“Whereas my first album was written and recorded in a vacuum and performed at gigs after the fact, all of the songs on LIGHT THE DARK were honed and developed on stage. So, the primary goal for this record was to capture the energy and dynamics of my live performances with minimal accompaniment in the hope that audiences will respond as well to what they bring home as they have been to my live show.” Ullman’s emotionally intelligent and unabashedly candid debut, DOG DAYS (2008), was deemed “exquisitely beautiful” and “intensely rich” by Cleveland music critics, and the region’s concertgoers were introduced to Ullman over the course of the more than 300 shows he played in support of the album, as well as its singles/EPs “Deja Vu” (2007) and “Secondhand” (2009) and the live “Bootleg” UNPLUGGED @ UNCORKED (2010). Building a devoted fan base one passionate, furrow-browed performance at a time, Ullman began playing clubs, coffeehouses and bars in and around Kent, Ohio while finishing college and working twelve-hour-nights in a plastics factory. He’s since left both factory and college life behind, taking his tattered green Doc Martens and his bloodied, battered Martin guitar on the road from Minneapolis and Chicago, to Philadelphia and New York City. “One of the benefits of beginning your music career in a college town is that, after they graduate, the students who’ve made up your audience either return to where they’re from or move someplace new,” Ullman says.
“I’m fortunate to have supporters in some pretty cool places.” Regardless of the setting, whether it’s opening for acts like Chelsea Crowell, Iris DeMent, Hamell On Trial, Need To Breathe, or Rusted Root on theater and club stages; returning to his old stomping grounds to play in the Kent State Folk Festival; headlining his own annual gig at Akron’s Musica; or a private house concert, Ullman’s most valuable asset is his ability to relate to an audience. Listeners easily identify with the extreme highs, the obliterating lows and the hazy in-betweens reflected in his songs. Slightly gravelly vocals, which crescendo from the barest whisper to a barely-controlled roar, lend Ullman’s earnest and raw confessions a grace and sincerity rarely found in today’s music. “For me,” he says, “even though I might sing about intense, sad-sounding subjects, the goal is always to transcend the darkness by giving voice to it.
It’s catharsis. I don’t usually sing songs when I’m happy. I guess you could say I sing sad songs to get happy.” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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