Bearcoon performing at Folk Revival Fest on the Showcase Stage on Sept. 19

Monday, September 21, 2015
Folk Revival Fest 2015

BEARCOON - Long Beach Folk Revival festival, courtesy of Under the Rosemary, Sylvana Uribe

Bearcoon performing at Folk Revival Fest on the Showcase Stage on Sept. 19

Now in its third year, The Long Beach Folk Revival festival took over Rainbow Lagoon Park on September 19. My friend and I scored free tickets to the festival courtesy of the Long Beach Post and we took the opportunity to cover the event for one of our university’s newspapers *cough* The Union Weekly *cough* (no, seriously, go check out full length coverage and other fun reads at lbunion.com)

The musicians scheduled to perform encompassed the genres of folk, roots, bluegrass and Americana. While all of the groups were fun to dance and sing along to, there were two acts in particular that gave me chills. The first being Posessed by Paul James, a one-man act who sings and switches up instruments which include the violin, banjo and guitar. Behind this act is Konrad Wert, who spends his days meeting with teachers and elected officials to address issues in special needs education and his nights singing onstage. To read more about Wert’s projects and mission, click here.

The second act I gushed over were Buskerfest 2014 winners, Bearcoon. Solange Igoa and Andrea Walker performed a set that felt inviting and intimate, so much so that I would forget I was standing in a audience of over 50 people– I’m not good at math, but there were A LOT of people. Scout’s honor.

As I swayed and tried not to trip over the roots of the tree providing me with shade, I allowed myself to get lost in the music and not focus as much on getting the “right” social media worthy photo– it’s nice to live in the moment. Also worth mentioning is that I bought Bearcoon’s album, El Guapo, and have been listening to it nonstop. And as I write this. Here you go: www.bearcoonmusic.com

One aspect I was really drawn to was the sense of community that was present as local businesses and clubs participated in the festivities. Whether they were musicians or artists, I met people who were open to a simple exchange of words. It was unique to see a humble and grounded side of people I had dubbed as local celebs.

Source: http://www.undertherosemary.com/2015/09/folk-revival-fest-2015.html?m=1

Bearcoon Celebrates New Album, Upcoming Tour With Live Performance Thursday at Fingerprints

LONG BEACH POST
by MATT COHN JUNE 02 2015 09:52 in MUSIC

BEARCOON Lookout
Bearcoon: Solange Igoa (left) and Andrea Walker (right). Photo by Lindsay Ingram.

This Thursday night at Fingerprints, local music lovers will have a chance to hear the songs Bearcoon will soon be playing nationwide. Solange Igoa and Andrea Walker, who are revving up for Bearcoon’s first-ever tour, will be presenting offerings from their newly released debut album, “El Guapo.”

“We can’t wait to hit the road,” said Walker, the guitar-playing, songwriting half of Bearcoon. “We’re ready to let go of our day jobs and make an honest go at making a full-time living from our music.”

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Buskerfest-Winning Duo Bearcoon Completes Debut Album

LONG BEACH POST
by MATT COHN FEBRUARY 11 2015 15:21 in MUSIC

BEARCOON in the studio
Bearcoon’s Andrea Walker (left) and Solange Igoa (right) listening to a playback at The Compound. Photos by Lindsey Ingram.

Long Beach musicians Andrea Walker and Solange Igoa—collectively known as Bearcoon—have just parlayed their winnings from last summer’s Long Beach Buskerfest concert/contest into a nine-song album, “El Guapo,” produced by Long Beach music mainstay Antoine Arvizu.

Buskerfest is the end-of-summer grand finale of the Summer And Music concert series, which was created by Justin Hectus and Fingerprints Records owner Rand Foster. “The original idea of Buskerfest was to feature simple, stripped-down live music,” says Foster. “In an age of gimmicks and stylists, it’s great to have a band succeed on the strength of their songs and a dynamic live performance.”

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Six Years In, Buskerfest Gets Back to its Roots

Buskerfest (Lonnie Nguyen)

Crowd at Buskerfest 2014 (photo by Lonnie Nguyen)

Buskerfest
East Village Arts District
Saturday, September 6, 2014

For the last five iterations of Long Beach’s annual summer-ending music festival Buskerfest, the free event featuring local musicians duking it out for the most wooden nickels has strayed farther and farther from the actual acoustic busking that incited its founding.

Eventual winners Bearcoon, though, stole the night with an infectious stage dynamic and improvised set of Southern-inspired songs that made the most out of their stage’s technical difficulties and reflected the duo’s real life support for one another. Guitarist Andrea Walker and singer Solange Igoa met two years ago, started dating and then began performing together at open mic nights across Long Beach. Their musical chemistry was undeniable–Walker’s freshly minted songs about sadness and loss paired perfectly with Igoa’s powerful vocals.

At Buskerfest, the two grinned ear to ear and bantered sweetly with the crowd, getting only a few songs in before realizing that one of the microphones was broken. “Don’t worry, we can share,” Walker said, and the two huddled around a single mic stand, harmonizing (and pecking each other on the cheek) to a growing crowd.

Bearcoon going acoustic (Lonnie Nguyen)

Bearcoon going acoustic (Lonnie Nguyen)

About halfway through the set, Walker put the mic stand aside and called out Igoa’s talent as a busker who doesn’t need any electronics to amplify her soulful voice (Igoa often plays in front of the Rite-Aid on 2nd St. in Belmont Shore). The two then crept to the edge of the stage and launched into a raucous acoustic version of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz,” with Igoa turning Joplin’s gritty vocals into buttery goodness that without a microphone still carried across the East Village. At the end of the song, attendees flooded to the front and dropped nickels in their bag.

While the headliners helped finish the evening with laughter, familiar songs and high-energy performances, the highlight of Buskerfest was and will always be the handful of local acts who each year compete for the most wooden nickels in an attempt to win the coveted $2500 grand prize. Whether actual buskers win or not is besides the point of the event (though Bearcoon’s victory was a beautiful hark back to its roots).

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IN PICTURES: Bearcoon Scores Long Beach’s 2014 Buskerfest Title

by BRIAN ADDISON

SEPTEMBER 08 2014 13:25

Buskerfest 2014

Photos by Brian Addison. Full gallery below.

We’ve called it the golden grail of Long Beach music and with good reason reason: Buskerfest brings out local talent in a way that no other event in the city does, by providing a space (on the back of a flatbed) to perform in front of an audience who gets to attend for free and vote for their favorites by chucking wooden nickels the band’s way.

Bearcoon, Solange Igoa and Andrea Walker

 

While sadly marking the end of the Summer and Music series for 2014, it was a win for Bearcoon [pictured left], the self-described “Hillbilly Mountain Blues Lumberjack Rock” duo that is Solange Igoa and Andrea Walker. What makes this win particularly refreshing is that their performance was one which truly harkened to the more authentic idea of busking, where massive amounts of equipment were avoided in favor of pure acoustic awesomeness. It was catchy, captivating, tinged in Southern soul and twang, even amongst technical difficulties.

 

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INAUGURAL 1ST SATURDAYS MUSIC AT BIXBY PARK – 8/2/2014

1st Saturdays Music - Bixby Park
The first act to kick-off the new music series was the acoustic folk duo, Bearcoon. This pairing includes powerful lead vocals by Solange Kaye Marie Igoa and the fierce guitar slinging of Andrea Walker. The spellbinding tone of their harmonies are so entrancing that you hope they never stop. If you haven’t had a chance to catch a live show, find one. In the meantime you can catch their performance at 2013’s Folk Revival Festival here video

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