Entertainment Highlights: Roots Musician Eric Bibb Brings Many Traditions to Chandler

  • Eric Bibb (Courtesy photograph)

    Eric Bibb (Courtesy photograph)

  • "Fox on the Fairway" cast members, pictured from left to right: Caralyn Kozlowski, Jenni Putney, Tyler Caffall, & David Bonanno<br/>(Photography by Anna Perritt)

    "Fox on the Fairway" cast members, pictured from left to right: Caralyn Kozlowski, Jenni Putney, Tyler Caffall, & David Bonanno
    (Photography by Anna Perritt)

  • Eric Bibb (Courtesy photograph)
  • "Fox on the Fairway" cast members, pictured from left to right: Caralyn Kozlowski, Jenni Putney, Tyler Caffall, & David Bonanno<br/>(Photography by Anna Perritt)

When reached for an interview in the late morning on Tuesday, Eric Bibb was asleep. It was for good reason, though: the prolific roots musician, as it turned out, was part of an all-night studio session the evening before with the musician and composer Dirk Powell.

“You release a record, but by the time it’s on the market you’re halfway through the next one,” Bibb said that afternoon.

His latest record is 2013’s Jericho Road, behind which he’s currently touring. He’ll bring the tour to Randolph’s Chandler Center, along with multi-instrumentalist Michael Jerome Browne and singer Ruthie Foster, on Friday.

But he’s still recording, as he’s always done. In a career that spans more than 40 years, he’s released several dozen albums. Jericho Road, he said, is perhaps his most ambitious in terms of production, and also incorporates the exotic sounds he’s known for using, including a fretless gourd banjo played by Browne.

The Chandler show will scale back the production tricks — a three-person lineup means it stays simple — and mostly focus on Bibb’s guitar playing and their voices.

Bibb said he was drawn to Foster due to their shared musical heritage, even though he’s a native New Yorker and his father, Leon, was a member of the 1960s folk scene there, while Foster grew up in small-town Texas.

The musical gelling come from a shared love of gospel, blues and spiritual genres, Bibb said. Foster appears on the Jericho Road cut Have a Heart.

“She writes wonderful material that’s grounded in that tradition, and that we have in common,” he said.

The pair has toured before, but never together in the Upper Valley — only Bibb has come up this way, playing shows at Chandler and the Lebanon Opera House in recent years.

He met Foster about a dozen years ago, he said, at a folk festival in Alberta, Canada. They were in the studio together several hours later, recording a song of his with her contributing vocals.

And though Bibb spends plenty of time in the studio anyway, he knew he had come across something special when he heard Foster.

“I’ve been waiting for that voice,” he said.

Eric Bibb and Ruthie Foster will perform at the Chandler Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $32 in advance and $35 on the day of the show. They can be purchased at chandler-arts.org or by calling 802-728-6464 .

Best Bets

The Upper Valley International Folk Dancers will host Balkan band Xopo for a Sunday session of dancing at Norwich’s Tracey Hall. The seven-person band, which is based in New England, uses a combination of instruments including clarinet, accordion and bass to create their Eastern European sound. Admission to the dance is $12 for adults, and the event goes from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

∎ Claremont Opera House’s Cafe 58 series will host Moxley Union, a blues and classic rock band based in Claremont and Springfield, Vt., on Saturday. The night of music and complementary desserts begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.64 in advance and $20 at the door, and can be purchased from claremontoperahouse.org. The band’s six-song EP of originals will be available at the show.

Looking Ahead

Joshua Bell’s upcoming show at the Hopkins Center in Hanover has been sold out for months, which makes sense — the violinist is one of the most revered classical musicians out there. But a limited number of tickets for his Tuesday, Feb. 18 show have been made available. The show begins at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $40.50 to $75. To purchase, call 603-646-2422.


Jazz vocalist Amanda Carr will perform at Grantham’s Center at Eastman as part of the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon series. Tickets to the 4 p.m. show are $18, and can be purchased in advance by calling 603-763-8732 or emailing bill.wightman@comcast.net.

∎ The Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Hopkins Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The ensemble is being joined by jazz artists Christine Jensen and her sister, Ingrid Jensen. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎  Corey Gunz, a New York-based rapper who has released various mixtapes and appeared as a featured guest on a 2010 Lil Wayne track, will perform at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction on Friday. Gunz will perform alongside several other rappers as part of Tupelo’s Club 188 series. Doors for the 18-and-over show open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and can be reserved by emailing jibbathegent@gmail.com.


Shaker Bridge Theatre’s production of the off-Broadway show Freud’s Last Session, in which the infamous psychoanalyst wages a battle of wits with professor and author C.S. Lewis, will open on Friday and run through the next several weekends. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, and can be reserved by calling 603-448-3750 or emailing reservations@shakerbridgetheatre.org.

∎ Chandler Center for the Arts will begin its Issues Play Series on Sunday, with staged readings of the one-act plays See No Evil, by Maura Campbell, and Lunches, by Roger Strauss. The readings begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the show. Tickets can be purchased by calling 802-728-6464. For more information, go to chandler-arts.org.

∎ Northern Stage’s production of The Fox on the Fairway will continue this week, with previews tonight and Friday, opening night on Saturday and shows every weekday except Monday. For ticket prices and show times, and to purchase tickets, go to northernstage.org.

∎ The Hopkins Center will present a showing of The Met Opera Live in HD’s Rusalka, by Antonín Dvořák, at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. General admission tickets are $29, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

Theatreworks USA will present Civil War , a children’s musical following various people of different backgrounds during the war, on Friday morning at the Lebanon Opera House. Tickets to the 10 a.m. show, which is meant for children grades 3 through 8, are $6 for children and $10 for adults. They can be purchased at lohic.org.


Adina Gordon will call the Second Saturday Contradance at Norwich’s Tracy Hall this weekend. The dance will be soundtracked by Northern Spy and have a Hawaiian theme — dressing up in Hawaiian shirts is encouraged. Adult admission is $8, and all dances will be taught.


The Ottauquechee Health Foundation will screen The Hungry Heart, a documentary about addiction primarily filmed in Vermont’s Franklin County, at 6:30 tonight at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre. A question-and-answer session with the cast and Producer Bess O’Brien will follow. The screening is free, with donations accepted.

Bar and Club Circuit

Progressive art-rock band Spectris will play at The Filling Station in White River Junction at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

∎ Acoustic group PossumHaw, which focuses on original bluegrass-style tunes, will play the Sunapee Community Coffee House on Friday. The show begins at 7 p.m.

∎ Eclectic rock band The Wheelers will perform at Salt hill Newport on Friday at 9 p.m. Classic rock trio Hi-Way Five will play at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

∎ High-energy group The Squids will play at Lebanon’s Salt hill Pub at 9 p.m. on Friday. The next night at the same time, singer-songwriter Dan Walker will play the pub.

∎ Walker will also play at Hanover’s Salt hill Pub at 9 p.m. on Friday. Classic rock group Megan Lamere and the Please Don’t Tell Band will take the stage at the same time the next night for its Hanover debut.

∎ ∎ The Peter Concilio Jazz Trio will return to Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern for a 9 p.m. show on Friday.

∎ The Conniption Fits will play at Sunapee’s One Mile West on Saturday, starting at 9 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, singer-songwriter Brooks Hubbard will perform. He starts at 4 p.m.

∎  Clay Canfield brings his talents to the River Stones Tavern in Quechee on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m. He also performs at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock on Sundays, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

∎ The Cliff Street Duo will play the Windsor Station on Saturday, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Tom Pirozzoli will play guitar at Hanover’s Canoe club tonight, followed by high-energy folk singer Joseph Stallsmith on Saturday. Eclectic guitarist Steve Cornell will perform on Sunday. Guitarist and violinist Spencer Lewis will make his Canoe Club debut on Tuesday, followed by David Greenfield on guitar on Wednesday. In a ll cases, the music begins at 7 p.m.

Open Mics

Everything But Anchovies in Hanover will host a “Musical Theater Open Mic Night” on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m. There will be an accompanist; those interested in singing should bring sheet music.

∎ Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

∎ Salt hill Pub in Hanover runs an open mic hosted by Chad Gibbs on Mondays at 7 p.m.

∎ At Salt hill in Lebanon, Brian Warren and Seth Barbiero will host an open mic tonight starting at 8.

∎ Brian Warren also hosts an open mic at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock. It’s on Mondays, starting at 8:30 p.m.

∎ Bradford’s Colatina Exit hosts an open mic on Tuesdays starting at 8 p.m.

∎ The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Wednesdays, beginning at 8 p.m.

∎ Gregory Brown hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242. Send Highlights to Highlights@vnews.com.