Listen for some of the best celtic groups that have performed in the area over the last several years as we celebrate with jigs, reels and Irish ballads. We’ll sample from some of the best – including Cherish the Ladies, Cathy Ryan and her band and Grace Griffith.
Hear guitarist and singer/songwriter Tommy Emmanuel before a live audience. We recorded him at Wichita’s Orpheum Theatre. The Australian-born showman first played in this area at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield several years ago. He started as an unknown, but by the second day his shows were crowded with new fans and hundreds more standing outside the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse. Now he's a sought-after performer anywhere in the world.
Listen to a performance by Peter Mulvey at the Old Settlers Inn. Peter Mulvey is best known for his dark songwriting and his intense percussive guitar style. Since the early 1990s, he has developed a strong national following in the indie folk/rock scene, he's been featured on public radio nationwide.
Listen for music from the California Guitar Trio performance at the Orpheum in Wichita. The three guitarists met in a Guitar Craft course focusing on the New Standard Tuning, which they still use today. If you’re wondering what the New Standard Tuning is and why it matters, here’s a brief description – the guitar is tuned in fifths rather than fourths which makes the overall range wider. The guitar can create lower and higher sounds. Like most alternate tunings, it opens the door to new music, arrangements, new sounds. The California Guitar Trio plays original works, arrangements of rock, classical and jazz.
In another Best of the Best series, we'll feature music from Zoe Lewis and her Rubber Band performing at the Old Settlers Inn. Zoe is brilliant and talented but is also mischievous with a wealth of stories to share. She plays everything from traditional folk tunes to ballads to world beat to vaudeville. Her instruments include the tin whistle, guitar, piano, harmonica, ukulele, accordion, trumpet and sometimes spoons. Her band is made up of some of the best musicians working today.
We get to hear one of the Best of the Best – a concert and/or performer who was a particular audience favorite. This show features Chuck Pyle, the “Zen Cowboy of Colorado” performing at the Old Settlers Inn. Chuck is a consummate storyteller. At times, you could hear the proverbial pin drop, at others, the crowd was laughing or cheering. Chuck blends his dry humor and performance skills with truly wonderful contemporary folk tunes. Too much fun to miss – this Saturday on New Settlers.
Everyone loves a love song, right? But no one more than singer/songwriters, who write about love in any conceivable form. This Saturday, New Settlers celebrates the love song with tunes by Anne Hills, Pierce Pettis, Cheryl Wheeler, Brooks Williams, Tom Prasada-Rao and others, recorded at the Old Settlers Inn and other venues in and around Wichita.
Listen for R&B favorite Kelley Hunt and her band from their performance at the Old Settlers Inn. Kelley was born and raised in Kansas and continues to live in Lawrence though she spends a lot of her time touring the U.S. and the world. Kelley's distinctive "boogie woogie" piano style can be traced to her beloved early piano teacher (the subject of "Queen of the 88's").
Listen for music from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's performance at the Cotillion in Wichita. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has been performing its brand of country-rock since the '60s with a brief bit of fame in the '80s when they shortened their name to "The Dirt Band." Their best known tune probably is "Mr. Bojangles" although some may argue that "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "American Dream" are equally worthy of notice. Like most acoustic, "bluegrassy" bands, they have great musicianship, tight harmonies and are a lot of fun to watch. You'll see. This Saturday evening at 7:00.
Listen for singer/songwriter Jeff Black's performance at Wichita State University's "Art For Your Ears" concert. Jeff has several albums to date, has written movie soundtracks and has penned tunes covered by such artists as Alison Krauss, Waylon Jennings and Black Hawk.