Folk music legend Tom Paxton comes to the Rolling Hills Radio stage on Monday, February 26 at 6:30 at Shawbucks for a one-night-only performance. He will be accompanied by the Don Juans.
Tom Paxton has performed worldwide in venues as diverse as Greenwich Village coffee houses, Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition to his own fifty albums of original songs, hundreds of artists have recorded his songs including Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson and Judy Collins. Even the opera star, Plácido Domingo incorporated Paxton into his repertoire.
In 2009, Paxton received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Of Paxton, Guy Clark, 2014 Grammy Award winner for Best Folk Album, wrote, “Thirty years ago Tom Paxton taught a generation of traditional folk singers that it was noble to write your own songs …”
John Platt of WFUV Radio, said “You can draw a direct line from Woody Guthrie to Pete Seeger to this man, who is a true troubadour.”
“Tom Paxton embodies the spirit of folk music in the most beautiful sense,” said Ani DiFranco. “He’s the coolest.”
Richie Unterberger, an American journalist who focuses on the history of popular music, observed during an interview with Paxton, “ You were among the first folk performers in New York [during the ‘60s] to write much of your own material.” To which Paxton replied, “[That] didn’t occur to me at the time… I had begun to write a lot … and certainly had examples … like Woody [Guthrie] and Pete [Seeger]. [W]hen I’d write a new song, I’d try it out in the show and see how it went. Gradually, there came to be enough songs of good quality that I could just do my own stuff.” On his long career, Paxton reflected, “I always say that it’s okay to look back, as long as you don’t stare… you move on. I’m infinitely more interested in what I’m doing now, than in what I did then… I loved it, but I live now.”
Ken Hardley, producer and host of RHR, in responding to the Unterberger interview, notes that “With the passage of time, it becomes clear that certain musicians not only write important songs, but become an integral part of of our shared American story. Tom has always had the courage to sing about important topics and in so doing he has not only reflected the spirit and mood of the times, but has contributed to the national conversation. He’s right up there with one of his mentors, Pete Seeger. What more can be said about a guy who ‘coauthored the book’ on folk music? Except, we are thrilled he’s coming to Jamestown.”
Paxton will be accompanied by The DonJuans. This duo of Don Henry and Jon Vezner are both Grammy Award winners who have performed in venues from the Bottom Line in New York City to the Bluebird Café in Nashville, sharing stages with artists as diverse as Joey Ramone, John Hartford, and David Crosby. Their songs have been recorded by Janis Ian, Ray Charles, and John Mellencamp. Both are known for their gifted musicianship and dry wit.
Hardley notes, “The blending of Paxton, Henry, and Vezner’s voices is remarkable.”
Those wishing to attend this live performance are urged to purchase tickets as soon as possible. Hardley says, “This will be a sold-out performance.”
On upcoming shows, Rolling Hills Radio will present the Urban Pioneers, Robin and Linda Williams, and another Americana legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.
All shows take place at Shawbucks, across from Jamestown’s Ice Arena. Doors open — to all those holding or purchasing tickets — at 5:30pm for the “Happy Rolling Hour.” Food and drink are available until 6:15 at which time audience members take their seats. Audio and video recording begins promptly at 6:30. The bar reopens for 10 minutes at intermission and then again after the show when the audience and performers are invited to a “Meet and Greet.”
As always, there are four options for purchasing tickets; Until the show is sold out, tickets are available at the door the night of each show. If you choose, you can call ahead at (716) 484-1101. Tickets are also available online at http://www.chautauquachamber.org/events If you’re out and about, stop in during the Chamber’s regular business hours at 512 Falconer St, Jamestown. Tickets for future shows may also be purchased using these same options.