Saturday, June 25, 2011: Jennings and Keller

Jennings and Keller on Porch Steps
Jennings and Keller is Laurie Jennings Oudin and Dana Keller, an acoustic duo based out of Miami, Florida. They bring a wealth of experience to their collaboration, from the Broadway musicals of New York to the honky tonks of West Texas. Their music is called “Fusion Folk Americana’ – a blend of many different elements that comes from their vast and wide-ranging musical backgrounds.

Laurie and Dana played Las Cruces at Judy Harmon’s Harmony House Concerts in June of 2008. I wrote a little review of their show at the time; it still applies and now you have another chance (or your first chance) to see them.

“Jennings and Keller just played my friend’s Harmony House Concert series in Las Cruces, NM this past weekend and put on a wonderful show. This duo from Florida plays and sings original songs of life, love and everything else. Laurie Jennings has a beautiful voice and plays a sweet guitar. Dana Keller plays outstanding dobro and sings very well. They put on a great show – great music and great sense of humor and interaction with the audience. I recommend them highly so please attend a show near you and/or pass the word to your friends.”

Check out their music at:

http://www.jenningsandkeller.com
http://www.facebook.com/jenningsandkeller
http://www.reverbnation.com/jenningsandkeller
http://www.youtube.com/jenningsandkeller

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, guests are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Saturday, May 21, 2011: Big Wide Grin

BWG Postcard
Big Wide Grin is the right name for this trio! When you hear them, you will have your own big wide grin! Their music and performance is joyful and uplifting, a mix of traditional and original music. This bi-coastal trio of Karl Werne, Elaine Dempsey and Lawrence Lambert from California and Virginia, bring diverse backgrounds of experience, music and theater together to form a rich, soulful blend of character and deep harmony. They are constantly on the move- whether at festivals, concert series, shows, or select house concerts and have shared the stage, collectively, with such artists as Janis Ian, Harriett Schock, Lowen & Navarro, Richie Havens, Bruce Hornsby and toured with legendary blues man Keb’ Mo’.

I saw Big Wide Grin in their Premiere Showcase at FAR-West (Western Region Folk Alliance) and was blown away by their performance. The opportunity to host them came up as the result of their being one of the winners of a contest sponsored by Concerts in Your Home. 30 artists submitted videos of their songs and 45 house concert hosts reviewed the entries and in multiple rounds, narrowed the top submissions down to 3 artists, each of whom won merchandise, cash and a house concert tour. Big Wide Grin’s tour is in the southwest, including Las Alturas House Concerts.

Born on the Mississippi, raised on the James, educated on the Appomattox and the Boneyard; Elaine has lived most of her life on the the Chesapeake and San Francisco Bays. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area from her home in Virginia with a desire and dedication to write. As a singer, songwriter and performer Elaine blends a background of folk, rock, gospel and blues to create a dynamic vocal and acoustic guitar style truly her own.

Raised on a farm in rural Virginia, Lambert started singing as a child with his twin brother and older twin brother and sister. Although the group could never replace the “Jackson Five,” it was a great way to spend those quiet nights in Pungo, Virginia. Music has always been a big part of Lambert’s life. Early piano lessons lead to the tenor sax and finally the show choir in high school. He found his voice again and the power of a well written song. Lambert continued to pursue his interests in music and theater at the University of Virginia. Although Lambert has developed the nickname “the Voice” for his unique vocal style; he wants nothing more than to write the kind of music that ‘helps someone to get over that broken heart; music that will make a difference and make the world better place.’ But, if you asked his mother, she would say that he should sing more in church.

Karl Werne has been entertaining the Hampton Roads area of Virginia Beach since he was 16 years old. Eight years with The Lewis McGehee Group and four years with his own Instant Karma have made Karl a local favorite with his versatile guitar work and smooth hypnotic vocals. Highlights of those years include touring as the opening act for Bruce Hornsby’s Grammy winning ‘The Way It Is Tour’ and numerous recordings still receiving airplay. When not on the road with BWG, Karl can be heard these days playing with saxophonist Eddie Williams and electric guitarist Curtis Eley.

“Big Wide Grin … Good singing. Great songs and the hardest working band in folk music.” Keb’ Mo’

“Take three supremely talented performers, throw in a generous portion of intelligent and heartfelt songwriting, add a dash of wit and charm, then sit yourself down to a spellbinding evening of top-notch entertainment with Big Wide Grin … guaranteed to put one on every face.” BJ Leiderman, theme composer, National Public Radio

“Big Wide Grin is well named. Their groove and their vibe will put a big smile on your face and in your heart.” Freebo, singer/songwriter, formerly Bonnie’s Raitt’s bass player

http://www.bigwidegrin.com
http://www.facebook.com/bigwidegrin

Suggested artist donation $20

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, guests are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Saturday, April 30, 2011 Beth Wood

Beth Wood
It’s taken a while to make the stars align, but we are blessed to host Beth Wood, a singer/songwriter with an amazing voice, great guitar playing and wonderful songs. She can rock the house as she does when singing the Star Spangled Banner to open baseball games or present a poignant, sensitive ballad in a small, sweet voice. But don’t just take my word for it:

“Folk singer-guitarist Beth Wood has such a dazzlingvoice it’s a mystery why she’s still just a cult artist.” – Dallas Morning News

“Beth Wood is a musical triple-threat — a thoughtful songwriter and talented multi-instrumentalist with a supple, soulful voice.” – The Washington Post

Picture a home-body with an ever-present wanderlust, an introvert with a passion for performing, a creative free-spirit with enough discipline to rework her dream year after year, calloused little hands and a big pile of curly hair…and you’ve got Beth Wood, modern-day troubadour. She won the 2005 Kerrville New Folk Contest, along with another dozen awards for her performances and songwriting at the national and regional level. I’m happy to brag on Beth as a friend, but the point is that Beth is widely recognized in the folk world for her songs, performance and spectacular vocal ability.

If you ask Beth to describe her music, she might just shrug. Some have called it folk, pop, folk-pop, country-folk, Americana, etc. Beth prefers to say it is soulful, organic, free-range, barefoot music delivered through a high energy communicator of joy. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls Beth “a superb singer-songwriter whose versatility discourages labeling.” Beth’s songs tell of life and love, stories of all kinds of folks she knows or has seen.

Beth is wonderful to be around – her joy and energy are contagious. Her performances are masterful and warm and personal at the same time. Please get in touch so you can be part of this wonderful evening.

http://www.bethwoodmusic.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Wood/157422938805
http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=26213
http://twitter.com/#!/bethwoodmusic
http://www.myspace.com/bethwoodmusiccom

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, guests are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Attendance is by invitation only. For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 Antje Duvecot

Antje Duvekot
Antje Duvekot is one of the brightest singer-songwriters to rise out of Boston’s competitive acoustic music scene. Her second studio album, “The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer” on Black Wolf Records was released in 2009 (she has a new live album out since then). Antje chose one of her favorite songwriters, Richard Shindell to produce the album. Richard lent his talent to the record and brought in well respected musicians such as John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky and Victor Krauss.

“What a blessing to have worked with someone as talented as Antje. With a voice like hers, and songs as good as these, a producer (especially a first-time producer!) just tries to get out of the way, to do no harm, and to let the artist speak for herself.” – Richard Shindell

“The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer” demonstrates why, according to The Boston Globe, “Antje Duvekot’s provocative, dark-eyed ballads are becoming the talk of the folk world. Duvekot has gotten hotter, faster than any local songwriter in recent memory.” The songs on the album reflect both Duvekot’s personal journeys and her observations of those of others. Antje remarks “I’ve come to find that writing about someone else’s struggles or happiness feels just as cathartic as writing about my own.”

“As far as I can tell, Antje is the whole package… I’ve had this reaction once in the past 10 years, and that was the first time I heard Patty Griffin… Antje has proven once again that she ranks with the most intense and beautiful songwriter on the planet”- Dave Marsh former Editor of Rolling Stone and XM/ Sirius Satellite Host

Along with 7 new songs, Antje and Richard decided to add studio versions of some of her best known songs such as, “Merry Go Round”, which was used in a Bank of America national TV ad campaign as well as radio favorite “Long Way”. “Since I first recorded this older material live, I have become a better performer”, Antje explains “I decided to revive the songs that were worthy and produce them properly so that I should not be such a bad mother to them”.

Singer songwriter Ellis Paul says “Antje is the rare artist that can write about the social and the personal in the same breath. She is as understated as she is wise and her songs go down mentally as well as soulfully. Her voice has a sound of innocence and naivety which makes razor sharp insights into the human condition.”

Neil Dorfsman, the producer of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sting says, “When I first heard Antje I knew I was witnessing something very special. She creates an entire, detailed world in verse, and takes you there with beautiful and understated melody. Her songs are stunning paintings of color and shade and always generate the heat and light that real art should. In an unpoetic and ‘in your face’ world, she is lyrical and subtle.”

http://antjeduvekot.com
http://www.facebook.com/AntjeDuvekotMusic

Suggested artist donation $20

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Thursday, March 3, 2011: Bill and Kate Isles

Bill and Kate Isles

Bill and Kate Isles are wonderful musicians and performers. They are also two of the nicest people I know. It is a great pleasure and privilege to be able to host them again. They bring a personal warmth and romantic sensibility that will lift even the most cynical spirit. Their songs cover a variety of topics, most telling a story of life and its meaning.

Bill Isles (Duluth, MN) performed his first show of original songs in twenty-five years in February of 2000. Since that time, he has become one of the most well known singer/songwriters in the Minnesota acoustic scene and has been getting national and international attention.

His and Kate’s songs are poetic reflections of life experiences and often explore adventurous spiritual courses. Admittedly romantics, many of their lyrics focus on the joys of relationships, but others explore metaphorical worlds. Just when you conclude that a song is about Michelangelo’s first visit to scope out the project at the Sistine Chapel, you start to realize that, perhaps, this is also an artist’s perception of entering the “chapel” of his/her audience. But then, again, it also hints at personal interactions. It is this multi-layering that has drawn fans to listen over and over again. Words like “mesmerizing” and “transcendent” are common in descriptions of his live performances, not to mention, “very funny”, such as the response to “The Sutra (Comma) Minnesota Polka”.

Bill’s love of life has strong roots in his childhood, but his urgency to tell these stories comes from an experience in 1993 when, with just enough warning to drive himself to the hospital, his heart stopped beating. He arrived with just ten minutes to spare. After being defibrillated, and before the doctors had time to detect and open a blocked artery in his heart, he made a commitment to himself that, if he survived, he would begin to write again. Those paddles restarted more than his heart…

Highlights …
2001 – Winner of the 2001 Minnesota Folk Festival New Folk Songwriting Contest
2002 – Nominee for the 2002 Minnesota Music Awards Song of the Year for “I Can’t Take You Home” a duet with Becky Schlegel (From “Weightless” 2001)
2005 – Performance Alley Showcase Artist, Int’l Folk Alliance Conference, Montreal, QU
2008 – Main Stage Performance, Big Top Chautauqua, Mt. Ashwabay, WI
2008 – Formal Showcase Artists, Midwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference, Chicago, IL
2008 – Formal Showcase Artists, Far-Western Regional Folk Alliance Conference, Phoenix, AZ
2009 – WFMT-FM (NPR) FolkStage Concert, broadcast live in Chicago, replayed on XM Radio
2010 – “Matching Baggage” named one of “Top CDs of 2009” by multiple public radio stations

Kate Isles was a closet singer/songwriter, full-time wine representative and dedicated single-mom when she came to a CD release concert for Bill’s first CD, “Weightless” after hearing a radio interview. She bought the CD and signed up on his e-mail list. (“Grounds for marriage!” quips Bill)

Their relationship began soon afterwards with afternoon sessions with guitars, harmonies and coffee. They’ve been together ever since, marrying in May of 2004. While Bill initially toured solo, Kate is becoming an integral part of the act, with extensive duo touring planned for 2008 to support their upcoming duet album, “Matching Baggage” which will include several songs that they’ve co-written. The response has been very positive with many comments about the “perfect blend of two voices”. “I’m honored to hear such things,” said Kate, “it reflects the wonderful relationship that we’ve enjoyed.” They have toured as a duo full time, nationally, since early 2007.

Please join us for an evening of music and friendship.

http://www.billandkateisles.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Kate-Isles/41840768863
http://www.reverbnation.com/billkateisles
http://www.myspace.com/billisles

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Saturday, September 11, 2010: Caren Armstrong

Caren Armstrong at Freight and Salvage

I got to hear Caren Armstrong at FAR-West (the Folk Alliance Western Region conference) this past fall. I knew of her but I had never heard her perform. The power and joy of her performance was striking. I introduced myself after her showcase and offered to host her whenever we could make it work. It took about a year, but now we have the great fortune to host Caren at Las Alturas House Concerts.

Award winning singer/songwriter Caren Armstrong has been making “big buoyant music” since the tender age of ten years old. This dangerously honest, wickedly funny, and disarmingly vulnerable songwriter is “one of those rare musicians who plays and sings music from its bones on out. Caren’s work has a visceral and deeply satisfying impact, which is invariably garnished with great good humor.” – Steve Coyle, The Waybacks

“Caren has found a deeply original voice that the listener experiences as coming from within.” – Bay Area concert promoter Russ Jennings

She was awarded top honors at the Emerging Songwriter Showcase at the Napa Valley Music Festival, and the 15th Annual Songwriting Competition at the Tucson Folk Festival, and has been a finalist at the Rocky Mt. Folk’s Fest and the Wildflower Music and Arts Festival.

She is a member of Folk Alliance and was a featured showcase artist at the First Annual FARWest Folk Alliance conference in October 2004. The petite redhead’s soaring vocals, sophisticated guitar chops and dynamic performances have endeared her to fans nationwide.

These days Caren lives in Oakland, CA when she is home. In addition to her busy touring schedule, she is currently hosting her showcase, “Celebrating Songwriters” at the Larkspur Caf Theatre in Marin County. She is in high demand as a private guitar teacher. Caren has produced albums for artists such as the new acoustic string band Calevaras (who played at our series in June this year), art-folkie Lori B, as well as for Bay Area songwriters Rachel Garlin and Ilene Adar.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy her music – please check her out at the links below. Then RSVP for the show – you’ll be glad you did!

http://carenarmstrong.com
http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=116607
http://www.myspace.com/carenarmstrong2

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net.

Friday, August 20, 2010: Gabrielle Louise

Gabrielle Louise photo by Jim Farnam artworksphoto.net

Gabrielle Louise returns to Las Alturas House Concerts with her new album just completed. She just keeps getting better – new songs, astonishing vocals and a range of songs from tender ballads to scorching hot torch songs.

“Articulate and gifted, Gabrielle Louise…is an artist who comes to music from a literary vantage point, first and foremost…But the lyrics standing alone are only part of the story…As a vocalist Gabrielle Louise dives deep into her songs, exploring them in a warm, sturdy voice reminiscent at times of Joni Mitchell…especially in the falsetto flights and lower register swoops…She executes a captivating balance of heartache and resolve.” -David McGee, http://www.thebluegrassspecial.com has written for rolling stone, pro sound news, spin…currently the country music editor at barnesandnoble.com.

http://www.gabriellelouise.com/
http://www.myspace.com/gabriellelouisemusic
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gabrielle-Louise-Show/62475447325

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net.

Saturday, June 12, 2010: Ana Egge

Ana Egge
Ana Egge

Ana Egge has been forging her own path for over a decade now. In the tradition of her parents, who Ana says were “motorcycle-riding hippy farmers in North Dakota, who created the unconventional life they wanted,” Ana’s path as an artist has been much the same — challenging herself to follow her instincts rather than trying to fit into any particular mold. This honest approach has produced an impressive body of work and earned Ana a reputation as a musician’s musician, with unforgettable live performances and lyrics that paint vast landscapes and stories in her singular style. It’s no wonder she’s been compared to legends like Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. But, perhaps USA Today said it best when they wrote, “[Ana] can write and sing rings around” her contemporaries.

Ana filled the house when she played for us this past August and I expect this will be a sold out show as well, so please RSVP early to be sure you get a seat.

Ana Egge on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17127358

Ana Egge Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/anaegge
http://www.anaegge.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ana-Egge/51964832589

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net.

Saturday, November 14, 2009: Rachel Sedacca

Rachel Sedacca
Rachel Sedacca

Southern California is lucky to have singer-songwriter, performing, recording artist Rachel Sedacca call it home. Her country/blues songs and folksy ballads are full of colorful characters and stories of love and hope from her time on the road. She calls this blend bluesy folkabilly with a smile. We’re lucky to have her come and play for us!

Rachel’s diverse repertoire includes her Americana flavored originals, as well as some favorites that she says, “need to be sung”, including tunes from a variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Jimi Hendrix, Alison Krause, Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Gillian Welch and others.. Inspired by the Janis of all trades style of Bonnie Raitt as well as the sounds of Lucinda Williams and Sheryl Crow, Rachel points to years of Grateful Dead shows steeping her in an eclectic musical tea, appreciation for the fusing of genres and the ways of the road. That big smile in her pictures reflects the energy and joie de vivre at the core of her being.

http://www.rachelsedacca.com
http://www.myspace.com/rachelsedacca
http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=26115

$15 artist donation

Music starts at 7:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, you are welcome to bring wine or refreshments to share.

Reservations are required. For more information, contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 Gabrielle Louise

Gabrielle Louise
Gabrielle Louise

Gabrielle Louise is an Americana artist noted for her poignant lyrics (a two-time John Lennon Songwriting Contest finalist, winner of the Jack Maher Songwriting Award) and astonishing vocals. The daughter of two gypsy musicians, Gabrielle inherited the genetic predisposition to wanderlust and song.

“Articulate and gifted, Gabrielle Louise…is an artist who comes to music from a literary vantage point, first and foremost…But the lyrics standing alone are only part of the story…As a vocalist Gabrielle Louise dives deep into her songs, exploring them in a warm, sturdy voice reminiscent at times of Joni Mitchell…especially in the falsetto flights and lower register swoops…She executes a captivating balance of heartache and resolve.” -David McGee, http://www.thebluegrassspecial.com has written for rolling stone, pro sound news, spin…currently the country music editor at barnesandnoble.com.

http://www.gabriellelouise.com/
http://www.myspace.com/gabriellelouisemusic

Suggested artist donation $15

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net.