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Bettman & Halpin play original Folk/Americana. Their concerts combine high-energy upbeat bluegrass/roots inspired compositions, beautiful ballads with soaring vocals and heartfelt lyrics, and groovy feel-good songs that audiences will be singing in their heads for weeks thereafter. Interspersed between these songs and instrumentals, they tell stories. They have become as known for their storytelling and playful banter as well as for their hooky whole-hearted songwriting and instrumental wizardry. They have been touring as a duo since 2008, and incorporating a trio and quartet since 2013.
Bettman & Halpin have a well-earned reputation for hypnotizing performances filled with irresistible lyrics, transcendent harmonies and roof-raising instrumentals. They have twice been a featured act at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS along with musical heroes Byron Berline, Michael Martin Murphy w/ Pat Flynn, and Tommy Emmanuel. They can also be found performing at various arts centers throughout the US and abroad. Their music creates a fully acoustic, delightfully eclectic sound far greater than the sum of its parts: taking the listener from up-tempo down home fiddlin', to soulful sorrowful ballads, to super hooky folk/pop with catchy melodies and lyrics that will stick with you long after the concert is over. Touring together since 2008, Bettman & Halpin have been recognized in various Regional and National competitions, including:
Grand Prize Winners in the So Cal Live Acoustic Music Competition Winners in Southern California’s Topanga Banjo / Fiddle Contest Most Wanted Artists at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Music Connection’s Top 25 New Music Critiques Their 5 CDs have received national and international radio play along with critical acclaim, reaching the top 10 and top 5 on the National Folk DJ chart and number 1 on The Roots Music Report.
Stephanie Bettman is a true triple threat. An accomplished writer, singer, and fiddler: her lyrics are infused with wit and wisdom, poetry and insight. Vocally she draws comparison to the soaring soprano of Joan Baez and the plaintive emotion of Emmylou Harris. Meanwhile, her fiddling, which combines elements of bluegrass and jazz, is inspired by such masters as Stephane Grappelli, Byron Berline and Johnny Gimble. A former actress and trapeze artist, Ms Bettman is at ease in front of an audience and creates authentic intimacy with her crowd no matter the size.
Luke Halpin is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. A master of the guitar and the mandolin, impressive on fiddle, banjo, and adept at nearly anything he picks up. Halpin draws inspiration from the likes of Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor and Tony Rice and holds his own in comparison. A dynamic and sensitive vocalist himself, the harmony blend he and Ms Bettman achieve is chilling and at times simply transcendent. Halpin has a long history in the music biz, having shared the stage with the likes of Merle Haggard, Lone Star and The Steve Miller Band (to name a few).
His quirky sense of humor is a perfect foil to Stephanie's dry witty presence.
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Out of the heartland of America, stomping grounds of Truman and Twain, “powerhouse” troubadour Dana Cooper dedicated himself to a life of music over 40 years ago. This song poet engages and inspires audiences around the world with his quick wit, insightful stories and commanding presence. He is the recipient of the 2014 Heritage Musician award from Pilgrim Center for the Arts in Kansas City, MO. He was also named the
2015 Spirit of Folk award winner by Folk Alliance International. He has performed on Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage and the Kerrville Folk Festival where he was nominated for their Hall of Fame. Cooper’s songs have been recorded by top-notch artists such as bluegrass star Claire Lynch; Irish vocalist Maura O’Connell; and luminary songwriters Pierce Pettis and Susan Werner. Cooper’s mixture of flat-picking, finger-picking and percussive strumming style is legend among other guitarists. An expressive singer his voice is ageless evoking a rich lifetime of experience.
At 12 he sang, played drums, guitar and harmonica in local bands. By 13 he began writing his own songs and at 16 he performed regularly at the prestigious Vanguard Coffeehouse in Kansas City. His deep love and commitment to a life of music drew Cooper away from an art scholarship.
Cooper took to the road touring midwest college coffeehouses for one year then sold an electric guitar and his entire record collection to buy a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. Four months later he was signed to Elektra Records where his eponymous first album was released in 1973.
The record features such acclaimed players as Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel and Jim Horn.Years later he returned to San Francisco City College to study another great love, horticulture. Still he played whenever possible in clubs all over the Bay Area. Cooper’s diverse experiences as a taxi driver, warehouseman, nurse’s aid, gardener, waiter and touring musician continued to bring maturity and depth to his songwriting.
Cooper eventually moved to Texas writing, performing and recording with Shake Russell in the late 70s and with his own power trio, DC3 during the early 80s. Returning to his roots as a solo performer Cooper relocated to Nashville in 1988. He has become an integral figure in the Music City songwriting community collaborating with renowned writers such as Tom Kimmel, Sally Barris, Kim Carnes and Don Henry. Cooper has been invited to participate in songwriting workshops from Belfast to Copenhagen to Austin.
His prolific endeavors have resulted in 28 albums. The critically acclaimed Miracle Mile on Compass Records was nominated for a Nashville Music Award as “Best Pop Album” and was chosen by Performing Songwriter magazine as one of the top DIY recordings for the year. Harry Truman Built a Road was named one of the best records of 2002 by The Tennessean and was also chosen as one of the top twelve DIY recordings for that year. Made of Mud released on King Easy Records in 2005 won Cooper the “Best Male Songwriter Award” by Indie Acoustic Project. Working with co-producer/guitarist Thomm Jutz, Cooper released his 27th album, Building a Human Being, in September, 2015.
Cooper and Jutz also coproduced his 28th recording, Incendiary Kid, which will be released October 20, 2017 on Travianna Records. Americana and Folk radio stations across the country are now playing the new CD in anticipation of its release.
Robert K. Oermann in Music Row Magazine says of Building a Human Being “Nashville veteran Cooper wins the Disc of the Day prize. Highly recommended.”
Fellow singer songwriter Buzz Holland says “Cooper is a person who can sing like an angel and play like the devil.”
Legendary Texas singer songwriter Eric Taylor said of Cooper’s performance at Kerrville Fall Festival 2015 “Dana Cooper gave the best solo performance I’ve seen and heard for many years. Could be the best I’ve ever.”
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Mike Aiken is an Americana, Country, Roots artist with an ocean view. This songwriter, guitarist and sea captain is originally from rural Western New York, outside of Buffalo. He currently lives aboard his sailboat in Norfolk, Virginia when he’s not on the road or in Nashville. His highly anticipated seventh studio album, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR, released in June 2018, is a follow up to Grammy-nominated CAPTAINS & COWBOYS. On the recording, Mike brings his favorite band (of wayward troubadours) together to help tell the musical stories behind the songs including Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart) on extra guitars, David Roe (Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash) on upright bass and vocal appearances by co-writers Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk) and Chris P James (Burrito Brothers).
Mike Aiken may have been born in the wrong century. An inner sense of chivalry oozes from every story he tells and every song he sings. Aiken has drawn tales – and hope – from “trail riders, aging rodeo champs, sea captains, Rastafarians and outlaws on the lamb” and crafted an evening of tunes that draws the threads of these independent spirits together. Shows feature tasty playing, sweet harmonies and a video backdrop that highlights the stories behind the songs. You can expect to hear upbeat, rootsy grooves, from slide guitar to honky-tonk piano, percussion and harmony vocals that take you to the heart of a summer jump-up.
“Tall Tales and Troubadours is a tour de force performance…” – Ron Wray, No Depression
“Mike writes songs that are a little closer to the bone.” – Chuck Dauphin, Billboard
“A performer loved by all audiences.” – Virginia Arts Council
“The audience hooped and hollered and stomped their feet! With his stories and songs, it was like an old friend singing on your back porch. Mike’s music gave a comfortable classical country feel but with an original edge that kept everyone entertained. “ – Mark McCreary, Ross Ragland Theater
Mike’s stage setup speaks to the kind of musicality he delivers – a On stage with Mike is his wife and musical partner, Amy, whose setup is also unique – snare and hi-hats, congas, rub-board, African gourd and assorted hand percussion. The full band consists of additional band members on upright bass, second guitar, and four-part harmony. Reviews have stated that ‘together they emit an aura of warmth and experience that transfers to the audience.’
Aiken’s love for singing, songwriting and sailing has taken him all over the world. As a songwriter he puts pen to paper and shares his colored and colorful life. As an artist who comes by his stories honestly, Aiken has definitely taken his place among well-respected songwriters and musicians in the Americana and Country communities.
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One listen to the brand new album, "This Side or The Other," and you'll know David Olney is a man familiar with the wandering life and yearning heart of a poet. After more than 30 years in music, he's had as many incarnations as you can imagine. His resume has expanded to include acting, poetry and a popular weekly streamcast. All of this adds to Olney's strength as a songwriter's songwriter, and one of Nashville's founding fathers of Americana music.
While "This Side or The Other" is not a concept album, there are some recurring themes. The frequent reference to walls in these songs - walls being built and tumbling down - will suggest that while Olney has encountered more than his own share of walls, he is still trying his best to understand them.
"I wanted to explore the idea of walls," says Olney, "What does a wall mean? What does it mean to be an immigrant who comes upon that wall as a wanderer, someone lost and alone?"
A wall in song can be the symbolic blockage from one place to another, or the flat finality of something coming to an end. In life as in art, Olney has scaled walls and torn them down. Yet, it's not his own path he is particularly interested in exploring. David Olney has always been an observer, a student and writer of life for as long as he could hold a pen.
"I'm not comfortable writing about my own dirty laundry," says Olney, "It's better for me to look at characters and what they might be going through. When I write about the heavy stuff of life, it's usually while I'm in someone else's shoes."
"This Side or The Other" contains solid musicianship as good as anything Nashville has to offer, and a stark, moody production by Juno Award-winning producer Steve Dawson.
"I look for a producer I can be relaxed around," Olney says, "And I really wanted to work with Steve on this record. And while I knew he was a good producer, I had no idea what a terrific musician he was until I had him play guitar on 'Death Will Not Divide Us.' He did a beautiful job."
The other musicians on "This Side or The Other" are Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Charlie McCoy, The McCrary Sisters, Fats Kaplin, Anne McCue and Olney's regular band: Daniel Seymour on bass, Ward Stout on fiddle and Justin Amaral on drums.
The ten songs on "This Side or The Other" have been compiled from new and old writings, as well as a few collaborations with friends. Olney says he enjoys collaborating. "Annie McCue and John Hadley cowrote the title song, 'This Side or The Other' with me. It's currently my favorite song."
In "Stand Tall," a song Olney's been writing on-and-off for 25 years, he admits "I'm never going to change the way I am" - a sentiment that will gratify his longtime fans from all over the world, who like him just the way he is and only want more of the same.
"Breaking out of your comfort zone," admits Olney, "can lead to certain encounters with banana peels, but that's the chance you have to take to get songs and performances with a certain edge. I tend to stay on the margin of the page. I'm always looking for that 'otherness,' staying a bit off center."
The sweetest song on the album, a plaintive love song called "Open Your Heart (And Let Me In)," is one part plea and one part indictment of a would-be lover who's missing the chance for real love.
Olney's last track is a rootsy cover of The Zombies' 1965 hit, "She's Not There." It's a delicious reminder that everything David Olney touches gets infused with a rare blend of dark chocolate. Despite it being the cover of a popular song, we hear words we've never heard in the same way before.
But David Olney knows words. He knows what they can do, and when paired with a bitter/sweet melody, they can take on a life of their own.
And maybe they can even tear down walls.
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Sasha grew up in the rustic beauty of Western, MA. The son of a Folk singer turned preacher and political activist, Sasha's youth was wrapped in Folk traditions, singing, acoustic guitars, and tall trees.
Today, Sasha resides in Austin where he performs, composes, and teaches music full time. As someone who experiences the world through his connection with nature and his relationships with others, Sasha writes personal, yet relatable songs about love, loss, work, friendship, and the environment.
Sasha’s influences include Wilco, Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and Josh Ritter.
Sasha has performed at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Old Settler's Music Festival, Fischer Fest, and was selected to the 2019 Corpus Christi Songwriting Festival.
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Reservations will guarantee the reservation holder a seat,
but not a specific seat. Seating will be general admission,
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Pipp and his late brother Guy received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2011 and the 2013 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Original Western Composition for their performance of the Waddie Mitchell song "Trade Off.” Drawing on a lifelong interest in Western history and music, Pipp plays traditional cowboy music on guitar, banjo, harmonica and bones. Pipp’s first solo CD, Singing Songs by Waddie and Pipp received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2016. His newest CD, Pipp Gillette with Lloyd Wright was released fall 2018.
Lloyd Wright plays dulcimer, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and is co-founder of the Old Mill Music Festival along with his wife, April Wright.
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Doors open at 5:00 PM
Show begins at 6:00 PM
In Austin, Texas—a town overflowing with gifted singer/songwriters and guitar players—Christine Albert & Chris Gage have a long track record of making beautiful music together, although both musicians' individual pedigrees are far more extensive. Over the course of six duet albums, the duo has demonstrated that disparate backgrounds do not preclude musical soul mates from finding one another.
The Houston Press noted, “From George Jones and Tammy Wynette to Richard and Linda Thompson, male-female duets are one of popular music's most delightful permutations. And the Austin-based duo of Christine Albert and Chris Gage easily slot right in with the best.”
Onstage, Albert's slender, dark beauty contrasts strikingly with Gage's craggy good looks and how gracefully they complement each other is easily apparent. In 2003 Albert and Gage released their first live recording, Albert and Gage at Anderson Fair. Dirty Linen commented that the set, which is reflective of their typical live performances, had “energy, humor, really fine duet singing, strong leads, original harmonies, a strong sense of partnership, personality, and musicality” and Sing Out! called it “a cohesive and exciting exploration of the roots of popular, mostly American, music”.
Gage is a journeyman musician and South Dakota native who literally began touring in a station wagon at age 15. In the mid-Seventies and early Eighties he led the popular Midwestern country-swing Red Willow Band, whose reunion shows still draw thousands of devoted fans. From there he graduated to an eight-year tenure on piano with guitar virtuoso and country star Roy Clark, which included appearances on Hee Haw, The Tonight Show and The Grand Ole Opry. After moving to Austin in 1991, Gage began commuting to San Antonio to take the reins as a musical director for the Fiesta Texas theme park.
But it was during (and following) his next incarnation, as bandleader for West Texas alt.-country singer/songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, that he began to carve out his own place in the Austin scene as an in-demand session player, accompanist and producer. It was with Gilmore that Christine first heard Chris play and in 1997 Albert & Gage was formed. The duo later toured as an opening act for Gilmore and as members of his ensemble. In 2011, the Academy of Texas Music proclaimed Mr. Gage "Musician of the Year" and in 2015 he was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Christine cut her musical teeth in northern New Mexico after moving west from her childhood home in upstate New York. Along with old friend and fellow New Mexico chanteuse Eliza Gilkyson (whom she also cites as an early influence and inspiration), Albert relocated to Austin in 1982 and began to distinguish herself as a singer-songwriter in a town where the bar for such artists is set very high indeed.
Christine Albert's French grandmother lived in Paris and her mother was born in Switzerland, so perhaps it's inevitable that the occasional Edith Piaf song migrates into her sets of original material and carefully chosen covers. She has recorded a series of acclaimed albums of lovely Franco-Lone Star fusion - Texafrance (1992), Texafrance-Encore (2003) and Paris, Texafrance (2008).
Christine's latest release, "Everything's Beautiful Now" is an exploration into the richness of loss, and has been well received by critics and fans alike. Everything's Beautiful Now were the last words spoken to Christine by her mother-in-law Darleen as she was making the final move towards the other side. Originals mix lovingly with soulful covers of Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne and Texas faves Shake Russell and Dana Cooper.
Christine released several other solo albums during the years before she met Chris, and had established a solid name on the Texas scene. She was voted Female Vocalist of the Year in the Kerrville Music Awards poll and has appeared on Austin City Limits. A longtime community activist, Albert is also the Founder of “Swan Songs”, a non-profit that fulfills musical last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal illness. Ms. Albert served for 10 years on the National Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy, the organization that presents the GRAMMY Awards, eventually rising to the position of Chairman of the Board.
With the exception of 1997’s Jumpin’ Tracks, Albert and Gage’s albums have been recorded at their own MoonHouse Studio (a commercial facility in south Austin) and released on the artist owned MoonHouse Records. Chris maintains a busy studio schedule and over the years they have expanded MoonHouse Records with Gage productions by Cowboy Johnson, Michael Austin and Abi Tapia. Gage also plays lead guitar in Texas legend Jerry Jeff Walker’s band and is co-produced Walker’s latest CD, It’s About Time.
The duo’s most recent CD, Dakota Lullaby (2009), features twelve songs by an unheralded songwriter from South Dakota – Tom Peterson. The CD landed in the top 40 on the Americana Music chart and the Top 20 on the Euro-Americana and US Folk-DJ charts. FAME described it as “a pure, unadulterated labor of love…Albert & Gage, obviously on the same page at all times, blend voices effortlessly, fluctuating between smooth country and western swing like they were born to it. Beneath those voices Gage placed a bang-up group of sidemen most musicians would kill for and handled production like the pro he has become.”
Christine Albert and Chris Gage are well respected, seasoned music business veterans, but the joy they experience making music together is fresh and infectious. “They can rock, boogie, swing, trot down country roads and stride down sophisticated boulevards and make it all sound as it should: like parts of a unified whole rather than a mishmash of different styles. Albert and Gage have global class, musicality and charm.” (Houston Press) You can’t ask for more than that.