Local concert-goers will have two chances this weekend to see folk singer-songwriter Ana Egge perform.
Egge will play at the Long May You Run benefit concert set for Saturday afternoon at The Hamilton, a celebration of the life of Karen Dubin.
Dubin, an avid runner, was struck by a driver as she was jogging on a path near the Memorial Bridge on the afternoon of April 14, 2011. She succumbed to her injuries days later. Proceeds from the concert will go toward pedestrian safety locally and nationwide.
Dubin’s family – including husband Rob Litowitz, who runs Parkinsong Records and manages Egge – has brought together a lineup of rock and folk acts, both from across the nation and around the D.C. area, to take the stage to honor Dubin while raising awareness of pedestrian safety risks.
“It’s been such a sad and hard thing for them to lose Karen, and this is just one small thing that I can do,” Egge said. “It’s great that I can lend a hand and some care with what I love to do.”
The following night, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter will be at the Iota Club and Café for a longer performance, offering audiences a chance to hear more of the catalog that is earning the singer-songwriter critical acclaim.
Rolling Stone called her latest album, 2011’s Bad Blood, “folk-rock storytelling stained red and flush with madness.”
Mental illness is a central theme in the vignettes that come together on the album. “Hole In Your Halo” was written after visiting a troubled relative in jail, sung to the steady strum of a guitar. She reverses roles in “Driving With No Hands.” “When I wake up/Will I wake up?” is the haunting question posed by a narrator riding the dangerous swells of mania, the guitar electrified and sizzling throughout.
Whatever the approach, and whatever the track, a full story with dynamic characters plays out within the lines of Bad Blood’s songs.
When asked what inspires the stories she tells while discussing Bad Blood, she simply said “real life.” Sometimes it’s a story she’s heard; sometimes it’s from a close friend. Sometimes it’s her own story.
“I was really intimidated about even finishing some of the songs, or talking about them, but it’s been a really healing thing,” Egge said.
The darkness makes something positive in her brand of musical therapy. And setting the lyrics to infectious, even upbeat melodies – a surprising and thought-provoking juxtaposition – means they’re just fun to perform, Egge says.
Sometimes fans tell Egge that it took a few listens to actually absorb her lyrics. They may have been wrapped up in a catchy melody, maybe even nodding their heads along before they even realized what a song was about.
Besides wrapping up tour dates on the East Coast before heading to Denmark next month, Egge has been writing for her next album. She describes an album as a photograph of her life taken at that very moment the record is made. The next snapshot may be quite different from the last.
“Right now, life is really good. Things are pretty mellow. Everyone seems to be doing really well in my family and my friends. There’s not a lot of discord. I don’t know, maybe I’ll write some love songs,” she added, closing her musings with a laugh and a sigh.
• For more information about Ana Egge, visit anaegge.com.