Next Stage Arts Project presents an evening Americana music and art with StompBox Trio and Pumpkintown at Next Stage on Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 pm.
StompBoxTrio is a Western Massachusetts-based band that features Evelyn Harris (vocals, percussion), John Cabán (“Dobro” steel guitar, stompbox) and David Rodriguez (wood bass, foot tambourine). The trio reaches deep into the wellspring of vintage American blues, funk and soul to bring folks a hip-shaking, foot-stomping great time.
StompBoxTrio came together as a one-off gig project, and from the first rehearsal, they found their collective sound, feel and mutual love and admiration for multicultural roots and blues music. Evelyn Harris has been a force on the Western MA/Pioneer Valley music scene for many years. Growing up singing in church in Richmond, VA, she was classically trained at Howard University, and began her professional career working in the DC jazz community, mentored by Hilton Felton and Donald Byrd. There, Harris found her place and developed as a composer, arranger and lead singer with the group Sweet Honey In The Rock for 18 years. She is a powerhouse vocalist, who creates stirring interpretations of every song she touches. Guitarist, composer, and producer John Cabán has roots that run deep in the blues, funk, r&b, ambient, experimental and world music. His distinctive dobro guitar style brings a rich, lyrical and at times, haunting dynamic to the music. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, accompanist and teacher, David Rodriguez has explored the rhythmic relationships across the US from coast to coast, in Japan and Europe.
Pumpkintown is stories, music and magic lantern projections from an imaginary New England village by Tim Eriksen and Susan Brearey. This show of tales features Grammy-nominated ethnomusicologist and punk-folk pioneer Eriksen on an abundance of musical instruments alongside Brearey’s soulful artworks brought to life by 18th Century technology reincarnated in form of magic lantern projections. The pair take you to Pumpkintown, where the village is imaginary but the music is real – revealing an America that has never been simply black and white but evidences a deep-seated diversity. Be immersed in the sounds of a place that is at once imagined and deeply true: shape-note harmony by the first published Native American composer, fiery Scottish fiddle tunes, apocalyptic Afro-Celtic gospel, traditional and original songs of war, the sea, traveling, tragedy and love, that tie it all together.
Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexto – a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass – creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound. Painter Susan Brearey is known for her unique, iconic depiction of animals. In Brearey’s works, primal, totemic images take the place of the photorealistic visual details found in some other works of wildlife art. Animals become primeval shapes, rudimentary and almost featureless, set against abstract surfaces. Brearey’s evocative approach was inspired in large part by the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. Eriksen and Brearey will be joined by Peter Irvine on vocals and percussion for this performance of Pumpkintown.
Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill in downtown Putney, VT. Tickets are $20 Advance / $24 At the Door. For information, call 802-387-0102. Advance tickets are available at www.nextstagearts.org, Turn It Up in Brattleboro and the Putney General Store in Putney. Next Stage will provide a beer and wine cash bar. For more information, visit www.stompboxtrio.com, www.timerikesenmusic.com, and www.nextstagearts.org.