Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Harvey Reid has honed his craft over the last 35 years in countless clubs, festivals, street corners, cafes, schools and concert halls across the nation. He has been called a “giant of the steel strings” and “one of the true treasures of American acoustic music.” He has absorbed a vast repertoire of American contemporary and roots music and woven it into his own colorful, personal and distinctive style. His 22 recordings on Woodpecker Records showcase his mastery of many instruments and styles of acoustic music, from hip folk to slashing slide guitar blues to bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, ragtime, and even classical.
Reid’s skills and versatility on the guitar alone mark him as powerhouse in acoustic music. He won the 1981 National Fingerpicking Guitar Competition and the 1982 International Autoharp competition. Yet he’s also a veteran musician with a long list of studio and band credits, a strong flatpicker who has won the Beanblossom bluegrass guitar contest, a versatile and engaging singer, a powerful lyricist, prolific composer, arranger and songwriter, a solid mandolin and bouzouki player, and a seasoned performer and captivating entertainer. And he plays the 6-string banjo and the autoharp like you’ve never heard.
Reid prides himself on his independence, and sees himself as a modern embodiment of the ancient minstrels. You’ll find elements of the traditional troubadour, the modern poet-songwriter, the American back-porch picker, the classical virtuoso, and even a good bit of Will Rogers style dry humor and satire. You’ll hear folk, country, classical, blues, ragtime, rockabilly, Celtic, bluegrass, and popular music influences. Although Reid has a vast repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, his concert material consists mostly of his own compositions and traditional music.
Mike Beck is well-known for his memorable ballads that capture old California, and the cowboy way of life. He has performed in numerous foreign countries, and throughout the United States. Mike recently returned from doing some shows in Norway and Sweden.
Two of Mike Beck’s songs were listed in the “13 Best Cowboy Songs of All Time” in the April 2009 issue of Western Horseman Magazine (“In Old California” – a song about Jo Mora – and “Don’t Tell Me.”) His song, “Patrick” was listed as one of “The Top 15 Roadworthy Cowboy Songs” in the July 2008 issue of Cowboys & Indians Magazine. His song, “Amanda Come Home” was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and is dedicated to all of the women who served in Iraq. In the Spring 2010 edition of The Cowboy Way, Bill Reynolds writes, “His love of the ways of the vaquero and the Pacific Slope region of the West comes through his songs in superb guitar work.”
Born and raised in Monterey County, California, at age 13, Mike Beck went to the Monterey Pop Festival and liked what he heard. He picked up a guitar and never looked back. Since that time, he has been composing and performing a wide array of folk, rock and Americana music. Mike’s songs reflect his life as a professional musician and a working cowboy in Montana and Carmel Valley near Big Sur.
According to Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, “Mike Beck plays the guitar like a Byrd. His strings do things that mine could never do. They obey the slightest finger-touch commands like a fine Reining Horse.”
Beck is riding high after being recognized by Western Horseman magazine in a recent article naming “The 13 Best Cowboy Songs of All Times” along with songs written by luminaries such as Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Allison Moorer, Lucinda Williams and Ian Tyson.
“I had two songs on that list, which was kind of cool,” said Beck. “to be alongside some of the other people on that list, like Tom Russell, Ian Tyson. I thought, that’s nice company. That was nice of them to say that.”
(I found this rather amazing video on YouTube, posted bypagenmaestro; with the notes here below the video. – bill)
I met Mike Beck right after this performance in Austin, Texas, in June of 2004, when he delivered among other originals a gripping solo performance of “Old Man,” a song about one of the resin jaws he met while cowboying in Montana. We stood outside in the humid night heat and, along with horseman Magne Hellesjo of Norway, talked music and horses, and shared some cold beers. A year or so later the three of us convened again at Magne’s farm in Norway where, between horse clinics, Mike joined me and other members of Poisoned Red Berries in the recording of my first produced studio album. Mike’s been working with his band, The Bohemian Saints, for a few years now, playing mainly in California with occasional tours. Mike Beck has also just released a beautiful solo album of songs, called “Free”. If you like the sound of “Old Man,” check out the new solo album. Mike’s songs offer a unique perspective on life, opening on a wisdom earned genuinely through a life of horse whispering, work with Ian Tyson and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Beck’s own take on the old ways of the cowboy life in America. Learn more about Mike and his music at http://www.mikebeck.com
Note: If anyone objects to this video presentation due to copyright infringement, please make contact and it will be promptly removed. DL
The great Roy Book Binder is set to play a concert at the Martin Hotel on Saturday, July 10th. 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, the New York City surgeon’s son who was Woody Guthrie’s hand-picked protege.
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 seven 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, with more than 30 shows left this year alone. 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 10th, at the Martin Hotel on Railroad Street.
$15 TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW AT THE MARTIN HOTEL, NATURE’S CORNER, AND GLOBAL COFFEE.
Ray Bonneville is a roaming blues poet, inspired by the road and the many other places he has called home—New Orleans, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska, Boston, Seattle and Paris, France. Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Bonneville has lived all over. No place, however, has been more influential than New Orleans.
In the streets and clubs of New Orleans, Bonneville soaked up the prevalent take-your-time attitude that ran through the music being played there. “There’s something about the heat and humidity that makes people slow down,” he says. “New Orleans is where I learned to take my time, to allow space between the notes so the songs could truly groove.” That groove is at the core of Bonneville’s sound. A one-man band, he backs up weathered, storytelling vocals with a highly percussive guitar style, dramatic harmonica lines and a foot that keeps the rock steady beat. The result is a big sound with an almost primitive quality. It’s visceral, raw music.
Like the great American writers of the south and his favorite authors Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bonneville is inspired by the places he has been and the unusual people he has met throughout his travels. His songs are like short stories, evoking true-to-life characters that stumble their way through a rough and tumble world of violence, hope and despair. Heavily influenced by the natural world, Bonneville finds himself splitting his time these days between Montreal, Austin and Cotter, Arkansas, where he likes to write songs and fly-fish the White River.
Honing his craft for the last 30 years, Bonneville’s gritty storytelling and deep-grooving blues style has won him much critical attention. In 1999, Ray won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for his third album Gust of Wind. His fourth release, Rough Luck, was also nominated for the coveted award. With his 2004 Red House debut Roll It Down, Ray made himself a name in blues and roots music circles, garnering rave reviews from DownBeat and No Depression. He has toured all over the world, sharing the bill with such blues legends as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale and Robert Cray and in 2007 wowed the music industry with his bring-down-the-house performances at the South By Southwest and Folk Alliance conference. A world-class guitarist, harmonica player and hard-hitting songwriter, it is no wonder that Ray has received rave reviews from blues, jazz and roots critics alike and can count among his fans such artists as Chris Smither and Ray Wylie Hubbard. For more information about Ray Bonneville, please visit his website at www.raybonneville.com.
Critics call his guitar playing “breathtaking,” “haunting,” and “rich.” Guitar magazines describe his compositions as “spectacular,” “elegant,” and “exquisite,” and praise his twelve-string work as “revelatory.” Media reviewers trace the roots of his style to folk, jazz, pop, and classical music, categorize his playing as “Baroque Folk,” and “Instrumental Americana,” and compare him to Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges.
Another reviewer ventured this analysis: “What to call his unique melange of styles? There’s an aspect of Americana in the echoes of Appalachian and old-timey styles that are apparent in just about every track, but there are also elements of jazz, Celtic folk, and a dash of blues in here somewhere. What Proctor does is create guitar music that reflects the whole heritage of the instrument and still has his own distinct stamp — a tall order, but he’s up to the job”
These luminous and diverse quotes characterize the media’s efforts to describe Chris Proctor’s solo, 6 and 12-string guitar concerts and recordings. Two additional comments typify the first-time listener’s reaction: “Wow- I didn’t know that acoustic guitars could sound like that,” and, ” It seems as if there are three guitarists up there on stage, not just one.”
Here’s more of what critics, listeners, presenters and concert audiences say about Chris Proctor:
He is an acclaimed composer of original music and a wonderful arranger for the 6 and 12-string guitars.
He is a performer with a gift for communicating the tremendous variety, vitality, and accessibility of his music.
His amazing variety of guitar sounds and textures, and the rich tapestry of bass, melody, and inner voices, bring an orchestral quality to his music that surprises and delights audiences who haven’t heard him before.
His compositions and arrangements shine with folk, jazz, pop, classical, and ethnic influences.
He is a superlative workshop, master class and residency/outreach leader, author of numerous instructional articles in the guitar press, and producer of two world-class instructional videos for 6 and 12-string players.
David Jacobs-Strain, a consummate finger-style and slide guitarist, plays in the blues tradition but isn’t from it. You’ll hear echoes of Skip James, Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson, and a song or two by Fred McDowell or Robert Johnson in his solo performances. But as a modern roots singer-songwriter, “I come from the language of the country blues, but it’s important not to silence other influences,” he says.
His obsession with sound serves a deeper purpose than a mere desire to display technical wizardry. “For me, there’s something about rural blues that has a transcendent quality, a wide open sound. Think of the rhythm of a train. There’s a cross between spiritual and secular music in Fred McDowell. Compared to commercial electric blues, the Delta blues are more interesting modally and have a spiritual depth to them. You can also hear anger, humor, and empathy. I’m going after the texture, the tone and feel of that.”
“I’ve always been drawn to the trance-oriented, heavier, Delta blues—to the driving, passionate, raw, distraught sound of somebody like Son House,” he says. “When you’re in the flow of the music, there’s an ecstasy to it. Of course, when I was 12, I thought I knew what Robert Johnson’s ‘Come on into My Kitchen’ was all about.” The 24-year-old Jacobs-Strain has refined his youthful expression of raw energy, passion, and technique into powerful, nuanced performances.
He grew up in Eugene, Oregon, in a community that was centered on cultural change and environmentalism. He sees a distinct connection between the principles embodied in his upbringing and the democracy of the blues. “I’m really into hand-made culture—and real people making real music. The voice. One guitar. Even at their simplest, the blues have always been a vehicle for expressing your own situation, whether as an individual or a community. There’s such power in that.”
Jacobs-Strain is a veteran of the national club and festival circuit. He’s been billed with T-Bone Burnett and Bob Weir, and has opened for acts such as Los Lobos, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, Etta James, Boz Scaggs, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. By the time he was 19, he had played at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and MerleFest. His other festival credits include the Strawberry Music Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, the Telluride Blues Fest, the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Lugano Blues to Bop Festival in Switzerland. He’s also served as faculty at guitar workshops, most notably at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. In 2008, he was chosen by Boz Scaggs to open his summer tour.
“How do you continue to find inspiration in sound? Why does a certain musical phrase grab you by the hair and heart and brain? How do you continue to make it new? How do you honor the people who poured themselves into the music in the first place?” Jacobs-Strain asks. Whenever he strives to answer these questions, you’ll want to be there to listen.
PLEASE JOIN US ON MONDAY NIGHT 01/25/10 AT 7:00 SHARP FOR A SPECIAL SCREENING OF THE DOCUMENTARY “THE BALLAD OF RAMBLIN’ JACK”.
FREE OF CHARGE!
One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.
“Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you’re about to meet right now. He’s got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.”
– Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969.
Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.
In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.
“His tone of voice is sharp, focused and piercing. All that and he plays the guitar effortlessly in a fluid flat-picking perfected style. He was a brilliant entertainer…. Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them. Jack went out and grabbed you….. Jack was King of the Folksingers.” – Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One
There are no degrees of separation between Jack and the real thing. He is the guy who ran away from his Brooklyn home at fourteen to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a cowboy. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of This Land Is Your Land, The Dust Bowl Ballads, and a wealth of children’s songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, “Jack sounds more like me than I do.”
In 1954, along with folksinging pals Frank Robinson and Guy Carawan, Jack journeyed south through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. He later made this the basis for his talking song, 912 Greens.
In 1955 Jack married and traveled to Europe, bringing his genuine American folk, cowboy and blues repertoire and his guitar virtuosity, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton.
When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan at Woody Guthrie’s bedside, and mentored Bob. Jack has continued as an inspiration for every roots-inspired performer since.
Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree.
He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.
In 1995, Ramblin’ Jack received his first of four Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for South Coast (Red House Records).
In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts, proclaiming, “In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin’ Jack has himself become an American treasure.”
In 2000, Jack’s daughter, filmmaker, Aiyana Elliott produced and directed The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, her take on Jack’s life and their fragile relationship, winning a Special Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival.
Through it all—though agents, managers, wives and recording companies have tried—Jack resisted being molded into a commercial commodity. He played his shows without a written set list or including any songs that did not ring with his gut feeling of what mattered to him.
Ramblin’ Jack’s life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune. Ramblin’ Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people.
At seventy-seven, Ramblin’ Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You’ll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.
Better yet, find him in at the Martin Hotel in Winnemucca on January 26.
Our friend Saul Kaye, from over in the “Bay Area”, is coming back to Winnemucca. Saul is a guy we really admire. He is a very gifted musician, a great songwriter, has a wonderfully warm stage presence, and each time he has come to the Martin he’s brought a strong band and a wonderful groove. It is very easy to tell that Saul Kaye loves what he is doing.
Now, the interesting thing is, Saul is coming this time to play a solo show. He has been moved to create a whole new suitcase full of blues tunes around his Jewish Heritage, and he’s coming to Winnemucca to try them out on you.
We hope you will join us.
$10 Tickets are on sale now at The Martin Hotel, Nature’s Corner and Global Coffee.
Here is a post about Saul’s new music, written by an Actual Journalist:
Saul Kaye funnels his communions into ‘Jewish Blues’
By Gabe Meline
At age two, Saul Kaye glued his head to the stereo speakers in his family living room, and one could make the argument that he’s never really unglued himself. In fact, as a teenager, his only weekly ritual was tuning into a radio show called The Blues Train , which played Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Son House and other greats from 8pm to 6am while Kaye played along.
Saul Kaye’s new album, Jewish Blues , is the product of two life-altering communions, the first being playing along every week to the radio. His second came at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, where after a period of falling away from his Jewish upbringing, Kaye says, “I went to Israel in my 20s and had a classic ‘wall’ experience. I was at the wall, with my family, and felt a strong reconnection.” <more>
On her way from California to New York where she will appear in the new upcoming Broadway play “The First Wives Club,” Victoria Matlock has agreed to present a concert in Winnemucca. The concert is scheduled for 7pm on the evening of September 8th and will be at the Martin Hotel. Tickets are available at the Martin and Nature’s Corner at a cost of $10.
Some reviewers of The First Wives Club have had this to say:
TheatreMania — “an impressive Victoria Matlock”
Talkin’ Bway — “Matlock has a terrific voice”
The music in the Winnemucca concert will primarily come from The Marvelous ‘Wonderettes,’ Ms Matlock’s last play. Wonderettes features popular music songs from the fifties and sixties including such old favorites as: “Mr. Sandman,” “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Lipstick on Your Collar.” Ms. Matlock was a member of the original cast of ‘Wonderettes’ and appears in the original cast recording (available from Amazon).
In her ten years as a professional actress Victoria Matlock has played in numerous other productions including:
Wicked (she played Elphaba, the lead in the national tour),
Evita (National Tour),
The Full Monty (National Tour),
Cats (Grizabella, who sings ‘Memories’),
The Sound of Music,
Baby Case, and more.
In 2007 she sang the National Anthem at a nationally televised game of the Boston Red Sox.
Ms Matlock is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado where she majored in musical theater and computer science. Like other actresses she primarily lives ‘on the road,’ but she is officially a resident of Winnemucca where she owns a home. More information about her is available on her web site: www.victoriamatlock.com.
For this performance Ms. Matlock will be accompanied on the piano by long term Winnemucca resident Jeannette Jones.
There will be time between songs for the audience to ask questions. Here is an opportunity for young people (or the young at heart) interested in the stage to learn from a professional about the New York scene, auditioning, finding an agent, education, etc.
This concert is being presented under the joint sponsorship of Great Basin Arts and Entertainment and the White Sage Theater. The text of this press release was created by Victoria’s very proud father, John Matlock of Winnemucca. John is the primary producer of the plays staged and performed by the White Sage Theater.
Ray Abshire is one of Cajun music’s purest accordionists and vocalists and a living link to it’s very roots. A member of one of Louisiana’s legendary musical families, Ray grew up surrounded by Cajun music’s pioneer artists. He has performed with most all of the old masters whose recordings now form the texts for students of today. In 1975, while at the pinnacle of Cajun music as accordionist with the legendary “Balfa Brothers Band” and helping to open windows for Cajun music in the nation’s musical consciousness, Ray left the bandstand. Abshire’s return to the stage has been hailed by both critics and fans alike. He is once again at the forefront and sharing his knowledge and skills with a new generation.
Recognized as a master musician and one of the resurgence leaders of Cajun music, Ray now enjoys conducting workshops, teaching at music camps and performing at major festivals both nationally and abroad. Ray’s music is unfiltered and has it’s own wholesome electricity. He plays it the way it was handed down to him and understands the importance of preserving one of this nation’s great “folk” musics. Each and every time you attend a Ray Abshire performance you are guaranteed the “real deal”!