Localized Appreesh: Debbie Neigher

Singer-songwriter Debbie Neigher, lovely as ever.

Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

This week’s Localized Appreesh is the lush-vocal’d Debbie Neigher. She's a stunning jazz-tinged singer-songwriter, who recorded her recently released self-titled LP with John Vanderslice at his Tiny Telephone Studios, along with the backing orchestral help of Minna Choi of the Magik*Magik Orchestra.

Neigher, a transplant from New Jersey, has the kind of effervescent voice that transcends time.  She’s youthful (just 24), yet her voice is strong and conveys a wise understanding of past, similar to Michelle Branch or Fiona Apple. Her lyrics often dive into difficult topics, particularly on dramatic tracks like “Cathedral.” And her intricate piano work on the album soars.

The talented songstress plays the Haunted Hoedown at Bottom of the Hill this Friday, Oct. 28. She’ll be premiering a new song, and will be backed by guest musicians on bass, lap steel, drums, violin, guitar, and sax.  The event includes costume contests, free treats, and a rather creepy concert poster.  Get spooky. 

Year and location of origin: I started performing my original songs when I was 15 back in my hometown in New Jersey in 2002.  I wasn't even legally allowed in half of the bars I played!

Personal motto:  If you are lucky enough to figure out what truly moves you, it's your responsibility as a human to stop at nothing to pursue it.

Description of sound in 10 words or less:  Intricate/lush piano, jazz vocals, and painfully honest lyrics.
Instrumentation:  I sing and play the piano and have an absurdly talented crew of drummers (Jason Slota, Ezra Lipp, Andrew Maguire) and bassists (Jamie Riotto, Jesse Cafiero) that I call on for live shows.  We usually have lap steel (Jesse Cafiero) and guitar (Phil Pristia) as well.

Most recent release: I just released my debut full-length record (self-titled) this past July.  I had the honor of working with John Vanderslice (Spoon, The Mountain Goats) as my producer and the Magik*Magik Orchestra (Death Cab for Cutie, The Dodos) on the project.
Best part about life as a Bay Area musician: The warm, welcoming, and collaborative nature of the music community here.  I've never met so many talented players with such humility - I'm grateful to know these people every day!

Worst part about life as a Bay Area musician: I work a full-time job and teach piano lessons on top of writing/performing music to afford the rent in our fair city!

First record/cassette tape/or CD ever purchased: Oh god I just asked my mom and her guess was a New Kids on the Block cassette.  In an attempt to redeem myself, I also distinctly remember having Nirvana's Nevermind CD and Bush's Sixteen Stone CD when I was little.

Most recent record/cassette tape/CD/or Mp3 purchased/borrowed from the Web: Local Natives "Gorilla Manor"
Favorite local eatery and dish:  Plantain black bean burrito at The Little Chihuahua.

Haunted Hoedown
With Debbie Neigher, Owl Paws, Rin Tin Tiger, and Please Do Not Fight
Fri/28, 8:30 p.m., $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

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