Acoustic Brew Concerts Spring 2010
Bookmark and Share  Spring 2010 Schedule
January February March April May
16 Verlon Thompson 27 Abbie Gardner & Anthony DaCosta 20 Kevin Burke and Cal Scott 3 Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart 17 Sparky & Rhonda Rucker 1 Alash Ensemble 22 Claudia Schmidt 31 Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum

Jan 16 Verlon Thompson at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button
with Jim Colbert

As a solo performer, and as the trusted sidekick of Texas Americana songwriting icon Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson has viewed the world from stages everywhere from Barcelona to Binger (his hometown in Oklahoma). Along the way Verlon Thompson compositions have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson, Anne Murray, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Trisha Yearwood and many more.
Equally important as his songwriting and live performances, Verlon’s guitar work cannot go unnoticed. His guitar can be heard on recordings by Restless Heart, Pam Tillis, and many more. Thompson is one of the best flatpickers and singer/songwriters youíll ever hear!
...(at the Newport Folk Festival, 2009).....Verlon Thompson was great! Seriously. Nobody at the festival played guitar like him. His song "Everywhere...Yet" stunned the crowd and "Joe Walker’s Mare" was country storytelling at it’s best. Did I mention he could play the guitar? Really ..... Thompson was electrifying. — Boston Music Review

Jim ColbertIn addition to his graphic arts talents deftly used producing the brew publicity material, Jim Colbert can write a song with the best of them.
"Opening for Red Molly, Jim Colbert entered a room full of strangers and left a room full of fans and friends, all won over by his engaging personality, warm voice, and a set of well-crafted, personal songs. Lyrically and musically Colbert’s original This Was What I Wanted would fit right into a set of Gorka, Keelaghan or Wilcox songs. See him wherever you can, and keep your eyes open for his debut CD." — Gene Frey, Court House Concerts, Merrick, NY (2009)

Feb 27 Abbie Gardner & Anthony DaCosta at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button
with Greg Klyma

With just a guitar and a dobro (with the occasional lap steel and/or lame joke) Abbie Gardner and Anthony da Costa have been playing stages across the Northeast as a duo since July ’07 where they made their (in)formal debut in the hills of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Abbie (2006 Rocky Mtn. Folks Festival Finalist) regularly plays in the female Americana trio Red Molly, while Anthony (2007 Kerrville Folk Festival NEW FOLK Winner) usually tours and records as a solo act. However, with their debut CD Bad Nights/Better Days, the two have stepped out into the scene as a mean music machine. Raw and in real-time, there’s nothing artificial about this duo (with Anthony's sudden extreme muscle development as a rare exception). They write the songs they used to be afraid to write. They sing with their hearts on their sleeves. Sit back and enjoy (or get up and start yelling and waving your arms or something, they’ll know you’re into it).
Greg KlymaBorn in Buffalo on his father’s bowling night, songwriter/musician/entertainer Greg Klyma grew up in a blue-collar town with a blue-collar work ethic and an appreciation of blue-collar fun. He has matured into man of homespun, timeless elegance, often clad in a vintage wear, and telling stories with a delightful precision of language. The stories blend seamlessly into songs, evoking a flavor of Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie, and David Sedaris.

Mar 20 Kevin Burke and Cal Scott at WPSU 6:45 p.m. $14/$16* buy button
with Simple Gifts

Special Brew: The Acoustic Brew live at WPSU-TV! Join us for this special St. Paddy's Day Celtic concert with Kevin Burke and Cal Scott. The concert will be broadcast live on WPSU-TV as part of the Spring Fundraiser, and also on WPSU-FM starting at 8 p.m. after Prairie Home Companion.

Irish fiddler, Kevin Burke, and guitarist/composer, Cal Scott first met while working on a documentary about "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. Cal was commissioned to compose the score and he engaged Kevin as a consultant on the project. They enjoyed working together so much that when it was completed they continued to spend time together, playing, recording and exchanging musical ideas.

Since the early 1970’s Kevin has been a well-known figure in the Irish music world. His 30 years of recordings and performances have made him a highly influential figure both as a soloist and as a member of such esteemed groups as the Bothy Band, Patrick Street and The Celtic Fiddle Festival. In 2002 Kevin was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship in acknowledgement of his valued contribution to traditional music.

Cal Scott is a native Oregonian who has played in folk, rock and jazz ensembles for three decades. He has recorded and produced over twenty CDs including nine with The Trail Band, an eight-piece American Roots folk group. Cal is also a composer for film having scored over thirty documentaries for PBS. In 2006 his soundtrack CD from the film, Scotland’s Lighthouses, took fourth place in the Celtic Instrumental Album of the Year category in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.

[Kevin Burke is] "a superior instrumentalist in any idiom... impressively virtuosic" — The New York Times
"Burke’s fiddling is one of the high spots of the current Irish musical scene" — Irish Times

Join us in the WPSU lobby for a jam after the show.


Simple GiftsTwo women plus ten instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage. Drawing on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles, this award-winning band plays everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to hard-driving Klezmer frailachs and haunting Gypsy melodies, spicing the mix with the distinctive rhythms of Balkan dance music, the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling, and original compositions written in a traditional style.

*Season Ticket Holders: This Special Brew is not included in your season pass, but bring your pass along with your ticket to receive a $5 rebate at the door.

Apr 03 Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button
with Zoe Mulford

Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart reach back and grab songs of the past, then fast forward to present and into the future. Armed with clever acoustic guitar interplay, autobiographical songwriting, lovely harmonies, and humorous storytelling this couple will captivate you from the first moment they are onstage. Stacey and Mark draw from blues, pop, country, rock, and more in their heartfelt music. The years of touring the folk/Americana circuit (playing 170 concerts a year) have given them a knack for reaching out to the audience in an intimate "come in to my living room" fashion. A perfect chance to hear them unplugged in "our little living room" in the CWB.
Zoe MulfordA set by American songwriter Zoe Mulford is like a small volume of short stories - evocative, beautifully crafted, and endlessly varied. Whether her starting-point is Franklinís doomed polar expedition or the neglected contents of her own refrigerator, her vivid storytelling and down-to-earth humor promise listeners an enjoyable journey. She backs her clear voice with guitar or claw-hammer banjo and intersperses her own songs with selections from the music that inspires them: American and British folk ballads, Appalachian banjo tunes, and the work of songwriters from George Gershwin to Richard Thompson. Raised near Philadelphia, she now lives in Manchester and plays on both sides of the Atlantic.

Apr 17 Sparky & Rhonda Rucker at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button
with Matt Brown

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker have performed throughout the U.S., singing songs and telling stories from the American tradition. Sparky has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. Rhonda is an accomplished harmonica and piano player, and also adds vocal harmonies to their songs. She has developed her own unique style of playing harmonica, which complements their music, whether they are playing railroad songs, Appalachian music, blues, slave songs, Civil War music, gospel, work songs, cowboy music, ballads, or Sparky’s original compositions.
"Sparky Rucker is unique! He’ll make you glad to be alive and struggling." — Pete Seeger
"Sparky and Rhonda put on a good concert, with plenty of heart, soul, and good feeling. It is always a joy to see and hear them." — Loyal Jones, Director, Appalachian Center Berea College, Kentucky

Matt BrownMatt Brown performs American roots music with a a deft touch and a smile. He is an engaging performer who educates his audiences as he entertains with a varied program of traditional music.He plays sprightly square dance tunes, haunting banjo pieces, and sings a variety of songs from the blues to traditional ballads. He is an innovative fiddler, an intricate banjo player, a propulsive guitar player, and a moving singer. Many of his influences come from commercial recordings of the 1920's and 1930's. The rest come from field recordings made by collectors such as Alan Lomax, John Cohen and Mike Seeger, or from friendships with older musicians.

May 01 Alash Ensemble at WPSU 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button
with Mimi Jong and AppalAsia

Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. Masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the art of throat singing, Alash are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture. At the same time, they are fans of western music. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements, creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.
What does throat singing sound like? "Imagine a human bagpipe-a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally-by the same person, at the same time. — Newsweek (March 17, 2006)

Mimi Jong and AppalAsiaAppalAsia is a cross-pollination of Appalachian and Asian music. Mimi Jong, a person of many cultures, taking the erhu out of its traditional box; Jeff Berman, a genre-bending dulcimer player who has performed internationally; and Susan Powers, a unique banjo player who co-founded Devilish Merry, come together to create a tradition based music that speaks to the future.

May 22 Claudia Schmidt at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button

Almost four decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded fourteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing.
"Those who keep trying to categorize Claudia Schmidt’s music should just give it up and file her under the general category ’TALENT’ Big talent." — Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Mn.)
"...when Claudia sings a song, it stays sung" — Garrison Keillor

May 31 Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum at the WPSU 5:30 p.m. $14/$16 buy button

Since forming a musical partnership in 1986, when Tom first joined Laurieís acclaimed band, Grant Street, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum have recorded 12 albums and performed around the globe. They've been at the brew twice, once along with Grant Street, and a second time as a duo -- and so well received that we've asked them back for this special Memorial Day concert.

"One of the preeminent bluegrass and Americana artists of our time." — Dany Hays, Executive Director, International Bluegrass Music Association.