Sara Grey and Kieron Means will offer their “Western Song” musical saga at the Library Coffeehouse on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 pm. Admission is only $10 at the door. This presentation is a unique look at songs in the oral tradition of people who migrated into the Panhandle, the Great Plains, and the Western States. “There was so much happening in the west between the 1800s and the 1920s,” says Sara, “and songs evolved to reflect all this activity, including the gold rush, the outlaws, the ranchers, the cattle drives, the railroad, the Mormon tradition and the isolation, particularly of women, in the prairie.
“With westward migration, people began to create songs that reflected the regions they settled in. They also sang the old songs that had come with them and these began to evolve due to their new environment. Black music and songs also had a great influence,” Sara continued. “This is not a random collection of well known western songs. A great deal of research has gone into the songs and their background. It is a unique and rare collection of old songs and ballads from many sources.”
Sara and Kieron sing these songs from the heart. Some are stark and unaccompanied and others are with Kieron on guitar and Sara on old-time banjo. They chat about the songs and their history, but not in a scripted narrative, they have good fun both playing as well as discussing their vast knowledge of traditional songs and encouraging audience participation. The music will be illustrated throughout with a slide presentation of wonderful old photographs that bring to life the stories behind each song.
CDs of the songs with background notes will also be available. For more information visit www.saragrey.net
“Sara Grey is one of that rare breed of singers who have been involved with traditional music over many years and absorbed its vital essence. In Sara’s performance, the art of the singer and that of the story teller merge to produce a web of tales and songs capable of transporting an audience from the concert hall or club room to the intimacy of a kitchen fire side.” — Brian Peters
“Kieron has such a tremendous passion when he sings; his voice is especially striking, achieving the rare combination of a high lonesome edge with a warm richness of timbre, and it has a power to move the listener that few of his generation can match. His guitar playing is unconventional, its spareness a mile away from any notion of fancy picking, but it’s highly effective, while his stage presence is charismatic, yet laid-back. His songs range from old-time, through the blues — which he sings with startling conviction — to the work of tradition-influenced songwriters, and his own compositions have people, who know a good song when they hear one, nodding in approval.” — Living Tradition