EARLVILLE — Legendary Cajun band BeauSoleil, fiery bluegrass group the Steep Canyon Rangers, country rock greats Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, bluegrass icon Peter Rowan, and masterful rock songster John Sebastian are just some of the acts destined to be a part of the Earlville Opera House’s 44 season — “one that features the exceptional talents of many rock and roll pioneers,” EOH officials said.
The series for the Main Stage in the Earlville Opera House, 18 E. Main St., starts at 8 p.m. Saturday with Roosevelt Dime, described as “Lively NOLA Blues or ‘Mardi-Grass.’” It’s a “lively fusion of New Orleans Blues with bluegrass instrumentation,” EOH officials said. They advised string bands lovers to check out Roosevelt Dime, saying the group sounds “like something straight out of 1920s jug band hoe-down.”
The band “represents a melting pot American music combining the blues with the instrumentation of bluegrass, transforming struggle into celebration and taking the joyous beat from sidewalks and streetcars to backrooms and barrooms,” EOH officials said.
Tickets are available online or by calling EOH at $20, $18 EOH members, $15 students. Premium seating applies in the first four rows with additional charges of $10 in the front row and $5 in rows b-c-d.to reserve your seats, call 315-691-3550 or order online at www.earlvilleoperahouse.com. The EOH Theater is wheelchair-accessible with a ramp and a lift.
Concertgoers can take advantage of the exhibits in the three EOH Art Galleries, the Artisan’s Gift Shop featuring New York artists as well as the homemade desserts in the EOH Arts Café.
Then there is a 3 p.m. Sunday matinée with local a cappella group The Blue Parsley Boys in “Fifty Shades of Blue.” The Colgate Inn of Hamilton sponsors this performance. Tickets are available online at www.earlvilleoperahouse.com or call 691-3550 at $12, $10 EOH members, $7 students. Premium seating applies in the first 4 rows with additional charges of $5.
Together since 1998, the Blue Parsley Boys are known for singing familiar and humorous a cappella arrangements. “We’ve taken what used to be an entrée of street-corner barbershop and added a pinch of rock, a dash of spirituals, a dollop of doo-wop and garnished our sound with some Blue Parsley,” said Reg Wilson, one of the group’s high tenors. “Whether your taste is a little old fashioned or more contemporary, you’re going to love a vocal style that we have to say is all our own.”
The group works on an ever-changing book of approximately 100 songs. In the past, this has included fan favorites such as Joyce Eilers’ spiritual “Bound for Jubilee,” “In My Room” by the Beach Boys, a satirical rendition of the story of Noah in “Old Man Noah,” the traditional American folk song “Shenandoah,” the Irish ballad “Danny Boy,” and Billy Joel’s iconic “For the Longest Time.”
Joining Wilson in the Blue Parsley Boys are first tenor Neal Roberts; second tenors Bud Ballinger and Ben Eberhardt; baritones Dan de Noyelles, Christian Vischi and Bruce Ward; basses Dave Lantz and Todd Thomsen.Accompanist Laura Pasquith will be playing the 1893 Chickering Baby Grand.
Aug. 14 will bring “the dynamic guitar, mandolin, and banjo work” of Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, two greats who’ve played alongside everyone from Roger McGuinn to Neil Young.
John Sebastian (of the Lovin’ Spoonful) and David Grisman (of Old & In the Way) bring “their masterful front porch pickin’ to EOH,” EOH officials said.
Bluegrass lovers can look forward to the Steep Canyon Rangers, who gained notoriety both for their award-winning pickin’ and for playing with Steve Martin.
Another Grammy-winner Peter Rowan, a former member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys and Old & In the Way plays in September. Rowan blends folk and bluegrass with “smoldering guitar breakdowns, and his show is sure to be a treat,” EOH officials said.
Blues-wise, “the Opera House is pleased to be welcoming Martha Redbone, who blends elements of soul, R&B, and even funk with her Appalachian and Native American heritage on June 13,” EOH officials said.
Eilen Jewell makes her return to EOH on Sept. 12, bringing a taste of her latest release, Sunday, down Over Ghost Town, which drops May 26. “Jewell’s aching, smoky vocals blend beautifully with her sweetly melancholy original songs,”
Fans of theatrical performances can look forward to Putting it All Together, a musical tribute to some of Steven Sondheim’s best-loved songs, which will run during the weekend of July 24-26.
The Opera House has three art galleries open to the public during business hours, which are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Earlville Opera House Main Stage Season Calendar — all shows at 8 p.m. unless specified
Saturday, May 2, Roosevelt Dime — Lively NOLA Blues or “Mardi-Grass”
Sunday, May 3, The Blue Parsley Boys — Premier A Cappella Harmonies — 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 30, Voices of Tabernacle — “Say it with Music” from Around the World 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 30, Matuto — Brazilian Folk Meets Appalachia
Saturday, June 13, Martha Redbone Roots Project — Piedmont Blues/Appalachian Folk
Sunday, June 28, Steep Canyon Rangers — Rollicking, Grammy-winning Bluegrass
Sunday, July 12, The Duhks — Captivating Folk Fusion
Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 26 at 3 p.m.
Steven Sondheim’s Putting it All Together
Friday, July 31, EOH Circus — 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 8, FullSet — Traditional Irish Roots
Friday, Aug. 14 Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen — Americana Icons
Friday, Aug. 21, BeauSoleil — Legendary Cajun Fusion
Saturday, Sept. 12 Eilen Jewell Band — Americana Blues
Saturday, Sept. 19, Peter Rowan — Grammy-winning Folk/Bluegrass
Friday, Oct. 2, John Sebastian & David Grisman — American Legends
Saturday, Oct. 31, The Haunted Opera House — Free event for families.
On the net: www.earlvilleoperahouse.com