For more than 20 years, the Down East FolkArts Society has been bringing quality live music to Beaufort and New Bern, September through May. From Americana to blues, country to folk, the artists who visit through the annual series bring an array of talents to the stage and a fresh sound in a sea of cover bands.
Performances are held at the Trent River Coffee Company in New Bern on Fridays and at Clawson’s 1905 in Beaufort on Saturday evenings. Shows begin at 7:30pm and doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $15, $12 for members and active duty military and $8 for students.
This year’s line-up is a mélange of new discoveries. The variety of music ranges from ballads to foot-stomping blues and everything in between, including a good dose of humor here and there.
The season gets started on Sept. 11-12 with artist Spook Handy who brings a diverse style to the stage. Drawing from the blues to bluegrass, Handy is said to transcend the category of folk.
On Oct. 23-24, Suzie Vinnick, who hails from Ontario, Canada, visits Eastern North Carolina. On her latest acoustic blues album “Me ‘N Mabel” the artist belts out the blues and melodically weaves a ballad, showing off her strengths as well as her versatility. With a warm, engaging voice and fierce guitar skills, it seems certain she’ll grab some new fans here.
Dave Gunning stops by during his sold out tour Nov. 13-14. Known almost as well for his storytelling as he is his music, Gunning has 10 critically acclaimed CD’s under his belt and numerous awards and nominations.
After a holiday break, Jan. 8-9 brings Jeff Talmadge to the stage. A Texas board certified lawyer, Talmadge closed his practice in 2003 and begin living his dream. A little folk, a little country, and a little blues blend together seamlessly to create this Texan’s sound.
Rounding out the season is Jeep Rosenberg (Feb. 5-6), Natasha Borzilova (April 15-16) and Shari Kane and Dave Steele (May 20-21). March 18-20, the Down East Folk Arts Society holds its first New Roots Music Festival at the Cullman Performance Hall at the NC History Center in New Bern. We’ll be sure to keep watch on who winds up on the schedule.
To learn more, or to become a member of the Down East Folk Arts Society, visit www.downeastfolkarts.org.