Acclaimed songwriter Catherine Feeny met jazz drummer Chris Johnedis after recording her rebellious fourth solo album. She had just come back from the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, and he was returning from 2 years of working and studying in Thailand. The two hit it off, and Johnedis helped translate the varied rhythms of “America” — which ran the gamut between vintage drum machine sounds and captured field recordings — into a live show setting.
Two years later, working with producers Sebastian Rogers (Floetry) and Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Ricki Lee Jones), in a live four-day session in Silverlake, CA the two create a universe of sound that is sparse and propulsive, yet playful, for their eponymous debut as a duo.
Catherine’s career as a solo artist began with Joe Purdy recording her first album, a self-titled affair that garnered acclaim for its compelling songwriting and stark, nostalgic feel. The album won Feeny an audience in Belgium where it was championed by French-language radio station Classic 21.
However it is Feeny’s second album, 2005′s “Hurricane Glass,” for which she is best known. The song “Mr. Blue” was picked up by KCRW in LA, and later featured in “Running with Scissors,” “The O.C.,” and “Miss Conception.” The attention won by “Hurricane Glass” resulted in the album being picked up by EMI Records.
Inspired by living for two months in Zucotti Park during the Occupy protests, Feeny released a moving, pointed work titled, “America,” in 2012. The album’s first single “United” won the 2013 Peace Promotion Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and caught the attention of writer/activist Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), who commissioned Feeny to compose a song for her organization, One Billion Rising.
Catherine Feeny & Chris Johnedis is, by comparison, a gentler look at matters of justice and redemption in a more personal setting. Applying incisive poetry to subjects as disparate as a bruised friendship and the phenomenon of White Flight, Feeny turns the looking glass inward where she finds both desolation and hope. “I finally see the light,” she says in the album’s final track, “We choose between an endless night… and day.”
Producers Rogers and Gomberg and mixer Tony Lash (Elliot Smith, Feist) leverage Feeny’s quietly soulful vocals and classic pop songwriting against Johnedis’s R&B inflected polyryhthms, masterfully maximizing their tools — ukulele, voice, guitar and drums.
Audiences across the US and Europe have been mesmerized by the spell Feeny and Johnedis cast on stage. Feeny has played internationally as a headline act and in support of: Wilco, Belle and Sebastian, Suzanne Vega, John Prine, The Indigo Girls, Kelly Jones (Stereophonics) and Martha Wainwright.