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Ellis Paul  

Ellis Paul

April 27, 2019 at 8:00pm

It’s been 25 years since Ellis Paul, who grew up surrounded by the potato fields of Aroostook County, Maine, first began touring the world to sing his songs. He’s also known as an astute observer, and a philosopher who shares the life lessons he’s learned. More than anything else, though, Paul is a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside, expressing the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. The sharing of love, intimate, passionate and enduring.

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Mason Jennings  

Mason Jennings

April 28, 2019 at 7:00pm

Minnesota’s Mason Jennings has released a dozen albums since his self-titled debut in 1997, and his music brings to mind artists like Leonard Cohen and John Lennon. His songs are poignant and playful, serious and light. All Music called his release, Always Been, “a deftly sophisticated album whose straightforward simplicity belies darker emotional truths.” His 2016 album, Wild Dark Metal, was called “one of the most exciting, powerful records of his nearly two-decade career.” In the words of the website The Current, “it's his raw vulnerability that makes his songwriting incredibly brave.” Here’s how Mason puts it: “Staying open to the feeling of awe, the feeling of being moved by things — that’s the most important part of songwriting for me.” He goes back to a place of innocence in his songs, and the result is striking in its sweetness and its occasional bite.

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Mile Twelve  

Mile Twelve

May 3, 2019 at 8:00pm

Although their sound is rooted in traditional bluegrass, Boston’s Mile Twelve surveys a broader landscape on their newest album, City on a Hill. It’s a project that feels contemporary, thoughtfully crafted, and relevant. Which makes sense, as the band comprises five of the most promising young musicians in bluegrass: David Benedict (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals), and Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals).

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Jeffrey Foucault  

Jeffrey Foucault

May 8, 2019 at 7:00pm

In two decades on the road Jeffrey Foucault has become one of the most distinctive voices in American music, refining a sound instantly recognizable for its simplicity and emotional power, a decidedly Midwestern amalgam of blues, country, rock and folk. He’s built a brick-and-mortar international touring career on multiple studio albums, countless miles, and general critical acclaim, being lauded for “Stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest” (The New Yorker), and described as “Quietly brilliant” (The Irish Times), while catching the ear of everyone from Van Dyke Parks, to Greil Marcus, to Don Henley, who regularly covers Foucault in his live set.

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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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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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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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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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Sender  

Sender

August 22, 2019 - August 24, 2019

In the latest production from resident company Mirrorbox Theatre, Lynx returns to Chicago one year after he mysteriously disappeared, having been presumed dead by his friends and lovers. A presence that haunted everyone in his orbit, this enigmatic figure is suddenly resurrected like a Millennial Messiah. But Lynx and his friends are about to learn that not all mystical things are miraculous.

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Orange Julius  

Orange Julius

November 14, 2019 - November 16, 2019

Don’t miss the latest production from resident company Mirrorbox Theatre. Nut grew up the youngest child of Julius, a Vietnam vet, in 1980s and ’90s working-class America. As Julius suffers the toxic effects of Agent Orange, Nut worries their time together may run out before they can embrace something essential about their relationship.

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