by MK Scott
Ari Hest is a New York-based singer and songwriter who is bringing his act to Seattle’s Triple Door for one-night only this Sunday (Jan 14). Hest’s early influences range from classic rock to folk rock – from The Beatles to Leonard Cohen and the Dave Matthews Band.
Hest just released his ninth album, Natural, and most recently a duets album with Judy Collins called Silver Skies Blue, which was nominated for a Grammy award for ‘Best Folk Album’ of 2017.
You also may have heard Hest’s music on TV or in movies – The Path, The Lincoln Lawyer, Private Practice, Army Wives, and One Tree Hill to name a few.
Joining him is singer/songwriter and Portland darling, Stephanie Schneiderman, whose claim to fame was winning the 1998 Lilith Fair songwriting contest and she continues to record and tour. Schneiderman and I go way back to high school. It looks like both Hest and Schneiderman will complement each other quite well on stage. I had contacted Hest by email earlier this week.
MK Scott: Welcome to Seattle! My old high school pal, Stephanie Schneiderman, is your opening act and you share something in common. First you both play the guitar and the piano and also some of your songs have been part of pop culture such as ‘Now’ on The Lincoln Lawyer soundtrack in 2011. What is it like when one of your songs get noticed? Ari Hest: It’s always a thrill to hear your music in film or TV, especially when you like what you’re watching. That movie was good. I’ve been fortunate to have my music be part of lots of shows/films over the years.
MK: Stephanie has played at The Triple Door several times and it is a nice little space. What do you like most about Stephanie?
Ari: Well, the truth is, I only know a bit of Stephanie’s music, and it’s great, but like many of my fans who’ll be there that night, I’m excited to listen and learn more about her.
MK: Last year, you co-wrote several songs with folk legend, Judy Collins, for her best album in 40 years called Silver Skies Blue, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album. Did you go to the Grammys and what was the experience like?
Ari: I did go to the Grammys with Judy, and it was kind of surreal. Obviously, it was nice to be recognized among my peers, but the spectacle was new for me, so I locked arms with Judy a little tighter than I’d planned to walking down the red carpet. She’s been amazing to me and I truly enjoyed making Silver Skies Blue with her.
MK: Also in 2017, you released, Natural. What inspired that album?
Ari: Natural is a collection of songs written in the past two years that because of all the work/touring with Judy, I hadn’t recorded. There are a lot of songs about forgiveness and transition. The material as usual for me is quite personal. It’s a sparsely produced album that keeps the focus to my voice and lyrics.
MK: Last Question: Are you and Stephanie planning to collaborate in the future?
Ari: I’d like to MK, so hopefully she’s down for it as well.
MK: Thank you and I look forward to seeing your performance in Seattle.
See Ari Hest w/Stephanie Schneiderman this Sunday, January 14 at The Triple Door. ($15 Advance/$18 Day of) Doors open and dinner service begins 90 minutes prior to show time. Show at 7:30pm (All Ages) https://tickets.thetripledoor.net
MK Scott is a Seattle-based arts blogger. Check out his blog at outview.online.