Ali McGuirk has made a career of captivating audiences with her unique blend of hypnotic R&B grooves, folk songwriter lyricism, classic soul delivery, and a gravelly blues temperament. With a focus on lively improvisation, a taste for heavy grooves, and her own buttery voice, her earliest years as a performer were spent earning residencies across 4 continents, from Santorini to Hong Kong.
Ali has recently settled in Boston, where she has been steadily gaining recognition as one of the city’s most compelling vocal performers. In 2016, she was recognized in the Boston Globe as an “artist to hear” by the influential Boston rock critic Steve Morse, and was featured among Lake Street Dive, Haim, Margo Price, and other notable names. Shortly thereafter, she released her debut EP, and launched a highly successful GoFundMe campaign. The 4-track sampler is heavily influenced by the jazz tradition and freely moves through soul, blues, pop, reggae, and R&B feels. It features local horn players, such as big band leader Alex Lee-Clark and baritone saxophonist Dana Colley, of Morphine.
She is now poised to release her first full-length album, which will see her working with an eclectic mix of artists, including Boston guitar legend Jeffrey Lockhart, former music director for Bryan McKnight. The album will feature an all-star cast of musicians, as well as frequent collaborators and bandmates Brandon Mayes, former drummer for Kendrick Lamar and Soulja Boy, and fierce lady bass player, back up vocalist, and front-woman in her own right, Cilla Bonnie.
“A soul singer who evokes comparisons to Amy Winehouse but rocks even harder.”
– Steve Morse, The Boston Globe
“When she opens her mouth, people stop and take notice, captivated by her swooping, honeyed voice.”
-Paul Robicheau, The Improper Bostonian
“A vocal powerhouse and smart songwriter.”
– Jed Gottlieb, The Boston Herald
“One of the rising stars on the local scene… performing a set of tunes that are uniquely hers – soul drenched, jazz inspired, and freely delivered with an ease that belies her young age.”
– Billy Beard, Session Americana
“Ali brings to the stage a refreshing comfort and grace uncommon in Boston. It’s as though she and the stage are old friends who share intimate jokes.”
The Silks are a rock and roll band out of Providence, Rhode Island. You could say The Silks are the rock and roll band from Providence, but then you wouldn’t exactly be asking the cool kids. You’d need to dig a bit deeper than trends. The Silks exist outside of The Hip’s bearded rat race.
The sound is classic power trio of the blues-based variety. You know, The Devil’s music. You’ve got guitar pyrotechnics galore from frontman Tyler-James Kelly. Chicken-pickin’ or taking a soaring lead break, it’s quickly apparent Kelly’s on a whole’nother level. It makes you wonder just when did he get his first real six-string. Then there’s the voice. Ballsy, bluesy, however you want to describe it, it just sounds like ripping a telephone book in half and feels like scratching a really good itch. The rhythm section of Sam Jodrey on drums and Jonas Parmelee on the bass guitar chug-chugs and chop-chop-chops along. Fast songs, slow songs, it doesn’t matter. It’s always all about the dance floor. The dance floor reciprocates.
After releasing their Paul Westerberg produced debut album, “Last American Band” at the tail end of 2013, The Silks continued building on their following with constant gigs. All kinds of gigs. With a work ethic as old-school as their whole vibe, most of their shows are of the “all nighter” variety. Two sets. An hour and a half each. Only, they’re playing original music. Who does that these days? As of now, The Silks are dangerously close to releasing the follow-up album they have in the can. Word is more recording sessions are on the horizon.
The Silks have had their share of carrots dangled in front of them. It’s not every band that gets to make a record with help from the likes of Westerberg and Jim Boquist of Son Volt fame, after all. From there, they went on to open for The Replacements at The Fillmore in Detroit in the spring of 2015. They’ve also played in support of Rocky Erickson, Wanda Jackson, Dirty Heads, The Drive-By Truckers, Black Joe Lewis, Deer Tick, The Sheepdogs and Patrick Sweeny among others.