PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Common Fence Music will present Boston-based singer-songwriter Mark Erelli in concert next weekend.
The concert will take place Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m. as part of the CFM Best of New England miniseries. Doors will open at 7 p.m. at Common Fence Point Hall, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI.
Tickets to the show are $22 in advance, $25 at the door.
Tickets and information may be obtained at CommonFenceMusic.org, or at BrownPaperTickets.org by searching Common Fence Music. Tickets will also be available for purchase with cash or check at the door.
Closing out Common Fence Music’s 2016-17 season is the talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Mark Erelli. Experienced in a collection of American music styles ranging from western swing and bluegrass to lullabies and socially conscious folk-rock, Mark is a wonderful example of how the modern-day folk artist can translate the age-old tradition of storytelling into a mindful and relevant art form for newer audiences. With a talent for verse reminiscent of such seasoned songsmiths as Paul Simon, Jackson Brown and Bob Dylan, his songs are timeless, uncomplicated and honest.
A prolific songwriter, Mark has displayed his versatility and range of influences with the varying content he has released on his fourteen solo albums, beginning with his eponymous 1999 debut release. With each new album, Mark shares a new side of himself – he recorded a four day-long session at a Civil War-era memorial (The Memorial Hall Recordings), which was filmed and released by PBS as a documentary in 2002; his 2004 release, Hillbilly Swing, demonstrated his comfort with the genres of traditional country and western swing; 2006’s Hope and Other Casualities showcased his politics while his 2007 release, Innocent When You Dream, was a beautiful collection of delicately constructed romantic songs and lullabies. In 2010, Mark released the simplistic and highly acclaimedLittle Vigils, featuring a series of expertly crafted songs and backing by veteran musicians.
Mark’s dedication to his craft has brought him well-deserved notoriety as one of the hardest working solo artists in New England. But he has also earned a reputation as a virtuosic musician, respected producer and sideman, working and touring with such notable folk artists as Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter, opening for artists like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and performing everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall.
In 2010 he released Seven Curses, an album of murder ballads, with friend Jeffrey Foucault. He then became the guitarist for bluegrass supergroup Barnstar! along with Zachariah Hickman (musical director for Ray LaMontagne, bassist for Josh Ritter) on bass, Jake Armerding on fiddle, Taylor Armerding on mandolin, and Charlie Rose on banjo – all key members of the Boston folk music scene. The group released their debut album, C’mon!, in 2011, which was followed up by 2015’s even richer Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!.
Mark’s life has not only developed professionally, but personally. While building a family, he made the conscious decision after the release of Little Vigils to “let [himself] go wherever the musical energy was,” rather than trying to accomplish all things at all times. “I needed to take a break…my second son had just been born. My work as a producer and sideman was taking off at the same time. I realized I couldn’t keep up the same pace on all fronts. Something had to give or I wouldn’t get to see my kids grow up.”
The result was a six-year gap between Little Vigils and his most recent album of original work – the critically-acclaimed 2016 release For a Song. Displaying a beautiful minimalism, class and maturity, For a Song has a compelling emotional depth that draws the listener in and holds them there. Each track has been pared down to the essential, clearly exhibiting the amount of care Mark put into perfecting his art. Concert-goers are sure to discover a new favorite in this skilled songsmith. Mark Erelli performs live for the first time at Common Fence Music on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 8 p.m.
This performance is part of the Common Fence Music Picnic Series.
Concert-goers are invited to bring food and beverages to enjoy during the performances. Seasonal soups, homemade refreshments and soft-drinks will also be available for purchase. The hall is fully accessible.
Common Fence Music is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1993 with the mission to make folk, roots and world music performances and educational activities accessible to Aquidneck Island and Southern New England communities.