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Live Music – FREE – Outdoor Concert – James Kennedy and Friends

photo of the musicians in James Kennedy & Friends
James Kennedy & Friends

THE DATE HAS CHANGED to Saturday, June 23rd from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, come and enjoy the outdoors with some live music from local favorites James Kennedy and Friends!

This is an instrumental group based in the Midwest. Fronted by versatile guitarist James Kennedy, they play a mix of classic hits, jazz/blues, Latin and original songs – using their instruments and years of training to bring the music to life.

The eclectic sounds of James on guitars, Catherine Lawson on the 5 string electric/acoustic violin, Matt Alles on electric bass and Eric Madison on percussion/drums creates an uncommon blend of tunes both familiar and unique at the same time.

Bring a lawn chair, a cool drink and some snacks, kick back and sit for a spell with us.


This event is sponsored in partnership by the MVAAC and Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Mount Vernon Area Arts Council Logo

Live Music – Phil Heywood – Fingerstyle Guitarist, Singer and Songwriter

photo of Phil Heywood
Phil Heywood

We are thrilled to have a live performance by award winning guitarist, singer and songwriter Phil Heywood on Saturday, June 9, 2018.  The show starts at 7:30 pm with doors opening at 7:15 pm.

Phil Heywood plays fingerstyle guitar with a bluesy swing and a bucketful of whatever it takes to turn an instrumental piece into an arresting lyrical narrative. His lucid playing encompasses the down-home rhythmic groove of a Mississippi John Hurt or Leadbelly, and the sheer fluidity and melodic flair of such contemporaries as Leo Kottke.

The internationally renowned Kottke handpicked Mr. Heywood to tour and perform duets with him. A soul-satisfying instrumentalist, Phil Heywood draws listeners in with his voice as well, singing in a warm, plainspoken baritone that blends smoothly with his rock-solid guitar work.

Recently Dave Moore and Phil Heywood have been sharing stages, trading songs and embroidering rich instrumental accompaniment on each other’s songs and melodies.

While born and bred in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Mr. Heywood has been based in Minneapolis-St. Paul since the mid-eighties, performing locally and regionally while also establishing himself in the greater guitar and acoustic music world.

In 1986 he won the National Fingerpicking Championship, and followed up a year later by winning the American Fingerstyle Guitar Festival Competition.

Phil has played on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion with guitar legend Chet Atkins, performed with fellow acoustic guitar luminaries Peter Lang, Pat Donohue, Tim Sparks, and Dakota Dave Hull, and opened shows for such artists as Norman Blake, Greg Brown, John Renbourn, Chris Smither, and John Hammond.

Phil Heywood has recorded six CDs: Some Summer Day (1990), Local Joe (1996), Circle Tour (2000), Banks of the River (2003), You Got To Move (2008), and Rollin’ On (2014). What one inspired critic wrote of Local Joe applies equally to each of Phil’s CDs: “Acoustic guitar fans should consider this recording a must have…  Heywood gives us all something to enjoy for a long time.” (Music Reviews Quarterly)

Mr. Heywood will be available for phone interviews and other press inquiries in advance of the show by calling or texting Nancy Emrich Freeman at 847-256-0000.


Tickets

Advance tickets can be purchased locally at Bauman’s and Helios, or online via Brown Paper Tickets.

Bauman’s of Mount Vernon is located at 124 1st Street SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.  You can call them for info and to reserve tickets at (319) 895-8692.

Helios Stitches ‘n Stuff  is located at 221 1st Street NE, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.  You can call them for info and to reserve tickets at (319) 512-3323.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

COST:  $5 Students / $20 General Admission / $50 VIP Seating


This will be an intimate concert in a relaxed setting.  Bring your own beverages into the theatre with the purchase of a reusable Uptown Theatre Sippy Cup ($5).

You can also reserve an early dinner before the concert at the Palisades Café, mention LilFest,  and receive the evening’s LilFest special.

Questions?  Call or text (847) 256-0000 or send email to: 3bearscottage@gmail.com

For more information see these websites:
www.LilFest.org          www.PhilHeywood.com

Live Music and Historic Presentations on Saturday

Saturday at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa is going to be a busy day!

Starting the day off we have the Smithsonian’s Home Town Teams exhibit opening at 10am in our Gymnasium.  The exhibit is FREE to the public and includes stories and memorabilia from the local region including Mount Vernon and Lisbon.


Also at 10am, we will have a special presentation in our Uptown Theatre – Remembering 6-on-6 Basketball Gallery Talk.  

The year 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the end of 6-on-6 girls’ basketball in Iowa.

To commemorate and reflect on this uniquely Iowan sport, the Iowa Women’s Archives and Sport Studies faculty in the Department of American Studies at the University of Iowa have collaborated to create a touring exhibition that tells the story of 6-on-6 basketball in Iowa and the girls and women that played it.

In conjunction with the Remembering 6-on-6 Basketball Gallery Talk the Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives will be collecting girls’ and women’s sport histories in Iowa.  Please stop by to tell your stories, ask questions about donating historical materials, or to donate documents, photographs, or other items related to 6-on-6 basketball or other sporting experiences.

Established in 1992, the Louise Noun – Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives collects and makes available historical materials that tell the stories of Iowa women from all walks of life.


We end the night with a lively performance by returning acoustic artists known as Frances Luke Accord.  The show starts at 7:30pm.

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles.

TICKETS are only $15.

They have a new video that shows off their talents:

Live Music – Frances Luke Accord – Folk and Americana

Performing Saturday, April 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles.

TICKETS are only $15.

Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.

Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord’s approach to music has marked a boundless evolution.

In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir.

Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).

“Frances Luke Accord are the definition of lean-in music.” – Joni Deutsch, NPR’s Mountain Stage

“Frances Luke Accord are some of our very favorite musicians, songwriters, and people. We couldn’t recommend their debut LP, Fluke, highly enough.”- Darlingside

“While Simon & Garfunkel may be no longer touring, Powers and Gunty are more than talented enough to take their place.” –Quinn Delaney, PlaylistHQ

Live Music – Chuck McDermott – Americana

An intimate evening with Massachusetts Country Music Hall of Fame singer and acclaimed songwriter Chuck McDermott. Paste Magazine says “his music is simply pure art”.

Chuck McDermott is best-known nationally for his touring, recording, and collaborations with former Kingston Trio guitarist and vocalist John Stewart, the writer of “Daydream Believer,” “Gold,” and “Armstrong.”

McDermott is also fondly remembered for the popular (and pioneering) successful 70’s Americana band Wheatstraw. His songwriting has won high praise from the Boston Globe, the Village Voice, and No Depression.

He will be performing as a solo artist as part of the LilFest Concert Series in the Uptown Theater at 7:30 pm on Saturday, April 14. Doors open at 7:15.

McDermott is performing select dates again across the USA after taking decades off to raise his family. His most recent album, “Gin & Rosewater,” was released in 2017, and has received praise from Stephen Stills and Rosanne Cash.

The LilFest Concert Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in Iowa. Past performers include Ellis Paul, Gina Forsyth, Jim Post, Dave Moore, and The Sweet Potatoes among others.

Cost:  General admission tickets are available for $15 through Brown Paper Tickets: http://chuckmcdermottiowa.bpt.me .

For more information about Chuck McDermott, visit his website: http://www.chuckmcdermott.com/

To see some videos from the new album:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVG0N53U8DrNNk9VwCpjBdw

And for additional audio:
https://soundcloud.com/chuck-mcdermott-563523792

Live Music – Chuck Mitchell – 2018 LilFest Concert Series

The First Street Community Center’s Uptown Theatre is happy to be hosting Chuck Mitchell as a part of the Spring/Summer 2018 LilFest Concert Series.

photo of Chuck Mitchell
Noel Brown – photo credit

Chuck Mitchell can fill a stadium with his voice, his songs and the songs of many others!  Indeed he’s been doing just that since the heyday of folk music when he shared his last name with Roberta Joan Anderson Mitchell (better known as Joni).

When:  Saturday, March 24th, from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Tickets are available at the door:

– General admission: $15
– VIP Seating: $50
– Student tickets are only available with a valid student ID at the door: $5

If you have concert questions or would like to become a VIP sponsor of one or more of our events please call (518) 576-9513.

Doors open at 7:15 pm.  BYOB -You can bring your own adult (or non-adult) beverages with the purchase of a First Street Community Center Uptown Theatre cup.

Click here to learn more about Chuck Mitchell, or you can check out his Facebook page.


MORE INFO:

Chuck Mitchell started singing in Detroit folk clubs and saloons in 1962. In Toronto, on his first out of town gig, he met a boney blonde songwriter named Joni Anderson, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They married, and as a duo Chuck and Joni Mitchell played the coffeehouse circuit and gin rummy, until she was 115,463 points ahead. They got divorced in 1968.

The folk clubs faded, and Mitchell moved on to college and arts council residencies. He lived in Coconut Grove, Santa Monica, and Greeley. In the eighties, he wandered back to the Heartland, and settled in a tall brick Keokuk house overlooking the Mississippi, built by a riverboat captain in 1879.

Mitchell’s credits include A Prairie Home Companion and repertory theater in the US and the UK. He has played Harold Hill in The Music Man, Woody in Woody Guthrie’s American Song, and Stephen Foster in Mr. Foster & Mr. Twain. Oh, and Carl Sandburg.

His one man cabaret folk show combines his skills as an actor, singer and guitarist. He sings songs by Guy Clark, Fred Eaglesmith, B. J. Shaver, Michael Peter Smith, and Cheryl Wheeler, and cabaret songs by Brecht and Weil — “Mack the Knife” and “Bilbao” — and whimsical songs by Flanders & Swann — “The Gnu” and “The Hippopotamus”. He roves the room singing “Freeborn Man” by Ewan McColl. He weaves poetry by Carl Sandburg, T.S. Eliot and others into his shows.

Mr. Mitchell will be available for media interviews in advance of the show by calling or texting Nancy Emrich Freeman at 847-256-0000.   Further information about Chuck Mitchell and high-resolution photos are also available by contacting Nancy Emrich Freeman.  On YouTube, enter “Chuck Mitchell Sings”.


Photo of LilFest - Bear LogoLilFest Concert Series 2018

The LilFest Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in the Eastern Iowa region. Past performers include Jim Post, James Lee Stanley, Eric Taylor, The Sweet Potatoes, Claudia Nygaard, and Nathan Bell.

LilFest was originally developed in the Chicago area by Nancy Emrich Freeman, the now-resident of Mount Vernon continues a grand tradition of bringing the finest musicians to play in the places that are best for both the person onstage and the fan in the nearby seat.

Live Music – Freebo, Maxwell & Howe – Presented by Lilfest

This Saturday, February 10th, starting at 7:30 pm the Uptown Theatre will host the astonishingly talented Freebo (Bonnie Raitt’s bass player and sideman/recording artist for many LA greats like like John Mayall; Dr. John; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Maria Muldaur; and Ringo Starr) has assembled a Super-Tour Trio, Freebo, Maxwell & Howe. As a recording producer, he brought two great talents into his studio, Kristen Maxwell and Alice Howe. The blends, humor, and comraderie set fire, and off they went on tour together! A road experienced singer-songwriter in his own right for many years now, Freebo recognized something really special.

A 2016 Kerrville New Folk Finalist and 2017 Most Wanted Artist at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Kirsten Maxwell’s rise in the music scene has been one to watch, Based out of Long Island, NY, this singer/songwriter has been making a name for herself in the Northeast and beyond. Described as “making love to the audience”, Kirsten’s stage presence is undeniably endearing and she has since opened for Melissa Etheridge, Bill Staines, Michael Johnson, Slaid Cleaves, and Vance Gilbert.

Timeless and original, Boston singer-songwriter Alice Howe joins a soulful, impeccably tuned voice with crafted poetry. A lifelong songwriter, Alice’s musical sensibility lies in ’60s folk and ’70s Southern California songwriters, with comparisons drawn to the pure, distilled sounds of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. As a performer, Alice is sure-footed and captivating, familiar to her audience from the very first song. A born New Englander and Smith graduate, her career launched in Seattle and now she hails from Boston again. Her original song “Homeland Blues,” debuted at #1 on the April Folk DJ chart and she is a 2017 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist.

TICKETS: $5 for students with student ID, $15 for general admission, $50 for patron reserved seats. Can be purchased in-person at the concert or online.

DON’T FORGET: BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGES. Buy the Sippy Cup and you can bring the beverage in the Theatre. Popcorn provided.

https://www.alicehowe.com
http://www.kirstenmaxwell.com
http://www.freebomusic.com
https://www.LilFest.org

The LilFest Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in the Eastern Iowa region. Past performers include Jim Post, Ellis Paul, Dave Moore, James Lee Stanley, Eric Taylor, Claudia Nygaard, Radoslav Lorkovic, and Nathan Bell. LilFest (http://www.LilFest.org/ ) was originally developed in the Chicago area by Nancy Emrich Freeman, the now-resident of Mount Vernon continues a grand tradition of bringing the finest musicians to play in the places that are best for both the person onstage and the fan in the nearby seat.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s always something going on at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa!

We hope that your family and friends enjoy a relaxing time together this Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving, if you want to stretch your legs and work off some of that turkey dinner, we invite you to come to the First Street Community Center for “Small Business Saturday“.

We will have FREE live music inside the building performed by James Kennedy and Friends.  They will be playing an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, rock in the hallway in front of the Uptown Theatre with two sessions: 10:30-noon and 1:30 – 3pm.

In addition, we will be hosting the Home Business Expo.  This group of innovative home businesses will be on display in the First Street Community Center’s gymnasium from 9am – 4pm.

Of course, throughout the day all of your favorite “Old School Shops” will be open, some may even have special treats or deals!

So, if you like live music, a warm building to walk in during a cold Fall day, and lots of interesting shopping opportunities, or maybe you want to learn something about starting a home based business, come on out to the First Street Community Center this Saturday.