Heather Styka in Concert
January 26, 7:00PM

micChicago songwriter Heather Styka is not afraid to go where others fear to tread. Beneath “sweet, soulful vocals” (Portland Press Herald) and “nimble fingerpicked guitar” (Dispatch Magazine) lie narratives of vulnerability, strength, and wanderlust, played and sung with fierce and fearless honesty. An award-winning writer with a #3 album on the FOLK-DJ charts and a Kerrville “New Folk” finalist already at the age of 28, she has performed for over a decade, released four full-length albums, and toured from coast to coast. Now, Heather Styka is coming to Harrison’s Lyric Theater with Ronnie Long for a 7:00 concert on Thursday, January 26.

Heather Styka should be a good fit for all of those who have loved live entertainment at the Lyric: with training both as a poet and an actor, she is equal parts wordsmith and entertainer. Colored by a quirky sense of humor and peppered with confessional storytelling, woodenbeadsStyka’s live shows are intimate and candid as late night conversation. Heather started writing and performing as a teenager in the Chicago suburbs. Honing her craft among Chicago’s long-standing folk community, she hit the road after graduating with a degree in creative writing.

With a very direct storytelling style, Styka is noted both for her nimble fingerpicking and for her essential poetry and vocal purity. As Tim Carroll of FolkWords says, her “unique delivery combines the influences of a fragile Irish air, the warm effervescence of upbeat Americana, soulful country, and mournful blues.” Her eclectic background shines through both in style and in subject matter; songs like “Love in the Multiverse” and “Caspian Sea” reveal Styka’s intellectual curiosity—and her passion for philosophy, history, and theoretical physics—while the earnest and catchy pop sensibilities of “Careful With My Heart” caught the ears of a number of peers who now cover that song, including Joe Jencks (Brother Sun) and Scott Cook.

Styka’s latest album, The Bittersweet Tapes (2016), “tugs the ear on first listen and greets you like an old friend on subsequent visits” (Simon Rigby, Indie Music Portal). These gut-punch pretty songs nod to traditional folk, classic country, and even garage rock, carried by Styka’s emotive vocals. With such diversity, she is recommended for anyone who likes Iris DeMent, Feist, Aoife O’Donovan, Joan Armatrading, Damien Rice, Josh Ritter, Gillian Welch, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen, or Bonnie Raitt. In other words, Heather Styka will fit well into the Lyric’s catalogue of great artists, from Eric Bibb to the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and is sure to delight everyone who attends this Thursday’s concert.

The Ozark Arts Council, in association with Crooked Creek Concerts, presents Heather Styka, with special guest Ronnie Long. Tickets are $10 and available by clicking any of our Get Tickets links, or by calling (870) 391-3504. The Ozark Arts Council will also be sponsoring Business After Hours for the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce prior to the show. Those who attend the 5:00 Business After Hours event will be able to discount their tickets by $2 each. Ugo’s Pizzeria will be running a ready-to-eat single portion special for Business After Hours/Heather Styka attendees, as well, so that you can catch a bite to eat without having to leave the square. (To get the special ticket price when you purchase online, just enter the code BAH when you check out.)

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