Here's an article about the series I'll be playing in Connecticut in April. Looking forward to it!

The Hour

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Singer-songwriters have much to celebrate at Acoustic Celebration series

 The Acoustic Celebration series hits the ground running in 2014. Starting this weekend, three consecutive Sunday afternoon singer-songwriter concerts are on the schedule, beginning with Garnet Rogers and Natalia Zuckerman (above) performing at 4 p.m., Jan. 12, at Temple Shearith Israel in Ridgefield.

 

By Mike Horyczun

The Acoustic Celebration series hits the ground running in 2014. Starting this weekend, three consecutive Sunday afternoon singer-songwriter concerts are on the schedule, beginning with Garnet Rogers and Natalia Zuckerman performing at 4 p.m., Jan. 12, at Temple Shearith Israel in Ridgefield. They're followed by Tim Grimm and Ben Bedford at 4 p.m. on Jan. 19, at St. Stephen's North Hall in Ridgefield, and John Wort Hannam at 4 p.m. on Jan. 26, back at Temple Shearith Israel. Series organizer Barbara Manners took some time recently to provide a quick snap-shot review of what audiences can expect from the upcoming acts, some returning favorites, others, like this weekend's opener, Natalia Zuckerman, new to the Acoustic Celebration stage.

"Natalia, who I actually presented in New Haven during the years I directed the CT Folk Festival, is an extraordinarily talented string player on a number of instruments, including lap steel guitar, dobro and slide guitar," said Manners. "Her music crosses many genres, from blues to folk to jazz, and even occasional undertones of classical, which is not surprising since she is the daughter of Pinchas and Eugenia Zukerman. She has collaborated with many other singer-songwriters who have played for Acoustic Celebration. And it is a pleasure to finally be able to present her along with Garnet Rogers, a legendary Canadian singer-songwriter and the brother of the late Stan Rogers, who is often described as the father of Canadian folk music." Rogers is a retuning favorite who has played the series several times during its twelve-year history. "Garnet is back almost every year by popular demand from our audience that loves him for his moving songs and incredible voice, as we'll as for the social values he espouses," said Manners.

The following Sunday, Jan. 19, features Ben Bedford opening for another series favorite, Tim Grimm. "Ben Bedford is a young singer-songwriter who grabbed my attention a couple of years ago when I first heard him," said Manners. "He is a storyteller. His songs paint portraits of American heroes as well as everyday folk, their trials and tribulations. Coming from Illinois, part of 'the American heartland,' he, like Tim Grimm from Indiana, writes songs grounded in American history as well as in our land itself. Tim Grimm, who is one of my personal favorites, has also developed a dedicated following during his performances over the years."

Following John Wort Hannam on Jan. 26, the series features the popular Buskin & Batteau on Feb. 9, Krista Detor, March 23, and Tom Pacheco, March 30, all at Temple Shearith Israel. The Carper Family comes in on April 6 at St. Stephen's North Hall. And this season's Acoustic Celebration closes with Ernest Troost at Temple Sherith Israel on April 27.

"Ernest Troost is an already well-established Emmy-winning composer and arranger of music for movies and TV," said Manners. "Having successfully made a career for himself in that field, he is now finally exploring putting feelings into words as well as music and performing those songs himself. His songs are the work of a polished craftsman, luscious melodies accompanied by well-expressed lyrics. I first heard him a year ago at a music conference and said 'who is this guy?' Clearly he was no novice. Turned out that having made a very successful career as composer, arranger and producer, he is now after all these years giving voice to his passion."

Speaking of passions, Manners, who also runs the summer CHIRP concerts in Ridgefield, explains that hers has a musical base. "My passion is the singer-songwriter genre," she said. And after over a decade of presenting nationally touring troubadours at Acoustic Celebration, she sounds just as inspired in pursuing that passion as when she started. "There are so many talented singer-songwriters that should have more recognition than they do," she said, "and I want to help them develop a broader fan base." Temple Shearith Israel is located at 46 Peaceable St. in Ridgefield. St. Stephen's Church is at the end of 351 Main Street in Ridgefield (on the right). For info, call (203) 431-6501, or visit: www.acousticcelebration.org