Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present “The Turning of the Year: A Holiday Celebration with John Whelan, Low Lily & Katie McNally” at Next Stage on Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm.
Seven-time All-Ireland accordion champion and Narada recording artist John Whelan teams up with roots band Low Lily and Scottish-style fiddler Katie McNally for a spectacular holiday mini-fest of traditional and original music from Ireland, Scotland and America. Alongside uptempo jigs and reels will be lesser-known Christmas carols and wintry classics, featuring two fiddles, accordion, guitars, mandolin, double bass and lush, layered vocals. This diverse and energetic show brings the generations together for a fresh new take on roots music from both sides of the pond.
Although John Whelan grew up near London in Dunstable, England, he was raised on the fiddle and pipe music of Ireland. At the age of 14, already a seasoned winner of numerous accordion championships, John recorded his first album “Pride of Wexford.” Since then, he has recorded six more albums, and has collaborated with such luminaries as Eileen Ivers, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Cunningham, Tim O’Brien, and Kathy Mattea. He appeared in the major motion pictures “Ride with the Devil,” “The Drowning Plains” and “Gods and Generals,” and has performed live on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Fox After Breakfast.”
Voted the Falcon Ridge Festival’s “Most Wanted” band of 2016, the Brattleboro-based band Low Lily explores the roots and branches of American folk music, creating a unique brand of acoustic music that is rooted yet contemporary. Low Lily is Liz Simmons (vocals, guitar) Flynn Cohen (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Lissa Schneckenburger (vocals, fiddle), with Corey DiMario (double bass). They are all masterful players, composers and arrangers with deep relationships to traditional music styles ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, New England and Old Time Appalachian sounds.
“The new face of Scottish fiddling in the USA” – (The Living Tradition), Katie McNally has made waves in both the American folk music scene and abroad since the release of her debut album “Flourish” in 2013. A 2009 New England Scottish Fiddle Champion and recent cover girl for Fiddler Magazine, Katie has performed and taught fiddle courses in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Scotland, England and France. Katie attended both the University of Glasgow and the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland where she studied ancient and modern Scottish literature and Scottish traditional music. She has performed and toured with famed Galician piper Carlos Núñez, the fiddle super-group Childsplay, Eric McDonald and with her own trio.
Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present contemporary folk singer/songwriters Mark Erelli and Stephen Chipman at Next Stage on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 pm.
Mark Erelli has toured internationally as a solo artist for the past eighteen years, appearing onstage everywhere from coffeehouses and major folk festival stages (Newport, Philadelphia, Shrewsbury (UK)) to Fenway Park, where he once sang the national anthem before a Red Sox game. He has won music awards ranging from the Kerrville Folk Festival Best New Folk Award to Grand Prize in the International Song Contest. In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman and producer, accompanying Grammy-winning artists such as Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall.
In addition to producing two records for McKenna, Erelli’s own diverse discography includes collections of western swing, lullabies, bluegrass (with his band “Barnstar!”) and songs of stirring social conscience, as well as several highly-acclaimed collaborations (2009’s “Darwin Song Project” and 2010’s “Seven Curses,” a collection of murder ballads recorded with Jeffrey Foucault).
Stephen Chipman grew up in Boston, where he learned to play guitar at an early age and rode the folk music wave through college frat parties and corner bars in the 1970s. Forty years later, when he’s not rebuilding old parlor guitars in his Chester, VT shop, Chipman returns to his singer/songwriter roots with a set list of songs dedicated to poking fun at himself and the follies of his past.