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Lee DeWyze

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AMERICAN IDOL WINNER LEE DEWYZE

Even before winning American Idol in 2010 at the age of 23, singer/songwriter Lee DeWyze had been building a solid career with his powerful vocals and extensive musical talents. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, DeWyze had developed a passion for music at an early age and by his late teens he was pursuing it more actively. By the time he auditioned for American Idol, his band was well known locally and they had released two indie albums.

As skilled on the guitar, mandolin and banjo as he is on the piano, DeWyze’s expressive roots-driven folk-rock style has found a wide circle of fans who appreciate his straight-from-the-heart songs and passionate, personal delivery.

DeWyze’s music has become woven into popular culture through the use of his work in dozens of television shows and campaigns. One of the best known, “Blackbird Song,” was used for a pivotal scene in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” in 2014. Described as “hauntingly beautiful,” the song went on to sell more than 100,000 copies and has been watched nearly 20 million times on YouTube.

His fifth studio album, “Oil and Water,” was released in 2016 and he has since released a new single “The Breakdown.”  Watch the official video for “Stone” off the “Oil and Water” album here.

VIP Package available with ticket purchase, includes early entry, private acoustic performance, meet and greet, and more!

OPENING ACT: FRANK VIELE

Singer/songwriter Frank Viele is as comfortable on stage with nothing but a stool and his acoustic guitar as he is with such classic rock groups as The Marshall Tucker Band, Foreigner or Bob Marley’s Wailers. His eclectic use of instruments builds on a storytelling style, rooted in traditional folk and blues music. Active on the touring circuit, he was named The New England Music Award’s “Live Act of the Year” in 2014 and released his first full length album “Fall Your Way” in 2015.

 

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Interview: Joan Osborne

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In a compelling new interview with writer Lou Fancher of the East Bay Timessinger/songwriter Joan Osborne explains what inspires her about Bob Dylan’s music and how it expands her perspective and influences her music. 

“When you’re doing any covering of other people’s material, your job is to bring out something that hasn’t been discovered yet. When you have an artist of the depth and richness of Bob Dylan, you tend to go to emotional terrains that you haven’t gone to in your own work,” she said.

Because she “cut her teeth” as a singer in part by performing from early on Dylan’s folk-based, American idiom-filled work, Osborne didn’t actually discover new technical aspects to her voice while working on the project. But with years of singing, the 55-year-old says a deep richness and new textures she calls “seasoning” have appeared.

An exceptional songwriter herself, Osborne’s take on Dylan’s songs become a rich collaboration. 

Because her voice and Dylan’s are worlds apart, Osborne never pursued imitation while adapting the songs. “The point was to take the song, divorce it from Dylan’s interpretation, view it as chord progressions, the melody, the lyrics, and do it again from scratch. In that way, it really was about finding the material I loved and connecting that with my voice in a way that the song and my voice blossom.”

——> Read the rest of Lou Fancher’s interview with Joan Osborne here

Then buy tickets to hear Joan’s take on Dylan’s songs in the intimate setting of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater.

Joan Osborne sings Songs of Bob Dylan

Opening Act: Will Champlin

Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m.

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Five for Fighting
with String Quartet

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Backed by a string quartet,
Five for Fighting will be at the Bankhead
Thursday, January 25!

Never has the phrase “he shoots, he scores” been more applicable than when mentioning rabid hockey fan and chart-topping singer/songwriter John Ondrasik. The Los Angeles native, who goes by Five for Fighting (a five-minute penalty for on-the-ice fisticuffs), burst on the scene some 15 years ago with his Grammy Award-nominated hit “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” and has been a mainstay on mainstream radio ever since. While he doesn’t wear tights and fight crime as his breakthrough track “Superman” suggests, his songs could bring any maniacal villain to their knees (and tears) with his poignantly sharp songs that cut deeper than a Ginsu knife.

Ondrasik signed his first deal in 1997 with “Message For Albert,” but it was his follow-up “American Town” that really took flight for Fighting. The aforementioned “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” went Platinum (as did the album), was #1 on Adult Top 40, #2 on Hot AC, and in the Top 40 Top 10. The song actually hit the airwaves, and reached #1 the same week his daughter Olivia was born. Not too shabby as Adam Sandler once said. Adding more fuel to the emotional fire, the mega-hit served as sort of an unofficial anthem following the 9.11 attacks on American soil. Naturally, he performed it at The Concert For New York City.

In his career, Ondrasik has sold over 2.5 million albums including 2004’s “Battle for Everything,” which spawned the 2X platinum “100 Years,” which continues to melt hearts, provide all ages with an instant case of nostalgia. Other hits have included “The Riddle,” “World,” “Chances” and “What If.” His music has been featured in 350 films, TV shows and advertisements ranging from the “The Blind Side” to “Hawaii Five-O.” He has also written tunes for everyone from Josh Groban to The Backstreet Boys.

Yet, there’s more to Ondrasik than the music and it’s far more important to him and countless others. “Music is the great healer as well as being a unique vehicle in raising awareness and funds for important causes,” he explains. Ondrasik has given away a million copies of a five-volume compilation album (featuring himself and other artists) he created for United States troops. He has also performed regularly for the USO.

Additionally, www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com was created off of his song “World,” in which fans uploaded videos showing their respective interpretations of a better world. That initiative raised more than $250,000 for five designated charities: Augie’s Quest, Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children and Operation Homefront.

Ondrasik is a featured speaker from Ted Talks to the Salk Institute. He’s also presented at various private and corporate events. He’s also graced The Kennedy Center stage, performed for world leaders and presidents, and contributed special performance for NASA to commemorate the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Mission.

When not writing killer tunes, Ondrasik is putting pen to paper for his other passion: sports. The avid Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings fan has been a sports commentator for SI.com, the Kings, and a guest on everything from Jim Rome to ESPN SportsCenter, the latter of which he became the first “band” to appear and perform.

“I recognize the immature shallowness of the adult sports fan obsession, but I’ve always had it. Lakers as a kid, UCLA, Kings etc…Many folks use music as their escape, I imagine sports as mine. Writing is a kick as I’ve always had a fantasy to be a sports reporter/writer,” he says gleefully.

As he explores the possibility of a Broadway show featuring his tunes, he’s currently on the road (not literally) performing songs as a quartet (Five for Fighting literally) and with symphonies around the country. “The symphony and quartet shows have been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve had the honor of working with some world class arrangers in my career. To present the more ambitious songs, as well as the popular tunes, in this format has refueled my passion for performing.”

…And making new music. Ondrasik’s “What If” hit the Hot AC charts and was chosen by Richard Branson (sorry, Sir Richard Branson) as the soundtrack for his non-profit Virgin Unite. And his most recent song “All for One” was penned for the 100th episode of Hawaii Five-O. Ondrasik is currently working on the follow-up to his sixth album, “Bookmarks.”

Looking ahead while looking back, the one-man Fighting army, said, “I have been blessed to have loving and supportive parents, an amazing wife and partner, and two great kids. Family is crucial to any career, keeps the ups and downs, down and up.”

Don’t miss this unique performance in the intimate Bankhead Theater!

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An Interview with Songwriter JD Souther

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Writer Lou Fancher beautifully captures the heart of JD Souther’s songwriting genius in a fresh new interview for East Bay Times:

” The world’s best singer-songwriters appreciate time.

Not simply meter, syllables stretched over notes, tempo and other clock-keeper aspects of music, but the passage of time that mellows a tenor’s voice into ease and broader dynamic range.

Musical phrases and tunes pondered during a sunrise or contemplated while hiking may come together begrudgingly or spill out in a gush on occasions when the usual gear-grinding process flips and lyrics and melodies pour out like a river unleashed.

Riding that wave and a long roster of hits, JD Souther will bring his expressive music infused with pop, jazz, country rock and the Great American Songbook to the Bankhead Theater on Aug. 5. The intimate evening with Texas-raised Souther will feature selections from his new studio album, “Tenderness.” Rounding out the possible setlist, popular songs may include the title track of his 1979 album, “You’re Only Lonely,” a solo version of the 1984 duet recorded with James Taylor, “Her Town Too,” or numerous songs written for or performed by The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Cocker, Roy Orbison, Trisha Yearwood, the Dixie Chicks and others.”

On the topic of his latest album “Tenderness,” Fancher writes:

“Tenderness,” he said, has a more cinematic sound than previous recordings. Inspired by Cole Porter and George Gershwin and joined on the CD by a top-tier band (pianist Chris Walters, saxophonist Jeff Coffin, trumpeter Till Brönner, pianist Billy Childs, vocalist LIzz Wright), Souther’s guitar and vocals get to expand.

“The orchestrations are beautiful, the players astonishing,” he said. “It’s the album I intended, conceived in one time period for this one album.”

In fact, Souther would have made a film, had millions of dollars been handy. Listening to the lyrics on “Tenderness,” a narrative forms, with the final track, “All Your Wishes,” serving as an epilogue. LIke a miniature almost-opera, grand themes told in simple, conversational language beg only for movement, costumes, sets and lighting.”

——> Read the rest of Lou Fancher’s fascinating interview with Songwriters Hall of Famer JD Souther here

Then buy tickets to hear him sing his songs in the intimate setting of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater.

JD Souther in Concert

One Night Only!

Saturday, August 5 at 8 p.m.

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Upcoming Events

Thu 18

David Shoemaker

Thu, January 18 @ 7:30 pm
Fri 19

Marc Cohn

Fri, January 19 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 20

1776

Sat, January 20 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
925.462.2121

Call 925.373.6800 or email websales@livermoreperformingarts.org for tickets and information