Duo moves from in­ti­mate Ses­sions at the Hide­out to One World

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360BETS - By Pa­trick Cald­well

“The smell of this theater is slowly be­com­ing like Christ­mas to me,” says Lau­ren Bucherie, 25, step­ping into the in­ti­mate theater hid­den away at the back of the Hide­out Cof­fee­house on Congress Av­enue. “It’s just one of those warm feel­ings.”

Bucherie’s ties with the Hide­out are young but ex­ten­sive — along with CJ Vin­son, 28, a fel­low grad­u­ate of Austin me­dia pro­duc­tion school Me­di­aT­ech, she’s used the space since April 2009 for the Ses­sions, a show­case for lo­cal singer/song­writ­ers. With five per­form­ers per show — each given equal time and billed in no par­tic­u­lar or­der — the Ses­sions have reg­u­larly taken over the Hide­out and made it into one of Austin’s best lis­ten­ing rooms. In­ti­mate sets range from soul man Dan Dyer to folk songstresses Dana Fal­con­berry and Erin Ivey to acous­tic pop mae­stro Matt the Elec­tri­cian.

Tonight, Bucherie and Vin­son ex­pand the Ses­sions for the first time to a larger Austin venue, com­man­deer­ing the One World The­atre for a show with the Amer­i­cana-in­flu­enced Cow­boy and In­dian, dance out­fit L.A.X. and New Wave pop con­nois­seurs the Black and White Years.

“We wanted to ex­per­i­ment with a big­ger theater and see what we could do,” Vin­son says. “We al­ways try to set a bar and ex­ceed it, and that’s what this is about. Big­ger theater, big­ger bands, more peo­ple.”

Vin­son and Bucherie met through Me­di­aT­ech but con­ceived the Ses­sions af­ter wan­der­ing into the theater in the Hide­out dur­ing an open-mike night. They be­gan book­ing shows in the room with the idea of craft­ing a unique lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to match the venues they’d en­joyed in other cities.

“CJ had lived in L.A. and New York and I was from Ve­gas, and all those places have cer­tain venues that are no­to­ri­ous as great lis­ten­ing rooms and song­writ­ing rooms,” says Bucherie. “We ba­si­cally wanted to make a space in Austin that was like (fa­mous Hollywood mu­sic venue) the Ho­tel Café.”

The Ses­sions also fea­tures painters cre­at­ing works of art on stage — a clear in­di­ca­tor of Bucherie and Vin­son’s ad­ven­tur­ous­ness, which also ex­pands to tak­ing some of their mu­si­cians on tour and book­ing a lineup at the One World The­atre that de­fies the pair’s usu­ally acous­tic-ori­ented modus operandi.

“We just wanted to make peo­ple say, ‘This is to­tally dif­fer­ent from what you usu­ally do. What the heck is go­ing on with you guys?’ ” says Vin­son. “It’s a sum­mer dance party. Last sum­mer we threw a bunch of shows that were nice and quiet, and we loved it, and we’re still go­ing to do that, but for this? We were like, ‘You know what? It’s sum­mer­time, we have a big theater, let’s dance!’ ”

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