Eliot Bronson, Dean Fields and Andy Zipf have all played Evening Muse before, but Sunday, the East Coast singer-songwriters will share the stage – along with Muse first-timer Jason Myles Goss.
The four have dubbed the tour The Parlor Sessions, and at the show they’ll act as each other’s backing band, trading songs and collaborating.
“We wanted to try to make it better than the average songwriter-in-the-round, give it some continuity and make it like a real show,” says Atlanta songwriter Bronson. “We don’t want to have four shows that stop and start between songs.”
Fields, who lives in Nashville, came up with the idea for four established songwriters from different areas of the country to hit the road together.
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“The advantages are being able to share booking, promotions and driving duties – the driving is a huge one – but it’s a big commitment to dedicate the months of preparation in doing something of this scale,” Fields says. “Just coordinating a Google hangout with four type-B personalities can be a tall order.”
The musicians released a free digital 12-song sampler of their music, and chose some of their favorite East Coast venues from Connecticut to Charlotte, where the tour concludes Sunday.
Fields considered songwriters that he liked, but it was also important that each have a strong following in their region. Zipf calls Northern Virginia home and Bronson resides in Atlanta; Goss lives in Brooklyn.
“We’ve each built big, devoted local fan bases in addition to solid secondary markets,” says Fields.
Bronson has a foothold in the Charlotte market, having endeared himself to the NoDa crowd with his old band the Brilliant Inventions, and by writing a beautiful musical eulogy called “Milwaukee” (the title track of Bronson’s last album) for Charlotte musician and Muse sound man Rodney Lanier, who died in 2011.
Bronson, who won Merlefest’s Chris Austin songwriting contest in 2013, recently recorded the follow-up to “Milwaukee” with it-producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell’s “Southeastern”). He’s hoping for a September release and is building his career creatively – by teaming up on the road with these three singer-songwriters, for instance.
“There’s certainly a competitive element to this sort of lifestyle and career path,” Bronson says. “We do far better if we help each other out. Other people’s success and failures have no bearing on my own path, and in this case, we can actually help each other.”
Adds Fields, with a laugh: “I accidentally picked three of the nicest egomaniacs in the biz.”