Ordinary Elephant — Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Extraordinary Nomadic Roots/Folk
with Ordinary Elephant
Thursday, February 8 at 7:00PM

Photo by Richard Herron Studios, http://herronstudios.smugmug.com

“Their harmonies, singing, the whole presentation…as genuine as it gets”

–  Lloyd Maines

Ordinary Elephant will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on February 8 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Kerri and Stefan Szabo (National Park Radio). Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Brought to the Lyric Theater by the Crooked Creek Concert Association, Ordinary Elephant captivates listeners with their well-honed combination of insightful writing, effortless harmonies and intertwined clawhammer banjo and guitar. Husband and wife duo Crystal and Pete Damore have been performing together since 2011, but their 2017 sophomore release ‘Before I Go’ established them nationally and internationally. Quickly receiving the support of the folk community, the album reached No. 2 on the Folk DJ Chart for January of this year with their opening track ‘Best of You,’ not only setting the tone of the record, but capturing the No. 3 Song of the Month slot, and also secured them slots as a 2017 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist and Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist. Crystal and Pete have lived the song’s message—being moved to create, perform, and put everything into what they do.

‘Before I Go’ is also exciting European ears. Upon his review of the album, Dani Heyvaert of Rootstime.be said “I remember when Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were here for the first time…I suspect that this couple is going to play in the same league in the foreseeable future.”

These were particularly welcome words given that it was Gillian’s playing that led to Ordinary Elephant’s particular configuration. From an early age Pete has been a guitarist, but once Welch’s “Hard Times” came across his car stereo speakers, the banjo beckoned. The realization of how well the clawhammer style he was unearthing complemented Crystal’s lyrically rooted singer-songwriter approach was a happy accident at the kitchen table one night, which led to many more nights of collaboration.

…their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together.
– Bill Aspinwall, Texas Music Journal

This collaboration of husband and wife, their connection, and their influences (such as Guy Clark, Darrell Scott, Anais Mitchell, Mary Gauthier, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West) all meet on stage. You see it, hear it, and then you find

Photo by Kerry Scherck Photography, http://www.kerrysherckphotography.com/

yourself truly feeling it. Pete’s understated, melodic and mellow banjo weaves through Crystal’s steady and clean rhythm guitar, and poetic lyrics are purposefully delivered in rich harmony, “like their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together.” (Bill Aspinwall, Texas Music Journal)

After growing up a state apart, Crystal in Louisiana and Pete in Texas, the two found each other at a weekly songwriter night in Bryan, Texas in late 2009. After a couple of years of co-writing and developing their sound, Ordinary Elephant brought their music to Houston with a move in late 2011. They recorded their 2013 debut album ‘Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes’ there, which garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards. Today, they happily call the road home after shedding most of their possessions in 2014 to take on nomadic life. Living full-time in a van and travel trailer with their dogs, they are exploring the country, creating, and uncovering attentive audiences with which to share the conversation of their music.

I’m impressed by many things, but mostly by the songwriting style…[the lyrics are] very economical and stripped down, but seem to effortlessly evoke the kind of poignancy and emotion someone expects of artists with more salt on their shoulders.

– Chuck Hawthorne

Ordinary Elephant will perform at the Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater on February 8 at 7:00PM, with special guest opener Kerri and Stefan Szabo (National Park Radio). Tickets are available in advance for $10; at the door, they will be $15. 

Listening to Ordinary Elephant live was a real treat. Tight harmonies, solid songwriting, and an overall musical experience comparable to the best of T Bone Burnett
– Ray Younkin

 tickets

Ray Bonneville — Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

“North Americana” — Quebec to Boston to NOLA to Harrison, Arkansas…
Ray Bonneville Returns to the Lyric!
Tuesday, February 13 at 7PM 

Photo by Rodney Burseil Photography, https://rodneybursielphotography.com/

“Ray Bonneville is THE one songwriter you need if you love to get lost in words. Words that create pictures like the best movies you’ve never seen. Stark. Honest. Stripped to the bone.”   –  John Hahn

The poetry, the raw honesty of heart and voice and instrument that is Ray Bonneville, is headed back to The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks, Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

Red House recording artist Ray Bonneville is a blues poet of the demimonde whose acclaimed performance groove is the product of a unique, electric guitar style, unrivaled harmonica tone, smoky vocal and unwavering foot percussion. A native French Canadian, Ray is a celebrated songwriter and lives in Austin, Texas. He plays more than 150 shows a year in the US, Canada, and Europe. His performances are riveting and deep, yet full of humor and joy.

Ray has created and mastered a fusion of traditional American Roots and Blues music all his own and deeply influenced by his upbringing in French Canada and the years he spent writing and playing music in New Orleans. He is known as the master of the slow burn, the groove, and is one of the best harmonica players alive today.

Honing his songwriting craft for the last 35 years, “Bonneville’s raw, tell-it-like-it-is storytelling style has won him critical acclaim” (Jim Blum, “Ray Bonneville: True-to-Life Troubadour” NPR Music – Favorite Sessions, May 28, 2008). He has “shared the stage with blues heavyweights B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale, and Robert Cray, and has been nominated for three Juno awards (Canada’s version of the Grammys), winning the 2000 Best Blues Album for his third album Gust of Wind (1999). His fourth release Rough Luck was also nominated, as was his 2004 Red House debut Roll It Down. Since then, his star has been on the rise, with his award-winning release Goin’ By Feel, his folk-charting cover of Bob Dylan’s song “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” (featured on A Nod to Bob 2: An Artists Tribute to Bob Dylan on His 70th Birthday).

In 2009, Ray won the Folk Alliance International Song of the Year award for I Am the Big Easy, featuring post-Katrina New Orleans, and in 2012, he won the International Blues Challenge solo category in Memphis. Having released Easy Gone in 2014, Ray announced this past Summer that he would be releasing a new album in the near future, so he brings to the Lyric’s stage both his previous treasury of great songwriting and what is currently inspiring him to write and perform, so we are in for a great show in Harrison!

Ray is a hard driving, blues dipped, song and groove man who writes about people who live on the fringe of society with a vibe that is loose and soulful. With a greasy guitar style, horn-like harmonica, smoky vocals and pulsing foot percussion he rivets audiences. As John Hahn has said,

Ray Bonneville is the master of rainy nights, of black and white footage of bar lights going out as a man turns up his collar and heads home alone. He captures the outsider inside all of us.


Ray’s last appearance at the Lyric was in 2010, so it’s been a long, long wait for us, but the Ozark Arts Council is pleased and proud to present the hard-driving honesty of Ray Bonneville in a special Tuesday night performance at 7:00 on February 13. Tickets are now available.

“Ray Bonneville is like gunpowder and opium.”
–  Ray Wylie Hubbard

 

tickets

An Evening with Albert Cummings — Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Gritty Blues from and for the Working Man Albert Cummings Returns to the Lyric!
Friday, March 23 at 7PM 

The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does[…]. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.” – Guitar Edge Magazine

Blues-rock guitar in all its glory is headed back to the historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy.  Taken with Albert’s fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

From these blues greats to Merle Haggard to Led Zeppelin, Albert’s influences coalesce in lyrics that display a country/working man’s sensibility and the guitar virtuosity that rock fans love—a style that covers the best of hard-driving blues, slides comfortably over to intricate ballads, and comes charging right back again “with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness…his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, September 23, 2016, 7pm

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

 “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” to the deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc, Albert’s songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, “This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings’ guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old “little jewel box” – that’s what James Taylor calls it – that’s hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert’s incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.”

Music Connection called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time” and Blurt added, “Cummings’ first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist’s axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.”

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings’ next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

“An Evening with Albert Cummings” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Friday, March 23 at 7:00PM Tickets are now available.

 

tickets

POSTPONED: Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman: Traditional Celtic Music, Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing with Harp and Guitar — Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7pm — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman:
Celtic Traditional, Baroque, Bluegrass, Swing
with Harp and Guitar
POSTPONED Due to Visa Problems Thursday, November 2 at 7:00PM 

The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland on Sunday) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fRoots) is coming to “The Roots Music Palace of the Ozarks,” Harrison, Arkansas’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00! Their performances—described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music”—are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit.

The children of the neighborhood teased Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her sister as they walked down the street. Her family in Brandon, West Cork, Ireland was the only one playing traditional music, so they would be teased for being out of step with the times. “We used to be laughed at by other kids because they thought we were being old hat, she says. But that first Planxty album let people see that traditional music could be modern and sophisticated, that it wasn’t some sort of hick music.” (Quoted from “Harping in the Traditions,” by Rob Adams.)

Not only her name (pronounced, Moyruh Nee Kha-huuh-sig), but her upbringing was in keeping with the traditional ways of the Gaelic-speaking Irish, her family featuring generations of musicians and poets carrying forward the folklore of her heritage. She and her sister, fiddler Nollaig Casey (Casey being the Anglicised version of Chathasaigh), were trained in both classical and folk music, both instrumental and vocal. While many worked at bringing forward the old music in new forms for pipes and fiddle, Máire revitalized the harp tradition virtually all by herself. “Since then, there’ve been lots of young people playing traditional music on the harp but there wasn’t anybody else playing when I was coming up,” she says. “If you played the pipes there were loads of recordings and a whole tradition to learn from. But I had nobody, just my ears, and I created techniques and ornaments, ways of doing things, and it was all done by trial and error, by myself. So if I got a lot of attention, it was because I was the first to do it.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)

Having become the first harpist to record an album primarily off Irish dance music in 1985, Máire first teamed up with English guitarist Chris Newman two years later. Celebrating their thirtieth anniversary of collaboration with their current tour of the United States, Máire and Chris will bring their internationally-heralded mastery of styles from traditional Celtic to Baroque to Swing along with a penchant for inventive soloing and challenging interaction between the artists to Harrison’s Lyric Theater for a 7:00 performance on Thursday, November 2.

“When I met Chris, he liked, but didn’t know that much about, traditional music, so he spent a lot of time learning from me,” says Maire. “Then we started experimenting with things he was proficient in, like swing, which he played with Stephane Grappelli as a teenager. We’re completely open, if we hear something nice, we’ll just say, ‘let’s play that.’ It’s extremely enjoyable to experiment and see just what your instruments can do, and we never run out of things to play.” (Quotes from “Harping in the Traditions.”)

Máire won the Senior All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil Harp Competition three times in succession, in 1975, 1976 and 1977—a record that is still unsurpassed. More recently, she was Female Musician of the Year in the Live Ireland Music Awards 2016, where she was described in the citation as “the greatest Celtic harper of our age”. This recognition is not confined to Ireland, though, as she also was named Female Musician of the Year in the Chicago Irish American News Top TIR Awards 2016.

She is the best harp player in Irish music. There are several great Irish harpists—we think of Michelle Mulcahy, Catriona McDonald, Ailie Robertson, and Emer Mallon. There are more. They are all uber-fab. But, then there is Maire. Her new album is called Sibling Revelry. Really, there are no words. Just know this.

– , writing for Live Ireland about
the 2016 Live Ireland Female Artist of the Year Award

Máire has also won awards with Chris Newman, including “Album of the Year” (Live Ireland) and also the “Best Celtic Instrumental Album” (JUST PLAIN FOLKS AWARDS Nashville, Tennessee), 2009 for their album FireWire, as well as “Folk Album of the Year” (The Daily Telegraph) for their 1987 album The Living Wood.

Traditional Celtic music, along with Baroque, Bluegrass, and Swing will be performed by Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman at downtown Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater, Thursday, November 2, at 7:00. Tickets available now at our ticketing page or by calling (870) 319-3504.

 

OAC Ticketing Link

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns! — Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Two-Time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber Returns to The Lyric!
Saturday, September 22 at 7:00PM

Join us on September 22 at 7:00pm, for universally acknowledged master of the guitar, Laurence Juber!

Laurence JuberThis two-time Grammy-winner (once with Sir Paul McCartney’s “Wings” and once as a solo artist) thrilled the Lyric audience in 2015, and is returning to continue to dazzle us with his wit, which is as evident in his playing as his absolute mastery of his instrument—not only in its standard implementation, but through a variety of tunings that allow him to express far more than one normally associates with the playing of a single acoustic guitar.

As an award-winning fingerstyle acoustic guitarist also known for his electric work as lead guitarist in Wings, LJ has a large following among guitar fans and Beatles/classic rock fans. His shows feature his original compositions along with amazing covers of Beatles and classic rock songs like “Layla” and “Little Wing” where he literally plays every melody of the song on just one guitar!

Seriously, How Good Is He?

Well, let’s put it this way…when C.F. Martin & Co. make a series of signature guitars named after you, you’re a bit beyond “pretty good.”

Pete Townsend of The Who simply exclaims, “A master!”

As a studio musician, LJ can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks to Seal to Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as Home Improvement and movies including the academy award-winning Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting, and Pocahontas.

You like video games? LJ co-composed the soundtrack of the award-winning video game Diablo III.

You watch the news? LJ crafted the score to the NBC Dateline documentary Children Of The Harvest. His music is also featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary The Tenth Inning.

In other words: You’ve Heard Him Even if You Haven’t Heard of Him!

LJ has released 17 critically acclaimed solo albums which feature his celebrated arrangements of popular tunes and genre-crossing compositions. In Fall 2010, he released the highly anticipated LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by the readers of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and named one of the top acoustic guitar players of all time by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. A dynamic, entertaining performer and an accomplished clinician, LJ brings his passion for the guitar to venues around the world, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument. In Spring 2013 Laurence Juber released Under an Indigo Sky on Solid Air Records with a special limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day, and has just released LJ Can’t Stop Playing the Beatles.

At the heart of LJ’s sound and style breathes a near-flawless technique where a fiercely emotional underbelly, alternate tunings, and keen sense of melody and rhythm coalesce into something uniquely his own……you don’t have to be a solo-happy guitar worshipper to appreciate his talents.
– Inland Empire Weekly

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