Sunday, December 9, 2018 – 4:00 pm
An Afternoon with The Early Mays
Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion, and newest member, Rachel Eddy, share songs based in a love of American tradition, while also exploring their own creative voices. All three are celebrated solo artists who bring their rich, and carefully honed craft to The Early Mays. Emily weaves folk, classical and world music traditions together in her songwriting. She recently won a New Music USA award for the commission of a piece for old time banjo and chamber ensemble, “Rounder Songs,”released in November 2017 on New Amsterdam Records. Ellen is an accomplished ballad singer and visual artist who has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, and was an American Music Abroad finalist with the US State Department. Rachel is a prolific old-time fiddler and multi-instrumentalist, with a long touring history, who has shared the stage with Tim O’Brien, Uncle Early, Bruce Molsky and others. There is an unsurpassed magic that springs from entwined and entrancing vocal harmonies. The Early Mays love the camaraderie of the studio, the road and rehearsals, and you can feel the gratitude radiate from whatever stage they are on. You’ll always leave a show carrying a little bit of that warmth away with you.
Friday, January 11, 2019 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with The Honey Dewdrops & The Bumper Jacksons Duo
Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish are celebrating their 9th year of touring full time as The Honey Dewdrops, having played stages and festivals far and wide in North America and Europe. With tight harmonies and an musical ensemble that includes claw-hammer banjo, mandolin and guitars, the effect is to leave listeners with only what matters: the heart of the song and clarity over ornamentation.
After leaving their home base of Virginia and living on the road for 2 years, Laura and Kagey now call Baltimore, Maryland home and it’s where they wrote and recorded their fourth full-length album, Tangled Country, released May 2015. Acoustic Guitar Magazine describes the set of songs as “a handcrafted sound centered on swarming harmonies and acoustic guitars that churn like a paddlewheel and shimmer like heat waves on the highway.” And like their stage performance, these songs rock and reel, and then they console you when you come back down.
Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, playful style. The group began as a duo, a city-meets-country experiment between songstress Jess Eliot Myhre and banjo and guitar player Chris Ousley. They hopped on bicycles, touring the country, instruments on their backs, seeking to reimagine roots music. In five short years, the Bumper Jacksons grew to a brassy seven-piece, with horns and pedal steel. They’ve been honored multiple times as the Mid-Atlantic’s “Artist of the Year” & “Best Traditional Band” at the Washington Area Music Awards. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited.
Friday, February 1, 2019 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with Joe Crookston
Joe Crookston – Songwriter, guitarist, painter, fiddler, slide player, eco-village member and believer in all things possible. Named 2016 Folk Alliance International Artist-in- Residence. He’ll surprise you and awaken the cynics. He’s plumbing for lyrical gold like a social archeologist. His songs are universal, his rhythm infectious and in concert, he is funny as hell one moment and transcendent the next. Whether he’s picking his 48 Gibson, weaving through lap slide songs or looping his fiddle, he will draw you in. It happens every time. Watch a YouTube video. It’s good, but it’s not the same. You gotta come to a show. With unwavering courage to be himself, he is literate, poignant and funny as hell. He lives in Ithaca NY, and tours regularly in the US, Ireland and Canada.
Best quote: “I hate folk music, but I absolutely LOVE Joe Crookston’s music.!”
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Lloyd-Martin-Vox
With the huge success of that show in Baltimore (and another after that) … Lloyd Martin and Vox was born. Marrying Vox’s renowned mouth trumpet and ukulele prowess, Martin’s flawless folk songwriting and vocals and Lloyd’s powerhouse percussion makes this trio a little bit funky, a little bit folky and definitely fierce. Three of the most signature, polished voices on the folk/acoustic scene also make for rich harmony throughout the group’s re-imagined covers and original tunes. With Vox now calling California home, their shows together in the MD/DC area are rare and special – Don’t miss this one!
Friday, September 13, 2019 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with Jon Shain
Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter who’s been turning heads for years with his words, his fiery acoustic guitar work, and his evolved musical style – combining improvised piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, and ragtime. Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter who’s been turning heads for years with his words, his fiery acoustic guitar work, and his evolved musical style – combining improvised piedmont blues with jazz, swing, bluegrass, and ragtime. He grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts – a mill-town that had seen its better days by the time he was a child. It was here that he began to discover his love of American roots music and songwriting, specifically drawn to the narratives about regular people and themes of social justice. He continued his musical journey while attending college at Duke University. In addition to studying jazz, he also had the good fortune to learn the piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henry’s backing band. It was at this time that Shain also got to meet and play with a number of the great older NC blues players.
Saturday, October 5, 2019 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Malcolm Holcombe
Malcolm Holcombe grew up in western North Carolina, home to some of the planet’s oldest mountains and some of America’s deepest musical traditions. Radio and TV fueled Malcolm’s musical passions as a kid, and music became even more important after he lost both his parents relatively young. He toured with bands and landed in Nashville, where he took up an inconspicuous station at the back of the house – the very back – at Douglas Corner, one of the city’s best singer/songwriter venues. Stories began to circulate about the mysterious dishwasher with the subterranean voice and oracle-like talent. Sadly so did stories of wildly inconsistent behavior – profound sweetness crossed by bouts of stunning abrasiveness. He flirted with an official music career. But his stunning debut album made for Geffen Records was abruptly shelved, producing melodrama that only exacerbated Malcolm’s drinking and depression. A business that once had a place for complicated genius turned its back on him, and he teetered near the edge.
Moving back to the North Carolina hills proved a powerful tonic. Holcombe let in help where before he’d pushed it away. With deep faith in God and a commitment to his art, Holcombe repaired himself and his career. And that’s a pretty good nod to the effect of hearing Holcombe sing. If you’ve not seen him in a live setting, this is what you have to do. His presence is spooky and timeless, as one imagines it was like to see Son House or Leadbelly. No emotional stone is left unturned. While you plan for this important experience, collect Malcolm Holcombe albums… He is cryptic, demanding, polarizing, bold, passionate and free, a combination badly needed in our time of infinite trivia. He’s even more interesting for having made a remarkable journey of recovery and discovery.