Ari Hest

I find it hard to remember to wash my laundry once a week.  In 2008, New York singer-songwriter Ari Hest took on the daunting task of releasing a new song each week for 52 weeks straight.  The year ended for him with an amazing new album and an abundance of great music.  The year ended for me with a lot of not-so-amazing dirty laundry and a lack of people wanting to stand next to me.  Ari Hest may have won this battle but at least my falsetto is higher than his.  Oh wait, he’s got me there too.

Ari Hest

Ari Hest

I had the pleasure of first meeting Hest back in early 2002 when he was heavily touring clubs and colleges in support of his album Come Home.  Over the years I have made it a point to see him live every time he passed through the area.  Hest is one of those special performers that you invest in.  You dedicate your time, money and energy into his work because the music that is produced seems like it was crafted just for you.  His song writing is reflective and emotive.  His vocals are warm and distinctive.  And make sure you hang on to your lid because he controls his vocal range like only a few can.  One minute you are following his deep voice as if he were the pied piper.  The next minute he is blasting you through the rafters with a falsetto that would make even the hardest thug shed a tear.  Simply put, Hest is a dynamic musician that continues to hone his craft year after year.

A few years ago a life long dream of signing with a major record label came true for Hest.  A lot of good came out of that partnership but what it really did was emphasize for Hest how important it is to have complete control over your music.  A peaceful divorce from his label gave way to a artistic project that had people raising their eyebrows.  The task was straight forward.  Release a new song each week for a year for fans to enjoy.  Do this for a year and at the end there would be a collection of 52 songs. The journey no doubt had it ups and downs but a loyal fan base (yours truly included) went along for the ride.  The musical experiment allowed fans to provide immediate feedback, suggest titles for songs and offer their two cents.  The end of the journey became the start of a new one with the creation of Twelve Mondays as an independent release.  Hest took fan feedback and narrowed down the 52 tracks to the 12 that you see on the album.

Twelve Mondays is a great representation of Ari Hest’s artistry.  I personally recommend you lend an ear to “One Two”, “Binoculars”, “I’ll Be There”,  and “Dead End Driving”.  Check out Hest’s web site to explore his music catalogue and find out when you can catch him live.

Ari Hest’s video for “Dead End Driving”

Below Ari Hest describes his “52″ project

Like Ari Hest?  Check out Ray LaMontagne!

About the Author

Kevin has a long history of discovering the best music out there. He started off as an event coordinator for a ton of different types of shows and slowly started to grow his musical interests over time. Maybe some of those interests included the Baja Men, maybe they didn't.

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