Midnight North opens Concert Under the Stars in Carson City
Special to the Appeal
Midnight North opens the 10th annual Concert Under the Stars, A Benefit for The Greenhouse Project, on July 11, with a performance that promises to deliver something for everyone.
Since its founding, Midnight North has developed a cross-generational following comprised of those who love solid musicianship, great songwriting and beautifully blended harmonies, all of which are showcased on each of their albums, including their recently released “Under The Lights.”
Lead by Grahame Lesh on guitar and vocals, he’s joined by Elliott Peck, who has been with Grahame from the outset on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Alex Jordan, keyboards, guitar and vocals; and Connor Sullivan on basses and mandolin, as they present their own interpretation of rock and Americana music.
“I started playing piano at a very young age and guitar as a young teen and had bands in high school and college,” Lesh said. “Midnight North started about six years ago and we sang a lot of harmonies and really developed that.”
Grahame is the son of Phil Lesh, founding member of The Grateful Dead. When Grahame’s folks started Terrapin Crossroads (restaurant and performance space in San Rafael, California), it gave Midnight North a place to develop musically, to test new work on audiences, and to play alongside and be mentored by some of the most legendary names in American music.
“I get to play and make music with Dad (and his friends), and it has allowed us to get better at what we do,” Grahame said. “I am in no way trying to distance myself from (that legacy) and our success coincided with my folks starting Terrapin Crossroads, which really kick-started things for us and has all been a help. I am super lucky to have the parents I do in many ways and to have been born when I was; yes, I am a lucky dude.”
Rather than run away from his father’s legacy, Grahame embraces his roots, noting Midnight North, “is an amalgamation of our influences — Graham Parsons, CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Emmy Lou Harris, The Dead, all those great musicians,” Grahame said. “At the early stage we didn’t know what to expect beyond that we had an excellent opportunity and having a place to play (at Terrapin) allowed our playing to develop and the path forward, but I didn’t know it would be a future career.”
While Midnight North’s musicianship has blossomed thanks to their dedication, fine-tuned with myriad hours of performance, the true glue that binds lies in Midnight North’s strong songwriting and harmonies.
“Singing has always been our thing, and we’ve sung together so long that the center of attention is on our singing and our lyrics,” Grahame said.
The writing process comes in various ways, sometimes solely through one person, collaboratively as a group, or develops from a patchwork of single ideas contributed by each member.
But whatever the process, the end result is always a tapestry of sound that delights.
“Some people are excellent musicians and are known for that,” Grahame said. “We are solid musicians, but we are more about the writing and singing.
“It helps in defining Midnight North to put the fine point of musical emphasis on our harmonies and vocals.”
It’s this focus that has made Midnight North a favorite on the festival circuit, garnering a following of all ages, grown out of a shared love of music and a commitment to stay true to their music.
For more information about the band, and to purchase their music and more, visit http://www.midnightnorth.com or follow them on Facebook.
Tickets for Concert Under the Stars featuring Jefferson Starship with special guest Midnight North, start at $30; $45 for reserved seating available at http://www.carsoncitygreenhouse.org .
The event is presented by The Greenhouse Project in collaboration with its sponsors NVEnergy, Dick Campagni’s Carson City Toyota/Campagni Auto Group, Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC), Gold Dust West and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
There will be food and beverages available on site, and a live auction takes place between performances.
This is a rain or shine show. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 6:30. at Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City. For more information, call 775-232-8626.