Below are previous shows which we presented at Music at the Mansion during the 2013-2014 season.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2013:
JILL SOBULE WITH GUEST THE KNOX SISTERS
Jill Sobule has a dedicated following and a lovely voice and personality to match. Formerly based in New York, Jill has recently relocated to Los Angeles and we are fortunate to catch her on her current northeastern tour. New York Times music critic Jon Pareles says, “Jill Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singer-songwriters of the last decade. Topical, funny and more than a little poignant…grown-up music for an adolescent age.” Jill’s work is at once deeply personal and socially conscious, seriously funny and derisively tragic. Did we mention love? Love found, love lost, love wished for and love taken away. Over seven albums, her songs cover a huge amount of ground and they all benefit greatly from Jill’s subtle intelligence and skillful light-handedness. Her most recent recording is a joint effort with X bassist John Doe, and she has frequently tours with Saturday Night Live alum Julia Sweeney. Jill has also shared the stage with the likes of Neil Young, fellow activists Billy Bragg & Steve Earle, Hot Tuna, and Warren Zevon.
The Knox Sisters are a young duo who have been raising eyebrows around the Hudson Valley for the past two years. Hailey and Samantha Knox sing, harmonize, play guitar and percussion, and acknowledge musical influences ranging from Elvis to Dave Matthews to Ingrid Williamson.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014:
SLOAN WAINWRIGHT WITH GUEST SAM McTAVEY
Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters. Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who’s who of contemporary folk music. Sloan’s incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs. “She’s folk-influenced, obviously (you can’t grow up in the First Family of Folk and not be, one imagines), but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense.” Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles — pop, folk, jazz and blues — held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a unique and soulful hybrid. With a solid and impressive discography of 8 original CD releases to her credit, Sloan continues to write, sing and perform live.
Sam McTavey is Sloan’s son and has been carrying on the family tradition, both as a writer and performer. Interviewed in the New York Times, he says, “…I’ve been playing at all the usual venues, like the Town Crier, in Pawling. It’s pretty hectic sometimes, because I’ve also got a day job as a geologist. Still, I recently managed to complete a five-song CD, ‘The Sampler.’ Every so often, of course, I open for my mom when she’s playing…”
SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014:
STEPHANIE WINTERS AND WALTER PARKS
Stephanie Winters is a New York-based cellist with a wide-ranging career as a concert-keynote artist and workshop leader. For more than twenty years she has toured extensively in North America; more recently, she has also performed in Europe and Southeast Asia. She has worked with Robin Spielberg, Richie Havens and Dar Williams. Her TV credits include performances with Corinne Bailey Rae and Ellie Goulding on Saturday Night Live, Enya on Regis and Kelly, and with Richie Havens for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony, which was broadcast worldwide to millions.
Just as Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp has served as the headwaters of Florida’s Suwanee River, so has it served as the inspirational headwaters for Walter Parks‘ unique guitar concept – a banjo-esque fingerpicking style that toggles between expressing the swamp’s beautiful side – its foggy, ambient underbelly and it’s eminent danger via the use of a modicum of pleasant distortion. Inspired by the sultry black gospel that wails from storefront churches and roadhouses in the American southeast, Parks’s raspy vocal lows and soaring operatic falsetto explore the frontier of the modern human spirit in search of a place where it can flourish. Walter is the former lead guitarist for the late Richie Havens and has played in Madison Square Garden in New York and the Blue Note in Milan, Italy.
Throughout the 1990s, Walter and Stephanie performed as the folk rock duo The Nudes. In their appearance at Music at the Mansion, they will each be performing solo sets as well as reuniting for a rare duo set.
“Tango in Love” by Stephanie Winters and Walter Parks (performing as The Nudes):
Videos of Walter Parks and Stephanie Winters:
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014, 8PM:
JESSE HARRIS W/ GUEST LISA GUTKIN
Originally from New York City, Jesse Harris is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer of artists from all over the world. He has been making records since the mid 90s, when he started in the group Once Blue on EMI Records. It was his first experience writing for another singer, lead vocalist, Rebecca Martin. Combining folk, jazz and pop, the group defined a direction for Harris and was also notable for featuring the guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.
As a solo artist since then Jesse has released 12 albums, including many with his former backing band The Ferdinandos, one all-instrumental recording (Cosmo), and his latest, Borne Away, an intimate and haunting solo acoustic presentation with subtle overdubs played or sung by Harris. It stands in stark contrast to his previous release, Sub Rosa, a large production, recorded and mixed mostly in Rio de Janeiro, with arrangements of strings and horns, and guest artists such as Conor Oberst (on whose Bright Eyes album, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning, Jesse played guitar), Melody Gardot (with whom he has written several songs, for her albums My One And Only Thrill and The Absence), Bill Frisell (making his second appearance on a Harris recording), and Norah Jones.
Jesse Harris appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman, accompanied by Norah Jones:
In 2003 he received the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year for Norah Jones’ breakout hit “Don’t Know Why,” from her debut album, Come Away With Me, which has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Four other Harris compositions appear on it, “Shoot The Moon,” “One Flight Down,” “I’ve Got To See You Again,” and “The Long Day Is Over,” and he plays guitar throughout. Since then, Jones and Harris have collaborated many times.
As the longtime violinist for the Klezmatics, the Grammy-winning outfit that has taken Jewish klezmer music to previously unimaginable places, Lisa Gutkin has consistently proven a masterful musician and a boundlessly creative force. For more than a decade, her astounding technique and unfettered, vibrant emotionalism have resided at the core of the band’s recordings and live performances.
Gutkin is a musical wanderer who has played Argentinean tango and Italian Renaissance
music, in rock and jazz bands, and with a variety of symphonies. She was a founding
member of the downtown Celtic group Whirligig, and a long standing member of the Fast
Folk house band. She has composed for film and television (including Sex and the City), and has teamed with such diverse artists as Natalie Merchant, Peter Knight of Steeleye Span, Jane Siberry, Elizabeth Swados, Richard Shindell, and the Irish artists Tommy Sands, John Whelan and Cathie Ryan.
In her newest venture as soloist and band leader, she might swing seamlessly from
traditional Irish fiddle tunes to blues, Balkan or Appalachian sounds. Or she might put the violin down altogether, pick up a tenor guitar and sing one of her own universally resonant songs. Wherever she goes, Gutkin has an uncanny way of taking the audience with her.