Mountain Stage with Special Guest Host Kathy Mattea
Seamus Egan Project, Cheryl Wheeler, The Mulligan Brothers and more
Sun · March 4, 2018
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pmCulture Center Theater
$15.00 - $20.00
This event is all ages
Available to Mountain Stage Members January 12 at 10am.
On-sale to public: January 19 at 10a.m.
Advance Tickets: $20
Advance Tickets for Mountain Stage Members:$15
Day of Show: $35
Available online, by phone (877.987.6487), or at Taylor Books - Downtown Charleston.
Become a Mountain Stage Member for public radio perks and early access to tickets! mountainstage.org/memberhttps://mountainstage.ticketfly.com/event/1626285/
Cheryl Wheeler has to be seen to be appreciated. Nothing you read and nothing you hear from her albums prepares you for
how entertaining a performer she is.
If you're not already familiar with Cheryl, you have probably heard her music. She is very respected as a songwriter by her
peers, which can be seen by how many of them record her songs. Cheryl's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as
Dan Seals, Peter Paul & Mary, Kenny Loggins, Garth Brooks, Suzy Bogguss, Melanie, Bette Midler, Maura O'Connell,
Sylvia, Kathy Mattea, and Holly Near.
From her albums you can tell that she is a gifted songwriter with a beautiful voice. From other people's comments about her
you learn that she is a natural storyteller with a fantastic sense of humor. But until you see her in person, you never really believewhat you've been told about her. Interestingly enough, almost half of the songs she performs during her shows have
never been recorded!
Cheryl's first concert was to a captive audience. She found an old toy ukelele in a neighbor's attic and serenaded her mother
who was taking a bath at the time. A year later she got a real ukelele, followed by her first guitar. She learned guitar from a
neighbor, who also taught a group of boys. Each week they would get together and play just about any song they could think
of for hours on end. Her first public performance was at a Hootenanny when she was 12. She started writing her own songs
when she was 17.
Cheryl has never had a "day job," and her first professional gigs were at the Steak and Ale Restaurant in her home town of
Timonium, Maryland. The place only had one PA system; in the middle of her songs you would hear: "Jones, party of four ...
Jones, party of four." She finally convinced them to get a second PA system.
She performed at venues around Baltimore and Washington DC before moving to New England in 1976, where she now lives.
She tours extensively, often performing solo or with Kenny White, who often opens her shows as well. She appeared as part
of the On a Winter's Night tour, and was part of the Philo 25th Anniversary tour.
Her funny stories between songs reveal her talent for diversity. Each time she tells a story, it will be a little bit different, so
even if you've heard it before, you still find yourself laughing.
From her albums you can tell that she is a gifted songwriter with a beautiful voice. From other people's comments about her you can learn that she is a natural story teller with a fantastic sense of humor. But until you see her in person, you never really believe what you've been told about her. Besides, almost half of the songs she does during her shows haven't been recorded!
If you have never seen her do a live concert, then by all means do so! I get e-mail from people all the time thanking me for spreading the word about Cheryl. They go to the concert knowing they will enjoy it, and often find it even better than they had thought it would be. If she doesn't ever perform near you, then try to find a copy of her video and see what you are missing. You can find some clips of her on YouTube, but they are usually only the songs, and not the stories. If she ever performs near you, do what you can to attend. If you don't, you will kick yourself later for missing a great show.
against a stark musical landscape. This remarkable collection serves as a companion piece to his
acclaimed 2013 project, Say Grace, and sets the stage for a number of creative projects coming later in
the year, including a documentary, an original play, and a gallery exhibit of his visual art.
“For me, doubt is part of living. Part of being engaged in life, part of the great questioning of life.
Curiosity can be fueled by doubt,” says Baker, who grew up in the small prairie town of Itasca, Texas,
and now lives in Austin. “My life got better when I accepted doubt as an integral part of life. As the
counterweight to hope and security. By accepting uncertainty. By learning how to live with the
unknowing, I began to find beauty in the moment. Beauty in the act of being alive. And especially the
beauty of music.”
Working in Nashville for the first time with producer Neilson Hubbard, Baker uses the ‘50s jazz trumpet
of Don Mitchell and the sustained guitar textures of Will Kimbrough (producer/guitarist for Rodney
Crowell and Todd Snider) to frame the lyrics. He breaks up the ten vocal numbers with five cinematic
instrumental interludes. Setting aside his acoustic guitar, Baker plays electric for this project using
atmospheric tones that linger in the sonic landscape.
“This record is a meditation, a reflection on day-to-day life,” Baker says. “The goodness, the struggle, the
uncertainty. It gives me strength to share doubt. It gives me strength to hear others share doubt. With
doubt comes clarity. With doubt comes hope.”
Land of Doubt gives Baker an opportunity to explore the universal themes of disappointment, trust and
compassion. His recordings have garnered critical acclaim from NPR All Things Considered, American
Songwriter, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Paste and Rolling Stone. Say
Grace was cited in the Houston Chronicle’s feature of the 50 Great Texas Singer-Songwriter Albums.
When Baker first emerged 13 years ago, the dominant story was how he survived a 1986 terrorist
bombing in Cuzco, Peru. In spite of the loss of hearing in one ear and limited hearing in the other, he
steadily established a reputation as a first-rank singer-songwriter.
“After my event in Peru, I lived in doubt. I lived in uncertainty. The days, the nights. Life. Death.
Everything that I had known was cast in shadows. Laden with doubt,” he says. “My eardrums were blown
in. I used a Walkman and turned the volume up full so it rattled the bones of the inner ear. Somewhere in
there, I knew there was beauty. I felt it. I felt hope. I began to believe that doubt – just as darkness – lifts,
and there is joy in the morning.”
Five albums since launching his music career, Baker is now expanding his artistic reach by writing and
producing a play (Broken Fingers), filming a documentary and staging an art exhibition in Santa Fe, New
Mexico (Dream of the Snow Geese).
Baker says, “Looking back, I believe it was this land of doubt where I lived for so long that brought me
hope. It brought me the power and gift of music. It was the seedbed for my early records. It was the
seedbed for painting. A seedbed for the play. It was seedbed for life that made me want to offer goodness
and service to others, and want to oppose to our worst instincts as a people.”
Nestled among the songs inspired by his international experiences, Baker also writes from a place of
personal introspection. “Love Is Patient” is a poignant narrative about the distance that can permeate a
long-term relationship. Later he reflects on a bittersweet breakup on “Peace Out.” The devastating
“Leave” is startlingly direct – Leave and you must / you have squandered my trust. A soldier comes home
in “Same Kind of Blue” to find that some things change, some things don’t, and some things never heal.
“There is deep beauty in Land of Doubt. The beauty of gifted musicians with a shared vision, offering
their skills and voices in unity. The beauty of accepting doubt as a valuable necessary ingredient in life,”
Baker says. “Beauty and meaning came from living in the moment. The moments free of pain and panic.
It came from people – my family, doctors, nurses, and kind people who planted seeds of hope.”
Immediately following the release of Land of Doubt, Baker will begin a tour of Europe, where he has
amassed a legion of fans who admire his captivating stage presence and perceptive songwriting.
“When Brexit passed, I thought that for my European and United Kingdom fans it must be a time of
uncertainty. A time of change. A time of doubt. That’s when I began putting this record together as a
reflection on doubt,” he says. “Doubt is the flip side of hope. I need both. Doubt clarifies hope. It makes it
stronger. It makes it insistent. It is not to be denied.”
The songwriting and warm, honest, straight-to-the heart voice of lead singer Ross Newell draws listeners into the group’s signature sound, where the harmonies of Greg DeLuca, Ben Leininger and Melody Duncan make the songs soar or haunt from the shadows. De Luca plays drums and Leininger is on the bass. Fiddler Melody Duncan joined the band last year, bringing a female voice and perspective.
The Mulligan Brothers have released three albums, The Mulligan Brothers , Via Portland (recorded in Portland with Grammy-winning producer Steve Berlin) and April 21, 2017 they released Live from The Netherlands album, recorded during the recent tour that included shows at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam and a spot on The Ramblin’ Roots Festival in Utrecht. They currently have over 4 million plays on Spotify, including over 2 million of the song Lay Here.
The band kicked off 2017 with a return to the prestigious 30A Songwriter Festival in Florida, an appearance on Music City Roots Nashville, and return to Ireland for January-February tour dates followed by a spot on Cayamo 2017 - A journey Through Song, a 7 day Roots Music Cruise in the company of such artists as Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle. This was followed by a third appearance at New Orleans Jazz Fest, a 3-week Scandinavian tour and a spot on the Americana Music Festival, Nashville. They are currently writing and recording songs for their fourth album for release early 2018 and will be headed out on the road to support the new release.
White spent five song-less years before catching the first spark that would soon lead to LONG LIST OF PRIORS. Kenny says, “As usual, this became a deeply personal record for me. A chronicle of how the heart copes with the passing years, these tumultuous times, and the struggle to find simplicity in a complex world. It took being able to tune out the noise and interference of that world before I could hear what was inside me. That’s the trick. I also wanted to make a pure ‘sounding’ record. Where you can lose yourself in the sonic landscape and feel like you are in the room with the musicians and singers.”
Born in New York City and raised across the river in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Kenny White began his career in the 1970s, touring exclusively as the keyboard player for Jonathan Edwards and Livingston Taylor, with whom he opened Linda Ronstadt’s legendary, “Living in the USA” tour. He then became a fixture in the NYC studio scene throughout the 1980s and 1990s, producing and arranging literally hundreds of commercials for TV and radio, beginning with “The Unsinkable Taste of Cheerios,” nearly seven years of Chevrolet’s “Heartbeat of America” campaign, and countless ads for the Coca Cola company. Commercial work enabled White to direct artists as renowned and varied as Gladys Knight, Ms.Ronstadt, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs, and Aaron Neville. He even was tapped to conduct a portion of the London Symphony Orchestra for a series of commercials for Greyhound bus lines.
White worked on many film soundtracks as a contributing writer/musician including Message in a Bottle, Where the Heart Is and four films by Indie-director laureate, John Sayles. His piano solos set the scenes throughout the beloved A Walk on the Moon, which often gets a resurrection on the anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. Kenny also appears on dozens of recordings of other musicians, including Marc Cohn’s platinum debut album.
Whenever he could break free from the four walls of the recording studios, Kenny would often support other musicians in live concerts. After being hailed by reviewers from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle for his “thrilling” and “unique” piano playing, White chose, in 2001, to devote himself to making his own album, one that not only showcased his talent as a musician, but also as a lyricist. Friends such as Cheryl Wheeler invited White to tour as an opening act on behalf of his first album, UNINVITED GUEST. Both the album and White’s skill on piano and guitar, coupled with his warm and charming on-stage personality were met with critical acclaim. An early copy of his follow-up record, SYMPHONY IN 16 BARS, landed in the hands of Judy Collins, who then signed him to her own Wildflower Records label, releasing the CD in 2005.She often invited White to open her concerts. The standing ovations he received in those large concert halls, encouraged White to follow up with the EP, NEVER LIKE THIS. His subsequent recording, COMFORT IN THE STATIC, was released in 2010 to wide-ranging praise, landing on many “Favorite Album of the Year” lists. The late Pete Fornatale declared on his WFUV-FM show, Mixed Bag, “I know by June what my favorite album of the year is. I cannot imagine hearing a more riveting or compelling recording between now and December. It’s all locked up.”
Kenny White’s record producing credits include Shawn Colvin’s Grammy-nominated song, “I Don’t Know Why,” as well as the last four solo CDs for Peter Wolf, formerly with the J. Geils Band: FOOL’S PARADE, SLEEPLESS (named one of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”), MIDNIGHT SOUVENIRS, which debuted at #45, and the 2016 release A CURE FOR LONELINESS, which reached #23 on the Americana chart in its first 6 weeks. Kenny often joins Wolf’s Midnight Ramblers band on tour, honing his celebrated rock & roll keyboard skills, and to play onstage alongside his own LONG LIST OF PRIOR musicians, Duke Levine and Marty Ballou.
The productions with Wolf afforded Kenny the opportunity to work with an array of guest artists including Mick Jagger, Merle Haggard, Shelby Lynne, Steve Earle, Neko Case, and to record a track side by side with Keith Richards.
White’s music has been discovered in the UK and Europe, and he recently traveled to Livorno, Italy, to accept the International Songwriting Award at the Annual Premio Ciampi music festival. He often attracts an intriguing patronage to his concerts. Robert Plant was recently sighted in rapt attention at one of White’s solo shows in the UK and Jackson Browne, the same, at one of Kenny’s L.A. shows.
Culture Center Theater
West Virginia State Capitol Grounds
Charleston, WV, 25305