Singer/songerwriter Howie Day to perform at Fairfield University's Alumni Hall


Singer/songwriter Howie Day, who, at 21, is winning over fans and critics alike, will perform Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Alumni Hall. The Fairfield University Student Association is presenting the concert.

Day released his debut album "Australia" in 2000 and has been touring to appreciative audiences ever since. Dubbed "an artist to keep an eye on" by the Hollywood Reporter, he won "Best Debut Album by a Singer-Songwriter" at the 2001 Boston Music Awards. The following year, he picked up "Best Male Singer Songwriter" at the BMA ceremonies.

Inspired by the emotionally raw songs of Richard Ashcroft, U2 and Jeff Buckley, Day is known for wearing his broken heart on his sleeve. In memorable tunes, such as "Sorry So Sorry," "She Says" and "Ghost," he often blends hushed guitars with brooding vocals.

"My songwriting is somewhat moody," the Bangor, Maine resident has said. "It's not intentional, I just write what I feel."

Day began his career by booking himself at local bars and clubs in Maine on weekends. He admits the crowds were often more interested in their own conversations than in listening to a 15-year-old sing, but he won them over by playing popular cover songs and sneaking in a few of his originals.

Having only a teenager's budget, he "invented" a lo-fi system to record his early songs, recording a tune on one tape recorder and then playing along to the tape and recording the results on a second recorder.

Now more seasoned, he utilizes another inventive technique during his lively concerts: Armed with only an acoustic guitar, he uses an array of delay pedals to create and control what he terms an "invisible orchestra" around him. Picking melodies, scratching strings for percussion and adding background vocals, he pulls everything together with his soaring lead vocals.

In addition to building his songs in front of an audience, he sometimes writes tunes during live shows, finishing a half-written song under the spotlights.

"I like writing that way," he said. "I don't have a chance to edit myself and worry if something is cool or not. It's such a pure form of inspiration because I'm writing from my subconscious and not allowing time to second-guess myself."

Day says he's eager to treat fans to both old favorites and new material he's working on for his much-anticipated second album.

"The new songs are more personal and intense than before," he said. "I'm looking forward to showing the people what I can do now."

Tickets for Day's Fairfield University performance are $12. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets may be purchased at Fairfield University's Barone Campus Center information desk or through Ticketmaster at the website, www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 3875.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 27, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 247