What do you get when you offer an award-winning, North Carolina-based musician and songwriter an opportunity to collaborate with some of his favorite musicians in the whole world? Find out at a special evening we are calling Joe Newberry’s Heroes & Friends! Joining Newberry on stage will be mandolin icon Mike Compton; pioneering woman of bluegrass Alice Gerrard; triple threat fiddler, singer, and dancer April Verch; and founding member of legendary North Carolina band Red Clay Ramblers, Jim Watson. Start your new year with this exclusive, one-night only collaboration among these extraordinary artists!
“I am so excited to share the stage with these heroes of mine, who also happen to be some of my very favorite friends. I play often with each of them, but have never appeared with them all on the same stage at the same time. I am so excited at the prospect of this collaboration,” Newberry said, as he shared his thoughts on his fellow players.
“From his work with the legendary Nashville Bluegrass Band, John Hartford, and Elvis Costello to his key role in the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou, to his position as co-director of Monroe Mandolin Camp, Grammy Award-winner Mike Compton is one of our greatest musicians, whose playing helps tie together the history of traditional music and its future.”
“Alice Gerrard first received acclaim as a member of the ground-breaking duo Hazel and Alice in the 1960s. Along the way, she also founded the Old-Time Herald, a magazine dedicated to old-time music, and helped record and document traditional musicians. A recent Grammy nominee, Alice is the subject of a forthcoming documentary about her life and her work.”
“Canadian April Verch plays fiddle, sings, and dances – sometimes all at once, which is amazing to behold. The leader of the April Verch Band, she has toured full-time for almost 20 years. Not only a fine songwriter and singer, she was also named both Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and Canadian Open Fiddle Champion during her competition days.”
“Jim Watson co-founded the Red Clay Ramblers in 1973. During his time with the Ramblers, Jim performed on and off-Broadway, toured the world, and set a high bar for tenor singers and instrumentalists. For many years, he performed with Robin and Linda Williams, and now plays with the Piedmont Melody Makers, along with Alice Gerrard, Chris Brashear, and Cliff Hale.”
For his part, Newberry is a Missouri native and North Carolina transplant who has played music most of his life. His powerful and innovative banjo playing, as well as his songwriting, guitar skills, and singing have delighted audiences around the world and made him a fixture in the North Carolina and national roots music scenes.
Newberry’s songs are often recorded by artists in the folk and bluegrass world. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” award. In 2013, Newberry shared co-writing honors with Eric Gibson for the IBMA Song of the Year, “They Called It Music.”
A longtime, frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Newberry was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions tour in the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and at the Transatlantic Sessions debut at Merlefest with James Taylor, Maura O’Connell, and Sarah Jarosz, among others.