THE ANNUAL ROOTS CAFÉ CHRISTMAS SHOW:
MARK BRINE & THE GRANDSONS’ ALAN MACEWEN
Mark Brine and Alan MacEwen
perform original and obscure Christmas songs in the round
with your singing host Geoffrey Himes
and a special guest appearance by
at An Die Musik Live
Sunday, December 8, at 5 pm
$7 in advance, $9 at door
409 Charles Street, (410) 385-2638
This show will celebrate Mark Brine’s reissued Christmas opus, “The Carol,” his fantasia about Jack Frost which he is releasing as both a music-filled audiobook and as a paperback. "Mark's premise that the whistle of Jack Frost is a viable Christmas carol is a fascinating one…,” writes Mississippi’s Meridian Star, “something you might have heard Jimmie Rodgers or Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger or Burl Ives do, making it, for all intents and purposes a potentially classic folk tune." Brine comes out of the fertile folk scene of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez also got their start. His proudest accomplishment, though, was the warm praise he received from Hank Snow, who got him a spot on the Grand Ole Opry to sing "New Blue Yodel," Brine's tribute to Rodgers. "I could listen to him sing all night long," Roy Acuff once said of Brine; “he does a good job that boy does."
Alan MacEwen is the bandleader and founding member of the award-winning American roots quartet, the Grandsons. Now in their 25th year, the Grandsons have performed continuously since 1986, releasing 7 full-length albums. Alan is singer, guitarist, trumpet player and principle songwriter for the group. Apart from his primary efforts with the Grandsons, Alan has built a strong repertoire as a solo performer and has explored Caribbean music with his group, Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers. As a professional trumpet player, Alan has worked as a sideman with artists including Ruth Brown, Howard Tate and Ronnie Spector.
Santa Claus is the legendary pioneer of Arctic-rock, which swept the northern latitudes in the 1960s. Borrowing elements of Chet Baker's “cool jazz” and Jerry Butler's “Ice Man” soul, Claus crafted a “snowbilly” sound of pounding piano, jangly “sleigh bell” guitar and “bipolar” bass. His singles for Midnight Sun Records, such as “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sled Dog,” “Great Balls of Snow” and “Don’t Step on My Blue Suede Mukluks,” were hits from Helsinki to Anchorage. His band, Santa and the Subordinate Clauses, put on famous live shows in matching red outfits lined with white fur and amplifiers painted in red-and-white candy-cane stripes. Claus himself would enter the stage in a sled pulled by four reindeer, jump from the sled onto the piano bench and begin every show with his signature tune, “I’m the Santa Claus of Love.” Claus has come out of retirement to make this special appearance at An Die Musik Live.
Though he is best known as a music critic for the Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, Nashville Scene, Jazz Times, No Depression, Paste and others, Geoffrey Himes is also a longtime singer-songwriter who has co-written songs with Fred Koller, Walter Egan, Sonia Rutstein, Billy Kemp, Stephen Wade, Jim Patton, Ed Pettersen, Howard Markman, Paul Margolis, Josh Charles, Timothy Bracken, Andrew Grimm, Bob Kannenberg and others. This month Himes will premiere his new song, “My Reward." He will be accompanied by Willem Elsevier, violinist for such acts as Love Riot, Billy Kemp and Milkshake.
An Die Musik is Baltimore’s finest listening room. With 84 armchairs, great acoustics, the city’s best piano and a lobby bar, this performance space above the venerable record store is as intimate as it is inviting. The street parking meters are free on Sundays; the venue offers discount coupons for the area’s ethnic restaurants, and the 5 pm start time keeps the afternoon free while allowing a good night's sleep before the work week. Here, at last, is a music experience designed for adults.
UPCOMING SHOWS IN THE ROOTS CAFÉ SINGER-SONGWRITER SERIES
AT AN DIE MUSIK LIVE:
January 26: Letitia Van Sant and Mac Walter
February 16: TBA
March 23: Tony Denikos and TBA
April 13: Victoria Vox and TBA
May 11: Sam Nitzberg & Matt Douglass
June 8: Lea Gilmore and TBA
OTHER ROOTS CAFÉ SHOWS:
May: Sixth annual “Night of 1000 Dylans” concert at the Creative Alliance