Chris Smither in Concert
Featuring Paul Cebar
1 hour 45 minutes
Honing his synthesis of folk and blues for over 50 years, Chris Smither, truly an American original, returns to Bloomington to perform music from his vast song catalogue.
A profound songwriter and captivating performer, Smither mesmerizes listeners with his guitar playing – melding the styles of his two major influences, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt into his own signature guitar sound. His music draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers and continues to earn accolades. Critics universally agree on Smither’s important contribution to contemporary music from five-star reviews in Mojo magazine to a Top 10 spot on Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke’s best of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival performances in 2014.
Chris’ songs have appeared in films and TV shows and been covered by Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall, among others. Chris continues to tour festivals, music clubs and concerts halls all over the world.
“With a weary, well-travelled voice and a serenely intricate finger-picking style, Mr. Smither turns the blues into songs that accept hard-won lessons and try to make peace with fate.” –New York Times
Paul Cebar is Opening the Show!
Paul Cebar cut his teeth musically in the coffeehouse folk scene of the mid-’70s in Milwaukee. First paying gigs took place in late ’76 with an emphasis on solo recasting of small combo jump-blues and other early R&B. Upon graduation from New College in Sarasota, Florida, with a thesis addressing rhythm & blues varieties featuring a hearty emphasis on Louis Jordan and Buddy Johnson, Cebar dedicated himself to trodding the boards in earnest and spent substantial amounts of time testing the waters out New York way while exploring band dynamics with a soul and New Orleans-minded crew called the R&B Cadets back home. The Cadets ranged about from 1980 to 1986 and featured the grand original tunes of John Sieger alongside the winning assortment of B sides and obscurities that were the fruits of Cebar’s research. Concurrently, he kept alive the spark of his solo work with a small group which came to be known as The Milwaukeeans. Throughout the early 80s, this combo featured Rip Tenor on tenor sax, Alan Anderson on upright bass, Robyn Pluer on vocals and Paul on acoustic guitar and vocals, and drew most of its repertoire from ’30s, ’40s and ’50s jazz and R&B.