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May 30, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Guitar Player Magazine cited Johnson as “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet,” and the reasons why are many. Such primary ones as the lyrical beauty of his playing and compositions, his rich and colorfully broad palette of tones, his awesome instrumental agility, breadth and command, and the mesmerizing spell he summons up in concert. All of these qualities can be heard on his new album, Europe Live.
The in-concert collection’s 14 tracks draw from throughout Johnson’s career and include two new compositions: The mesmeric “Intro” that opens the set, and the rollicking rocker “Evinrude Fever” (that alludes to his love for water skiing and boating). His Grammy-winning instrumental “Cliffs of Dover” and Grammy nominated “Zap” are performed with fresh and vigorous energy, and he shows his ever-deepening skills as a singer on such numbers as his soaring, blues-tinged salute to his hometown, “Austin,” and the airy and glistening “40 Mile Town.” Johnson’s lifelong love of jazz and more recent forays into playing it emerges on his stunning nine-and-a-half minute interpretation of John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” on which bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Wayne Salzmann also step out with power. The song selection ranges from an acoustic guitar rendition of “A Song For Life” which he initially cut on his debut studio album to the ferociously funky “Fatdaddy” from his most recent release, Up Close. Johnson celebrates his side-project Alien Love Child with the hard-driving rock workout “Zenland,” and the eleven-and-a-half minute multimodal suite “Last House On The Block.” Originally released in 1996, the fan favorite “Manhattan” shines, while a gloriously cinematic rearrangement of “When the Sun Meets the Sky,” titled “Sun Reprise” closes the set.
June 14, 2017 | 7:30 p.m. The State Theatre
“We’re a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it’s perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way.” So says Louie Perez, the “poet laureate” and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band’s new album, Gates of Gold.
The stories on Gates of Gold are snapshots of experiences that Perez and his band mates have had, based on where they are emotionally and how they respond to evolving life circumstances. “We live out loud most of the time and share our life this way, but then there are more intrinsic things that happen, and our songs are part of the way we react to them. We sit down and basically tell people what has happened. We certainly didn’t start this project with aspirations to create the musical equivalent to great American literary works.”
June 23, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Recording both as Parliament and Funkadelic, George Clinton revolutionized R&B during the ’70s, twisting soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-’60s acid heroes: Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Sly Stone. The Parliament/Funkadelic machine ruled black music during the ’70s, capturing over 40 R&B hit singles (including three number ones) and recording three platinum albums.
Born in Kannapolis, NC, on July 22, 1941, Clinton became interested in doo wop while living in New Jersey during the early ’50s. . Basing his group on Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Clinton formed The Parliaments in 1955, rehearsing in the back room of a Plainfield barbershop where he straightened hair. The Parliaments released only two singles during the next ten years, but frequent trips to Detroit during the mid-’60s – where Clinton began working as a songwriter and producer – eventually paid off their investment.
June 25, 2017 | 7:30 p.m. The State Theatre
The Capitol Steps are a troupe of Congressional staffers-turned-comedians who travel the States satirizing the very people and places that once employed them. The Steps perform over 500 shows a year all over the country.
The Capitol Steps were born December, 1981 when three staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin! So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and created song parodies & skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor that was as popular in Peoria as it was on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood
August 23, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Returning to The State Theatre this fall, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are on the road in 2017 supporting their fourth studio album, ‘Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel,’ and its follow up companion EP, ‘If You Lived Here, You Would Be Home By Now,’ both out via Robinson’s Silver Arrow Records. Tracks have already been laid for another new studio album and ‘Betty’s Blends, Vol. 3’ live release later this year.
Gathering in northern California on the side of a mountain overlooking the foggy Pacific Ocean to capture what would become their latest studio offerings, the band channeled the natural majesty of their surroundings into the recordings. Having spent the prior two years touring relentlessly, the CRB were road-tested and in peak form to capture their kinetic chemistry and immersive sound, which Uncut Magazine called, “…a celebration of how American musical traditions can be at once honored and psychedelically expanded.”
The Soul Rebels
September 10, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
THE SOUL REBELS started with an idea – to expand upon the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. They took that tradition and blended funk and soul with elements of hip hop, jazz and rock. The band has settled on an eight-piece lineup and have built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in the party like atmosphere of a dance club. When not touring, The Soul Rebels’ weekly show at New Orleans’ Le Bon Temps Roulé is known to erupt with the kind of contagious, shout-along musical mayhem that The Rebels bring with them wherever they perform.
The Soul Rebels continue to chart new territory as they combine topnotch musicianship and songs with grooves that celebrate dancing, life, funk and soul.
October 3, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she also plays banjo and fiddle. She began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T Bone Burnett– produced Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013. The elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit that brought the audience to its feet that night is also abundantly evident on Giddens’ critically acclaimed solo debut, the Grammy nominated album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which masterfully blends American musical genres like gospel, jazz, blues, and country, showcasing her extraordinary emotional range and dazzling vocal prowess.
October 5, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Five-time GRAMMY winner and New York Times best-selling author, Wynonna has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”
“My roots are firmly planted in Country music, the music that has been a backdrop to the lives of so many of my fans,” says Wynonna. “But I was given wings and I’m grateful, after all this time, for the freedom to be myself and sing the music that I love.”
Wynonna, along with her band The Big Noise, will explore the past, present and future of Wynonna’s extensive 33-year career on the 2017 Roots & Revival Tour.
October 7, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Emmy-nominated actor Rob Schneider is known the world over for his trademark blend of character and comedic acting. We welcome him to The State Theatre for the first time this fall!
Schneider recently inked a deal with TRiCon Films and Television for the international distribution of his new television comedy series, “Real Rob.” The self-financed, eight-episode, independently produced comedy series was directed, co-written and stars Schneider with his real life wife, Mexican television producer Patricia Azarcoya. “Real Rob” comes two years after “Rob,” the CBS sitcom that Schneider also wrote, produced, and starred in. CBS’s “Rob” premiered to an audience of 13.5 million viewers and averaged 11 million viewers over the run of its 8 episodes. When CBS chose not to pick up the show, Schneider said, “Eleven million viewers is not enough for them, it’s enough for me. I’ll do it myself.” Schneider is the first actor to have written, produced, starred, directed and self-financed an entire season of a television show. The second season of “Real Rob” will begin production in summer 2015.
The Second City Comedy Tour
November 3, 2017 | 8:00 p.m. The State Theatre
Are you sick and tired of jokes that make you feel sick and tired? Don’t let it all get you down! The Second City has the fix, as Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater brings ”The Cure for The Common Comedy” this fall!
Edgy, thought-provoking and always spectacularly funny, The Second City is celebrating nearly six decades of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and launching the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest.
More events to be announced.
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