Folk/pop artist Tristen will join previously scheduled artists The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bell X1, Marti Jones & Don Dixon, and Amy LaVere for the June 5 Mountain Stage performance. The show will take place at the WVU Creative Arts Center and will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Mountainlair and CAC box offices, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 304-293-SHOW.
Tristen – Chicago-born, Nashville-based Tristen began recording music at just 14 years old and has quickly blossomed into an artist-to-watch. Now in her mid-twenties, Tristen’s debut full-length record, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, is garnering praise from critics for its folk-pop hooks and mature songwriting. With a little bit of rock, a touch of twang and a splash of pop, Charlatans explores love and relationships in an intimate and comforting way, while still refusing to be shackled by others’ ideals. Paste Magazine named her as a “Best of What’s Next” artist in 2010 and she recently made a splash at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Texas.
The Blind Boys of Alabama – Recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music, The Blind Boys of Alabama have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans more than 70 years. With five Grammy Awards and a National Endowment for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Eric Clapton and Tom Waits. In the 1950s, the group had the chance to “cross over” to popular music with their friend and fellow musician Sam Cooke, but decided to stay true to their calling in gospel music and joined the Civil Rights movement, performing at demonstrations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Blind Boys have profoundly influenced entire generations of gospel, soul, R&B and rock musicians. After being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and meeting with country artist Jamey Johnson, the group decided to tackle a country-gospel record (Take the High Road), which was recently released to critical acclaim. It appears there will be no slowing down for The Blind Boys, as they are taking their newest material on the road with what some call “roof-raising musical events” that appeal to audiences of all ages and cultures.
Bell X1 – Hailed as one of Ireland’s greatest bands, Bell X1 crafts a tight, melodic pop sound that has garnered them a huge following in their native Ireland. Their well-received 2005 album, Flock, earned them widespread attention in the United States, which led to songs featured on the popular television shows The O.C. and Grey’s Anatomy. While front man Paul Noonan admits that the band had been influenced by Talking Heads and The Flaming Lips, The New York Times also compares them to both Coldplay and Radiohead, saying “Paul Noonan’s writing will make you swoon.” Bell X1’s latest album, Bloodless Coup, was released this spring to critical acclaim. Some critics call this effort their “strongest bet yet” and “an excellent album, with a well-rounded, eclectic batch of songs.” The group was named one of the “50 Best Irish Acts Right Now” by The Irish Times in 2009.
Marti Jones & Don Dixon – Marti Jones first emerged as the front woman of the pop group Color Me Gone before releasing her solo debut Unsophisticated Time. This album was created under the guidance of Don Dixon, a key producer of the 1980s, and the two subsequently married. Jones found success with her blend of energetic pop ballads mixed with a southern twinge, which garnered her comparisons to Dusty Springfield and Bonnie Raitt. Dixon himself spent 13 years as a member of North Carolina cult heroes Arrogance, recorded nearly a dozen solo albums and has worked with varied artists including R.E.M. (Murmur) and Tommy Keene (Run Now). While Jones has focused much of her later career on painting, she and Dixon released a record of calm, soothing music called Lucky Stars: New Lullabies for Old Souls in 2008. The duo continues to tour together, performing nationwide.
Amy LaVere – Memphis-based singer/songwriter Amy LaVere doesn’t like categorizing her musical persona, but one could say she jumps genres, offering a mix of rockabilly, jazz and bluesy balladry. Her 2006 debut, This World Is Not My Home, showcased her cathartic twang and was reminiscent of influences as varied as Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen and Dolly Parton. It was her collaboration with the late producer Jim Dickinson (Ry Cooder, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan) that propelled LaVere’s second album, Anchors and Anvils, to critical acclaim. The upright bassist and occasional actress (Walk the Line, Black Snake Moan) will release her new, highly-anticipated album, Stranger Me, this July.
General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show and may be purchased at the Mountainlair and CAC box offices, online at ticketmaster.com and by phone at 304-293-SHOW or 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Giant Eagle on Greenbag Rd.
This event is produced by WVU Arts & Entertainment. For more event information, please call 304-293-SHOW, or visit us online at events.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Ali Daly, WVU Arts & Entertaiment