The Cedar Presents
ROBBIE FULKS with Katy Vernon
Sunday, October 20th, 2019 / Doors: 7:00 PM / Show: 7:30 PM
$20 Advance / $25 Day of Show
This is a seated show with general admission, first-come-first-served seating. The Cedar is happy to reserve seats for patrons who require special seating accommodations. To request seating or other access accommodations, please go to our Access page.
General Admission tickets are available online, by phone, Electric Fetus, and The Cedar during shows.
ABOUT ROBBIE FULKS
Robbie is coming to The Cedar with a large group of players and a new record. An unusual and personal double-album, five years in the making, its title is 16, and all its music is drawn from the Bob Dylan album, Street-Legal. The record is based on a very simple idea: if you returned after an absence of decades to something that enchanted and mystified you as a teenager, what would you make of it? The idea isn’t specific to musicians. A fundamental human drive is to remold one’s environment; another universal instinct is to hold early influences and loves above all others. The sum of these two is the creative reshaping of old memories. This in a nutshell is the impetus of 16. It’s in no way a tribute, but rather a revisit to a private longago with artistic tools and values gathered over a lifetime.
Robbie’s basic architectural approach was an old familiar one, one which starts by asking: given this blueprint (i.e., the compositions) and specific singer (Robbie), how to cast, arrange, track, and mix toward an optimally clear and powerful result? This open-ended question led to a path that wandered from hard rock to quiet solo guitar, from trance to noisy dissonance, 1970s soul groove to chamber-pop formalism. As a whole, it sounds a little like many records, as well as one particular 1978 record. But mostly, it sounds like no other record. -- nor could it, built as it is from one person’s experience and neurology. Though most of the musical settings are thoroughly reimagined, and few of the words changed, the intense, allegorically rich mindscapes and emotionality of Street-Legal are honored and intact, as is the format: 16 is LP only.
The record’s expansive personnel and lush variety of instrumentation make a string of dates unaffordable-to-impossible, but Robbie has pulled together eight artists from widespread genres (almost all of them Chicagoans) in order to present a solid sample of the new release for just three midwest dates, of which The Cedar is one. Duke Levine is known to guitar aficionados around the world for his fluid style, compositional grace, and 1970s-rooted affinity for blues, rock, and country. Eric Schneider, the distinguished clarinetist and saxophonist, began his career as a sideman for Count Basie and Earl Hines. The gospel/R&B vocal trio of Yvonne Gage, Joan Collaso, and Faith Howard are the group’s boldest element -- attentive fans of Aretha Franklin and the TV show “Empire” will recognize them, but they were new to Robbie when he met them in 2016 and just about knocked him sideways with their skill.
Although the evening’s 2-hour set will include about half of 16, a show called 8 would probably be less than satisfying. The audience will also hear some songs from Robbie’s recently released 53-song album Revenge of the Doberman, his collaboration with Linda Gail Lewis Wild! Wild! Wild!, and an assortment of others from across his 30-year discography. The size and flexibility of this nonet (which includes Robbie’s longtime drummer and close friend Gerald Dowd) allow it to go almost anywhere. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.
About Katy Vernon
Katy Vernon is a Minneapolis / St. Paul based singer songwriter. She grew up in London, England and has been writing and singing as long as she can remember. It’s served as an outlet to write about serious personal issues, these include the loss of both her mother and father when she was a child, and also a way to tap into the natural joy that singing brings out in her.
Looking for a new way to find her voice led a singer of sad songs to a happy instrument. Katy always poured herself into her lyrics but sometimes found it difficult to share some of her most personal subject matter with an audience. Despite her inclination towards the melancholy, Katy has always been a natural entertainer. Seeking that balance of musicality and expression led her to the ukulele. Not as simply a novelty toy or even as the increasingly popular jam band instrument, this little Hawaiian guitar opened up Katy’s songwriting and allowed her to take herself a little less seriously and in turn got her taking her music career a lot more seriously.
She eventually moved to the US after meeting her future American husband on a train from Amsterdam to Berlin. This was a chance to start over. A chance to choose family and happiness and re-invent her life. The very definition of an American dream!
She spent the first few years getting to know Minneapolis and playing with several bands. Most notably as lead singer of ‘The Camdens’ with another English transplant, Scott Walker. During this time Katy wrote many of the bands songs. One of those was nominated for ‘Song of the year’ at the Minnesota Music Awards.
In 2010 Katy picked up a ukulele and this led to a whole new direction for her writing and performing. This was a turning point after a lengthy break from performing while she started a family. It was also the beginning of her embrace of taking the central role in a band as more than a vocalist. Learning how to play a new instrument and performing solo re-charged her in every way.
Since then, Katy has been gigging around the Twin Cities, most recently performing a sold out album release show at The Parkway.