Tumbledown House brings ‘Speakeasy’ music to Homer

Billed as “Modern Speakeasy Music,” the Tumbledown House musicians, Gillian Howe and Tyler Ryan Miller, are traveling to Alaska from their home in San Francisco again this month for their fifth Alaskan tour, with four performances booked in Homer.
On their web page they write: “As the days grow longer and the temperatures begin to climb, we begin preparing for our fifth Alaskan Tour. We can’t wait to see all of our Alaskan friends, play with some of our favorite musicians and perform in some of our favorite venues.”
Called a “Sultry Song-writing Duo” they usually recruit other musicians to join in their performance, and they know they will find plenty of willing talent here to join them on stage.
Here are the song titles from their two albums:

Blues reigns at Alice’s Champagne Palace this weekend

Alice’s Champagne Palace is bringing blues guitarist Rick Brooks to town Friday evening and the harmonica man Gary Sloan (more Alaska bluesmen) Saturday night.
Brooks accompanies himself on acoustic guitar as he sings blues, rock and classic songs and more. He says he took his first guitar lessons at age eight in Oxford, Mississippi. His father wanted him to be Johnny Cash and his teacher favored Chet Atkins but he took more interest in blues, jazz, classical and folk music. In the late 80s he played in a series of rock, rhythm and blues and top-10 bands traveling around Alaska from Nome to Homer. He started on electric guitar but then switched to acoustic in the late 90s. He has also toured and played the west coast states California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Nevada.

On a Wing back with the shorebirds

Along with returning snow geese, dunlins and sandhill cranes comes an evening of poetry and song as part of Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival’s 10th-anniversary celebration.
The production by singer/songwriter Sunrise Kilcher reaches out to poets and musicians each year. This year, she’s putting the spotlight on the Seaside Singers, a collection of women who have kept right on singing since 1975. Alathea Clymer, one of the original members, recalled the first time Joan Evans decided to form the group.
“She looked at me and said, ‘you’re going to be in it,’ and I was. I can’t read sheet music, but I’ve been singing my whole life,” Clymer said.

Heidijo looks to raise recording funds

Homer singer/songwriter Heidijo Smith has launched a Kickstarter fundraiser with a goal of reaching $5,000 for a recording session in New Orleans. The clock is now ticking toward a Nov. 27 deadline when the Kickstarter campaign ends.
A series of piano performances for the public begins Friday at AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse and Tavern. “Sneak a Peek of Heidijo,” is a series of four concerts, continuing Nov. 13, 23 and 27. All shows are from 6-8 p.m. at AJ’s.
Heidijo quickly joined with other performance musicians when she moved to Homer four years ago. She has played at Bunnell Street Arts Center and the Down East Festival this summer. She also was showcased with Johnny B at AJ’s, and with the burlesque shows at Alice’s Champagne Palace.
Heidijo spent much of her life perfecting her musical talents, starting on piano at age 6. Her day job is as a nurse at So

Seth Freeman wraps up Alaska tour in Homer

Guitarist Seth Freeman returns to AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, where he will play acoustic guitar and sing.
His performance here wraps up an Alaska tour that included the State Fair in Palmer.
Born in Searcy, Ark., Freeman has played guitar since the age of four, taught by his grandfather and father. He also learned from Jim Turner and later Paul Travis, one of the area’s leading instructors, according to promotional information on his website.
In addition to guitar, Freeman plays drums, bass, lap steel, piano, mandolin and dobro. He was voted most talented of his high school class, and has long pursed his dream of making a name for himself in the music industry.

Rock musical closes Pier One season

This weekend Pier One Theatre stages a musical for its final show of the summer, Next to Normal by Brian Yorkey with music by Tom Kitt, directed by Marc Oliver with musical direction by JulieAnn Smith.
As with Andy at the start of the summer season, Pier One closes with a bang, a rock musical in the style of Rent.
The plot, according to Pier One, follows the problems of a suburban family of four, a husband and wife with two teenagers, who are dealing with trying circumstances. The storyline involves the mother’s bipolar disorder, the treatments she goes through and the effects on her family. The cast of six provide a compact and intimate story, backed by a live band of rock instruments and strings. Despite the serious nature of the theme, the story, while moving, also provides some humor. The core of Next to Normal is its reality. The characters are as real as anyone in today’s world and the trials they go through mirror modern day problems to the T.

Get your groove on at KBBI’s Concert on the Lawn

KBBI’s 33rd-annual Concert on the Lawn at Karen Hornaday Park this Saturday and Sunday promises a weekend of varied entertainment with lots of old favorites and a few performers who are new to Homer audiences.
The first concert was staged in 1980.
In addition to the musical action onstage, the popular grass “dance floor” will be necklaced with tents offering arts, crafts, food and more.
Saturday’s line up includes: The Rubber Boot Leggers, Jon Crocker, Dan “Dirty D” Pascucci, JoAnn and Monte, Emma Hill, Red-5, Gary Sloan’s American Music, Nervis Rex and Superfrequency.

JoAnn and Monte return to the stage

For over 30 years JoAnn and Monte entertained with their original music, wit and wisdom but they quit performing for three years and recently assumed important “day jobs” in Homer. Now they are back on stage at AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse and Tavern at 120 Bunnell on alternate Thursday evenings.
They entertained a full house June 28 and take the stage again July 12 and 26.
“We enjoy our day jobs,” Monte said (he is the Chamber of Commerce Director and JoAnn is Tour Specialist for Alaska Ferry Adventures and Tours). “But music is still our passion.”
They have recorded 11 albums of their music.

Halibut Cove jazz events slated

One of the most artistic towns in the world, Halibut Cove, is hosting two “Jazz in the Cove” events this summer, with proceeds going to support the Homer Foundation.
Tickets are $160 per person and include the ride across Kachemak Bay on either the Danny J or the Stormbird, a seafood dinner prepared by Chef Sean Maryott, a lively jazz performance and the idyllic setting of the Quiet Place Lodge and Halibut Cove.

Music festival christens Down East’s new outdoor stage

Some 25 acts are slated for Down East Saloon’s inaugural music festival this Friday and Saturday, with famous singer Buffy Sainte-Marie highlighting the show on June 30. Opening for her at 8 p.m. Saturday on the new outdoor stage, the Alaska Native band Pamyua will headline Friday night’s show.
Based in Anchorage, Pamyua (pronounced Bum-yo-ah) has national and international shows to their credit, as well as many Alaska performances.
Americans were introduced to Inuit music watching the Canadian epic, “The Fast Runner.” For more than a decade, Pamyua has released traditional Inuit (Yup’ik) drum songs from Alaska, with a distinctly unique American sound. Together for more than 15 years, Pamyua has entertained millions with their fusion of traditional Inuit music and Yup’ik dance performances.

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