The Adrian Legg concert originally scheduled for 11/7 has been postponed and rescheduled to November 27th. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. This postponement is due to US visa issues and Adrian being unable to enter the US until November 9th. All previous ticket purchases will be honored for the concert on the 27th

November Shows

Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
Saturday, November 14, 2015
8 pm

Due to a last minute opportunity for Rev. Wirtz, we are rescheduling the October 24th Rev. Billy C. Wirtz concert for Saturday, November 14th. Rev. Billy has been asked to replace Ironing Board Sam on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise during the time the October concert was to take place. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Rev. Billy C. Wirtz returns to Hickory! The Rev. Wirtz wraps his humorous stories and songs into carefully orchestrated sets that feature his stellar piano playing. If you attended any of Rev. Wirtz's previous Acoustic Stage performances, you may still be laughing at his stories and songs.

But don't let his brilliant comedy overshadow his masterful keyboard talent. By no means a straight-ahead blues player, much of his material is based in blues and classic R&B. His sharp social commentaries, sprinkled with humorous observations about life always make for a unique and entertaining, not to-be-missed show.

Member: $  10.00
Guests:   $12.50


Adrian Legg
Friday, November 27, 2015
8 pm

Fingerstyle guitarist Adrian Legg will make his first appearance at Acoustic Stage.

Early in his career, following a stint in an Irish show band based in Dublin, Legg moved back to London and continued to gig in bands that played clubs and pubs and toured around and outside Britain. When one bandleader asked him to play acoustic guitar chords up against a microphone, he became fascinated with the notion of blending the tonality of an acoustic with the amplified power of the electric guitar.

Thus began an electro-acoustic quest that continues today to find the holy guitar grail that melds tone, technique and technology to allow him to create, perform and record the music his imagination envisions, eventually incorporating synthesizers and computerized MIDI programming to augment and enrich his one-man musicality. “I wanted something that had the harmonic content roughly like an acoustic, and that had the flexibility in terms of stringing and volume levels, whatever you wanted to do, of an electric,” he explains.

Starting to gig as a solo artist in the mid 1970s, Legg won a Guitar magazine solo acoustic competition in both the composition and performance categories. In the 1990's Legg found even greater success in the U.S. as a regularly touring solo act, headlining and sharing bills with fellow guitarists Richard Thompson, David Lindley and others.

Throughout his career, he has earned the highest praise from the media. "Legg is, above all, a guitarist of great power, invention and versatility,” observes the St. Petersburg Times. “Through fast-fingered picking, spontaneously layering parts and occasional ringing harmonics, he sounds like an orchestra.” Guitar Player heralds how he “combines a sublime melodic sense with a mighty right-hand groove, creating pretty music with rhythmically aggressive undercurrents,” while Acoustic Guitar notes that “the guitar is the most versatile instrument in the world, and nobody demonstrates this better than Adrian Legg.”

For Legg, the essence of his creativity is in live performance. “Playing live is the whole point,” he stresses. “Everyone makes a journey, an effort; we all come together — me, the audience, the people who run the venue — to share this wonderful, universal, human emotional interaction. This is where music lives."

Member: $12.00
Guests:   $16.00


December Shows

Gigi Dover & The Big Love
Friday, December 4, 2015
8 pm

Gigi Dover and Eric Lovell are the duo at the heart of the collective musical unit Gigi Dover & The Big Love. Gigi is the singer/songwriter/artist (a graphic artist and painter) and Eric is the producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist. Both are natives of Charlotte, NC.

Previously, Gigi was lead singer in the former Americana band the Rank Outsiders. Eric has played with a number of Americana/Rock acts in North Carolina. Eric joined Gigi to tour in 2002 and they formed Gigi Dover & The Big Love in 2003.

Incorporating the sounds and vibes of world instruments: Sitar, Ukelele, Djimbe and Glockenspeil - their sound is a fresh and palatable blend of gypsy, jazzy, funky, southern-soul and world music. Their live shows move effortlessly from high-energy to low-swampy grooves and back again, creating a rich sonic experience.

This will be the group's first appearance at Acoustic Stage.

"Dover's songs seem to have sprung from the same pallet of complex vibrant colors she uses on canvas." - Lindsay Planer - All Music Guide

Member: $  7.50
Guests:   $10.00


David Via and Mason Via
Saturday, December 5, 2015
8 pm

This marks the first appearance at Acoustic Stage of this father-son pairing. Hot picking and great songwriting are in their blood!

Hailing from Patrick County, Virginia, David Via always puts forth an impassioned performance. Via's top notch mandolin and guitar playing on his songs like "Hard Times", "Ain't That The Blues" and "It All Comes Down To A Song" are what makes it so special to him see perform live. His songs come from being raised and living in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. David is the winner of the 2009 International/American Folk Alliance Songwriters Contest, held at Mountain Stage and the 3-time Chris Austin Songwriting Contest winner at Merlefest.

Mason Via is a talented young musician/singer/songwriter from Danbury, NC. He has just released his debut CD, "UP, UP, UP" which contains only his original songs. Mason has been playing acoustic guitar since the age of 12, taught by David. Mason's playing and vocals back up the deep emotion his lyrics possess. His music has its own unique sound that is hard to categorize. He has been labeled a folk troubador! Mason won the fall Shakori Hills mandolin competition and also placed in Male Vocal at Union Grove Fiddlers Convention '15.

Member: $10.00
Guests:   $13.50


Darin and Brooke Aldridge
Holiday Concert
Friday, December 11, 2015
8 pm

Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge will bring their own brand of North Carolina music to Acoustic Stage for a Holiday Concert!

Darin and Brooke draw on the traditions of their native North Carolina, the savvy of a young gifted band and their own dedication to ingenuity to create their own sound.

Both highly acclaimed vocalists in their own right, 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 and they’ve surrounded themselves with a band of equally amazing pickers. 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.

The duo has placed at the top of the charts on Americana/Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel charts. They have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPGBMA) and Inspirational Country Music (ICM).

Acoustic Stage is pleased to present this special holiday concert with Darin and Brooke!

Member: $12.00
Guests:   $15.00


January Shows

Tony Eltora Trio Featuring the Hefner Brothers
Friday, January 15, 2016
8 pm

Drawing from his vast love of all styles of music, Eltora’s sound is a mix of blues and soul with hints of jazz and world music thrown in.

Raised in Richmond VA, Tony Eltora grew up playing and was performing by the age of twelve. Tony moved to Hickory, NC in 1998. Since that time, he has continued to teach private guitar instruction and has performed in local and regional bands while working on his solo material. He has shared the stage with many national and regional musicians including, Tim Reynolds, Sam Bush, Keller Williams, George Porter Jr, Oteil Burbridge, and Acoustic Syndicate, to name a few.

Because of his love of teaching kids, Tony helped found the Hickory Music Factory in 2012, a non profit organization in Hickory, NC with the mission to build futures through music by teaching, performance and community outreach.

The Tony Eltora Trio consists of Daniel Flynn (drums) and E'Lon Bruce Jordan-Dunlap (bass). This performance will also feature Rick Hefner (sax) and Mark Hefner (trumpet).

E'lon Bruce Jordan-Dunlap was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He now lives in the foothills of North Carolina and his years of experience have made him well versed in several genres including rock, jazz, funk, R & B, soul and blues.

Daniel Flynn is from Charlotte, NC and has been playing drums for more than 20 years. Daniel says "I'm the kind of drummer that loves a fat, funky pocket, and letting loose when the song sees fit...".

Member: $  7.00
Guests:   $10.00


Mark and Maggie O'Connor - American Classics
Thursday, January 21, 2016
8 pm

Mark O'Connor will feature American Classics on fiddle/violin and Mark and his wife Maggie will perform violin duos from their new critically acclaimed album "Duo".

A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O'Connor's creative journey began at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of the violin, French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. Since then, he has absorbed knowledge and influences from a multitude of styles and genres he has studied and participated in. Mark O'Connor has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music.

At age 13 he was the youngest person ever to win the Grand Master Fiddler Championships competing against all ages, amateur and professional. A multi-instrumentalist, O'Connor is still the only person to ever win national titles on fiddle, bluegrass guitar and mandolin. As a teenager, Mark toured with Doc and Merle Watson. At age 17 he played guitar in the David Grisman Quintet. At age 19 he played alongside Steve Morse as a member of the Dixie Dregs. In his twenties, he was a member of Strength and Numbers with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck. He assembled two of the great country bands of all time- the American Music Shop House Band and the New Nashville Cats. Mark also toured and made recordings with Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma titled "Appalachia Waltz". Mark frequently collaborates with director Ken Burns for the soundtracks of his documentary films. His album appearances are too long to list, but include recordings by Dolly Parton, James Taylor and Paul Simon and many others!

Mark performed once before at Acoustic Stage in November of 1997 at the Arts & Science Center Auditorium. This concert will feature a rare chance to experience the playing of Mark and Maggie in our intimate listening room.

Member: $15.00
Guests:   $20.00


February Shows

Davina & The Vagabonds
Friday, February 5, 2016
8 pm

Acoustic Stage welcomes Davina & The Vagabonds for their first appearance here!

Originating from Minnesota's twin cities, Davina & The Vagabonds have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism and Davina Sower's commanding stage presence. At the heart of the band's sound is the scintillating keyboard work and soulful vocals of Davina.

"Sowers vocals are unreal" wrote one reviewer. "The band's sound is vintage and fresh, a modern take on old-time blues and jazz."

With influences from Fats Domino and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits DATV's shows are filled with New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger and tender gospel passages. Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Billie Holliday. But comparisons don't suffice: Sowers is a true original!

This rollicking group is held together by Sower's keyboard playing, with acoustic bass, drums and a spicy trumpet and trombone horn section.The group's focused clean sound and emphasis on acoustic instruments is novel to both blues and jazz worlds.

Member: $13.50
Guests:   $16.50


March Shows

John Cowan Band
Friday & Saturday, March 11 & 12, 2016
8 pm

John Cowan returns with his band for 2 concerts in March.

An Acoustic Stage regular for many years, John's Acoustic Stage performances have always been spectacular!

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.

The John Cowan Band comes to life when John is not performing with the Doobie Brothers. The band features various incarnations of some of acoustic music's finest players. Many fine musicians have been in John's band over the years and stints in his band have helped launch the careers of Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers), Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett), Scott Vestal and others.

Member: $23.50/ea.
Guests:   $27.50/ea.


April Shows

David Lindley with Special Guest Marshall Ballew
Friday, April 8, 2016
8 pm

Acoustic Stage is proud to bring David Lindley and Marshall Ballew back to Hickory! This concert is a repeat Acoustic Stage performance from last year, combining these two musicians together.

Lindley, a multi-instrumentalist performs music that redefines the word "eclectic." Well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne, and leader of his own band El Rayo-X, he has long championed the concept of world music. Lindley's electro-acoustic performance effortlessly combines American folk, blues, and bluegrass traditions with elements from African, Arabic, Asian, Celtic, Malagasy, and Turkish musical sources. Lindley incorporates an incredible array of stringed instruments including but not limited to Kona and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap steel guitar, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki. The eye-poppingly clad "Mr. Dave's" uncanny vocal mimicry and demented sense of humor make his onstage banter a highlight of the show.

David Lindley grew up in southern California, first taking up the banjo as a teenager, and subsequently winning the annual Topanga canyon banjo and fiddle contest five times as he explored the American folk music tradition. In 1971, Mr. Dave joined forces with Jackson Browne, serving as Jackson's most significant musical co-conspirator until 1981. In 1979, Lindley had begun working with old friend Ry Cooder on 'Bop Till you Drop' and 'The Long Riders' sound track, a musical collaboration that lasts to this day, and has spawned many recording projects and several world tours as an acoustic duo.

In 1981, Lindley created his own remarkable Band El Rayo-X, which integrated American roots music and world beat with a heavy reggae influence. Throughout this long and distinguished career, Lindley has been one of Hollywood's most in demand session musicians, lending his skills to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby and Nash, Warren Zevon, and many others.

At his expansive and eclectic live performances David Lindley consistently gives one of the most unique concert experiences available to adventuresome music listeners.

Joining David for this show will be Marshall Ballew. Marshall, a native North Carolinian has performed at Acoustic Stage three times now, once with the WNCW All Stars (Marshall was a beloved WNCW host with a broad knowledge of of music), in 2000 with David Gans and again last year with Lindley. Marshall is also a talented multi-instrumentalist with various musical influences shaping his performances. Lindley and Ballew have only performed together a handful of times in the past!

Member: $18.00
Guests:   $22.50