Upcoming Live Sessions

Previous events

Apr23

Emerson House

Acoustic Eidolon, 420 North Main Street, Rockford, IL

LIVE SESSION The mission of Concert Conversations is to give the artist a comfortable (and acoustically delicious), space with professional sound and lighting in which to share with an attentive and intelligent audience, the passion of the art that drives him/her which speaks to the passion that drives us.

Acoustic Eidolon, featuring Joe Scott on double neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello are from Colorado and have graced stages throughout the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.  With nine CDs and a DVD to their credit, these masterful artists continue to captivate audiences throughout the world with their signature “new acoustic” sound and boundless possibilities in blending Celtic, Folk, World & Latin music influences, something that Dirty Linen Magazine praises as “a sumptuous musical feast.”  

Their original sound is created by the mixing of their diverse musical backgrounds and their unusual instrumentation including the one-of-a-kind double neck guitjo, an instrument of Joe’s own design described as a beautiful harp-like sounding instrument. The double-neck guitjo has 14 strings and Joe has developed his own style and technique, playing both necks simultaneously.  Classically-trained cellist Hannah Alkire studied with G. Magyar of the Hungarian String Quartet and is recognized internationally for her stunning tone and emotional, impeccable playing and for taking the cello places it’s never been before.

The two joined their personal lives after forming their musical alliance and were married in 2001.  The result is a coupling of intricate and passionate music with genuine and engaging stories.

Fate has a magical way of bringing people together. Take the case of Joe and Hannah, aka Acoustic Eidolon. In 1995, Hannah, a studio cellist, received a call to play on a Boulder ensemble’s record. Hannah listened in amazement as directions to the recording studio told her to turn on a small road near her home, and then turn down her own street past her house!

What happened next was magic. Captivated by the music they created together, Joe and Hannah immediately agreed to clear out their schedules, start rehearsing full-time, and form what would become Acoustic Eidolon.

Six years later, they were married and now their love for one another, and their passion for life, speaks through their music.

$10

Nov13

Reitsch Room, inside Mendelssohn PAC

John Batdorf, 420 North Main Street, Rockford, IL

LIVE SESSION The mission of Concert Conversations is to give the artist a comfortable (and acoustically delicious), space with professional sound and lighting in which to share with an attentive and intelligent audience, the passion of the art that drives him/her which speaks to the passion that drives us.

John Batdorf has sung and strummed through many careers in one lifetime. Starting with the 70's as a recording artist with Batdorf and Rodney and Silver. He made records and toured this country and Canada for most of the 70s. Batdorf spent the 80's as a staff songwriter writing songs for America, England Dan, The Curry sisters and Kim Carnes, and as studio singer singing on hundreds of jingles, movies, and TV shows.Then came the 90's and he started producing records and commercials. During that time Batdorf met and went on to write some great songs with Michael McLean. They recorded 4 CDs together. In 1996 Batdorf scored the CBS TV prime time show, "Promised Land", going on to compose all the music underscore for three years until the show came to an end. I went on to compose music for another CBS drama, "Touched By An Angel", the entire musical score for a 2 hour made for PAX TV movie called "Book of Days" and the music for a theatrical piece "The Best Two Years". Entering into the new millennium, John recorded a new CD with James Lee Stanley "All Wood And Stones" (a highly original take on early Rolling Stones songs, done acoustically with tight harmonies) along with his first solo EP, "Side One." His first full length solo CD, "Home Again" is an acoustic guitar and vocal enthusiasts dream come true! John's 2008 CD, "Still Burnin'" teams him up again with Mark Rodney. The duo recorded a live show at XM Studios in Washington D.C. revisiting many of their great songs from the 70s.This marks the first new Batdorf and Rodney recordings since 1975! In June 2009, John released his third solo CD, "Old Man Dreamin'," which got rave reviews and extensive radio play and truly established John as a solo artist. May of 2011, Batdorf and Rodney were elected into the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Now in the fall of 2011, John has released arguably his finest solo CD, "One Last Wish," and will be supporting the project all of 2012. When you hear John sing songs about things that really matter to him, you'll understand why they mean so much to his fans that have spanned over four decades.

$10

Sep24

Emerson House

Kalispell, 420 North Main Street, Rockford, IL

LIVE SESSION The mission of Concert Conversations is to give the artist a comfortable (and acoustically delicious), space with professional sound and lighting in which to share with an attentive and intelligent audience, the passion of the art that drives him/her which speaks to the passion that drives us. Shane Leonard’s interest in songwriting and the banjo wasn’t passed down from family, as is tradition for most of the musicians he's come to admire, and he didn’t grow up anywhere near Appalachia. But then again, his music isn't exactly traditional. Imbued with the kind of countrified instrumentation heard most often in stringbands and old country music, armed with lyrics of a poet's caliber, and delivering songs that shape-shift their way through a range of lush sounds and emotion, this music moves ever-onward while remaining keenly aware of the past. Leonard's solo project, Kalispell, released its debut album, Westbound, to wide critical praise in May of 2012. The album features a wide array of instruments (mostly played by Leonard himself), and also benefits from an eclectic backing band (featuring members of Field Report, S. Carey, AA Bondy and The Barley Jacks). Kalispell has toured relentlessly in 2011 and 2012, gaining blog buzz and a growing fan base.

$10

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Bill Miller Folsom Prison Blues at Charlotte's Web

Share a Winter Wander With Me 

Share a winter wander with me

And you too will see

How grand your body can be

lead it like a yoga instructor leads a final “dead man’s pose”

Your toes are the canary in the coal mine. They will be the ones to alert you that you should think about shelter.

If you are only 5 minutes away, you’re fine: you can stay out. If, however, you’re 20 minutes away, you should wrap up what you’re doing and head home.

Kind of like your bladder: when you first hear it say, “I gotta go pee”, it’s only 1/3 full. So again…

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I Struck Oak! 

7:57 J 1.9 degrees ooh. I still need to chop more wood tonight.

10:13 .6 degrees here I go to chop leaving my fire roaring and laundry hanging…J

11:48 furnace on -1.6 degrees out.

my fire is so beautifully roasty toasty and oh so very happy with what I’m feeding it..in gratitude, the logs settle and help me find their best fit.

I’d chopped enough elm for the morning but not very much of it for split elm like this burns real hot and real fast. It’s best when paired with oak as its complement: oak loves a…

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What Can Go Wrong When Felling an Elm 

We saw raccoon footprints in the woods today:) and BIG canine prints as well :) (the coyote we’ve seen trotting up the creek bed and through the ravine is as big as a small German Shepard); all that’s left of the sacrificial squirrel is gray fur, like chalk dust painting the scene… But the elm wouldn’t come down. Now that’s a first for me to witness no doubt…what can go wrong when felling a tree à one thing is: when it doesn’t come down! Now it’s perched like a booby trap, no more than a thread holding on…

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Temporarily Immortal 

Temporarily Immortal from the collection: Wild Cucumbers Atop a Hill Called Molly


Temporarily immortal

               Momentarily pregnant

                         With mystery and promise

                                   Of magic just ahead

                                             Fleeting hours roll on eternal

                                                       Disappearing time stretches out forever

                                                                 If you recall, we often forget…

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Until We Remember 

I'm back inside now and feeling much better,

Refreshed and awakened by the sound of the cold.

I shoveled some snow; split some oak and choke cherry;

Then hit my tall son 'tween shoulders quite squarely.

A solid strike with a snowball that exploded in fluff

Exposed a rosy cheeked grin and sparkling within.

 

To wield an ax, to split a log...

Strength and knowledge to keep

My family in warmth: the house I can heat.

And this I must say, is an asset I'd rather

Keep than to trade for another man's dollar...

 

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Political Pondering 2. 

I want to shop at a place that advertises: “Nothing is on sale. We price fairly.”

A friend exclaimed with a grin: “I bought a $90 coat for $45!”

So what makes it a $90 coat to begin with? Who decides? Maybe it’s actually a $45 coat.

…and the sale just preys on the psychology of consumerism.

I want to vote for the politician who promises: “I will raise taxes to fund social programs.” 

I want to support the company that pays their employees a living wage because: “It’s our responsibility: it’s about more…

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My Movie, a first novel 


author's note:This novel has a soundtrack.

The overall theme song for the story is Home In The Woods by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons. Each main setting where events unfold has its own theme song from the soundtrack; some events and main characters also have their own theme song. 
The soundtrack is the timeline – the chronology of events

the theme song from the soundtrack for the first chapter is Riddles & Lies by Danny Schmidt www.dannyschmidt.com

"When the light hits me just right and brings a

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JR Sullivan's Hometown Holiday 2014 

Impressions of J.R. Sullivan's Hometown Holiday, 2014

...when the three heavenly voices of Megan McDonough, Holland Zander and Marcella Rose Sciotto, together as one rose up from behind Miles Nielsen's, adding a rich layer of sonic texture, I truly believed, deep in my soul, the words they presented: “War is over....if you want it”...I felt it deep and my knees went weak. Pure hope washed through me like a waterfall and for that one moment, I felt peace on earth.

...when Linda Abronski re-enacted a…

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My Children Are Home 

My Children Are Home from the collection: Wild Cucumbers Atop a Hill Called Molly


Okay, it’s 5:15…and 24.9 degrees out…and blowin’ like a ship-tossing storm…out on the ocean…

Kids are about to leave school…

Wonder how long I’ll have to worry

… Before I see their beautiful faces?

 

By 5:45, I’d talked face to face with them both…I’d heard both of them laugh...

I stepped into my bedroom…

Breathed in and breathed out

…relaxed and undiscovered

 

…as soon as I heard they’d entered the car… I went outside…not…

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Political Pondering 1. 

6:15 35 degrees out; 63 in

7:28 35 degrees out; 69 in

Well gee, the GOP sweeps the elections – so we get an out-of-touch millionaire as governor and a scare-tactic, police state, lock ‘em up or shoot ‘em sheriff to go after all those who might make some noise…

Shit. Why do voters keep expecting politicians to fix anything? They haven’t done squat in decades! If we can’t rise beyond money as our primary concern/focus, well I just don’t see any future for the human race – “civilization” – as we so fondly…

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