Past


Willy Porter  

Willy Porter

June 15, 2019 at 8:00pm

His musical and personal odyssey has spanned two decades, 11 albums, and multiple continents. The journey’s been defined by his inquisitive love for humanity, and for the language that describes what we all hold to be true. In short, Willy Porter’s songs weave a universal perspective about the struggles and triumphs of human existence. His live shows. similarly, are guitar-driven grit, soul, silence and muscle – at times electrifying, often dynamic, always unique in the way his voice blends and fuses with his fret work.

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The Singing Out Tour  

The Singing Out Tour

June 14, 2019 at 8:00pm

Ask any one about the new generation of social justice music-makers. Chances are they'll mention either Heather Mae or Crys Matthews. Mae, a powerhouse performer and earthshaking vocalist, has turned her personal struggle with mental health and body image into an empowering message of self-love, a universal light force that shines for every audience member. Crys Matthews is a powerful lyricist whose songs of compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she lightheartedly calls "the poster-child for intersectionality.” Likewise, she blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in tradition, but punctuated by honest, original lyrics.

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The Larry Keel Experience  

The Larry Keel Experience

June 13, 2019 at 7:00pm

Critics have described Larry Keel as “the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today.” Steeped in the rich mountain heritage of Southwest Virginia, he grew up in a musical family that featured bluegrass on both sides. That solid musical grounding, along with generous natural-born talent, combined to create an incomparable guitarist, one who “can break your heart with a waltz, then scare the hell out of you with his very next song.” Soon the young musician was appearing with the likes of Vassar Clements, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, John Hartford and Bill Monroe.

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Future Thinking  

Future Thinking

June 6, 2019 - June 8, 2019

In the latest production from resident company Mirrorbox Theatre, Peter is a middle-aged fanboy determined to deliver a vital and mysterious message to Chiara, the young star of his favorite television show. Desperation drives Peter to violate his restraining order so he can fulfill this destiny at Comic Con. Chiara, meanwhile, is holed up in a hotel room, doing battle with her controlling “Mom-ager,” a Kris Jenner-like Svengali figure.

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Luke Gullickson & Andrew Weathers  

Luke Gullickson & Andrew Weathers

May 26, 2019 at 7:00pm

Luke Gullickson is a composer, pianist, and guitarist whose aesthetic embraces classical and new concert music, jazz and improvisation, and post-rock acoustic music. He writes concert music under his own name, releases hybrid-genre instrumental albums as Lake of Five Oceans, and plays and records indie-folk music as Golconda. In all categories, he takes inspiration from the interpersonal energy of informal music-making, as well as travel, the outdoors, and ideas of place. A native Iowan, Luke studied at Illinois Wesleyan, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. He is the co-founder of the infamous Grant Wallace Band, and has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Joshua Tree National Park.

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SPT Theatre  

SPT Theatre

May 24, 2019 - May 25, 2019

Every couple of months a group of misfits and wacky funsters gets together in a room ... a writers' room, in fact ... and comes up with a series of original comedy sketches. Out of this secular conclave will grow 15-20 theatrical pieces that, when wed to the magic of SPT's raucous theatrical energy, make for an evening of live entertainment unlike any other in Eastern Iowa.

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John Gorka  

John Gorka

May 19, 2019 at 7:00pm

Originally from New Jersey, John Gorka got his start at a small neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. He has since gone on to world renown as a singer and songwriter. Gorka’s rich, multi-faceted songs, full of depth, beauty and emotion, have been a hit with critics and audiences across the country, as well as in Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Holland and Germany. Billboard praises his “modern folk with a touch of soul,” while the Associated Press has declared his “wry, slice-of-life observations reminiscent of Lyle Lovett and John Prine.”

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Fjord! Folk! Fiddle! featuring Martin Bagge  

Fjord! Folk! Fiddle! featuring Martin Bagge

May 18, 2019 at 8:00pm

Legion Arts and the Russian Guitar Festival team up for an evening of musical wizardry and theatrical humor featuring Martin Bagge, one of Sweden's leading singer-songwriters. Winner of the Swedish Visa Prize and former president of the Swedish Song Academy, Bagge is known for his performances inspired by historical figures like Wivallius and Lucidor, and especially by beloved Swedish poet C.M. Bellman, whose 18th-century psalms and songs he has reconstructed.

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Rebecca Loebe Band  

Rebecca Loebe Band

May 17, 2019 at 8:00pm

She calls herself a singer-songwriter, but as soon as Rebecca Loebe leans into the first notes of Give Up Your Ghosts, her new release from Blue Corn Music, that definition starts to seem inadequate. Loebe is not just another talent. She’s a sophisticated, mature writer with a relevant point of view and an assured, nuanced voice that’s elegant and earthy, powerful and delicate, with a range and depth she hints at more than flashes. When the moment’s right, she’ll glide up a scale like Norah Jones, or drop right into a crag in Fiona Apple’s sidewalk. But timing and delivery alone don’t make an artist. There’s got to be substance as well, and Loebe fearlessly probes the rawest corners of her psyche to find it. “I’m writing a lot of empowerment jams these days,” she say, “because it's what I need. I've written albums full of what I needed to say, but this album is full of songs I need to hear.”

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Sam Baker  

Sam Baker

May 15, 2019 at 7:00pm

Texas songwriter Sam Baker is a man of few words. Always beautifully chosen, yet always fully wrought. Words placed like plants, or objects in a Zen Garden. Similarly, his website is stark: white, black, sepia, and shades of gray. The frugality reflects a long journey. In 1986, Baker was on a train in Peru, en route to Machu Picchu, when a terrorist bomb exploded in the luggage rack above him. His seatmates were killed. His body was torn apart. Turning inward, it took years for him to relearn the use of his body and brain. Years to heal. Years to reconnect. The road back was arduous, but it opened up new vistas in art, poetry, and music.

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Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage  

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage

May 11, 2019 at 8:00pm

Huddled round a single microphone, singing intimate duets with mountain dulcimer and guitar, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage are an acoustic duo that sounds classically timeless, yet at the same time unique. It’s folk music, at the deepest level, while also transcending the constraints of that genre. While the two musicians fleetingly evoke memories of Gram & Emmylou, Gillian & David, and Shirley Collins & Davey Graham, their warm distilling of influences from both sides of the Atlantic -- Hannah grew up in a family of English folk singers, and trained as an anthropologist in the US; Ben’s a member of acclaimed British folk group The Willows – has produced a refined sound that is decidedly their own.

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The Steel Wheels  

The Steel Wheels

May 9, 2019 at 7:00pm

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here. They recorded the album in rural Maine, where producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) owns a recording studio inside a renovated farmhouse from the 18th century. All four band members ― Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (upright bass) and Jay Lapp (mandolin) ― hunkered down for a week and a half to create Wild As We Came Here.

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