Yarn and Driftwood 4/3/15

Brooklyn-based Americana/Alt-Country band Yarn’s sound owes as much to Gram Parsons and Earl Scruggs as to Jerry Garcia and Exile On Main Street-era Rolling Stones. Much like its name, the band Yarn weaves country, rock, blues and more into a genre-defying blend that has captured the attention of fans and critics alike. Following in a fine tradition that includes forward thinking roots bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of The Purple Sage. Yarn weaves roots music idioms into a fresh sound that turns on hipsters and fans of country music alike, with technically impressive song-crafting and universal tales from the road of life. From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock ‘n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely.

Aldous Collins Band | Colorway 5/7/15

Aldous Collins was recently named ‘Best Live Act’ in Massachusetts by Limelight Magazine. They describe their sound as indie funk. Horns and slippery grooves keep people dancing all night. F. Alex Johnson started the band, Colorway as a way to give a home to the melodies that kept awaking him every day. Alex began his musical career at the age of 14, playing in various Portuguese wedding bands in his hometown of Fall River, Mass. The intent with Colorway is to combine the two types of music that Alex loves: pop songs and rock guitar. As is so often the case a great guitar rock tune may not leave you with the most memorable of melodies in your head as you exit the music hall. And if you’re going to craft a catchy tune why not infuse it with some edgy guitar bravado if you can? Colorway tries to do both, drawing upon the experience and care three friends with twenty years of music making each can provide.

Sierra Hull 4/10/15

There aren’t many twenty three year old musicians that can say they’ve had a career that’s already spanned more than a decade, and there aren’t many at any age that can compare resumes with Sierra Hull. She was given her first mandolin at age 8. By age 11, Alison Krauss had called with an invitation to the Opry stage; by 12, Rounder was expressing interest (she signed a record deal with Rounder at 13, with her first album released at 16). She’s also played the White House, Carnegie Hall (twice), The Kennedy Center, traveled around the world sharing her music, and released three albums. Then there’s the fact that Berklee gave her the school’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship, a first for a bluegrass musician; her choice to accept it, to delay her dream of hitting the road full-time after high school in favor of expanding her musical worldview, was hardly a light one. Boundaries’age, genre or otherwise’don’t hamper an artist like Sierra. She’s already earned considerable respect in the bluegrass world, the IBMA’s voting members having nominated her for no fewer than eight awards’there’s a good chance she’ll be the first woman to win the mandolin category. But as a player, a singer and a songwriter, she also has remarkable range, the potential to win over ears unfamiliar with Bill Monroe. Matt Glaser’head of Berklee’s American Roots Music Program’put it this way: ‘She has no limitations as a musician.’

John Fullbright 6/5/15

John released one of the best records in 2014 ‘Songs.’ He also had the distinction of playing one the Narrows best shows in 2014. He is an elite songwriter and an intense and compelling performer. You will not want to miss this one.

SOLD OUT Eilen Jewell Band 2/21/15

After a brief hiatus this past summer to welcome her first child into the world (named Mavis, after gospel great Mavis Staples), Eilen Jewell is hitting the road again with a live double album, ‘Live at the Narrows,’ which includes original songs and some of her favorite covers. Next year will also bring the release of Jewell’s fifth, full-length studio album, her first since 2011’s critically acclaimed Queen of the Minor Key. The yet-to-be-titled album was recorded with Eilen’s longtime road band, Jason Beek (drums/vocals), Jerry Miller (guitar), Johnny Sciascia (upright bass) and special guests in her hometown of Boise, Idaho. As the reigning Queen of the Minor Key, Jewell leads a tight quartet who blend influences of surf-noir, early blues, rockabilly, and 1960s era rock and roll. Over the past ten years Eilen has repeatedly toured North America, Europe, and Australia, and shared stages with Lucinda Williams, Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Blind Boys of Alabama, Chris Smither, Junior Brown, and many others. Eilen’s fans marvel at her warmth, unique wit, and onstage humor alongside her beautiful ballads and uptempo rockers. In addition to four of her own full-length albums, Jewell has released two albums with her country-gospel side-project, The Sacred Shakers, as well as a tribute album to Loretta Lynn. The Los Angeles Daily News wrote, ‘Sometimes as darkly damaged as Lucinda Williams, at others as defiant and teasing as prime Peggy Lee and always authentically Americana in the Gillian Welch tradition…. She’s mighty good.’

Lyrical Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions inspire change and growth. The Narrows Gallery presents an experimental exhibition, one that will change and grow during the weeks it is on view. ‘Lyrical Resolutions’ applauds song lyrics that resonate and inspire. The exhibition is an opportunity for you to add a famous or infamous quote or make note of your personal words of wisdom. We are inviting you to participate in adding your thoughts, your ideas, your wishes, your plans to make our world a better place. Whether they describe global dreams on a world scale or small gestures of kindness, your words can motivate, initiate and inspire change. Wikipedia states, ‘An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art.’ You are one of many participating artists in our experimental exhibition. The canvas is the Narrows Gallery walls. The palette is the endless color of your words. The exhibit is the shared experience of thought, appreciation and inspiration. If you’ve been moved by the actions of someone, by words heard or read, or by listening to the lyrics of a song, pass it on. The experiment is to bring about a shared community of thoughts and resolutions to brighten the New Year.

Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio with Ron Carter and Kenny Baron 4/25/15

Drummer Gerry Gibbs grew up in a jazz family. His Dad, Terry Gibbs, now 90, recorded and performed with Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman and most of the greats of the last 60 years. As a young teen, Gerry worshipped jazzmen, and not the sports heroes that his friends idolized. His favorites early on were bassist Ron Carter and pianist Kenny Barron, who have performed with each other, on and off, over 4 decades. In 2012, Gerry approached his heroes with the idea of making a recording. Gerry carefully selected and arranged a mix of standards, jazz tunes, R&B and ballads, and even composed a couple for the session. The result, ‘Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio,’ on the Whaling City Sound label, got glowing reviews, lived at the top of the JazzWeek radio charts for 6 weeks, and most recently garnered a Grammy nomination. The follow-on CD, ‘We’re Back,’ camped out for 7 weeks in the #1 spot and still lives on the charts weeks later. No other group or artist has spent more time in the #1 spot over the last few years. In spite of the critical acclaim and exceptional radio play, the band has not performed in public until now. The Narrows is pleased to present this remarkable trio in its premier performance outside of the studio.

Kat Edmonson 3/13/15

A stunningly sweet singer with a uniquely expressive voice, Kat Edmonson’s music has a timeless sound. In a few short years, she has gone from singing in small rooms in her native Texas to concert halls and festivals around the world, playing dates with the likes of Gary Clark Jr., Lyle Lovett, Michael Kiwanuka and Chris Isaak. She’s made memorable turns on ‘Austin City Limits’, ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ and had her songs featured on several television shows and commercials. Such exciting growth is not surprising or unexpected for Edmonson. Her 2009 debut, Take to the Sky, comprised creative interpretations of standards and pop hits while her brilliant 2012 follow-up, Way Down Low, was called ‘one of the greatest vocal albums I’ve ever heard’ by The Boston Globe. The album, which featured both originals and covers in styles from pop and country to jazz and bossa nova, earned her universal critical acclaim, and the attention of Sony Music Masterworks, who will release her third album, The Big Picture. The Big Picture builds upon her previous works, but offers even more of her writing (she wrote or co-wrote 11 of 12 songs on the album), and more still of Kat’s unique sound. With no formal vocal training, she instead learned her craft as a child by watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals on the VCR, drawing inspiration for this album from old films and her favorite songwriters. The result is a delicious batch of pop perfection, with a dozen songs that are tight, polished and more upbeat than anything she’s done before. Edmonson draws from a wellspring of ’50s and ’60s pop, ’70s AM radio, present-day pop-rock and movie soundtracks. The Big Picture is smart, sophisticated and fun and simultaneously classic and modern.

SOLD OUT Ed Kowalczyk 2/5/15

Ed Kowalczyk, founding member, songwriter and former lead singer of LIVE, opened a new chapter in his already illustrious career in 2009 with the launch of his solo career. With over 20 million albums sold worldwide, Kowalczyk has built an impressive r??sum?? in LIVE that includes eight full-length albums that have reached gold and platinum status in nine countries and nine Top 10 hit songs, including the crossover smash ‘Grace’ from his debut solo album and classics such as ‘Lightning Crashes,’ ‘I Alone,’ ‘Selling The Drama,’ ‘The Dolphin’s Cry,’ and ‘Heaven.’ Don’t miss Kowalczyk’s trademark vocals, electrifying stage presence and sweeping diversity as a performer in this special concert where he will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the classic LIVE album ‘Throwing Copper’ by performing it in its entirely along with other hits and fan favorites.