For Immediate Release
The Arts Council
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
BAMA THEATRE HOSTS THREE ACOUSTIC NIGHTS IN OCTOBER
(Tuscaloosa) The Bama Theatre will host three performances in its Acoustic Night series in the Greensboro Room. Performances include: Hannah Miller and Berteal on October 5; Henri’s Notions on October 26; and Joey Allcorn, Andrew Combs and Callooh! Callay! on October 30. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with a full service bar available. Admission is a $5 cover charge.
Presented by The Arts Council, Acoustic Night features new and upcoming musicians from around the country throughout the calendar year in the intimate setting of the Greensboro Room. The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council or Bama Theatre visit www.tuscarts.org or follow the group on Facebook at “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 for further information.
October 5: Hannah Miller and Berteal
Her music has drawn comparisons to Over the Rhine, Brandi Carlile and Rachael Yamagata but Hannah Miller remains a singer-songwriter uneasily pigeonholed, with flavors of Gospel, Soul, Pop and Americana blending together to make a swirly, sweet sound of her own. People are taking notice, as her song “Keep it Simple” was recently featured on NBC’s, Mercy. She has been invited to open shows for Langhorne Slim, Landon Pigg, Elizabeth Cook, Josh Joplin and Shannon Whitworth and was recently featured on MTVMusic’s blog as winner of MTV and Ourstage.com’s “Needle in the Haystack” competition. She was also named winner of the Lilith Fair Talent Search for Charlotte, NC. Her recording output includes four independent albums, the most recent of which, “Journey to the Moon,” a four song EP released in August 2010, made Performer Magazine’s list of “Great Records from 2010.” Produced by Nashville’s Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks (Landon Pigg, Mindy Smith), it features four of Miller’s best songs to date. She is a native of Dothan, Alabama.
Drawing upon a lifetime of shared musical experience, siblings Kim Gentry and Chad Gentry have teamed up to create the distinctive sound of Berteal. Accomplished artists in their own right, the duo knew they could put their strengths together to create something truly special. Their debut EP, Queen of the Yellow Light, is proof. With sophisticated lyrics, memorable melodies, and the rich uniqueness of Kim’s lead vocal, the music of Berteal is already standing out. Berteal is the culmination of years of playing and singing music together in the family home – Kim on piano and Chad on guitar – as well as years of playing in church together. Having both shown a talent for music at an early age, the siblings do not remember a time when music was not a part of their lives, and country music has always been close to the heart. Growing up in a small rural town in southern Indiana, country music was more than just something heard on the radio; it was a way of life. Fast forward several years, and the siblings now find themselves both living in Alabama. Taking full advantage of their current common geography, the duo has been busy creating the music of Berteal. In addition to EP tracks “Queen of the Yellow Light,” “My Sometimes Love,” and “How I Wanna Be,” the duo has written a dozen more songs that they will be performing live this year. A music video of “How I Wanna Be” and an interview segment, “Introducing Berteal,” are two more ways for fans to learn about the duo and their passion for making music.
October 26: Henri’s Notions
From soft fingerpicked ballads to hard-driving jigs and reels, Henri’s Notions creates a musical mix of traditional Celtic and American music as well as their own compositions that have a rhythm and voice reflective of their Southern heritage. The Notions draw from a broad palette of melodious sounds: the ardent fiddle, lilting flute, keen tin whistles, ringing mandolin, tenor banjo and bouzouki and the bounce of the button accordion, all played over the resonant tones and drive of the rhythm section, consisting of acoustic guitars, percussion, bass and now and again – bones. Lead voices dance through the intricate embellishments that bring to life the old ballads and songs and all members lend voices frequently creating close, rich, well-balanced harmonies. The group makes a point to provide backgrounds on the songs and instruments used during their performance, and this has allowed Henri’s Notions to connect with, educate and inspire audiences for over twenty years. Henri’s Notions has toured extensively in the Southern and Eastern United States from West Palm Beach, Florida and Dallas, Texas to New York City. The group has worked countless festivals and concerts and has appeared as the opening act for such folk icons as Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, The Kingston Trio, David Grisman Quintet and top Celtic acts such as The Tannahill Weavers, Patrick Street, Paddy O’Brian and others. Henri’s Notions performs year-round in concerts, festivals, special events and school programs. As a touring member of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Southern Arts Federation, grants are often available to eligible presenters.
October 30: Joey Allcorn, Andrew Combs and Callooh! Callay!
Despite his love of grunge and punk rock, Joey Allcorn is country through and through. Over the years, he has mastered the many styles of song that can be found within the genre. Songs like “I Just Don’t Know” and “Whatever Kills Me First” display his impressive grasp of the classic honky tonk song, while “Like I Never Will Again” and “Where My Troubles Drowned” will bring tears to a grown man’s eyes. And while his sound may strike one initially as very retro, his edge and ability to put his own life and interests in his songs keep his material fresh. Joey himself may be a country historian (when he covers old songs at his shows, he has been known to give background information of the songs and the artists that made them famous), and one may be able to hear flashes of the legends’ sounds in his music, but he is in no way a copycat artist. Always finding a way to make the traditional country sound his own, Allcorn is an original.
With his roots in Texas, singer and songwriter Andrew Combs has been steadily growing his branches in Nashville. In essence, he is a storyteller. His sharp, southern voice carves out stories and carries you through the ridges, making you feel as if you whittled out this story from your own past. Following in the footsteps of his major influences like Guy Clark, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt, Combs vocalizes the beauty and turmoil of American vices and virtues. His debut EP Tennessee Time captures the songwriting and performing prowess that he has long been developing. The EP’s title track is a heartfelt tribute to the southern state delivered with as much simplicity and genius as songs like “City of New Orleans” and “Georgia on My Mind.” It is enough to make Tennessee’s children bloom with pride and its out-of-state visitors weak with envy.
Hailing from Alabama, Callooh! Callay! clearly has a deep love for the traditions in which they work. At the same time, the three member band revels in subverting those traditions. An old hymn becomes the centerpiece for a song about dissolution, the last coherent snippet before the end. A straightforward rock n’ roller loses it straightforwardness as soon as the lyrics intrude. A synth shows up out of nowhere. A cover of Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm,” becomes a dirty rocker. Not even the band knows if they’ll ever play it again. It’s in the name- Callooh! Callay! An exclamation of joy, an expression that says words have no meaning. Except for the meaning you make. So they get up and stage and they make meaning. Their music is a combination of rock, blues, roots, folk and pop. Just like the South, a convergence of influences becoming a moment. A moment becomes a shared experience. Sometimes their music sounds like Sonic Youth hooked up with William Faulkner somewhere between Mississippi and New Orleans. Sometimes it holds the righteous fury of the preacher and the resignation of the bluesman. Sometimes it just sounds cool.