September 2016 Shows
Thursday, September 15
Acoustic Stage returns in our new location, The Crossing at Hollar Mill with our opening concert featuring old friends Acoustic Syndicate.
Acoustic Syndicate carries on the newgrass tradition with their unique blend of rock and bluegrass. Cousins Steve McMurry (guitar and vocals) and Bryon McMurry (banjo and vocals), and drummer Fitz McMurry (Bryon’s brother) along with bassist Jay Sanders create the core of Acoustic Syndicate. The deeply accomplished dobro playing of Billy Cardine now rounds out the sound of the group that has been making music for more than 20 years. Cardine’s music gives the Syndicate a bigger, richer feel. “What Acoustic Syndicate does is so honest and homey it allows me to be this ribbon tying it all together and adding spice at the same time,” said Cardine. “They have such a down to earth quality to their music that in their own way what they do is virtuosic.”
Brothers Bryon and Fitz, along with cousin Steve, still farm the land in Cleveland County, N.C. that has been in their family since the 1700s. The impact of the years spent with their hands in the soil, growing wheat, soybeans, tomatoes and sorghum, has informed their music as much as the hours spent with their hands on their instruments. We are farmers,” said Steve about the McMurray men in the band. “We have a strong ancestral tradition and we will never give it up. In many ways it’s what gives us purpose and has much to do with who we are.” And it’s also why the band can bring such genuine home grown music from the field to the stage.
Acoustic Syndicate first appeared at Acoustic Stage nearly 20 years ago on February 14, 1998, with several appearances in the years that followed. We are pleased to present the band for this special opening concert at The Crossing at Hollar Mills.
TICKETS: On Sale Now!
October 2016 Shows
Friday, October 7
We are bringing back electric blues to Acoustic Stage with a sensational artist who is storming the blues world!
Samantha Fish can wail the Blues! The Kansas City native was called a Blues prodigy at only 21. Her deceptively mature voice, is sultry and innocent at the same time, while her intense guitar gives her a sound that is a cross between Jonny Lang and Susan Tedeschi. Only in her mid-20s, she has already released two CDs, played all over the world and shared the stage with well-established and legendary artists from Tab Benoit and Johnny Lang to Buddy Guy.
It hasn’t been that long since a teenaged Samantha Fish first started showing up at her local Kansas City blues club, Knuckleheads Saloon, and began soaking up the sounds of visiting modern blues guitar masters like Mike Zito and Tab Benoit, then going back to ’80s heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan and following the lineage to the pre-war Delta masters. “I fell in love with it,” she told Premier Guitar of her growing passion for the form, “and started doing my homework by listening to the old guys like Son House and Skip James.”
With those influences as her template, Samantha incorporated them into a sound that would become her own. By the age of 18, she had settled on a searing lead guitar style that expressed her own voice rather than mimicking clichéd blues licks note-for-note. She quickly broke into a dues-paying period on the Kansas City jam circuit that tightened her musical chops, polished her stagecraft and gave her the grit to overcome occasional skepticism about her age, hair tone and gender. “I always hated the idea of the gimmick,” she told Premier Guitar. “People come out just because you are a girl, but then you have so much more to prove once you get them in the door.”
In 2012 Samantha won a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut for her 2011 release Runaway (Ruf Records).
During the summer of 2013, Fish was called up on stage to play with a skeptical Buddy Guy who was so impressed with her playing on the guitar, he declared with a beaming smile to his audience, "When this kind of shit happens, I'll play all night!"
Tickets: On Sale Now!
Wednesday, October 19
At one time, Jerry Douglas was the most frequent performer at Acoustic Stage. He performed 13 concerts here in various configurations between 1993 and 1999, including appearances with Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien, John Cowan, Barenberg, Douglas and Meyer and others. It has been 17 years since Jerry appeared on our stage and we are excited about his return to Hickory.
Jerry is a 13-time Grammy winner who has elevated, transformed, and reinvented his instrument in countless ways. In addition to being widely recognized as the foremost master of the Dobro, Jerry Douglas is a freewheeling, forward-thinking recording artist whose output incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision. Called "dobro's matchless contemporary master," by The New York Times, Jerry is one of the most innovative recording artists in music, both as a solo artist and member of groundbreaking bands including J.D. Crowe & the New South, the Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, and Strength In Numbers.
For Jerry, an abiding musical passion has been a constant throughout a career that spans four decades. In addition to his renown as an instrumentalist, who's been described as "my favorite musician" by John Fogerty and "the Muhammad Ali of the Dobro" by James Taylor— he has established a reputation as a ceaselessly inventive artist. As a band member, collaborator, session musician and genre-bending solo artist, Douglas' inventive, eloquent playing graces over 2000 albums, including 13 under his own name, along with releases by artists as varied as Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Phish, the Chieftains and his early hero Earl Scruggs, as well as the eight-million-plus selling soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and its spinoff live disc Down from the Mountain.
As a producer, Douglas has helmed albums by such notable acts as the Del McCoury Band, Maura O'Connell, Jesse Winchester and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. He's been part of such distinguished groups as the Whites, J.D. Crowe and the New South, the Country Gentlemen and Strength in Numbers. Since 1998, he's been a key member of Rounder labelmate Alison Krauss's much-loved band Union Station, touring extensively and playing on a series of platinum albums. His most recent endeavor is his phenomenal band The Earls of Leicester, a product of Jerry's lifelong passion for the music of Flatt and Scruggs.
This will be a solo performance - the first time Jerry has done this at Acoustic Stage.
Tickets: ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 26th!
John Cowan with Darin and Brooke Aldridge
Thursday, October 27
An Acoustic Stage regular for many years, John's Acoustic Stage performances have always been special!
The Voice of Newgrass has been singing his heart out for thirty-seven years now, and his soaring vocals have only improved with time. A true innovator, John applies his powerful pipes to genres from country, bluegrass, and gospel to soul, jazz, and rock-and-roll – often within the space of a single concert. His ability to move fluidly through multiple styles has set him apart as one of the most loved and admired vocal artists of his generation, not just by fans and critics but among fellow musicians as well.
With his distinctive, rock-tinged tenor vocal and heart-thumping electric bass, John, along with fellow New Grass Revival band mates Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, and Curtis Burch, and later Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn, introduced a new generation of music fans to an explosive, experimental and ultimately, eponymous brand of bluegrass.
Joining John will be Darin and Brooke Aldridge who have been performing with John recently. Darin and Brooke first met John at one of his 2015 Acoustic Stage concerts. Both highly acclaimed vocalists in their own right, Darin and Brooke are a natural fit with John and his music. As a duo, Darin and Brooke combine rich harmonies with impeccable musicianship to create the unmistakable sound that has made them one of the hottest young acts in acoustic music.. Darin spent 6 years as a member of the acclaimed County Gentleman and is a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist. Brooke has been lauded for having one of the most powerful voices in music of any genre.
Tickets: On Sale Now!
November 2016 Shows
Jordan Tice and Horse County
Saturday, November 19
Jordan Tice first appeared at Acoustic Stage in June 2015 with Haas Kowert Tice. He returns with his new band - Jordan Tice and Horse County.
Jordan Tice is a singular voice on the American roots music scene. Over the last ten years, he has developed a reputation as a unique and versatile guitarist and prolific composer of some of the most thoughtful and well-crafted tunes of his generation. With a voice and sonic aesthetic that is all his own. Jordan demonstrates a unique voice as a songwriter and singer in addition to his known guitar and tune-crafting skills.
The development of Jordan’s creative work as a solo artist is only one narrative that defines his career. Since first busting onto the scene, he has also been an active sideman with progressive bluegrass pioneers like Frank Wakefield, Mark Schatz, and Tony Trischka, lending his guitar playing to their endeavors both on stage and in the studio. He also contributed his mandolin playing skills to the Dave Rawlings Machine record “Nashville Obsolete” (2015), toured with the Canadian folk group, The Duhks, and worked with actor/comedian Steve Martin on his re-imagining of the Shakespeare play “As You Like It” for New York City’s “Shakespeare in the Park”.
Jordan is an active collaborator as well. Since 2014 he has worked closely with fiddler Brittany Haas (Crooked Still, Dave Rawlings Machine) and bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine) in the trio Haas Kowert Tice. They released their debut record “You Got This” in 2014 and are set to release another in 2016.
"Horse County" is not only the name of Jordan's band, it is the title of his latest release. Horse County is not a real place and in fact there is nothing else in the world called Horse County. The band on “Horse County” is also top-notch and includes such first call players as Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers) on bass, Dominick Leslie (Deadly Gentlemen) on mandolin, Mike Witcher (Peter Rowan) on dobro, Brittany Haas (Crooked Still) and Shad Cobb on fiddles, and Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) on banjo. The record was recorded by guitarist Chris Eldridge who also, along with Jordan, co-produced the session.
Tickets: On Sale Now!