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Jeni & Billy
West Side Theatre
Newman, CA
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Jeni & Billy
Sharing the duties of songwriting, arranging, and performing, Jeni & Billy bring to the work very distinct musical backgrounds that both draw from the deep well of Appalachian roots music. Jeni & Billy continue the tradition of the sweetheart duo, winning hearts with their genuine presence on stage and their true to life recordings, while bearing witness to the simple grace of plain folks.

Jeni learned to sing in church choirs, school musicals, glee clubs, and family sing-a-longs, but traces her vocal style to Virginia Lowe, the blind music minister of the Friendly Chapel Church on Smith Ridge, VA. Watching her lead hymns, Jeni learned to bear witness through song by feeling music bodily and inhabiting the lyric emotionally.  A natural storyteller and prolific writer since childhood, Jeni trained formally with Pulitzer Prize winning Northern Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, and earned a Masters in English Literature. While her singing has been compared to the lonesome voices of Maybelle Carter and Iris Dement, her writing has been likened to that of Southerners Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, and Lee Smith.

Billy grew up with the sounds of Tin Pan Alley and his mother's piano at home in Baltimore, but spent his weekend nights high atop a hill in the nearby community of Oella  the home of Appalachian migrants who came to the city looking for work in the mills.  There, among people much like Jeni's grandparents, Billy fell in love with country music.  Fired on by dreams of the Grand Old Opry and his passion for the sound of Flatt & Scruggs, Billy headed to Nashville and toured with country bands all over the US, Canada, Germany, and right onto the stage of the Opry. He honed and shared his skills as both student and instructor at the University of Maryland, and built a producing career working with roots artists. Billy's uncanny sense of song, spaces, and timing were gleaned from sources as diverse as Willie Nelson and John Cage. His innate and masterful musicianship lends itself to any instrument he chooses to play and any line he sings.

Discussion

Location

West Side Theatre
1331 Main Street
Newman, CA 95360
United States


Categories

Music

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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