32 Masonic Street
Northampton, MA, 01060
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is all ages
Dom Flemons is a GRAMMY Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music. He began his career as a performer in the Arizona music scene, where he produced 25 albums for singer-songwriters and slam poets in Pheonix. In 2005, Flemons co-found the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally as “The American Songster. In February 2016, Dom performed at Carnegie Hall for a Tribute to Lead Belly. In September 2016, Dom performed at the opening ceremonies for the National Musuem of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Dom has been touring internationally and has released his latest album called “Ever Popular Favourites” with British Guitar player, Martin Simpson. The album was released on Fledg’ling recordings in October 2016. Dom’s newest album to be released through Smithsonian Folkways will be celebrating the stories and songs of the black cowboys. Dom has released two instructional DVDs through Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop. Dom has a new podcast called American Songster Radio and it is in conjunction with WUNC North Carolina Public Radio.
“My first memories, all my memories, are of feeling completely isolated, sad and alone”, says Avi Jacob. Though it would be easy for Jacob to lose himself in this darkness, his new EP, Surrender, does the opposite of that. Instead of retreating into himself Jacob uses the vulnerability of songwriting as a therapeutic form, for himself and for others. on Surrender Avi Jacob works to uncover his own deepest fears to mine that empathy. As he says “I’m trying to connect people to the reality of their emotions, if they understand them then they can understand and have empathy for others.”
“There was a guy after I sold all the albums opening for Dr. John, this guy came up to me and was wearing all camo, he was in town for a hunting conference. You could tell by looking at him he was very conservative. He had tears in his eyes and said “that song pickup truck was really beautiful, it touched me and made me think of my father”, or something to that effect. That to me was really important because I could tell that was a really big thing for him, to open up like that.”
James and Simone Felice holed up in a barn in New England in the dead of winter with Jacob to record this EP. You can hear the influence of the Felice’s, with an organ flourish, a touch of accordion, coaxing out those spacious, poignant moments on Surrender. Combining folk sensibilities with classic soul, in the vein of Alabama Shakes or Ray Lamontagne, Jacob’s EP is influenced equally by South Carolina, where he spent most of the past decade, and the Northeast where he spent his formative years. It’s a plainly self-reflective piece, not trying to impose itself on your but to bring you along for this frightening, elating, confusing journey.