September 23, 2017 - 8:00 pm

Robbie Fulks with special guest John Cadley

Nominated for two 2017 Grammy Awards: Best Folk Album ( Upland Stories ) and Best American Roots Song ( "Alabama at Night" ).

Named in 2016 best-of-the-year lists by Rolling Stone, NPR Music, NPR Fresh Air, The Guardian, Salon, Chicago Tribune and more.

                                                                                                                                                                    In 1993, a songwriter banging around the Chicago club scene with a twangy voice and dangerous sense of humor caught everyone’s attention. In 2013, after two decades of playing music everywhere from the taverns of southern Illinois to the honky-tonks of northern Norway, from Austin City Limits’s soundstage to the historic Grand Ole Opry, he released the highly acclaimed Gone Away Backward.

Upland Stories continues and — with sprinklings of pedal steel, drums, electric guitar, and keyboards — expands the sound of that acoustic set. Fulks’s richly emotional storytelling is illuminated by his instrumental prowess and emotional voice. At 53, he is philosophically reflective, writing “with clear eyes and a full heart” (Ken Tucker, NPR). Don’t get us wrong, his wit is still as quick as his picking; but it’s reflected through the lens of fatherhood, marriage, middle age, and the literary voices he is drawn to and draws from: Flannery O’Connor, Anton Chekhov, Mary Lavin, Frank O’Connor, Javier Marias, James Agee. Three new songs—“Alabama at Night,” “America Is A Hard Religion,” and “A Miracle” — are meditations inspired by Agee’s 1936 trip to Alabama, the sojourn that fueled his furious polemic on American poverty, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

Coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s in Virginia and North Carolina, at the edge of the broad “upland” region referenced in the record’s title, also provided depth and detail for Fulks’s songs about the mysteries of memory, the vanishing of cherished things, and the struggles of everyday life. Robbie tries to make songs that offer more than verse-chorus-hook: songs that have space, calmness, unresolved tensions, and the hallmarks of lived experience.

Twenty years ago, Robbie’s exuberance for old-school country made a lot of noise. Today, his storytelling through folk and bluegrass music on Upland Stories delivers the quieter, sometimes unsettling truths of humanity. We are honored to have him return to our stage.

Starting the evening will be one of Central New York's most prolific singer-songwriters, John Cadley.

John began playing guitar at the age of 13 after hearing a recording of the Kingston Trio—and he’s been performing ever since. Beginning in folk music, he moved on to bluegrass and then country music, playing with such seminal Northeast bands as the Down City Ramblers, Cross Creek, Texas Hots, and The Lost Boys. In the past few years John has spent most of his musical time with the Cadleys, featuring his wife, Cathy, John Dancks, and Perry Ceveland. In 2011, John and Cathy released the album "Beneath the Willows" which was followed by John's release of "The Hard Years" in 2015.

John has been a touring road musician out of Nashville, and his songs have been recorded by national bluegrass artists such as Tony Trischka, Jim Hurst, Missy Raines, Amy Gallatin, Richard Kiser, the International Guitar Duo, and Lou Reid, who, with Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs singing harmony, took John’s song, “Time,” to the #1 spot on the national bluegrass charts for three consecutive months.

Doors open at 7:30 pm
$22 in advance : Buy Online
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