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Saturday, October 26, 7:30 PM: Her Crooked Heart and Rachael Kilgour

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Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesotan songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Married in her early twenties, Kilgour devoted her young adulthood to parenting her stepchild and building family and community. Her work from that time (Self-Titled 2008, Will You Marry Me?  2011, Whistleblower’s Manifesto 2013) chronicled her life as a young parent in a same-sex partnership and addressed sociopolitical issues from government corruption to income inequality and religious hypocrisy. Kilgour’s music career took a backseat during those years as she lived a slow, home-focused life. 

In 2014, divorce brought an unwanted end to her role as a member of the family she had helped to grow. In the aftermath, Kilgour found solace in songwriting. Her third full-length album, Rabbit in the Road (2017), was born out of that time. 

In February of 2019, Kilgour follows up with the release of her new EP, Game Changer. The aptly titled work examines the artist’s tentative first steps into a new world, post-heartbreak. With a clear head, Kilgour touches on the complicated nature of romance and relationship, sets up a stunning defense of queer love, and reassesses her priorities as a citizen of a changing wider world.

Rachel Ries, the writer, multi-instrumentalist and producer behind Her Crooked Heart, demonstrates immense vulnerability and multifaceted musical craftsmanship in delivering personal and profound musical soliloquies on love, leaving and the life that follows after burning it all down. With To Love To Leave To Live (May 2019), Her Crooked Heart presents a debut record unique in form, made up of cyclical narratives and intertwining histories, each informing the next. The result is a transformative song cycle, led by a charismatic personality, wholly indifferent to expectations of genre and instrumentation. 

In 2013, after two and a half years of marriage, Ries found herself touring a record around the world, accompanied by a stack of divorce papers in a pocket of her suitcase. She had left her marriage and a good man in New York City and leapt into the untethered unknown. What transpired was in turns euphoria and despondence; old lessons learned in new ways. The songs on To Love To Leave To Live are a compassionate and at times wry catalogue of those tumultuous years.

Tickets:
Front Row-$25 in advance, $30 at the door  
General admission-$20 in advance, $25 at the door

Saturday, November 16, 7:30 PM: Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys

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“…one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.” — Chicago Tribune

“…a folk singer with the heart of a rock ‘n’ roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists.   Between heartbreaking ballads and heart-lifting sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show. Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, NC, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. Called “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years” by The Chicago Tribune, Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make the world such a big place. He is joined on drums by Austin McCall (Kaira Ba, Violet Bell), and musical renaissance man Johnny Waken on guitar, saw, and mandolin. Johnny Waken cut his teeth on electric guitar in Pittsburgh with rock legend Norm Nardini, opening for The Blues Brothers Band on their Red, Hot & Blue tour in 1992. After taking a few years away from music, Johnny is back at it with the Pickup Cowboys. Austin McCall is a drummer of all trades, having played with such diverse acts as Senegalese griot Diali Cissokho, new Indie duo Violet Bell, and international theater troupe Paper Hand Puppet Intervention. Austin uses all his modes to support Jonathan Byrd’s diverse catalog of songs and Johnny Waken’s instrumental antics.

Tickets:
Front row: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
General admission: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Saturday, December 7, 7:30 PM: The Heather Pierson Jazz Trio performs “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

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Based in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley, Heather Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter, and performer, known for her bell tone vocals, equal parts New Orleans-Oscar-Brubeck jazz piano leanings. In addition to her touring schedule with the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio, Heather also leads her own jazz trio, with Shawn Nadeau on bass and Craig Bryan on drums, performing for audiences all over the Northeast. The jazz trio performs a rich variety of Heather’s originals, jazz and blues standards, and unique reworkings of familiar American music. The three are best known for their annual Charlie Brown Christmas tour, wherein they present their interpretations of the work of the late great jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi.

The Jazz Trio performs the entirety of the Charlie Brown Christmas album as recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. A Charlie Brown Christmas was originally telecast in December 1965 and was an instant hit with audiences who connected with Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz’s cast of characters – especially with its rounded-headed hero Charlie Brown, his woefully scrawny Christmas tree, and his typewriter-wielding dog Snoopy. Nearly given the ax by CBS studios at the time of its release, this beloved holiday classic resonates with both children and adults of every generation. Fifty years on, it still holds up as one of the most endearing Christmas tales ever told, and the story of commercialism run rampant echoes clearly to this day. The musical score for A Charlie Brown Christmas, composed by the late Vince Guaraldi, is just as poignant and touching as the story and includes the hugely popular hit “Linus and Lucy”. His gentle jazz riffs established musical trademarks that, to this day, still prompt smiles of recognition.

Tickets: Front row–$22 in advance, $25 at the door; General admission–$18 in advance, $20 at the door.

Saturday, January 18, 7:30 PM: KJ Denhert Trio, w/ special guests Us!

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KJ Denhert’s performances will move you to laugh, to dance and even to cry. Her special blend of urban folk & jazz has earned her four Independent Music Award nominations and in ’09, she was named as one of Jazz.com’s top female vocalists. She’s appeared at scores of festivals and has residencies at the ’55 Bar’, Smoke in NYC, at the Baz Bar in St. Barth’s, and the prestigious Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Consistently praised for her pathos, originality and impeccable musicianship, KJ is a one of a kind songwriter, guitarist, and performer, not to be missed.

Opening the evening will be Us!, featuring Glen Roethel, Judy Kass, and Amy Soucy. The trio combines their voices to lift up causes of social justice, unity, and the connectedness of all things. California born Glen Roethel is one-of-a-kind artist, gifted vocalist, dazzlingly musical acoustic guitarist. New York-based Judy Kass, quickly draws in her audience with soulful vocals, no-nonsense lyrical storytelling and genre-bending exploration of guitar and piano. Amy Soucy is a Beacon, NY-based contemporary folk chanteuse who writes evocative songs exploring the kaleidoscope of human experience (dreams, longing, forgiveness, and healing) and sings them in a voice that’s been called “powerful,” “comforting,” and “angelic.”

Tickets: Front row–$25 in advance, $30 at the door; General admission–$20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Friday January 31-Saturday, February 1: The Irvington Folk Festival

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ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Common Ground and Irvington Theater are proud to announce the first annual Irvington Folk Festival, to be held on January 31-February 1, 2020, featuring Dar Williams, The Dustbowl Revival, Joe Crookston, Antje Duvekot, Nora Brown, Divining Rod, and more!

Join us at the crossroads of creativity and community for two evenings and one afternoon of live music, special VIP workshops, whiskey tastings, and Q&A sessions at Irvington Theater and elsewhere in Irvington, NY.

The Irvington folk Festival offers performances by internationally-touring and emerging “on-the-rise” artists alike. The festivities begin with a special Q&A and reception with — and then a performance by — Friday night’s headliner, Dar Williams, whom Henrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker described as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.” 

Dar will be joined by the award-winning Boston-based singer-songwriter Antje Duvekot.

The festival continues on Saturday afternoon with several very special FREE events, including a curated showcase of local and regional singer-songwriters performing both on the theater’s stage and on a second stage in Irvington, to be announced shortly. Also performing on Saturday afternoon at the theater will be local psych-folk-country favorites, Divining Rod.

On Saturday night, The Dustbowl Revival, the eclectic, Los Angeles based eight-piece ensemble, takes to the stage. Over the past few years, the band has been making a name for itself with a vibrant mix of vintage Americana sounds. The Los Angeles Times has proclaimed that this “would have sounded utterly at home within the hallowed confines of Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter”. Saturday night will also feature songwriter, guitarist, painter, fiddler, slide player, and 2016 Folk Alliance International Artist-in-Residence, Joe Crookston. In addition, Joe will lead a special Saturday afternoon creativity workshop. The evening will begin with Nora Brown, who plays traditional old-time banjo music. Still only 13 years old, she is the subject of a Tribeca Film Festival funded short called “Little Nora (the Banjo Prodigy).

More information about the Irvington Folk Festival, please click links below

TICKETS

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

(in alphabetical order)

Nora Brown

Joe Crookston

deer scout

Divining Rod

The Dustbowl Revival

Antje Duvekot

Joshua Garcia

Greetings From Anywhere

Ursula Hansberry

Neil Nathan

Pluck & Rail

Saturday, February 29, 7:30 PM: VickiKristinaBarcelona Plays the Music of Tom Waits

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“My advice is to delay your heartbreak and see them now ” — Penny Arcade

VickiKristinaBarcelona is Rachelle Garniez, Amanda Homi and Terry Radigan, a power trio of seasoned music veterans dedicated to re-imagining the songs of Tom Waits via inventive three-part harmonies and a treasure trove of instruments including banjos, bottles, squeezebox, and zills. They create a world of sound at once powerful, playful and poignant.

Seasoned singers and songwriters, each a hybrid story-teller and multi-instrumentalist in her own right, join forces to salute the tragicomic lyrical genius of the Waits songbook. Picture the Triplets of Belleville disguised as Depression Era hobos riding the rails across America stopping to play dance parties and funerals along the road to nowhere.

Three distinct styles form a captivating original mix, greater than the sum of its’ parts, never failing to amaze and delight audiences of all stripes. Collectively, they have worked with artists including Jack White, Jackson Browne, Jane Siberry, Patty Loveless, Dan Penn, Ray La Montaigne, Thomas Dolby, and Taylor Mac.

Genre-fluid native New Yorker Rachelle Garniez is known as a certified free spirit. She is at home in many worlds, from busking to theater stages all over the world. Rachelle has released 6 albums; her influences ranging from Tin Pan Alley to klezmer and Latinesque Soul. Her story songs have been described as “romantic, rhapsodic and casually hilarious.” (The New York Times)

Globe trotting adventuress Amanda Homi was born in London. Her colorful songs reflect the music of her travels from Carnival in Rio to the rhythms of Bollywood and raucous Gypsy weddings. She was the 2015 Independent Music Awards best story song recipient. “Amanda Homi covers a lot of musical territory in a masterful, yet adventurous way…an enchanting journey” ( Roots Music Report )

Grammy-nominated songwriter Terry Radigan mixes her gritty Brooklyn girl sensibility with a deep respect for classic American roots, country, and soul. She has had her songs covered by a wide variety of artists including Ashley MacIsaac, Trisha Yearwood, and Anúna. “Radigan gets inside the pathos of love like no one else. A jazz noir sound with pop sensibilities. A stunning collection of songs.” (Mademoiselle)

Tickets: Front row–$25 in advance, $30 at the door; General admission–$20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Saturday, March 7, 8:00 PM: Darlingside

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“It’s over now / The flag is sunk / The world has flattened out,” are the first words of Extralife, the new album by Boston-based quartet Darlingside. While the band’s critically acclaimed 2015 release Birds Say was steeped in nostalgia and the conviction of youth, Extralife grapples with dystopian realities and uncertain futures. Whether ambling down a sidewalk during the apocalypse or getting stuck in a video game for eternity, the band asks, sometimes cynically, sometimes playfully: what comes next? Their erstwhile innocence is now bloodshot for the better. 

Hope arrives in the form of Darlingside’s signature superpower harmonies, drawing frequent comparisons to late-60’s era groups like Crosby, Stills & Nash; Simon & Garfunkel; and The Byrds. And yet, their penchant for science fiction and speculative futurism counteracts any urge to pigeonhole their aesthetic as “retro”. The four close friends construct every piece of their music collaboratively, pooling musical and lyrical ideas so that each song bears the imprint of four different writing voices. NPR Music dubs the result”exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop”, and calls Extralife “perfectly crafted”.

Darlingside perform all of their music around a single vocal microphone, inviting audiences into a lush, intimate world where four voices are truly one. Their 2016 performance at the Cambridge Folk Festival “earned an ecstatic reception and turned them into instant stars”, according to The Daily Telegraph. The band tours regularly throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and Europe.

TICKETS: $30-$45