A good old-fashioned album release party is coming to Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater on Thursday, November 18, celebrating folk band Laden Valley’s new release, Landline.

Led by Newporter’s Evan St. Martin and Dave Sarazen, Laden Valley straddles the line between folk, roots, Americana and county, and features warm harmonies and intelligent songwriting. They’ll be playing songs from their first full-length album, which officially releases at midnight on the day of the show.

I spoke to Evan St. Martin, half of the duo at the core of Laden Valley last week. He explained a little bit about how the idea of the show at Pickens developed.

“We have been putting together the album since June. We started recording at a studio in Lincoln called Big Nice, but I really have been writing it over the last two years. I knew that if the chance presented itself, I wanted to do a live show to celebrate the release of the album,” said St. Martin.

 The show is “a chance to bring people together and celebrate all the people who worked on it. It goes through so many hands on it’s way to completion,” he added.

He was inspired to schedule the show at Pickens after attending a recent What’sUpNewp movie night there.

“This summer I went to see Jaws when Jane Pickens re-opened,” he explained. “I walked in, they had a band playing, and it was like the first time I had been to a public space with a lot of people indoors (since Covid). Jaws came on, and everybody was laughing, having a good time, yelling at the screen and I thought, this would be the perfect place to do the show. So that night I started to get the ball in motion.”

As mentioned, the new album will be released at midnight right after the show. But several songs have already been strategically placed on YouTube and social media. “We’ve been releasing singles over time to kind of get people familiar with some of the music but right after the show it will be live on all of the streaming platforms,” St. Martin said.

I asked him about the “feel” of the album.

“For this album, we wanted to do something that was folk-oriented. It features a lot of acoustic instruments with harmonies front and center. Dave and I present as a duo, but we have a full band behind us on the album. I had a bunch of songs lying around over the years that have been acoustic guitar/Americana-based. I felt like I need to put these all together and put them on record.”

“There are some parts of the album where we kind of diverge a little bit and get a little bit spacey. It feels like we’re honoring the folk tradition by keeping a lot of the arrangements simple,” he added.

St. Martin sees the show as a community event as much as a concert. He looks forward to a hometown vibe at the show.

“Newport is the type of place where it feels very much like a small town. You go to the grocery store, you go to the coffee shop or a restaurant, you end up seeing the same people all the time. And you only see them in those settings,” he explained. “So when I started imagining having the show in Newport, it got really exciting for me to imagine seeing all of those people that you see spread out over town all together in one place.”

“That’s kind of what I’m most excited about,” continued St. Martin. To see these people that make Newport what it is come together at Pickens for the show and have a strong community feeling there. That to me is what makes a town, a town – events like these where you can bring everybody together. I just want to see all these people, all these characters from town at the show in one place.”

The show starts at 7PM with opener Haunt the House. Tickets and further details here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...