Appalachia (no doubt due to Persinger’s West Virginia roots) and their swing tunes recall the bygone days of The Hot Club of France. The ease and flexibility they display traversing and transcending genres is practically unheard of in this day and age (if ever).”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINE NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: WESTERN ESTATES, ZACH ANDERSEN

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, JOE FLOOD

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Thurs., Apr. 7. BLUES: THE MOODY’S BLUES

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Music: Prester John with Shawn Persinger and David Miller on Thurs., Apr. 23, at 8 PM

Prester_John_Point_Color_WebPrester John, a duo featuring Shawn Persinger (guitar, vocals) and David Miller ( mandolin, harmony vocals) play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 23. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $7.

With a unique blend of acoustic folk, jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, humor, and the avant-garde, New Haven, CT duo Prester John has a sound that is entirely their own. Formed in 2008 by underground guitar-hero Shawn Persinger, Prester John also showcases the musical talents of David Miller on mandolin and harmony vocals.

The Chicago Tribune once said, “Prester John has made a career out of balancing technical prowess with pop accessibility (and) a dash of punk-rock rawness.” One minute you’re hearing a pop/rock song in the tradition of Cat Stevens or Jack Johnson, the next you’re listening to music that could have been composed by Stravinsky or Frank Zappa. When it comes to traditional and mainstream styles Prester John’s authenticity is also difficult to match; their bluegrass repertoire sounds straight out of Appalachia (no doubt due to Persinger’s West Virginia roots) and their swing tunes recall the bygone days of The Hot Club of France. The ease and flexibility they display traversing and transcending genres is practically unheard of in this day and age (if ever).

Prester John have released two “sister CDs,” with Desire for a Straight Line showcasing the instrumental side of their repertoire while Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls focuses on their singer-songwriter skills. Both recordings have garnered considerable popular and critical acclaim. The Village Voice described Desire for a Straight Line as an “eclectic assortment of slipstream compositions touching on prog-tinged jazz, classical, manouche, and newgrass idioms. It’s a lot of fun.” Desire… also found it’s way onto the 2010 Grammy nomination ballot for “Best Contemporary Jazz Recording,” though Prester John are the first to point out, “It’s not really jazz. More a mix of jazz, classical, and contemporary acoustic instrumental music.”

Critical reception of Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls has been equally complimentary, with Premier Guitar stating that Prester John are “remarkable instrumentalists and engaging singers [with] wildly entertaining, funny, clever and smart songs. The melodies are strong, catchy and unique, with a pop sensibility running under the clear influences of everything from Dawg music to heavy metal to the Beatles to gypsy jazz to bluegrass, with the occasional neo-classical flight of fancy thrown in for good measure.”

“This duo started with a backlog of Shawn’s songs but the future of our sound is wide open,” says Miller. “We both have an interest in different types of music and we also have the ability to play many styles. Whether it’s the simplicity of a two and four backbeat or the complexity of an atonal melody. Nothing is dismissed.” It is that eclectic taste and skill that makes Prester John a force to be reckoned with.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 15. SYNTH-POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Apr. 16. GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS: BILL BECKETT; INDIE FOLK: XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. JAZZ: SAMUEL SUGGS

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: Prester John featuring Shawn Persinger and David Miller on Thurs., June 26, at 8 PM

Point Color_WebPrester John, a duo featuring Shawn Persinger (guitar, vocals) and David Miller ( mandolin, harmony vocals) play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 26. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

With a unique blend of acoustic folk, jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, humor, and the avant-garde, New Haven, CT duo Prester John has a sound that is entirely their own. Formed in 2008 by underground guitar-hero Shawn Persinger, Prester John also showcases the musical talents of David Miller on mandolin and harmony vocals.

The Chicago Tribune once said, “Prester John has made a career out of balancing technical prowess with pop accessibility (and) a dash of punk-rock rawness.” One minute you’re hearing a pop/rock song in the tradition of Cat Stevens or Jack Johnson, the next you’re listening to music that could have been composed by Stravinsky or Frank Zappa. When it comes to traditional and mainstream styles Prester John’s authenticity is also difficult to match; their bluegrass repertoire sounds straight out of Appalachia (no doubt due to Persinger’s West Virginia roots) and their swing tunes recall the bygone days of The Hot Club of France. The ease and flexibility they display traversing and transcending genres is practically unheard of in this day and age (if ever).

Prester John have released two “sister CDs,” with Desire for a Straight Line showcasing the instrumental side of their repertoire while Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls focuses on their singer-songwriter skills. Both recordings have garnered considerable popular and critical acclaim. The Village Voice described Desire for a Straight Line as an “eclectic assortment of slipstream compositions touching on prog-tinged jazz, classical, manouche, and newgrass idioms. It’s a lot of fun.” Desire… also found it’s way onto the 2010 Grammy nomination ballot for “Best Contemporary Jazz Recording,” though Prester John are the first to point out, “It’s not really jazz. More a mix of jazz, classical, and contemporary acoustic instrumental music.”

Critical reception of Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls has been equally complimentary, with Premier Guitar stating that Prester John are “remarkable instrumentalists and engaging singers [with] wildly entertaining, funny, clever and smart songs. The melodies are strong, catchy and unique, with a pop sensibility running under the clear influences of everything from Dawg music to heavy metal to the Beatles to gypsy jazz to bluegrass, with the occasional neo-classical flight of fancy thrown in for good measure.”

“This duo started with a backlog of Shawn’s songs but the future of our sound is wide open,” says Miller. “We both have an interest in different types of music and we also have the ability to play many styles. Whether it’s the simplicity of a two and four backbeat or the complexity of an atonal melody. Nothing is dismissed.” It is that eclectic taste and skill that makes Prester John a force to be reckoned with.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, June 18. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, June 19. GARAGE POP/PSYCHEDELIC ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wednesday, June 25. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Thursday, June 26. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, June 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Sunday, June 29. BEST VIDEO FUNDRAISER

• Wednesday, July 2. ROCK: EXTRASENSORY

• Thursday, July 3. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Wednesday, July 9. CLASSICAL GUITAR: ORPHÉE RUSSELL

• Thursday, July 10. FOLK: THE HEATH SISTERS

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET