Sunday, March 9, 2014
INFINITY HALL LIVE continues with a concert by Grammy Award-winning artist Shelby Lynne. Since her debut in 1989, Shelby Lynne has been difficult to define with her music ranging from country, blues, Southern soul, roots rock, Western swing, jazz and adult contemporary pop. When asked to define herself, Lynne replied simply, "I try not to define anything really, myself especially. I like to let the music do the talking." This simple statement speaks volumes to her craft. Shelby Lynne is a musician at heart, bringing her soulful, down-home sound and style to countless individuals. Born in Virginia but raised in rural Alabama, Lynne struggled at the onset of her career. It wasn't until her 2000 album, I Am Shelby Lynne, that she garnered critical acclaim, propelling her into the international spotlight. Since then, she has continued to dazzle audiences across the country, asserting herself as one of country music's greats. Lynne has even made inroads onto the silver screen, appearing in several films, most notably the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. At Infinity Hall, Lynne takes the stage with accomplished Nashville guitarist John Jackson. "John Jackson is an excellent guitar-playing friend of mine, " she says, introducing Jackson, who has played with musicians like Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams. Although the pair performs only with guitars, vocals, and a harmonica,Lynne's music fills the room and captivates the audience. Her set includes three songs from I Am Shelby Lynne, the album that earned her a Grammy in 2001 for Best New Artist. The show also includes a moving performance of "Pretend," an original song she included on her 2008 Dusty Springfield tribute album, Just A Little Lovin', and "Killin' Kind," which appeared in the film, Bridget Jones's Diary.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
The Wailin' Jennys
The Wailin' Jennys bring their brand of folk and contemporary roots music to Infinity Hall. Brought together in 2002 for what was supposed to be a one-time coffee house gig in Winnipeg, this award-winning trio soon found their irresistible chemistry and tight vocal harmonies were winning over audiences throughout North America and beyond. Comprised of Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody, and Heather Masse, The Wailin' Jennys have toured extensively since the release of their eponymously named first studio album in 2003. They've collaborating with a variety of artists and become a fixture as musical guests on public radio's A Prairie Home Companion. Steeped in classical music and art, The Wailin' Jennys have developed a style and sound all their own. With heavy use of acoustic instruments, the group's musical influences range from 70s rock to traditional Celtic folk tunes. Their complexities in style and musical offering only serve to distinguish them further from the rest of the music industry.Having won a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) in 2005 for their album, 40 Days, The Wailin' Jennys have continued to enjoy success, including their newest album, Bright Morning Stars, released to critical acclaim in the United States and Canada.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
The Pittsburgh-based fusion band Rusted Root brings their unique percussive jam-rock sound to the historic stage at Infinity Hall. With a highly unique sound, the band has cultivated a loyal following, selling more than 3 million albums worldwide. Originally formed in 1990, the band has been characterized as many things: a jam band, an eclectic collection, a college-radio wonder. Whatever the case, the band has been nothing but popular. With consistently sold-out tours, Rusted Root appears to be garnering the attention of more than just their loyal "Rootheads." Blending world influences from the African, Indian, and Middle Eastern traditions, Rusted Root embodies a percussion-driven rock band with heavy use of tight vocal harmony and pulsing chords. With hit songs like "Send Me on My Way" and "Dance in the Middle," Rusted Root has become an immovable facet in alternative rock.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Emmy and Grammy Award-winning artist Buckwheat Zydeco and his band bring the Creole dance party to Infinity Hall. Born Stanley Joseph Dural, Jr. in 1947, Zydeco was raised in a large, musical family in Lafayette, Louisiana. "Growing up, the thing that made me happy was music," said Zydeco. "When you're listening to music or you're playing music, you got no business being sad." Zydeco's father played the accordion, but the young man originally refused to take up the instrument, dismissing the traditional zydeco music of his father's generation. He preferred playing the organ and listening to R&B. That changed in 1976, when he joined the "King of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier as a keyboard player. After learning to play the accordion, Zydeco formed his own band in 1979. For over three decades, Buckwheat Zydeco has been delighting audiences with his contemporary style of creole music. "It's based on the rhythm and blues. Whether you're playing an up-tempo song or a slow song, they always have that energy and that certain beat that go together with the music. It's always played with the washboard," says Zydeco, who plays the accordion, organ, and sings. Buckwheat Zydeco is an accomplished artist. He won an Emmy for his music in the television movie Pistol Pete: The Life And Times Of Pete Maravich and a Grammy for Best Zydeco Music Album in 2010 for Lay Your Burden Down. Zydeco also played at the closing ceremonies during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and performed at both inaugurations for President William Jefferson Clinton. His infectious music appeals to people of all ages. In 2010, Zydeco released his second children's album, Bayou Boogie. Zydeco keeps Louisiana tradition alive with his infectious music, encouraging the audience to boogie to the Buckwheat beat.