Hiss Golden Messenger, The Stray Birds, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill and more on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce

Hiss Golden Messenger, The Stray Birds, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill and more on Mountain Stage

Sun · April 30, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm (event ends at 9:30 pm)

$10 -$35

This event is all ages

Hiss Golden Messenger
Hiss Golden Messenger
The writing of the songs that became Heart Like a Levee started in a hotel room in Washington, DC , in January of 2015 during a powerful storm that dark- ened the East Coast. At that time I was feeling—more acutely than I had ever felt before—wrenched apart by my responsibilities to my family and to my music.
Forgetting, momentarily, that for me, each exists only with the other. How could I forget? Though maybe my lapse was reasonable: I had just quit my job, the most recent and last, in a series of dead-end gigs stretching back 20 years, with the vow that my children would understand their father as a man in love with his world and the inventor of his own days. They would be rare in that regard. And then—driven by monthly bills and pure fear— I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift. But in that snowy ho- tel room I found the refrain that became my compass: I was a dreamer, babe, when I set out on the road; but did I say I could find my way home?

Through the spring and summer, while traveling and when I was off the road and at home in Durham, I wrote about love—the teaching kind and the destroying kind— and about movement, and being moved, really and truly moved. I wrote about our responsibilities to our brothers and sisters—of blood and the road—and how easy it can be to abdicate those responsibilities at the slightest threat of bad weather. I reckoned with things that I couldn’t see, but I could feel; and in so feeling begin to under- stand as real to me and those whom I love. I carried my piece of the fire, or tried to. The heart is a beautiful vessel, prone to failure and breathtaking acts of grace. An impermanent, permeable thing, lovely for its changeabil- ity, blameless for its fallibility. It’s hard to even begin to conceive of how to measure our boundaries. Heart Like a Levee is my taking stock of my universe, my span, my inventory, my leave-taking and return over back roads so blue they look black until the dawn.

Heart Like a Levee was recorded in the fall and winter of 2015. It was produced by myself and Brad Cook, who also played bass. Phil Cook played the piano and organ and guitar, and Matt McCaughan played the drums and percussion. Our friends Alexandra Saus-
er-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Michael Lewis, Matt Douglas, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Ryan Gustafson, Sonyia Turner and Jon Ashley all contributed in important ways that you can read about in the album credits.

I have dedicated every day to song. I have been trav- eling all my life. And I understand that I am so lucky, and I am thankful. Money is easy enough to find if you want it bad enough; but art, true deep art full of grace that shakes and terrifies the soul, is an elusive spirit and damn near impossible to come by. So sitting in this sunny backyard at the end of this journey that I took with my friends and family, everyone that I love and some of whom did not even realize they were on this trip, I’m thinking: We found it. Goddammit, every- body: We found it. And that’s a rare feeling indeed.

And it’s all just a moment.
The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds
When The Stray Birds take the stage, the spotlight falls on three voices raised in harmony above the raw resonance of wood and strings. It is a sound drawn from the richness of American folk music traditions, spun with a stirring subtlety and grace. From bustling street corners to silent halls, their performances speak to an uncompromising reverence for songs.
Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill
Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill
Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are two of the world's leading innovators in traditional Irish music. Their deep interpretations are recognized the world over for their exquisite musicality and irresistible rhythm. The New York Times calls them "a Celtic complement to Steve Reich's Quartets and Miles Davis's 'Sketches of Spain.'" The duo make a rare visit to Colorado this May.
Fiddle player Martin Hayes was born and raised in rural County Clare, the son of esteemed fiddler PJ Hayes, and is acknowledged as one of Ireland's most innovative and influential artists. A former member of his father's renowned Tulla Ceili Band, Martin had won six All-Ireland Fiddle Championships by age 19. He has performed with Sting, Paul Simon, and Sinead O'Connor; and taught Jeremy Irons to play a fiddle tune. His many awards include Folk Instrumentalist of the Year (BBC), Spirit of Ireland Honoree (Irish Arts Center), Man of the Year (American Irish Historical Society), and Musician of the Year (TG4 Gradam Ceol, Ireland).
Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, a native of Chicago born to parents from County Kerry, Ireland. His background includes study in classical, jazz, blues, and folk. Dennis's spare, essential accompaniment to Hayes' fiddle is acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. The duo have three acclaimed albums together on Compass/Green Linnet Records; the latest is Welcome Here Again.
Martin and Dennis are also making waves with their award winning new band The Gloaming, who just took Ireland's top award the Meteor Choice Award for the best album of 2014. The self-titled CD, called "astonishingly beautiful" by NPR, rocketed to the top of Irish charts and landed on many best of year lists for 2014 including NPR, The Guardian, and The Irish Times. The group has performed at Lincoln Center, the Royal Albert Hall for the Irish PM and the Royal family, and for the European Union in Brussels.

Martin and Dennis continue their musical conversation with audiences worldwide -- as a duo, with the Gloaming, and with their many other projects. Their deep knowledge of the tradition and ability to place it within a wider contemporary context combine for moving new interpretations of Irish music. "The musical explorations are a means of shedding light on an ongoing artistic journey, as well as a challenge to any rigidity of thought, " says Hayes.
Jon Stickley Trio
Jon Stickley Trio
Jon Stickley Trio has been making waves with the independent and fan-funded release of their 2nd album, Lost at Last, this past October. The originality and sheer energy of this genre-bending ensemble serves as a welcome wake up call for those who experience it. With roots in gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and hip-hop in an “exhilarating all-acoustic swirl” (Acoustic Guitar Magazine), Jon Stickley Trio combines Jon Stickley’s rapid-fire flatpicking guitar with the sultry and wild, yet refined, melodies of Lyndsay Pruett on violin set over the deep groove of Patrick Armitage on drums. The three have fused their collective styles into a repertoire of exciting and innovative original music along with some captivating covers. Lost at Last was recorded in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC at the iconic Echo Mountain Studios under the watchful eye of producer Dave King (The Bad Plus).

The New York Times’ Nate Chinen writes “… there’s hardy cohesion among the players — no less on the Gypsy standard ‘Valse de Wasso’ than on ‘Darth Radar’ a turbocharged original with a ska upbeat and a shredding melody. And when Mr. Stickley and friends turn to bluegrass, as on ‘The High Road,’ by Tim O’Brien, they sound both respectful and free.” Premier Guitar Magazine also took note of “Darth Radar,” with Jason Shadrick calling it, “a rapid-fire take that moves from a serious ska beat to burning surf-style runs that would make Dick Dale proud.”
Brian Dunne
Brian Dunne
Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements began as a joke, between drinks number 6 and 7 (7 and 8? Numbers unconfirmed) at a bar down the street from my apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Upon further research (Google), I could not believe there was not an album or book that bore this title so, I set out to write one. 300 songs, 2 years, and 1 near nervous breakdown later, here it lies.

In 2015 I released "Songs From The Hive," a love letter to the music of The Band and Bob Dylan, a tip of the cap (wide brimmed, brown, with a feather) to my folky heroes. And then I hit the road. I played for anybody and everybody, played everywhere anyone would take me; living rooms, cafes, clubhouses, big theaters, small theaters, movie theaters, listening rooms, college cafeterias, etc. Boasting nearly 300 shows in the year and a half that followed, I ended up finding myself in some surprisingly cool circumstances-- and some uncool ones (statute of limitations does not yet allow for me to reveal details). But what I found most liberating was that being a relative unknown had it's perks-- I was beholden to nothing. No one was expecting anything of me, except my cat, and he doesn't give a shit what goes on my record.

So it was with this in mind that I set out to write the next project. Equipped with the title only, I needed just to come up with things that I liked. Should be easy.

As it turns out, I don't like anything. Also, according to the finest head doctors of New York City, I am clinically insane. And while having a conversation with my good pal Liz Longley, who sings with me on track 5 of this here record, she said very simply "well, write about that." And there it was.

Not that this record turned out to be anything like that. Everything takes on a life of it's own, I suppose. But it was the inspiration behind the lead track, "Tell Me Something,” and the others came to me following that one. "Taxi" is a song about the pursuit of something invisible and intangible, and the risk that comes with it. "You Got Me Good" is a song about being a sucker that I wrote so I could sing it at the top of my lungs. “We Don’t Talk About It” is a reflection on how we treat the people we’re closest to, and “Chelsea Hotel” deals with the crutches we lean when our lives are too difficult to withstand. But the record didn’t really take shape until I came up with “Don’t Give Up On Me” one afternoon, sitting at my living room table. It seemed to sum up my mission statement for the whole record. It’s about the devotion to maintaining your idealism as the world makes you more cynical. It’s about putting your chips back on the table after you’ve suffered a big loss. And if you have to lose again, lose in a big way. I love that idea.

With my friend Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim, lover of burritos) at the helm, we hit the studio with a great band and tried to flesh out the musical sounds I was hearing in my head (and the other noises). After many pre-production meetings with me rambling about if Lindsay Buckingham had fronted the E Street Band, or Jim Croce on speed or something, we came up with a sound and a vibe that is the trademark of this record. If I tell you anymore, I’ll give it all away. Bill Graham said “always leave em wanting more”. I don’t do that very often. New paragraph.

I hope you like it. I’m incredibly proud of it. I’m gonna go take a nap.
Venue Information:
WVU Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre
2261 Monongahela Boulevard
Morgantown, WV, 26506