March 1: Aly Tadros w/ Sam McCormally

When Aly Tadros was offered her first paid gig, she had three original songs under her belt. The set time called for two hours. She took it anyway.  Four years and over 700 shows later, that gutsy attitude has defined her as an ardent and auspicious voice among young singer/songwriters. Spacious and melodic, salty and moving, her classical guitar writhes in a fusion of Latin, Middle Eastern, and American folk and pop.

“[Aly’s vocals] sound fresh, genuine, and from the gut,” says Bootleg Magazine, complementing Tadros on her weather beaten yet angelic timber.

An early interest in travel led Tadros to leave hometown of Laredo, Texas at age 17, moving between Turkey, Spain, and her father’s native Egypt. Immersing herself in Spanish, Turkish and Arabic language studies, she developed a keen ear for contemporary and traditional world music.

The San Antonio Current attributes Aly’s unique folk-stylings to her extensive travel, calling her “born to fingerpick and execute a perfect Cuban clave…a musical sponge that absorbs everything she hears wherever she goes.” Indeed, Aly refuses to even pick up a guitar pick; all her instrumentation is done by the self-taught skill of finger-picking.

That dedication to her craft extended to an all-night drive through Mexico to find a real vihuela, a traditional Mexican stringed instrument, when she was living in the Mexican state of Jalisco. After hearing one firsthand during a mariachi jam-session, she drove 12 hours through mountainous terrain to get to Paracho, Michoacan, just to purchase an authentic one.
“By the time I was done traveling, the most obvious choice was to study politics and reclaim my place as the backseat dreamer,” Aly recalled.

But by her second year at Sarah Lawrence College, Aly was spending more time behind her guitar than her textbooks. “And then one night, as if a switch went off, I realized school wasn’t for me. Instead of cramming for a final, I wrote my first song.”

From there, Aly made her home in Austin, Texas, dedicating her time to songwriting and live performance. She released her debut CD, Things Worth Keeping, produced by Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ben Sollee, These United States) in August 2009 amidst her first and second national tours. The self-booked tours spanned seven months, and twenty-five U.S. states. Winter of 2013, she relocated to Brooklyn, NY after completing her ninth US and third European tour.

Aly also helped form The Sweetness, a collective of like-minded singer-songwriters. Within their first month as a group, they recorded with famed producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes’ Is This It, Regina Spektor’s Soviet Kitsch) and mounted a North American and European tour, which was documented for an independent film commissioned by the Stuttgart Film Akademi.

In addition to numerous national radio, print, and digital press, Aly’s DIY releases and tours have received coverage from, MTV Buzzworthy, Paste Magazine, and American Songwriter Magazine. She endorses Fender ukuleles and Guild Guitars.

Opening for Aly will be Sam McCormally, a composer, songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist.  Sam has scored three feature length documentaries and provided the music for numerous short videos. Sam is collaborating on the score for Meena's Dream,  a play by Anu Yadav.   The play had its world premiere at the Forum Theatre at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, MD in January 2014, and Sam's musical accompaniment was called an "unexpected pleasure" by one reviewer.

From 2008-2013, Sam was the singer and chief songwriter of the indie rock band Ugly Purple Sweater. Ugly Purple Sweater's most recent release DC USA, as well as their two previous albums, is available for streaming and purchase here.