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Posts Tagged ‘Banjo’

and it turns out he did know how to use it. Marlene Dietrich will be pleased. A packed house at The Greystones last night were pretty pleased too after witnessing the almighty spectacle of Curtis Eller’s American Circus. Big thanks to Curtis & the family, everybody who came along, and Richard Kitson who did a fine job opening the show.

WagonWheel Presents… returns to The Backroom on Saturday September 9th when we bring you the spectacular triple bill of The Fargo Railroad Co., The Sea Whores and M.G. Boulter. You can find full details for this one here, we hope you can join us then.

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On Wednesday August 30th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Curtis Eller’s American Circus back to The Greystones. Curtis Eller’s American Circus is preparing to embark on a 16 date tour of the UK. The iconoclastic banjo player will be accompanied by a brutish, inelegant backing band drawn from a stable of incendiary musicians from the US and England. The American Circus, have developed a devoted international following based on dynamic, unhinged live performances and a disquieting catalog of strange recordings populated by a ghastly parade of historical luminaries. Lace up your dancing shoes. We’ll see you under the dusty canvas of the bigtop! Plus support from Richard Kitson. Advance tickets priced at £10 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397577 and the venue (12-6pm). Entry on the night will be £12. Doors open 7.45pm.

 

***CURTIS ELLER’S AMERICAN CIRCUS***

Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer. After beginning his show business career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat, the Detroit native turned to the banjo and lit out for New York City where he rose to obscurity as “New York’s angriest yodeling banjo player”. Siting Buster Keaton, Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley as his primary musical influences, Eller became a staple of the beer halls, burlesque houses and underground theaters of the eastern seaboard. Fame proved elusive.

​Having spent years toiling in the musical sweatshops of the industrial north, Eller uprooted his family and resettled in some faded, tobacco town in the North Carolina Piedmont to begin the arduous task of assembling a new version of his band, The American Circus. The latest version of the ensemble is a brutish and inelegant rock & roll outfit specializing in banjo music for funerals, gospel tunes for atheists and novelty dance fads for amputees. A lavish, Hollywood, dance sequence unfolding on the floor of a Chicago meatpacking plant in 1894. 

Eller’s numerous compositions describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. Past recordings have seen a ghastly parade of historical luminaries, from Abraham Lincoln and Buster Keaton to Amelia Earhart and Joe Louis, sharing the spotlight with a host of Civil War generals and corrupt 19th century politicians.

The group’s latest phonographic recording, “How to Make It in Hollywood”, is a compact collection of glittery show tunes, sentimental tear-jerkers and rock & roll rave-ups whose lyrics are populated with two-bit prize fighters, Hollywood has-beens, lapsed gospel singers and forgotten pop stars. Eller relentlessly tours the US and Europe with an expanding and contracting cast of misfits. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, a new album is also due later this year.

http://www.curtiseller.com

 

***RICHARD KITSON***

In 2014 Folk Radio UK described Richard Kitson as ‘one of the best guitar pickers of his generation’. Kitson has earned this reputation over a decade of honing his skills both as a solo acoustic performer and occasional band leader. Kitson’s love of the blues began when he heard the song ‘Bye Bye Bird’ by Sonny Boy Williamson II not long after he started teaching himself to play the harmonica at the age of eleven. A desire to learn the guitar soon followed. After pestering his parents for an acoustic guitar they relented and by the age of fourteen he was teaching himself to play under the influence of Bob Dylan, Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson, Rory Gallagher and Mississippi John Hurt. These musicians (among many others) helped Kitson develop his fingerstyle and slide guitar playing alongside his original song writing.

From 2001 Kitson began honing his performing skills in Sheffield folk clubs and other venues in and around South Yorkshire, often supporting established touring artists such as Wilko Johnson, Otis Gibbs, Peggy Seeger and John Tamms. In a typical set Kitson can be found playing classic country and delta blues covers by the likes of his aforementioned influences alongside his self-penned folk/blues style songs. A skilled raconteur, Kitson often embellishes his sets with humorous links and background stories to his songs.

Richard Kitson has quietly emerged as one of the best guitar pickers of his generation; one who marries blues and folk styles into a fresh new sound.” Folk Radio UK

When I grow up I want to play guitar like Richard Kitson.” Otis Gibbs

http://www.richardkitson.co.uk

 

Facebook Event page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/619156578277048

 

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