The Dukes of Brooklyn

Early Show

The Dukes of Brooklyn

Chris Ayer

Tue, June 19, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

The Dukes of Brooklyn
The Dukes of Brooklyn
"When was the last time you felt alive? It was a lonely night when I walked by. Something caught my ear: a foot stomp, the cry of a bottleneck slide...I'd been shown the way to that whiskey bar, but didn't ask why. Inside the air was alive, thick, like before a storm. We all danced, lost ourselves, gave in to the music. Later, as I walked out with her, I asked, who was that? She pulled me close, whispered in my ear: The Dukes of Brooklyn.. And then she blew me."
Chris Ayer
Chris Ayer
When asked about his latest album, Don't Go Back To Sleep, Ayer sees it first as a call to action for himself. "This group of songs has really become a collective note-to-self on how I want to live. They were all born out of moments where I was going along in my day-to-day life, and something shook me out of the autopilot rhythm, and reminded me that I better open up and dig in right this second." After a listen, this creative desire is abundantly evident throughout Ayer's sophomore release. He admits they are heavy themes, even for a singer/songwriter. And yet Ayer is able to pull off that timeless trick of great songwriting, where weighty topics take on a light touch, so that they draw you in and uplift.

Ayer grew up in McLean, Virginia, and got his start singing along to old cassette tapes of Elvis and Paul Simon on car rides. When his dad got him his first guitar as a teen, he started writing songs that same day. After moving to northern California, he started sharing his songs locally, while studying philosophy and music at Stanford University.

Though his songwriting started as a hobby, it quickly became his main focus. "Honestly, I started school thinking I'd study physics, but that changed real fast. And while people around me were playing music and writing songs here and there as a break, playing and writing became all I wanted to do." Though studies in music theory & history at first informed his songwriting, the dry academics of a regimented music department became increasingly uninspiring for him. It was Ayer's interest in philosophy and his affinity to the lyrical elements of poetry that ultimately gave voice to his writing. The works of writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, and Rumi, as well as songwriters such as Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen make a significant impact on Ayer's own lyrics.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com