Howard Markman & Palookaville
Lisa Matthews & Mike Gehl
Date and Time
Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 7:00pm
Baltimore has inspired some of the most famous songs in American music from Harlan Howard’s “The Streets of Baltimore” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Baltimore Oriole” to Bob Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” and Randy Newman’s “Baltimore.” No one can do these tunes more justice than Baltimore’s finest singer-songwriters. On this night, nine of those artists will sing Baltimore songs that they’ve written and/or loved.
Phil Wiggins is a harmonica virtuoso and singer-songwriter in the Piedmont blues tradition of Sonny Terry. Wiggins is best known for his partnership with singer-guitarist “Bowling Green” John Cephas for more than 30 years and more than a dozen albums. The duo won the blues world’s biggest prize, the W.C. Handy Award for Entertainer of the Year, in 1987. Since Cephas died in 2009, Wiggins has fashioned new partnerships with such bluesmen as Corey Harris, Rev. John Wilkins, Nat Reese and Rick Franklin. Wiggins recently starred at the 2011 Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival for the Creative Alliance at the Patterson.
MILKSHAKE’S LISA MATHEWS & MIKEL GEHL:
Lisa Mathews and Mikel Gehl are best known as leaders of the wildly popular, Grammy- nominated kids’ rock band Milkshake, whose music has been featured on PBS KIDS, Nick Jr. and Discovery Kids. Before Milkshake, Mathews and Gehl were the singer-songwriters behind the the Baltimore alt-rock band Love Riot, and appeared as themselves, busking in a subway for NBC-TV’s “Homicide–Life on the Street.” The longtime musical partners continue to pursue adult music in their infrequent time off from the very busy Milkshake. Mathews, who grew up in Queens, New York, and Gehl, who grew up in East Baltimore, met through an ad in Manhattan’s Village Voice. They’ve been writing songs together ever since, releasing six CDs, an EP and a full-length DVD of original videos.
￼￼￼￼Irish-American musician and singer Dominick Murray has been called one of the most influential figures on the Irish music scene in the Baltimore/Washington area since settling here in 1979. Born in Detroit into a large Irish family (he has more than 100 first cousins in the U.S. and Ireland), Dominick grew up with a strong connection to Irish music, nurtured by his father, an immigrant from Co. Sligo, and his mother, whose parents hailed from the North. For 10 years, Dominick was both lead singer and rhythm guitarist with Celtic Thunder and featured prominently on the band's INDIE-Award-winning album, The Light of Other Days (Green Linnet). His driving rhythm guitar and harmony vocals can also be heard on recordings by Chris Norman & Ken Kolodner (of Helicon), Grace Griffith and Irish Fire (the trio of Murray, Griffith and fiddler Dave Abe).
￼￼￼￼￼A veteran of the Baltimore music scene, Markman has played with a variety of Mobtown bands from country to avant-garde, from folk-rock to R&B. He is probably most recognizable for his stints as guitarist with Baltimore’s premier improvising roots band Freewater in the ‘70s and with Disappear Fear, featuring Sonia, in the ‘90s. On his 2005 solo album, "Half Smiles Blue Skies," Markman drew from the instrumental prowress of the first band and the songwriting ambition of the second to carve out a personal collection of songs, exploring a life that sometimes gets dark, sad, and lonely but can still be a wild and deeply satisfying ride. His latest album, “Welcome to Smalltimore," was released last year, and he has just formed a new band called Palookaville.
Bob Friedman is perhaps best known as the co-founder and continuing co-leader of two beloved, longtime bands on the Maryland scene: Mambo Combo and the Mooks. Yet his earliest musical inspiration was the Newport Folk Festivals of the early-'60s, and he has translated that enthusiasm into a 30-year career as a professional musician and songwriter with rock'n'roll combos, Latin bands and folk groups as well as working in local recording studios on both sides of the board and teaching young musicians . Not unlike his original blues heroes, he laughs just to keep from crying.
Though he is best known as a music critic for the Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, Nashville Scene, Jazz Times, No Depression, Paste and others, Geoffrey Himes is also a ￼￼longtime singer-songwriter who has co-written songs with Fred Koller, Walter Egan, Sonia Rutstein, Billy Kemp, Stephen Wade, Jim Patton, Paul Margolis, Josh Charles, Timothy Bracken, Andrew Grimm, Bob Kannenberg and others.