Tickets: $10 advance, $14 at the door.
Please join us as we celebrate the release of Brownesville Highway’s inaugural studio album, recorded here at Empty Sea.
Georgia Browne, previously with the acclaimed a cappella trio, Bella, and Americana group Chele’s Kitchen, has played a variety of festivals and such venues as the Triple Door and the Intiman Theater. While Georgia’s songwriting comes from a deeply personal space, her lyrics are easily accessible and universally understood. With her soulful, heartfelt delivery, Georgia’s songs are evocative and unforgettable.
Rob Gilbert, a cartoonist and animator by trade, has followed a long-time interest in music that began in bars and dives in New York City playing in rock/blues/funk bands. Over a decade ago, he eschewed electric instruments and has developed a passion for acoustic music. Influenced by a variety of styles including old-time county, classical, jazz, and Appalachian mountain music, he pulls from his Southern American and Eastern European ancestral roots to write diverse songs which are at once fresh and timeless.
“It’s been quite a wonderful and amazing experience to see our two styles blending and creating something new, musically.” Georgia explains, “We’ve been playing together for about a year now, and the songs we write together are reflective of our individuality, but take on a crazy life of their own.” The pair switch instruments continuously, keeping things interesting using various pairings of voice, guitar, banjos, mandolin, mandola, mountain dulcimers, and upright bass. “We’re constantly learning and reinventing ourselves, and try not to take things too seriously,” says Gilbert.
Tickets: $10 advance, $12 at the door.
Just when you thought you’d heard all that the Americana/Folk revival could show you, Misner & Smith bring a freshness and lyrical vitality you won’t find anywhere else. When you hear these two performers you’ll think they were born to sing together, with an exceptional and indescribable vocal blend that cuts right to your soul. At moments raw and powerful, and at other times hauntingly subtle, extraordinary two-part harmonies anchor Misner & Smith’s unique and compelling original music.
Megan Smith plays the upright bass and mandolin while Sam Misner plays guitar, and with stellar award-winning songwriting to boot, Misner & Smith retain a connection to roots music that has been described as “the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary”. Paul Liberatore of the Marin Independent Journal called Sam “one of the most promising songwriters I’ve heard in quite some time.” Though it is not always easy to put their music into one category it is evident that the tradition of duets is truly alive and well in these two performers. You will be amazed at the fullness of sound and depth of songs from Misner & Smith.
The duo began their musical collaboration after working together as actors on a production of the musical Woody Guthrie’s American Song and immediately recognized a mutual love of Americana music, particularly focused on vocal harmonies. Since then, the two have been touring regularly and have built a steady and loyal following. They have performed on the main stages at both the San Francisco and El Cerrito Folk Festivals, and recently headlined at Berkeley’s famed acoustic venue, the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. Hicks With Sticks Magazine described Misner & Smith as “a Bay Area treasure to be shared…with a touch for taking simple ideas and infusing them with unexpected meaning, metaphor and imagery.”
In 2007, “Madeline (Paradise Cracked)” won the West Coast Songwriters Association’s Song of the Year competition. The title track of their most recent release “Poor Player” (2008) was nominated in the New Folk category in one of the world’s largest international song contests put on by the Just Plain Folks music organization. It is the combination of strong songwriting and vocal delivery that drove RARwriter.com to declare “this is truly inspired vocalizing, this is ‘shivers up the spine’ singing!”
Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door.
Based out of Vancouver, BC, Viper Central is a six-piece acoustic string-band that takes that “high lonesome sound” to new places. All six band members contribute original songs, but won’t hesitate to deliver up their take on an ages-old mournful waltz or bring the house down with a barn-burning bluegrass standard. The band first came together through a love for the old timey sounds of such artists as Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Hazel Dickens, and the New Lost City Ramblers along with the more contemporary styles of acoustic innovators David Grisman, Béla Fleck, and David Lindley. Everyone brings a colourful resume and a unique sense of creativity to this collaboration. While the members of the band play significant roles in many other roots music projects (The Mountain Bluebirds, The Fugitives, The Blue Island Trio, Whiskey Jar, Headwater, Redgrass, Badgentina), the chemistry of the six members gives Viper Central a one-of-a-kind sound that will stick with you long after the show is over.
In the summer of 2008, Viper Central released their debut album, The Devil Sure is Hard to Please. Blending instrumental prowess with innovative arrangements and creative vocal harmonies, the album showcases the diverse songwriting talents of every member in the band and is quickly earning them a place among the bands to watch for in Canada’s thriving roots music scene. The band was also featured on the Whiskey Hollow Bound compilation album, which showcases six Vancouver bluegrass and old time bands and has been receiving rave reviews across the country since its release in 2007.
Appearing with Viper Central is Squirrel Butter, the duo of Charlie Beck and Charmaine Li-Lei Slaven. Charlie and Charmaine began performing together in 2005 after meeting at the Portland Old Time Gathering and discovering that they lived merely blocks away from each other in Seattle. The pair began busking, and soon realized that their individual styles, sense of rhythm, and tendency towards the quirky and obscure blended well together. It wasn’t long before they began performing at venues off the street.
Charlie Beck, hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, is a highly accomplished musician. His mastery of guitar and banjo come from years of consistent study. He is well versed in jazz and swing, is an avid enthusiast of old American blues and string band music. His repertoire includes a bushel of traditional folk tunes along with many jazz numbers. A talented songwriter, Charlie’s original compositions combine modern approaches with traditional styles, giving his songs a unique sound. Charlie is an outstanding vocalist, and also plays brilliantly on fiddle.
Charmaine “Lady Li-Lei” Slaven, from Stevensville, Montana, is a gifted dancer, and her skill at traditional percussive buckdancing is phenomenal. She is also an adept rhythm guitarist, ukulele player, and vocalist. Her clear, strong singing style is reminiscent of the Carter family. She brings a fine repertoire of traditional ballads to the duet, along with several of her original works.
Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door.
Correo Aereo (Air Mail) is an award winning multi-instrumental and vocal Latin/World Music trio performing traditional and original music of Latin America; primarily of Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina.
Together, Abel Rocha and Madeleine Sosin along with Evan Flory Barnes combine a stunning array of string and percussive instruments with silken vocal harmonies described as “locked in carnal embrace” by the Austin Chronicle. Abel plays harp, guitar, cuatro and quinta huapanguera. Madeleine plays violin, maracas, bombo and jarana. Evan Flory Barnes adds hot stand up bass. Their music is richly polyrhythmic, soulfully melodic; fiery, haunting, joyful!
Correo Aereo has performed at festivals, theaters and music venues throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Holland’s prestigious Moondive; an international media project/concert produced by VPRO Television-Radio Amsterdam, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Austin Music Hall, the EMP in Seattle and the Knitting Factory in NYC. Their music has been featured on NPR Radio programs Latino USA, All Things Considered and on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now.
The critics speak:
“Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo has often stated that to play harp extremely well you most often cannot play other instruments. Abel Rocha calls that wisdom into question since his considerable skill on the harp is matched by his flying fingers on quinta huapanguera, guitar and cuatro. His high, affecting vocal attack often soars above Madeleine’s lower register, singing in a startling and affecting reversal of traditional male female harmony…the musical skill of this couple complements the impressive reach of their pan-hispanic musical repetoire and marks Correo Aereo as one of the most exciting acoustic ensembles to appear in many years.”
DIRTY LINEN MAGAZINE
“I loved the Provinces recording. I had it in my car and when I played it, I was blown away by it; it was really good. I liked (their) arrangements and the way they know what to leave out and what are the bare essentials to make the song, in whatever style they are playing, work. Abel, who plays the harp and the huapanguera as well as sings, is amazing.”
DAVID HIDALGO / LOS LOBOS
“I won’t even try to catalog the styles and instruments that Abel Rocha and Madeleine Sosin bring to the stage – does it mean anything to you that Rocha’s a master of the huapanguera? – but these South by Southwest darlings have a pan-ethnic, global gypsy sound that’s stirring, passionate, and bittersweet. Trading off an assortment of stringed and percussive tools, they create world music with true heart and intelligence.”