THE AMERICAN ROOTS SERIES AT THE LINDA PRESENTS:WALT WILKINS & TINA MITCHELL WILKINS
Thursday, Oct 3, 2013 - 8:00 pm, $15.00
osted by songwriter, roots scholar and multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck
Walt Wilkins is as Texas as it gets, a free spirit always in search of the next song. But like fellow travelers Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Steve Earle, he's also spent a good part of his life in Nashville, where a good tune is both legal tender and loving art. Perhaps that's why his compositions have been covered by the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Pam Tillis, Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Ty Herndon and Eric Church. Last year, Wilkins wowed The Linda with his full band, dropping the kind of explosive, exhilarating show that folks talk about for years. This time through, he'll be solo, framing his work in quieter, but no less compelling fashion.
The American Roots Series at The Linda traces our musical family tree back to the source. The program, hosted by songwriter, roots scholar and multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck, is an examination of the varied musical styles that make up our country's rich cultural history. In simple terms, roots music, a phrase coined in the mid-90s, is a catch-all reference for new sounds derived from old styles; for music handed down from generation to generation. Blues, country, gospel, jazz and early rock & roll qualify as branches, with a wider canopy covering Cajun, Zydeco, Tejano and Native American chants and dances. Like its close relative "folk music," which was popularized by such greats as Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, roots music tells stories of the "hopes, sorrows and convictions of ordinary people's everyday lives."
After 10 years writing in Nashville.....after 11 records....after the formation of his Hill Country super group "The Mystiqueros" which he brought to The Linda last year....and after being one of the most sought after studio producers in Texas....Is he near done? Hasn't he done it all? Double hell no. He's comming back to The Linda hot off the boot heals of his latest Album Plenty
- "Texas singer-songwriter Walt Wilkins gets deeper with every release. There's country deep in Wilkins' soul, and deep soul in his country music." No Depression
San Antonio-born Walt Wilkins has been called a genius, more than once, and a writer the caliber of John Steinbeck and his voice as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans, and he is, and has, all of that. His crafting of story-songs, hard-edged vocals to sing them and a plaintive guitar have made him a fixture of the Texas music scene (and Nashville before that). He's put his magical touch on recordings by new and veteran artists, too many to count. But since you asked, how do hits cut by Kenny Rogers, Hal Ketchum, Ricky Skaggs, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon and Pat Green sound for starters?
For Wilkins -- from his first musical influences as an Air Force brat, to his first band at age 15 to writing his first song (homesick while studying in the seminary) to playing own songs and writing in Nashville to his first album and producing others' -- This all might just be about coming home, at last.
"A few years ago I returned from a decade in Nashville to my home in the Texas Hill Country. It's an area of limestone cliffs overlooking modest mesquite and juniper trees, along with majestic, matronly live oaks. There's a dozen meandering blue-green rivers, with great bald cypress and cottonwood trees on their banks, and Bar-b-que, and Mexican, German & southern soul food.......and music, music everywhere.
Anchored by 2 great music cities, Austin & San Antonio, the music here is a free mix of jukebox country & soul, blues, Tejano, Storyteller folk, and cowboy songs. The folks here, like the music, are unpretentious, generous, open, and occasionally wild as all hell....and fun, always fun......
My new record "Plenty" was made in a spirit of gratefulness for having grown up here, and having come home. These are some of my favorite songs from the last couple of seasons, played with friends who are like family......." WW
- "Texas isn't big enough for the talent that Walt Wilkins exudes." Laurie Joulie Take Country back
- "A heavy cat." Ray Wylie Hubbard
- "Walt Wilkins is the salt of the earth. He writes like it...He sings like it....He acts like it" Jack Ingram
TINA MITCHELL WILKINS
Tina has become a highly-regarded songwriter and performer in her most recent home of Texas, where she plays solo, with her husband Walt Wilkins, or when she's the beautiful, vivacious "chick singer" of the Mystiqueros.
After stops in Los Angeles and Nashville where she was an in-demand session and stage singer, she developed a reputation as a writer with a unique eye for everyday life, and has blossomed in this last Texas Hill Country-based chapter.
Which brings us to "Morning Glory," her brand new release on HWY 29 Records. She wrote half the record, and picked songs from her favorite writers in Texas and Tennessee, along with an inventive, personal take on the U2 classic, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The title song, by Jimmy Davis, is ready-to-wear radio heaven. The songs range from intimate solo performances to full-on raves featuring some of Austin's best musicians.
As those who know her will tell you: Tina radiates. She radiates charm, humor, grace, beauty and a love of life- and this is besides her amazing range and tone as a singer, her great songs, and her great ear for songs that will fit her perfectly.
This is an artist to get to know, to enjoy, to luxuriate in. Start with "Morning Glory," and then get "Espiritu Santo Bay," her solo record of 2005. And then go see her. You'll love her, as her devoted fans already do.
All five programs of the American Roots Series at The Linda will be hosted by Michael Eck who plays 78 rpm music for the 21st century with Ramblin Jug Stompers; Historic American Music with Lost Radio Rounders; and performs solo under his own name and as Ukulele Mike. Eck, who has shared stages with Pete Seeger, Patti Smith and Peter Case, has also spread the word about roots music to important venues like Caffe Lena, Old Songs, The Dance Flurry, The Eighth Step, The Electric City Ukulele Festival and Jalopy Theatre and School of Music.
The American Roots Series is made possible by the support of the New York Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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