Rain Phoenix's Gift Horse Project

Eva Mendes Joins the Musician-Actress in Her Genre-Defying Performance Group

The force of nature that is Rain Phoenix started performing live at age three alongside her siblings (River, Joaquin, Liberty and Summer), all of whom would eventually come into their own as respected musicians and actors. At six she was onstage with Crosby, Stills and Nash at The Hollywood Bowl, and at 15 she joined alt rock band Aleka’s Attic, playing alongside River. She later toured as a backup singer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and guested on REM’s album Monster, as well as delivering a memorable performance as cowgirl Bonanza Jellybean in Gus Van Sant’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Phoenix became a musician in her own right, forming the band papercranes and in 2006 debuting the album Vidalia (featuring guest vocals from folkstress Angela McCluskey and Michael Stipe protégée Vic Chesnutt). During the recording of the band's second album, Let’s Make Babies in the Woods, a tangential group—Gift Horse Project—was quietly forming over hushed rehearsals in a studio off Mulholland Drive. With Phoenix at the helm and a diverse lineup of international singer/songwriters (including Chris Stills, Joe Sumner, Royston Langdon and Jenny O.), the collective launched in March 2010 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. Above is an intimate portrait of a Gift Horse show performed at LA’s Sunset Tower Hotel, to benefit Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND). The film, exclusive to NOWNESS, is narrated by Rain Phoenix, and features a cameo from actress Eva Mendes.

Read more about Gift Horse Project here, and get an exclusive preview of Rain Phoenix’s latest papercranes album here.


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Conversations (1)

  • eezzmoney
    love the charity work....by the way you are great in concert

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