| | | | | | | | |
32nd Season line up
Artist Extras (not in season ticket)
An Evening with Iris DeMent
Friday, September 20, 2019
King Arts Complex
867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43203
$30 advance | $33 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Rich lyrical landscapes and captivating music
Iris DeMent has been attracting attention since her first album, released in 1992, was called "an essential album of the 1990s" by Rolling Stone. In her long and successful career, DeMent has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and has collaborated with the likes of John Prine, Steve Earle, and Emmylou Harris.

Born in Arkansas, the youngest of 14 children, Iris DeMent brings a poignancy to her work that makes it irresistible. Her latest album, based on the work of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, was recorded in her living room, with a sparseness that lets her voice and the beauty of the lyrics shine through.

"Iris DeMent makes music that celebrates humanity's efforts toward salvation, while acknowledging that most of our time on Earth is spent reconciling with the fact that we don't feel so redeemed. Grounded in hymns, early country songs, gospel and folk, DeMent's work is treasured by those who know it for its insight and unabashed beauty." - NPR

"It's heady, heart-stopping stuff." - Boston Globe

"As pure and piercing as they come." - No Depression

"A quietly powerful triumph." - The Guardian

Official Websites: www.irisdement.com
Song Samples: We Won't Keep Quiet, Our Town, We're Not The Jet Set (with John Prine)
Glen Phillips (Founder: "Toad the Wet Sprocket")
with Ordinary Elephant
Friday, October 25, 2019
Columbus Performing Arts Center (Shedd Theater)
549 Franklin Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
$28 advance | $31 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Cerebral yet passionate songs of perseverance
Glen Phillips may be best known as the founder of Toad The Wet Sprocket, a band he founded in high school and led for 12 years, but his solo career has been equally impressive as has his work with other musicians. Phillips is an avid collaborator, including a long-standing association Nickel Creek, which resulted in one of his many side projects, The Mutual Admiration Society. He has also toured and recorded with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and with Elvis Costello's Attractions.

In 2008, Phillips suffered an accident that left his ulnar nerve severed and the talented musician unable to play guitar at all for a time during his recovery. Thankfully, Phillips continued writing and persevered. On his most recent album (Swallowed by the New) Phillips pared his music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding.

Official Website: www.glenphillips.com
Song Samples: Grief & Praise, Nobody's Gonna Get Hurt, True (live 2007)
Pure, honest Americana harmonies
International Folk Music Awards 2017 Artist of the Year Ordinary Elephant captivates audiences with their emotionally powerful and vulnerable songs, letting the listener know that they are not alone in this world. The collaboration of husband and wife Pete and Crystal Damore, their connection, and their influences (such as Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, Anais Mitchell) all meet on stage. "Two become one, in song … hand-in-glove harmonies surprise the listener with focused intensity and musical mastery," says Mary Gauthier. The Associated Press is calling their latest album, Honest, "one of the best Americana albums of the year."

"…one of the best Americana albums of the year" - The Associated Press

"…easily one of the best folk duo records I have heard in years" - PopMatters

"It is pure. It's masterful. It is brilliant in the simplicity of two voices and two instruments spinning together, intertwining in utter beauty and perfection, even in its imperfections…. This is the kind of music that lingers long after the last note fades." - Red Line Roots

Official Website: www.ordinaryelephant.net
Song Samples: Best of You, Worth the Weight, Harriet
Susan Wernerwith Jesse Ruben
Friday, November 15, 2019
Columbus Performing Arts Center (Shedd Theater)
549 Franklin Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
$25 advance | $28 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Eclectic and creative talent
Considered one of the most bold and creative forces on the acoustic music scene today, Werner's insightful lyrics and bold instrumentation are sure to please. Werner is blessed with a wide-ranging talent that allows her to cross genres with ease, Werner has been influenced by an equally eclectic mix of artists - Judy Collins, Thelonious Monk, Keb' Mo' and Sting, among them. Werner's album (Hayseed) is a tribute to her Iowa farm roots, which tackles topics ranging from pesticides to climate change. Werner's most recent album (NOLA) is a concept album featuring piano compositions in the style of the late, great Allen Toussaint.

"Susan Werner, a clever songwriter and an engaging performer, brings literacy and wit back to popular song." - The New Yorker

"This woman is great. Period." - Music Row (Nashville)

"(Werner is) a songwriter and musician who is in such complete command of her gifts that it's almost scary." - All Music Guide

"The Empress of the Unexpected" - NPR

Official Website: susanwerner.com
Song Samples: City Kids, May I Suggest, Snowmobiles
Inspiring stories to advance the greater good
Jesse Ruben, a Berklee Music graduate, spreads a simple and direct message through his music. I can. We can. Written shortly after completing the New York City marathon, Ruben hoped to us his song "We Can" to inspire others to start running. Somehow his track made it to an elementary school in Vancouver, leading Ruben to start the "We Can Project." Based in New York City, Ruben overcame personal challenges, including a battle with Lyme Disease, eventually landing on the Today Show with a national audience and ultimately, a record deal with Universal Music. We can't wait to hear his personal story, told through song, for the first time at Six String Concerts.

Official Website: www.jesseruben.com
Song Samples: Don't Be Afraid, We Can
Small Glorieswith Kim Taylor
Friday, January 17, 2020
McConnell Arts Center
777 Evening Street, Worthington, OH 43085
$25 advance | $28 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Canadian roots powerhouse duo
Roots duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band - writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs.

Luft, an original member of harmony sweethearts The Wailin' Jennys and her parents were folksingers influenced by the great activist Pete Seeger, who taught her that sometimes a song is all you need to bring people together.

The Small Glories duplicate and reinforce each others' many strengths and yet allow their distinct personalities to shine through, resulting in a live show that is as heartwarming as it is hilarious, as finger-picking proficient as it is relatable.

"Some things just work together: the Lennon and McCartney syndrome - and to witness a performance by The Small Glories is a rare opportunity to experience that indefinable quality that creates perfection..." - David Allen, Americana UK

"Luft is a Wailin' Jennys alum whose work on the clawhammer banjo is to die for, while Edwards' guitar and vocal harmonies deepen and enrich the duo's sound." - NPR Music

"Can two singer-songwriters be better than one? Yes, emphatically, yes, if the two in question are Cara Luft and JD Edwards, playing and singing together as The Small Glories. It's our loss they didn't [join forces] sooner because Edwards and Luft are a folk-roots powerhouse... It's magic. ★★★★" - Winnipeg Free Press

Official Website: thesmallglories.com/home
Song Samples: Wondrous Traveler, Had I Paid, Black Waterside
Award-winning Ohio singer songwriter
Kim Taylor is an American singer-songwriter living in the Midwest. She has released 5 full-length records and toured with numerous notable acts including Kasey Chambers, Ron Sexsmith, Grace Potter and Over the Rhine. In 2013, Taylor starred in the Sundance and Berlinale selected Indie film, I Used To Be Darker. Her fifth full-length record, Songs of Instruction, is a 10 song collection of her signature intimate folksy narrative songwriting style. Taylor is beloved in her current hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she has been awarded singer-songwriter of the year winner six times by the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. She opens for The Small Glories in her Six String Concerts debut.

"Like the rest of her quietly impressive catalog, Songs of Instruction is a work of incredible consistency within Taylor's established canon that has resulted from sizable shifts in her professional and personal life, an evocative set of her patented short stories-cloaked-as-Folk/Pop songs, inspired by the ceaseless nature of change and the enormity of irreconcilable loss.." - CINCINNATI CITYBEAT

Official Website: www.kim-taylor.net
Song Samples: Days Like This, Take What You Want
An Evening with Carrie Newcomer
Saturday, February 08, 2020
Columbus Performing Arts Center (Shedd Theater)
549 Franklin Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
$28 advance | $31 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Multi-talented song writer, author, and activist
Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter and performing artist but she's also a social and environmental justice advocate, interested in spirituality and helping move our political conversation in a more productive direction.

Newcomer has toured with Alison Krauss, had a song recorded by Nickel Creek and has also written and produced a theater production, "Betty's Diner: The Musical." Newcomer was named one of the "50 most influential folk musicians in the past 50 years" by Chicago's WFMT, while Boston's WBEZ listed her as one of the most influential folk artists in the last 25 years. She is a poet, an author, and a calming, ethical voice in a sea of chaos.

"To my mind - a writer's mind - Carrie Newcomer is much more than a musician. She's a poet, storyteller, snake-charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace. All this, and she comes with a voice that declares, "Sit down here a minute and listen." Who could ask for more?" - Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

"Carrie Newcomer - a great gift to humanity. Her music - a great gift to our souls." - Jill Bolte Taylor, Author, My Stroke of Insight

"I love Carrie Newcomer. She writes and sings about what is most personal to her and in doing so she speaks to the wider world. Her song 'Geodes' will make you catch your breath with its wisdom and beauty." - Mary Chapin Carpenter

"She's the kind of artist whose music makes you stop, think and then say, 'that is so true.'" - The Dallas Morning News

Official Website: www.carrienewcomer.com
Song Samples: Do No Harm, Sanctuary, You Can Do This Hard Thing
John Gorkawith Amilia K Spicer
Saturday, February 22, 2020
King Arts Complex
867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43203
$28 advance | $31 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Provocative and original folk powerhouse
From New Jersey, John Gorka has been touring extensively for at least twenty-five years in the U.S. and Europe - sometimes playing 150 gigs a year. He won the prestigious Kerrville (Texas) New Folk Contest, has appeared on CNN, and toured with Mary Chapin Carpenter. His fourteenth CD, "True in Time," was released in 2018, to critical and popular success. To quote Folk Alley, "John Gorka is a towering figure in folk music thanks to his longevity, powerful baritone, collaborative spirit, and remarkable songwriting." This year, Gorka will headline for SSC, conduct a songwriters workshop and also complete a taping of Songs At the Center during his whirlwind Columbus weekend. Details to follow.

"Gorka is widely heralded for the sophisticated intelligence and provocative originality of his songs." - Boston Globe

"the leading singer/songwriter of the New Folk movement" - Rolling Stone

Official Website: johngorka.com
Song Samples: Let Them In, I Saw a Stranger, I'm From New Jersey,
Americana with a sense of place
With a sound that has traversed dynamic folk-pop, earthy rock, and atmospheric Americana, Amilia K Spicer's music evokes both a spirit of travel and a sense of place. A native of Pennsylvania, Spicer began playing piano at a young age, though it was a career as a film director that initially drew her west to California. Spicer brings a haunting, husky voice and describes her American and folk style as "red-dirt" noir. After landing a rare main-stage debut at the Kerrville folk festival, Spicer made music her main priority, releasing three albums since. American Songwriter called her most recent release "Wow & Flutter" (2017) a "timeless brand-new Americana classic."

"A timeless brand-new Americana classic" - American Songwriter Magazine

"The Like an Engine CD is a masterpiece. The songs convey a sense of musical grandeur honed to perfection with a razor-sharp edginess... One can easily imagine viewing the tales of these tunes through a film director's editing machine." - Jim Guyette WRUW-FM/91.1, Cleveland

"Seamless, like Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water, sucks you in and doesn't let go until the last note." - Flint Journal

Official Website: www.amiliakspicer.com
Song Samples: This Town, Train Wreck, Branching out and Gypsy Life (with John Gorka)
John Gorka Songwriting Workshop
Sunday, February 23, 2020
McConnell Arts Center
777 Evening Street, Worthington, OH 43085
$25 advance and door
Join John Gorka for two hours of songwriting inspiration. John will do a 30-minute presentation on songwriting, followed by time for Q & A and time for song critique. John will get through as many songs as possible before the workshop ends, with critiques selected randomly.

Your ticket to the workshop will also give you entry to an invitation-only private taping for Songs at the Center this same weekend (February 22). Details to follow.
Vance Gilbertwith The Young Novelists
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Columbus Performing Arts Center (Shedd Theater)
549 Franklin Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
$25 advance | $28 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Entertaining but musically complex songs
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music.

Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children's album. Gilbert is known for his improvisational rapport with audiences during his shows. He speaks, like he sings, with sincerity and depth.

"With his new Philo CD, Shaking Off Gravity, local songwriter Vance Gilbert has come close to doing something many of his fans never thought he might do: make a record as good as he is. Shaking Off Gravity is Gilbert's finest album; indeed, it is among the finest to come out of the folk scene in some time." - The Boston Globe

Official Website: www.vancegilbert.com
Song Samples: Goodbye Pluto, Unfamiliar Moon, Web clip song sampler
Euphoric burst of folk rock
The Young Novelists create contemporary folk songs that marry their effortless harmonies with poetic lyrics and exquisitely crafted hooks. Forming first as a band, then later marrying and having a child, Graydon James and Laura Spink have been showered with awards, including a Canadian Folk Music Award, and have made appearances at numerous festivals. Their experiences growing up in small towns and living in metropolitan Toronto as adults bring an appreciation of the richness (and peculiarities) of both types of spaces. Together, they bring their Canadian folks roots sound to life for SSC when they open for Vance Gilbert.

"This is emotional, melodic music that variously reminds me of the Jayhawks and Richard and Linda Thompson." - No Depression

"The Associated Press is calling their latest album, Honest, “one of the best Americana albums of the year." - PopMatters

"euphoric burst of folk rock" - Atwood Magazine

"Like the Decemberists but rockier and less quirky, like Americana but quirkier and rockier, a talented Toronto outfit." - rock nyc

Official Website: theyoungnovelists.com
Song Samples: Don't Wait, Back to the Hard Times, Come Round Again
An Evening with The Sweet Remains
Friday, April 17, 2020
Columbus Performing Arts Center (Shedd Theater)
549 Franklin Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215
$26 advance | $29 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Lush, forceful three part harmonies
Although Rich Price, Greg Naughton, and Brian Chartrand had thriving solo careers, a chance jam session in 2008 lead to them forming The Sweet Remains. The group is driven by forceful lyrical and melodic writing (all three write songs for the project) and their lush three part harmonies have been compared to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel. As solo artists, their projects have run the gamut from high profile television projects, to feature film directing, and musical revues. The Sweet Remains have also garnered critical and popular acclaim, being twice selected as a pick of the week by USA Today and have amassed over 38 million Spotify plays.

"It's been a long time since three-part harmonies this lush were yoked to songs as melodically gorgeous as these." - The Boston Herald

"A melodic brand of coffeehouse pop highlighted by some gorgeous, honey-coated harmonies that bring to mind the Eagles at their mellow best." - Read Review

"Hushed, smooth folk-pop… a smooth take on Crosby, Stills & Nash and James Taylor." - TIME OUT NY

Official Website: www.thesweetremains.com
Song Samples: Dance With Me, Takes Time, So Lovely
An Evening with The Four Bitchin' Babes
Saturday, May 16, 2020
King Arts Complex
867 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH 43203
$30 advance | $33 door | $15 Students | $5 Youth
8:00pm | Doors open at 7:30pm
Funny and heartfelt harmonies
The Four Bitchin' Babes are an original "Babes Brand" of musical theater with a 30 year career on-stage and in-studio, releasing nine recordings and a full length DVD. These accomplished, seasoned musician-actress-comediennes take turns in the spotlight, filling it with whimsical songs and shtick, presenting the hippest and most luxurious girl group harmonies "evah!" With guitars, bass, piano, and Irish Bodhran, this rollicking renegade sorority of gal pals use their exquisite wit and sophisticated (never blue) humor, creating an amazing evening of Cabaret/Broadway'esque original entertainment. Columbus resident Sally Fingerett, Debi Smith, Deirdre Flint, and Christine Lavin will bring you an evening of comedic commentary that is sure to lift your spirits.

"How can funny sound this pretty?" - The Boston Globe

"Together they tell humorously observant tales of modern urban life, and harmonize like a heavenly chorus." - The Chicago Tribune

"The BABES stir the heart as well as the funny bone." - Billboard

Official Website: www.fourbitchinbabes.com/
Song Samples: Pass it On, Oh no, I'm Looking for my Glasses Again