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YES THE RAVEN and ADRIAN RICE Appearing Sat April 12th 2014 at 8:00pm

With Love From Belfast
$12 in advance/ $15 at the door

An an evening of magically beautiful music and soulful poetry from this powerful pair from Belfast Ireland.  . ‘Yes the Raven’ is a guitar virtuoso embodied with charismatic vocals, hauntingly poetic lyrics that create a moving and spell-binding experience that is hard to forget. Fingerstyle 360 magazine cited Yes the Raven “…a beautiful voice, creativity and crazy guitar skills”. Irish poet Adrian Rice described by Seamus Heaney “… his diction are so artfully tongue-in-cheek and hand-in-glove."

Suffice to say, Yes The Raven (AKA Alyn Mearns), possesses a singular sound that's difficult to describe yet impossible to forget. As Producer, Rick Beato puts it "…a supremely gifted guitarist and singer."

Alyn was born and raised in the troubled streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland, the second son of an itinerant preacher. Alyn is now residing in Hickory, North Carolina after attending ASU as a Fletcher Scholarship winner. Back in Northern Ireland, his teenage years were spent inside a guitar, absorbing every musical style within earshot. Eventually, his skill would land him in America on a music scholarship. After a couple of band incarnations, down playing his playing for a more minimal, post-punk aesthetic, he found himself alone again with his guitar.

 He explains, "I found myself falling in love with the guitar again, not in the traditional 'lead guitarist' sense, but in a way that could accompany my songs and provide a satisfying emotional landscape. My guitar became a kind of miniature band, a miniature cathedral." This music is not merely a sum of its parts though. Alyn's body seems to have grown a guitar and his guitar seems to be inhabited by a voice, a haunted ship on the sea of song. The lyrics are truly lyre-ic, forming out of the melody, which in turn is birthed from plucked harmony. Audiences are left spell-bound by something that seems to have absorbed modern pop and folk music, but is, at its heart much more ancient, something Orphean, Homeric, Davidian.

Poet Adrian Rice
Adrian Rice is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 2005, Rice was Visiting Writer-in-Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC. Since then, he and his wife Molly, and young son Micah, have settled in Hickory, where he teaches English and Creative Writing at Catawba Valley Community College, and on the Graduate Program at Appalachian State University. Rice’s first sequence of poems appeared in Muck Island (Moongate Publications, 1990), a collaboration with leading Irish artist, Ross Wilson. A following chapbook, Impediments (Abbey Press, 1997), also earned widespread critical acclaim. 

He edited Signals (Abbey Press, 1997), which was a London Times Educational Supplement ‘Paperback Choice’. Rice received the Sir James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary for Emerging Artists in 1997. His first full poetry collection – The Mason’s Tongue (Abbey Press, 1999) – was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Literary Prize, nominated for the Irish Times Prize for Poetry, and translated into Hungarian by Thomas Kabdebo (A Komuves Nyelve, epl/ediotio plurilingua, 2005). In 2002, he co-edited a major Irish anthology entitled, A Conversation Piece: Poetry and Art (The Ulster Museum in association with Abbey Press). Selections of his poetry and prose have appeared in both The Belfast Anthology and The Ulster Anthology (Ed., Patricia Craig, Blackstaff Press, 1999 & 2006) and in Magnetic North: The Emerging Poets (Ed., John Brown, Lagan Press, 2006). A chapbook, Hickory Haiku, was published in 2010 by Finishing Line Press, Kentucky. 

A new full-length poetry collection – The Clock Flower – was published by Moongate Publications (Belfast) in November, 2012. A reissue of The Clock Flower, with several additional poems, was published in 2013 by Press 53 (Winston-Salem).