Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween)

Aaron Freeman, former front man for Ween, has stepped out to record his first-ever solo record, Marvelous Clouds. Out May 8th, the album features 13 heartfelt interpretations of songs written by 20th century poet/songwriter, Rod McKuen. Marvelous Clouds reunites Freeman with Ben Vaughn, who produced Ween’s classic 12 Golden Country Greats. The meticulously crafted and stunning result casts Freeman as you’ve never heard him and is sure to prompt a reappraisal of McKuen, who has lived privately and out of the public eye in recent decades. Having sold over a million albums with Ween worldwide, Freeman’s use of McKuen’s work to articulate one of his most personal efforts to-date marks a new milestone in a career well known for its use of a wide range of vocal styles and song characters.

Julia Sweeney and Jill Sobule

She’s come a long way from playing ‘Pat’ on SNL. Today Julia Sweeny is best known for sparse but hilarious television appearances, her dramatic monologues about topics like atheism and surviving cancer and, now, her career as a traveling musician with friend Jill Sobule (‘I Kissed a Girl’). The Jill and Julia Show features acoustic folk guitar and singing from Jill and finely crafted stories and some occasional singing from Julia. The result is a surprising mix of politics, controversy, personal stories and sidesplitting humor. ‘Next time you have the opportunity to watch these two in action, do yourself a favor and check it out. It\’s some kind of miracle.’ -SpinningPlatters.com, SF Bay area

Narrows releases 1st Cd

The Narrows Center for the Arts is very excited to announce the release of our first cd Spindle City Americana Music Festival featuring the music of Gram Parsons. The cd was recorded live at the Narrows on October 27, 2012. It features 7 great acts and consists of 8 Gram tunes and 4 original songs. Bands on the cd are: Danielle Miraglia and Ryan Fitzsimmons, Girls, Guns and Glory, Sarah Borges, Louie Leeman and Cheap Sneakers, Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage, Bob Kendall Band and the ‘Mericans. The high quality of the performances is a testament to the great regional talent we have here in our area. Kudos also to John Mailloux of Bongo Beach Productions for his great work in making the cd sound great. You can purchase the cd at the Narrows through our website.

Heather Maloney and Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons

I always said that if I didn’t write songs, I’d be covered in tattoos, because every song I write is something I want to remember really badly,’ says Heather Maloney. She has no ink so far. Instead, the Northampton, Mass., singer and songwriter is marking life lessons with music on her new self-titled album, penning tuneful reminders to herself about the little triumphs of love on ‘Flutter,’ the solace of redemption on ‘Turn Yourself Around’ and her firm belief that nothing’s colder than trying too hard to be cool, an idea that inspired ‘Fire for You.’ Heather Maloney, out in March on Signature Sounds, is the third album for a songwriter hailed by The Huffington Post for ‘lyrics that cut to the chase.’ DigBoston wrote that she ‘deserves the type of cult following that has allowed the likes of Aimee Mann and Ani DiFranco that long standing success and influence they have had.’ Joe Fletcher was a huge hit at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. He is a fantastic songwriter with a killer band who are widely known for their incendiary live show. ‘Joe Fletcher proves his versatility on White Lighter. His signature brand of dark and lyrically driven honky tonk is interspersed with a softer side that would make a Hagg or Jones proud.’ – No Depression

Peter Case

One of the most under rated yet highly acclaimed songwriters of his generation. He started with The Plimsouls, then The Nerves to a fruitful solo career. He organized, produced and performed on the Mississippi John Hurt tribute album Avalon Blues. He was nominated for a Grammy for the terrific solo album ‘Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John Estes.’ He is a great raconteur and live performer.

Robert Cray Band

With 5 Grammy Awards, 15 nominations, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold out performances, rock blues icon Robert Cray is considered ‘one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.’ Rolling Stone Magazine in their April 2011 issue credits Cray with reinventing the blues with his ‘distinct razor sharp guitar playing’ that ‘introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues’ with the release of his Strong Persuader album in 1986. Since then, Cray has gone on to record fifteen Billboard charting studio albums and has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker. Recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, he is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor. And while he can look back over an astonishing three-decade career punctuated by his trademark sound and distinct playing style, Robert Cray is too busy moving forward on an amazing journey that has him releasing his sixteenth studio album and embarking on yet another world tour.

SOLD OUT Ed Kowalczyk

Ed Kowalczyk is the singer and songwriting force behind the multi-platinum rock band Live, one of the most successful and enduring bands of the 1990’s and 2000’s. They sold more than 20 million albums and had nine Top 10 radio hits including: ‘I Alone,’ ‘Lightning Crashes,’ ‘Selling The Drama,’ and ‘Heaven.’ Experience the energy of Ed Kowalczyk’s live show, featuring hits from Live and more.