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‘Perpetual Insight’ on View Through July 25 at The Galleries

An exhibition featuring a subjective exploration of nature, beauty and visual perception will be on display through July 25 at The Galleries.

Perpetual Insight includes includes drawings, paintings, photographs, ceramics and mixed media by nine artists:  Erin Anfinson, Nicole Aquillano, Hannah Celeste Dean, Alex Garbarino, Amy Gross, Lisa Krannichfeld, Cindy Steiler, Christopher Thomas and Justin Webb.

Click for more information about each artist.


2015-16 Davis Theatre Tickets Now on Sale

The 2015-16 Davis Theatre season includes six performances in the flagship On Stage at the Davis series, a holiday show and the return of two local favorites.

On Stage at the Davis will open with Grammy winner Paula Cole on Oct. 2, followed by Shana Tucker, chambersoul and cello, on Nov. 7; Eric Bibb, blues, on Jan. 16; Mountain Heart, Americana, on Feb. 19; Della Mae, roots, on March 12; and Barrage 8, sonic strings, on April 10. There also will be a holiday bluegrass show by the Claire Lynch Band on Dec. 5, three evenings of the Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show and a performance by Concord singer-songwriter Jim Avett.

Here are short descriptions of the performances:

Paula Cole – season opener, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, 8 p.m., $44
Singer/songwriter Paula Cole has been nominated seven times for a Grammy Award, winning Best New Artist. She has had two top 20 hit songs, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and the Dawson’s Creek television show theme “I Don’t Want to Wait.” Her music is complex and rooted in jazz, rock and soul combined with superior musicianship.

Shana Tucker – Chambersoul, cello and songs, Saturday, Nov. 8 p.m., 2015, $34
This cellist-singer-songwriter’s music is an instantly captivating platter of acoustic pop and soulful, jazz-influenced contemporary folk. Balancing mainstage performances in theatres and festivals across the United States with being featured cellist and mezzo-soprano in Cirque du Soleil’s KA in Las Vegas, she is a true rising star.

Eric Bibb – blues, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, 8 p.m., $34
A four-decade career, 35 albums, countless radio and television shows and non-stop touring have given blues guitar master Eric Bibb a world view that’s tempered by curiosity and compassion, and the ability to see himself in other peoples’ shoes. He has toured all over the world and been nominated for a Grammy as well as four Blues Music Awards.

Mountain Heart – Americana, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Mountain Heart is an all-star band known for revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be played. Members of the band have been nominated for Grammys, Academy of Country Music and County Music Association awards and the band as a whole has won multiple International Association of Bluegrass Music Awards. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry more than 130 times.

Della Mae – roots, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Recently named one of Rolling Stone’s “new artists you need to know,” Boston-bred and Nashville-based Della Mae has been called a female version of The Avett Brothers. Their vibrantly original music is rooted in rock, folk and bluegrass. The Grammy-nominated band is known for high-energy live performances, timeless lyrics, outstanding musicianship and expressive harmonies.

Barrage – sonic strings, Sunday, April 10, 2016, 7 p.m., $48
This unforgettable show is the latest project from the creators of Barrage, which brought down the house at the Davis in 2008. Featuring energy, panache and stage innovation, the show features all the instruments in the modern string family with four violins, two violas, cello and double bass. The reimagining of the string octet is rich, powerful and like nothing you’ve ever heard before!

Claire Lynch Band – holiday bluegrass, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, 8 p.m., $36
Dolly Parton credits Claire Lynch with “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, she is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of bluegrass. She is a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. Make this show part of your holiday season!

Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, 7:30 p.m., $16
Enjoy three toe-tapping evenings of traditional bluegrass music hosted by Jeff Whittington, a North Carolina Banjo Champion and featuring John Culbreath, fiddle; Pete Corum, bass; Mike Wood, guitar; and Jason Wood, mandolin. Additional shows on Thursdays, January 21, and April 28.

Jim Avett – folk, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, 7:30 p.m., $20
Jim Avett plays beloved country songs and original ballads and tells memorable stories. Father of Scott and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers, he put music on the backburner to raise his family but is now in demand for listening rooms and festivals all over the country.


Collectors Circle at ClearWater Artist Studios June 24

The Galleries’ innovative new offering, Collectors Circle, is going on the road to ClearWater Artist Studios Wednesday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., and we hope you will come with us!

“The Collectors Circle is the arts council’s diverse group of active art collectors and art lovers,” said Rebecca Collins, Visual Arts Director. “This forum is for those who enjoy learning about emerging and established artists and gaining insight into the arts councils programs and exhibitions. These events provide an inspiring and accessible environment for people to learn more about the arts and connect with people who share a common passion for art.”

This will be the fifth program of the Collectors Circle, which began last November. Participants have enjoyed meeting artists and each other, seeing artists demonstrating how they create their works and learning about collecting art for your home. Collins’ primary goal for the Collectors Circle event at ClearWater is to present an opportunity for celebrating and supporting local artists.

“Following an introduction about the innovative facility, the group will gain special access to several artist studios,” she said. “Visitors will have the chance to connect with these artists in a casual and social setting where they can learn about artistic processes.”

Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios, said that she and the artists welcomed the opportunity to host Collectors Circle.

“We love the chance to have more people to see what ClearWater is all about,” Gay said. “Several of our artists will be talking with the group that evening, giving them a chance to access the living artist as well as the work(s) of art.  To many this is the most exciting part of contemporary art- being able to get a glimpse into the artists’ psyche and creative process.  Many collectors became collectors of certain works, throughout history, because they had become friends and admirers of the artist.”

Located at 223 Crowell Dr. NW in the Gibson Village area of Concord, Clearwater Artist Studios was originally the city’s water works building and has been redeveloped into affordable artist studios.

Collectors Circle is always free, but we would appreciate your letting us know whether you’re coming by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing

Breakfast for the Arts May 22

The Cabarrus Arts Council’s 2015 Breakfast for the Arts will take place Friday, May 22, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center, Concord.

The fundraiser will include outstanding entertainment, inspirational talks, a free hot breakfast and lots of fun.  About 700 people are expected , and they will be immersed in the arts from the minute they arrive for the tightly packed one-hour program.

Reservations are required for admission; reserve your seat by Friday, May 15, by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing  Please help us meet our fund drive goal!

‘Semantics’ on Display at The Galleries Through May 16

An exhibition featuring words, phrases, symbols, language and literature in conjunction with artworks of various media will be on display at The Galleries through May 16. Semantics includes ceramics, paintings, drawings, etchings, collages and jewelry.

“Throughout history, words and phrases have informed the visual arts,” said Rebecca Collins, Cabarrus Arts Council Visual Arts Director and curator for the exhibition.  “Semantics is a group invitational that explores the intricate dialogue between language and visual art as a mode of expression. Semantics aims to reveal the connection between written communication and visual art in tangible forms. We see the transformation of meanings in language, symbols and signs throughout this visual exhibition as they mutually influence one another.”

Semantics includes works by nine artists:

  • Andrew Coombs – is an adjunct professor of ceramics at the University of South Carolina who creates pottery that is layered with text that serves as both a decorative element and a record of his communication with the object.
  • Stephanie DeArmond – of Minneapolis is a clay artist whose work explores language by taking slang phrases, colloquialisms, and snippets of conversation and abstracting them into sculptural form where meanings are revealed and obscured through typography and letterforms.
  • Kiki Farish of Raleigh creates drawings that deal with visual/verbal communication systems. Complexity is built with organic images fused together with text to suggest subtle and polite statements of social matters.
  • Andy Farkas – of Asheville works with wood engraving, drypoint and etching techniques to create detailed, evocative images. He considers the true nature of his work to lie in telling stories.
  • Connie Norman of Wyoming constructs her earthenware clay pieces through a combination of hand-built techniques, including slab building, coiling, and press and slump molding. She then uses old moveable type-face to individually press in each letter on the piece.
  • Merrill Shatzman is a printmaker and art professor at Duke University who cuts and carves woodblocks, stencils, and paper to make highly meticulous, crafted pieces that meld abstracted and readable letterforms, symbols and motifs.
  • Geoffrey Stein is a recovering lawyer and figure painter who lives in New York City. He prefers to work from life when possible. His paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.
  • Barbara Campbell Thomas is an art professor at UNC-Greensboro whose paintings and collages engage the daily challenge of locating ourselves amidst the barrage of imagery and information that is characteristic of 21st century life.
  • Ali Wieboldt of Blacksburg, VA, is a painter who happens to frame her paintings as jewelry. She creates miniature acrylic paintings of birds, animals and plants on materials such as bone, antler and synthetics, and then creates a sterling silver setting which enhances and tells a story about the subject.

The Galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  For more information about Semantics, call 704-920-2787 or click.

Blues Legend Mac Arnold Back at the Davis May 1

Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues is returning to the Davis Theatre, Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $26 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the box office, in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.

Mac Arnold is a blues legend. His first band had James Brown, THE “I Feel Good” James Brown, on piano. He followed that up by recording with Muddy Waters, Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker. He co-produced Soul Train, provided bass for the Sanford and Son television show and played with Otis Redding and B.B. King. He even has an honorary doctorate in music from the University of South Carolina.

Arnold tells stories you’ll still be talking about a year from now and plays bass, rhythm gas can guitar, slide gas can guitar and sings. Plate Full O’ Blues also includes Austin Brashier, guitar and vocal; Max Hightower, harmonica, piano, keyboards, guitar, bass and vocals; and Jeffrey Scott Hawkins, drums.

Here’s what a few people have said about Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues:

  • “This is old-school at its finest.” Blues Review
  • “A plate full of blues?… this is the whole dang meal.” Creative Loafing
  • “One of the most original voices in blues.” Jazz Now
  • “…one remaining virtual blues goldmine is Mac Arnold.” All Music Guide
  • “The voice is appropriately seasoned and credible…his group able to match his bursts with formidable riffs and licks.” Nashville City Paper

Arnold has been nominated for best male Traditional Blues Artist at the Blues Music Awards and his return to music spawned a documentary Nothing to Prove: The Story of Mac Arnold’s Return to the Blues, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award. Click for more information about Arnold and his band.

This performance will be the last in the 2014-15 Davis Theatre season. Next year’s line-up will be announced soon.

David Domingo and the Fuzzbucket Music Company at the Davis April 23

David Domingo and the Fuzzbucket Music Company’s updated version of the old-fashioned variety show is returning to the Davis Theatre on Thursday, April 23.  The show was postponed from its original Feb. 26 date due to snow.

The show will be at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre located in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse, 65 Union St. S, Concord.  Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online 24 hours a day or at the box office, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person of via telephone, 704-920-2753.

The Fuzzbucket Music Company show is what you would get if you merged The Ed Sullivan Show, A Prairie Home Companion and the Grand Ole Opry. It is the brainchild of David Domingo of Kannapolis who founded the group in 2001 while he was living in Florida. He operates Wigglyroad Multi Media Productions, a recording, film and art studio where the idea for Fuzzbucket was born. The show includes a revolving line-up of musicians, singers and other performers.

The show is anchored by the house band, the Fuzzbucket Players. The modern folk/bluegrass/country/gospel band includes Domingo, vocals, guitar and bass guitar; Jim Cooper, vocals and 12-string guitar; Marty DeJarnette, fingerstyle lead guitar; Sam Falls, percussion; and Miriam Stirewalt, vocals.

The Fuzzbucket Players will be joined by a diverse line-up of performers:

  • Rocksbury, Celtic fusion music featuring Corey Peña on the mandolin and Irish step dancer Hannah Simmons
  • Shane Manier, poet, artist and founder of Guerilla Poets
  • Michael G. Nolan, singer-songwriter who was nominated for Folk Artist of the Year by the Charlotte Music Awards
  • Mitch Hayes, singer-songwriter who plays original folk and Americana music
  • Cathy Taormina and Sylvia Schultz, classic opera duet

Art on Tap Invites You to a Lawn Party and Reggae Performance by the Sun-Dried Vibes on April 16

If the warm weather has you dreaming of going to a tropical island and your bank account makes that impossible, you will be happy to get a taste of the Caribbean at the arts council on Thursday, April 16.

Art on Tap is sponsoring a Caribbean-style party on the lawn outside the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by a concert by the reggae rock group Sun-Dried Vibes at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis Theatre.

Art on Tap is the Cabarrus Arts Council’s new young adult group whose purpose is to develop arts leaders and awareness of the arts council. The group hopes to bring in 30 new members at this event. To join the group, come to the party and sit in the Art on Tap section at the concert, click.

The Sun-Dried Lawn Party will feature Jamaican food and drinks and reggae music.  The party will continue after the concert with free tropical flavored ice cream from Cabarrus Creamery at Lil’ Robert’s place. The party is an Art on Tap membership event but open to anyone attending the Sun-Dried Vibes concert for $20.  Reservations must be made by April 13 by calling 704-920-2787.

Sun-Dried Vibes provides a fresh twist to the reggae rock genre with their high-energy live performances that crank out infectious sing-a-longs laced with a positive message. Since the group’s inception in 2010, the trio has played about 275 shows a year and recorded two albums. Their second album, “Back2Square1″ debuted on the iTunes Reggae Charts at #6. They took home back-to-back “Rock Band of the Year” awards in 2012 and 2013 and were voted “Charlotte’s Best Local Band” by readers of Creative Loafing in 2012.

They played the major festival “Carolina Roots: Carolina Sessions” in Wilmington and toured the Virgin Islands in 2014. Their Davis Theatre performance is after their 23-stop spring “Look into the Stars” tour of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida and before their first national tour in which they will play at the largest reggae festival in the world, the California Roots Music and Arts Festival.  A third album, to be recorded in California, is also in the works.

Sun-Dried Vibes is Zach Fowler, lead vocals and guitar; Evan Tyler, bass; and Alex Winchester, drums. Listen to their music.

Semantics on Display Through May 16 at The Galleries

A new exhibition featuring words, phrases, symbols, language and literature in conjunction with artworks of varying media will be on display at The Galleries through May 16.

The group invitational includes works by eight artists: Andrew Coombs, Stephanie DeArmond, Kiki Farish, Andy Farkas, Connie Norman, Merrill Shatzman, Geoffrey Stein, Barbara C. Thomas and Ali Wieboldt.

An opening reception for the show will be held during the downtown Concord Art Walk on Friday, March  27, 6-9 p.m.

For more information, call 704-920-2787.

Jeff Little Trio to Perform at the Davis Theatre March 20

“Jeff Little tore the place apart with his wondrously quick and articulate piano style. He is tricky and playful, yet always intelligent and richly melodic.” – The Boston Globe


“Jeff Little is a remarkable musician, steeped in the tradition of his native Blue Ridge, yet also a virtuosic and eclectic innovator.” – National Public Radio


“there is also a more contemporary mountain tradition in Jeff’s performance. His lead solos are breathtaking in their speed, precision and clarity.” – The National Council for the Traditional Arts “American Piano Masters”


“Jeff Little delivered impressive unaccompanied versions of both “Orange Blossom Special” and “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On.” Just as Doc Watson once adapted fast tricky fiddle tunes to the guitar, so has Little to the piano.” The Washington Post



The Jeff Little Trio will perform at the Davis Theatre Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m. as part of the theatre’s flagship On Stage at the Davis series. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online and at the box office.  Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  For more information, call 704-920-2753 or visit Listen to a unique version of “Dueling Banjos.”

Little makes piano his lead instrument, rare in Appalachian or Americana music. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.

Little’s involvement with fiddle tunes, old time country, and traditional blues began in childhood in his family’s music shop in Boone, where he would sit in with Doc Watson and other musicians beginning around age 6.  He has been a professional musician since the age of 14 and has played at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Folk Festival and MerleFest.  He has performed in Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, France and Tanzania on US Government goodwill tours and been on NPR and PBS several times.

Steve Lewis is one of the most respected acoustic musicians in the country.  He is well known for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five string banjo. Steve is a two-time National Banjo Champion and also has won guitar and banjo competitions at the Walnut Valley Nationals, MerleFest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, Renofest and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition.
Rounding out the trio is highly sought after upright bass master Josh Scott.  He has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed acoustic and Americana artists.