NORWOOD -- The Norwood Village Green Concert Series’ 37th annual season is underway, with appearances by two-time Grammy winner Bill Harley, Adirondack-based acoustic band Delia, and Canadian blues band Downchild in the next few days.
On Thursday, June 10, Grammy winner Bill Harley takes the stage in the band shell on the green for a family show of music and storytelling beginning at 7 p.m.
Bill Harley is a musician, storyteller, author, and playwright who has carved out a reputation as one of the finest family performers in the United States. Equally comfortable with adult or family audiences, Harley’s songs and stories are wise and witty, portraying contemporary American life with a slight off-center bent. For over 25 years Bill’s work has spanned the generation gap, reminding us of our common humanity and challenging us to be our very best selves.
A prolific author and recording artist, Bill is also a regular commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. Nominated four times for a Grammy, Harley won the award in 2006 and in 2009 for Best Spoken Word for Children. In 2001 he was inducted into the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence and is a recipient of the Magic Penny Award from the Children’s Music Network for his lifelong contributions towards bettering the lives of children through music.
Norwood welcomes Delia, with John Kribs, Scott Greene and Gwen Tracy on Sunday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Based in the Adirondack Mountains, John Kribs, Scott Greene and Gwen Tracy formed the band that takes its name from the classic blues tune of that same name. The trio occasionally adds drums to the trio and rocks out. This is one of those occasions.
Guitarist singer-songwriter John Kribs has been performing professionally for almost 40 years. Growing up with the rock and folk music of the 60s he joined his first working band in 1967. During the 1980s as leader of the rockabilly tinged Johnny and the Triumphs, he hit the top of the "American Play" charts in several French cities with "Johnny & The Triumphs", the bands first lp. Their signature song "Red Belvedere", written by John was also featured on National Public Radios' Car Talk. In the 1990s he was a member of the award winning Celtic/Bluegrass Band the McKrells. He has toured the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway and opened shows for Robert Cray, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker and many others.
Bassist, singer-songwriter Scott Greene was born into a musical family and began playing bass for his legendary father, Smokey Greene, at the age of 12. As a member of the family business he cut his “musical teeth” performing at bluegrass festivals, county fairs and country music roadhouses all across the northeastern U.S. He was a member of the hard working and innovative bluegrass/newgrass stylists Burnt Toast. His aggressive and rhythmic style sometimes brings to mind the late John Entwhistle and yet he can lay down a simple and solid groove that reflects the best of classic R&B, Motown and Nashville bassists.
Gwen Tracy, a 2004 Central NY Idol contest winner, might be the most natural and engaging new blues-rock singer to come along since Susan Tedesci. Though Delia is Gwen’s’ first band she has been singing all her life. She began performing with her father guitarist Jim Tracy at 17. Her voice and stage energy is often compared to Janis Joplin but she is surely her own performer. In her role as “front man” and lead singer for Delia, she shines quite naturally.
The trio occasionally adds a drummer and rocks out. This will be one of those occasions.
Canada’s legendary blues band Downchild performs on Thursday, June 17 starting at 7 p.m.
"There would be no Blues Brothers if it weren’t for Downchild," Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd has said.
The most honored blues band in Canada, Downchild celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 by touring Canada’s major theaters in sold out performances including Toronto’s Massey Hall and Ottawa’s National Arts Center with a major league cast of guests including Dan Aykroyd, Colin Linden, Colin James, James Cotton, Wayne Jackson and others. It also performed at Ontario’s pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
For just about every waking moment of the four decades since he formed the Downchild Blues Band, Donnie Walsh has been living the dream that changed his life back in the early 1960s, when someone dropped a Jimmy Reed album onto the turntable at his girlfriend’s 16th birthday party in suburban North Toronto. It’s a moment Walsh – he also answers to his “given” name, Mr. Downchild, taken from a song by Sonny Boy Williamson II – says he will never forget. “That was it. I was hooked. I never wanted to play anything else.”
Walsh will be joined on stage by singer Chuck Jackson, tenor sax player Pat Carey, drummer Mike Fitzpatrick, bassist Gary Kendall, and pianist/organist Michael Fonfara –the “best musicians I’ve ever played with,” Walsh says.
Admission to Norwood Green concerts is free but audience members will have a chance to demonstrate their gratitude by contributing as “the bucket” makes its way around the audience. The Norwood Village Green Concert Series is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, a public agency.
For more information on these concerts and the whole summer series, visit norwoodvillagegreenconcertseries.org.