The best and brightest in the acoustic world move the music forward with an awareness of what came before them; that is certainly true of Sarah Jarosz. On her second album for Sugar Hill Records, Follow Me Down, she pays homage to her musical roots while pushing beyond those sometimes limited boundaries, taking us on a journey both dark and mystical. For this, Jarosz has a simple yet telling explanation: ‘I’m influenced by the older, and the contemporary, and the new.’ Her approach to acoustic music is invigorating; she gives equal attention to playing, singing, and writing, choosing songs that embrace both old timey and modern sounds.
Since their arrival on the music scene in 1993 in a legendary residency at Los Angeles’ Brown Derby nightclub, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s irresistible live show and aggressive, musically perceptive approach has proven them over time to be the singular standout among the numerous bands that launched the Nineties swing revival. The seven-man group forged a massively successful fusion of classic American sounds from jazz, swing, Dixieland and big-band music, building their own songbook of original dance tunes, and, sixteen years later, BBVD is a veteran force that to this day adds new fans by the roomful every time they play.
Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known halls. In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep emotion, Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that has been described as ‘a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper’ and as ‘plaintive but disarmingly powerful.’ Bearing the stamp of a masterful storyteller who ‘observed the world with a clinically poetic eye,’ Suzanne’s songs have always tended to focus on city life, ordinary people and real world subjects. Notably succinct and understated, often cerebral but also streetwise, her lyrics invite multiple interpretations. In short, Suzanne Vega’s work is immediately recognizable, as utterly distinct and thoughtful, and as creative and musical now, as it was when her voice was first heard on the radio over 20 years ago.
The Narrows Center is excited to present “The Art of the Brick,” featuring sculptures and artwork created out of iconic LEGO® bricks by New York based artist Nathan Sawaya. The exhibit will present 32 awe-inspiring works including large scale sculptures and oversized mosaic portraits. Sawaya uses only toy building blocks as his artist’s medium. The resulting and captivating artwork ranges from whimsical to complex and will present a new perspective on imagination and creativity.
“The Art of the Brick” is the first exhibition focusing exclusively on LEGO® as an art medium. Sawaya’s ability to transform LEGO® bricks into something new, his devotion to scale and color perfection and the way he conceptualizes the action of the subject matter, enables him to elevate an ordinary toy to the status of fine art. Sawaya has taken a small scale toy and transformed it into one of the largest and most popular exhibitions touring the country.
The Narrows Center will offer school tours led by gallery docents to view, explore and discuss this extraordinary work. This exhibition will stimulate thinking, inspire creativity, pique interest, spark imagination and rethink the question: “What is Art?” Call the Narrows at 508.324.1926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more tours information.
Nathan Sawaya | Artist Statement
When I was a lawyer I quickly came to realize I was more comfortable sitting on the floor creating sculptures than I was sitting in a boardroom negotiating contracts. My personal search for overall happiness paved the way to becoming a fulltime working artist. However, it can’t be said that my experience as a lawyer has not influenced my work as an artist; in fact, some might say it has defined me.
Creating art is my passion. Many of my works center on the phenomena of how everyday life, people and raw emotion are intertwined. Often my art is a reenactment of my personal feelings. I am inspired by my own experiences, emotions and the journeys I am taking.
The primary medium for my work is LEGO® plastic bricks. I use this as a medium because I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to artwork created from something with which they are familiar. Everyone can relate to it since it is a toy that many children have at home. I want to elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before. I also appreciate the cleanliness of the medium. The right angles. The distinct lines. As so often in life, it is a matter of perspective. Up close, the shape of the brick is distinctive. But from a distance, those right angles and distinct lines change to curves. It takes weeks to complete a life size human form. The long hours of creating a new piece bring me immense satisfaction. When I am working on a project I enjoy, I completely submerge myself into the project, going into a trance-like state.
On and off, I intentionally intermix subject matter that is steeped in heavy sentiment with the lighthearted and whimsical. The purpose of this is two-fold. I realize families and children are drawn to my art because of the unique medium in which it was created and I welcome that. But it is also a necessary break for me to create whimsy in addition to the construction of the complex human forms. I want to provide a break for the viewer’s eye, as well as a respite for my brain.
Currently, my favorite subject is the human form. I use the male human form to represent the everyman, society, you and me. A lot of my work suggests a figure in transition. It represents the metamorphoses I am experiencing in my own life. My pieces grow out of my fears and accomplishments, as a lawyer and as an artist, as a boy and as a man. The names I give my pieces are generally unsophisticated in nature by design. I purposefully use simple titles to avoid influencing the viewer’s own interpretation of the work. This stems from both my desire for the audience to have a role in the interpretation and my insecurity of defining that role for them. The fundamental purpose to my art is to captivate people for as long as I can keep their attention. I strive to create artwork that is interesting and that is unlike anything they have seen before.
This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
The Pousette-Dart Band, led by Jon Pousette-Dart carved a place in the landscape of American music in the 1970’s. They were a mainstay of album radio, a favorite on the college circuit, and became one of the busiest touring groups in the US working with such acts as The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, The Eagles, James Taylor, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Manfred Mann, Jonathan Edwards, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Emmylou Harris, Gary Wright, Robert Palmer,Randy Newman, Journey, Billy Joel, and many more including the now famous Frampton Comes Alive tour, and the progressive Yes Fragile tour ‘ playing arenas from Coast to Coast. While the original group dis-banded in the early 80’s, Jon kept performing with original drummer Eric Parker and continued writing and producing into the 90’s, when he returned to Nashville to begin recording again on his own. He turned out four more solo albums and recently released ‘Anti-Gravity’, a cohesive selection of his best songs to date. He has co-written with some of the finest writers in the country including, Darrell Scott, Gary Nicholson, Jaime Kyle, Kostas, John Bohlinger, Angelo, Sally Barris, Fred Knobloch, and Angela Kaset. Two videos from the latest release, ‘Heaven is Here’ and ‘Who I Am,’ are featured on YouTube and under the video tab above. Jon is currently working both solo and with his tight knit band with Paul Socolow on bass, Eric Parker on drums, and Jim Chapdelaine, with whom he co-produced the latest release ‘Anti-Gravity,’ on guitar.
He is the consummate performer and one of the most respected artists of his generation. Always a sell out
One of the most electrifying and soulful guitar players on the planet. Ronnie easily moves between blues, jazz and r&b to craft his signature sound.
America’s Jewish Troubadour, Kinky Friedman, is described as Mark Twain meets Groucho Marx . . . at the corner of Johnny Cash and Lenny Bruce. He’ll also be carrying books, posters and music, surely enough for anyone. The Kinkster, who has just wrapped up a highly anticipated new book with Billy Bob Thornton titled The Billy Bob Tapes, and who has started writing one with Willie Nelson, will will sing all the tunes for which he is famed, including ‘They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore,’ and ‘Ride ‘Em Jewboy,’ and, naturally, he will continue his long-running commentary on current politics and the state of the union, as well as give a book reading. An official signing party will follow each show; Kinky vows he ‘will sign anything but bad legislation.’ As thousands of folks have discovered or rediscovered over his last tours, Kinky Friedman is the real deal, an amazing performer, and one of America’s brightest literary lights. Kinky Friedman is the troubadour of our times, with a show for the ages.
Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala have come a long way in a short time. These two best friends met in their high school music class and wrote their first song together in 2002.
As always, the old Commander Cody himself is behind the piano, leading the musical mayhem and controlled chaos, and sporting his legendary antics and ability to spark up even the toughest crowds. Their 1974 album ‘Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas’ was named as one of Rolling Stones 100 Greatest of all times! They are the legends behind Hot Rod Lincoln. Today the Commander Cody Band is closely knit with the legendary George Frayne a.k.a. ‘The Commander’ (leader /keyboards/vocals), Steve Barbuto (drums/vocals), Rick Mullen (bass) and Mark Emerick on lead guitar and vocals. Frequent guest steel guitar appearances by Bobby Black, Professor Louie and the Crowmatix – The group came into existence preparing songs for Aaron Professor Louie Hurwitz\’ studio productions for the Rock\’n\’Roll Hall of Fame group The Band. They are also the backing group for solo CD\’s by Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. They started touring and recording their own music in 2001. They have six studio CD\’s and two live recordings on The Woodstock Records label. Woodstock Records has just released Professor Louie & The Crowmatix latest CD, Whispering Pines. In spring 2008, they released As the Crow Flies. This CD has new originals and songs from their previous recordings which were most requested by fans and radio stations. The group continues to perform in concert at premier theaters, clubs & festivals, playing over 150 shows a year.