Peter Rowan & Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Peter Rowan & Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Friday, June 9, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$37 Advance/ $42 Day of Show (plus applicable fees)

This event is 21 and over

Peter Rowan
Peter Rowan
Grammy-award winner, six-time Grammy nominee, and 2015 IBMA Award winner for Recorded Event of the Year, Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of records, collaborative projects, and constant touring.

Born in Wayland, Massachusetts to a musical family, Rowan learned to play guitar from his uncle. He spent his teenage years absorbing the sights and sounds of the Hillbilly Ranch, a legendary Country music nightclub in Boston frequented by old-time acts like The Lilly Brothers and Tex Logan. In 1956 Peter Rowan formed his first band, the Cupids, while still in high school.

Following three years in college, Rowan left academia and decided to pursue a life in music. Rowan began his professional career in 1963 as the singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the Bluegrass Boys, led by the founding father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. “One thing I started to like about the Monroe style was that there was a lot more blues in it than other styles of bluegrass,” reflects Rowan. “It was darker. It had more of an edge to it. And yet it still had the ballad tradition in it, and I loved that.”

The late ‘60s and early 70’s saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner, and the Rowans, where he played alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan. After the Rowan Brothers disbanded, Rowan, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn formed a bluegrass band christened Old & In the Way. It was during this incarnation that Rowan penned the song “Panama Red,” a subsequent hit for the New Riders of the Purple Sage and a classic ever since.

Rowan subsequently embarked on a well-received solo career in the late ‘70s, releasing critically acclaimed records such as Dustbowl Children (a Woody-Guthrie style song cycle about the Great Depression), Yonder (a record of old-time country music in collaboration with ace dobro player, Jerry Douglas) and two extraordinarily fine bluegrass albums, The First Whippoorwill and Bluegrass Boy, as well as High Lonesome Cowboy, a recording of traditional and old-time mountain music with Don Edwards and Norman Blake. Rowan’s recent releases- Quartet, a recording with the phenomenal Tony Rice and Legacy with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, coupled with a relentless touring schedule have further endeared Peter Rowan to audiences around the world.

Following on the heels of the celebrated album “Crucial Country: Live at Telluride” Peter recorded his second album for Compass entitled “Old School” with memorable new songs such as “Doc Watson Morning” , “Drop The Bone” and “Keepin’ It Between The Lines (Old School)” with members of the current Bluegrass Band plus Chris Henry, Michael Cleveland, Bryan Sutton, Ronnie, Robbie and Del McCoury and more. Since then the prolific singer songwriter has recorded and released Peter Rowan’s Twang an Groove Vol. 1 on There Records and Dharma Blues on Omnivore Records.

Internationally, Rowan often performs as a solo singer-songwriter, while stateside he plays in three bands: the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, a quintet featuring Keith Little, Chris Henry, Blaine Sprouse and Paul Knight; Big Twang Theory and its Texas Cousin Twang n Groove and rock band The Free Mexican Air Force.


Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Peter Rowan's bluegrass career started as a Blue Grass Boy in 1964. By Bill Monroe's own admission, Peter sounded a lot like him. When the two harmonized together, they were said to have reached "heavenly heights." Monroe & Rowan co-wrote what has already become a bluegrass standard, Walls Of Time. Peter's touring bluegrass band consists of outstanding players Keith Little, banjo; Paul Knight, bass; and Mike Witcher, dobro. The band features original songs written by Rowan along with Carter Family and Bill Monroe favorites. This is a winning combination for an audience that knows and loves this music!

Peter Rowan's Big Twang Theory
Peter Rowan's newest musical configuration, Big Twang Theory, grew from his new songs and musical collaborations with dobroist Michael Witcher and bassist Paul Knight, both members of the current Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, electric guitarist Nina Gerber and Peter's son, guitarist-singer Michael Carter Rowan (Chartz). Drummers Larry Attamanuik (Alison Krauss, Emmy Lou Harris) Ken Owen (Ten Gallon Cats) and banjo player, Jeff Mosier (Mosier Bros, Blueground Undergrass) also appear with Peter Rowan's Big Twang Theory when their schedule permits. Says Rowan, "I have always wanted a band that was rooted in bluegrass, but could add the twang of Hank Williams, Carl Perkins and Buddy Holly. They all absorbed Bill Monroe's bluegrass into honky-tonk and rockabilly. I grew up dancing to that music."

Peter Rowan's Twang an' Groove
Comprised of Peter Rowan (electric guitar and vocals), fiddler Blaine Sprouse, bassist Mike Morgan and drummer extraordinaire Jamie Oldaker, Twang n' Groove is where Rhythm and Blues meets Reggae at an all day Bluegrass pickin' party.

Peter Rowan & Crucial Reggae
Peter Rowan's diversity and sensitivity shine through in this jammin' reggae configuration. Some of Peter's most soulful original music comes from these performances. Reggae greats Tony Chin; guitar and Fully Fullwood; bass, when available, add to the excitement of a Crucial Reggae performance. Buyers have the option here of presenting either a five- or six-piece band, or the nine-piece band with the Burning Spear horn section. Whatever the configuration, the audience that hears this concert will dance into the night!

The Free Mexican Airforce
The Free Mexican Airforce is flying again! This is a four-piece band that often features Cindy Cashdollar on pedal steel guitar, in addition to bass and drums. This is Peter Rowan plugged in and includes some of his most loved songs--Come Back to Old Santa Fe, Ride the Wild Mustang, Midnight Moonlight and, of course, Free Mexican Airforce!
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin' Jack Elliott is considered one of the country's legendary foundations of folk music.

Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin' Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today's fancy.


His tone of voice is sharp, focused and piercing. All that and he plays the guitar effortlessly in a fluid flat-picking perfected style. He was a brilliant entertainer.... Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them. Jack went out and grabbed you..... Jack was King of the Folksingers. Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

There are no degrees of separation between Jack and the real thing. He is the guy who ran away from his Brooklyn home at fourteen to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a cowboy. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of This Land Is Your Land, The Dust Bowl Ballads, and a wealth of children's songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, "Jack sounds more like me than I do."

In 1954, along with folksinging pals Frank Robinson and Guy Carawan, Jack journeyed south through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. He later made this the basis for his talking song, 912 Greens.

In 1955 Jack married and traveled to Europe, bringing his genuine American folk, cowboy and blues repertoire and his guitar virtuosity, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton.

When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan at Woody Guthrie's bedside, and mentored Bob. Jack has continued as an inspiration for every roots-inspired performer since.

Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree.

He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.

In 1995, Ramblin' Jack received his first of four Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for South Coast (Red House Records).
In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts, proclaiming, "In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin' Jack has himself become an American treasure."

In 2000, Jack's daughter, filmmaker, Aiyana Elliott produced and directed The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack, her take on Jack's life and their fragile relationship, winning a Special Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival.

Through it all—though agents, managers, wives and recording companies have tried—Jack resisted being molded into a commercial commodity. He played his shows without a written set list or including any songs that did not ring with his gut feeling of what mattered to him.

Ramblin' Jack's life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune. Ramblin' Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people.

At seventy-seven, Ramblin' Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You'll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.
Venue Information:
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941
http://www.sweetwatermusichall.com/