Award-winning singer-songwriter and native-Arcatan Carrie Ferguson will be performing at the Arcata Playhouse on Thursday, August 13 at 7 pm. The Gaslight Tinkers, an Afro-Celtic-Funk dance band from Massachusetts, will also perform. Carrie Ferguson was born and raised in Arcata and grew up playing an enormous upright, chocolate-brown piano inherited from the family of one of her father’s third-grade students. This piano, built from the parts of several old pianos had a darkly booming, slightly furry quality to it, not unlike the weather outside. Ferguson credits the stubborn and sonorous voice of her first piano, combined with the perpetual fog and exhilarating clamminess of coastal Northern California, as instilling in her the baseline aesthetic of melancholic optimism that still permeates her words and music today. Ferguson attended both Arcata High and Humboldt State, leaving California in 1990 to attend school in Western Massachusetts, where she has lived ever since. Currently based in Northampton, MA, Ferguson’s original music has been described by the Valley Advocate as "devilishly catchy folk-pop tunes and melodic ballads, exuberantly heartfelt lyrics...infectious joy". Her live shows are full of humor and warmth, beautifully showcasing her haunting melodies and smart, gorgeous lyrics. Carrie has released two CDs: 2010's Riding On the Back of the Wind and 2014's The List of Whales, which was largely funded by the $7,500 that she raised in 2012 using the online crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Ferguson’s song, “The Grumpy Time Club” was recently awarded a Silver Award in the Mid Atlantic Songwriting Contest, and First Place in the Eventide Songwriting Competition. Carrie is delighted to be performing for the first time in her home town, and even more delighted to be sharing the night with her good buddies from back East, The Gaslight Tinkers. Best described as African, Caribbean, Funk, Reggae, and Latin grooves meet traditional fiddle music, The Gaslight Tinkers' blend of global rhythms creates a joyously danceable sound around a core of traditional New England old time and celtic fiddle music, merging boundless positive energy with melody and song. Since its formation in 2012 the band has lit up the East Coast, from clubs and live radio to major festivals and barn dances. On a cold autumn day in a western Massachusetts coffee shop, Peter Siegel and Garrett Sawyer conceived of a band marrying everything they love in music. Their ideas and passions fit like lock and key, and The Gaslight Tinkers was born. Peter (mandolin, guitar, banjo picker and songwriter), having performed in the folk scene for decades with the likes of Pete Seeger and Judy Collins, brought a deep knowledge of traditional folk music. Garrett (bass), with his broad experience in world music (he toured the US and Canada as a member of Senegalese hip-hop band Gokh-Bi System and throughout the Caribbean performing with Trinidadian soca star Kurt Allen) brought a honed knowledge of danceable global grooves to the table. Now teamed up with the powerful and deeply knowledgable ethnomusicologist drummer Dave Noonan and fantastically versatile Hawaiian fiddler Audrey Knuth, The Gaslight Tinkers shake the stage with traditional melodies and world rhythms. Playing what The Valley Advocate describes as “Music that consistently fizzes and pops with unexpected textures and turns,” The Gaslight Tinkers’ shows are packed with delightful surprises, elated crowds, and exuberant musicianship. The sound and energy of Audrey, Dave, Garrett, and Peter are universally irresistible.
Price: $15, kids 16 and under free