SCOTT AINSLIE will be back on Groovin’ in New Fairfield’s stage on 9/22/18. He is also offering a guitar workshop that same afternoon, from 3-5:30 pm, also at the New Fairfield Senior Center.
Scott Ainslie’s mother found him at the family piano picking out melodies from the records she listened to during the day when he was three years old.
He’s been a musician all his life.
A Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington & Lee University, Ainslie came of age during the Civil Rights era, and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power.
Armed with a variety of instruments – vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South – Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America alive.
Ainslie has spent more than 30 years looking for the right story, the right set of facts, the right piece of history, to introduce a song. He offers a personality, a moment in history, a vignette to entice you into a song and to give that song a chance to wake and breathe among us like a living thing.
On stage, in educational teaching concerts, workshops, and school residencies, Ainslie explores the African and European roots of American music and culture. His easy, conversational way with audiences and cross-disciplinary approach to the music consistently garners rave reviews from presenters, audiences, students, and teachers, alike. He is a masterful and thoughtful historian, storyteller, and musician.
Ainslie transcribed the original recordings and published a book on Delta blues legend Robert Johnson [Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads (Hal Leonard, 1992)], and has an instructional DVD on Johnson’s guitar work [Robert Johnson’s Guitar Techniques (Hal Leonard, 1997)].
Ainslie has six solo CDs to his name and maintains an active recording, performing, and teaching schedule that carries him around the country, to Canada, and to Europe.
His most recent recording is an award-winning collection of songs played on a 1934 Gibson archtop, “The Last Shot Got Him.” The CD has received strong reviews from listeners and critics, alike, and among other honors, was chosen as the Album of the Year (a Tammie Award from the Times-Argus, Montpelier, VT).
Ainslie has received numerous awards and grants for his work documenting and presenting traditional music. He has been a Public Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA, a federal agency in Washington DC) and the Folklife Section of the North Carolina Arts Council.A leader in both the North Carolina and the Virginia Visiting Artist Programs, Ainslie served the citizens of these states in rural community college-based residencies from 1986 through 2000.
In 2000, Ainslie was also presented with an Indie (the Independent Weekly Triangle Arts Award, Durham, NC), with the National Slide Guitar Festivals’ Living Heritage Award, and the 20th Annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award for “outstanding contributions to the fine arts” (from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, NC).
His performances present a wonderful palette of sounds and stories that will delight the ear, awaken the mind, and satisfy the heart.
CAROLANN SOLEBELLO is a performing songwriter born and bred in New York City. Best known to folk audiences as a founding member of Americana trio Red Molly, she now tours both solo and with modern folk quartet No Fuss and Feathers. Carolann’s smooth, compelling voice and warm acoustic guitar style surely nod to rural folk traditions, yet her decidedly urban sense of rhythm and sophisticated vocal phrasing bend those traditional forms into more contemporary shapes. She is a proud member of the Jack Hardy Songwriters’ Exchange and has won numerous songwriting awards. Carolann released her fifth solo album, Shiver, in February 2018
Enjoy a moderately priced dinner catered by Bruno’s Restaurant before the show. Choices include: Eggplant Rollatini, Chicken Francese, Pizza, Coffee, Tea, Hot Mulled Cider, Water, and Homemade Desserts
Advance Tickets can be purchased at the NF Sr. Center or by mail. Payments made by mail should be payable to Groovin in New Fairfield, and sent to GINF c/o New Fairfield Sr. Center 33 Rt.37 New Fairfield, CT 06812 Please allow sufficient time when mailing. All Sales Are Final.
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MATT NAKOA is an internationally touring singer/songwriter, recently appearing at The White House, throughout India, and regularly with folk icon Tom Rush.
Across the board, his songcraft has garnered awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious New Folk Competition and as “Most Requested” at The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Though not easily pinned down, “In sum,” as a recent review put it, “Matt Nakoa is musically adept, one of those well-kept secrets you just can’t help but celebrate: intimate and genuine, soulful and bittersweet, a rich poetic songbook sung in praise to a complicated, emotionally present world.”
Besides being selected to play at The White House, his awards include:
“Most Wanted” Winner – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
New Folk Winner – Kerrville Folk Festival
Sundilla Radio Hours’ “Albums Of The Year” list
The Boston Globes writes: “On the ivories, (think of) a hot-handed phenom who can go from Chopin to beer-drenched honkytonk in one set …On guitar, a Jack Johnson-esque singer-songwriter…between his piano chops, charismatic stage presence, and heartfelt originals on guitar…he drops jaws.” www.mattnakoa.com
A talented and captivating east cost original artist with the ability to make a crowded room suddenly stand still and listen. Also an experienced solo cover musician, Laura Bowman utilizes a folk music sensibility with a touch of country and mixes it with soulful vocal performances to rejuvenate the role of the female singer-songwriter.
In 2013 and 2017, inspired by the tradition and artists of the 1960’s Folk Music Revival, Laura embarked on “busking tours” which favored free and spontaneous public performances at street venues across the country, sometimes in conjunction with pre-scheduled shows. Through these tours, she aimed to connect with people in unexpected places and create a personal, in-the-moment experience with her audience. www.laurabowmanmusic.com
Internationally and nationally acclaimed Toby Walker has been hailed as a roots music fingerstyle guitar virtuoso who has toured the US, England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Walker blends the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style. Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Airplane says “Flat out… you have to hear this great musician… I’m blown away” and has employed Walker to teach at his famous Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp for 6 years. In 2010 Walker won the NY Music Award for ‘Best Instrumental CD,’ sharing the honors with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright and Judy Collins among many others. Walker has recently released three instructional guitar DVD’s for the world famous musicians. Carnegie Hall acknowledged his rare talents and hired him to augment and teach in their “American Roots” program aimed at honor level middle school students. www.littletobywalker.com
Bombastic yet brilliant, these boys from New England exude a genuine musical authenticity and mirth on stages up and down the East Coast. Drawing influences from contemporary urban balladeers, rowdy southern bluegrass, and the sardonic yet wry wit of New England’s localized folk scenes, Pesky J. Nixon (PJN) creates an atmosphere both inviting and challenging for audiences.
Compelling harmonies and narratives rein in disparate instrumentation including- zydeco style accordion, virtuosic mandolin, and a myriad of string instrumentation. Jay Moberg of Boston’s WUMB says of the group, “These guys represent what I love about music…great playing, thoughtful lyrics, and musicians who actually enjoy playing together!”
Similar praise for the band comes from Steve Morse, longtime Boston Globe correspondent and contributor to Billboard and Rolling Stone. “The name Pesky J. Nixon suggests a punk novelty act or the younger brother of Kinky Friedman. Fortunately for us, these guys are neither. They are a sublime group with an inspiring, eclectic approach to music topped by a folkish, living-room feel on their latest album, ‘Red Ducks.’ The album is rich in percussive acoustic guitar and a beautiful interweave of mandolin and accordion, abetted by multiple singers and songs with a spiritually uplifting focus. There are melodic covers of tracks by Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, but also gem-like treatments of tunes by Boston writers Tim Gearan and Jimmy Ryan. These songs aim for the soul and reach it.”
STEVE JAMES is a blues musician, a notable songwriter (Talco Girl, Farewell The Roses, Sonny Payne, Birmingham Steel to name a few), one of the best modern bottleneck slide players, a storyteller and a compendium of interesting facts. In the world of contemporary acoustic and roots music, he’s earned his reputation with decades of tireless international touring, a stack of solo recordings, a funny, kinetic stage presence and an unmistakable style of playing and singing.
His own recordings engage with other top notch musicians- Cindy Cashdollar, the Bad Livers, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Del Rey and a host of others. As a sideman, both on stage and on record, he’s played with Howard Armstrong, Bo Diddley, John Hammond, Maria Muldaur, Furry Lewis and James McMurtry…he often gets a shout-out to “get on up here” from the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Hot Tuna or Chip Taylor. Hehas appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion”, “Austin City Limits Live”, “NPR Morning Edition” and many other syndicated broadcasts worldwide. www.stevejames.com
ELIZABETH KEMLER Singer/songwriter, educator, and activist Elizabeth Erin Kemler, is an intrepid storyteller, equally passionate about affecting social change as she is about crafting engaging songs. On her recently released album,The Weight of Mortal Skin, she traverses the rocky terrain of the human heart through a luscious blend of country, folk, and roots. With a rich, chocolaty voice, and unwavering emotional intensity, Elizabeth shares stories of anguish and aching, revelation and deliverance–the songs feeling at once deeply famiiar, and wholly new. elizabetherinkemler.com
DAVE AND EMMA HART Father/Daughter Americana duo Dave & Emma Hart released their debut record Hold On in late 2013. Reaching near the top 100 on the AMA (Americana Music Association) charts, the record received rave reviews from Bluegrass Unlimited, The Aquarian and others. Mike Greenblatt at The Aquarian wrote, “The six tracks of Hold On—the sweet self-released debut of Dave & Emma Hart—slide down like a summer salad and feels so good in doing so. I’m already looking forward to their full-length debut, as everyone I’ve played this thing for, from fans of pop to fans of folk, has loved it.” Hold On was produced by Emma’s fiddle idol Jim Van Cleve, and features a line-up of Nashville heavyweights including Bryan Sutton, Byron House, Kenny Malone and Jeff Taylor. During the sessions Byron House commented how much it reminded of him of tracking the Nickel Creek records, with was perfectly fine with Dave and Emma, whose blend of bluegrass and Americana is heavily influenced by artists like Nickel Creek, Sarah Jarosz and Crooked Still. Their sophomore record is on schedule to release in Spring 2018.Dave and Emma began their musical partnership early on, when Emma was 4. As an award-winning commercial composer and guitarist, Dave was naturally thrilled when his 3-year-old expressed an interest in the violin. Beginning her training with the classical Suzuki method, Emma soon discovered bluegrass, so it didn’t take long before dad and daughter were ripping fiddle tunes for enthusiastic audiences, and Emma was piling up fiddle competition ribbons. Bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien heard Emma when she was 11 and proclaimed, “she’s one of us”. Emma was awarded the Berklee Mark O’Connor Scholarship and the Grey Fox Bill Vernon Memorial Scholarship before she went on to study jazz performance at McGill University. Now 23, Emma resides in Asheville, NC. Dave continues to record and produce records at his Stamford, CT studio www.daveandemmahart.com
ROOTS/BLUES FINGERSTYLE GUITAR WORKSHOP with Steve James
This hands-on session will start with a demonstration of some basic, blues song arrangements that contain the elements of syncopated fingerpicking techniques and blues harmony – chords, phrases and turnarounds – useful for both solo and accompaniment playing. The second part of the workshop will include a Q & A session for guitarists; Steve will detail further elements of some blues guitar classics and arrangements from his own repertoire. Some tab/handouts will be supplied and the program will be useful to guitarists of various levels and types of playing experience.
Steve James is a widely experienced teacher of guitar tecnniques and styles with decades of workshop experience and lessons in print (Acoustic Guitar),on video (Homespun) and on line.
This 2-hour workshop will be held at the New Fairfield Senior Center, 33 Route 37, New Fairfield, CT. Please send an email to register at firstname.lastname@example.org. $50 fee. Space is limited.
Steve will also be doing a show as part of Groovin’ in New Fairfield’s 2017 season on Saturday, November 11 starting at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:45pm and tickets are $10. Please email@example.com for tickets.
Steve James is a blues musician, a notable songwriter (Talco Girl, Farewell The Roses, Sonny Payne, Birmingham Steel to name a few), one of the best modern bottleneck slide players, a storyteller and a compendium of interesting facts. In the world of contemporary acoustic and roots music, he’s earned his reputation with decades of tireless international touring, a stack of solo recordings, a funny, kinetic stage presence and an unmistakable style of playing and singing.
His own recordings engage with other top notch musicians- Cindy Cashdollar, the Bad Livers, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Del Rey and a host of others. As a sideman, both on stage and on record, he’s played with Howard Armstrong, Bo Diddley, John Hammond, Maria Muldaur, Furry Lewis and James McMurtry…he often gets a shout-out to “get on up here” from the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Hot Tuna or Chip Taylor. Hehas appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion”, “Austin City Limits Live”, “NPR Morning Edition” and many other syndicated broadcasts worldwide.