Songwriter Dylan Rodrigue brings ‘Cat’s Game’ all the way from California

Singer songwriter Dylan Rodrigue.

Bean & Nothingness might be the new kid on the block when it comes to the city’s coffee shop scene, but it’s quickly developed a reputation for punching above its weight when it comes to putting on events. Already a popular venue to play for many local acts, the cafe welcomes Californian singer-songwriter, Dylan Rodrigue, for a gig on 4th March.

Touring to support his debut album, “Cat’s Game”, Dylan heads for Hull as part of a series of dates around the UK. ‘I’m very excited to play in the UK,” he says, explaining it’s a first run of gigs this side of the Atlantic. “I normally play with a band in The States, but this tour is going to be an acoustic one which honestly fits pretty well with the album. All of those songs were written on acoustic guitar, even if I played electric on the recordings.’

It’s an album with classic influences; Neil Young looms large, as do more abrasive bands like The Stooges and The Pixies during its louder moments. It’s also an album that draws on a rich vein of modern singer-songwriters with nods to Connor Oberst and Elliot Smith. ‘The more intimate acoustic songs were written with a desire to utilise that super raw sound,’ Dylan says. ‘They were recorded with just me singing live with an acoustic guitar. Every album I record is usually inspired by a different set of influences. For “Cat’s Game,” I was going for something relatively stripped down and raw.’

It’s an album which came together quickly, recorded on and off over a three month period in Los Angeles with engineer and friend, Evan Jiroudek. ‘I was going through a pretty rough time in my life but the process of recording this couldn’t have been more exciting and fun. I basically went to Evan with roughly thirty songs and, little by little, we narrowed it down to the nine songs that fit together the best. Evan is one of my all-time best friends who happens to be this super creative musician/engineer and we just gelled so incredibly well.’

Turning back to the UK tour, Dylan hits the shores with fellow American singer-songwriter, Sie Sie Benhoff, who also guests on “Cat’s Game”. ‘I met Sie Sie three years ago at this dive bar where she was working. We automatically hit it off and she gave me her record. That night I listened to it and my mind was blown. Not only does she have this amazing completely unique voice but her songs are a wonderful combination of heartbreaking, relatable and often darkly humorous. The shows are going to be a combination of Sie Sie and I playing by ourselves and together. I’m so very happy that she is joining me.’

Dylan Rodrigue, Sie Sie Benhoff, Sam Forrest, The Quicksilver Kings play Bean & Nothingness, 4th March (doors 7pm, music from 7.30pm). Entry is ‘pay what you feel’.

Cover of ‘Cat’s Game’ by Dylan Rodrigue

“Cat’s Game” is out now (Bad Paintings).

Dylan Rodrigue – “Self-Love” (taken from “Cat’s Game”)

[Nick Quantrill]