Tab Benoit / Courtesy
The lineup for the annual series of intimate acoustic performances in Walton Arts Center’s Starr Theatre was announced last week.
The series, called ‘West Street Live,’ this year will feature performances by The Nace Brothers, Martha Redbone, Amy Ray featuring Jeff Fielder and Kerry Brooks, Tab Benoit, Bonnie Bishop, and Jayme Stone’s Folklife.
Subscriptions to the seven show season are $174 for tiered seating, available now at Walton Arts Center’s box office, online, or by calling 479-443-5600.
Single tickets to the individual performances will go on sale at a later date.
For more information on the artists in this year’s series, check out the descriptions provided below.
West Street Live 2018-19 Schedule
Artist descriptions provided by Walton Arts Center
Nace Brothers Acoustic
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019
Led by brothers David and Jimmy, the Nace Brothers have been performing together for more than 37 years – and in that time they’ve become seasoned professionals, considered by most to be models of artistic integrity. As fourth generation performers, the brothers were raised on regional radio and television programs like “Hillbilly Jamboree” in the golden age of honky-tonk – and you can hear that rich musical heritage in their unique blend of country, blues and roots rock. Their music exudes brilliant songwriting, expressive vocals, soaring guitar and a rock solid rhythm section. The history of roots rock is full of bands that have flared up brilliantly and promptly disappeared, but fans can count on the Nace Brothers at the end of those weeks when they need some time with old friends and a few hours to clear our minds.
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019
Martha Redbone is one of today’s most vital voices in American Roots music. An award-winning musician celebrated for her tasty gumbo of folk and mountain blues sounds of her childhood in the Kentucky Appalachian hills mixed with the eclectic grit of her teenage years in pre-gentrified Brooklyn. With the power of her gospel-singing father’s voice and the determined spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother, Redbone broadens all boundaries of Americana. Described by Billboard magazine as “the kind of woman who sets trends,” her songs are a brilliant collision of cultures, telling stories that bring to light an important piece of American history that has never been told.
An Acoustic Set with Amy Ray featuring Jeff Fielder and Kerry Brooks
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
One half of the Grammy Award?-winning folk duo Indigo Girls, Amy Ray takes the stage in this “solo” performance with band mates Jeff Fielder, the shape-shifting multi-instrumentalist on guitar, dobro, bass and mandolin; and Kerry Brooks on upright bass and mandolin. With the group’s intuitive chops serving as a foundation and Ray’s knack for straddling the line between the personal and the political, her newest album, Holler, focuses on the American South. With songs about Southern identity, racism, poverty and the living history that hides all around us, the album reminds us that we are all merely temporary visitors in the spaces that we inhabit.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Tab Benoit is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist who has built a remarkable 30-year career on the foundation of his repertoire that ranges from swamp-pop classics to gritty blues and rootsy jams. Two-time winner of the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, winner of five Blues Music Awards and a Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee, Benoit also serves as the founding member of the “Wetland All-Stars,” a group of New Orleans natives – including the late Dr. John, George Porter Jr. The group is dedicated to forging a musical plea about the fragile eco-system that is the increasingly depleted wetlands surrounding their home. Tab Benoit is a pioneer of the sound and style indigenous to Louisiana’s wetlands, and every performance is filled with a passion for that purpose.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Called “a gifted songwriter and a powerhouse singer” with a voice that “booms with the force of a Texas straight-line squall” (Nashville Scene), Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Bonnie Bishop may just be the “new queen of country soul” (Houston Press). More than a decade after her song “Not ‘Cause I Wanted To” topped the New York Times song of the year list, Bishop got her second big break when she started working with Nashville’s hottest producer, Dave Cobb – who helped Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell become award-winning chart toppers. Inspired by the Motown greats, like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Cobb encouraged Bishop to break up with her old identity – moving away from country to pursue a career as a soul singer. As Nashville’s establishment and legions of roots-music fans are now well aware, she ain’t who she was.
Jayme Stone’s Folklife
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Jayme Stone is a composer, banjoist, instigator, producer and educator who has developed a process of trawling for understudied sounds in the more arcane corners of the world to see how they’ll land in his musical universe. On his newest album, Folklife, Stone treats old field recordings as heirloom seeds passed down from a bygone generation that he plants in modern soil, burgeoning into vibrant Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos and stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes for contemporary listeners. Performing alongside an ensemble with virtuosity, musical integrity and irrepressible charm, Stones’ album is full of beautiful, intriguing, thoughtful music that rewards our attention as much as it captures it, and proves that folk songs are indeed perennials for the people.