The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's "folk" circuit - "...one of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I've ever encountered", said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer's Grove, IL. Jack is considered a "musician's musician", an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago's The Midnight Special said, "His artistry is nothing short of amazing". Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, “He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”
Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry during his 50+-year professional career, Jack prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, from the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Jack enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners. Jack is a sought-after artist on all contemporary acoustic music stages, from coffeehouses and festivals to music halls and city arts stages. From acclaimed appearances at the Newport, Boston, Philadelphia, Kerrville, New Bedford SummerFest Folk Festivals, his musicianship, songs, stories and commanding presence have established him as an uncommonly inspiring and influential performer.
Mary Anne, singer/songwriter/storyteller, has been performing for over 40 years to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Her comfortable, humorous manner, strong vocals, complimented by guitar, autoharp, and lap dulcimer, produce an entertaining and relaxed program. Audience involvement helps promote the underlying theme of positive self-image, caring and fun that Mary Anne conveys through her own songs and others gathered over the years. She has performed at festivals, schools, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, on TV and radio. Mary Anne builds a wonderful rapport with her audience, and quite obviously loves what she does.
Elizabeth Rivers began singing with her mother when she was seven years old. Their voices blend in a beautiful sound that has grown and developed over the years. Elizabeth now concentrates her energy on standard jazz tunes, which she has sung all over Michigan, as well as in England and Scotland.
Almost four decades as a touring professional
have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe
in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded fourteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing.
To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.
From lying on sandy beaches under an endless barrage of northern lights, to the expected anguish and frustration of spinning tires on cars stuck deep in snow, from the age-old struggle of change between adolescence and adulthood to the observation of sheer idiocy, she leaves it to the imagination of her audience to conjure their own images of her storytelling and song. No interpretation of a Claudia Schmidt song or story is wrong-she invites audiences to tie their associations to her style.
Schmidt weaves her way through her concert in much the same manner as a jester. Interwoven anecdotes, revealing her past and present, bring people to expect a relationship between themselves and memories driven deep with the passage of time. The concert is an endless display of self-realization through humor and longing, leaving audience members yearning to become an integral part of her world.
'On the Porch' Concert Series is a monthly showcase featuring performers singing their original work in a concert in a club atmosphere. It is a commitment to allow artists to perform their music in a concert setting and the series focuses on performers who write/sing/perform their own material.In keeping with that focus, all performers need to be aware that:
"Sleder's Family does not purchase music licensing from BMI/ASCAP//SESAC, musicians can only play their own music (YOU wrote it and YOU control the copyright) or their own renditions (YOU arranged it and YOU control the copyright) of public domain material. Make sure all musicians playing with you know this."
Sleder's Tavern takes great pride in our "On The Porch" Concert Series! Below are some of the great musicians that have played at the tavern. Many, many thanks to CONNEMARA CONCERTS for bringing the music to us... and to our patrons!