In a world seemingly overflowing with talented purveyors of glitch-hop/electro-soul dance music, Cory Wythe stands out. Wythe, aka Marvel Years, brings his compelling brand of electronic beats to the Sheridan Opera House tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8 p.m. Funkstatik is the support act on his winter tour of the west.
Wythe is not only a gifted producer and DJ, but also performs with a guitar slung over his shoulder. In a word, he shreds like an old school rocker.
“Classic rock has been a huge influence on me,” Wythe said. “I love breathing new life into those older songs. I think that’s a good medium for bringing new listeners into my music because they can relate to that stuff. I improvise (on live guitar) over a lot of my stuff.”
That soulful, organic approach is evident in a single he dropped late last year, “Stuck in a Dream.” It’s a piano-forward track, the earthy sound of the 88s cleverly woven in and around the throbbing beat.
Marvel Years’ new track is a collaborative effort with Manic Focus, whose own bass-driven funky tracks make him a perfect complement to Wythe’s work. Manic Focus (John McCarten), like Wythe, brings in live instruments (a full band, in this case) in performance, a break with standard DJ/electronic shows.
Wythe’s rise has been abetted by the likes of Pretty Lights, who took notice of Marvel Years in 2013, when he dished up his very first live performance as support for Pretty Lights in Boston. A Red Rocks appearance was next for that stellar year, and he’s hasn’t looked back. A national tour followed in 2014. By 2015, he’d scored a support gig with one of his influences, Gramatik, and later that year, performed as the guitarist in the Manic Focus Live Band for a career-boosting House of Blues Show in Chicago. And that was after laying down his own set to warm up the sold-out house.
Having an electronic artist with this level of talent and someone who is absolutely on his ascendency is a treat, said Maggie Stevens, opera house PR and marketing director.
“For someone like Cory who has such a big following, especially on the festival circuit, it’s very exciting for us to have Marvel Years in a smaller venue,” she said.
As his official bio reads: “Marvel Years is a kid with a dream, the talent, and the drive to make big moves … and those paying attention are witnessing history. His releases, impossible not to love, are primed and ready to help you forget your troubles and drift you into a happier state of mind. Keep your eye on this fresh artist who has those smooth funky grooves on lock and become marveled yourself.”
The winter season for the opera house is notoriously splashy, diverse and often full of surprises. One such surprise announcement made recently — that of a special show with Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne Feb. 19 — was one-upped by this week’s welcome news that a second night has been added on Feb. 20.
According to Stevens, the Feb. 19 show sold out in just a few minutes.
“We had no idea it would do that well,” Stevens said. “It crashed our ticket system, and our customers were really patient with us.”
When the stars aligned and the two accomplished singer-songwriters could stay “just a little bit longer,” as Browne famously sings, a second show was added to meet the demand.
“We’re really grateful they could stay for a second show,” Stevens said.
Tickets for the second show, Feb. 20, go on sale at noon today (Wednesday) at sheridanoperahouse.com.
Shawn Colvin is no stranger to Telluride audiences having often performed at the opera house, as well as appearances at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Her warm, emotive voice and superlative guitar-playing has endeared her to not only local music lovers, but to a worldwide audience as evidenced by her massive album sales and steady touring work. Her debut album “Steady On” earned her a Grammy in 1991 for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
She will share the stage with Browne whose body of work defines a generation, even as it resonates timelessly. His songs are imbued with loss and longing, hope and humor, and there are those that give voice to his political activism. His hits like “Doctor My Eyes,” “The Pretender,” “Lawyers in Love” and “Running on Empty” earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. His records have sold in the millions.
The pair will swap songs and stories, performing solely with guitars and their remarkable voices.
Tickets and more information about Marvel Years and the second Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne shows can be found at sheridanoperahouse.com.