Raye Zaragoza Returns to NYC with a Gorgeous Performance at The Bitter End

 
Raye Zaragoza live at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza live at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza elicits the very best that songwriting and music have to offer. Her willingness to capture peoples hearts and strengthen their spirits illustrates why music can be so prolific in times where our humanity is most tested. With today’s political strife at the forefront, Raye's music has been able to instill passion, inspiration and awareness through the melodies and lyrics of her songs.

Raye’s performance at The Bitter End last Tuesday exemplifies her growth and versatility as an artist with impeccable vocals, empowering instrumentation and gorgeous storytelling that had us astonished.

Sitting back and drinking a few craft brews at our disposal, we witnessed Raye put on a sentimental show filled with songs from her first EP and upcoming singles off her new record, as she shined gracefully in front of her three-piece band she met at The Bitter End several years back.

Raye Zaragoza soothing the crowd at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza soothing the crowd at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye’s performance of “Heroine” was breathtaking – a pivotal display of lyricism with superb composition – truly impressive. Her performances to “Mulholland Drive” and “Driving to Standing Rock” were also a delight, as Raye wonderfully shined with her picturesque storytelling and harmonies garnished with tranquility.

Her bold activism and unapologetic reminders grabbed us firmly by the ear, listening and observing to the delicacies of her music. Her guitar play was angelic, riveting and inviting – a perfect companion to a masterful singer-songwriter filled with compassion and devote advocacy.

Raye Zaragoza on the strings at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza on the strings at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

A prolific writer and poet, Raye’s focus on awareness and sustainability was prevalent in her 2016 activist anthem of the year, “In The River,” which was written and recorded as a protest song in dedication to the great Standing Rock Sioux against The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Raye Zaragoza at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye’s performance of her harmonious record spoke volumes to us – a gentle acoustic hymn that kindly reminded us about sustaining our environment, hope and protecting what we love. The somber and emotional feel in the room hushed the crowd, as all were drawn to Raye’s devoted passions and embracive sounds echoing timelessly within our hearts.

Raye Zaragoza’s music has transcended the indie-folk music scene through her captivating storytelling, lyrical elegance and distinct instrumentation. A singer-songwriter that has pushed the boundaries of her work, Raye’s success as an independent music artist has propelled a grass roots following that seeks to uphold those beautifully poetic compositions.

Raye’s voice truly has the impact to change lives and we’re so grateful to be apart of that journey.

Raye Zaragoza on stage at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Raye Zaragoza on stage at The Bitter End. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

 

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Don DiLego Puts on a Foot-Stomping Performance at The Bowery Electric

 
Don DiLego & band at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Don DiLego & band at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Alt-country artist, Don DiLego, gave us a foot-stomping performance at the Bowery Electric this month during his impressive record release show for his new album Magnificent Ram A. Along with a bottle of bourbon and a few bales of hay, DiLego’s astonishing seven-piece band rocked the stage as they wooed the sounds of western Americana and some feel good rock n’ roll in front of a packed-audience.

Coupled with fellow indie-folk artists, Linda Draper and Emily Duff, the Velvet-Elk crooner commanded an impression collection of musical arrangements that gently carried the crowd through a cowboy’s journey – synonymous with the old whiskey saloons and boot strapping jamborees of the great west. DiLego’s outstanding performance provided a collage of rich complex melodies that had us both moving our hips and singing along to the indie-folk singer’s dynamic vocals paired masterfully with a gritty acoustic sound.

Don DiLego performs at his record release show. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Don DiLego performs at his record release show. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

DiLego performed the majority of his songs from Magnificent Ram A throughout that steamy Thursday evening, portraying his innovative delicacies both on stage and in his new record. DiLego’s music provided a range of indie-folk harmonies, graceful melodies and the pride of blue-collar heartland rock. DiLego’s mastery was illustrated perfectly on stage with the harmonious beauty “Go Pack Your Suitcase” and the soothing gospel-esque tune of “Running in Place with a Desperate Heart.” With every heart-felt note, DiLego’s caressing vocals and comforting rhythms passionately embraced the crowd, encouraging us to follow his carefully orchestrated compositions that profoundly detail DiLego’s precise musicianship.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

DiLego’s complex sound and on stage depth, however, howled for audiences to jump on their feet during DiLego’s alt-country jams, “Drive Like a Pirate” and “I’m on Fire.” Here, we witnessed a contrast to DiLego’s phonic sound with a gritty savory arrangement to his music along with an his incredible relationship with his already endearing fans, mustering them together as they sung and dance to his Americana tunes. DiLego’s country anthem, “The Westside Oak” had us all stomping our feet and clapping, revealing the versatility that exists with DiLego’s on-stage presence.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Linda Draper and Emily Duff provided a perfect mesh for DiLego’s record release show portraying both indie-folk harmonies and gospel-esque chords to the brewing audience for DiLego’s headline set. Draper’s tranquil vocals and in-depth storytelling delighted the on-hands crowd, drawing them closer to her tender musical arrangements that soothed listeners as they eased their way into the Bowery’s main stage.

Linda Draper performs at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Linda Draper performs at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Duff’s acoustic trio provided an incredible blend of folk, gospel and heartland rock n’ roll throughout their impressive set. Along with guitarist Scott Aldrich and Skip Ward on the “gut bucket bass,” Duff’s sensational compositions and powerful lyrical ability provided audiences with an array of bible-belt blues and Americana novelties.

Emily Duff performs at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Emily Duff performs at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

After witnessing Don DiLego's incredible performance, it is safe to say that the indie-folk rocker is in a class of his own. Gathering amongst the sounds of old country and contemporary rock, DiLego has set the bar for how the sound of modern country should be. His ingenious lyrical ability and savvy storytelling technique places us, as an audience, in the boots of the modern cowboy, and within the heart and pride of blue-collar Americana, in each of his works.

Don DiLego at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Don DiLego at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

DiLego’s dynamic energy on-stage and the utilization of his flourished cohesive sound, makes him one of the best singer-songwriters in the genre. DiLego’s emerging status within the alt-country scene has made him a must-see act whose music we highly recommend for you to listen. His new album, Magnificent Ram A, is out now on digital, streaming and vinyl via Velvet Elk Records/One Little Indian. Follow and listen to Don DiLego today!

 

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Raye Zaragoza Offers a Bluesy New York Farewell at Rockwood Music Hall

 
Raye Zaragoza live at Rockwood music Hall. Photo courtesy of  Larufoto

Raye Zaragoza live at Rockwood music Hall. Photo courtesy of Larufoto

Saturday nights in the Lower East Side are typically crawling with artists and their guitar cases rushing to their next gig and filled with partially belligerent fans scattering about to find the nearest music venue. But last night, Rockwood Music Hall housed a one-of-a-kind bluesy, dreamy, folky, and all together beautiful showcase from Raye Zaragoza; your new favorite singer-songwriter.

When Raye takes the stage she resembles the presence of a revolving door. It’s as if every time she opened her mouth she would deliver a seemingly flawless note with more and more people rushing in from the streets.

Raye is a New York based singer songwriter who has been training in live music for years. Unsurprisingly, given her natural talents, it gives me no pause to learn that her father is Broadway actor Gregory Zaragoza, who had her started at a young age. Her sound is seasoned, technical, classic, and effortless at the same time.

Raye Zaragoza live at Rockwood Music Hall

Raye Zaragoza live at Rockwood Music Hall

Raye has been a part of the music scene here in New York for years, frequenting venues like Arlene’s Grocery, The Knitting Factory, and Bizarre Bar in Brooklyn. Back in 2013 she was even a featured artist at LA Skins Music Fest, which must have inspired her in someway, seeing as Raye is now relocating to Los Angeles.

“All my songs are about New York, I don’t know what I’m doing going to LA. What am I going to write about?” Raye jokes in between songs. 

The room was so involved in her, she had them completely captivated. Through the crowded audience, I couldn’t tell if it was her beautiful lyrics about love, heartbreak, and New York City, or if it was her undeniable beauty and genuine stage presence, that had everyone so enchanted. But regardless, the room was silent as she sung, and roaring with applause when she finished.

Christian Nourijanian (left), Raye Zaragoza (center) and Tim Bassom (right)

Christian Nourijanian (left), Raye Zaragoza (center) and Tim Bassom (right)

Raye’s sound is reminiscent of Norah Jones, Billie Holliday, and Eva Cassidy. She’s a strong vocalist, but perhaps even a stronger writer. Her arrangements are simple, clean and highlight the lyrics of her songs. All of which are relatable without being boring, and beautiful without being over the top. Her EP, Heroine (available on SoundCloud and Spotify), is a beautiful collection of songs that represent her vibe perfectly: a classic and moving artist.

Though this is her farewell show in New York, to end things Raye just sweetly says, “thank you,” as she strums the last note on her guitar- because this is not goodbye - you'll being seeing amazing things from this girl from here on out.

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