Date:   10/15/2005

Dynamic blues/gospel duo, Ruthie Foster & Vance Gilbert appearing

Gospel/blues artists Ruthie Foster and Vance Gilbert will be making a special appearance together at the historic Thrasher Opera House, in beautiful downtown Green Lake, on October 15, 2005 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

 

Ruthie Foster’s songs are a remarkable hybrid of blues, gospel, roots and folk music rich with honest spirituality and emotion. Her simply amazing vocal abilities have critics comparing her to Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. Ruthie’s passionate songs and scintillating live performances attract both the young and old for an uplifting experience of dancing, listening, laughing and even some crying; especially when Ruthie rounds out the joyous occasion with her versions of show-stopping gospel standards.  The Houston Chronicle describes Ruthie as, "...equally comfortable singing gutsy gospel, folk or don't mess-with-Mama R&B"

Ruthie’s new international release Stages (2004) on Blue Corn Music is a collection of 14 songs recorded live in Austin, TX with Will Taylor and String’s Attached chamber ensemble at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Anderson Fair in Houston, TX and Club Passim in Boston, MA. The live performances include old favorites like “Crossover,” “Another Rain Song,” and “Real Love” as well as roof raising gospel standards “Death Came a Knockin’ (Travelin’ Shoes)” and “Walk On.” The CD finishes with the title cut to her breakthrough CD Runaway Soul (2002).

Ruthie’s performance highlights include PBS syndicated Austin City Limits, which has aired in 2003 and 2004; a 2004 tour of UK theaters with Eric Bibb; The Strawberry Music Festival in California, the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Willie Nelson Picnic, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Waterfront Blues Festival in Oregon, the Austin City Limits Festival, and many others too numerous to mention.

Neither Ruthie nor the Blue Corn Music label and their distributor were prepared for the initial and sustaining demand for Runaway Soul since its release. CDs were flying off the shelves and in particular the stage. While on tour, they sell an average of 100 CDs a night. “We spent a lot of time chasing down the Fed Ex truck while on tour trying to get our merch. It’s a good problem to have,” laughs the good natured and lovely Ruthie. While touring the Canadian Folk Festival circuit in the summer of 2002, Ruthie sold 1000 CDs in a day breaking a long-time record held by Ani DiFranco. For more on Ruthie, visit www.ruthiefoster.com.   

Vance Gilbert. It’s all in one seemingly impossible package; his spellbinding live show, his deliriously virtuosic singing, his accomplished guitar style, his outrageous, edgy humor. And the songwriting. Ahh yes, the songwriting.

 

Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when the buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-jazz singer who was knocking 'em dead at open mikes. The word spread of this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer to New York; Shawn Colvin invited Vance Gilbert to be special guest on her Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across the country by storm. "With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener" wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from that tour.

 

Gilbert's three albums for the Rounder/Philo label –Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and the celebrated, arrestingly sparse Shaking off Gravity (1998) - are all essential additions to the American singer-songwriter collection. These discs were followed by the self-released Somerville Love (2000), his live recording lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams."  This Multiple Boston Music Award Nominee and Kerrville Folk Festival Vocalist of the Year (1997) proceeded to write, produce, and record One Thru Fourteen (2002), a stylistically varied tour de force that New York’s Town and Village calls “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”  His duo album with Ellis Paul, Side Of The Road (2003) is lauded as “haunting and lovely” by Boston Magazine, and was nominated for Album Of The Year at the 2004 Boston Music Awards.  This discography peaks with Gilbert’s most recent release, Unfamiliar Moon (2005) which showcases his most mature, solid, and requested songs to date. 

 

But it is on stage that Vance Gilbert is at his most fearless, timeless, compelling best.  Classic songwriting, presented with deep humanism and bravery, stunning artistry and soul, and unbridled joy and humor are arguably the blue ribbons that tie and seal the seemingly impossible performance package that is… Vance Gilbert.  For more on Vance visit www.vancegilbert.com.    

 

Tickets for this special double-billed concert, generously sponsored by Mill Street Junction, Irvin & Co, and Heidel House are only $20 and available at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank (Green Lake); Ripon Drug, Pick ‘N Save (Ripon); Twister (Princeton); Berlin Chamber (Berlin) or by calling (920)294-4279.  Online tickets available at www.thrasheroperahouse.com.

 

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