CONCERTS

JUST ANNOUNCED!
2014 Americana Honors and Awards nominee for
“Emerging Act of the Year” 

If you love Paul Thorn and Lyle Lovett…
We’re giving a 100% guarantee you’ll LOVE Parker Millsap!

Parker Millsap
Tuesday, Oct. 7, Doors at 7:00 PM
Hotel Congress, Copper Hall
311 E. Congress St., Downtown Tucson

Tickets $10 adv/$12 day of show
PURCHASE Tickets HERE
Artist website HERE
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An Oklahoma native brought up in the Pentecostal church, which he’s since departed, 21-year-old Parker Millsap will make you a true believer with his self-titled Oklahoma Records/ Thirty Tigers debut album. Accompanied by his collaborators, high school buddy Michael Rose on bass and fiddle-player Daniel Foulks, the young tunesmith delivers his religious-laced parables, character-driven narratives and relationship tales with the fire-and-brimstone fervor of a preacher, restoring our faith in the power of song.

Millsap’s songs teeter on the fine line between gospel and the blues, sin and redemption, God and the devil, heaven and hell… from the pulpit to the back pew.

Millsap grew up listening to church hymns, while his dad, an electrician and music fan, turned him on to story-telling folk and blues artists like Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt.

His memorable creations include the wife-murdering bible-thumper of “Old Time Religion,” the self-made church-on-wheels minister in “Truck Stop Gospel,” the questioning believer of “When I Leave,” the meth cooks in “Quite Contrary” and the gambler who spends all his money buying lottery tickets in “Yosemite.” Filled equally with ghosts and guilt, as well as an objectivity that invites listeners to paint themselves in each picture,

I’m not trying to criticize the church,” explains Millsap about his still-strong attraction towards the music he first heard there. “I already have a guilty conscience, which only gets magnified when you are brought up in that sort of environment, and it can do weird things to you. My songs show what happens to people when things go wrong within that belief system, and they are unable to handle it.”

“It’s up to the listener to figure out where they sit,” says Millsap of his song’s characters. “Whether they’re questioning faith, or very devout, will certainly color their judgment. Some people think I’m being cynical about religion, while others praise me for showing the love of God. Then there are those who appreciate my objectivity in leaving the decision to them. Most of my favorite pieces of art don’t try to attach any moral.”

 



An Evening with CHRIS SMITHER
Thursday, Oct. 16, Doors at 7:00 PM
Hotel Congress, Copper Hall
311 E. Congress St., Downtown Tucson

Tickets $25 advance, $28 day of show
PURCHASE TICKETS  ONLINE HERE
Outlets- Hotel Congress, Lobby.
Antigone Books, 411 N 4th Ave.
Dark Star Leather, 2940 N Swan Rd. 

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Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original.

‘Still On the Levee’, released on July 22, 2014 is a career-spanning retrospective double CD. Recorded in New Orleans with studio-mates, The Motivators, Still On the Levee plays host to special guests including Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III. The record highlights the vast catalog of an American music master.

Reviewers and fans from around the world agree that Chris is a profound songwriter, a blistering guitarist and, as he puts it, a ‘one-man band to the bone!’ Chris melds the guitar styles of his two major influences, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt, into his own signature sound. His music continues to draw deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers.

‘Link Of Chain’, a tribute album of Chris Smither originals with stellar versions by Dave Alvin, Tim O’Brien, Bonnie Raitt, Josh Ritter, Loudon Wainwright III, Jorma Kaukonen, Eilen Jewell and others will be released on September 16, 2014.

Smither, a folk-blues singer-songwriter admired and covered by vocalists such as Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris, grew up in New Orleans and told illuminating stories about trying to be a solo cat in a saxophone and trombone city in the Sixties – learning from Lightnin’ Hopkins records and the New Orleans-based bluesman Babe Stovall – then running with fellow New Dylans like Townes Van Zandt.

David Fricke, Rolling Stone, May 1, 2014


 

An Evening with SLAID CLEAVES
Thursday, Oct. 30, Doors at 7:00 PM
Hotel Congress, Copper Hall
311 E. Congress St., Downtown Tucson

Tickets $20 advance, $25 day of show
PURCHASE TICKETS  ONLINE HERE
Outlets- Hotel Congress, Lobby
Antigone Books, 411 N 4th Ave.
Dark Star Leather, 2940 N Swan Rd.

Slaid Cleaves returns to Tucson after sold-out concerts in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

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Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter’s “Still Fighting the War” spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves’ seamless collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled. Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. “Slaid’s a craftsman,” says Terri Hendrix, who sings harmony on “Texas Love Song.” “He goes about his songs like a woodworker.”

Accordingly, Cleaves’ earthy narratives stand oak strong. “Men go off to war for a hundred reasons/But they all come home with the same demons,” he sings on his latest album’s title track. “Some you can keep at bay for a while/Some will pin you to the floor/You’ve been home for a couple of years now, buddy/But you’re still fighting the war.” Few writers frame bruised souls as clearly. Fewer still deliver a punch with such striking immediacy.

“I started ‘Still Fighting the War’ four years ago and originally each verse was a separate character,” Cleaves explains. “Each verse was about getting swindled. One was about the economy, one was about a returning veteran, one was about a broken-up couple. It was too cumbersome, so I focused in on the soldier. The key that made it all work came as I was talking to my friend and occasional co-writer, Ron Coy. A troubled Vietnam vet buddy of his had recently passed away. Ron said, ‘All this time, it was like he was still fighting the war.’ I knew instantly that was the perfect way to summarize the song.”

Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout his latest release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors. “Normally when I start writing a new batch, a theme starts to emerge after three or four songs,” says Cleaves, who built an unlikely success story from scratch after moving to Austin, Texas, from Maine two decades ago. “This time around I thought, I’m just gonna write where the muse takes me and each song will be its own thing. So I ended up with a CD that has a bit more variety on it compared to my previous releases. Half the songs are about struggle and perseverance and half are all over the place, some tongue-in-cheek stuff, a gospel song, a Texas pride song.”

Called, “one of the finest songwriters from Texas,” by the New York Times, Slaid knows a thing or two about perseverance. For 25 years he’s been working his craft and he just keeps getting better. Cleaves is a winner of the prestigious New Folk Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival, an award previously given to such artists as Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen and Steve Earle. 

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