Local Stage Preview: Ali McGuirk

Local Stage Preview: Ali McGuirk

We're less than a month away from Boston Calling and are honored to be sponsoring the local stage. Over the next month, Tivoli Selects will be dedicated to introducing you to some of the regional artists we are lucky to have gracing the stage!

New England's Ali McGuirk is taking the Tivoli Audio Local Orange stage Saturday. Here's a preview of Ali performing "XBoyfriends" at Loco Club in Valencia, Spain during soundcheck. And be sure to check out our interview below to learn a little bit more about this regional artist.

What inspired you to get into music?
I don't think of my interest or obsession with music as a choice. It was a fascination I always carried with me. I always felt most in touch with myself when listening or singing along with my favorite songs as a child. Music has always been a spiritual experience for me in that way, and I've consistently found that the more I nurture my relationship to music, the more whole I feel.

How would you describe your sound?
I sometimes have trouble nailing down a specific sound for myself or identifying completely in one genre, like I think many artists do. I think my sound falls somewhere between classic soul and classic rock. I get a lot from jazz, R&B, folk and folk rock, and a million genres in between. I think genres are helpful at times, but can often be limiting as we all build our own unique musical identities. Add race and gender in there, as a vocalist especially, and I find it's very complex. I love music that is improvised, that is raw and authentic, played by musicians who are skilled and committed to their instruments and I especially gravitate towards songs that help us live our lives.

What artists would you say are your influences?
That's always a hard one too. I think Aretha Franklin and Joni Mitchell are two important pillars of the type of musician I have aspired to become, but there's also so many other artists I wouldn't be myself without: Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Donny Hathaway, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Whitney Houston, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Band... the list goes on.

What’s your favorite local spot/venue to perform in?
There have been a lot that have closed since COVID. I want the Lizard Lounge and Bull McCabes back! My record release will be at The Crystal Ballroom in Somerville in the fall.

What does it mean for you to be one of the artists selected to represent the region at Boston Calling?
It's a huge honor. There's lots of great music happening in Boston and it's really great that we get to bring some of that to a national stage, like Boston Calling.

What acts are you most looking forward to seeing at Boston Calling?
There are a lot of bands I'm curious about. Looking forward to Black Pumas and Celisse. I'm interested in the King Gizzard set, because I hear they are really cool. Obviously, the Strokes will be a great way to end the day and rock out.

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