I grew up listening to classic county music – Patsy Cline singing “Crazy” on the stereo and my grandmother playing “Your Cheatin’ Heart” on the piano. Like most people my tastes changed over time. But between my pop music phase, hair metal phase, and angsty female singer/songwriter phase, I always returned to my roots – the plaintive sound and tragic lyrics of traditional country. Now people give it a whole host of hip labels like Americana, roots and newgrass but I just call it good music.
These genres are best experienced in an intimate space, so MCPA reimagined Armes Hall as a listening room, complete with a bar, tables and (my favorite) a neon sign. What serves as a banquet hall, meeting room, and rehearsal space is transformed into a welcoming environment where musicians and fans can connect. Over the past five years the combination of a hip space and talented artists has helped the Live@Armes series has develop a loyal following that grows with every concert.
And now we’re excited to announce that the Live@Armes series is expanding to monthly shows year round! The line ups will be released four at a time in January, May and September of each year.
The initial “set” includes the previously announced VickiKristinaBarcelona concert on May 19. This powerhouse band is the epitome of cool: three veteran (and stylish) musicians who re-imagine the songs of Tom Waits with skillful harmonies and quirky instrumentation including banjo, squeezebox and zills.
On June 16 Armchair Boogie brings their unique sound to the series. Born on a front porch in the heart of Central Wisconsin, Armchair Boogie pushes genre boundaries with their fusion of acoustic banjo and guitar and a driving rhythm provided by bass and drums. This dynamic 4-piece band’s repertoire ranges from lightning-fast bluegrass and fiery funk to straight up honky tonk and extended jams combine to deliver a live concert experience that’s been described as “a good ol’ party of a show.”
Eliot Lewis is a frequent visitor to Findlay and has built a dedicated fan-base in town, but July 28 marks his first official Live@Armes appearance. Well known for his work with Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren and other musical superstars, as well as the hugely popular show “Live from Daryl’s House,” Eliot is also an immensely successful solo artist. This multi-instrumentalist seamlessly moves from guitar and keyboard to bass and drums creating his own distinctive band of rock and soul.
Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s rich harmonies and impeccable musicianship creates an unmistakable sound that has made them one of the hottest young acts in bluegrass, gospel and traditional country music scenes. Brooke is a 4-time International Bluegrass Music Associate Female Vocalist of the Year. Her husband Darin sang with the acclaimed band Country Gentleman. Together they have racked up seven #1 bluegrass singles, 25 appearances at the Grand Ol’ Opry and they come to Live@Armes on August 18.
Tickets for these concerts are on sale now and discounts are available if you buy tickets to the entire set, so come give Live@Armes a try. I guarantee these concerts are the next best thing since my grandmother’s covers of Hank Williams!