The “an Acoustic Café evening,” the prestigious touring series returns for a third consecutive year hosted by Austin-based singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Carrie Rodriguez. Joining Carrie each night are “The Phantom Monk Of Folk- Blues” Kelly Joe Phelps, fellow tour veteran, Northampton lit/pop darling and multi-instrumentalist Erin McKeown (through January 30th) and poet-songwriter Pieta Brown(January 31st onward).
“The 4 artists on this year’s tour are all at the height of their respective creative powers!” notes Rob Reinhart, producer and host of the syndicated radio program Acoustic Café. “This should be a fun, dynamic and unpredictable tour.”
The Riverfront Times notes of a 2011 performance (featuring Rodriguez, McKeown and Mary Gauthier), “The Acoustic Café Tour is smartly arranged as a study in post-Lilith Fair, singer-songwriter contrasts… If you’re looking for a night of dainty songbirds in polished folkie cages disappointment is certain — this trio has sharper, shrewder songs to share.”
Host Carrie Rodriguez’s most recent releases, Love & Circumstance (2010) and We Still Love Our Country w/Ben Kyle (2011) are primarily cover collections that highlight her vocal and interpretive skills. But Rodriguez has become more well known as a burgeoning singer-songwriter in her own right behind the strength of her first two solo releases, She Ain’t Me (CRS – 2008), and Seven Angel’s On A Bicycle (Trainwreck – 2007) & a world-class instrumentalist based on her recorded work and her touring with Alejandro Escovedo (2008-2010) and as part of the “an Acoustic Café evening” tours (2010 & 2011). “Rodriquez has that rare ability to make her songs work completely, where the scope of instrumentation is equal to the lyrics and melody. It is that special innate gift as well as her obvious love of a perfectly attuned and deeply personal song that makes for such a compelling and revelatory listen.”
– Direct Current
A newcomer to the tour, Kelly Joe Phelps is no stranger to the road. He has been described as, “The Phantom Monk Of Folk- Blues,” and rightly so. Over the past 17 years of recording and touring, Phelps has been talked about as much for his passionate, spirit-driven, lone musical ways as for the inventiveness of his playing and singing. He uses the blues as a pallet, his songs as literally a canvas – each performance is an original improvisation. He’ll fit in perfectly in the “an Acoustic Café evening setting. “Phelps speaks directly to your soul. If that isn’t the stuff of legends, I don’t know what is.” – Popmatters
Erin McKeown has been touring nationally for over a decade and has sold well over 100,000 records. She has put out 2 albums on Signature Sounds, 3 on Nettwerk, and her most recent studio effort came via Righteous Babe Records. Erin has very strong non-com AAA following and is a press darling – she has countless musician fans too – including Dave Mathews, Mike Doughty, Ani Difranco, Andrew Bird, and Josh Ritter. In addition to her active tour schedule and side projects, she’ll have a new record of original songs dropping in 2012. She just released an anti-holiday collection of songs entitled, f*ck that.
Pieta Brown is a striking poet-songwriter with a haunting voice and an unmistakable style. Her beautiful new record on Red House entitled, Mercury, is currently number 1 on the folk radio chart. Her unique blend of alt-country, folk, blues and indie-rock speaks to music fans around the world and has garnered rave reviews from the likes of the BBC and The Boston Globe, as well as a variety of hip music blogs and indie radio stations. Even her own musical hero Iris DeMent is a fan, saying she is “the best poet I’ve heard in a long damn time.” She was out supporting dates this fall for Richard Thompson, Amos Lee and Greg Brown.
ABOUT ACOUSTIC CAFÉ:
Acoustic Café is a two hour weekly radio show, and an independent media production of RDR Radio, LLC. The program is produced and hosted by Rob Reinhart who started the show in 1995. Each week, listeners around the globe tune in to Acoustic Café to hear the latest from today’s great songwriting talents. 2010 marked some changes for Acoustic Cafe with the addition of the “an Acoustic Cafe Evening” tour” (returning in 2011), “Acoustic Cafe Live @ Top Of The Park,” a summer series with The Ann Arbor Summer Festival and promotion of the 34th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark. More information about Acoustic Cafe can be found at Acafe.com or on Facebook.
The “an Acoustic Café evening” tour performs in the following cities this year:
January 24* ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
January 25* CINCINNATI, OH MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St, Cincinnati, OH
January 26* LOUISVILLE, KY Uncle Slayton’s
January 27* NELSONVILLE, OH Stuart’s Opera House
January 28* LEXINGTON, KY Natasha’s Bistro
January 29* CLEVELAND, OH Nightown
January 31^ CEDAR RAPIDS, IA CSPS
February 1^ CHAMPAIGN, IL Hi Dive
February 2^ CHICAGO, IL Old Town School of Folk
February 3^ MILWAUKEE, WI Turner Hall/WUWM presents…
February 4^ MINNEAPOLIS, MN Dakota
* dates with Erin McKeown, Carrie Rodriguez, and Kelly Joe Phelps
^ dates with Pieta Brown, Carrie Rodriguez, and Kelly Joe Phelps