Common Ground is a new series that will be hosted by Detroit-based, Folk/Bluegrass duo, Escaping Pavement. The idea behind the series is that almost all musicians, no matter what genre their work lies in, can share common, musical influences. The series aims to break down the barriers of genre classifications that separate us from one another and instead bring about a sense of community through finding the common ground that artists coming from completely different places, can share. Each show will feature three different artists collaborating with each other as well as with the series hosts, Escaping Pavement.
This month’s show will feature:
Hosts: Escaping Pavement
Hailed as “The most dynamic Americana group out of Detroit, Michigan” Escaping Pavement masterfully blends and blurs the lines of Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana. Their unique joint frontperson arrangement, with Emily and Aaron sharing equally in singing, songwriting, and guitar playing allows for harmony-driven, musical interplay that has earned them slots on bills with the likes of Justin Townes Earle and Joan Osborne. With a 2017 Detroit Music Award win for Outstanding Americana Record, over 700 shows under their belt, a new EP comprised of music inspired by the National Parks, and a non-stop touring schedule, this duo is spreading their roots-based message, far and wide. Find out why Jeff Milo of The Detroit News said, “Escaping Pavement make sparseness stunning. The acoustic guitar and mandolin crackle together like a mesmerizing bonfire, and their voices blend together like the azure purple and tawny oranges of vibrant sunset…”
Natalie Lucassian is at once haunting and earth bound. She finesses between worlds, the biggest personality in the room and also your most trusted friend. Sonically, Natalie harkens to vintage soul while plotting a course for innovative alternative edge. She is Amy Winehouse reincarnated as Adele’s indie rock little sister. Hopelessly in love with her hometown of Detroit, Natalie’s unique mixture of commercial accessibility and unsettlingly authentic lyrics are the perfect seeds to plant in the fertile soil of a city poised to model for the entire world what powerful hope arrives when the reassuring familiar is clothed in a captivating mystery.
Chris Degnore is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter from the Metro Detroit area. He has been creating and playing music for nearly two decades. Chris has been nominated multiple times as one of Detroit’s best Pop/Rock instrumentalist at the Detroit Music Awards. 2018 will see him putting out 2 E.P.S and an album with his band The Black Drops.
How does one write a bio about himself? It’s just plain weird. The story is way too long. What should I leave out? Who else should I include? I’m not looking forward to this but here it goes.
I’m basically a 40 year old music fan that found a way to make a career out of something I absolutely love. Hey , not a bad start. I have a four year old little girl, an amazing wife who supports me, a sweet dog named Coco, and a recording studio that I started from scratch. Each day is an adventure and I never really know what is going to happen. But one thing is certain, I’m going to put my heart into every single stinking note I hear, record, or play.
The Early Years
I started music late . I purchased my first guitar when I was 18. By the time I was 21 my brother and I started a band called The Haskels. We really had no idea what we were doing but we had a great time doing it. We signed a small record deal and we had the pleasure of recording with Brendan Benson in his all analog home studio. This is where I initially got the recording bug. We traveled the country and didn’t make a dime but that didn’t matter. We cut our teeth. We learned what it took to make music with others. This was the perfect way to start the journey.
God bless my mom and dad. Not everyone would give their 23 year old kid who dropped out of college a $4000 loan to buy a Pro Tools recording setup. I think by then they knew I was going to figure out a way to make this music thing happen in some way, shape, or form. I started much earlier using a 4 track cassette recorder but now I was stepping into the world of production. I spent every second I had in the basement figuring out how to get sounds, write better songs, and hone the craft. Learning from my own mistakes on my own recordings was my best education. I spent 3 years doing this before I officially was hired to record another artist. I’ve been recording and producing other artists from all over the country for the past 11 years. This has become my thing and I love it. I literally cannot wait to go to work everyday. I’m lucky that I get to say that.
The Later Years – Today
I had developed many relationships with some great people and some great musicians from the state of Michigan. The most vital was Donny Brown from the band The Verve Pipe. Donny took me under his wing early and helped me develop as an artist and a songwriter. Eventually he would become one of my greatest friends as well. I was asked to fill in on an east coast tour with TVP and was later asked to join the band. For four years I got to travel the world and play music with a great group of guys.
As far as songwriting, I’ve had a few outlets. Ive released a couple of solo records, a record under the title An American Underdog, and The Legal Matters. I am still currently in The Legal Matters and I am still releasing records under my name. Making my own records has always been something I completely love. It gave me the opportunity to play with some of the best musicians on the planet. I have carved enough musical memories for a lifetime but I feel like this is just the beginning. As long as I’m able, I will keep making noise. That’s all I really know how to do.