Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Legends of the Fall, by the dozen, at the Iron Horse & Calvin Theatre in Northampton

Stephen Stills Thursday, October 13th, 8PM Calvin Theatre

Legendary guitarist/singer-songwriter Stephen Stills is one of the most influential and enduring figures in rock and roll. The only artist ever to be inducted twice in the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - for The Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash - Stills' work spans five decades, four iconic groups (Manassas and CSN&Y in addition to the two already mentioned), two era-defining anthems - "For What It's Worth" and "Love The One You're With" - and a rich canon of solo material. Ranked 28 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Stills also has a trio of album masterpieces on their compendium of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: Buffalo Springfield Again, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Deja Vu.

Dick Dale Monday, October 17th,  7PM Iron Horse

Dick Dale isn't nicknamed "King of the Surf Guitar" for nothing. He invented the style single-handedly, and no matter who copied or expanded upon his blueprint, he remains the fieriest, most technically gifted musician the genre has ever produced. Dick Dale invented surf music in the 1950's. Not the '60's as is commonly believed. He was given the title "King of the Surf Guitar" by his fellow surfers with whom he surfed with from sun-up to sun-down. He met Leo Fender the guitar and amplifier Guru and Leo asked Dale to play his newly creation, the Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. The minute Dale picked up the guitar, Leo Fender broke into uncontrolled laughter and disbelief, he was watching Dale play a right handed guitar upside down and backwards, Dale was playing a right handed guitar left handed and changing the chords in his head then transposing the chords to his hands to create a sound never heard before.

Shawn Phillips Wednesday, October 26th, 7PM Iron Horse

Shawn Phillips, a veritable Zelig of rock, made the scene in various musical meccas around the globe. He, Paul Simon, and  Donovan were roommates in sixties London and he played guitar on several of Mr. Leitch’s LPs. He instigated the sitar's first historic fusion with pop music through Sunshine Superman and later tutored George Harrison on the instrument. He opened the landmark Isle of Wight festival in 1970, taught a young Joni Mitchell guitar, and sang backup on Sgt. Pepper's "Lovely Rita." His solo albums, spanning 40 years are ambitious outings that showcase his willowy fingerpicking, multioctave vocal range, and penchant for high-flown lyrics. His persona as a mystical hippie troubadour has stayed pretty much intact. His guitar work is as masterful as ever, with contrapuntal picking and deft chording that sometimes make it sound like he’s playing rhythm behind his own leads, and his voice can still leap nimbly from a rumbling baritone through a full-bodied tenor to a soft-edged falsetto. Perhaps no one has made more contributions to rock music with so little recognition than Shawn Phillips. Few artists have stayed in touch with the '60's bred ethos with such constant exploration or never-ending evolution.

Ian Hunter Thursday, November 3rd 7PM Iron Horse

Legendary Mott the Hoople front man and renowned solo artist, Ian Hunter, quickly established himself as an incredibly inventive songwriter with his gritty and thought provoking songs which paved the way for the original wave of punk rock. The 1972 David Bowie produced breakthrough album All The Young Dudes catapulted the band into the British Top 10 and the American Top 40. As a solo artist, Mr. Hunter has been responsible for instantly recognizable classics as “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” “Cleveland Rocks” (used for The Drew Carey Show), and many, many more. Both Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople have been cited as major inspirations for numerous artists including The Clash, Kiss, R.E.M., Oasis, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Motley Crue, Blur and Primal Scream among others. Hunter’s influence on modern rock and roll music has been immeasurable, with over 150 different cover versions of his songs. Ian Hunter has worked with many musical legends such as the members of Queen, David Bowie, Mick Jones of The Clash, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Mick Ronson and Ringo Starr’s All Star Band.

Jorma Kaukonen Sunday, November 6th 7PM Iron Horse

In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll. He was a founding member of two legendary bands, The Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna, a Grammy nominee, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the most in-demand instructor in the galaxy of stars who teach at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp that he and his wife operate in picturesque Southeastern Ohio.

 Joan Baez  Wednesday, November 9th 7PM Iron Horse

It’s been told that some artists live in history – and the lives of other artists are history. From the very beginning of her musical career, Joan Baez has never sought to draw lines between real world, real time events and her own artistic vision. She remains a musical force of nature whose influence is incalculable - marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr. and forty years later saluting  the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest war. She introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963 and focused awareness on songwriters ranging from Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Phil Ochs, Richard Farina, and Tim Hardin, to Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury, to Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Steve Earle and many more.Her music, all along, has remained vital.

 Richie Furay Thursday, November 10th 7PM Iron Horse

Richie Furay formed Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer, and Dewey Martin. In the late 60s he formed the country-rock band Poco, with Jim Messina and Rusty Young. He left Poco in 1974 to join the Souther, Hillman, Furay Band. Since the early 1980s, Richie Furay has been senior pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Broomfield, Colorado.  He’s written two books: For What It’s Worth: The Story Of Buffalo Springfield and Pickin Up The Pieces. Buffalo Sprigfield was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 1997 and had a much ballyhooed reunion this year at Bonnaroo.

Bela Fleck & The Original Flecktones Thursday, November 10th 8PM Calvin Theatre

Groundbreaking banjoist/composer/bandleader Béla Fleck has reconvened the original Béla Fleck & The Flecktones', the extraordinary initial line-up of his incredible combo. Rocket Science marks the first recording by the first fab four Flecktones in almost two decades, with pianist/harmonica player Howard Levy back in the fold alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten, and percussionist/ Drumitarist Roy “Futureman” Wooten. Far from being a wistful trip back in time, the album sees the Grammy Award-winning quartet creating some of the most forward thinking music of their long, storied career. While all manners of genres come into play – from classical and jazz to bluegrass and African music to electric blues and Eastern European folk dances – the result is an impossible to pigeonhole sound all their own, a meeting of musical minds that remains, as ever, utterly indescribable. Simply put, it is The Flecktones, the music made only when these four individuals come together.

David Bromberg  Saturday, November 12th 7PM Iron Horse

Originally a “must-have” session man for everyone from Bob Dylan to Jay & the Americans, David Bromberg is a master practitioner of folk, blues, bluegrass and other musical genres. After years of inactivity on the touring front and numerous "retirements", David Bromberg is beginning to reappear on the live concert scene. Bromberg has reunited the “big band” several times over the years and his live shows remain as unique as ever. Concerts by David and his band are extraordinary events, and performances follow no set pattern of selection. Give and take between performer is complete, spontaneous, and totally sincere. Bromberg’s remarkable musical versatility and innovative resourcefulness have earned vast critical and popular acclaim. He is impossible to classify: a product of blues, country, jazz, folk, and classical music. From his early success as a guitar virtuoso, Bromberg has developed into a brilliant entertainer. His new album, Use Me (2011), features John Hiatt, Levon Helm, Los Lobos, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’ and others.

Leon Redbone Sunday, November 14th 7PM Iron Horse

When Leon Redbone burst on the scene in the early 1970s, he did so under a shroud of mystery. No one, not even those considered his friends, knew where he was from, how old he was, or his real name. A walking caricature, Redbone shuffled through folk festivals in his rumpled three-piece suits from the Twenties, a wide-brim hat, sunglasses, and thick mustache. The only thing widely known about him was that he was a gifted singer and guitarist with a thorough knowledge of blues, urban folk, jazz, and ragtime. "Mr. Redbone doesn't just dig up the past, he embodies it," wrote New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden in 1981, "by dressing himself in the clothes of an old-time traveling minstrel and singing in a voice that is a stylistic composite of early Southern blues and vaudeville performers." Although today his voice is familiar to many, due to countless television jingles hawking everything from beer to laundry detergent, he remains an enigmatic figure whose musical tastes and presentations have gone unchanged for more than twenty years.

Dan Hicks Sunday, December 4th 7PM Iron Horse

Singer-songwriter Dan Hicks is truly an American original. Since the early 1960s, Hicks has deftly blended elements of Swing, Jazz, Folk and Country music to create the appealing sound he sometimes calls "Folk Jazz". The lyrics of his songs range from the simply sublime to the sublimely ridiculous, all presented with his uniquely skewed and inscrutable touch.  Dan's irresistible sense of rhythm, hip lyrical styling, laid-back vocalizing, and infamous on-stage wit will make most who listen fans for life. He's a snappy dresser, too. Tom Waits called Dan Hicks “fly, sly, wily, and dry!” Featuring a world-class collection of musical talent including instrumental virtuosos David Grisman, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Forman, and slide-guitarist Roy Rogers, and produced by Grammy-winning roots music producer Chris Goldsmith, his latest album "Tangled Tales" is served up with Dan's unique fashion, attitude, and swagger.

Elliot Murphy and the Normandy All Stars Wednesday, December 14th 7PM Iron Horse

More then thirty-five years have passed since the release of Elliott Murphy's ground-breaking first album Aquashow in 1973 (recently declared an Album Classic by the UK's prestigious UNCUT magazine) and since that time Elliott Murphy, singer-songwriter, rock troubadour, indefatigable road warrior (over 100 shows a year!) and prolific author of fiction has once again proven his dedication to his music and his commitment to his growing legion of fans with the release of his new CD Notes From the Underground featuring eleven new Elliott Murphy songs, five of which are co-written with long-time guitarist Olivier Durand. The album is already being hailed as his best in a decade. Scott Kempner of the Del Lords and the Dictators opens.

 Tickets are available at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com

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