Natalie Prass, Todd Burge, Red Wanting Blue and more on Mountain Stage at the Peoples Bank Theatre

Mountain Stage w/ Larry Groce in Marietta, Ohio

Natalie Prass, Todd Burge, Red Wanting Blue and more on Mountain Stage at the Peoples Bank Theatre

Sun · August 19, 2018

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Advance Tickets: $27-35

On Sale to Peoples Bank Members https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/support

Monday April 16 at 10a.m.

Public On Sale Monday April 30 at 10a.m.

Available online www.peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling 740-371-5152

Natalie Prass
Natalie Prass
The songs were written, the band was ready, and the studio was booked. Fans and critics alike were eagerly awaiting the follow-up to Natalie Prass’s 2015 self-titled breakout album, a collection hailed by NPR as “a majestic debut,” but perhaps no one was more eager for record number two than Prass herself. She’d waited what felt like a lifetime to release that first album and then toured the world relentlessly behind it, sharing bills with the likes of Fleet Foxes and The War on Drugs on her way to becoming one of the year’s most talked-about artists. By the time recording sessions were scheduled to begin, she was absolutely dying to launch the next chapter, which made what happened next all the more shocking: she scrapped the whole thing.
“The record was ready to go, and then the election happened,” explains Prass. “I was devastated. It made me question what it means to be a woman in America, whether any of the things I thought were getting better were actually improving, who I am and what I believe in. I knew I would be so upset with myself if I didn’t take the opportunity to say some of the things that meant so much to me, so I decided to rewrite the record. I needed to make an album that was going to get me out of my funk, one that would hopefully lift other people out of theirs, too, because that’s what music is all about.”
The result is ‘The Future And The Past,’ a stunning work of art and a powerful feminist statement from an artist who’s only just begun to tap into the full range of her considerable powers. Reuniting Prass with producer and long-time friend Matthew E. White, the album is at once celebratory and defiant, capturing all the joy, frustration, fear and hope inherent in modern womanhood as it synthesizes the influence of everything from vintage gospel and 80’s pop to 90’s R&B and Brazilian Tropicália. Prass displays a rare gift for transcending time and place in her songwriting, tapping into age-old struggles for autonomy and equality that resonate profoundly in the present.
Though she’d been honing her craft and paying her dues for years, Prass first emerged to international acclaim in 2015, when her debut record earned its rightfully rapturous reception. Rolling Stone swooned for the Virginia native’s “beguiling voice and refined taste,” while Pitchfork praised her album as a “smoldering perspective on passionate romance,” and The New Yorker simply called it “timeless.” She appeared on the Martin Scorsese-helmed HBO series Vinyl, performed on the BBC’s Later… With Jools Holland, and CBS This Morning, and racked up more than ten million streams on Spotify. Before long, she was headlining dates around the world and playing festival stages from Bonnaroo and Rock En Seine to End Of The Road and Forecastle.
Once touring for the album had wrapped up, Prass took a stab at writing in new cities with fresh faces, spending time in London, LA, and Nashville, but it only served to reinforce the feeling that she belonged back home in Richmond. There, she holed up with White for intensive creative sessions as she attempted to work through the difficult existential questions she found herself facing in a country that expected women to be seen and not heard.
“I went over to his house every single day, and we’d work from 10am to 5pm straight just writing and listening and talking,” she explains. “It was very therapeutic for me, and I think it actually helped Matt to understand my point of view as a woman, too.”
Recorded once again at White’s Spacebomb Studios, the album showcases both a new political depth to Prass’s songwriting and a bold willingness to follow her muse wherever it leads. While her debut was marked by elaborate horn and string arrangements, ‘The Future And The Past’ finds Prass stripping her songwriting back to its most essential elements. Groove reigns supreme as she channels Dionne Warwick and Janet Jackson and lets her dazzling vocals dance across funky instrumental arrangements. Album opener “Oh My” sounds like a lost slice of 80’s gold, complete with off-kilter Talking Heads-esque guitar, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a song that’s pure 2018 as Prass sings, “Seems like every day we’re losing when we choose to read the news.” Losing’s not an option, though, and Prass makes it abundantly clear that women won’t even entertain the notion of moving backwards. On “Ain’t Nobody” she confidently promises that there “ain’t nobody can take this from our hands,” while the soulful, swaggering “Sisters” plays out like a mission statement for the entire album, as Prass and a chorus of female backup singers proclaim, “I wanna say it loud / for all the ones held down / we gotta change the plan.”
“I didn’t want to point any fingers, and I didn’t want to sound desperate or defeated,” she explains. “I wanted to stay positive and joyful. The world’s obviously not perfect, but there’s nothing we can’t do if we love and support each other. It was really important to me that these songs make people feel that way.”
It’s a principle that guides Prass throughout the album, no matter her subject material. On “Short Court Style,” she taps into Diana Ross disco and reflects on the bliss a healthy relationship can bring, while the hypnotic “Hot For The Mountain” assures all the outcasts and misfits that they’re not alone, and the playful “Never Too Late” conjures up a world where a wish upon a star can bring back lost love. Even in the album’s darker moments, like the Karen Carpenter-inspired ballad “Far From You” or the cooing pop gem “Nothing To Say,” Prass refuses to let go of her rebelliously optimistic streak. “I will never kneel when power is in fear and aimed upon me,” she sings on the South American-influenced “Ship Go Down,” adding “no no I am never drowning” in a breathy delivery that’s light as a feather and tough as nails.
Ultimately, ‘The Future And The Past’ is a record that’s about neither of those things. Instead, it’s about womanhood and the modern world and the things we can do right this very moment to make them both better through love and support and camaraderie. The album may have been born out of deep doubt and disappointment, but it insists on faith and optimism, and it succeeds because Prass leads by example, embracing her femininity on her own indomitable terms. “Music’s supposed to make you feel better,” she reflects, and in that respect alone, she’s created a genuine triumph.
Red Wanting Blue
Red Wanting Blue
Hailed as “Midwestern rock heroes” by American Songwriter magazine, Red Wanting Blue has spent the last twenty years establishing themselves as one of the indie world’s most enduring and self-sufficient acts, notching appearances everywhere from Letterman to NPR and reaching #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, all while operating largely outside the confines of the traditional music industry.
Todd Burge
Todd Burge
TODD BURGE – "WV's Premier Songwriter" Larry Groce, Host of NPR's Mountain Stage

Todd belongs in the company of Peter Stampfel, Todd Snider and Paul Thorn with Roger Miller winking from beyond. Look upon his works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
- Larry Groce – Host of NPR's Mountain Stage

"Literate, witty, off-kilter & always highly entertaining...a real revelation. We definitely want him to come again."
- Pete Marshall, Prism Coffeehouse, Charlottesville, VA / WTJU Charlottesville

"He's got a great talent as a writer and unique view of the world; he's invented his own art form. His songs just get better and better."
- Tim O'Brien (Singer-Songwriter, Grammy winner)

"I'm convinced - Ingenious Todd Burge successfully blends more wit and wisdom per song than anyone else I've enjoyed in years."
- Ron Goad - Vice Pres, Songwriter's Association of Washington DC

"His by-turns smart, serious and funny tunes and his confident stage presence are a master class in the art of the solo singer-songwriter craft." Douglas Imbrogno"
- The Charleston Gazzette

Employing wry humor, dexterous guitar work and drawing on a rich variety of life experiences, Todd Burge has emerged as one of West Virginia's most prolific singer/songwriters. Burge, has played everything from Alternative Rock (63 Eyes, The Larries) to Contemporary Folk, performing concerts at festivals and in venues as diverse as CBGB's, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The Kennedy Center, and of course, literally hundreds of clubs including the obscure, to the world famous Caffe Lena, Club Passim and Music City Roots. He has been a repeat guest on NPR's Mountain Stage and has been called the "West Virginia's premier songwriter", by its host, Larry Groce. In 2014, Burge wrote 13 songs for a musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare. Burge, who might be known by many for his method of writing songs from the perspective of odd characters, humans, bugs and animals (listen to Building Characters produced by Don Dixon) released an album of very personal songs in 2015 entitled Imitation Life. The recording was produced by long term collaborator, Tim O'Brien. O'Brien is an inductee of the WV Music Hall of Fame and Grammy winner. The album includes his original song, Change (For Clean Water) which features Kathy Mattea on backing vocals. His most recent download only album with video is entitled "Live in Orlando" (2016) and captures the essence of his live solo performance and, at times hilarious storytelling. In April of 2016 Burge will release "Live at Mountain Stage 2006-2015". The 17 track CD will feature his many performances from the popular NPR radio show and podcast, a couple of which have never been released. Todd Burge resides in Parkersburg WV with his wife Lisa and their children, Will and Sophia.

Discography (Solo)
Live on Mountain Stage (April 2016)
Live in Orlando (Download with video 2016)
Imitation Life (2015)
Building Characters (2012)
Character Building (2012)
Distraction Packed (2010)
My Lost and Found (2008)
Most Requested 1989-2000 (2007)
Hip About Time (2006)
New Year (2003)
Dreams Upstairs (2000)
Live at Raveler's (1997)
Tin Since (1994)
New World Out of Order (1992)
Live at Maxwell's (1991)
Never Say Uncle (1990)
Jill Sobule
Jill Sobule
“Nostalgia can be wonderful and amazing. It’s OK to look back. But then you gotta get the fuck out of there.” So says singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, explaining the theme of her new album, Nostalgia Kills.

On Nostalgia Kills (out September 14 on Jill’s own Pinko Records), the woman hailed by The New York Times for making “grown-up music for an adolescent age” turns her warm wit and poet’s eye on herself more than ever before, revisiting moments from throughout her life that made her into the person she is today. It’s an especially poignant look back at childhood — “exorcising some junior high school demons,” as she puts it.

Looking back is a new experience for Jill Sobule. Ever since she first caught mainstream attention with her 1995 song “I Kissed a Girl” — the first song about same-sex romance ever to crack the Billboard Top 20 (and no relation to the later Katy Perry tune) — she’s always pushed forward, exploring new sounds and subject matter with each passing album and refusing to be pigeonholed by her early hits (which also include the ‘90s alt-rock anthem “Supermodel,” featured in an iconic scene in the film Clueless).
Gurf Morlix
Gurf Morlix
Visiting planet Gurf has always been an enlightening experience. After all, this Gurf Morlix fellow – Buffalo born, Texas bred – has provided us with countless indelible musical moments in the last 40-plus years: his exemplary guitar and production work with Lucinda Williams; his instrumental accompaniment to artists ranging from Blaze Foley to Warren Zevon; his production of watermark albums for artists such as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and Mary Gauthier – and, since 2000, a series of eight solo records that have a singular worldview and can be both harrowing and heartening, often at the same time.
Venue Information:
PEOPLES BANK THEATRE
222 Putnam Street
Marietta, OH, 45750