Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Northlight Theatre :: 2006/07 Season :: Fire on the Mountain
From the acclaimed creators of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues comes a poignant, passionate musical about the lives of coal miners in the Appalachian Mountains, featuring Mississippi Charles Bevel (Jeff Award-winner for Blues) and Dan Wheetman (former fiddle player for John Denver).

Alternately exuberant and soulful, joyous and gripping, this celebration of culture, lifestyle, hardships and heroics is gloriously relayed through the captivating rhythms of Appalachian bluegrass—a uniquely American art form that gained widespread popularity following the release of the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Featuring authentic dancing, plus stunning fiddle and banjo licks and more than 30 songs, this spiritual triumph is sure to set spirits soaring.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Create Your Own PaloozaHead - Visit

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Wayword Sons
Mighty Fine Bluegrass at FitzGerald's on Thu, May 3rd
The Wayword Sons is one of the most interesting new bands in today's music scene. Combining the critically acclaimed songwriting of Benny Galloway (Yonder Mountain Stringband) and stellar musicianship within the unique instrumentation of keyboards, dobro, acoustic guitar and upright bass, The Wayword sound is truly something special.

Greensky Bluegrass
Winners of the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Greensky Bluegrass is taking Michigan's blend of acoustic roots music on the road. Driving instrumentals and affecting lyrics contribute a fresh sound to an eclectic acoustic genre. GSBG is currently touring to promote the release of their sophomore album Tuesday Letter, produced by Tim Carbone from Railroad Earth.

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Ledward Kaapana & Mike Kaawa

Old Town School of Folk Music, Fri 4/27 at 8:00 pm

"Led continues to stretch the boundaries of Slack Key guitar, dazzling audiences worldwide with his freeboard improvisations, wide-ranging vocals, and kolohe (rascally) sense of humor."

When my daughter was a baby we lived in a small, streetside one bedroom apartment on a busy corner in Brooklyn. To help her sleep at bedtime, I'd play a Led Kaapana CD. She would relax and sleep. And so did I. But not until the last note fell beautifully from the air.

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Del McCoury Band plus Steep Canyon Rangers
Fri, 4/20 at 7pm and 10pm, 4544 N Lincoln Ave

This is an awesome double bill for hardcore bluegrass lovers. Arguably the DMB is the best in bluegrass at this time. Offering a direct link to Bill Monroe through former Blue Grass Boy and family patriarch Del, the Band features the McCoury sons on banjo and mandolin respectively. They are virtuosi in every way.

Steep Canyon Rangers are another one of my favorite new generation string bands from the Carolinas (others include Uncle Earl, the Avett Brothers and King Wilkie). SCR fall into a more traditionalist lineage making them a hot-picking complement to the McCoury family juggernaut.

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Old Town School of Folk Music – Celebrating Fifty Years

The Old Town School Folk & Roots Festival
Sat July 14 & Sun Jun 15

For Americana and folk fans this year's Saturday line up is pretty much unbeatable. Headliners The Knitters are a roots rock powerhouse featuring members of X plus songwriter-guitarist Dave Alvin. Before them is Bettye LaVette, a soul singer who remained under the radar until the past couple of years. The next earlier slot is held by Uncle Earl, which you may recall is one of my absolute favorite contemporary Appalachian folk/bluegrass groups.

Sunday features African, Brazilian and Mexican folk artists plus the Midwest Invitational Fiddle Contest to kick off the day's festivities. To many the juxtaposition of bluegrass with Afro-Latin folkloric ensembles would appear jarringly out of sorts; but if you look at American mountain music as an authentic expression of indigenous culture then you won't bat an eye.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

JamBase | Robert Earl Keen

Joe's [Official Venue Website]

940 W.Weed

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312.337.3486

Map to Venue: Google :: Yahoo!

"The road goes on forever and the party never ends ..." is one of those lyrics that never grows old. REK is a Texas songwriter who has never gained the national following of, say, a Jimmy Buffett. But songsmiths from coast to coast know a great tune when they hear one. And once you've heard some of Keen's country-fueled three-minute stories, you're hooked.

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