JOHN SEBASTIAN WITH SPECIAL GUEST MEG HUTCHINSON — THE NEW ENGLAND FARM RELIEF CONCERT
NOTE: Online sales for this event have ended, but TICKETS AT ALL LEVELS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. DOORS OPEN AT 7 P.M.
Join legendary musician John Sebastian (with special guest Meg Hutchinson) in the third annual Strolling of the Heifers New England Farm Relief Concert at the Latchis Theatre, downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, on Saturday, November 13, 2010. The concert benefits the Strolling of the Heifers Microloan Fund for New England Farmers, and is produced with generous support from Newman's Own Foundation and Price Chopper.
A post-concert reception with the artists will be held. Reception tickets are available for $15 in combination with any of the show ticket levels ($45, $35, $25).
NOTE: EARLIER, RICHIE HAVENS HAD BEEN SCHEDULED TO PERFORM IN THIS CONCERT, BUT FOR MEDICAL REASONS HE HAS HAD TO CANCEL HIS APPEARANCE. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO JOHN SEBASTIAN FOR FILLING IN ON SHORT NOTICE!
For more than four decades, the contributions of John Sebastian have become a permanent part of our American musical fabric.
His group The Lovin' Spoonful played a major role in the mid-60s rock revolution, but what the group's leader, singer, and songwriter Sebastian had in mind was actually a counter-revolution. "We were grateful to the Beatles for reminding us of our rock and roll roots" he explained, "but we wanted to cut out the English middlemen, so to speak, and get down to making this new music as an American band."
The Lovin' Spoonful made this new American music like nobody before or since, putting their first seven singles into the Top Ten. This was unprecedented, and utterly unthinkable at the height of Beatlemania. At first they'd taken older material from blues, country, folk and jug band sources – what we now term roots music – and made it sound modern. Then, in a series of original songs composed and sung by Sebastian, they did the reverse, creating thoroughly modern music that sounded like it contained the entire history of American music — which it did.
You know the songs by heart: "Do You Believe in Magic?" "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice." "Daydream." "Younger Girl." "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" "Summer In The City." "Rain On The Roof." "Nashville Cats." "Six O'Clock." "Darling Be Home Soon." "Younger Generation." These songs did more than simply answer the British invasion, they carried the musical tradition into the future.
This music had an immediate and indelible impression on the public consciousness, but Sebastian was already a name well-known to the cognoscenti. He was born March 17, 1944 in New York City. His father was a noted classical harmonica player and his mother a writer of radio programs. Regular visitors to the Greenwich Village home included Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie, so it was no surprise when young John became a fan of, and then a participant in, the folk music revival that swept the nation in the late '50s. Making his bow as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, his skills on guitar, harmonica, and autoharp soon made him a sought-after accompanist on the Village folk scene, working with Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Mississippi John Hurt, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, and many others.
So the Lovin' Spoonful was not his first act, and it certainly wasn't his last. After leaving the group he founded, he bore witness to another turn of the musical zeitgeist with his performances at massive festivals like Woodstock and its English equivalent on the Isle of Wight. He had been involved in music for films (most notably Francis Ford Coppola's You're A Big Boy Now and Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily) and Broadway, but when producers of a television show called Welcome Back Kotter commissioned a theme song in 1976, Sebastian's "Welcome Back" became a chart-topping solo record.
Throughout the 70s and 80s he continued to record and tour, pleasing old fans and winning new ones. There's no telling how many aspiring musicians have been nurtured by his instruction books for harmonica and guitar, but he aimed to inspire an even younger audience with the publication in 1993 of the delightful children's book JB's Harmonica. The 90s also saw him return to the group format with the J-Band, a contemporary celebration of his jug band heritage. The acclaim the group received was gratifying, but bittersweet. The group's albums contain some of the last recorded performances of blues pioneer Yank Rachelle and washtub/jug virtuoso Fritz Richmond.
Thankfully Sebastian's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 hasn't slowed him down. Whether the stage is at Carnegie Hall or a folk festival in some far-flung locale, he is still out there spreading his gospel of American roots music. He was the subject of the PBS special Do You Believe In Magic: The Music of John Sebastian, and an album of duets with David Grisman was released in 2007. He has also lent his music in support of social, environmental, and animal rights causes.
Perhaps because it has been the product of heart and soul and history, the oldest song in Mr. Sebastian's catalog is as fresh and vital as the song he's about to write tomorrow. That's why you still hear his music everywhere – in movies, on television, in cover versions and samples – and why it's always welcome. Mr. Sebastian is also a welcome media presence; his commentary, insights, anecdotes, and stories are regularly featured in print, radio, television and film documentary projects. Mr. Sebastian is not only a master musician, writer, and performer, he remains one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had.
Strolling of the Heifers, based in Brattleboro, is dedicated to saving family farms by connecting people with the food they eat. In partnership with The Carrot Project, in 2008 it launched the pilot phase of the Microloan Fund, which addresses the credit needs of farmers not able to borrow elsewhere. The Microloan Fund is now expanding to offer loans throughout Vermont and Massachusetts, and Strolling of the Heifers is exploring options to add a microgrants program for farmers.
50 Main St.
Brattleboro, VT 05301
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|