Blues heatwave takes over FTC this spring

Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor

The spring will continue heating up and the Fairfield Theatre Company will help by taking enthusiastic audiences to the musical crossroads as they welcome three incredible blues acts to their intimate StageOne venue beginning this May.

Starting this musical heat wave of talent will be the unbelievable Colorado bluesman, Otis Taylor on Thursday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. With Otis Taylor, it’s best to expect the unexpected. It’s this sort of natural surprise characteristic trait that has made Taylor become one of the most compelling artists to emerge in recent years.

Whether it’s his unique instrumentation (banjo, cello, and guitar), the sudden sound of a female vocalist accompanying him on stage, or a seemingly upbeat optimistic song that takes a turn for the forlorn, Otis’s music is an amalgamation of roots styles in the rawest form. Whether discussing heavyweight issues like murder, homelessness, tyranny, or injustice, Otis speaks deep from the heart and plants a seed in the mind of all those who listen.

Coming to StageOne in support of his fourteenth album, Hey Joe Opus Red Meat an album that is meticulously crafted as a single piece of music in ten parts with Hey Joe as its overriding theme, Otis uses the classic song as inspiration and has truly created a musical masterpiece unlike anything that audience’s have ever heard before. To create this masterpiece Taylor called upon the help of four extraordinary guest to help give this unique album the power and grit it deserves by welcoming the dynamo guitarist Warren Haynes (best known as a member of The Allman Brothers, The Dead and his own band Gov’t Mule), acoustic guitarist Bill Nershi from The String Cheese Incident, singer / songwriter / guitarist Langhorne Slim and guitarist Daniel Sproul who toured with, Eddie Van Halen, Warren Haynes, and The Black Crowes. Come see for yourself as to why Guitar Player magazine writes, “Otis Taylor is arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time.”

Ana Popovic

Ana Popovic—Photo by Marco Van Rooijen

But that’s just the beginning of this blues musical heat wave, as the Fairfield Theatre Company is delighted to welcome for the first time to StageOne the incredible blues rising star, Ana Popovic Saturday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m.

The award-winning, guitar slinger blends smoking electric funk and slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals and tight blues grooves with her soulful, feminine vocals. Add to that mix Ana’s incredible stage presence, and what you end up with is an irresistible force in the world of contemporary blues music.

Born in Belgrade (formerly Yugoslavia) Ana grew up in a musical minded family where her father would invite friends over for nightly jam sessions. While being surrounded in this musical atmosphere, Ana like a sponge absorbed the world around her and pick up the guitar at age fifteen and learned from her father’s blues and soul record collection.

Since then, Ana has never looked back, touring the world over with her 4 piece band playing major blues, jazz and rock festivals as well as sharing the stage with legendary blues artists B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang among others.

Coming in support of her soon to be released album BlueRoom!, that will invite listeners into the world she grew up in, where amps were stacked with guitars and music magazines were dispersed across the room. BlueRoom! is a deeply personal record and a homage to Ana’s family and roots.

albert-cummings

Albert Cummings

And if it couldn’t get any hotter, FTC is thrilled once again to welcome back the Massachusetts native, Albert Cummings on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Breaking every cliché associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century comes as natural to Albert Cummings as swinging a hammer while constructing one of his award-winning homes. The Massachusetts native started playing music after learning the banjo at the age of 12. But, after he encountered the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his late teens, it wasn’t long till Cummings would make the transition to electric guitar.

It wasn’t long after his first guitar performance at a wedding that Cummings had a chance encounter with Vaughan’s old band, Double Trouble. This rare chance encounter would soon lead Cummings’ to record his first solo record, From the Heart, that featured Cummings fronting the legendary band Double Trouble.

Since then Cummings guitar styling as sored him like a phoenix out of the fire, leading him to share the stage with such legendary acts as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Chris Duarte, Bernard Allison, the Neville Brothers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Sheryl Crow, and Duke Robillard.

Albert Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. And as Cummings has done with his innovative homes, he has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams into a vision that alternately excites and soothes while clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. Don’t miss this chance to see this emerging blues talent as he will show an eager blue crowd that the best is still yet to come.

So get ready to this musical heat wave that will feel as though FTC has cranked the heat to eleven, as they once again prove as to why they are the best place in Fairfield County to see live music.

For tickets, at $32 in advance, $3 member discount, per individual show, visit fairfieldtheatre.org or call 203-259-1036.

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