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Annie Keating with Scott Warman & Steve Mayonne
Jemina Price will open the show
Thursday, 29th June 2017
Doors Open 7:30pm
Upstairs at The Dorset Arms
58 High Street
Talent spotted by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris, Annie Keating was live on the Bob Harris show in 2008 (and again in 2011), and has gone on to perform at leading national and international festivals. She has performed on the bill with John Hiatt, Dan Bern, Bon Iver and other great artists.
Her last album, "Make Believing" (released in 2015) was championed by TELEGRAPH (UK) as (their first pick for) Best country music albums of 2015. The TELEGRAPH raved,
“Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Annie Keating is building the reputation her talent deserves."
She and her bandmates (Steve Mayone, Jason Mercer, Chris Tarrow, Yuval Lion and Trina Hamlin) have released the 7th album, "Trick Star."
Keating's voice is not flashy, nor perhaps conventionally pretty. It has more of a mysterious, rough-hewn beauty that comes out of the shadows. She offers a captivating and unfashioned, natural delivery of songs born from authentic reverie; her work springs from a desire to craft music directly from the emotions that lie beneath the songs. Keating doesn't fear deep waters; she can’t help but swim in them.
On songs like Bring the Sun and Lucky, Keating seeks to embrace life but escape the mundane, appreciating what she’s got, then mourning what’s been lost on beautifully contemplative ballads like Fool for You, Orchard, In the Valley and Slow Waltz. Through these songs, she compels the listener with musical depth, texture and a voice filled with shimmering urgency and lyrical power.
But there is another, more raucous side to Keating that balances this album out nicely. The title track, - "Trick Star" (about her first bicycle) gets the toe tapping to the Stones-like guitar lick, drum groove, slide guitar and grinding organ. Keating learned to ride a Trick Star bike at the same time she got her first guitar. Both were escape agents from the constricting and conservative Boston suburbs in the 80's, when being different was too dangerous to consider. Music became her language of truth, pain, joy, survival and eventually freedom.
The surprising rock anthem - "Time Come Help Me Forget"- delivers a side of Keating we’ve not seen before: her ability to craft a truly infectious pop-rock tune with a big chorus.
It’s not all soft and contemplative on Trick Star. Just enough bitter and sweet to offer the listener a great ride.
Wednesday, 5th July 2017
The Hawth Theatre
Mississippi native, now Alabama resident Lisa Mills could be called a blues singer, or a gospel singer, or a torch singer or an R&B singer, and each label would be accurate. In fact, as the reviews of her 2014 album I’m Changing (a remastered and remixed reimagining of her 2005 debut album, enhanced by the inclusion of a handful of new tracks) poured in, she was described in all of these terms, and at least a couple of critics suggested they even heard the nascent stirrings of a jazz stylist in some of her more nuanced readings.
Listeners responded to Lisa’s sophisticated, emotional performances by making her 2015 U.K. tour a rousing success marked by sellout or near-packed venues, brisk post-concert CD sales and the inevitable query as to when she would be returning. To the latter the answer is “2016,” and by the time the 2016 tour got underway, she had a new album to promote, titled Mama’s Juke Book.
A special and deeply personal project, Mama’s Juke Book will be comprised of songs Lisa found by chance in her late mother’s possessions—specifically, in a Dollar Store General spiral notebook in which her mother had handwritten lyrics to 25 of her favorite country tunes, all dating from the early ‘70s. Her mother, Jan Powell, was a country music devotee who unfortunately passed away in 2012. In a real sense Mama’s Juke Book is a love letter from daughter to mother but it is also a Southern cultural timepiece capturing mainstream country music in a transitional period ahead of the emergence of the Outlaw movement in the mid-‘70s. Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker, who steered the retooling of I’m Changing, is returning in a producer’s role on Mama’s Juke Book.
Although the content of Mama’s Juke Book is drawn from country, Lisa’s interpretive artistry takes country for a new spin when chestnuts originally recorded by the likes of Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty and others are revealed to have hidden pockets of soul and blues when considered from a fresh point of view by a versatile vocalist—similar to what she demonstrates on I’m Changing in finding new avenues of expression on covers of the Rev. Robert Wilkins’s “I Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” both of which are remarkable for the way in which her ethereal approach is so completely attuned to the lyrics’ spirituality and mystery as to make these songs her own and of a piece with the original material surrounding them.
In a summary that is both specific to the album and a telling appraisal of an artist coming into her own, David McGee, writing in the online roots music/cultural journal Deep Roots (www.deeprootsmag.org), praised I’m Changing as “a rare breed, a roots torch album of sweep and depth comparable to classic pop counterparts such as Sinatra’s devastating Gordon Jenkins-arranged No One Cares,” and concluded: “(Lisa Mills is) a singer and songwriter of the first rank, uncompromising in the vision and concept of her art.”
This show is a collaboration with The Crawley Blues Club
Don Gallardo and The Far West Band
Thursday, 13th July 2017
Doors Open 7:30pm
Upstairs at The Dorset Arms
58 High Street
We welcome back Don Gallardo who last played in East Grinstead April 2016. Don has called Nashville home for over 9 years, but his California roots shine through on current LP, Hickory, where Gallardo weaves his 1970’s Laurel Canyon influences into modern roots-Americana. The Telegraph calls Hickory, released in the UK by Clubhouse Records, “One of the Best Country Music Albums of 2015” along with Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Patty Griffin, Justin Townes Earle, & more. MOJO Magazine gave Hickory “4 Stars” and in 2016 Rolling Stone calls Gallardo “A singer-songwriter that is one of the Country and Americana scene's true journeymen.”
Gallardo’s work has been prominently featured in films "Jolene" and Jackass Presents "Bad Grandpa" as well as highly popular television series, "The Vampire Diaries" and ABC's "Nashville.”