“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 jefflittle.net. 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.
An exhibition that explores the transformation of drawing as a medium will be on display through March 6 at The Galleries.
Interactive Lines includes two- and three-dimensional works by nine artists: David Bonagurio, Sue Bryan, Erin Canady, Tim Christensen, Tim Ford, Fred Johnston, Jennifer Mecca, Janvier Rollande and Art Venti.
“Works from this small group invitational intend to expand the definition of drawing in relation to line, form, gesture and representation,” said Rebecca Collins, curator for exhibition and visual arts director of the Cabarrus Council which operates The Galleries. “The exhibition will highlight how mark making has been pushed, stretched and redefined as a mechanism of expression.”
The second part of the exhibition includes a gallery space that will transform into a live drawing room. “We will line the walls with paper, invite professional artists to initialize the manipulation of the space with original drawings and open this interactive experience to the general public,” Collins said. “Materials and loose guidelines will be available. The intention of this experience is to inspire people to become involved with both the viewing and the making of art. All are welcome and none are expected to adhere to the traditional ideas of drawing. My hope is to inspire creativity through interaction.”
Interactive Lines includes artists from several states, most of whom have not shown at The Galleries previously:
- David Bonagurio lives and works in Syracuse, NY, and has taught at Syracuse University. His work is primarily drawing and painting, in which he uses figurative imagery to address personal and larger social issues which affect perspective and perception.
- Sue Bryan lives and works in New York City. Born and raised in Ireland, she says her” passion for drawing lies in the compelling urge to capture the things that inherently move me.” She finds the act of drawing always challenging, ever evolving and constantly changing.
- Erin Canady lives and works in Chapel Hill. Her mixed media drawings focus on taking mechanical parts out of their original context and restructuring them to form undefined shapes and variation of line, leaving viewers with a visual puzzle in which they can search for their own connections.
- Tim Christensen lives in a small cabin near the ocean in Surrey, ME, and often works on an island called Despair surrounded by seals, a family of eagles and his dog. He makes narrative porcelain pieces that are “about the times in which we live, and the challenges of living in a time in which we are divorced from the natural world around us.”
- Tim Ford lives in the North Carolina mountains and teaches at Appalachian State University. He uses a variety of tools, such as graphic, paint and charcoal, to express his ideas. His work is a response to the people he interacts with and is influenced by memories, fears and desires.
- Fred Johnston is a Seagrove potter who learned to make clay pieces by working odd jobs around some of the potteries there. His work is rooted in the Southern folk pottery traditions of North Carolina but also draws from many other cultures, including Greek, Korean, Chinese, Pre-Columbian, European and Mimbres. His shapes and decorations are bold, distinctive and imaginative.
- Jennifer Mecca is a New York native who lives and works in Gastonia. She is a utilitarian potter whose goal is to make pots that visually pleasing and unique in character but also useful in everyday life. She enjoys making serving pieces and tableware that delight to the daily activity of setting a table and enjoying a meal.
- Janvier Rollande lives and works in Maine. Working solely in graphite, Maine artist she creates highly detailed yet sensitive portraits. She begins her work with photographic studies in an attempt to get a better sense of the sitter and capture natural poses.
- Art Venti was born in New York City and now lives and works in southern California. He works predominantly in colored pencils, creating amorphic shapes that are gracefully caught in movement. His work has elements of abstraction and glimpses of “reality.” His objective is to take a fresh look at the traditional landscape.
The Galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition Friday, Jan. 30, 6-9 p.m., during Art Walk. There are special activities for children, including the “I Spy” in conjunction with the exhibition. Admission and activities are free. For more information, call 704-920-2787.
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:
- Roxbury, Celtic fusion music featuring Cory 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
Singer/songwriter Jim Avett will be back at the Davis Theatre Thursday, Feb. 12, with the band he’ll be taking to the iconic Merlefest in North Wilkesboro in April. They will be playing a blend of country, folk and gospel music.
The show will be at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre located at 65 Union St. S, Concord, in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse. Tickets are $17 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. Only a few tickets remain, so don’t delay if you want to see this show.
Joining Avett will be Patrick Crouch, bass and guitar; Hannah Flowers, fiddle; and his daughter, Bonnie Avett Rini, harmonies.
Avett calls Crouch of Lenoir a “master musician.” He plays in a band called “Strictly Clean and Decent” that has opened for Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson and Vassar Clements and played everywhere from the Biltmore House to the Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Festival in Cork, Ireland. With the assistance of Grassroots Grants from the NC Arts Council, the band recorded a series of 10 CDs featuring traditional Caldwell County musicians.
Fiddler Hannah Flowers is part of the Flowers Family Band, which is the backbone of the current version of WBT radio’s Legendary Briarhoppers.
Avett’s daughter, Bonnie, has been singing with her dad and her famous brothers, Scott and Seth of The Avett Brothers, all her life. The four of them released an album of gospel songs, Jim Avett and Family, in 2008. This will be the third time that Bonnie has appeared at the Davis Theatre with her father.
Avett has been all over the place since his show last year at the Davis. In September and October, he did 14 shows in 30 days in places as far flung as Portland, Chicago, Michigan, California and Texas. He is looking forward to playing at the Davis and will include a few songs that “you wouldn’t ever hear anywhere else unless you were in Tom T. Hall’s house.”
Local favorite Brand New Opry be back at the Davis Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 29.
The traditional bluegrass show hosted by Jeff Whittington begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis Theatre, 65 Union St. S in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online. Tickets also may be purchased at the box office, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. The box office will be closed Dec. 20-Jan. 4.
Brand New Opry features an all-star line-up of some of the best musicians in our area: Whittington, banjo; John Culbreath, fiddle; Pete Corum, bass; Mike Wood, guitar; and Jason Wood, mandolin. The show will include some newer classics and the band’s most requested songs.
Whittington performed on the Grand Ole Opry and was a staff musician with the Arthur Smith Show. He has been featured on commercials and movie soundtracks. A former North Carolina Banjo Champion, he plays banjo, pedal steel, Dobro, and guitar with the Brand New Opry.
Culbreath has performed with such bluegrass greats as Vassar Clements and Mac Wiseman, as well as being a former SC State Banjo Champion. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo.
Corum toured with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, playing at the Grand Ole Opry, on television and all over the United States and Canada, and appeared Off Broadway and in the movie Cotton Patch Gospel. He plays bass and sings.
Mike Wood began his career at the age of 14 as guitar player for his father and renowned banjoist, Al Wood and the Smokey Mountain Boys. His first major show was Bill Monroe’s world famous bluegrass festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana. In the 1980s, he joined with mandolinist Herschel Sizemore to form the Country Grass. He also sings bluegrass-gospel with his wife and family band, The Wood Family Tradition.
Jason Wood, Mike Wood’s son, began playing guitar when he was 7, began playing bass with his grandfather’s band when he was 13 and took up his main instrument, the left-handed mandolin, at 17. He toured with Constant Change and recorded “The Song of the Mountain” with bluegrass legend Curly Seckler. He also has played with Audie Blaylock and Redline and The Band.
The Jan. 29 show is the second of three Brand New Opry shows at the Davis Theatre this season. The other performance is on Thursday, March 5.
Davis Theatre tickets make great holiday gifts!
While the box office will be closed Dec. 25-Jan. 5, you may continue to buy tickets online 24 hours a day. The Davis Theatre is located in the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse at 65 Union St., S, Concod
The 2014-15 season includes eight performances January-May:
On Stage at the Davis
- The Steel Wheels, Americana
Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m., $34
This dynamic four-piece string band from the Blue Ridge Mountains marries old-time musical style with their own innovation. They are renowned for their raw energy and chemistry on stage and memorable bell-clear four-part harmonies. They have won the Independent Music Award for Best Country Song and Americana Album of the Year. Tickets are extremely limited. www.thesteelwheels.com
- Jeff Little Trio, Appalachian Blues
Friday, March 20, 8 p.m., $25
Deemed the “Piano Man of the Blue Ridge,’ Jeff 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. He is joined by Steve Lewis, a two-time National Banjo Champion, and Josh Scott, a highly sought-after bassist. www.jefflittle.com
- Mac Arnold and Plate Full ‘O Blues, Blues
Friday, May 1, 8 p.m., $26
Mac Arnold’s first band had James Brown on piano. He followed that up by recording with 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. Now, by popular demand, the blues legend and his band are back at the Davis Theatre. www.macarnold.com
Other Davis Theatre Performances
- Brand New Opry, Bluegrass
Thursday, Jan. 29, and Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., $15
A thoroughly enjoyable evening of traditional bluegrass featuring Jeff Whittington, banjo; John Culbreath, fiddle; Pete Corum, bass; Mike Wood, guitar; and Jason Wood, mandolin.
- Jim Avett, Folk
Thursday, Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., $17
Singer/songwriter Avett plays beloved country songs and his original tunes as he tells stories about his life. www.jimavett.com
- David Domingo and the Fuzzbucket Music Company, Variety
Thursday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p., $15
This contemporary take on the old-fashioned variety show includes ragtime, piano, country, gospel, folk, acoustic, R&B and alternative music as well as poetry and family-friendly humor. www.fuzzbucketmusic.com
- Sun-Dried Vibes, Reggae Rock
Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., $15
South Carolina’s 2012 and 2013 Rock Band of the Year, this trio brings a fresh new twist to the reggae/rock genre.
“Paleface is a gem, a brilliant man…we’re inspired and ignited by his fire.” – The Avett Brothers
“A rousing showman… we’re lucky to get to get to see him play live.” – Creative Loafing
“Overdue for recognition.” – Nashville Scene
“Indie folk band with eclectic style and grace…funky, hip and even interactive.” –The New York Times
“Melodic songs with a sunny vibe while maintaining an edge.” – The New Yorker
“The pair shined a rare beam of sincerity…Paleface can turn the air in the room blue by simply opening his mouth. His words are gorgeous and bloody with heartache, and the effortless way in which he holds a roomful of folks captivated is a beautiful thing.” – Ink19
“Seriously, he’s the real deal and you need to check him out.” – Star News, Wilmington, NC
Paleface IS the real deal and we’re lucky enough to have the duo and the man – both go by the name “Paleface” – for a show at the Davis Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the box office, in person of via telephone, 704-920-273.
Avett Brothers collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Paleface has recorded 17 albums and influenced many prominent musical artists including Grammy-winner Beck. He is now touring as a high-energy duo with Mo Samalot. The two celebrated the release of their album One Big Party at Radio City Music Hall followed by a tour of the United States and Europe. Paleface, the man, is a prolific songwriter and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and piano. His performance at the Mountain Stage festival has aired worldwide on NPR and the Voice of America.
Paleface, the man, is also a self-taught visual artist who has sold hundreds of paintings. His main theme is music. He paints string instruments and uses words and lyrics as if he were “painting” a song. He participated in last week’s Art Walk, and we’ll have a display of several pieces in the Davis Theatre atrium the night of the performance.
For more information, call 704-920-2753 or click.
The December calendar at the Cabarrus Arts Council is full of fun things to do, including an opportunity to meet Santa, two great exhibitions and extended shopping hours at The Galleries and two performances at the Davis Theatre!
After School Cookies with Santa – Wednesday, Dec. 3, 3-5 p.m., The Galleries
It turns out that Santa likes art, and he’s going to be visiting The Galleries! Children of all ages are invited to come to The Galleries to meet Santa, enjoy cookies and look at the art. Visitors also may enjoy hands-on art activities, including the “I Spy” scavenger hunt, “Think about It” guided questionnaires and “Art Box” crafts. Make sure to bring your camera to get a picture with the Jolly Ole Elf! This event is free. For more information, call 704-920-2787.
Time Sawyer Performance – Thursday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., Davis Theatre
Charlotte folk rock band Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on a high-energy, entertaining show that has elements of folk, rock, bluegrass and blues. The versatile band has garnered a big following in the Southeast and has also toured the Pacific Northwest and Texas. It recently was selected for the 2015 version of the prestigious MerleFest, which bills itself as a traditional music festival. Time Sawyer plays mostly original American music, with an occasional cover of tunes by people like John Prine, Tom Petty or Merle Haggard. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online and at the box office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. For more information, call 704-920-2753.
Sip and Shop Seagrove – Wednesday, Dec. 10, 4-7 p.m., The Galleries
Enjoy a beverage as you shop for Seagrove pottery during these extended hours at The Galleries. Included are pieces from six of the most prominent potteries from the acclaimed North Carolina center for clay art: Crystal King, Dirtworks, Eck McCanless, Joseph Sand and Kings Pottery. Besides pottery, The Galleries also are featuring Discover Local, an exhibition of art by people who live nearby. Don’t miss the gallery shop’s one-of-a-kind items including jewelry and wood pieces. For more, information call 704-920-2787.
Paleface Performance – Thursday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m., Davis Theatre
Avett Brothers collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Paleface has recorded 17 albums and influenced many prominent artists including Grammy-winner Beck. He is now touring with a high-energy duo with Mo Samalot, which celebrated the release of its album One Big Party at Radio City Music Hall followed by a tour of the United States and Europe. Paleface is a prolific songwriter and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and piano. He also is a visual artist, and some of his original artwork will be on display in the Davis Theatre atrium! Tickets are $15 may be purchased online and at the box office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 704-920-2753.
Discover Local and Shop Seagrove – Through Dec. 18, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Experience beautiful artwork and do all your holiday shopping at The Galleries. Discover Local showcases works by 12 artists: Regina Calton Burchett, Robert Alvin Crum, John Dunlap, Louise Farley, Rachel Goldstein, Allison McGowan Hermans, Patricia Nobles Jay, Paul Keysar, Jeff Pender, Jerry Measimer, Jennie Martin Tomlin and Walter Stanford. Shop Seagrove includes clay pieces by Crystal King Pottery, Dirtworks Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Joseph Sand Pottery, Kings Pottery and Pottery by Frank Neef. For more information, call 704-920-2787.
Charlotte band Time Sawyer, which will perform at the Davis Theatre in December, doesn’t like to label its music as any one genre because it has elements of so many styles, including folk, bluegrass, rock and blues. If you have to choose something, it would probably be “folk rock” or “Americana,” according to band member Sam Tayloe.
Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on a high-energy, entertaining show. The versatile band has garnered a big following in the Southeast and has also toured the Pacific Northwest and Texas. It recently was selected for the 2015 version of the prestigious MerleFest, which bills itself as a traditional music festival. Time Sawyer plays mostly original songs, with an occasional cover of tunes by people like John Prine, Tom Petty or Merle Haggard.
Time Sawyer will play at the Davis Theatre, 65 Union St. S, Concord, on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 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 click.
The band is composed of Tayloe, lead vocals, guitar, harmonica; Kurt Layal, lead guitar and backing vocals; Houston Norris, banjo; and Clay Stirewalt, drums, auxiliary percussion and didgeridoo.
Jody Mace of Charlotte on the Cheap said: “Their music features great melodies, lyrics that stick in your head, and most of all a kind of ‘realness.’ If you like The Avett Brothers you probably know what I mean by ‘realness.’”
Pat Moran of Creative Working said: “Standing at the crossroads of rustic folk, mountain bluegrass and rocking alt-country, Elkin, N.C.’s Time Sawyer is a young band with plenty of old soul. They craft catchy, uplifting, not-too-polished tunes that retain the uncertainty and grit of daily life… the foursome is energetic — they’ve released four albums in three years — and musically mature, weaving banjo, guitar and harmonica into an easy-going, organic sound that seems to have sprung fully formed from the Yadkin Valley soil.”
And then there’s this review of the band’s Time for a Change CD from Dan Joseph: CKWR-FM 98.5 in Waterloo, Canada: “I have to say that this CD reminds me a lot of Bob Dylan. Strong, meaningful lyrics, simple and accessible melodies, and there’s even something in your voice that sounds like Dylan, except that you can sing. The arrangements are great! This is a fine CD.”
The biggest Art Walk of the Year will take place Friday, Nov. 21, 6-9 p.m., the same night as the City of Concord’s Christmas Tree Lighting festivities.
The Art Walk, which is organized by the Cabarrus Arts Council, will include visual art displays, entertainment and other free activities all over Concord. A highlight will be the opening reception for The Galleries Discover Local and Shop Seagrove exhibitions. Two exhibiting artists will talk about their work and demonstrate some of their techniques: Robert Alvin Crum and Regina Calton Burchett.
A free shuttle from The Galleries will take guests to and from ClearWater Artist Studios.
A downloadable map can be found here.