Jon Shain w/ Amy Petty – May 6
Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter who’s been turning heads for years with his words, his fiery acoustic guitar work, and his evolved musical style – combining improvised piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, and ragtime. Shains newest disc, a duet album with Joe Newberry, Crow the Dawn, was just released in January, 2016.
Jon grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a Merrimack River mill-town that had already seen its better days by the time he was a child in the 1970s. His familys business was a small textile dyeing company, and he worked in the factory during the summers throughout his teens. At the same time, Shain began to discover his love of American roots music and songwriting, specifically drawn to the narratives about regular people and themes of social justice.
Shain headed south to North Carolina in 1986, to study American History at Duke University and to continue his musical journey, as well. In addition to studying with jazz professor Paul Jeffrey, he also had the good fortune to learn the piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henrys backing band. It was at this time that Shain also got to meet and play with John Dee Holeman and a number of the great older NC blues players. Shain’s classes in school were heavily concentrated in southern history, English, and world religions. That mixture of the academic environment and the real-world blues music is what has most informed his musical direction.
Shain cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin’ Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. The band performed with acts such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, and the Dixie Dregs, released four CDs, and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans.
After his band’s breakup, Shain went solo, returning to his roots in the folk and blues circuit. In addition to the new album with Joe Newberry, and a live album with Jon Shain Trio, Jon has released eight studio albums, working with studio luminaries such as Dave Mattacks, Tom Dube, and Chris Stamey, along the way. In addition to festival slots and headlining club dates, the last few years has seen Shain playing esteemed listening rooms and opening sold out theatre shows for John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Little Feat, and others. When Shain is not recording or performing, he stays busy giving private instruction in Piedmont blues fingerstyle guitar, and teaching group workshops in songwriting and blues guitar.
Amy Petty’s sound and songwriting is a compelling, complex and original soundscape that weaves a lush tapestry of folk, pop, rock and blues ballad.
Art, mystery, and spirituality influence and infuse her poignant, evocative and sensual songs. These sonic canvases showcase the heartfelt emotion behind her lyrics and provide a foundation over which her voice and choral harmonies soar. Often compared to Sarah McLachlan, Eva Cassidy, Alanis Morrisette and Jonatha Brooke, Amy Petty has a signature voice and style both familiar and stunningly rare.
Amy’s debut CD ‘Mystery Keeps You’ (July 2008) and her newest album ‘House of Doors’ (November 2010), both released on the Red Pill label, were produced and engineered by musical powerhouse Jacob Detering (Bonnie Raitt), and feature spectacular performances by R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow, Peter Mayer), Eric Grossman (K’s Choice), Jimmy Griffin, Joe Meyer, Dave Aholt, Dan McMahon and others.
Two of Amy’s songs are part of the award-winning documentary, Ride the Divide soundtrack, released in 2010. A commissioned work by Amy, “Do What I Can” can be found on “The Life In the Years Project,” an AARP compilation disc to benefit Alzheimer’s research.
Amy has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Club Passim in Cambridge MA, Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry NH, The Bitter End in NYC, The Maple Room in Lewiston ME, The Sheldon in St. Louis MO, Uncommon Ground in Chicago IL, Clark University, Berklee College of Music and Boston University, among others. She has shared the main stage with artists like Suzanne Vega, Catie Curtis, Christopher Williams, Tim Janis, Sarah Bettens, Pamela Means, and Melissa Ferrick.