PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project, 15 Kimball Hill, presents an evening of Americana music with two regional bands well known on the national scene - StompBox Trio and Pumpkintown - on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
StompBox Trio vocalist Evelyn Harris was known globally as a longtime member of a capella sensation Sweet Honey in the Rock before forming StompBox Trio in Western Massachusetts with John Cabán (“Dobro” steel guitar, stompbox) and David Rodriguez (wood bass, foot tambourine).
The trio reaches deep into the wellspring of vintage American blues, funk, and soul.
According to a news release, StompBoxTrio came together as a one-off gig project, and from the first rehearsal, “they found their collective sound, feel, and mutual love and admiration for multicultural roots and blues music.”
Evelyn Harris has been a force on the Western Massachusetts music scene for many years. Growing up singing in church in Richmond, Virginia, she was classically trained at Howard University, and began her professional career working in the D.C. jazz community, mentored by Hilton Felton and Donald Byrd.
There, Harris found her place and developed as a composer, arranger, and lead singer with the group Sweet Honey In The Rock for 18 years. A powerhouse vocalist, she creates stirring interpretations of every song she touches.
Guitarist, composer, and producer John Cabán has roots that run deep in the blues, funk, R&B, ambient, experimental, and world music. His distinctive dobro guitar style brings a rich, lyrical, and at times, haunting dynamic to the music.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, accompanist, and teacher David Rodriguez has explored the rhythmic relationships across the U.S. from coast to coast, in Japan and Europe.
Pumpkintown is stories, music, and magic lantern projections from an imaginary New England village by Tim Eriksen and Susan Brearey.
Eriksen is a Grammy-nominated punk-folk pioneer acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel, and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia.
He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and bajo sexto - a 12-string Mexican acoustic bass - creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound.
Brearey, a painter, is known for her iconic depictions of animals. In Brearey's works, primal, totemic images take the place of the photorealistic visual details found in some other works of wildlife art. Animals become primeval shapes, rudimentary and almost featureless, set against abstract surfaces. Brearey's evocative approach was inspired in large part by the cave paintings at Lascaux, France.
Eriksen and Brearey will be joined by Peter Irvine on vocals and percussion for this performance of Pumpkintown.