Local singer-songwriter Eli Conley’s tender storytelling voice and intimate fireside acoustic songwriting brings to mind the kind of bare bones honest music that proliferated in the early ‘70s when the term “singer-songwriter” emerged. Originally from a small rural town in Virginia, Conley soaked up American roots music, as well as ‘40s and ‘50s Broadway hits. His music emanates with this beautiful juxtaposition, much in the same way that his small-town roots has come to enhance his current urban sensibilities. His recent sophomore record, Strong and Tender, is an earnest effort that hones in on life’s tiny details, while still addressing the bigger issues like death, aging and love. Conley founded Queer Country West Coast, a series that features Bay Area country artists from the LGBTQ community. This show at the Back Room in Berkeley is part of the series and also features Oakland-based bandThe Secret Emchy Society.
The East Bay’s alt weekly. Published since 1978 on the east shores of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Express features original local news reporting and coverage of events, music, arts and restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and other parts of the vibrant East Bay, a cultural epicenter of Northern California.