Singer/songwriter Joe Crookston & the BlueBird Jubilee at Opera House Friday
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present Ithaca-based singer/song-writer Joe Crookston & the BlueBird Jubilee with Peter Glanville in concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m. James-town duo SYMBA will serve as the concert’s opening act.
Award-winning singer/-songwriter Crookston makes his debut performance at the Opera House in an evening of original folk music. Influenced by Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Ani DiFranco and others, Crookston says he writes songs with “a universal story that people can connect to.”
Crookston was awarded “Album of the Year” by the International Folk Alliance and received a songwriting grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to travel New York state interviewing locals and writing original songs based on his travels. He recently was signed to Tamulevich Artist Manage-ment alongside renowned fellow songwriters John Gorka, Red Horse and Peter Yarrow.
Together with Peter Glanville, as the BlueBird Jubilee, Crookston has played to full houses at festivals and performing arts centers across the U.S. His is a high-energy show full of story songs, finger-picking, stomping rhythms and a deep well of musical tradition and creativity.
Tuning up their Martins and vintage Gibsons, Crookston and Glanville sure can play. They weave and travel mystical, historical and humorous roads, and twist their way through personal stories along the journey. Their songs tell of ex-slaves, Oklahoma towns, rattlesnake trails, drunk roosters and Dylan Tho-mas, among other things.
At the end of the night, audience members leave inspired, with a renewed sense of what’s possible. In Irish culture, Crookston says, there is talk of a place called “the long note” – a place of resonance and transcendence where the music, the voices, the instruments and the community all come together and unite. There is such a place as the long note … and Joe Crookston is reaching for it!
Opening for Joe Crook-ston & the BlueBird Jubilee will be the Jamestown-based duo, SYMBA. This young folk duo consists of Hayley “Moonpuppy” Res-tivo (17), the primary songwriter of the group, on guitar and vocals, and Ryan Hawkins (18) on ukulele, bass, mandolin and backup vocals.
In November, Hawkins and Restivo released their debut album, “Eleanor Evermore,” which has sold more than 200 copies to date.
Rising artists, the duo is scheduled to play the Great Blue Heron Festival, and numerous other stages this summer. Both girls are active members of Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, in Jamestown.
Tickets to Joe Crookston are $15 ($13 Opera House members) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org. The event is part of the Folk in Fredonia Music Series, which is sponsored by The Gilman Family. The performance is presented, in part, with support from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported, not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of Opera House events is available at www.fredopera.org.