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LAMPLIGHTER w/ PETER MULVEY/ SIMON BALTO/ HUMBIRD/ CRIS PLATA
December 8, 2017 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm$20
PETER MULVEY’s Lamplighter Sessions are here from December 7th the 15th, minus Monday and Tuesday. Mulvey has been transported by music suspiciously (should we suspect foul play?) often in his life, and from the beginning, he sensed a pattern: most of these moments were impromptu, they happened offstage, and they involved people communicating something sublime in this elusive yet utterly reliable language we all share. The music-ness of moments is at its best when two or more players don’t quite know where it’s all going, and yet have enough of a common idea of the map at hand that they’re all going together. The Lamplighter Sessions is Mulvey’s dogged attempt to set up, year after year, lightning rods in a field, to coax these offstage moments into being onstage.
Who is this doggedy dog in this dog-eat-dog world?
To PETER MULVEY, there is no such thing as a straight and narrow path. At least, not one that he has any interest in taking.
A live-wire on any stage, Peter is an acoustic singer/songwriter/guitarist who, in fact, defies this categorization. His ferocious guitar playing whisks him through more tunings than he has fingers in the course of an evening, as he winds his way from full-throated rockers to deceptively plain-spoken musings. Whether solo or accompanied, Mulvey is someone who just naturally commands a stage:
“Peter Mulvey is one of the most accomplished guitarists you’re ever likely to hear… utterly original… it is nigh on impossible to explain him to the uninitiated… his intelligent and sometimes complex songs engage both hemispheres of the listener’s brain… one of the finest, most complete entertainers… stunning.” – The Irish Examiner
SIMON BALTO‘s work has garnered praise from critics both local, regional, national, and international. The Irish music publication Deadly Music! has compared his songwriting to top-of-his-game, Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan. The Chicago-based music curator Music Means Family said the following: “An unbelievable talent, his layered folk ballads are reminiscent of Baez and Dylan, Guthrie and Prine. There is a deeply satisfying component to each of his songs a reminder of home, woodsmoke, and the first traces of your breath as winter begins to settle.”
In 2017, he released Murmurations, a full-band record that features Shane Leonard (Kalispell, Field Report), Ben Lester (S. Carey, The Tallest Man on Earth, Aero Flynn), Steven Hobert, Kevin Rowe (Buffalo Gospel), and Amanda Rigell (Count This Penny).
CRIS PLATA was born in South Texas, the son of migrant workers. Those early days of living in different migrant camps and following the harvest from region to region, exposed Cris to a wide range of musical experiences.
His early musical experiences reflect his Mexican heritage. This heritage includes Norteno (Northern Mexico border music), conjunto (elements of both European and Mexican music fused by early residents of South Texas), and ranchera (Mexican country) music. Today, Cris describes this as “Mexican roots” music.
Another strong influence stamped its mark on this man at an early age. This can be best described as the Texas singer-songwriter genre. Texas has long been the hot bed of musical talent that has been forged by its wide open vistas and its independent nature. Out of this landscape, Texas has “grown” notable and innovative singer-songwriters such as: Bob Wills (Texas swing), Townes Van Zandt and Lyle Lovett (masters of melodic story songs with a uniquely Texas soul), and Steve Earle (his “Guitar Town” is the epitome of gritty country-rock, a standard that Nashville writers have yet to reach).
With all of these influences, how do we describe Cris Plata’s music in a nutshell? Perhaps we will have to borrow the term Tex-Mex and redefine it. “Tex” would now stand for Texas singer-songwriters and “Mex” would stand for Mexican root’s music. But don’t let this definition confine your impression of his music. Just listen to his music and the best definition will be your own.