Season of the Sessions: D.B. Rielly to kick off Folk Sessions summer concerts at the Highlands Center
D.B. Rielly will bring his American roots music influenced by hard-bitten preachers, friendly waitresses, and a father who taught him to talk to strangers to Prescott's Highlands Center at 7 p.m. on May 25.
Rielly is a singer/songwriter whose music has been featured in more than 40 independent recordings and films. Rielly has performed with B.B. King, The Boston Pops, Chubby Checker, and Paul Schaffer and his music has been heard on television. Recently, Rielly's song "We're All Going Straight To Hell" was named a 2012 Great American Song Contest Top 5 winner.
"Anything can trigger a spark. Then, there's a whole lifetime of kindling laying around in my head that can take it from there," Reilly said. "But I never ask why and how. I personally believe God blesses me with this and that's all I need to know."
Rielly and Three-Legged Dog will perform at the kickoff concert for The Folk Sessions Sixth "Summer Under the Stars" concert series. Tickets for each concert are $12 in advance at the Highlands Center gift shop, $15 at the door, and an online special of tickets for three concerts for $33 only available online at www.folksessions.com.
Three-Legged Dog is a current version of the string bands that existed around the country in the 1930s and 1940s that played everything from old-time mountain music, blues, ballads, devotionals, dance music, jazz, to pop tunes of the day, all on acoustic instruments, said Tom Agostino, who hosts Folk Sessions Live! on KJAZZ Radio Network.
"Rielly performed at the Folk Fest at Sharlot Hall and stole the show," Agostino said. "Bringing him back out is a treat. He's so unique in the way he puts his songs, stories and videos together."
While nothing is set in stone, Rielly said one of the songs he might perform at the Prescott concert is "Come Hell or High Water," a testament of devotion.
"Another new song is called 'Your Doggin' Fool,' about having had it up to here with the way someone's been treating you," Rielly said. "And of course, I'll be playing songs from my CD, "Love Potions and Snake Oil."
Rielly said performing is "just plain fun - and more fun than playing to the cockroaches in my kitchen."
When Rielly performs at festivals, he also shoots videos he posts on his website, www.dbrielly.com and on YouTube.
"To me, it seems there's so much bad news out there. People need to be reminded that there are folks everywhere doing good," Rielly said. "You hardly won't see them on TV - it's all crime, killing, and Kardashians! But real people - average ordinary folks - are out there helping one another. I'm proud to meet them."
Then on Saturday, June 6, an Americana Music Festival, hosted by Brad Newman, will feature several groups playing rootsy music including Salt of the Earth, Dharma Bums, and Just 4 Mama, a family band that plays a variety of bluegrass, old time and gospel music.
All concerts in the series start at 7 p.m. at the Highlands Center in Prescott.
"It enhances the performances to be surrounded by nature like that," Agostino said.
On Saturday, July 27, AMAZ Radio will host One Great Night of Folk, featuring Art Podell and Tracy Newman, InFolkUs, and JC and Laney.
"The focus that night is on Arizona music, and they've put together an all-star lineup with special guests from California, Art Podell who was an original member of the New Christy Minstrels and award-winning L.A. songwriter Tracey Newman," Agostino said.
On Saturday, Aug. 24, Women in Song III will benefit the Prescott Area Shelter Services and feature Women on the Move, Jen Hajj, Christa Agostino, and The Gurley Girls, a folksy, bluesy group of Prescott women.
On Sept. 14, The Littlest Birds, a cello-banjo dui from Northern California will perform with Weather Glass.
Then The Dustbowl Revival will perform at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 for the Folk Sessions Tenth Year Celebration.
"This 15-piece group is an old-time string and brass band that plays music from the 1930s and '40s," Agostino said. "They dress up in hats and clothes from dustbowl times. They have a unique sound, they're very visual and this is their first Arizona appearance."