Singer-songwriter Ari Hest has always had a unique knack for interacting with fans. After leaving his label in 2008, he embarked on "52," an ambitious solo project that saw the raspy-voiced troubadour recording, releasing and finally emailing subscribers a new song every week for a full year. In 2009, he put together Twelve Mondays, an album comprised of 12 fan-selected songs written during that year-long project. And if that weren't enough, the home recording pro regularly swings by the Apple Store to give GarageBand demos to all you would-be bedroom producers.
We caught up with the Bronx-born musician on the streets of lower Manhattan's Alphabet City, where he abandoned the technology in favor of an acoustic guitar and a small stage in the backseat of our cab. Cruising past intimate downtown venues he's headlined during his prolific career, Ari performed "How Would I Know," the lead single off his new album, Sunset Over Hope Street (due out today).
Luckily, you don't have to hitch an NYC taxi or schlep your Mac to the genius bar in order to catch Ari live. The man with a fondness for Fleetwood Mac and Leonard Cohen covers will be hitting the road for a two-month tour starting tomorrow. Check out his schedule to see if he'll be playing your city.