Classic Wineseller’s February Live Music Series begins Feb. 7

By Kay Stegall Miller | Jan 31, 2014
Courtesy of: Dana and Susan Robinson Husband-wife duo, Dana and Susan Robinson perform Friday, February 7th at the Classic Wineseller.

The Classic Wineseller, 20 Church St., opens its February live music series with husband-wife duo Dana and Susan Robinson at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. The Wineseller’s restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays serving freshly prepared small plate fare. There is a $10 per person minimum on live music nights that includes food, drink, and retail purchases. Reservations are accepted between 6 and 7 p.m. by calling 452-6000.

The genius of a Dana and Susan Robinson performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dana Robinson relocated to New England where he discovered both a thriving songwriters scene and the deep well of traditional mountain music. In the early 1980’s, Robinson settled in northern Vermont and built a house “off the grid” (no electricity and phone) on 30 acres near the Canadian border. There he founded a popular bakery, café and folk music venue. Robinson began touring full-time after the release of his 1994 debut CD, “Elemental Lullabye” and after a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Putumayo’s Shelter benefit project.

Sue Robinson grew up in a musical family in New England. She studied piano, oboe, and Scottish fiddle before meeting Dana in 2002. Sue was working in the environmental field in California when she met Dana at a house concert. After moving to North Carolina a short time thereafter, she started studying with many of the great old-time musicians in the Asheville area, and naturally adapted to the on-the-road lifestyle.

Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of America’s musical heritage.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, the Classic Wineseller will present an evening of swing music with Michael Pilgrim, mandolin; Drew Kirkpatrick, guitar; and, Don Mercz, guitar. Mike Pilgrim and Don Mercz have been playing music together for over 30 years. Newcomer Drew Kirkpatrick shares their affinity for the passionate and exhilarating up-tempo Gypsy jazz and swing music.

Sheila Gordon plays and sings the music of Carole King at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Ms. Gordon has been playing piano and singing her way into the hearts of thousands since she was a young girl. Earlier in her career, Ms. Gordon was the star attraction at a piano bar in Nashville, Tennessee, where she held the title for 10 years. She has performed hundreds of concerts, including a special event for former Vice President Al Gore and 5,000 of his supporters and friends. Sheila Gordon’s beautiful voice moves effortlessly between musical genres such as blues, jazz, gospel, and popular music.

Enjoy a show dedicated to the Valentine’s theme on Saturday, Feb. 15 as jazz vocalist Eve Haslam brings to life many of the love songs popularized by Barbra Streisand and other performers. One of Haslam’s favorite Streisand songs is "How Does Wine Taste" (composed by Matt Dubey and Harold Karr) from the 1964 “PEOPLE” album. She will be joined by Simon George on piano, and Shannon Hoover on string bass. The evening includes a delicious four-course dinner and show for $29.99 per person plus tax & gratuity.

This year marks the fifth year for the collaboration of Ms. Haslam and Satin Steel Jazz. They are on track to release a second album later this year entitled, "Beautiful Love."

At 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, experience the music of vocal powerhouse CaroMia Tiller at the Classic Wineseller. Tiller’s live musical presence has been compared to Janis Joplin, Adele, and even, "Ray Charles in a little white girl's body".

Tiller’s biography reads like an adventure novel. From a very young age, the free-spirited Tiller has been making her own rules. The soul-shaking power behind her voice seems to draw on a few lifetimes' worth of experience. From a world of inspiration Tiller distills an arresting and immediately recognizable sound: her own signature blend of rootsy Americana, soul and blues.

Joe Cruz is back Saturday, Feb. 22, performing the top hits of the Beatles and Elton John. Cruz grew up in a musical family in New York City, playing and singing in church from a young age. He became a regular on the New York club scene and has opened for Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, Santana, and Average White Band. Cruz resides in Haywood County with his wife, Tracey, and their daughters.

Singer-songwriter and one man band Jay Brown performs at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. Brown has spent years traveling and playing across the U.S. taking in its rich musical heritage. He has performed with the Old Crow Medicine Show and shared the stage with musical legends Etta Baker and Doc Watson.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, guitar sensation Jacob Johnson will perform. Johnson is a young, energetic performer who has shared the stage with songwriting masters from Edwin McCain to David Wilcox, and who hangs out with guitar heroes like Tommy Emmanuel and Tim Reynolds (right-hand man to Dave Matthews). While it is his flashy guitar pyrotechnics that might grab your attention, his songwriting, personality, and performance style are what set him apart from the rest of the young guitar-slinging pack. In short, to quote Tommy Emmanuel, "Jacob rocks!"

His debut CD offering, “Est. 1986,” ranges from Dylan-esque folk tunes to quirky ballads, such as the love song to his guitar, "Treat Her Right." Johnson shows that great music doesn’t always have to be serious. The CD has an intimacy to it that makes you feel like he is right there in the room with you while you listen. Johnson likes to call his style of playing “Neo-acoustic folk/funk”.

In live performances, his off-the-cuff sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek sensibility disarm the audience and leave them unprepared for his multilayered guitar mastery. Johnson thumps, taps and slaps his guitar into submission, weaving a musical tapestry that usually climbs to sonic frenzy while never losing its balance or control. He delivers thoughtful and realistic lyrics with a wry sort of charisma. He has been compared to John Mayer, James Taylor, Jack Johnson and Keller Williams. For more information on Jacob Johnson, visit www.jacobjohnsontunes.com.

The complete February schedule includes:

Friday, Feb. 7 — Dana & Susan Robinson guitar, banjo, fiddle, vocals. Folk

Saturday, Feb. 8 — Mike Pilgrim mandolin; Don Mercz guitar; Drew Kirkpatrick guitar. Swing

Friday, Feb. 14 — Sheila Gordon keyboard, vocals. Chris Minick trumpet, guitar, harmonica, vocals. An evening of Carole King songs

Saturday, Feb. 15 — Valentine’s Weekend Dinner + Concert: Eve Haslam Sings Streisand and Other Love Songs. Eve Haslam, jazz vocals; Simon George, piano; Shannon Hoover, string bass. Four course dinner and concert, $29.99 per person plus tax & gratuity

Friday, Feb. 21 — CaroMia Tiller guitar, vocals. Americana, soul, blues

Saturday, Feb. 22 — Joe Cruz piano, vocals. Beatles & Elton John

Friday, Feb. 28 — Jay Brown guitar, harmonica, vocals: folk, blues, Americana Roots

Saturday, March 1 — Jacob Johnson guitar, vocals. Neo-acoustic folk-funk

The Classic Wineseller, Waynesville’s premier retail wine and craft beer shop, small plate restaurant, and intimate live music venue presents local, regional, or national talent each Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the underground environs at 20 Church St., Waynesville.

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