Update on Arlo Guthrie tickets for October 14th show in Middletown, Ohio

We hope to be able to put additional tickets on sale for this performance on Wednesday, October 14th. The number available will be determined by the needs of the band and the number of seats obstructed by production needs.

Thanks to all of you for your support for the first two shows of the season. Tickets are still available for all of the other shows including Sharon Isbin on October 24 and Holly Williams and Heather Maloney double bill on November 14th at Parrish Auditorium in Hamilton, Ohio. Call 513 529-3200 or 513 717-3412 to purchase your tickets.

Posted in Americana, Concerts in Hamilton, Concerts in Middletown, folk Music, Miami University | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Post Review calls Sharon Isbin “arguably today’s most prolific guitarist”

Sharon Isbin is arguably today’s most famous active guitarist, supremely competent and much honored and the subject of a recent documentary, “Sharon Isbin: Troubadour.” She offers an intense, elastic sound, resilient and nuanced and controlled and brought across in all its detail with the help of a microphone (necessary in orchestral performances with this instrument). She made a small odyssey out of Joaquin Rodrigo’s familiar “Concierto de Aranjuez,” which she last played with the NSO in 1997. Morlot damped down the ensemble but kept it springily responsive, making for some lovely juxtapositions in, for example, the second movement, when, after a long, introverted and focused solo, the orchestra surged gently in to support the crystalline plucks of finger on string. Isbin played an even more virtuosic encore, a waltz (Op. 8, No. 4) by the Paraguayan composer Agustín Barrios Mangore.

Tickets are still available at 513 529-3200 or 513 727-3412. Tickets will be available at the door the evening of her performance on October 24. Cash or check only!!

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The Beginnings of IBMA


The formation of the IBMA.

Originally posted on Art Menius:

1985: A Personal Memoir (written for International Bluegrass)

by Art Menius

How much it has accomplished in but ten years proves the remarkable thing about IBMA. Few industry organizations have filled out the original vision so fully in so short a time. So as our collective tenth birthday approaches, I’m taking the opportunity to recall how we came about. I decided not to look up a lot of materials to compose a pseudo-academic piece, but just to recall things off the top of my head in a very personal manner.

In 1985 I was trying to piece together a living in bluegrass writing for the Raleigh News & Observer, Bluegrass Unlimited, and Country News, working for the Linear Group, producers of “Fire on the Mountain” and the radio strip “The Liberty Flyer,” and renting out two rooms in my house. After two years of this, I realized…

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There a still a few tickets available for tonight’s Earls of Leicester show.

You can purchase them at the Box Office in the Shriver Center by calling 513 529-3200 or at http://www.miamioh.edu/boxoffice

Any remaining tickets will be available at the Dave Finkelman Auditorium Box Office at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for all future Miami Regional Artist Series shows will be available as well.

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Source: Schedule

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Holly Williams added to November 14th, 2015 show at Miami University Hamilton

We are pleased that Holly Williams has agreed to perform for the Miami Hamilton Artist Series as a replacement for Joe Pug. Heather Maloney remains on the bill. This should be a great double bill and there will be no change in tickets prices.

Hailing from one of the most famous lineages in American music would surely create challenges for most artists to create their own identity, but not for singer-songwriter Holly Williams. The granddaughter/daughter of Hank Williams, Sr. & Hank Williams, Jr. respectfully, makes her independence evident on her third studio album – The Highway – released on her own imprint, Georgiana Records, in 2013. Co-produced by Williams and Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), The Highway contains 11 original tracks written or co-written by Williams and features guest vocals from Jackson Browne (“Gone Away From Me”), Jakob Dylan (“Without You”), Dierks Bentley (“’Til It Runs Dry”) and Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow (“Waiting On June”).

Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Williams embraced music by playing songs on the guitar and writing songs as a teenager. Soon after, she started booking herself in nightclubs and hit the road driving her mother’s suburban across the country. In 2004, her debut album, The Ones We Never Knew, was released and she soon expanded her touring around the world opening for Keith Urban, John Hiatt, and John Prine. A near-fatal car accident with her sister Hilary two years later left the emerging songstress unsure if she would be able to play the guitar, but she was able to overcome her injuries and began playing and writing songs. In 2009 she released her follow up album, Here With Me. People Magazine declared the album, “One of the Top 10 albums of the year”, and Billboard said it was “…one of the best singer/songwriter albums to come out of Nashville”. During this same time she married fellow musician Chris Coleman, and launched a high-end women’s boutique in Nashville called H Audrey. Reflecting back on her life, Williams once again became inspired to write and record another album.

The Highway, she says, is her coming of age record. “These songs really brought a focus into my life personally. I turned 30, I got married, my grandparents passed away, I opened a clothing store, my husband tours the world…there’s a lot to keep up with,” says Williams. “But the highway came calling and I suddenly had this serious longing for the road, storytelling, and sharing the life I live.” Williams collaborated with songwriters Lori McKenna (“Without You”), Cary Barlowe (“’Til It Runs Dry”), Sarah Buxton (“A Good Man”) and even penned 3 of the albums tracks with her husband Chris. She brought the album’s title to life by doing over 100 headlining shows, then joining one of her favorite artists, Jason Isbell, on tour and later continuing to trek the world on her own. She released 3 videos for “Drinkin”, “The Highway”, and lastly “Waiting on June”-the most popular song on the album written about her maternal grandparents, documenting their long and bittersweet love story. Holly opened White’s Mercantile recently, and launched her online business whitesmercantile.com where she sells all of her favorite things that she had found while out on the highway. She calls it a “general store for the modern-day tastemaker”. She also welcomed a baby girl named Stella June into this world on September 30, 2014. She has been spending time at home with her family and writing for her upcoming project, to be recorded in late summer 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUH8VszQun8 Link to Waiting on June (From The Highway album by Holly Williams)

Tickets are available by calling 513 529-3200 or online at http://www.miamioh.edu/boxoffice  tickets may also be purchased at the Miami University Middletown Cashiers Office (513 727-3412)

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Joe Pug has cancelled for November 14th show. Heather Maloney is still on the bill. Offers out for new performer!

Scheduling difficulties have caused Joe Pug to cancel our date on November 14th. We are actively looking for a replacement.

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Miami University Regional Artist Series online sales are now available!!

We are pleased to announce that you may now purchase tickets online for all eight of the upcoming shows at Miami University Middletown and Hamilton. Here is the link – http://www.miamioh.edu/boxoffice

Season tickets for both campuses can still be purchased at 513 727-3412

Any questions please contact the Series Director at epsteihr@miamioh.edu

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How to get your tickets for all of the upcoming shows!!! (updated on August 4, 2015)

Sales for the Miami Middletown Series have been very strong. As of today, we have sold over 50% of the inventory for the entire season. Earls of Leicester and Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant show sales are very strong and may very well sell out before the show dates.

Season and single tickets are now available for purchase by the following methods:

1. Call the Box Office in the H.O.M.E Office in the Shriver Center at 513 529-3200. You can also purchase tickets in person. Online sales at available at http://www.miamioh.edu/boxoffice (fees apply)

2. Call the Miami Middletown Cashier’s office at 513 727-3412 . You can charge your tickets with NO FEES!

3. Mail order. Email epsteihr@miamioh.edu for an order form.

Orders will be processed as they are received. Season ticket orders get first priority for seating.

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Sharon Isbin, Joe Pug, Heather Maloney, Sam Baker, Gretchen Peters, and the Steeldrivers highlight the 2015-16 Miami Hamilton Artist Series

Miami Hamilton Artist Series Lineup for 2015-16

 At this time, you can charge tickets in person or by calling the Cashier’s Office on the Miami Middletown Campus at 513 727-7412.

 Mail order form is at the end of this handout!!

Sharon Isbin – October 24th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”. She is also the winner of Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, and the Toronto and Madrid Queen Sofia competitions, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls, including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’ Châtelet, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and many others. She has served as Artistic Director/Soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and the Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), her own series at New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. She is a frequent guest on national radio programs including All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. She has been profiled on television throughout the world, including CBS Sunday Morning and A&E. She was a featured guest on Showtime Television’s hit seriesThe L Word, and was the only classical artist to perform in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. She performed as featured soloist on the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award winning film, The Departed. Among her other career highlights, she performed at Ground Zero on September 11, 2002, for the internationally televised memorial, and in concert at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama in November 2009. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to ElleThe Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, as well as on the cover of over 45 magazines. A one-hour documentary on her titled Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, produced by Susan Dangel, will be presented by American Public Television for broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations throughout the US this November-December 2014, and released on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International.

Joe Pug / Heather Maloney   November 14th, 2015

If the opening notes on Joe Pug’s new LP “Windfall” are a bit disorienting, his fans won’t likely be surprised.  The Austin, TX singer songwriter has made a habit of defying expectations so the piano-driven “Bright Beginnings” and the atmospheric rumination of “Great Hosannas” are just further indication that he’s quite comfortable stepping outside of the guy-with-a-guitar trappings of the genre.

His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive.  After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver).  As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band.  ”I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass].  It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.”  The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.

The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits.  The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story.  ”It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end.  There was absolutely no joy left in playing music.  So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”

But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.”   At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again.  I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food.  I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”

The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written.  The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward.  We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production.  It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.”  The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.

The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall.  The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him.  ”The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at  ”every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.”    ”I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page.  But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.

If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.”  Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all.  He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion.  His new album, Windfall, was released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.

Heather Maloney

“Going in, we said ‘lets make a bad ass indie rock record with a sound as big and dynamic as we can, without compromising one single heartfelt lyric.”

Singer-songwriter Heather Maloney did just that on her newest LP, Making Me Break. Working with Grammy- nominated producer Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses, Avett Brothers), the two crafted and delivered on an artistic vision to merge Maloney’s folk roots with indie rock.

“The sounds I love in indie rock are so lush, and textured, and intricate, like someone spent a lot of time on this, so they must really care,” Maloney explains, citing influences such as Ben Howard, The Shins, and Io Echo. “And as a singer-songwriter raised on folk, I am drawn to lyrics that that are meaningful, intelligent, tell a story, paint pictures… that care. So I just wanted to make an album that cared musically and lyrically. Some sort of a bleeding heart meeting a distant, unaffected, sparkly rock band. That was the goal.”

Maloney’s new music has a definite edge, but it also has a classically trained voice that delivers well-crafted lyrics over a technical arrangement—a combination we’ve recently seen getting mainstream appreciation once more. Suddenly, the term “singer- songwriter” carries serious weight again. Chalk it up to a revival of everything 90s and Maloney’s influence from “those bleeding hearts,” as she calls them, referring to artists’ like Fiona Apple, Tori Amos and Aimee Mann.

“We wanted to make something more relevant, in a new zone.” Maloney wasn’t kidding – she teamed up with producer Bill Reynolds (who moonlights as the bassist for Band of Horses) and an all-star group of players with extraordinary talent, including engineer Jason Kingsland (Iron & Wine, Delta Spirit), guitarist Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses), and guitarist and sax player Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket).

Throughout the new musical heights and depths on this record, Maloney’s voice and lyrics remain center stage, truthfully articulating the insights and emotions of growing up, without clichés nor quirks for their own sake.

Maloney’s journey to finding herself as a singer-songwriter took some unexpected routes. She studied classical operatic, improvisational jazz vocals, and music theory for several years in New Jersey, in addition to a brief stint studying classical Indian vocals with a tutor. “My first shows were jazz, in New York City. I love jazz, but it didn’t feel like where I belonged. Neither did opera. I was grasping to find what felt like home,” she says. “I needed to do something kind of radical.”

Maloney found herself at a silent meditation retreat center in Central Massachusetts. She lived and worked there for nearly 3 years, taking vows of silence from seven to ten days at a time. The silence, oddly enough, became conducive to finding one’s true voice. “The biggest motivating factor in writing was probably the experiences I was having in my meditation practice… There was the difficulty of it, the suffering of it, and wanting to channel that into something creative, and on the positive side, the insights that came out of my experiences. In my cottage away from the designated silent area, I just sang, and wrote, and cried. And for the first time, I felt I was using my voice in an authentic way.”

This was the breakthrough Maloney had been waiting for, the first moment she had a reason to get up on stage. Armed with guitar and her fresh sense of purpose, Maloney traversed across the northeast – playing coffeehouses, libraries, and even meditation centers – before eventually getting signing with celebrated independent record label Signature Sounds (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter). Maloney’s self-titled label debut followed in 2013, launching her from the small stages of New England to nationwide audiences, sharing stages with renowned musicians like Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Shakey Graves, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Anais Mitchell, among others.

In 2014, Maloney released a collaborative EP with Boston quartet Darlingside called Woodstock, on which she covers Joni Mitchell’s anthemic “Woodstock” – and absolutely nails it. A video of the session ended up on the New York Times website and gained momentum with praise from Graham Nash, who was among the first to cover Mitchell’s “Woodstock” in 1970. The ensuing nation-wide collaborative tour with Darlingiside gave birth to new experiences, emotions, and perspectives. Maloney began to find moments in the van, in hotel rooms and on days off at home to write the songs that would eventually become Making Me Break.

Maloney feels this record is the closest she’s ever been to the sound that’s truly herself. “As an artist I’m constantly changing. But I think we cracked the code on blending the two worlds here,” says Maloney. For now, her distinctive voice has soared a long way from the silent confines of hushed meditation, and into a natural equilibrium of progressive Indie-Folk. Mission Accomplished.

Sam Baker / Gretchen Peters            February 27, 2016

Sam Baker is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, and fully wrought. Words placed like plants and objects in a Zen Garden. His website is stark: white, black, sepia, and shades of gray. Baker turned inward, to relearn the use of his body and brain after a Peruvian train bombing almost killed him in 1986. It’s taken years to heal. Time to reconnect. The road back was arduous, but it opened up new vistas in art, poetry, and music.

mercy, released in 2004, was the first in a trilogy of compelling albums with sparse instrumentation and poetic delivery. It was followed by pretty world in 2007 and cotton in 2009. Each piece is imprinted with a theme: everyone is at the mercy of another one’s dreams, how beautiful are these days, and talk about forgiveness.

Baker approaches life with a positive attitude – “Life is a gift. I went through a lot of bitterness- a lot of anger. But those things are toxic.  Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost.  Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful.  All I’ve got—no matter what I hold in my hands, drive around in, or put in the bank,-  all I’ve got is this one breath, and if I’m lucky, I get another.”

Gretchen Peters

Blackbirds follows Peters’ 2012 album Hello Cruel World, which NPR called “the album of her career” and Uncut said “establishes her as the natural successor to Lucinda Williams.” If anything, though, Blackbirds truly establishes Peters as a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, one in possession of a fearless and endlessly creative voice.

“I get a lot of juice from the musicians in the room,” says Gretchen Peters.

In the case of her new album, Blackbirds, “juice” is certainly understatement. Recorded in Nashville, the album features a who’s who of modern American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss and more. But it’s not the guests that make Blackbirds the most poignant and moving album of Peters’ storied career; it’s the impeccable craftsmanship, her ability to capture the kind of complex, conflicting, and overwhelming emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light of truth and understanding onto them.

Blackbirds is, in many ways, an album that is unafraid to face down mortality. But rather than dwell on the pain of loss, the music finds a new appreciation for the life we’re given.

The Steeldrivers – April 16th, 2016

It may be the only town around where salaried songwriters and full-time session musicians are as common as accountants and schoolteachers. Music is the product, and the factories line the street, from the swank Music Row mini-high-rises to the low-slung Sylvan Park bungalows. And only Nashville could give birth to a band like the SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned veterans –each distinguished in his or her own right, each valued in the town’s commercial community – who are seizing an opportunity to follow their hearts to their souls’ reward. In doing so, they are braiding their bluegrass roots with new threads of their own design, bringing together country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew. This is new music with the old feeling. SteelDrivers fan Vince Gill describes the band’s fusion as simply “an incredible combination.”

Since the release of The SteelDrivers (2008) and Reckless (2010), The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four IBMA awards and the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of the Year. They were presented the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2009. That same year the band spent a week in Georgia as part of the cast in the movie “Get Low”. The movie, that starred Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, featured a soundtrack that included four tunes by The ‘Drivers. In 2011 the English pop star Adele began performing the SteelDriver song “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” in her live performances. Her opinion of The SteelDrivers is: “They’re a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band and they are brilliant.” They have been invited to perform on numerous radio and TV shows ranging from The Grand Ole Opry to NPR’s Mountain Stage to the Conan O’Brien show.

Mail orders:

1.Please make checks payable to Miami University.

  1. Send to:

Miami University Regionals Artist Series

1601 University Boulevard

Hamilton, Ohio 45011

You can also charge tickets by calling the Miami Middletown Cashier’s Office at 513 727-3412

Show Regular Price Seniors (62+), Faculty, Staff Students & Children 12 and under Total
Season Tickets   for Middletown –All 4 shows

________ @ $120

_______ @ $116

________ @ $92

Earls of Leicester (9/25/15)

_______ @ $30

_______ @ $28

_______ @ $ 20

Arlo Guthrie (10/14/15)

________ @ $38

All seats are $38
Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins, Anais Mitchell (3/18/16)

________ @ $35

All seats are $35

Southern Troubadours Tour –Thorn/Foster/Ely 4/9/16

_______ @ $30

_______ @ $ 28

_______ @ $ 20

Season Tickets for Hamilton –All 4 shows

________ @ $92

_______ @ $85

_________ @ $60

Sharon Isbin –(10/24/15)

_______ @ $30

_______ @ $ 28

_______ @ $ 20

Joe Pub/Heather Maloney (11/14/15)

________ $22

________ @ $20

________ @ $12

Sam Baker/               Gretchen Peters (2/27/16)

_______ @ $25

_________ @ $23

_________ @ $16

The Steeldrivers (4/16/16

_______ @ $25

_________ @ $23

_________ @ $16


Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________     email: _______________

City ______________________  State __________________   Zip Code _____

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