Holiday Cheer for FUV 2014
A restlessly innovative rock musician with a candid, philosophical streak, Conor Oberst was a natural choice to headline our 2014 benefit concert, Holiday Cheer for FUV. This prolific Nebraskan musician has had an astonishing number of guises for a man not yet 35: he's a solo artist with (and without) the Mystic Valley Band, a founder of Saddle Creek Records and the Team Love label, the frontman of Bright Eyes, one-third of the supergroup Monsters of Folk and leader of the harder-rocking Desaparecidos.
One of Conor Oberst's labelmates on Nonesuch Records is Natalie Merchant, who released her sixth solo album, self-titled, in 2014. This quietly powerful and thoughtful record, rich with exquisite character studies and sunbeams of soulful reverie, marked Natalie's first collection of new, original songs in over 13 years.
We are so pleased that Natalie joined Holiday Cheer for FUV with Conor Oberst and Friends at the Beacon Theatre, since she's always been beloved by this station and our listeners. She was a part of the extraordinary lineup which also included Suzanne Vega, Laura Marling, The Lone Bellow, The Felice Brothers and Jonathan Wilson.
Natalie Merchant at Holiday Cheer for FUV (photo by Neil Swanson/WFUV)
A Brooklyn trio with a heroic take on country soul and the sweetest harmonies in the borough, The Lone Bellow has been on WFUV's radar for a long time. A favorite of our canny program director Rita Houston, she brought them to FUV Live at Zankel Hall in 2013 for their Carnegie Hall debut. In fact, The Lone Bellow's Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist were originally slated to be part of FUV's Holiday Cheer back in 2012, but were sidelined at the last minute due to illness.
Happily, The Lone Bellow returned for Holiday Cheer for FUV 2014 with Conor Oberst and Friends at the Beacon Theatre, joining a stellar lineup that also included Natalie Merchant, Laura Marling, The Felice Brothers and Jonathan Wilson.