Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons

acoustic blues, field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and early jazz

7:00 PM, Saturday, November 10, 2018

The $15.00 tickets are on sale now at the Martin Hotel, Nature’s Corner, and Global Coffee. You can also buy them online at themartinhotel.com.

 

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are songster revivalists who perform acoustic blues, field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and early jazz that delights audiences in concerts and workshops nationwide. For seven years, their tours have extended their work as teachers and community organizers in their home of Seattle, Washington. With their unique integration of performance, education and modern-day folklore, this duo redefines the role of a songster in the 21st century. In 2016, they earned 1st place in the International Blues Challenge’s solo/duo category. In July, they released a new album with harmonica master Phil Wiggins entitled “Black & Tan Ball.”

Ben and Joe have been playing together for almost 7 years, the last 5 of which sent them to the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, learning at the feet of the elders of the acoustic blues tradition. They found an affinity in the many branches that tied into the blues and created this duo as a way to explore these branches. Their musical kinship and sense of joy in interpreting this music is evident and was the basis of an invitation from Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) to tour and record for his album Prospect Hill. Rather than thinking of their music as blues, it’s best to situate Ben and Joe as American songsters. A songster traditionally refers to an artist whose repertoire is much broader than the old blues, and spans many of the genres that Ben and Joe inhabit. Uncle Dave Macon, Robert Johnson, and Charlie Patton are classic examples of songsters. Their music hews to the rough-and-tumble collisions of musical inspirations from the early 20th century; music that paved the way for everything we enjoy today.

In January of 2016, the Washington Blues Society sent Ben and Joe to the 26th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. There, they were awarded 1st place—out of 94 solo/duo acts representing 16 countries—for their unique blend of a cappella field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and duet distillations of early jazz.

In 2017, they toured Europe with Phil Wiggins, released a new album with Phil, “Black & Tan Ball,” and began to put the finishing touches on the new community venue where the trio recorded together, South Seattle’s Black & Tan Hall.

Stephanie Nilles w/ Thomas Deakin

It’s hard to say what will happen, and how this will end
7:00 PM, Friday, April 27, 2018

Purchase your $10 tickets Now! On-line from The Martin Hotel Tickets are also available at our walkup outlets, The Martin Hotel, Nature’s Corner and Global Coffee in Winnemucca.

We met Thomas Deakin  in March of 2016 when he appeared at the Martin as part of the wonderfully odd duo Deakin Hicks, with his buddy and mystical music man Lucas Hicks. We had a very small audience that night that experienced this Chromatic Button Accordion and Clarinet duo perform “original compositions and improvisations twisted together in a unique blend of tone, time, and delight”. Do check it out. They sat down on two five gallon plastic buckets, we drew the seats of up close, and we all enjoyed one of the best and most unusual concerts ever featured at the Martin. Sadly Lucas Hicks lost his 14 year battle against cancer last October, Thomas lost his musical partner, and Deakin Hicks was lost to the world.

Thomas Deakin has now joined up with New Orleans based avant-garde jazz keyboardist and singer Stephanie Nilles and we suspect that something highly interesting is going to happen when this duo hits the back room at the Martin.  Just give this video a listen, and imagine Mr. Deakin’s clarinet, saxophone, or trumpet, wrapped in and around Ms. Nilles in place of the bass.

Chicago-born jazz/punk/barrelhouse musician Stephanie Nilles has been doin’ Kesey proud one bar at a time since 2008, hustling around the United States, Europe, and Canada (except from 2009-2010 for legal reasons), averaging 150 gigs a year, and captivating unsuspecting listeners with a voice that would make Jelly Roll Morton look orthodox and Ma Rainey look sober.

Having studied piano and cello since the age of six, she was a finalist at the Young Concert Artists’ International Competition, a gold medalist at the Fischoff Competition, and had performed on NPR on three occasions by the age of seventeen. At twenty-two, she had graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a degree in classical piano performance and temporarily relocated to New York City, where she began writing songs and performed regularly on the east village anti-folk scene while making a living working odd jobs as a dog walker, valet parking attendant, Italian coffee bar barista, ghostwriter, and research assistant to a blind bioethicist at an all boys’ Jewish university.

She has since sung with Bobby McFerrin in Carnegie Hall, directed the musical program of a Brooklyn burlesque series, covered Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck” in the skeletal remains of a bombed-out cathedral in Nuremberg, been invited to perform official showcases at SXSW and International Folk Alliance, and self-released 5 full-length albums, three of which were picked up for European release by German roots/blues label Tradition und Moderne (Taj Mahal, John Fahey).

When Stephanie’s not sleeping in her car, she lives in New Orleans, which might not be the best idea.

Here are eight tracks from Stephanie Nilles: