|Annual Benefit for Willits Daily Bread and The Willits Library|
Join us for an afternoon of Pizza, Piano, Poetry & Pie!
Saturday, September 24th at Emandal – A Farm on a River
Festivities Start at 2pm & the Concert Starts at 3pm
|Tickets||Food||Auction & Farm Art Flip|
Adults: $25 Advance Purchase ~ $30 at the Gate
Kids under 12: $15 Advance Purchase – $20 at the Gate
Advance tickets will be available via brownpapertickets.com starting August 8, 2016. Or at the Willits Senior Center, Willits Center for the Arts, Willits Library, at the gate or by calling 707.459.9252.
|Kashaya’s Brick Oven Pizza (included in the ticket price; available 2pm – 3pm and 5pm – 6pm)
Pie & Ice Cream (available during the intermission for a separate fee)
|Willits Senior Center Silent Auction and Farm Art Flip for the Willits Center for the Arts: 2pm – 5pm.
Live auction will be held at the end of intermission, just before the second half of the show
|Concert ~ Featuring a Pianist, a Poet and a Cowboy Band|
Wendy DeWitt, Queen of Boogie Woogie
Throughout a career that included touring the United States and Europe with rhythm-and-blues legend Hank Ballard and nearly a quarter century at the helm of a powerhouse blues combo called Blue Saloon, boogie woogie and blues pianist and vocalist Wendy DeWitt always worked with a bass player, except when doing the occasional solo piano gig. Then one night when her bassist didn’t show up for a club engagement in San Francisco, she discovered she didn’t really need one.
“Her left hand is as good as any bass player I’ve ever worked with,” veteran drummer Kirk Harwood says of her bass patterns. Noted for his stints with Clover (a band fronted by Huey Lewis that also included future Doobie Brothers guitarist John McFee), harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo, and slide guitar great Roy Rodgers, Harwood has been performing with DeWitt in a duo format for the past three years.
DeWitt was born in San Francisco and grew up north of the Bay Area in Napa and Sonoma counties. She began “messing around” with her parents’ piano when she was 4 and took formal lessons during her tenth and eleventh years. Her most important lessons, however, were the informal ones she got from a friend of father’s, Western swing Hall of Famer, singer, guitarist, and pianist Tommy Thomsen.
“We lived in an old stone building that had a balcony that overlooked downtown Glen Ellen,” DeWitt says of a tiny town near Sonoma. “Tommy played at a notorious bar across the street called the Rustic Inn. I’d hang out on the balcony and listen to him, and then he’d come over to the house for parties and play.”
Besides Thomsen, other early influences on DeWitt’s piano style include Speckled Red, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Sunnyland Slim, and the ‘big three” of boogie woogie: Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis.
“It just was fun,” she says of boogie woogie’s appeal.
Dick Warwick, Cowboy Poet
I was raised amid the rolling Palouse Country hills of eastern Washington, and I still live on the home place. Although we almost always had animals, this is mostly farm country, producing fine dry land crops of wheat, barley, lentils, and peas. Though I have tried out places like California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and the wet side of Washington, the Palouse will always be home. The landscape is ingrained in my brain and its rhythms are as familiar as my heartbeat.
I have written poetry of one kind or another since my school days, but did not happen onto the cowboy variety until 1990, when I heard that some Australian poets were coming to Elko, Nevada. I had become a fan of Australian bush poetry suddenly, one evening in 1981, in Perth, Western Australia, while on a rain break from a job driving “header” in the wheat harvest. Then later, in Elko, I heard some cowboy poets and decided that I was one, since I had been writing similar material for some time. And so it goes.
I’ve shared my poetry with audiences at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Australia’s National Folk Festival, and loads of other places, but somehow have not managed to stem modern culture’s flood tide of folly, flummery and foolery. Could be I’m simply a contributor to it. I have participated in thousands of conversations about the weather, politics, commodity prices and punctuation—but again, to little effect. I shall have to be content with my role as Barnyard Yarnbard, optimist and prognosticator of doom.
Although I have spawned a few CDs and a couple of books, my best writings were penciled onto the bulk tank of a John Deere 55H combine which, unfortunately, was eventually sold for scrap. And at a pretty low price, too.
Dust in My Coffee, Cowboy Band
Dust in My Coffee is simply a cowboy band capturing the spirit of the North American West. The band performs and writes original songs that express many of their own experiences. The lead singer/song writer is a cowboy who shares his vision of the folklore and western way of life through his music. Dust in My Coffee offers a fresh sound of traditional western music blended with Celtic flavor, enhancing the roots of a genre long forgotten. If you are searching for the Old West and the real cowboy life, this band will feed your hunger