Andrew Mayer Cohen, better known as Mayer Hawthorne, will be making an appearance at Mr Smalls next Tuesday, 7.24. The falsetto artist has quite the resume, proficient as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, DJ, rapper and singer. Currently based out of Los Angeles, Hawthorne was brought up just outside of Detroit (Ann Arbor), a city rich with the musical history of gospel, jazz, and soul. His songs demonstrate this influence shining with an old school, retro style blend of Motown and gospel. Brought to the attention of Peanut Butter Wolf (Stone's Throw Label), the multi-talented musician was quickly signed after only playing two demos for the head man. Hawthorne not only creates throwback tunes, but also has quite the live setting. Singing with a falsetto voice, he is often seen with a tuxdeo or retro suit bringing the feel of a classic night club. He and his band bring that old Motown vision right to the stage.
From his press:
The “retro” tag is added to almost any contemporary work that sounds like it was originally recorded between 1966 and 1974, and Hawthorne, among the newest contributors to the genre, is aware of how trends come and go. After being introduced to Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf by mutual friend Noelle Scaggs of the Rebirth, even his current boss was skeptical. “He showed me two songs and I didn’t understand what I was listening to,” Wolf recalls. “I asked him if they were old songs that he did re-edits of – I couldn’t believe they were new songs and that he played all the instruments.”
Hawthorne has produced and played instruments for much of his life, but never intended to become a singer. He isn’t formally trained, and never sang in the church choir or in any of the bands he was in before founding the County (formerly the County Commissioners). But here he is, new school soul sensation, who has taken the Motown assembly-line production model and eliminated nearly every element but himself and a few hired hands. “I think Mayer is the only artist in the history of the label that I’ve signed after hearing only two songs,” says Peanut Butter Wolf. “Sometimes, you just know it’s the right thing to do.”
Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are only $18 and can be found here.