‘Boston’s best performer’

Opera House to present New England folksinger in concert

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present American singer/songwriter Bill Staines in concert as part of its Folk in Fredonia Music Series on Fri., Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present American singer/songwriter Bill Staines in concert as part of its Folk in Fredonia Music Series tonight at 7:30 p.m.

For more than 40 years, Staines has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, he became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960s and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge.

Staines quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was “simply Boston’s best performer,” Staines has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all-time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving more than 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, “he has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic.”

Over the decades, Staines has been heard singing on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” HBO’s award winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio’s Mountain Stage. Additionally, his music has been used in a number of films including “Off and Running,” with Cyndi Lauper, and “The Return of the Secaucus Seven,” John Sayles’ debut as a writer-director.

In the fall of 2015 Yankee Magazine, New England’s premiere magazine, published its “80th Anniversary Issue.” In the issue, along with the likes of Stephen King and Katherine Hepburn, Staines was chosen as “One of the 80 gifts New England has given to America.”

Staines appearance is part of the Opera House Folk in Fredonia Music Series, which is generously sponsored by The Gilman Family. The concert also is sponsored by Darwin’s Health Club, with additional support from Tuscany Fresh Meats and Deli, the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County and the Arts Services Initiative of WNY’s Give for Greatness program.

Tickets are $17 ($15 for Opera House members, $10 for students) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at www.fredopera.org anytime.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of Opera House events is available at www.fredopera.org.

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