Concerts at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC


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My commitment to the community is to restore The ArtsCenter (300-G East Main St; Carrboro, NC 27510) to a position of primacy among folk and roots presenters between Alexandria, VA and Decatur, GA. Although we present concerts in the 355 seat Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater and 106 seat West End Theater mostly Thursday through Sunday evenings, we sometimes present on any night and host jam sessions and song circles on Monday evenings. We share the use of these facilities with ArtsCenter Stage, the ArtSchool, more than a dozen resident theatre, comedy, improv, film, and dance companies, ArtsCamp, Youth Arts Blocks, and rentals ranging from Cat’s Cradle concerts to community square dances to bat and bar mitzvahs. For that reason, The ArtsCenter presents an average of 60 concerts for adults per year. Visit our website to learn about shows and concerts for children and families.

I have three decades experience in folk and bluegrass music and the support of outstanding concerts at The ArtsCenter sponsors including Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, Giorgios Hospitality Group, Atma Hotel Group (including the new Hampton next door), Furniture Lab, Brooks Pierce, and the North Carolina Arts Council.Image

Most of all we need your support as a donor, business sponsor, or ArtsCenter Friend, and as a ticket buyer. All these can be accomplished by visiting artscenterlive.org or calling 919-929-2787.

The ArtsCenter currently has this remarkable lineup of concerts scheduled

Monday, October 21, 2013 Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 disappear fear (SONiA)
Saturday, November 09, 2013 Sam Bush
Friday, November 08, 2013 Quiet American with Adam Hurt & Beth Hartness
Friday, November 15, 2013 The Honeycutters
Sunday, November 17, 2013 Charlie King & Karen Brandow
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Jake Shimabukuro
Thursday, November 21, 2013 Kirk Ridge, Lizzy Ross, Rebecca Newton, Jack Herrick, Joe Newberry, Nancy Middleton
Saturday, November 23, 2013 John Gorka
Friday, December 06, 2013 Dar Williams
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 FiddleX Holiday Concert
Friday, January 03, 2014 Robin & Linda Williams
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 Genticorum
Friday, January 10, 2014 Nu Blu
Saturday, January 11, 2014 Hot Club of Cowtown
Sunday, January 12, 2014 Dana & Susan Robinson
Thursday, January 16, 2014 Sparky & Rhonda Rucker
Friday, January 17, 2014 Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Saturday, January 18, 2014 GangstaGrass
Thursday, January 23, 2014 Cahallen Morrison & Eli West w/Bevel Summers
Saturday, February 01, 2014 Grace Pettis
Saturday, February 08, 2014 Joe Pug
Sunday, February 09, 2014 David Jacobs-Strain
Friday, February 21, 2014 Ennis
Saturday, February 22, 2014 Lucy Kaplansky
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Clive Carroll
Sunday, March 09, 2014 Guy Davis
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Rory Block
Thursday, March 13, 2014 Paul McKenna Band
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Pete & Maura Kennedy
Friday, March 21, 2014 Missy Raines & the New Hip
Saturday, March 22, 2014 John McCutcheon
Thursday, March 27, 2014 Archie Fischer & Garnet Rogers
Friday, March 28, 2014 Scott Ainslie
Saturday, March 29, 2014 Foghorn String Band w/Piney Woods Boys
Friday, April 04, 2014 Sultans of String
Thursday, April 10, 2014 Drew Nelson
Friday, April 11, 2014 Seldom Scene
Sunday, April 13, 2014 Brother Sun
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Paddy Kennan
Thursday, May 01, 2014 Cathie Ryan
Friday, May 02, 2014 April Verch
Friday, May 09, 2014 Rolling Roots Review
Sunday, May 11, 2014 Tret Fure
Sunday, June 08, 2014 Jeanette & Johnnie Williams with Louisa Branscomb
Saturday, June 28, 2014 Songs from the Circle 3
Thursday, July 31, 2014 Local songwriters featuring Katherine Whalen
Friday, September 05, 2014 Jonathan Edwards
Friday, September 12, 2014 Steve Forbert
Thursday, September 18, 2014 Sarah McQuaid
Saturday, November 15, 2014 Tom Paxton

NC Museum of History Bluegrass Programming During IBMA


For the next three years, Raleigh will be home to the International Bluegrass Music Association annual World of Bluegrass convention. I am one of the speakers in the NC Museum of History programs to welcome IBMA:

 Tuesday, September 24

         1–3 p.m.          North Carolina is the Banjo State, with Bob Carlin

        5–7 p.m.          Bluegrass in North Carolina, with Tommy Edwards

 Wednesday, September 25

         1–3 p.m.          Bluegrass Music: How North Carolinians Have Contributed, with Art Menius

        5–7 p.m.          The Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories from the American South

Thursday, September 26

       1–3 p.m.          The Story of Bluegrass and Raleigh’s Contribution, with Ron Raxter

       5–7 p.m.          Bluegrass Jam, with Pinecone

Friday, September 27

       1–3 p.m.          [Topic TBD*], with Wayne Martin

       5–7 p.m.          Gibson, Scruggs, and the Three-Finger Style, with Jim Mills

When I was little, The NC Museum of History was in WPA institutional building that mostly housed the state department of Education – “EDVCATION” in the granite lettering outside. Opened in 1902, “The Hall of History” and little changed since moved there in 1939, snaked through the first floor with permanent displays focusing on transportation, weapons, and household furnishings of rich white people. The latter appeared to have been 90% of the state’s population before the War, after which it dropped to 80%. I learned a lot about how our heroes fought against cruel military occupation of NC by the United States. Generations of school bus drivers struggled to find the Hall of History since the maps they were sent had South at the top and north oriented to the bottom.

By the time I was a young public historian at NC Dept of Cultural Resources (a product of the standardization of federal and state cultural bureaucracies during the 1960s and 1970s), an equally static history museum telling a more modern story, albeit with many of the same artifacts, occupied the east wing of our 1968 Archives & History/State Library edifice between the 1964 Legislative Building, in which the General Assembly meets rather than the 19th Capitol building in the center of Raleigh, and the gingerbread Victorian Governor’s Mansion. I always imagined the Addams Family as our first family. In 2013 some would say…..

The current NC Museum of History opened in 1994 between the Legislative Building and the historic State Capitol (walk out of the Convention Center on the Fayetteville Street side and look left. Can’t miss it.) The new museum has a research library, a variety of classroom spaces, and a large and well-equipped, 315-seat auditorium. Large gallery spaces total 55,000 square feet, nearly four times the exhibit area available in the old building. Design shops, storage areas for over 250,000 items, and conservation labs are now all under one roof.

The NC Arts Council, whose staff is being slashed by the legislature, occupies the previous museum space. Five museums in 92 years doesn’t seem like the best long term planning for growth.

Mike Compton and Joe Newberry


Mike Compton and Joe Newberry

Crownsville, MD February 11, 2012

Live performance review by Art Menius for http://artmenius.com

 

Mike Compton & Joe Newberry (c) Becky Johnson

 

Mike Compton and Joe Newberry mine one of the more neglected segments of country music history, that period during the 1930s and 1940s when brother duet music was transforming into bluegrass. Few are better equipped for the task with Newberry able to replicate the underappreciated power of Charlie Monroe’s rhythm guitar, while Compton has been acknowledged as a master of Monroe style mandolin playing for three decades. Add Joe’s exquisite open back banjo playing and their simpatico duet singing and you have a two person string band that can move effortlessly from Carter Family songs to “evil harmony laughing” to early bluegrass to Mike’s original tunes and Joe’s songs. Each set contained one of the latter’s compositions that the Gibson Brothers turned into bluegrass hits.

The many highlights of the well-paced show (the clock affirmed each lasted 45 minutes, but they seemed half that) include a reworking of Compton’s “Idle Time,” the title track of second Nashville Bluegrass Band LP a quarter century ago. Stripped down to its essence as a mandolin tune, it opened up a rhythmic thrust beyond the original. Mike, a long time stalwart of the John Hartford String Band, and Joe turned Hartford’s hippie anthem “Tall Buildings” into a convincing brother duet piece.

Compton and Newberry, best known as a member of Big Medicine, are not just veterans, but have found a partner whose music comes from the same place. Just as if on a back porch, they play to and for each other. The audience gets to share the joy the pair finds in doing it.

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