Men of Worth!

7:00 PM Saturday, February 17, 2018

FROM SCOTLAND’S OUTER ISLANDS AND IRELAND’S WEST, SOME OF AMERICA’S MOST AUTHENTIC MUSICAL HERITAGE IS COMING TO WINNEMUCCA.

The folk duo, Men of Worth, who position themselves firmly at the extreme, traditional end of the Celtic music spectrum, will perform at the Martin Hotel on Saturday, February 17.

Men of Worth’s tunes and songs are so authentic, so closely connected to their heritage, that Scotsman Donnie Macdonald sings some in his native Gaelic; while Irishman James Keigher includes time-polished pieces saved from the oral traditions of his native County Mayo.

Purchase your tickets on-line from the Martin Hotel Tickets are also available at our walkup outlets.

“Our music has its history in the crofting life of my Hebridean homeland and James’ western Ireland. It was a part of the fabric of everyday life and it came to America with the immigrants a century ago”, explained Macdonald. “Now, we’re playing it again, to audiences for whom it could only be a generational memory”.

“For us, the irony is we were brought up in Scotland and Ireland, and as boys we listened most eagerly to the music of America, and not especially to the music of own areas. On our radios, we heard Hank Williams Sr. and Jim Reeves. We wanted to see the Arkansas River, not Loch Lomond, and Reeves’ hometown of Carthage, in east Texas, had more romance for me than did the Isle of Lewis”. “Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash influenced me greatly”, admitted Keigher, who as a teen was already performing his own songs in the Irish pubs where he learned his wit and humor. “But now I have returned to my own musical bloodlines, too.”

The pair could not escape the emotion and tradition of their homeland song heritage. “We could not grow away from those sounds”, said Macdonald, “so we have preserved them as accurately and authentically as we can, in our performances”. “We entertain people with the real music of our regions; we have an ancient yet fresh musical story to tell”.

Sometimes that music comes from prosaic sources – Keigher wrote one song after overhearing two old ladies gossiping about him in a village market – and sometimes from traditional music passed down the generations. Several of Macdonald’s songs come from his mother’s own poetry and from Hebridean crofters’ airs.

The musicians, who met in California in 1988, each play a handful of instruments, among them mandolin, guitar, concertina and bodhran, a handheld drum. They are both married to Americans and live on the west coast. Keigher lives in Ashland, Oregon and Macdonald lives near Sacramento, California.

They have played concerts across the US, from Alaska to Texas. They also take guided tours to their own musical roots: leading folk fans to the western isles of Scotland and to Ireland’s heartland to hear the real music of the isles in its own home.

If you can’t make that journey, you can hear the music when these talented troubadours bring it to you, February 17.

Roy Book Binder

Blues Guitar Legend Returns to the Martin
7:00 PM, Saturday, July 9, 2016

The $10.00 tickets are on sale now at the Martin Hotel, Nature’s Corner, and Global Coffee. You can also buy them online at themartinhotel.com.

Roy Book Binder at the Martin 2008
Roy Book Binder at the Martin 2008

The great Roy Book Binder is set to play a concert at the Martin Hotel on Saturday, July 9. Something of a national treasure, Book Binder plays blues in the Piedmont style, a very old East Coast tradition based on ragtime and multi-part gospel guitar techniques.

Besides being a musical giant with unexceeded technique, Book Binder is known as a crowd-pleasing entertainer with deft comic timing, an encyclopedic knowledge of American roots music history, and an inexhaustible supply of tales collected over a lifetime of traveling and performing with greats like Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Rock Bottom, Fats Kaplin, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, and Ray Charles.

Book Binder emerged alongside pal Dave van Ronk in the New York City coffeehouse scene of the mid-60s, the beginning of the so-called “folk revival.” And, his repertoire includes “Bookaroo” songs, played in a folk style reminiscent of Rambling Jack Elliot, and Don Edwards.

Book Binder’s real bailiwick, though, is blues in the East Coast or “Piedmont” style, named for the plateau that stretches from Richmond, Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia. The style evolved in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, when ragtime, parlor, and gospel guitar players like Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, and Reverend Gary Davis began applying polyphonic finger-picking technique to the blues. Book Binder perfected his Piedmont technique as Davis’s protégé, working as the blind virtuoso’s driver and side-man during the late 1960s.

Book Binder has recorded eight albums, most in a “hillbilly” blues style that includes plenty of colorful banter between the tracks. Often, the stories and jokes stretch back to Book Binder’s formative years on the road with the Reverend Davis. Though based on old-time techniques, his songs sound fresh and relevant, often featuring original lyrics re-spun to reflect contemporary themes.

Book Binder continues to perform solo shows around the world, the last time we saw him he was about to leave for the Blues Festival in Hell Norway where he appeared along with Ramblin’ Jack and many other greats. He also teaches at MerleFest and the Fur Peace School, and keeps an entertaining travel “blog” on his website, RoyBookBinder.com.

So, if you’re in town over the weekend, don’t miss the chance to see one of the great bluesmen of all time, up close and personal, right here in Winnemucca. The show starts at 7 PM on Saturday, July 9, at the Martin Hotel on Railroad Street.