The Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant will once again be transformed into a listening room tonight for their singer-songwriter series “Newport to Nashville”. Newport To Nashville is meant to be a Nashville Style Listening Room, that showcases local and national songwriters performing their own original songs.

In this round, Rhode Island musicians Emily Hahn and Avi Jacob will take the stage for an entertaining and intimate evening of live, acoustic, and original music.

Emily Hahn is an acoustic singer-songwriter from Rhode Island. She recently released her first single ‘Impatient’, and will be releasing her debut album ‘Wake’ on September 22nd. Emily grew up playing and singing in Massachusetts, starting with piano lessons at age 5, picking up a guitar in high school, and singing acapella in college. Two of the songs on her upcoming album was previously recorded on an EP which Emily self-recorded during high school. She has a wide range of influences including folk, country, and rock, but most reflected in her music are the 90s and 2000s alternative and pop she grew up listening to. Emily is also a member of the acoustic cover duo Hedge, where she gets to explore her love for harmonies.

“My first memories, all my memories, are of feeling completely isolated, sad and alone”, says Avi Jacob. Though it would be easy for Jacob to lose himself in this darkness, his new EP, Surrender, does the opposite of that. Instead of retreating into himself Jacob uses the vulnerability of songwriting as a therapeutic form, for himself and for others. on Surrender Avi Jacob works to uncover his own deepest fears to mine that empathy. As he says “I’m trying to connect people to the reality of their emotions, if they understand them then they can understand and have empathy for others.”

“There was a guy after I sold all the albums opening for Dr. John, this guy came up to me and was wearing all camo, he was in town for a hunting conference. You could tell by looking at him he was very conservative. He had tears in his eyes and said “that song pickup truck was really beautiful, it touched me and made me think of my father”, or something to that effect. That to me was really important because I could tell that was a really big thing for him, to open up like that.”

James and Simone Felice holed up in a barn in New England in the dead of winter with Jacob to record this EP. You can hear the influence of the Felice’s, with an organ flourish, a touch of accordion, coaxing out those spacious, poignant moments on Surrender. Combining folk sensibilities with classic soul, in the vein of Alabama Shakes or Ray Lamontagne, Jacob’s EP is influenced equally by South Carolina, where he spent most of the past decade, and the Northeast where he spent his formative years. It’s a plainly self-reflective piece, not trying to impose itself on your but to bring you along for this frightening, elating, confusing journey.

Doors open at 6 pm and the music begins at 7 pm on Thursday, August 9th. There is no cover for this event, but there is a $10 food/drink minimum.

For more information, visit www.newporttonashville.com.

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