Acoustic Brew Concerts   Spring 2009 Schedule
January February March April May
18 Peter Ostroushko 31 Toby Walker 14 Kim Beggs & CTSQ 21 Ellis  4 The Hotseats 18 John Lilly  2 Vance Gilbert 17 Anne Hills& Michael Smith

Jan 18 Peter Ostroushko at the CWB 4:00 p.m. $14

Perhaps best known for his contributions to Prairie Home Companion, Peter Ostroushko has come to be regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music. He has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling master of instrumentation and composition. He's played with Jethro Burns, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins, Johnny Gimble, but his hometown Minneapolis' music scene has provided a fabulous variety of musical styles in which Peter remains enequaled: folk (Greg Brown, John Hartford, Taj Mahal, Robin & Linda Williams), bluegrass (Norman and Nancy Blake, Tim O'Brien and Hot Rize), jazz, classical, and even rock. Join Peter and us for this mid-winter opener to our Spring Season.

"Trying to find a descriptive label for Peter Ostroushko's music is alot like using words to describe Picasso's painting. It can't be done. About the best one can do is to declare that, whatever the style or medium, Ostroushko's music is created with passion and imagination and is performed with breathtaking precision." -- Tulsa World

Peter will be accompanied by Danny Gotham, originally from Pottsdam, NY, now of Chapel, N.C.

Jan 31 Toby Walker at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14
with Angelo M.

Toby Walker is a unique, accomplished fingerstyle guitar virtuoso adept at blues, rags and hot country picking, coaxing more out of a guitar than anyone can imagine, but the originality doesn't end there. He is also a skilled singer and songwriter who draws inspiration from traditional and contemporary music. Toby's passion for the blues and other traditonal Amercian music sent him into the deep south where he tracked down old time musicians of an earlier era, learning directly at the feet of Etta Baker, Jack Owens and many others. He shares this music and the stories of his travels in each of his performances. Toby takes this foundation and creates something uniquely his own and has been eagerly received in concert halls, festivals, schools and coffeehouses throughout the U.S., England and Europe. His songs can make you shake with laughter or bring a tear to your eye.

"When Toby Walker straps the guitar on, the notes fly at a rate that is dizzying. They dance with speed, grace and precision. The effect is one of steel-like strength. His blues are a flash of muscle and his gentle fingerstyle ballads speak poetry." -- Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live

Angelo M. Rootstime Review calls this former steelworker a "Brilliant Guitarist" with an "Excellent Voice", and says his song, 'Lost' produces "Goose Bumps". A performing songwriter and accomplished finger-style & slide guitarist Angelo M.(short for Melasecca) is also noted for playing Dobro, mandolin and harp.

Feb 14 Kim Beggs / Creaking Tree String Quartet at WPSU 7:30 p.m. $15

Combining delightful acoustic arrangements with a voice that's been described by Acoustic Live in NYC as a "cross between Nanci Griffith and Iris DeMent" Kim Beggs reflects on the journey through life and death, the wanderer's spirit and the loss of loved ones.

Creaking Tree String Quartet

String-band music has long been a staple of Americana. While the four members of Toronto's Creaking Tree String Quartet pay homage to that tradition, they refuse to be bound by it. Instead, the technically dazzling outfit uses fingerboards to leap stylistic boundaries and fuse intricate styles. The result is a smartly intellectual and yet deeply moving sound that's a true Canadian original: jazz forms sliding over a rootsy bluegrass base, with flashes of chamber music, reverence and avant-garde experimentation.

Take a trip north of the border with us as Kim Beggs and her Canadian cohorts, Creaking Tree String Quartet join forces in what should truly be a tour de force quintessential Brew evening..

Both Kim and Creaking Tree will be offering free Folks Learnin' Folk workshops. Check the workshop schedule for details.

Mar 21 ELLIS at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14
with Hannah Bingman

Ellis is a rising star on the folk music circuit, creating a buzz after being voted "Most Wanted to Return" and performing on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival preview tour. This talented singer, songwriter and guitarist has since been invited back to several premiere listening rooms including Club Passim, Outpost in the Burbs, Caffe Lena, and P.A.C.E. as well as a formal showcase at the 2007 NERFA conference and 2008 Folk Alliance Conference. She has also been asked to open for several established artists such as Patty Larkin, Richard Shindell, Cheryl Wheeler, and Todd Snider.

"Ellis takes all the elements of life (joy, grief, hope, love and more) and distills them into introspective songs that embrace our complicated human existence. How does it feel? Amazing." - Crystal Sarakas, WSKG Public Radio

Hannah BingmanHannah Bingman colors her songs with the blues of isolation, bright greens and purples of self discovery, and the browns of earthy understanding.

Apr 04 The Hotseats at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14
with the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners

(Formerly Special Ed & the Shortbus) Once in a while, we find an act that defies description, but that we know you're going to love! bubbling fountain of virtuosic insanity. Seeing The Hotseats play is like watching a high-speed train about to jump the tracks. Unstoppable energy matched with technical mastery, outlandish humor and fully engaging entertainment, The Hotseats are a sight to behold.

Jug band, Bluegrass, Old-Timey, String Band, Vaudevillian, Jazz, call it what you will, it's just American music (except when it's Eastern European). The band employs banjos, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, a doghouse bass, many kazoos, and a whole host of other toys to create their irresistible sound, a truly Special blend.

"Virginian quintet (The Hot Seats) thrive on diversity . . . The action is virtually non-stop, the musicianship superb, with fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar coalescing with humour and speed and powered by a communally owned and played double-bass, drums and washboard." -- The Glasgow Herald, 2008

Tussey Mountain MoonshinersWinners of our local showcase last year, we welcome the Moonshiners -- Steve Buckalew, Karin Hastings, and Gwen Stimely -- back for a full set of their down-home-hometown bluegrass.

Apr 18 John Lilly at the CWB 7:30 p.m. $14
with Local Showcase

John Lilly mixes his own country-flavored originals with selections from his encyclopedic knowledge of American music: Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Hank Sr. and more. with a little bit of yodelin', to boot! He writes new songs that sound as old as the hills, and performs older songs like they were made yesterday. "If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he'd be John Lilly."

John will also be offering a free Folks Learnin' Folk workshop. Check the workshop schedule for details.

Our annual spring local talent showcase will be held as the opener for this show. Click here for more info on the showcase and how to submit an entry.

May 02 Vance Gilbert at the WPSU 7:30 p.m. $15
with Dan LaVoie

Back by popular request! "The voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god," wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. We're happy to welcome back Vance, one of the most dynamic, edgy, and engaging singer/songwriters around!

"Gilbert took the stage, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, a whimsical sense of humor and an astonishingly smooth, pure tenor voice. But that proved to be more than enough. Gilbert's burnished voice poured over one purling, liquid melody after another, over an accompaniment of tender arpeggios and supple chord progressions. Well-crafted and thoughtful, the songs qualified as 'folk' only in the loosest sense." -- The Chicago Tribune

Dan LaVoieAs one of the few musicians in the world actively composing and performing on the rare instrument known as the harpguitar, Dan LaVoie is bringing a unique sound and texture to fans of acoustic music.

May 17 Ann Hills / Michael Smith at the CWB 4:00 p.m. $14

Michael Smith An afternoon with two delightful singer songwriters. Smith's songs range from the oft-covered "The Dutchman" to "Dead Egyptian Blues." Of Hills, Tom Paxton writes "Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake."