Concerts... past

February 27 - Peter Case

posted Feb 20, 2016, 4:25 AM by Mike Allen   [ updated Apr 9, 2016, 6:35 AM ]

Peter Case
Peter Case, founding member of the Nerves and leader of the Plimsouls, and the first troubadour of the post-punk era, returns with his first album of new songs since 2010’s Wig! The Nerves’ 1976 “Hanging on the Telephone” EP, its title song covered by Blondie, remains a classic and has earned the band a strong following of young fans around the world. The Plimsouls song “A Million Miles Away” is a power pop classic. Case’s debut solo album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, earned him his first Grammy nomination and spearheaded a songwriter movement, now dubbed Americana. Twelve solo albums and two more Grammy nominations followed, including one for his 2007 album Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John. 

All along, Case has continued to tour consistently. HWY 62, due out October 30, 2015, collects tales from his journey, and brilliantly encompasses every facet of his diverse and critically acclaimed career. Much like a travelogue, HWY 62 includes pieces of Americana, blues, pop, and folk — all anchored by Case’s knack for creating the perfect hook.

Sept. 5 - John Emil

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:17 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Sep 17, 2015, 8:10 AM ]

John Emil Montagnino, an accomplished singer/songwriter, guitarist, and a master of slide guitar, has delivered show stopping performances at major music festivals like t
John Emil Montagnino sitting with guitarhe Telluride Blues and Brews Fest, the Lake Occonee Music Fest, the Florida and South Florida Folk Festivals, the Decatur Blues and Bluegrass Festival, the 2012
Bangor On Dee Blues Festival in the UK and the 2012 Zoetemeer Blues Festival in the Netherlands.

Equally adept with the acoustic Hawaiian lap steel guitar and Dobro, Emil first appeared on the South Florida music scene in 2000. Fans hear haunting, subtle hints of Delta bluesmen Son House and Blind Willie Johnson, but Emil ultimately creates a unique style all his own by integrating country blues, folk and bluegrass sounds into his repertoire.

Live at The Savoy in Bordesholm Germany September 2013

Sept. 26 - Beth Wood

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:16 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Nov 5, 2015, 9:23 PM ]

Beth Wood

Beth Wood

Beth Wood is a modern-day troubadour and believer in the power of song. Her exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and commanding stage presence have been winning over American audiences for eighteen years. Beth’s music is soulful, organic, intelligent, barefoot, high-energy communication of joy.

Picture a home-body with an ever-present wanderlust, an introvert with a passion for performing, a creative free-spirit with enough discipline to rework her dream year after year, calloused little hands and a big pile of curly hair…and you’ve got Beth Wood.

Beth Wood began her musical journey in Lubbock, a high plains Texas town with a uniquely rich musical heritage that includes Buddy Holly, Natalie and Lloyd Maines, Mac Davis, and Joe Ely to name a few. When she wasn’t dodging tornadoes and dust storms, Beth was studying classical piano, violin, harp, and voice and contemplating the greatness of her Dad’s record collection. With big dreams of becoming a musician, Beth left west Texas to study voice and piano at Brevard College in North Carolina. A detour from her classical studies led her to Austin, where she picked up a degree in literature and a guitar. Beth began writing her own songs and quickly discovered a feeling of musical freedom that she has been hooked on ever since. Eighteen years, thousands of shows, nine albums, three cars, and numerous awards later, Beth has never looked back.

Beth has been featured on OPB’s  “Artbeat” and on “Troubadour, TX”, a nationally syndicated documentary-style singer-songwriter reality television series airing in almost 40 million households and 140 U.S. markets.  Beth has also been a three-time featured artist on Cayamo: A Journey Through Song, a week-long Caribbean songwriters’ cruise along with Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, John Prine, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson and many more.

In May, 2013, Beth launched her Song of the Month Club, an innovative way to engage fans and offer a steady stream of new work recorded in her adopted home town of Eugene, OR with rising star producer and singer-songwriter Tyler Fortier producing. The result of that work is “Sometimes Love,” Beth’s ninth album, released in June 2014.

“A superb singer/songwriter whose versatility discourages labeling.” — Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Beth Wood is a musical triple-threat — a thoughtful songwriter and talented multi-instrumentalist with a supple, soulful voice.” — Washington Post

“Wood is about as good as it gets if you appreciate the singer/songwriter genre.” – Charlotte Creative Loafing

“Lord have mercy…Wood is a down-home, old-fashioned girl with a wicked streak” —

“…when you come across a recording like Beth Wood’s “The Weather Inside” you take note and recognize that this is the work of a genuine artist with a remarkable voice determined to make meaningful and lasting art.” –Lone Star Music Magazine

Winner – Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest
Winner – Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Contest
Winner – 2nd Place – Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriters Contest
Winner – Wildflower Festival SongwritingContest
Finalist – Telluride Troubadour Contest
Winner – Top 20 Acoustic/Folk Category – Unisong International Songwriting Contest
Honorable Mention – Mountain Stage Newsong Contest
Honorable Mention – Billboard World Song Contest

The Weather Inside” CD Release Video from Blue Rock Studio

Robert Thomas Band - TBA

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:15 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Nov 5, 2015, 9:28 PM ]

Nov. 7 - Nikki Talley

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:14 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Nov 14, 2015, 7:43 PM ]

As 200,000 miles click over, Nikki Talley just smiles.

After 3 1/2 years of hard touring, 150-200 shows annually, Nikki continues traveling on, bringing her gorgeous voice & thoughtful songs all across the nation. Hailing from the mountains of western North Carolina, it’s only fitting that her songs are as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Along with her guitar & clawhammer style banjo, her musical partner & husband Jason Sharp adds resonant lush guitar tones as well as harmonies to round out the duo’s sound.

“Nikki Talley has traveled a lot of miles these past few years and called numerous places home, but we in Western NC still want to claim her as one of the area’s finest singer-songwriters. Always genuine and down to earth, she and her partner Jason Sharp deliver her latest songs on Out From the Harbor in a beautiful, laid-back style — just in time for a beautiful, laid-back summer. “

– Martin Anderson

WNCW Music Director & Host

November 14 - One Leg Up

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:12 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Nov 14, 2015, 7:43 PM ]

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, One Leg Up performs a vibrant mixture of upbeat Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Swing and
One leg Up
original jazz compositions and is a favorite of club, concert, and festival stages throughout the southeastern United States. One Leg Up—John Stineman (guitar, vocals), Jim Tanner (Guitar), Zack Page (bass), Mike Guzalak (Clarinet, Sax) and Steve Trismen (violin, vocals)—formed in 2003 as a “String Swing” band in the style of famed French gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Propelled by their excellent self-produced debut recording “Gypsy Blue,” they soon won critical acclaim for their “hot club” prowess and were tapped to back up award-winning Spanish guitarist Pere Soto on some of his 2005 U.S. tour dates. Also in 2005, One Leg Up performed at a concert and book show with Michael Dregni, author of Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend
. Over the years, One Leg Up has broadened its repertoire to include fresh arrangements of Django classics, vocal harmonies, original compositions, and innovative adaptations of classic jazz numbers in the French “hot club” and American “big band” styles. Now more than just a Django band, their latest recording “Pere La Chaise” is a music mix that is danceable and accessible. One Leg Up continues to attract a growing, varied, and enthusiastic fan base with music that always swings.

December 5 - Christmassongs (Nashville musicians who perform together for 2 weeks before Christmas)

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:12 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Dec 12, 2015, 6:19 AM ]

Decembersongs is back! This time it’s crossed the river to the other side of Nashville -- Decembersongs '15: An East Nashville Holiday Concert with critically-acclaimed songwriters Amy Speace, Rod Picott and Doug & Telisha Williams (of Wild Ponies). Imagine if The Bluebird Cafe moved to East Nashville, where folkies and hippies, rockers and hit songwriters all collide in a funky neighborhood that is enjoying a bohemian renaissance. Decembersongs ’13 is a little bit low rent, a whole lotta great new songs, some sentimental favorites and a lot of belly laughs. Picture The Bob Hope Christmas Special but hosted by some alt-Americana/Roots/Folk songwriters who aren’t afraid to put “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” right next to their original song “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” with a touch of “Dradle, Dradle, Dradle” in there even though none of them are Jewish (well, none of them are really anything, but that's neither here nor there). Just as it started in 2010 with songwriters Amy Speace, Dan Navarro, Jon Vezner and Sally Barris, the 2013 version of Decembersongs features great songwriters sharing music, singing along with each other as you've come to expect the past few years, with a bit of a lineup change and an even wider range of holiday favorites and original songs.


Amy Speace’s songs hang together like a short story collection…it’s a gift to hear a heart so modest, even
Amy Speace with a guitar
when it’s wide open,” writes legendary rock critic Dave Marsh in his liner notes to Speace’s latest release, “How To Sleep In A Stormy Boat.” He continues, “It is the most daring, confident, ambitious and beautiful album Amy Speace has made since she began recording…she has never sung or written better.” Gathering widespread critical raves from NPR’s “All Things Considered” to The New York Times to Billboard Magazine who writes that “Speace is in the midst of a career whirlwind,” it is the vivid emotional simplicity of her songs and her graceful, crystalline voice that bridge that gap between the old and new schools of folk music. A former Shakespearean actress who started putting her poetry to music only in her late 20’s, Speace was discovered by folk/pop legend Judy Collins who signed her to her imprint Wildflower Records in 2006, inviting Amy to share her stage and recorded her songs. After 18 years in NYC, Brooklyn and Jersey, 3 critically-acclaimed releases, and a lifetime above the Mason-Dixon line, Speace amicably parted ways with Wildflower and moved to East Nashville, TN to explore the rich songwriting community and to deepen her own writing and sound. Well, that, and to trade bagels and lox for hot chicken and fried okra. 2011’s “Land Like A Bird” was a richly textured travelogue of that southern migration. But with “Stormy Boat,” a record loosely based around some of Shakespeare’s characters and poetry, Speace has made “what might very well be the single greatest leap an indie artist takes this year between what once was and what now is.” (PopMatters). 
Doug and Telisha Williams offer dead right, honest songwriting delivered in a hauntingly beautiful yet gritty,
neo-traditional Americana wrapper. Hailing from Martinsville, Virginia, in the shadow of The Blue Ridge Mountains, where boarded up factories stand as monuments to how fast the world can change, Doug and Telisha write and sing songs about dying small towns, and when they do, they know what they're talking about. Their 2009 release, “Ghost of the Knoxville Girl,” received wide critical acclaim and spent 15 weeks in the Americana Music Association Top 40 Radio Chart. They have shared the stage with Lucinda Williams, Joe Ely and count none other than legendary songwriter John Prine as a fan. Uprooting themselves from their rich hometown, they moved to East Nashville in 2011 and quickly became part of the essential fabric of that community, hosting their show “Whiskey Wednesday” on East Nashville Radio, and being recently named by “The Alternate Root” as one of the Top East Nashville Artists Right Now. Coinciding with their move to East Nashville, Doug and Telisha Williams' 2013 release, “Things That Used To Shine,” is a departure of sorts. Released under the band name Wild Ponies the album was produced by roots royalty Ray Kennedy (Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle). The collection of songs contains all the rich detail and narrative of their earlier folkier incarnation but adds a sonic right fist that is thrilling. 

Rod Picott

Rod Picott's songs are inhabited by sheetrock hangers, drinkers, circus hands, boxers and working girls and he sings about his characters with intimacy. Listening to a Rod Picott album you can smell the gasoline on a mechanics hands and the perfume of lovers in dark corners. The son of a welder and former Marine, Picott grew up in the small mill town of South Berwick, Maine and worked construction jobs from his high school graduation until the release of his first cd, “Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues” in 2001. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves, Fred Eaglesmith have all recorded songs written or co-written by Rod Picott. Picott's "Broke Down" released on Rounder Records by co-writer and artist Slaid Cleaves became the most played song on Americana radio and was awarded the Song Of The Year Award at the Austin Music Awards. In 2010 "Broke Down" found new life in the soundtrack to the Brian Koppelman written and directed film “Solitary Man” starring Michael Douglas. In that same year Picott's song "Circus Girl" was featured in the PBS documentary “Circus”. Picott has released five solo cds and has been featured in “No Depression Magazine”, on BBC 2 Radio London, Sirius/XM Radio and in “Maverick magazine” (U.K.) and toured as opening act for Alison Krauss and Union Station. Picott is lauded for his narrative and melodic songwriting, passionate delivery and darkly humorous onstage storytelling. His 2011 release “Welding Burns” spent 10 weeks on the AMA chart and reached #1 on The FAR Chart. Picott was voted Songwriter of the year and Male artist of the year by the Far Chart reporters.

December 12 - Jonathan Byrd

posted Aug 14, 2015, 3:10 PM by Mike Allen   [ updated Dec 27, 2015, 11:36 AM ]

Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina flatpicker and a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher's son, and an award-winning songwriter whose songs you've probably heard, even if you haven't heard Byrd sing them. Covered by Tim O'Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd's music will seem familiar to any Americana fan. The word began to spread in 2003, when Jonathan won the festival's 'New Folk' songwriting competition, a milestone for Americana's most influential artists. He is considered to be one of the finest young songwriters in the Americana genre... And this time, he is bringing a band that includes a crosscut saw player.

January 2 - Jack Williams New Years Eve Event

posted Aug 13, 2015, 9:04 AM by Mike Allen   [ updated Feb 20, 2016, 4:28 AM ]

The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's "folk" circuit - " of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I've ever encountered", said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer's Grove, IL. Jack is considered a "musician's musician", an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago's The Midnight Special said, "His artistry is nothing short of amazing". Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, “He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”

    Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry during his 50+-year professional career, Jack prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, from the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Jack enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners. Jack is a sought-after artist on all contemporary acoustic music stages, from coffeehouses and festivals to music halls and city arts stages. From acclaimed appearances at the Newport, Boston, Philadelphia, Kerrville, New Bedford SummerFest Folk Festivals, his musicianship, songs, stories and commanding presence have established him as an uncommonly inspiring and influential performer.

  Jack frequently shares his musical knowledge with others. In addition to leading numerous workshops as he tours the country, he has been on the staff of The Swannanoa Gathering in NC, Lamb's Songwriter Retreat in MI, The Folk Project in NJ, WUMB's Summer Acoustic Music Week in NH, and co-hosts a semi-annual Music Workshop Weekend near his home in the Ozarks.

   Jack has nine CDs of original music on the Wind River (Folk Era) label, the newest being “Four Good Days”, plus his DVD “High Cotton”, a video collection of on-stage performances. An additional CD, “Don’t Let Go”, is a collection of cover songs reflecting major influences on his musical development. Jack has produced all of his own recordings plus CDs by Mickey Newbury, Ronny Cox, Eric Schwartz, and others.

His songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Tom Jones and David Clayton-Thomas to Chuck Pyle, Cindy Mangsen, Ronny Cox and Lowen & Navarro. In addition to his solo career, as a guitarist he has accompanied such luminaries as Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Mickey Newbury and Harry Nilsson.

Kevin Oliver of NO DEPRESSION magazine described Jack’s music as

“…a musical style that’s equal parts folk storytelling and Tin Pan Alley songcraft, 
delivered with the impassioned soul of an old blues singer.”

  Friendships with two great singers had an enormous impact on Jack's career and on the development of his own singing voice. In 1973, his relationship with the late Harry Nilsson resulted in an album effort at RCA during an ill-fated period of music industry turmoil. Until 2002, he sometimes toured as sole accompanist to his friend, the late Mickey Newbury, with whom he co-wrote, co-produced, and recorded a live album and video, Nights When I Am Sane (reissued as Winter Winds).

Mickey Newbury said,  "Jack and his music are an American treasure"

  From 1958 through 1988, along with playing jazz (trumpet) and classical guitar, Jack was best known as an electric guitarist in a series of original rock bands and smaller acoustic ensembles. In the late 60's, he gave in to his troubadour nature and began performing solo - singing and playing a gut-string guitar and touring from coast to coast.

Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) called Jack
"…the best guitar player I've ever heard…"

   As a hired-gun guitarist in the Deep South of the Civil Rights-Easy Rider 60's, Jack’s bands accompanied the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Jerry Butler, Hank Ballard, the Shirelles, and the Del-Vikings.

Jack Williams’ music, enriched from these varied influences,
is a truly an All-American Southern music.

Jack Williams & the Winterline Band

January 16 - Harpeth Rising

posted Aug 13, 2015, 9:03 AM by Mike Allen   [ updated Feb 20, 2016, 4:28 AM ]

HARPETH RISING chose to name themselves after a river because water is both dynamic and 
powerful. These words also describe the music created by the three women – Jordana 
Greenberg (violin, vocals), Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo, vocals) and Maria Di Meglio (cello, 
vocals). Unapologetic genre-benders, they fuse Folk, Newgrass, Rock and Classical into a 
sound that is organically unique.

Hallmarks of their music include expansive three-part harmonies, consummate musicianship 
and a deft, yet soulful lyrical perspective. Harpeth Rising’s roots run deep – from their varied 
ancestry across Eastern Europe to the musical hotbed of the Mid-South they now call home, 
they weave together ancient and modern ideas, creating a sound that is both familiar and 
impossible to categorize. 

Harpeth Rising - "Four Days More"

Harpeth Rising performs their original song "Four Days More" LIVE at Chaplin's in Spring City, PA on September 21, 2014

“We don’t set out to create something different, we just write in a way that is true to ourselves 

while trying to always expand and explore the new influences in our lives.” says Greenberg. 
“We’re aware of genre divisions, we’re just not bound by them.” 

After meeting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where all three members 
earned performance degrees, Harpeth Rising began on a cross-country road trip. Inspired by a 
summer spent jamming at campsites and attending folk and bluegrass festivals, Greenberg 
(violin) and Reed-Lunn (banjo) decided to pursue a slightly different path than their classical 
backgrounds would suggest. They began writing original songs and performing 4 to 5 nights a 
week, developing their sound and their repertoire. It was with the addition of Di Meglio (cello) 
that the lineup was complete, and the three women piled into a Prius and began to tour. 
Despite the presence of only three string instruments on stage, Harpeth Rising produces a 
profusion of sound generally created by a much larger ensemble. Di Meglio transitions fluidly 
between providing the bass line and taking the melodic lead, while Reed-Lunn’s highly original 
style of claw hammer banjo–learned mainly by watching YouTube–is both surprisingly lyrical and 
intensely driving. Greenberg takes on the role of concert violinist and accompanist with equal 
facility, and ensures that a lead guitar is never missed. 

From breathtaking energy to intimate connection, their live performances are kinetic events in 
which their passion and their abilities are equally displayed. Harpeth Rising can create a 
listening room from a rowdy bar crowd, and can inspire even the weariest of audiences. After 
only a few months as a band, they embarked on tour of England, which included a performance 
with The Bath Philharmonia. They were invited to perform at The Cambridge Folk Festival the 
following summer, and have since played festivals across England and the United States, 
including The Kerrville Folk Festival, ROMPfest, Blissfest, The Fylde Folk Festival, The Purbeck 
Folk Festival and dozens more. Building their fan base in the tradition of all wandering minstrels 
- passionately and by word-of-mouth - they now perform to sold-out audience internationally.
They have released four albums in as many years – Harpeth Rising (2010), Dead Man’s 
Hand (2011), The End of the World (2012), a collaboration with master wordsmith David 
Greenberg (Jordana’s father), and Tales From Jackson Bridge, (2013). Their fifth album, 
Shifted, is set to release in early 2015.

Harpeth Rising - The Sparrow

Harpeth Rising performs "The Sparrow" from their album "Tales From Jackson Bridge."

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