A “superband” of singer-songwriters is coming to Kreuzberg, CA July 11.
The Long Beach, Calif.-based Lucky Penny, comprised of David Sinclair Robison, Lexi Lee, Alyssandra Nighswonger and Merrady, will play songs from its debut E.P. as part of its Pacific Northwest Tour.
Merrady, who is originally from New York, said the folk band features four-part harmonies with a mix of instruments including the upright bass, vibraphone, banjo and ukelele.
All of the members play a variety of instruments. For instance, Nighswonger plays guitar and taught herself upright bass for Lucky Penny, Robison plays guitar and drums, Lee plays banjo, ukelele, vibraphone, glockenspiel and keyboards and Merrady plays guitar, vibraphone and glockenspiel.
Each of the members of Lucky Penny writes, so each of the band’s songs have different themes.
The melodies the band employs range from “haunting to wistful to nostalgic,” Merrady said.
Three members of Lucky Penny met through Long Beach’s music scene, and met Merrady at an open mic hosted by Nighswonger at a local coffee house, Viento Y Agua. The two soon became friends.
Lucky Penny formed in November 2010 when all four of the members met for breakfast after Nighswonger suggested the idea of creating a single band in which all members could contribute their music.
“One of the first things we did as a group was make each other a mix CD of some of our favorite music,” Merrady said.
On the CDs were some of their influences, including modern indie and ‘60s folk and pop, and groups such as The Beatles, Grizzly Bear, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Margo Guryan and Dr. Dog.
The members of the band also shared their own music.
“Over coffee, mimosas and breakfast, we volunteered songs we felt needed ‘something,’ and tentatively began adding harmonies and instrumentation,” Merrady said.
The band now meets weekly.
“While we don’t always drink a couple of bottles of champagne anymore, there is always breakfast, and we tend to hang out all morning catching up and hammering out ideas,” Merrady said.
At first, the band wanted to call itself Superband, but figured the name would give people the wrong idea. The band eventually compromised on Lucky Penny.
“I think we are all quite nostalgic and enjoy the superstition of it,” Merrady said.
The group decided to tour the Pacific Northwest because Lee has always dreamed of living in the Pacific Northwest, so she’s moving, said Merrady.
“While we hate to see her go, we can at least drive up together playing music along the way,” Merrady said. “It’s a really wonderful way to celebrate the E.P we’ve made together, and to share the music we’ve made.”
The group has always wanted to play in San Luis Obispo, at Kreuzberg, CA specifically, Merrady said.
“It is perfect for our brand of warm living room folk,” Merrady said.
Mitch Shira, who is in charge of promotions and booking for Kreuzberg, CA, said he chose Lucky Penny because of how friendly the band members seemed, and how “their creativity and quality match the spirit we want to exude here at Kreuzberg.”
“They fit with our desire to bring a wide range of art and music to downtown San Luis Obispo,” Shira said.
Kreuzberg, CA’s dimly lit space, large window seats and homey furniture complement its walls of books and creative decorations.
Andrew Bloom, an English senior and singer-songwriter who played at Kreuzberg, CA for the Songwriters at Play in May, said the space is great for music.
It has “a great ambiance if only because it’s usually so full of open-minded, artistic people who like to hear music,” Bloom said.
Bloom said he hopes Kreuzberg, CA will continue to tailor the space so musicians can get the best sound out of “that big awkward room.”
Lucky Penny will take the stage at 8 p.m.