Categories
Summer 2022

SEP 7 | Van Morrison

Van Morrison singing onstage with his band

SEP 7 | 8 PM

Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison began performing as a traveling musician at age 13 and never looked back. For more than 50 years, his iconic hits “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Tupelo Honey,” “Moondance,” and “Gloria” have entranced listeners, and now he’s ready to take you “into the mystic.”


VAN MORRISON

Van Morrison is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, author, poet and multi-instrumentalist, who is widely considered one of the most important living artists of our time. He has albums that are ranked greatest in the entire rock and roll canon. He has more than 150 songs featured in major motion pictures, including his hits “Brown-Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” “Wild Night,” and “Gloria.”

Born in 1945, Morrison heard his shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country, and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, and Leadbelly, he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and saxophone, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.

Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club, Them soon established Morrison as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered “Gloria” and “Here Comes The Night.”

Those talents found full astonishing range in Morrison’s solo career. After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on Top 40 pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl” (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.

Recorded over three days with legendary jazz musicians, Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation, and Afro Celtic Blues wailing. Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.

Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971), he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track “Listen To The Lion.”

Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the ’70s, he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.

Indeed, born of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.

Settling back into life in the UK, in 1980 he released Common One, an album centering on “Summertime in England” and would often become a thrilling improvised centerpiece to his live shows.

Steering his own course throughout the ’80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986) he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat (1988). Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset (1989) saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.

Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game-changing artist through the ’90s and into the 21st century.

The international reach of Morrison’s art has been honored with several awards and accolades including a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys, honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres.

Morrison is one of music’s true originals—utterly unique and inspirational with a legacy that spans the last seven decades. One of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, Morrison has crafted an unparalleled catalogue of releases that moves effortlessly through his myriad influences, including visionary street poetry, jazz, swing, skiffle, and Celtic roots.

What’s It Gonna Take? (2022) is Morrison’s 43rd studio album.

Biography provided by artist management.

JAMES HUNTER

Over the span of 30 years, James Hunter has worked on the railway, busked in the streets of London, provided backup vocals and guitar for Van Morrison, played clubs and theaters all over the world, written scores of original songs, and recorded some of the most original and honest rhythm and soul albums of the last two decades. By 2006, Hunter was recognized with a nomination for a Grammy Award (Best Traditional Blues Album for People Gonna Talk (Rounder, 2006)) and an American Music Award (Best New/Emerging Artist). He and his band then hit the road for a decade of extensive touring and recorded critically-acclaimed studio albums—The Hard Way (Hear Music, 2008), Minute by Minute (Fantasy, 2013), Hold On! (Daptone, 2016), and Whatever it Takes (Daptone, 3008). By 2016, MOJO Magazine had crowned him “The United Kingdom’s Greatest Soul Singer.”

In March 2020, and unceremoniously coinciding with the beginning of COVID lockdowns, The James Hunter Six released another sublime offering of no-nonsense rhythm and blues. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time (2020) is a shining example of how a master songsmith can continually draw fresh water from a bottomless well. In addition to the up-tempo, swinging R&B that put The James Hunter Six on the map, Nick of Time explores so much more.

On Valentine’s Day of 2022, Daptone Records presented With Love, The James Hunter Six, a heart-shaped collection of candle-lit ballads and love songs. Plucked like so many “he loves you” petals from the vast and sumptuous garden of his Daptone Recordings, these twelve lilting melodies have been selected and sequenced with great care, tenderness, and intention by Daptone staff for the sole purpose of compiling some of the criminally overlooked treasures in the James Hunter Six’s critically acclaimed catalog.

At age 16, Hunter left school in Colchester, Essex and began working for the railway while honing his blues guitar and singing skills. Six years later, he played his first paid gig at the Colchester Labour club (as Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays). In the decades since, James Hunter has gone from singer/songwriter to laborer and back again. After releasing one album in 1986, Hunter and his band became a popular fixture on the UK club circuit and radio waves. His gritty, soulful voice has matured well along with his musicianship and song writing.

In the early ‘90s, Van Morrison recruited Hunter to sing backup on the road touring and on two albums, A Night in San Francisco (1994) and Days Like This (1995). In the years to follow, Hunter opened shows for Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Willie Nelson, and Tom Petty, and headlined clubs and theatres in England, Europe, Australia, and the United States.

Biography provided by artist management.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
SEP 15: CAIFANES

SEP 17: TOM JONES | SURROUNDED BY TIME

OCT 19: BOB MOULD | H.C. McENTIRE – THE BARNS AT WOLF TRAP



SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters