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April

Chris Smither

"...an American original, a product of the musical melting pot, and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world." - Associated Press

Having distilled his own signature sound of blues and folk for over 40 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. A profound songwriter, Chris continues to draw deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and philosophers. From his early days as the New Orleans transplant in the Boston folk scene, through his wilderness years, to his reemergence in the 1990s as one of America’s most distinctive acoustic performers, Chris Smither continues to hone his distinctive sound. He has always traveled his own road, eschewing sophisticated studio tricks and staying true to his musical vision. He has developed and maintained loyal friendships over the years with kindred-spirited musicians like Bonnie Raitt and the late Stephen Bruton while at the same time throughout his career been inspired by and inspiring to today's next-generation of musicians. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. The New York Times: With a weary, well-traveled voice and a serenely intricate finger-picking style, Mr. Smither turns the blues into songs that accept hard-won lessons and try to make peace with fate.

The release of Hundred Dollar Valentine (Signature Sounds) in 2012, Chris’ 12th studio record, is a masterwork. It sports the unmistakable sound he has made his trademark: fingerpicked acoustic guitar and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice. It is also his first recording to feature all Smither-penned, original songs. Along with longtime producer, David “Goody” CGoodrich, other featured musicians on Hundred Dollar Valentine are drummer Billy Conway (Morphine, Treat Her Right), Jimmy Fitting on harmonica, and Goodrich’s ex-Groovasaurus bandmates, Anita Suhanin (vocals) and violinist Ian Kennedy (Page/Plant, Lemonheads, Juliana Hatfield, Peter Wolf, Susan Tedeschi).

Sponsored by BLISS TAVERN MUSIC

Saturday, April 19 . 7:30pm - Cafe Open for Dinner & Drinks

Tickets: $20
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Swing Xing: Three Generations of Swing Guitar

Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola,& Vinny Raniolo

Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, & Vinny Raniolo are among the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli has been thrilling audiences with his signature swinging style for close to seven decades. Throughout that time, Bucky has played with a veritable Who’s Who of bandleaders and performers including musical giants like Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Stephane Grappelli, Tony Bennett, Zoot Sims, and Les Paul among others. Besides becoming a fixture on the big band circuit and in the studio, Pizzarelli also took a stint in The Tonight Show Band on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. The 87 year old swing-era icon has fathered equally swinging musicians, including well-known guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli.

Vignola's stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world's top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Wynton Marsalis, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his "Five Most Admired Guitarists List" for the Wall Street Journal.

 

Vinny Raniolo at the age of 28 has already proved himself to be among the elite having performed and recorded with Bucky Pizzarelli, Tommy Emmanuel and David Grisman just to name a few.  Together they have preformed at prestigious concert halls and festivals in the world including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, Liverpool Philharmonic, Quebec Music Festival and Italy's Teatro Olimpico.  Their jaw dropping technique and incredible showmanship explains why the New York Times deemed them, "....stars of Guitar."

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Saturday, May 3 . 7:30pm - Cafe Open for Dinner & Drinks

Tickets: $25
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Steve Forbert

“…one of music’s greatest entrances ever, arriving fully formed as an extraordinary singer-songwriter.” - David Wild, Rolling Stone

As a young man from Mississippi, Steve Forbert traveled to New York City and played guitar for spare change in Grand Central Station. He vaulted to international prominence with a folk-rock hit, “Romeo’s Tune,” during a time when rootsy rock was fading out and the Ramones, Talking Heads and other New Wave and punk acts were moving in to the public consciousness. Still, critics raved about Steve’s poetic lyrics and engaging melodies, and the crowds at CBGB’s club in New York accepted him alongside those acts. “I’ve never been interested in changing what I do to fit emerging trends,” Forbert observes. “Looking back on it, I was helping to keep a particular American songwriting tradition alive at a time when it wasn’t in the spotlight.”

He has had a career of well-crafted, unforgettable albums including, Any Old Time, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004. In 2012, 35 years after his first album, Steve has released an exciting new one, Over With You. Its ten fresh but mature songs pinpoint a wide range of emotions that color personal relationships. “This is an album that has taken a lifetime to make,” explains Forbert. “You don’t just pull these songs out of thin air — you have to live them.”

Sponsored by BLISS TAVERN MUSIC

Saturday, May 17 . 7:30pm - Cafe Open for Dinner & Drinks

Tickets: $20
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