Carnegie Hall announces 2021-22 Mainstage Season

Courtesy photoTuba Skinny

Carnegie Hall’s 2021-2022 Mainstage Performance schedule, ready to roll into its 38th season, will play off the theme of “Bringing the Arts to Life.”

The season begins with Hillbilly Gypsies and Bobby Thompson on Friday, Oct. 22. The Hillbilly Gypsies are best known for their high-energy live performances. They have entertained the crowd at major festivals, fairs, and concert venues across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. Their “Old Timey” approach adds an authentic barn party atmosphere to their shows.

Opening will be Bobby Thompson. who has fronted bands like Blueheart Revival and Revelator Hill and been a sideman for artists such as Justin Jones (930 Club Records), Laura Tsaggaris, and he once toured with SOJA for three months in 2009. He uses an array of musical styles and packages them into who is he is today: a quintessential rock ’n’ roll performer who doubles as acoustic singer-songwriter.

Following the opener will be John R. Miller with Drift Mouth on Friday, Nov. 19.

Miller is a true hyphenate artist: singer-songwriter-picker. Every song on his thrilling upcoming debut solo album, "Depreciated," is lush with intricate wordplay and haunting.

Miller is somehow able to transport listeners to a shadowy honkytonk and get existential all in the same line with his tightly written compositions.

Drift Mouth has been described by Mike Elliott, Americana UK, as the sweet spot between the guitar crunch of Crazy Horse and Drive-By Truckers and the lyrical storytelling of the best hard country of Appalachia.

Back by popular demand, the holiday concert will feature the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra on Friday, Dec. 3. WVSO is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pop and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State.

Carnegie Hall’s first show of 2022 will be Crys Matthews on Friday, Jan. 21. A southeastern North Carolina native who now calls Herndon, Virginia, home, Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies and punctuated by honest, original lyrics.

Amy Helm will grace Carnegie Hall’s stage on St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17. This will be the first of three shows within 15 days. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Helm commands any stage she performs on, captivating audiences with her soulful voice. With a successful career as a performer in groups such as the Levon Helm Band, the Dirt Farmer Band, and the Midnight Ramble Band, Helm amazes audiences with music that is both intimate and universal.

The following week Carnegie Hall will present Steel Wheels on Saturday, March 26.

The Steel Wheels have long been at home in the creative space between tradition and innovation, informed by the familiar sounds of the Virginia mountains where the band was formed, but always moving forward with insightful lyrics and an evolving sound. In 2005, Jay Lapp (vocals, guitars, mandolin) and Eric Brubaker (vocals, fiddle) joined lead singer Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo) in forming the band as a vehicle for Wagler’s songwriting. They released several albums under Wagler’s moniker, before officially adopting the The Steel Wheels name with the 2010 release of "Red Wing."

Quickly staking their claim as independent upstarts in the burgeoning Americana scene, The Steel Wheels followed up with three more self-produced albums in the next five years, before joining forces with producer Sam Kassirer for "Wild As We Came Here" (2017) and "Over The Trees" (2019).

Kevin Garcia (drums, percussion, keys) joined in 2017, bringing a new level of sonic depth and polish to the outfit.

Having gained the experience of thousands of shows, festivals and many miles on the road, the stubbornly independent band has formed deep bonds with one another and the audience that sustains them.

The third performance of the back-to-back-to-back will be the Honey Dewdrops on Friday, April 1.

Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish have long felt the push and pull between their original roots in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia and their current home in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in the sound of their harmony-soaked songs, blended with the tones of guitar, banjo, and mandolin and also in the group’s songwriting, which reflects the beautiful and hard realities of today.

Artistically, Wortman and Parrish are inspired by American folk and traditional music.

The final performance will be Tuba Skinny on Friday, May 20.

Formed in in 2009, Tuba Skinny has steadily evolved from a loose collection of street musicians into a solid ensemble dedicated to bringing the traditional New Orleans sound to audiences.

Drawing on a wide range of musical influences – from spirituals to Depression-era blues, from ragtime to traditional jazz – their sound evokes the rich musical heritage of their New Orleans home.

Tickets went on sale to Carnegie Hall members on Thursday, Sept. 23. The general public can buy tickets beginning Thursday, Sept. 30.

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