Sunday, September 15th, 2013: Jeni and Billy

Jeni and Billy Grinning

You have to watch where you sit at a Jeni and Billy concert, because that ordinary-looking chair might just turn into the back seat of a big ole Buick hurtling down the switchback of a coal truck road.

Or that chair might turn out to be the rock-hard sinners pew of a white-washed mountain church. That couch might be a marble stoop on a gritty street in Baltimore, and that velvet theater cushion could just be the well-worn driver’s seat of a wagon headed across the windswept Texas plains.

The high twang of a banjo starts it off — or maybe the mournful lilt of the mandolin. Then, a train comes barreling down the reeds of a harmonica. The guitar catches fire and lifts two voices into the high lonesome harmonies of the Appalachian Mountains, painting pictures of miners and millworkers, roustabouts and revival preachers, Buicks and beauty queens.

Asheville, North Carolina, antiquarian map dealer John Ptak captured the spirit of Jeni and Billy, “I knew within 10 seconds that you guys were for real . . . Jeni’s voice is that clear Mother-M kind of quality that I love. I like the music you two make — inspired, true-to-your roots, spare (excellent) guitar. I like silent places in music . . . Quiet, silent places give you time to listen, and also time to think — they are vastly underrated.”

Jeni and Billy bring together original traditional Appalachian ballads from Jeni’s home environment with modern folk performance to produce a unique sound — hearkening back to music from those hills and valleys but with a newer sense of musicality. As people and performers, Jeni and Billy radiate the warmth and open hearts of community, just perfect for the intimacy of a house concert.

This show will be our third time hosting Jeni and Billy and we are just tickled to have them back! We think you’ll love them, too! Check out their music at the links below.

Note: Since this is a Sunday show, we are starting half an hour early.

Music at 7:00 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:00 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musicians.)

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