A compelling night of local folk singer/songwriters.
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Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of Americas musical heritage.
The genius of a Dana and Susan Robinson performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit.
Underpinning the songs is the undeniable rhythm of their trademark guitar/banjo sound. Whether it is quiet or driving, there is a steady and unrelenting groove to the music that supports the lyric and delivers the story in an effortless and magical way.
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dana relocated to New England where he discovered both a thriving songwriters scene and the deep well of traditional mountain music. In the early 1980’s, Dana settled in northern Vermont and built a house “off the grid” (no electricity and phone) on 30 acres near the Canadian border. There he founded a popular bakery, café and folk music venue. Dana launched into full-time touring after the release of his 1994 debut CD, Elemental Lullabye, and after receiving a request to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Putumayo’s Shelter benefit project.
Sue grew up in a musical family in New England. She studied piano, oboe, and Scottish fiddle before meeting Dana in 2002. Sue was working in the environmental field in California when she met Dana at a house concert. Upon moving to North Carolina a short time thereafter, Sue launched into studying with many of the great oldtime musicians in the Asheville area, and naturally adapted to the on-the-road lifestyle.
Westwend is a singer/songwriter duo comprised of two complimentary talents. Jonathan Maness (formerly of the Dixie Bee-Liners, and Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike) and Wendy Crowe have joined their musical forces to form the fresh new acoustic crossover band, WestWend. Wendy is a sweet, soulful singer with a honeyed alto voice and a smile that lights up the stage. Jonathan’s rich baritone and agile flatpicking are well known to bluegrass audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. WestWend combines the sounds of traditional bluegrass and country music with other genre bending influences, from the blues to bossa nova. And just recently had the honor of sharing the bill with Guy Clark at the historic Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, TN. Jonathan is an expert arranger and producer, Wendy is a naturally prolific lyricist. The combination of these talents brings instrumental chops to a quickly growing catalog of original material. Close duet harmony brings the songs home to the listener, while instrumental support of the calibre of Bryn Davies, Andy Wood, Matt Leadbetter, and international collaborator Richard Cifersky round out an exciting show package.
Dave Desmelik has established himself as an accomplished and rising singer/songwriter whose music might best be described as Americana or Alt/Country. Drawing upon influences from country to bluegrass to blues to rock and roll, Desmelik writes and performs an original blend of songs. His seven independent albums, dating from 1999 to present, have garnered acclaim and positive reviews in various music communities around the world and he has toured extensively in support of his songs including numerous performances in the USA and UK. Focusing on lyrics, melody, instrumental and word phrasing, Desmelik mixes distinct ingredients into his songwriting as well as his live shows. Music critic Rein van den Berg (altcountryforum.nl) states “Desmelik’s music is honest, his are relevant questions, and he plays guitar viciously. This man carries with him the legacy of a dying breed.”