Infinity Music Hall & Bistro
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Special Concert of Blues & Americana Music w/ Rory Block - Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

Infinity Norfolk

DETAILS

Sat, April 09, 2016
Norfolk, CT
Show at 8 PM

Ticket INFO

Price: $24 - $34

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GENRE

Americana / Blues
Special Concert of Blues & Americana Music w/ Rory Block - Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

Decorated blues guitarist and singer, Rory Block, makes her Infinity Hall debut as she shares our Norfolk stage with Grammy-nominated rock, country, blues outfit Professor Louie & the Crowmatix, what a night!! Hailed as one of the few remaining Mississippi delta blues artists, Rory Block has dedicated her life to preserving one of the earliest forms of American music with a haunting vocals and sensation slide-work and body of work that spans over 30 albums. After you’ve had your fill of the delta blues, Woodstock’s own Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz and his lights-out band the Crowmatix finish out what can only be described as an amazing evening of the best Americana you’ll find across the great land!!

Rory Block

Connect with this artist:

www.roryblock.com/

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Artist Bio

Heralded as “a living landmark” (Berkeley Express), “a national treasure” (Guitar Extra), and “one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists” (Blues Revue), Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

Born in Princeton, NJ, Aurora “Rory” Block grew up in Manhattan a family with Bohemian leanings. Her father owned a Greenwich Village sandal shop, where musicians like Bob Dylan, Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian all made occasional appearances. The rich and diverse Village scene was a constant influence on her cultural sensibilities. She was playing guitar by age ten, and by her early teens she was sitting in on the Sunday jam sessions in Washington Square Park.

During these years, her life was touched – and profoundly changed – by personal encounters with some of the earliest and most influential Delta blues masters of the 20th century. She made frequent visits to the Bronx, where she learned her first lessons in blues and gospel music from the Reverend Gary Davis. She swapped stories and guitar licks with seminal bluesman Son House, Robert Johnson’s mentor (“He kept asking, ‘Where did she learn to play like this?’”). She visited Skip James in the hospital after his cancer surgery. She traveled to Washington, DC, to visit with Mississippi John Hurt and absorb first-hand his technique and his creativity.

“This period seemed to last forever,” Block Recalls nearly forty years later.” I now realize how lucky I was to be there, in the right place at the right time. I thought everyone knew these incredible men, these blues geniuses who wrote the book. I later realized how fleeting it was, and how even more precious.”

By the time she was in high school, her family had splintered in different directions. With nothing holding her down, she left home at 15 with her guitar and a few friends – heading for California on a trip marked by numerous detours and stops in small towns. Along he way, she picked her way through a vast catalog of country blues songs and took her first steps in developing a fingerpicking and slide guitar style that would eventually be her trademark.

She recorded an instructional record called How To Play Blues Guitar in the mid-60s (she was billed as Sunshine Kate on the original recording), but then took a decade off from music to start a family. In the mid- and late ‘70s, she made a few records that ran counter to her inherent blues instincts, and the result was frustration. “Eventually disgusted with trying to accommodate a business which never seemed to accept me or be satisfied with my efforts,” she says, “I gave up totally and went back to the blues.” The result was a record deal with the Boston-based Rounder label, which released her High Heeled Blues in 1981. Rolling Stone referred to the album as “some of the most singular and affecting country blues anyone – man or woman, black or white, old or young – has cut in recent years.”

Back in a groove that felt comfortable and fulfilling, Block threw herself headlong into an ambitious touring schedule that helped hone her technical and vocal skills to a razor’s edge, and at the same time nurture a distinctive voice as a songwriter. She stayed with Rounder for the next two decades, making records that simultaneously indulged her affinity for traditional country blues and served as a platform for her own formidable songwriting talents.

The world finally started taking notice in the early 1990s, and Block scored numerous awards throughout the decade. Her visibility overseas increased dramatically when Best Blues and Originals, fueled by the single “Lovin' Whiskey,” went gold in parts of Europe. She brought home Blues Music Awards four years in a row – two for Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year, and two for Best Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. Then in 1997, she won the Blues Music Award for The Lady and Mr. Johnson, a tribute to Robert Johnson, taking home Acoustic Album of the Year.

Today, after more than twenty highly acclaimed releases and five Blues Music Awards, Block is at the absolute height of her creative powers, bringing a world full of life lessons to bear on what she calls “a total celebration of my beloved instrument and best friend, the guitar.” Her newest project, titled "The Mentor Series," is a growing collection of tribute albums to the blues masters she knew in person. Her recent release "Blues Walkin’ Like A Man/A Tribute to Son House," will be followed by "Shake Em On Down/A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell," due out in early 2011 on the Stony Plain label.

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

Connect with this artist:

www.professorlouie.com

Professor Louie’s upstate ensemble is an old school Americana template that jams out timeless rock, country, blues and New Orleans influenced originals. - Village Voice

This GRAMMY-nominated Woodstock NY band plays 150 shows every year in the US and worldwide. Led by recording engineer and producer, Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz on vocals, keyboards and accordion, The Crowmatix repertoire is steeped in rock ‘n’ roll, blues, Gospel and American roots music, and features a compelling collection of original and traditional tunes. The band’s latest release, Music From Hurley Mountain (Woodstock Records, 2016), showcases music written by Louie and his songwriting partner, vocalist, pianist and percussionist, Miss Marie (Rick Danko). Drummer Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson), guitarist/vocalist John Platania (Van Morrison) and bassist/vocalist Frank Campbell (Steve Forbert, Levon Helm) complete the talented and versatile quintet.

(They) have grown into a true legacy of Woodstock band. Their new material is soulful and their performance last night (at Sugarloaf Performing Arts Center) was the highlight of the evening. - Stan Beinstein, radio executive (WPDH, WDST) & concert promoter

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix began as the studio backing band for Aaron Professor Louie’s musical productions with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, The Band. Louie produced Jericho (1993), The Band’s first album of new music in 16 years, and their final group recordings, High on the Hog and Jubilation. The Crowmatix also worked on numerous solo recording projects and live performances with Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. “Working with Rick, Garth and Levon for 15 years was a great honor – and a lot of fun – and we’re proud of the music we created together,” says Louie. “Their love of crafting musical stories based on American history had a strong influence on us, and I like to think we’re continuing that tradition in The Crowmatix recordings.”

All the best parts of great music are on display with Professor Louie & The Crowmatix. It’s clear these folks are driven to match the all time greats. - Cash Box Magazine

The Crowmatix have released 12 recordings: Whispering Pines (2009) was nominated for five GRAMMYs. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix were inducted into Southern Canadian Blues Hall of Fame and International Blues Hall of Fame, NY chapter. Louie received the 2015 Robert H. Chambers Award for Excellence in the Traditional Arts from Common Ground on the Hill.

THE MEMBERS

AARON PROFESSOR "LOUIE" HURWITZ: What a rare ‘5-tool player’ is to baseball, Professor Louie is to the music business. – Accordion Americana

Professor Louie is a seasoned live performer, prolific recording artist and talented multi-instrumentalist (Hammond B3 organ, piano/keyboards, accordion, vocals). An award-winning recording producer and engineer, he has captured the talents of some of the world’s most highly acclaimed musicians, including Graham Parker, Commander Cody, Dave Brubeck, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Guy Davis, Oumar Konate, and, most notably, The Band: For 15 years, Professor Louie served as co-producer, engineer and performer with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, teaming up with The Band for their last three group albums (Jericho, High on the Hog, Jubilation) and numerous solo projects for Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm.

Rick Danko christened him Professor Louie due to his work and friendship with The Band (Helm’s middle name is Levon, Hudson’s is Garth, and Hurwitz’ is Louis). “It was really a great honor,” he says, “and many music industry people, especially those on the business end, knew me as Professor Louie, so I kept it.”

Born in Peekskill, NY, Louie honed his musical chops in the NYC area. He toured the country with folk, R&B and blues bands, and performed on the Gospel circuit as organist for The Mighty Gospel Giants of Brooklyn. He eventually settled in the Woodstock area and, in the mid-1980s, formed his GRAMMY-nominated Americana band, Professor Louie & The Crowmatix to back-up Helm, Danko and Hudson. The Crowmatix have since toured worldwide and released 12 CDs on their Woodstock Records label, including Music From Hurley Mountain (2016). Louie and his songwriting partner, Miss Marie Spinosa, have published 100+ songs, including “Melody of Peace.” It was recorded with The Prague Radio Symphony & Kuhn Choir; won the International Composition Award from the classical label, ERM/Naxos; has been recorded by numerous symphonies; and was selected as theme for two CBS-6 TV Specials. “Woodstock-Siberia Blues Express,” a documentary about him teaching and performing in Siberia, was featured at the Woodstock and Maine Film Festivals.

Professor Louie was inducted into the South Canadian Blues Hall of Fame (Ontario, Canada, 2011) and The Blues Hall of Fame (NY Chapter, 2012). He received the 2015 Robert H. Chambers Award for Excellence in the Traditional Arts from Common Ground on the Hill.

MARIE SPINOSA: Miss Marie from Brooklyn, NY - singer/songwriter, pianist/percussionist had performed for many years in concert with her own groups in the tri-state area. Miss Marie toured the college circuit before moving to upstate NY. She has co-written many of the songs on Professor "Louie" & The Crowmatix releases. Miss Marie's strong vocals and percussion can be heard on varied recordings: "Deserter's Song" by Mercury Rev, "Jubilation" by The Band and also with Four Men & A Dog. Her soulful background vocals are featured on Rick Danko's "Sip The Wine" single CD and also on Rick Danko's "Times Like These" CD. Miss Marie's percussion can be heard on Garth Hudson's CD "The Sea To The North". Miss Marie has a solo CD with The Crowmatix "Collection.

FRANK CAMPBELL: Frank played bass with The Rick Danko, Levon Helm duo tours of the 70's and early 80's. From there he moved on playing with Steve Forbert and relocated to Austin, TX. Frank then moved back to the Woodstock area and teamed up with "Louie".

JOHN PLATANIA: Guitarist/singer/writer has performed on many of Professor Louie & The Crowmatix CD's. He has been on the road with The Crowmatix for the past few years. John has had a long history of recording and touring with major act such as Van Morrison, Chip Taylor, Don Mclean and more producing four acclaimed albums for blues performer Guy Davis.

 

Similar Artists:

The Band, Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Little Feat, Joe Jackson, Van Morrison, Steve Forbert

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