Venue Address (Get Directions)Pump House Concerts
Date and Time
Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 6:30pm
Three GREAT singer / songwriters In The Round, swapping songs and stories, all in one great show!
Dave Boutette’s music blends folk, blues, swing, and old time country. His songs testify to the power of true love, rebirth, snow plows, and migrating fish. Jason Dennie grew up with the sound of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo. Early influences include Doc Watson and Neil Young. Jon Brooks is thrice nominated for Canadian songwriter of the year. Filled with morally ambiguous characters living on the outskirts of approval, his music is healing while revealing a wound now and then.
The scent of cedar, maple, and popple smoke hangs on Dave Boutette’s clothes through summer and into fall. So much so, he’s often teased by friends calling him "The Campfire Kid" while they try to make it to dawn around a circle of crackling log wood.
The special intimacy that only comes from sharing firelight is where Dave Boutette finds his home. Songs of highway hijinks and wildcat oil drillers in the Michigan woods are as likely to be heard as old favorites that have been in your head and heart for years. For Boutette, it’s the sharing of songs that holds all the magic. Come on over, join the circle, sing a tune, or stir the coals. You’re welcome to hang until first light. Just be careful not to wake the folks in the tents.
Whether banging out a set of saloon songs at a Michigan watering hole, or settling back for an evening of singing at a fire ring afterward, Dave Boutette will hold listeners as long as they keep the lights on or until the rain starts. Stories, advice, observations, or raffles are as apt to appear during a performance as are his songs. Blending many schools of American roots and popular music including folk, blues, swing, and old time country, his songs testify to the power of true love, rebirth, snow plows, and migrating fish. If you get the chance, stand next to Dave. Besides feeling taller than you actually are, you may start to see some things in an entirely new light.
Before stepping out on his own, Boutette spent ten years with the Detroit-based alterna-rock bar kings The Junk Monkeys. The band toured the nation relentlessly supporting such acts as The Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie and the Blowfish, while recording under the Warner Bros./Metal Blade label from 1990-93.
Influenced by songwriters that span from Chuck Berry to Chuck Brodsky, Dave documents the trips and triumphs of life between the coasts. With a full band or solo acoustic, Boutette easily reveals a Midwest experience worthy of a second look with performances that are engaging, exhilarating, and often peppered with stories culled from his times on the road and his years growing up in the shadow of Detroit.
Jason Dennie grew up around acoustic music. The sound of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo were pretty common and familiar to his ears by the time he actually had an interest in playing anything himself. Guitar was what he chose and while early influences could be named; Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Stephen Stills and Neil Young, the music that would come from him would always be a unique combination of everything he’d heard.
His main references were from the Bluegrass world, after all, that’s what most of his family played. He had a direct link to the heart of Bluegrass with his Grandfather being good friends with the man who had ‘started it all’ Mr. Bill Monroe, and an Uncle who filled the role of banjo player for Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys in the early 70′s. Jason can remember time spent at many Bluegrass festivals as a child and the sounds of Tony Rice’s guitar and distinct voice filling the house…to this day Tony Rice is still his father’s favorite guitarist.
After a couple of years of learning his way around the instrument, he discovered Leo Kottke and probably had the same reaction alot of people have…”all of that sound, feel, and emotion coming from one guitar… can that be done?” ‘Instrumental’ music was already coming out of his fingers…’ songs without words’ everyone would say. But realizing it was an art that could stand on it’s own was a huge revelation and since then a constantly developing journey of what can be said through music coming out of one guitar.
At the time his first cd was released, COLLECTION OF SOUNDS, Jason had begun collaborating with other musicians, in more of a supportive role as a lead guitarist, and was developing another side of his playing. From soft and subtle accompaniment to all out blues or bluegrass oriented jams ….it could all be described as acoustic or folk music to a degree. It led to a lengthy partnership with Noah Hunt for 4 years. Noah is now the lead vocalist for blues phenom Kenny Wayne Shephard, but the two did not split ways before recording an album together. LONG BLACK TRAIN was a great effort to capture what Noah and Jason did so well together in their performances and continues to be a ‘best kept secret album.’
Although Jason continues to explore the possibilities of duo and trio outfits, he is primarily known as a ‘solo acoustic guitarist.’ Really the only description that fits because the music isn’t all fingerstyle guitar, or flatpicking…it isn’t all folk (as we know it to be), and uses ideas that reach out into jazz, blues, bluegrass, celtic, rock & roll, and country to create a unique and energetic voice on acoustic guitar.
In 1999 Jason left Cincinnati, OH to head north for Ann Arbor, MI. Before leaving town, he had remained on the lists of the Best Releases of the Year for several years with his solo cds and the album he did with Noah Hunt (Long Black Train) and won 3 consecutive CAMMY AWARDS for BEST FOLK/BLUEGRASS INSTRUMENTALIST from 1997-1999.
The move north proved to be a good decision for many reasons. Not long after arriving in Ann Arbor, Jason made his way to St. Augustine, FL and won the Gamble Rogers Fingerstyle Championship and also competed for the first time at the National Championships in Winfield, KS.
Based on the local scene in and around Ann Arbor, he’s been able to spend a great deal of time teaching and playing more traditional music, focusing on some of the bluegrass roots he’s grown up with, and also getting to involve these aspects and instruments (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, etc.) with his original acoustic music. Of course there is also a handful of dedicated fingerstyle students as well and students have come as far as 4-5 hours to have a 2 hour workshop with Jason going over inspiration, technique and bits of theory regarding the guitar and music in general.
Jon Brooks has been nominated for Canadian songwriter of the year 3 of the past 5 years. Though Jon’s music is filled with morally ambiguous characters living on the outskirts of approval, his mandate is clear: “I’ve chosen to write healing songs & so I’m obliged to reveal a wound or two now and then.”
“You speak & sing words that need to be spoken & sung and you do it beautifully with absolute finesse.” – Rod Kennedy , Founder of The Kerrville Folk Festival where Jon won the New Folk award.
Upon his return from a 1997 trek throughout war ruined Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jon quit writing songs and performing, claiming, “I’m at least a 1000 books and emotions shy of earning the right to stand behind a microphone.” 8 years later – at the suggestion of one of his Canadian literary heroes, Austin Clarke – Jon wiped the dust off his Taylor Jumbo 615.
Though Jon’s music is filled with grey and morally ambiguous characters living on the outskirts of approval, his mandate is unequivocal: “I’m not interested in ‘happy songs’ – I’ve chosen to write healing songs and, for that reason, I’m obliged to reveal a wound or two now and then. I’m even less interested in writing unhappy songs: I want to write hopeful songs, inspiring songs and I expect I owe today’s listener some hopeful argument – some legitimate reason – as to why we should believe our present world could be improved, or healed. The highest aim of song is to invoke empathy – to offer that rare sight of ourselves in others. In this sense, the folk singer is simply trying to politicize love, hence, my contention that today’s songwriter should be a lobbyist for compassion to be our principle representative in government office.”
In 2006 he released NO MEAN CITY , a portrait of Toronto homelessness vis a vis Toronto history and architecture. Inspired by Eric Arthur’s book, ‘No Mean City’, these 13 songs are a weighty and conceptual exposition of the modern urban soul’s homelessness and moral fatigue. 2007 afforded Jon further acclaim with the release of OURS AND THE SHEPHERDS , a CD of Canadian war stories inspired by James Loney, Senator Romeo Dallaire, Sgt. Tommy Prince, and John McRae among others. The collection earned Brooks Songwriter of the Year nomination at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Penguin Eggs deemed it “a thoroughly wonderful and truly important addition to the canon of Canadian folk music.” OURS AND THE SHEPHERDS is now among the collections of The Canadian War Museum and The John McRae Society.
Jon is also a published essayist with Guernica Editions’ BARRY CALLAGHAN: ESSAYS ON HIS WORKS (2007) with contributions by Margaret Atwood, William Kennedy, Joyce Carol Oates, and others.
His latest CD, MOTH NOR RUST , looks inward to all that neither moth nor rust can touch: love, hope, trust, memory, inspiration, justice, and faith. MOTH NOR RUST earned Jon his second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and its lyrics were published by Canada’s esteemed literary quarterly, Exile Editions.
Whether about the times we live in, its past or its future promise, Brooks’ songs are underscored throughout by his gently weather-beaten voice, the singular beautiful sound of hand on guitar, and his uncanny ability to press his ear against the heartbeat and the soul of the times we live in – transforming, inspiring and uplifting us as we bear witness.
“You speak and sing words that need to be spoken and sung and you do it beautifully, perfectly, and with absolute finesse.” – Rod Kennedy , Founder and Producer of The Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
“Great songwriters, like the best artists in any discipline, defy convention and confound those who seek comparisons. Toronto’s Jon Brooks stands among an exalted few in the enduring Canadian song tradition – Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Fred Eaglesmith, Bruce Cockburn – as a lyricist, composer and performer with a fierce commitment to his craft and his vision. He’s proud to call himself a folksinger at a time when that particular f-word has ceased to have much meaning to armies of wannabe artists seeking little more than ordinary fame and glory.” Greg Quill , The Toronto Star, January 3, 2010.
“He reminds me of Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn and Ray Bonneville in his honest, gritty vocal delivery and his straight-shooting political songwriting which honours the tradition of folk music without the contrived earnest format of many folk songs.” – Harry Manx , as quoted in The Gulf Island Driftwood, December 2009
“Toronto singer/songwriter Jon Brooks is the latest in a long, honourable -and depleting – line of folksingers who write and perform to further the cause of social justice.” – Robert Reid , The Waterloo Record
JON BROOKS HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
2010 Winner Earth Day International Songwriting Competition
Winner: 2010 Kerrville New Folk
2010′s People To Watch – The Toronto Star
Nominated: 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award – ‘English Songwriter of the Year’
Winner: 2009 US National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage New Song Canadian Region
Winner: 2008 The Mac Beattie Porcupine Award (for musicians who are proud to be identifiably Canadian).
Nominated: 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award – ‘English Songwriter of the Year’
Winner: Ontario Council of Folk Festivals 2007 ‘Songs From The Heart’
Winner: International Green Man Review’s ’2006 Songwriter Of The Year’