Singing duo to perform classics of '60s and '70s at Elks
A pair of songsters billed as a "classic acoustic duo" will reminisce in melody the popular songs of the '60s and '70s in a concert Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Elks Opera House.
AJ Swearingen appeared on the Elks stage in September in a salute to Simon and Garfunkel. This time, he will be performing with Jayne Kelli, who will join him in singing hits of such superstars as Gordon Lightfoot, Carole King and Fleetwood Mac.
Swearingen and Kelli met two years ago in a music club in St. Petersburg, Fla., where they both live.
"I had her perform with me during one of my showcases at the Hideaway Café, and she sang this amazing harmony with me," Swearingen said. "We just had this musical connection right from the start. We are both original artists," he added. "I have seven albums, and Jayne is a prolific songwriter as well."
Their Nov. 3 entertainment will be a mix of songs Swearingen has written and those that Kelli has composed, along with music from "some great singers and songwriters of the '60s and '70s," Swearingen said.
This is the music that has inspired Swearingen's career. This era "is what influenced me," he said, "because I was exposed to it by my older sister and my parents." And, even though this genre "was before my time," it became his passion, he said.
"Those were singers' songs. The really good lyrics back in that era really had something to say. Music was so much better for the most part back then. We want to carry on the tradition of this classic songwriting."
Though Swearingen would not give away all the music that the audience will hear during the concert, he did say the two expect to perform Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" and Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind."
The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $25 and are available by calling the Elks Opera House box office at 777-1370 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by logging onto elksoperahouse.com. To learn more about Swearingen and Kelli and to hear their music, visit swearingen andkelli.com.
Swearingen has been writing, performing and producing his own style of acoustic music for the past 20 years. He released "A Straight Line" in 2011, a new collection that is a fresh yet familiar extension of his songwriting, production and musicianship. Born in Bethlehem, Pa., he has performed in Germany, Belgium, Japan and Spain. He has appeared with Livingston Taylor, Kenny Rogers, Jonathan Edwards, John Gorka, Dave Mason and Tom Rush.
Kelli is only in her 20s, but her website describes her as "an old soul who writes eloquently on romantic strife, feeling out of place and hitting highs from rock bottom." Her new song, "Give Everything Up," was chosen to be on The Bonefish Grill's playlist nationwide, and she was one of the 2011 favorites on radio station WMNF's Florida Folk Show.