Mar
29
7:00 PM19:00

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

$280

Ricky Skaggs.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

A life full of music...  That's the story of Ricky Skaggs.  By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of America's most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music.  His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact.

Ricky struck his first chords on a mandolin over 50 years ago, and this 15-time Grammy Award winner continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music.  With 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics behind him, all from his own Skaggs Family Records label (Bluegrass Rules! in 1998, Ancient Tones in 1999, History of the Future in 2001, Soldier of the Cross, Live at the Charleston Music Hall, and Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe in 2003, Brand New Strings in 2005, Instrumentals in 2007, Salt of the Earth with The Whites in 2008, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947 in 2009 and Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved along with Mosaic in 2010), the diverse and masterful tones made by the gifted Skaggs come from a life dedicated to playing music that is both fed by the soul and felt by the heart.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Apr
13
7:00 PM19:00

Jason Roberts Band

$130

Web Poster.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Grammy Award-winning, fiddle player Jason Roberts brings his signature style to the Jason Roberts Band, delighting fans the world over.

Building on a lifetime blessed by musical genes and work alongside Western Swing giants, Jason Roberts leads world-class talents as front man of the Jason Roberts Band.

Having spent his childhood among legends in Texas honky-tonks -- and then nearly 20 years with the world-famous band Asleep at the Wheel -- Jason has soaked up the very best of Western Swing and brings his own signature style to this traditional American genre. Two Grammy Awards and four individual Hall of Fame inductions later, Jason and his Jason Roberts Band delight fans around the world.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Apr
21
7:00 PM19:00

Doug Stone

$140

doug_stone_bio_1.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Doug had already past the age of 30 when a Nashville manager paired him up with Epic, his first record label. He debuted in1990 with the single, “I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box),” the first release from his 1990 self-titled debuted album for Epic records. This album found Pine Box at a number 4 position on the charts with three more in the top 10 ratings. These singles included, “Fourteen Minutes Old”, number 6 and number 5,”These Lips Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye”. Following these songs was his first number one, “In a Different Light”. In addition, the single was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Both this album and its successor, 1991’s I Thought It Was You, earned a platinum certification from The Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of one million copies. Two more albums for Epic, 1992’s From The Heart and 1994’s More Love, each was certified gold. Stone has charted –twenty-two singles on Hot Country Songs, with his greatest chart success coming between 1990 and 1995. In this time span, he charted four Number Ones: “In a Different Light”, “A Jukebox and a Country Song”, “Too Busy Being in Love”, and “Why Didn’t I think of That”, and eleven more Top Ten singles.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Apr
28
7:00 PM19:00

Miss Lavelle White

$125

Mss Lavelle.jpg

Entertainment as it should be! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Miss Lavelle White is the real deal: a living legend and
queen of soul and blues whose rich history as a singer and songwriter is matched by the music she makes today. Emerging in the late 1950s on Houston's legendary Duke Records, White has worked and toured with many of the great names of black music and spent a decade as the house singer at Chicago's renowned Kingston Mines blues mecca. Since (finally) releasing her first album on Antone's Records in 1994, she has proven to be a dynamic exemplar of the continuing allure and vitality of the African American musical tradition.

Now, with Into The Mystic, Miss Lavelle (as she is known) serves up a delicious buffet of R&B, gospel, funk and even country on which she matches the timeless hits she covers with songs of her own to create a definitive modern soul document. With considerable pop élan firmly planted in her deep roots, White fixes her signature to such classics as the Box Tops hit "Soul Deep," Van Morrison's" Into The Mystic" and Stevie Wonder's "Livin' For The City." She revives the spirit of Edwin Hawkins' "Oh Happy Day" and touches the divine on her own "Lord I Want To Thank You," and conversely defines the sound of country soul on Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You." On an album that travels from her native Mississippi Delta on the sparse country-blues of "Love In Return" to contemporary travails on" Computer Blues," Lavelle White's exceptional voice and pen keep the soul sound alive and kicking in this new century.

Hailed as an avatar of "true blues and a class act" (Portland Oregonian), Lavelle White knows of all that she sings. Born in Amite, Louisiana, she grew up in the cotton fields and churches of Louisiana and Mississippi, the daughter of a gospel piano playing single mother. In her mid-teen years, White relocated to Houston, where she sneaked out of the house at night to feast on the city's vibrant and influential Gulf Coast mix of blues, soul and pop. Taken under wing by Clarence Hollimon and Johnny Copeland and mixing with such musical giants as Albert Collins and Guitar Slim, she began singing in clubs and won a deal with Don Robey's Duke label in1958.

Her six-year tenure with Duke as "Miss La Vell" resulted in such self-penned hits as "If I Could Be With You" – masterfully reprised on Into The Mystic – "Stop These Teardrops" and "Yes, I've Been Crying." But she never released a full album of what L.A. Weekly later called "a jazz-tinged, passionate, altogether beguiling brand of blues." She also wrote Bobby "Blue" Bland's classic "Lead Me On" (prompted by the death of her mother) but was robbed of credit when Robey attached his nom de plume to the song. She shared stages with James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Drifters, Sam Cooke, B. B. King, The Isley Brothers, Freddie King, Bobby Womack, Gladys Knight and others, and continued to work the Texas clubs as the spotlight faded, dedicated to her mission of bringing real music to the people.

In 1978, White picked up a gig at Kingston Mines while visiting family in the Windy City and was asked to be the club's house singer. There she worked with legends like Lonnie Brooks, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells while also touring Europe with Larry Davis. In 1987, she moved back to Texas to enjoy a stunning career revival thanks to what Orange County Weekly calls perhaps her "greatest gift" of bringing "credibility back to a style of music that's too often taken for granted." 

Soon after her return to the Lone Star State, Clifford Antone booked White into his Antone's nightclub in Austin, where she found herself amidst a community of younger admirers. Lou Ann Barton cut White's "Stop These Teardrops" on her 1982 Elektra Records debut, “Old Enough” and Barton, Angela Strehli and Marcia Ball later recorded her "Gonna Make It" on their collaboration “Dreams Come True.”

In 1994, White finally released her first-ever album, Miss Lavelle, to considerable praise. Jazz & Blues Report hailed it as "one of the tastiest R&B finds of the year," while the Haight Ashbury Free Press noted it as "one of the strongest and most honest blues CDs to come through my door." She followed it in 1996 with another triumph “It Haven't Been Easy”, which CMJ/New Music Report crowned as "a classic album indeed" an
d Houston's Public News trumpeted as "one of the finest soul music albums ever heard." 

The albums earned White long overdue recognition as what one critic calls "much more than a lady of soul." She received four W.C. Handy Award nominations, and was honored in France with three prestigious honors: The Otis Redding Award from the Academy of Jazz, the Big Bill Broonzy Award, and the Charles Cross Award, presented by the French President. She was also inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and named Houston's 1995 Blues Artist of the Year, and has been featured on “Austin City Limits.”

Yet even with a legacy and legend second to none, White continues to make music both for our times and history with Into The Mystic. "You've got to take that stuff and do it in a new way,"
she explains of her rich tradition. "I'm very excited with this CD."

Hence Lavelle White continues on her musical mission thanks to her abiding faith in God and dedication to "entertaining the people and making them feel good and seeing the smiles on their faces. And seeing 'em dance, seeing 'em holler back
at me and all that kind of stuff. I love that. I'm out there for them," says Miss Lavelle of her public. And as for herself, "No matter what happens I'm being blessed," she concludes. "And I'm thankful." 

Lavelle White Biography - J.W. Entertainment

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

View Event →
May
12
7:00 PM19:00

Mickey Gilly

$280

Mickey-Gilley.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

The Early Years

Mickey Gilley was born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1936 and grew up in nearby Ferriday, Louisiana. He grew up alongside his two famous cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. It was here where his love of music grew by sneaking up to the windows of clubs to absorb the haunting sound of Louisiana rhythm and blues.

Mickey learned to play piano at an early age but did not achieve the success like his cousin Jerry Lee until later. He moved to Houston, Texas to work construction but at night he played in the local club scene. He recorded his first song in Memphis for Dot Records and later performed as a singer and pianist in cities throughout the south. Eventually, his career path returned him to the Pasadena area where he began performing at the Nesadel Club and quickly developed into one of the city's most popular acts.

In 1971 along with a business partner he opened Gilley's. The club would grow and one day be known as the world's largest honky-tonk. It was here that Mickey started experiencing his first success when he released "Room Full of Roses". By the mid-seventies his songs were hitting the country charts with regularity.

The Urban Cowboy

As the eighties neared, Gilley's was growing bigger with every day. Country music's biggest stars used the club as a launching pad. A television show was developed which only added to the phenomenon. But it was when Esquire Magazine caught wind of the excitement and featured an article called "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy" that caused Gilley's to develop into an urban cowboy craze.

With the club rising in popularity so did Mickey's. He released hit after hit from "City Lights", I Overlooked an Orchard", and "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time"; all reaching number one on the Billboard country Charts. People started to take notice of the phenomenon on a national level. Paramount decided to make a movie about the craze and cast John Travolta and Debrah Winger to play the parts.

The Movie was a success and Gilley's flourished. The soundtrack that featured many popular artists including a huge hit by Mickey, "Stand By Me", went platinum and Mickey became a household name.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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May
13
7:00 PM19:00

Blood Sweat and Tears

$300

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Entertainment as it should be! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

It’s been five decades since dummer/producer Bobby Colomby and friends assembled the first group to successfully blend rock and jazz into a genre crossing sound and style. So successfully in fact, that the band’s second album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, topped the Billboard charts for many weeks and beat out the Beatles’ Abby Road for the prestigious Album of the Year Grammy award. That album produced three major hit singles: “You Made me so Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die.” But now Colomby is looking for much more as he develops Blood Sweat & Tears into a contemporary voice, one that reaches beyond a single, nostalgic audience. 

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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May
25
7:00 PM19:00

Gino Vannelli Friday

$375

Gino.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Born in Montreal, Vannelli grew up in a family headed by his cabaret-singing father and a ‘keen-eared’ mother. Instinctively drawn to jazz, drummers in particular, such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Ed Thigpen and Elvin Jones, as a child Vannelli studied drums and music theory for five years. Gino’s first foray into pop music came one afternoon as a group of young drummers stood in line, waiting to take turns to audition for a Montreal East group called the Cobras. The rite of passage involved playing a tune called “Wipeout” by the Ventures. Having never heard the song before, Gino made sure he waited to the very last, studying the parts every aspiring drummer played (or was trying to play) That afternoon, Gino came home a little later than usual from school, but as the official drummer for the Cobras. A year later, with his brother Joe holding down the keyboard chair, Vannelli headed up the Motown-influenced Jacksonville 5 (note, this is five years before the Jackson 5 recorded their first record). Along the way there were guitar and piano lessons. The urge to compose words and music followed not long after. At fourteen, Gino began his official singing career when the singer in the band fortuitously couldn’t make the high water mark in a then popular tune by a gritty Welshman, Tom Jones, called “It’s Not Unusual”.

To add complication as well as interest to his musical affinities, Gino had fallen in love with classical music—French Impressionism, Italian Opera, and 20th century Russian composers in particular. Attending concerts given by the Montreal Symphony every last Thursday of the month for one semester, had proven to be life-changing (his 2000 release of Canto being testament). “I seemed to have had a double standard, or at least torn between a few distinct sounds and styles,” reflects Vannelli. “I used to defend Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr, insisting they were part of something new and exciting to my purist, jazz-head friends. Yet, when I’d listen to Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, or Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool, pop would suddenly plead no contest—well, at least for that moment. . .One Thursday afternoon at Place Des Arts, I remember hearing the Montreal Symphony playing “Daphne and Chloe” by Maurice Ravel. I walked away shaking my head, muttering to myself, ‘What was that!? I was so deeply moved—bewildered by the sounds I had just heard. It was the moment I discovered to what heights music could draw a man’s soul.”

Before his seventeenth birthday, Vannelli had signed with RCA Records of Canada, releasing a single called “Gina Bold” under the pseudonym Van- Elli.” Ambitious and now bitten by the music industry bug, Gino lived on and off in New York City, making the record company and publisher’s rounds, finally ending up at the foot of the Gates of A&M Records in Hollywood three years later. Gino, accompanied by his brother Joe, and down to their last five-dollar bill, made one last ditch effort to get signed before having to trek back to Montreal. Early one morning, Gino headed out to the offices of A&M Records where he waited outside the gates for any sign of company co-owner Herb Alpert. As Alpert was walking through the parking lot hours later, Vannelli ran past the gates, racing by a startled and furious security guard. Before he could be accosted he begged a slightly apprehensive Alpert for a chance to audition. Acting on a hunch, (and much to the guard’s annoyance) Herb was sympathetic, telling the young hopeful to return later that afternoon. Gino proceeded to play songs on his acoustic guitar he had recently written, including “People Gotta Move,” “Crazy Life,” “Mama Coco,” “Powerful People” and “Lady”—songs that would end up on the six albums Vannelli would record for A&M between 1974 and 1978. That very day, Gino was welcomed as a new member of the A&M family.

 

Billboard & Juno Awards, Gold & Platinum

Five of those six albums made the top 100 Billboard album charts, culminating with Brother to Brother (co-produced by brothers Joe, and Ross ) which achieved a coveted Top 10 position in the fall of 1978. (“I Just Wanna Stop” making it to the 4th spot on the Billboard singles chart) Forever the impassioned artist, Vannelli’s A&M albums consisted of a range of material: from experimental synthesizer arrangements, live orchestral pieces, jazz inflected tunes, to contemporary R&B inspired songs. Having toured with Stevie Wonder, (which led to Gino’s notable appearance on Soul Train—a first for a white artist) Gino soon became a headlining artist, selling out concerts halls and arenas in Canada and the US by twenty-three years of age. Earning a handful of Grammy nominations, and numerous Juno Awards in his native Canada, Gino had arrived.

In 1980, Vannelli signed with Arista Records. His sole Arista album, Nightwalker, provided him with a top-ten pop hit, “Living Inside Myself.” When Vannelli opted to follow it up with a stripped-down, edgier album called Twisted Heart, for the first time in his career he found himself with a less than enthusiastic label, unwilling to release an album. For the next three years, in a move reminiscent to episodes in the careers of George Michael and Prince, Vannelli and his record company engaged in a long battle of creative wills—songs being the sum and substance of the contention. ” There comes a day when an artist has to make a hard choice between two roads that lie ahead, knowing full well even the one he knows to be right will lead to a dark forest, leastways for the foreseeable future. . .comes a time when success must be measured by a different yardstick.”

After a four-year hiatus, Vannelli had finally come through the dark forest and was released from his Arista contract and in 1985 he released the successful Black Cars album and landmark video in Europe. It soon became Vannelli’s most successful international work to that date. Two years later, he recorded Big Dreamers Never Sleep for CBS, whose single, “Wild Horses,” stormed its way to the Top 10 in several countries. A successful North American artist, through some strange twist of fate, had suddenly landed feet first on the world stage. To this day, he continues to have a large, international following, giving concerts from Chicago to Cape Town. By 1990, Vannelli had grown skeptical and weary of the music industry status quo, (and the Hollywood mindset). After throwing himself headlong into the study of the humanities, a careful examination of world religions, philosophies, both Eastern and Western, he decided it was time to move his family north to Oregon. “I decided to pull myself out of the mainstream,” he explains, “and roam the banks.”

Signing with Verve Records, both Vannelli’s commercial outlook and output took a radical swing with the largely acoustic-jazz albums Yonder Tree and Slow Love, released in 1995 and 1997 respectively. “I had finally rounded some of my enduring (and obsessive) visions of the jazz-pop idiom in these two recordings. To his day I listen to those recordings with a sense of satisfaction, at least as much as the ongoing urge to move forward allows”.

By the end of the decade his muse was taking him still further afield, toward one of his earliest loves, classical music. Having just produced a cd, called Hitek Hiku for Danish jazz pianist Niels Landoky, Gino had included a song called “Parole Per Mio Padre” (A Word to My Father), dedicated to his late father, in the style and tradition of Schubert. It seemed good fortune caught up with Vannelli once more, as one day out of the clear blue, the Vatican called Gino personally, asking him to perform the song for Pope John Paul. Soon after the show had been televised in Europe, the head of BMG Records asked Vannelli to record a contemporary classical cd in the same mode as “Parole per Mio Padre”; thus the birth of what many say is one of Gino’s finest musical accomplishments, Canto, released by BMG in 2003. The cd features songs sung in English, Italian, Spanish and French. Singing music from Canto remains one of the highlights of Gino’s present-day live performances.

In 2005 Gino released These Are the Days under the Universal label. It was a compilation that combined seven of his earlier classic hits with seven new songs, marking the debut of yet another phase of Vannelli’s continually fascinating career and a return to the pop genre that made him an icon. In 2007, forever pursuing new sound images and poetic themes, Gino spent long periods in the Netherlands, taking in the culture, listening to Dutch musicians and forming new associations. It culminated in the 2009 release of a cd/poetry book entitled, A Good Thing. “It began by doing nothing other than watching and listening, which eventually ended in the urge to lay my thoughts to poetry. By the time I got to fifty or so poems, the instinct to put music to the verse led to A Good Thing. New methods bring new music.”

n late 2009, amidst a very busy touring schedule, Gino managed to find the time to re-record many of his better known songs for a cd entitled, The Best & Beyond. “True, some may consider The Best & Beyond simply a modernization or update of my older material, but I feel it is much more a statement of my present-day musical mindset, not to mention some incredible musicianship by a few Portland musicians”.

 

Gino’s First Published Book

When Gino was asked to write liner notes for The Best & Beyond, he found himself more eager to share personal information than what was originally needed. The notes grew into his first published book called, Stardust in the Sand—a historical and candid account of life and times culminating into the songs on Best & Beyond included in the back flap. The last chapter entitled, Godlings and Feet of Clay is a humorous telling of chance encounters with famous musicians, including Sting, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, to name a few.

Whether performing piano-voice concerts in theaters, singing before symphony orchestras in concert halls, big bands or a pop ensemble to throngs of enthusiastic fans, Gino remains impassioned and true to his art as ever. Gino Vannelli’s standing as a powerful and innovative live performer, his well hewn musical skills as composer, poet, producer and arranger, (his engaging persona notwithstanding) keep his career rising to greater heights. “The best works lie in the wake of reaching.”

Doors open at 6:00 pm.

View Event →
May
26
7:00 PM19:00

Gino Vannelli Saturday

$375

Gino.jpg

Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Born in Montreal, Vannelli grew up in a family headed by his cabaret-singing father and a ‘keen-eared’ mother. Instinctively drawn to jazz, drummers in particular, such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Ed Thigpen and Elvin Jones, as a child Vannelli studied drums and music theory for five years. Gino’s first foray into pop music came one afternoon as a group of young drummers stood in line, waiting to take turns to audition for a Montreal East group called the Cobras. The rite of passage involved playing a tune called “Wipeout” by the Ventures. Having never heard the song before, Gino made sure he waited to the very last, studying the parts every aspiring drummer played (or was trying to play) That afternoon, Gino came home a little later than usual from school, but as the official drummer for the Cobras. A year later, with his brother Joe holding down the keyboard chair, Vannelli headed up the Motown-influenced Jacksonville 5 (note, this is five years before the Jackson 5 recorded their first record). Along the way there were guitar and piano lessons. The urge to compose words and music followed not long after. At fourteen, Gino began his official singing career when the singer in the band fortuitously couldn’t make the high water mark in a then popular tune by a gritty Welshman, Tom Jones, called “It’s Not Unusual”.

To add complication as well as interest to his musical affinities, Gino had fallen in love with classical music—French Impressionism, Italian Opera, and 20th century Russian composers in particular. Attending concerts given by the Montreal Symphony every last Thursday of the month for one semester, had proven to be life-changing (his 2000 release of Canto being testament). “I seemed to have had a double standard, or at least torn between a few distinct sounds and styles,” reflects Vannelli. “I used to defend Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr, insisting they were part of something new and exciting to my purist, jazz-head friends. Yet, when I’d listen to Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, or Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool, pop would suddenly plead no contest—well, at least for that moment. . .One Thursday afternoon at Place Des Arts, I remember hearing the Montreal Symphony playing “Daphne and Chloe” by Maurice Ravel. I walked away shaking my head, muttering to myself, ‘What was that!? I was so deeply moved—bewildered by the sounds I had just heard. It was the moment I discovered to what heights music could draw a man’s soul.”

Before his seventeenth birthday, Vannelli had signed with RCA Records of Canada, releasing a single called “Gina Bold” under the pseudonym Van- Elli.” Ambitious and now bitten by the music industry bug, Gino lived on and off in New York City, making the record company and publisher’s rounds, finally ending up at the foot of the Gates of A&M Records in Hollywood three years later. Gino, accompanied by his brother Joe, and down to their last five-dollar bill, made one last ditch effort to get signed before having to trek back to Montreal. Early one morning, Gino headed out to the offices of A&M Records where he waited outside the gates for any sign of company co-owner Herb Alpert. As Alpert was walking through the parking lot hours later, Vannelli ran past the gates, racing by a startled and furious security guard. Before he could be accosted he begged a slightly apprehensive Alpert for a chance to audition. Acting on a hunch, (and much to the guard’s annoyance) Herb was sympathetic, telling the young hopeful to return later that afternoon. Gino proceeded to play songs on his acoustic guitar he had recently written, including “People Gotta Move,” “Crazy Life,” “Mama Coco,” “Powerful People” and “Lady”—songs that would end up on the six albums Vannelli would record for A&M between 1974 and 1978. That very day, Gino was welcomed as a new member of the A&M family.

 

Billboard & Juno Awards, Gold & Platinum

Five of those six albums made the top 100 Billboard album charts, culminating with Brother to Brother (co-produced by brothers Joe, and Ross ) which achieved a coveted Top 10 position in the fall of 1978. (“I Just Wanna Stop” making it to the 4th spot on the Billboard singles chart) Forever the impassioned artist, Vannelli’s A&M albums consisted of a range of material: from experimental synthesizer arrangements, live orchestral pieces, jazz inflected tunes, to contemporary R&B inspired songs. Having toured with Stevie Wonder, (which led to Gino’s notable appearance on Soul Train—a first for a white artist) Gino soon became a headlining artist, selling out concerts halls and arenas in Canada and the US by twenty-three years of age. Earning a handful of Grammy nominations, and numerous Juno Awards in his native Canada, Gino had arrived.

In 1980, Vannelli signed with Arista Records. His sole Arista album, Nightwalker, provided him with a top-ten pop hit, “Living Inside Myself.” When Vannelli opted to follow it up with a stripped-down, edgier album called Twisted Heart, for the first time in his career he found himself with a less than enthusiastic label, unwilling to release an album. For the next three years, in a move reminiscent to episodes in the careers of George Michael and Prince, Vannelli and his record company engaged in a long battle of creative wills—songs being the sum and substance of the contention. ” There comes a day when an artist has to make a hard choice between two roads that lie ahead, knowing full well even the one he knows to be right will lead to a dark forest, leastways for the foreseeable future. . .comes a time when success must be measured by a different yardstick.”

After a four-year hiatus, Vannelli had finally come through the dark forest and was released from his Arista contract and in 1985 he released the successful Black Cars album and landmark video in Europe. It soon became Vannelli’s most successful international work to that date. Two years later, he recorded Big Dreamers Never Sleep for CBS, whose single, “Wild Horses,” stormed its way to the Top 10 in several countries. A successful North American artist, through some strange twist of fate, had suddenly landed feet first on the world stage. To this day, he continues to have a large, international following, giving concerts from Chicago to Cape Town. By 1990, Vannelli had grown skeptical and weary of the music industry status quo, (and the Hollywood mindset). After throwing himself headlong into the study of the humanities, a careful examination of world religions, philosophies, both Eastern and Western, he decided it was time to move his family north to Oregon. “I decided to pull myself out of the mainstream,” he explains, “and roam the banks.”

Signing with Verve Records, both Vannelli’s commercial outlook and output took a radical swing with the largely acoustic-jazz albums Yonder Tree and Slow Love, released in 1995 and 1997 respectively. “I had finally rounded some of my enduring (and obsessive) visions of the jazz-pop idiom in these two recordings. To his day I listen to those recordings with a sense of satisfaction, at least as much as the ongoing urge to move forward allows”.

By the end of the decade his muse was taking him still further afield, toward one of his earliest loves, classical music. Having just produced a cd, called Hitek Hiku for Danish jazz pianist Niels Landoky, Gino had included a song called “Parole Per Mio Padre” (A Word to My Father), dedicated to his late father, in the style and tradition of Schubert. It seemed good fortune caught up with Vannelli once more, as one day out of the clear blue, the Vatican called Gino personally, asking him to perform the song for Pope John Paul. Soon after the show had been televised in Europe, the head of BMG Records asked Vannelli to record a contemporary classical cd in the same mode as “Parole per Mio Padre”; thus the birth of what many say is one of Gino’s finest musical accomplishments, Canto, released by BMG in 2003. The cd features songs sung in English, Italian, Spanish and French. Singing music from Canto remains one of the highlights of Gino’s present-day live performances.

In 2005 Gino released These Are the Days under the Universal label. It was a compilation that combined seven of his earlier classic hits with seven new songs, marking the debut of yet another phase of Vannelli’s continually fascinating career and a return to the pop genre that made him an icon. In 2007, forever pursuing new sound images and poetic themes, Gino spent long periods in the Netherlands, taking in the culture, listening to Dutch musicians and forming new associations. It culminated in the 2009 release of a cd/poetry book entitled, A Good Thing. “It began by doing nothing other than watching and listening, which eventually ended in the urge to lay my thoughts to poetry. By the time I got to fifty or so poems, the instinct to put music to the verse led to A Good Thing. New methods bring new music.”

n late 2009, amidst a very busy touring schedule, Gino managed to find the time to re-record many of his better known songs for a cd entitled, The Best & Beyond. “True, some may consider The Best & Beyond simply a modernization or update of my older material, but I feel it is much more a statement of my present-day musical mindset, not to mention some incredible musicianship by a few Portland musicians”.

 

Gino’s First Published Book

When Gino was asked to write liner notes for The Best & Beyond, he found himself more eager to share personal information than what was originally needed. The notes grew into his first published book called, Stardust in the Sand—a historical and candid account of life and times culminating into the songs on Best & Beyond included in the back flap. The last chapter entitled, Godlings and Feet of Clay is a humorous telling of chance encounters with famous musicians, including Sting, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, to name a few.

Whether performing piano-voice concerts in theaters, singing before symphony orchestras in concert halls, big bands or a pop ensemble to throngs of enthusiastic fans, Gino remains impassioned and true to his art as ever. Gino Vannelli’s standing as a powerful and innovative live performer, his well hewn musical skills as composer, poet, producer and arranger, (his engaging persona notwithstanding) keep his career rising to greater heights. “The best works lie in the wake of reaching.”

Doors open at 6:00 pm.

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Aug
3
7:00 PM19:00

John Fullbright

$99

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Entertainment as it should be! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

“What’s so bad about happy?” John Fullbright sings on the opening track of his new album, ‘Songs.’ It’s a play on the writer’s curse, the notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or depression, that great art is only born from suffering.

“A normal person, if they find themselves in a position of turmoil or grief, they’ll say, ‘I need to get out of this as fast as I can,’” says Fullbright. “A writer will say, ‘How long can I stay in this until I get something good?’ And that’s a bullshit way to look at life,” he laughs.

That plainspoken approach is part of what’s fueled the young Oklahoman’s remarkable rise. It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, ‘From The Ground ’ to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self­assured,” while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.” The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year’s 10 best live performances, and the album also earned him the ASCAP Foundation’s Harold Adamson Lyric Award. If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when ‘From The Ground Up’ was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt.

“I never came into this with a whole lot of expectations,” says Fullbright. “I just wanted to write really good songs, and with that outlook, everything else is a perk. The fact that we went to LA and played “Gawd Above” in front of a star­studded audience [at the GRAMMY pre-­tel concert], never in my life would I have imagined that.”

But for Fullbright, it hasn’t been all the acclaim that means the most to him, but rather his entrance into a community of songwriters whose work he admires.

“When I started out, I was all by myself in a little town in Oklahoma where whatever you wanted, you just made it yourself,” he explains. “I didn’t grow up around musicians or like­minded songwriters, but I grew up around records. One of the most fulfilling things about the last two years is that now I’m surrounded by like­minded people in a community of peers. You don’t feel so alone anymore.”

If there’s a recurring motif that jumps out upon first listen to ‘Songs,’ it’s the act of writing, which is one Fullbright treats with the utmost respect. “When I discovered Townes Van Zandt, that’s when I went, ‘You know, this is something to be taken pretty damn seriously,’” says Fullbright. “‘This is nothing to do with business, it has to do with art and identity.’ You can write something that’s going to outlast you, and immortality though song is a big draw.”

But just as important to Fullbright as writing is careful editing. “I can write a first verse and a chorus fairly easily, and it’s important just to document it at the time and come back to it later,” he explains. “That’s the labor, when you really get your tools out and figure out how to craft something that’s worthwhile.”

Fullbright inhabits his songs’ narrators completely, his old­soul voice fleshing out complex characters and subtle narratives with a gifted sense of understatement.

“My songwriting is a lot more economical now,” he explains. “I like to say as much as I can in 2 minutes 50 seconds, and that’s kind of a point of pride for me.”

The arrangements on ‘Songs’ are stripped down to their cores and free of ornamentation. Fullbright’s guitar and piano anchor the record, while a minimalist rhythm section weaves in and out throughout the album. That’s not to say these are simple songs; Fullbright possesses a keen ear for memorable melody and a unique approach to harmony, moving through chord progressions far outside the expected confines of traditional folk or Americana. The performances are stark and direct, though, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and most honest form.

“I’m a better performer and writer and musician now, and I wanted a record that would reflect that,” he says. “We tracked a lot of it live, just me and a bass player in a room with a few microphones. The basis is a live performance and everything else supports that. I think you just get as much energy and skill as you can into a take, and then start building from there. And what we found is that you don’t have to add too much to that.”

The songs also reflect how drastically Fullbright’s life has changed since the release of ‘From The Ground Up,’ which launched him into a rigorous schedule of international touring. “Going Home” finds him appreciating the simple pleasure of heading back to Oklahoma, which he likens to The Odyssey. “When you’re gone for so long, once you know you’re headed in the right direction to your own bed and your own home, that’s one of the greatest feelings you can have,” he says.

“I Didn’t Know” is a song he premiered live at concert hosted by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, a story he tells still somewhat incredulously, while “When You’re Here” is a somber piano love song, and “The One That Lives Too Far’ is a raw account of the strain that distance can put on a romantic relationship. “All That You Know,” which features just voice and Wurlitzer, implores listeners to appreciate what’s right in front of them, and the finger­picked “Keeping Hope Alive” is a song of resilience through hard times.

To be sure, ‘Songs’ has its moments of darkness, tracks born from pain and heartbreak, but for a craftsman like Fullbright, there are few greater joys than carving emotion into music, taking a stab at that lofty goal of immortality through song. It makes him—and his fans—happy, and there’s nothing bad about that.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Radney Foster

$125

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Entertainment as it should be! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

As a young musician straight out of Texas, Radney Foster spent the lengthy drives in between tour stops reading the likes of John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, and Harper Lee. Over 30 years of artist cuts later, there is no question that he himself is an established storyteller. Whether it’s navigating the ever-changing music industry or battling a sudden, terrifying illness – Foster definitely has a story to tell.

In late Fall 2015, the legendary songwriter got the diagnosis every musician fears-- a severe case of pneumonia and laryngitis. However, for someone who’s been producing songs for almost 40 years, the desire to write doesn’t fade along with the voice. During a grueling six week period of vocal constraint, Foster’s creative side emerged in the form of a short story inspired by the song, titled “Sycamore Creek,” and the idea for Foster’s newest endeavor was born.

For You To See The Stars is a project comprised of two parts – a book and a CD. The book is a collection of short stories published by Working Title Farm. Though the stories are fiction, they are informed by Foster’s upbringing on the Mexican border in Del Rio, TX. The story that most closely resembles memoir, “Bridge Club,” is a humorous and poignant retelling of the song “Greatest Show on Earth,” a recollection of playing music with family and friends on the back porch on a Saturday night.

While it’s evident that Texas has always been an inspiration for his music, in For You To See The Stars, Foster explores various landscapes, both physical and emotional, from the story of a retired spy in New Orleans, to the tale of a Dallas lawyer wandering the Rocky Mountains in search of redemption, to a post apocalyptic parable of a world in endless war.

The beauty of this CD/book combo lives within Foster’s extensive imagery, which not only further expands the meaning behind Foster’s songs, but gives the reader a look at the thought process behind his songwriting. “For me, the goal of writing is always to touch that one person so much that they wonder how I got a peek into their living room--how I understood exactly what they felt. More than just rhyming or having a pretty melody, I try to express a part of the human condition that can make someone want to laugh, cry, make love, or all of the above.”

Although the literature can be enjoyed independently, each story is uniquely coupled with a song. The 10-track album, also titled For You To See The Stars, features nine new songs and a special re-recording of “Raining on Sunday,” the song Foster co-wrote with Darrell Brown, which became one of Keith Urban’s top Billboard singles. The album was recorded at the historic Nashville studio Sound Emporium and was produced by award-winning Will Kimbrough, who also plays multiple instruments and sings on the record.

For You To See The Stars is Radney Foster’s eleventh album. Foster has written eight number one hit singles, including his own “Nobody Wins,” and “Crazy Over You” with duo Foster & Lloyd. His discography contains countless cuts by artists ranging anywhere from country (Keith Urban, The Dixie Chicks, Luke Bryan, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) to contemporary (Marc Broussard, Hootie & The Blowfish, Kenny Loggins, Los Lonely Boys). Although highly recognized and accomplished in the music world, Foster is a true renaissance man. In addition to For You To See The Stars being his first book, Foster recently starred in the world premiere of "Troubadour,” at Atlanta’s Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre.  He also appears in the upcoming feature film, Beauty Mark.

For You To See The Stars is Foster at his classic storytelling best, both as a seasoned singer/songwriter and a soulful writer of prose. Although both components stand alone as separate pieces of art-- they are meant to be enjoyed together for a reason. When coupled, the book and CD give fans a deeper insight into the subconscious of Foster’s storytelling. Journalist Peter Cooper puts it best, “Radney Foster writes with uncommon depth of emotion, humor, empathy, and clarity. I’m going to ask him how he does it, and if he tells me I’ll let you in on his secret. Until then, it’s best that we read, wonder, and revel.”

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Nov
16
7:00 PM19:00

Wood and Wire

$110

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Entertainment as it should be! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

It's been five years now since Wood & Wire sprouted out of the rich musical soil of Austin, Texas. In that time, they've written music, recorded albums, and performed at some of the most notable festivals and venues across the country.

In the often tightly defined genre of bluegrass music, Wood & Wire's "band-style" ethos are not unheard of. Nor are the elements of song crafting, so often associated with their Texas home, that permeate their sound. That said, what comes out of the Wood & Wire blender is something entirely its own.

Tony Kamel -- leader singer, guitarist, mover, shaker, and primary songwriter -- brings his material to the group in a malleable form, and the results are illimitable. "I think I'm most proud of how we've developed our sound together," says Kamel. "It feels great to step on stage feeling like we've really found our own style, which feels most to me like alt-country tunes expressed with bluegrass instruments more than anything. It’s all centered around the songs."

A culmination of very distinct musical personalities, there's one ambition they all share: "Our goal is to show up and drive, so that the energy hits you, and it's undeniable," says bassist Dom Fisher.

Fisher, a New York state native, formed the group with Kamel in 2011. Shortly thereafter, the addition of banjoist Trevor Smith, says Fisher, "really put us on a different level."

Smith, who had been playing music with Fisher, Kamel and other local musicians at a weekly bluegrass gig in Austin, actually grew up playing classical piano. After attending his first bluegrass festival, he picked up his main instrument, the banjo. "I was perplexed by the sound of it, and I had to figure it out," says Smith. "We're rooted in traditional bluegrass but don't limit ourselves to any perceived notion of what that's supposed to be. We do our own thing, and we realize that vision collectively."

Mandolinist Billy Bright joined the group in 2014. Bright brought with him a suitcase full of tunes and a trunk full of ideas."Billy really rounded us out in a big way" says Fisher. "We're really excited to finally make a studio record with him."

The band began recording their upcoming studio record in Austin this spring and plan for an early 2018 release.

“We can’t wait. This will be our most definitive record to date. We're fortunate to have reached both die-hard bluegrass fans, folks who have never heard of bluegrass, and everything in between," says Kamel. "We'll keep working hard to bring the music to our fans."

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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Jan
26
7:00 PM19:00

Wanda Jackson

$150

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Entertainment as it should be at the beautifully renovated historic theater in downtown Greenville, TX! Get ready to be spoiled! Come enjoy an intimate show with close free parking, full 4 course dinner, luxurious seating, table service, and all gratuities included!

Wanda Lavonne Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the “Queen of Rockabilly” or the “First Lady of Rockabilly”.

Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record. As rockabilly declined in popularity in the mid-1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1966 and 1973, including “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine”, “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows”.

She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. In 2009 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence.

Doors Open: 6:30PM

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