Sunday, January 5, 2014
The Charleston Music Hall and The Charleston Pour House are teaming up with Elise Testone to present one grand album release celebration. When Elise Testone's debut album, In This Life, is released Feb. 11, the rest of the world will finally find out what music fans in Charleston have known for years: that she is one of the most dynamic, gutsiest and honest singers in today's music scene.
Testone will celebrate the release of the album with two different shows, one at the Charleston Music Hall and the second at The Charleston Pour House, both on February 13, one 1t 7 p.m. and one at 10 p.m.
The intimate setting of The Charleston Music Hall is perfectly suited for Testone to present the most accurate representation of all that the album encompasses. The Bohemian vibe of The Charleston Pour House makes for the right venue to celebrate this landmark in Testone's life in full rockin' force.
Millions already know just how rockin' Elise is: the charismatic Testone, after all, was an American Idol finalist who finished sixth during the program's 11th season. But as Charleston Magazine, in its cover story on Elise, wrote, “Her stint on American Idol ended on a perfect note, setting the stage for her biggest moment yet — the release of her self-produced debut album…She was a professional musician long before casting her lot to the whims of judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.” And while “it's inevitable that the word ‘idol' will follow her wherever she goes,” the magazine pointed out, “the experience doesn't define her.”
Indeed, In This Life reveals the real Elise Testone. All of her raw talent and skill is in full force — arrived at after years of hard work. She not only sings and plays multiple instruments but she also produced and wrote the majority of the album.
A longtime fixture in the Charleston scene, Testone, now 30, arrived in the state initially to attend Coastal Carolina University in Conway. After graduating with a music degree in 2005, she moved to Charleston, quickly building a reputation as the front woman of bands such as Slanguage, the Freeloaders and The James Brown Dance Party. Just two years ago, she often performed up to 10 gigs a week; it wasn't uncommon for her to finish a three-hour show at Fish only to run across King Street and set up her equipment at Juanita Greenberg's, where she'd play until closing at 2 a.m. During the day, she'd teach five to eight vocal lessons — nearly every waking moment was spent preparing, performing or teaching music.
Often likened to such similarly rootsy vocalists as Bonnie Raitt, Amy Winehouse and Susan Tedeschi, Testone has always kept her ears open to all musical genres, absorbing everything in her path and shaping her own style from the music that resonates with her. In This Life covers multiple genres which tie together with a bluesy essence.
Recorded in Charleston, the album features local musicians plus Erika Van Pelt, a fellow AI alumnus. The first single, “I Will Not Break,” has already generated much interest on YouTube, iTunes and more. One fan commented, “Beautiful song, beautiful message, beautiful vocals. Elise hit a home run with this song; I can't wait to see what the rest of the album sounds like!”
Purchase tickets at Etix Hotline: 1-800-514-3849, CharlestonMusicHall.com, the box office at 37 John Street (843-853-2252), CharlestonPourHouse.com, Monster Music and Movies and Cat's Music.