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The Bitter Liberals
Bright Box Theater
Winchester, VA
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The Bitter Liberals
Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm
$13 adv, $18 door
Bright Box is general admission. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Arrive early to choose your favorite seat and grab a bite to eat! Doors open at 7pm.

The Bitter Liberals play all original music of texture and maturity, featuring rich story-telling, fine vocals, and the seasoned musicianship of Allen Kitselman, Mike Jewell, Clark Hansbarger, and Gary McGraw.

Take two childhood friends from Waterford. Add two neighbors in rural Clarke County. Stir in decades of experience and lots of stories to tell, with a twist of newfound joie de vivre. The result is The Bitter Liberals, a newer project from some of the area's best-known musicians.

The group featuring Allen Kitselman and Clark Hansbarger on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Jewell on percussion and Gary McGraw on fiddle and its 2013 album "13" received four 2014 Wammie nominations from the Washington Area Music Association, including Best Duo/Group and Best Recording in the Folk-Contemporary category, Best New Artist and Best Debut Recording.

Kitselman and Jewell grew up together in Waterford and have played music together over the years, including with the influential Virginia band Genghis Angus in the '90s. McGraw and Hansbarger are neighbors in eastern Clarke County. McGraw, also a veteran musician, was looking for a new collaboration and had heard about Kitselmana longtime resident of Berryville, where he is a practicing architect and town council memberthrough friends. The two finally connected at a party at Kitselman's home in late 2011.

The band began playing gigs in fall 2012, opening for James McMurtry at a concert at Waterford's Old School that November. Around the same time, members decided to put together an album, an undertaking McGraw describes as "a real whirlwind project."

With financial support from fans, the group put "13" together in a single eight-hour studio session with engineer Will Shenk at National Media Services in Front Royal. "It's basically a live recording," Kitselman said.

With its first album under its belt and a growing fan base in Loudoun and Clarke counties, the band burst onto the scene with a sold-out show at Berryville's Barns of Rose Hill in January 2013, the first of a series of shows in theaters and auditoriumsexactly the kind of spaces that members wanted to play. "No more bars, no more vineyards," Hansbarger said.

"We like to play in places where people are going to listen and appreciate the craft," McGraw added. All four members have stressed the importance of finding venues to match the thoughtfulness and maturity of the group's work, which McGraw describes as "sensitive, big boy music."

[taken from "On Fire Again: Bitter Liberals Rediscover the Joys of Collaboration" by Jan Mercker]


Bright Box Theater (View)
15 N Loudoun St, Suite 100
Winchester, VA 22601
United States


Music > Folk

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Bright Box Theater
On BPT Since: Mar 15, 2013
Josh Huff

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