Norfolk's Discovery Music Series has been importing high-quality, slightly-under-the-radar acts for years now. It's great to see that the series is still alive and kicking. Staff members announced the fall 2011-winter 2012 shows this week. As has been the practice over the years, Discovery offers two parallel channels. A blues series will present acts ranging from young upstart Pokey LaFarge to tried-and-true veteran Magic Slim. An indie series will star quiet-rock pioneers Cowboy Junkies as well as former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay.
Single tickets to the shows will cost $20 in advance. They go on sale 10 a.m. Aug. 31. Subscription packages are available now. Find out more at the series website. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Here's the schedule:
The David Mayfield Parade, Sept. 30 (indie)
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, Oct. 15 (blues)
Teeny Tucker, Oct. 28 (blues)
Ruthie Foster, Jan. 14 (blues)
Laura Gibson, Jan. 28 (indie)
Bernard Allison, Feb. 11 (blues)
William Fitzsimmons, Feb. 24 (indie)
Cowboy Junkies, March 2 (indie)
Magic Slim and the Teardrops, March 9 (blues)
Colin Hay, April 22 (indie)
Here are more details from the official press release announcing the series:
NORFOLK, VA, AUGUST 15, 2011 - The City of Norfolk’s Seven Venues, in association with the Virginia Arts Festival, will present the Discovery Music Series at the historic Attucks Theatre with a lineup of ten noteworthy performances from September 30, 2011 through April 22, 2012. This season welcomes the return of two previous Discovery Music performers Ruthie Foster and the Cowboy Junkies; seasoned artists who helped establish the series. Teeny Tucker, daughter of blues legend Tommy Tucker and Bernard Allison, son of the late great blues guitarist Luther Allison, will both take to the Attuck’s stage to carry on their parents’ musical legacies. Other notable performers include the novel and innovative Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, a trio made up of LaFarge’s fellow St. Louis musicians, and Laura Gibson, an incredibly gifted singer-songwriter from Oregon whose tenderhearted songs have won her a legion of fans. Colin Hay, best known for his tenure as the front man of Men At Work, will close out the season.
The David Mayfield Parade, September 30, 2011 at 7:30PM
David Mayfield grew up playing bass for the family band and by the time he was a teenager, he had won several national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing. Mayfield found his way to Nashville where he landed several appearances on the coveted Grand Ole Opry stage. In 2008, he produced and engineered the album In Gods Time and the song went on to earn a Grammy nomination in 2009. The Avett Brothers took notice of Mayfield’s musicianship and urged him to make a record of his own. When he took to the studio the Avetts were quick to lend their voices. David Mayfield Parade is the culmination of that encouragement and a reflection of the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music from early rock-n-roll to the twang of folk and country.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, October 15, 2011 at 7:30PM
Pokey LaFarge swiftly gained a large legion of fans with the debut of his self-released album Marmalade back in 2007. His follow-up solo album, Beat, Move & Shake, quickly followed and in 2009 LaFarge began working with The South City Three, a trio made up of fellow St. Louis musicians Joey Glynn, Adam Hoskins, Ryan Koenig. LaFarge and his crew hit the road and began to tour, quickly winning over crowds throughout America and Europe. LaFarge joined with the South City Three on his 3rd release, Riverboat Soul, and the recording quickly received critical acclaim from a host of influential music journalists. LaFarge has no plans of stopping his mission of spreading the joy of early American music to the masses. 2011 has already brought a new vinyl single release on Third Man Records as well as a full-length album titled Middle of Everywhere.
Teeny Tucker, October 29, 2011 at 7:30PM
Daughter of musical legend Tommy Tucker, Teeny Tucker was born into Blues royalty. Her professional singing career kicked off in 1996 when she caught the attention of a German Blues promoter and manager who had promoted European tours for her father. Since then, her musical journey has seen Teeny performing at many of the major Blues Festivals in the US and Europe. Throughout her musical journey, Teeny has been invited to appear on the same bill with great blues artists such as BB King, Etta James, Buddy Guy and many others. In addition to her singing talents, Teeny also wrote the lyrics for eight of the songs on her second CD, First Class Woman. On her newest and fourth full-length CD Keep the Blues Alive, Teeny continues to stick to her guns as a singer and songwriter enamored with the legacy of the blues.
Ruthie Foster, January 14, 2012 at 7:30PM
With a voice that has drawn comparisons to greats like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, Texas-based singer and songwriter Ruthie Foster mixes a wide palette of song forms, from gospel and blues to jazz and soul. Hoping to travel, Foster joined the Navy post college, but her obvious music talents soon had her singing with Pride, a Navy band that played pop and funk hits at recruitment drives. Following her tour of duty, Foster landed in NY and in 1997, she created her first self-released album, Full Circle. Since that time, Foster has progressed through five albums. Her most recent CD, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Foster merits comparison to the legends that inspired her, even as her unique contributions stake out a place of her own in the spotlight.
Laura Gibson, January 28, 2012 at 7:30PM
Laura Gibson was born and raised in a small isolated logging town called Coquille, in the South Coast region of Oregon. In 2008, she embarked on her first tour across the US as the opening act for Colin Meloy. She also added vocal harmonies to his Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke EP. In 2009 Gibson embarked on a tour of Europe with Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie from Musée Mécaniquef and since then, Gibson has gone on to work with many other musicians, including Laura Veirs, Danny Seim, and Rachel Blumberg, a former member of The Decemberists. On her most recent album, Beasts of Seasons, Gibson’s offers up an intimate affirmation of mortality both vulnerable and courageous, dark and illuminating, ordinary and extraordinary. Rolling Stone says that Gibson’s CD is “a new soundtrack for your next long hike through the enchanted forest.”
Bernard Allison, February 11, 2012 at 7:30PM
His father, the late great Luther Allison, first introduced Bernard Allison to the roots of black music and the art of the electric guitar. He made his first appearance on record at age 13, when he played on a live LP his father recorded in Peoria, IL, and one week after he graduated from high school, Bernard got a call from Koko Taylor asking to be her lead guitar player. He joined Koko Taylor's Blues Machine for three years and in 1990 Bernard released his first solo album with the significant title The Next Generation. It is clear, Bernard has inherited Luther's knack for igniting audiences, but he's definitely blazing his own path with a style that reflects a unique mix of traditional and modern influences. That musicianship is no clearer than on his current record, Chills And Thrills.
William Fitzsimmons, February 24, 2012 at 7:30PM
Fitzsimmons' path into music came at the influence and education of his parents, both of whom being blind, relied on the language of music to bridge the gap between themselves and their child. His first two albums were expositions on both his unorthodox upbringing and his family's disintegration during his youth. Very soon thereafter Fitzsimmons found his songs spreading broadly and being featured on national television programs. His third effort, 2008's The Sparrow and the Crow, was a detailed retelling of the events surrounding his divorce. The album was named iTunes' Best Folk Album that same year. Fitzsimmons' new release, Gold In The Shadow, is a musical reflection of the psychological renovation that took place in the years following his divorce. Fitzsimmons is equal parts songwriter and psychotherapist, all while creating captivating music.
Cowboy Junkies, March 2, 2012 at 7:30PM
The Cowboy Junkies, a Canadian alt-country/alternative rock band with a jazz twist, was formed in Toronto in 1985 by three siblings and a friend. Their first album Whites Off Earth Now!! debuted in 1986 and was recorded in the family garage. The group's fame spread with their second and best-known album The Trinity Session, recorded in 1987 at Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity. Their unique sound, a mix of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz, earned them both critical attention and a cult following. The band was nominated for Group of the Year at the Juno Awards in both 1990 and 1991. The group continued to tour and in 2008, they released Trinity Revisited in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original recording of The Trinity Session. The Cowboy Junkies continue to release albums on their own independent label, Latent Recordings.
Magic Slim and the Teardrops, March 9, 2012 at 7:30PM
Born in 1937, Magic Slim displayed his musical talents early on, singing in his church choir and playing piano and guitar. He eventually migrated from the South to Chicago and in 1955 Slim made his first trip to Chicago to play for Magic Sam, a childhood friend. Slim eventually joined forces with The Teardrops, a dynamic group consisting of Jon McDonald - guitar/vocals; Andre Howard - bass; Brian Jones - drums and David Sims – drums. Since then the band has been busy traveling throughout the world. Their most recent release, Raising The Bar, has received immense reviews and overwhelming recognition. Magic Slim and The Teardrops performances have become legendary, and they play the blues with an undeniable intensity that will leave you out of breath on the floor and in need for more.
Colin Hay, April 22, 2012 at 7:30PM
Colin Hay’s voice and visage are familiar to millions from his tenure as frontman, principal songwriter, and lead vocalist of pop sensation Men at Work. Since the group disbanded he has released several solo albums, including Man at Work, which featured re-recordings of classic Men at Work songs in an acoustic environment. More recently the past ten years have found Hay quietly re-introducing himself to new generations of fans. The frequent use of his music on soundtracks – including the hit television show Scrubs and the sleeper-hit soundtrack to the film Garden State – has proven the timeless appeal of his songs’ personae: quizzical, curious, cynical yet open-hearted. He also starred as a troubadour in the first episode of season two of Scrubs, performing his song “Overkill,” which was also the basis for the episode’s title.
All ten concerts are now on sale for $170 as part of the Discovery Music Series Subscription Package, which includes up to 60% in savings off single ticket prices and several subscriber benefits. Benefits include exclusive access to the VEER Magazine Libation Lounge where subscribers will enjoy complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks during intermission and seating in the center front orchestra (single tickets are general admission for non-subscribers), discounts from downtown Norfolk restaurant, bar and retail supporters and a free Discovery Series t-shirt and poster.
A five concert Discovery Blues Series Package or a five concert Discovery Music Series Package is available for $95 each and includes all the subscriber benefits.
Single tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 31st at 10AM. All shows are $20 in advance, $22.50 day of show. Student tickets are $15 with valid student ID. All tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, at the Scope Box Office 24 hours/seven days a week, or online at www.Ticketmaster.com . For more information, visit www.discoverymusicseries.com or www.SevenVenues.com. Fans can also connect with SevenVenues on Facebook, download apps for the iPhone and android at www.sevenvenues.com/app and follow the action on Twitter at @SevenVenues.
ABOUT THE DISCOVERY MUSIC SERIES:
In the fall of 2006, the City of Norfolk’s Seven Venues presented the inaugural season of the new Discovery Music Series at the historic Attucks Theatre with a lineup of four of the nation’s premiere singer/songwriters. The series continues to be Norfolk’s only blues and indie music subscription series. Notable past performers have included Amos Lee, The Avett Brothers, Bettye LaVette, Dar Williams, The Holmes Brothers, Josh Ritter, Camera Obscura, Mindy Smith and Vienna Teng. Now in its tenth season, the Discovery Music Series continues to deliver the best music you’ve never heard!
ABOUT THE ATTUCKS THEATRE
Located on historic Church Street, one of the most important and oldest thoroughfares in Norfolk, Virginia, the Attucks Theatre was originally known during it’s heyday as the “Apollo Theatre of the South.” Designed by African American architect Harvey Johnson, the theatre opened in 1919, and showcased a host of legendary performers such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Mamie Smith, Nat King Cole, and Redd Foxx.
The Attucks Theatre is named in honor of African-American Crispus Attucks, the first American patriot to lose his life in the 1770 Boston Massacre. For 34 years, the theatre remained a vibrant performing arts facility, but ceased functioning in 1953. In 1977 the United States Congress deemed The Attucks Theatre a National Historic Landmark and after a restoration period of three years, the theatre was reopened in 2004 by a partnership between the City of Norfolk’s Department of Cultural Facilities and the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center.
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