McNally Smith alumni Ari Herstand is moving toward breakout status, “One Tree Hill” at a time. Herstand’s song, “Last Day” was featured on February 22nd, on the popular TV show, “One Tree Hill” on the CW channel. (Check your local listings.) The songwriter has opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Tyrone Wells and others. MTV has also featured a Herstand song previously.
The multi-instrumentalist officially released his “Live at The Pause” DVD and premiered his “Rose Stained Red” music video at The Fine Line in Minneapolis on Friday, February 26th. Since quitting his day job at Starbucks in January 2008, Ari Herstand has played over 60 colleges, toured both coasts, performed on Cities 97 Live from Studio C, Milwaukee’s Summerfest and Austin’s SXSW, plus he’s racked up an impressive list of press responses to his work. The indie musician also started an artist development company, Proud Honeybee Productions, handling booking, publicity, publishing and management for other bands locally and around the country.
Herstand is often singled out for his solo, live looping abilities — melding the guitar, keyboard, trumpet, tambourine, vocals and beat boxing seamlessly – to create a visually entertaining and in-depth live experience.
A few choice Critics’ comments indicate that the McNally Smith College alumnus is indeed making his way:
“Herstand’s vocal resemblance to Coldplay’s Chris Martin is undeniable, although Herstand’s music is much more modest and approachable. It’s also commercial, with a sound that’s got one foot in John Mayer-esque radio rock and the other in Jack Johnson-style jamming.” —Pioneer Press
While many musicians mold themselves to fit into one genre, an increasing number of them instead try to create their own. One such artist is Minneapolis-based Ari Herstand, who combines rock, hop-hop, jazz and folk music together in order to create a sound of his own.” — Reporter, Mankato
“Whispering Endearments is rather telling. A lot of the songs have a hushed, romantic, bright-eyed and … sweet quality to them. Some of his more mellower fare is more stirring, like the Ron Sexsmith-style ballad ‘One Bell.’ Herstand…is a gifted singer and melodymaker who could very well grow into a reputable pop balladeer.” — Chris Riemenshneider, Star TribuneNewer: “Live at 5 Performance Series” Continues March 16 With Pianist, Vocalist & Composer Kristin Sponcia In The McNally Smith College of Music Auditorium at 5:00 P.M.
Older: McNally Smith College of Music Students Compose Music to Works by Twin Cities Artists