Friday, April 27, 2012: Jeni and Billy

Jeni and Billy

“This is either the most sophisticated simple music or the simplest sophisticated music I’ve ever heard.”

That comment, heard after a Jeni & Billy performance, sums up the appeal of the duo’s “New Old Music.” With exquisitely spare accompaniment and performances that are never rushed, Jeni & Billy’s harmonies harken to a lost time and reverberate with a rare honesty, as they inhabit the lives of miners, preachers, ramblers, lovers, and plain-living folks.  Their music is quiet enough to be heard and just loud enough to be unforgettable.

Sharing the duties of songwriting, arranging, and performing, Jeni & Billy bring to the work very distinct musical backgrounds that both draw from the deep well of Appalachian roots music.

In recent years it’s been practically considered a given that the writing of coal-mining songs is a thing of the past, but lo and behold, along comes an album of new songs related to, or inspired by, the coal-mining lifestyle. Jeni Hankins is the granddaughter of coal miners, so she is well steeped in the tradition. Her mournful vocals compare favorably with other Appalachian old-time folks singers . . . the accompaniment is always very spare, and the performances are never rushed . . . Jewell Ridge Coal is a very worthy addition to a genre that may not be so antiquated after all. – Paul-Emile Comeau – Dirty Linen

Jeni and Billy call their music “New Old Music” on their facebook page and that is just what it is. Jeni and Billy write their own songs, but in the style of traditional country, Appalachian, old-time, country blues, bluegrass and folk music. Jeni was born in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia and traces her vocal style to Virginia Lowe, the blind music minister of the Friendly Chapel Church on Smith Ridge, VA. Billy grew up in Baltimore but spent his weekend nights high atop a hill in the nearby community of Oella — the home of Appalachian migrants who came to the city looking for work in the mills. There, among people much like Jeni’s grandparents, he fell in love with country music.

Steeped in roots of traditional music, Jeni and Billy perform their songs and tell their stories with heartfelt grace and genuine warmth that will reach anyone who hears them.

I first discovered Jeni and Billy online and then got to hear them in person at Folk Alliance, both in Memphis and at FAR-West, the Western Regional Folk Alliance conference. Regular attendees of house concerts know the close connection between musicians and audience members in general. Jeni and Billy exemplify that warmth. When I first met them in person, it felt like we had been friends for a long, long time, instead of just online correspondents.

Please join us for an evening of wonderful, unique music and warm friendship and camaraderie. You’ll be glad you came.

Listen to Monica Gomez’ October 2, 2010 interview with Jeni on her “State of the Arts” show on KTEP-FM.

https://www.facebook.com/jeniandbilly
http://www.jeniandbilly.com

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, please contact Lee at 575-571-9178 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

March 31, 2012: Tumbledown House

Tumbledown House

Gambling. Murder. Booze. Bicycles……

The music of Tumbledown House has been described as “gritty saloon jazz”, “modern speakeasy music”, and “Tom Waits in a cocktail dress”. Sultry vocalist Gillian Howe and the eclectic indie-jazz guitar work of Tyler Ryan Miller are Tumbledown House. Their music could provide the soundtrack for raucous, prohibition-themed parties and has “quickly ascended as one of the new, promising acts of the Rocky Mountain region” (Pop Rocket Press). I got to see their premiere showcase at Folk Alliance – I guarantee a rollicking fun time!

Tumbledown House has a brand new release (their second) called “Fables and Falsehoods”. The new album explores diverse subject matter (one song is based on the original story of Pinocchio written by Carlo Collodi in 1883, another describes the only consecrated shrine dedicated to unrepentant sinners, which still stands in Tucson, Arizona) and showcases the duo’s talent for creating something vintage and familiar, yet refreshing, distinct, and exciting.

http://tumbledownhouse.com

http://www.reverbnation.com/tumbledownhouse

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tumbledown-House/98240668904

Suggested artist donation $15

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

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

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-571-9178 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Saturday, February 25, 2012: Antje Duvekot

Antje pearl necklace hi res
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 575-571-9178 or by e-mail at lasalturashouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Saturday, February 4, 2011: Hungrytown

Hungrytown

Hungrytown is the band name of celebrated musical duo Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson. Their deceptively simple compositions are rooted firmly in folk tradition; “in fact, Hungrytown’s music offers such an aura of authenticity–in titles and in tunes–it could be easily mistaken for original trad transcripts,” declares Lee Zimmerman of Performing Songwriter, and Rachel Nones of the Feminist Review raves “Hungrytown is American folk music at its zenith.” Early reviews of the CD have landed the group daily airplay on XM Radio’s “The Village,” and Hungrytown songs are beginning to appear on playlists across the country, including Boston’s WUMB, New York’s WFUV and Philadelphia’s WXPN.

In Hungrytown, things are not always what they seem. In “Rose or the Briar,” a Carter-Family-style parlor ballad, a young man is drawn to a beautiful girl, but finds her lovely appearance offset by her prickly disposition. “One Morning in May,” conjuring ’60s-era folk rock, begins with a soldier marching confidently off to what he thinks will be an quick and easy victory, only to find himself mired in an endless and pointless war. The metaphorical heart of the album, “Hungrytown Road,” is a bluegrass waltz depicting a poor girl’s longing to discover her potential beyond the boundaries of her limited and difficult life. Indeed, each character in Hungrytown is a resident–the variety of musical styles reflect each of their personalities, trials and perils. Hungrytown is a place where many of us have been, and where many of us still live.

And now Hungrytown has a new CD out, “Any Forgotten Thing.”
Read all about it in this New York Music Daily review: http://newyorkmusicdaily.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/hungrytown/.

Please come join us for a wonderful evening of music and friendship. Ken and Rebecca are good friends (this is our third time hosting them) and you will enjoy their music and their warmth as people.

http://hungrytown.net
https://www.facebook.com/Hungrytown
http://www.myspace.com/hungrytown

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, January 21, 2012: Hard Road Trio: Steve Smith, Chris Sanders and Anne Luna

Las Alturas House Concerts is proud to present The Hard Road Trio (Steve Smith, Chris Sanders and Anne Luna). Many of you are already familiar with the Hard Road Trio, or a least Steve and Chris. For those who have seen them recently, you already know they just keep getting better.

Steve is a virtuoso on mandolin, guitar and banjo and a fine singer and songwriter, internationally known as a performer and teacher. Chris is a singer and songwriter and guitarist and teacher, but that doesn’t convey the beauty of her soaring voice. Anne Luna is one of my favorite bass players, as well as a singer and songwriter. Her playing (on a full size acoustic bass several times bigger than she is) adds a rich, full sound to the trio, always tastefully supporting the music.

Steve, Chris and Anne are each fine musicians on their own. As a trio, they are even more than the sum of the parts. Regular touring over the last couple years has tightened up their playing. Beautiful harmonies, tight ensemble playing and blistering instrumental solos make for an exciting show.

We are looking forward to a great evening to kick off the last few shows at Las Alturas House Concerts. Please come share in the music and company. RSVP via email or phone and we will see you soon!

http://www.desertnight.com/steve-smith-and-chris-sanders.html
http://www.reverbnation.com/stevesmithandhardroad

Details:

Saturday, January 21, 7:00 p.m.

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.

Please RSVP to Lee at lasalturashouseconcerts@gmail.com
or by phone: 575-522-5197.

Suggested artist donation $20

20120108-124304.jpg

Saturday, December 3, 2011: Kate MacLeod


Kate McLeod

Backed by her own guitar, fiddle, and harmonica, Kate MacLeod sings of life with both deceptive subtlety and uncompromising power.
“Kate MacLeod would take the breath away from any audience. She appeals to fans of bluegrass, Celtic and traditional American folk music,
with elements of each being revealed in her performance. Listeners are engaged by the richness and maturity of her original material.
While challenging enough for seasoned folk aficionados, her music remains accessible to less experienced ears. Count on a magical show.
I couldn’t have expected anything better.” -Bill Beneke, Princeton Coffeehouse, Princeton, IL

I can personally attest to all of these comments. When I first got to hear Kate perform at a Folk Alliance Showcase, I knew I wanted
to book her. I caught her in the hall outside the showcase room and we decided to book a show. It took a couple years, but now I can
share Kate’s amazing talents with you.

http://www.katemacleod.com/
http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=88743
http://www.youtube.com/user/macleodkate

Details:
Saturday, December 3, 7:00 p.m.
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.<br /
Please RSVP to Lee at lasalturashouseconcerts@gmail.com
or by phone: 575-522-5197.
Suggested artist donation $15

Thursday, October 20, 2011: Sarah McQuaid


Sarah McQuaid

Renowned for her warm, engaging stage presence, Sarah McQuaid is a versatile and beguiling performer.
In addition to her own elegantly crafted originals, she interprets traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs,
Elizabethan ballads, 1930s jazz numbers, surprise covers and lively guitar instrumentals with panache and poignance.

Her deliciously earthy voice delivers a powerful emotional punch that’s matched by her distinctive, eloquent guitar style.
Add this to wonderful storytelling and a genuinely heartfelt rapport with her audience, and you have all the ingredients of a great night out.

http://www.sarahmcquaid.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sarahmcquaidmusic
http://www.reverbnation.com/sarahmcquaid
http://sarahmcquaid.bandcamp.com
http://www.youtube.com/sarahmcquaid

Details:
Saturday, August 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.
Please bring potluck food and wine to share.
Please RSVP to Lee at lasalturashouseconcerts@gmail.com
or by phone: 575-522-5197
Suggested artist donation $15

Saturday, September 24, 2011: Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman is a triple threat. An accomplished writer, she infuses her music with wit and wisdom, exploring the many facets of the human heart. Stephanie’s songs are sometimes sad, sometimes sassy, but always stunning. As a vocalist, she moves effortlessly from her up-tempo bluegrass originals (featuring her fiery fiddling), to a soothing honey-sweet ballad, to a rousing passionate anthem. While her first-rate fiddling combines elements of bluegrass and jazz, in her essence there is tribute to such masters as Stephane Grappelli, Byron Berline, and Johnny Gimble. One thing’s for sure, if Stephanie Bettman is on the bill, you are in for an unforgettable performance that will have you hooked from the first fiddle line to the last sweet harmony.

Touring with Stephanie is multi-instrumentalist Luke Halpin, who is equally adept on mandolin, fiddle and guitar. Inspired by the likes of Sam Bush, Tony Rice, and Mark O’Conner, Luke’s perfectly blended harmonies and his instrumental expertise together with Stephanie’s artistry and performance make for a dynamic experience audiences are discovering from coast to coast.

If you heard them on one of their earlier visits to Las Cruces, you already know all of this. So mark your calendar and come join us. If you haven’t heard Stephanie and Luke, you are in for a remarkable treat.

http://stephaniebettman.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1079164746

https://twitter.com/#!/stephaniebettma

https://www.facebook.com/lukehalpinmusic

https://twitter.com/#!/lukehalpin

Suggested artist donation $15

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

Please bring potluck food and wine to share.

For more information, please contact Lee at lasalturashouseconcerts@gmail.com or by phone: 575-522-5197

Saturday, August 20, 2011: Jan Seides

Jan Seides

Jan Seides (pronounced Sigh-deez) has won major awards in regional to national songwriting competitions. Her songs combine down-home honesty with up-town sophistication, and have been described as Nanci Griffith meets Broadway.  Jan holds a Music degree from University of Texas. Her unique musical background includes a degree from University of Texas, School of Music. There she studied piano and composition, exploring folk, classical, jazz, pop, rock and country. She is a spellbinding storyteller in both word and song.

http://www.janseides.com/

Details:
Saturday, August 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.
Please bring potluck food and wine to share.
Please RSVP to Lee at lasalturashouseconcerts@gmail.com
or by phone: 575-522-5197
Suggested artist donation $15