Art Council of Tamworth is excited to bring Texas bluesman Willie J. Laws to Tamworth to entertain and educate in a two-day residency culminating on Friday evening, November 16, with a raise-the-rafters concert and a Silent Pie Auction to raise funds for ACT’s arts education work in the schools and community. Willie Laws is a master bluesman with decades of experience composing, performing and producing Blues, Funk, R&B, Conjunto/Tejano, and Country music. He has toured worldwide with renowned Blues artist Phillip Walker, and with Grammy award winning Los Texmaniacs with accordionist Flaco Jimenez. Laws is one of the few African-American musicians to play "Tejano" music. He has performed in many well-known venues throughout the US, including Tipitina's, The House of Blues, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, and The Hard Rock Cafe. Since 1996, Laws has been performing and writing content for The House of Blues Foundation's Blues Schoolhouse. This interactive program gives a history of Blues music delivered through narration and music for grades 1-12 and the community.
Laws will be at the Tamworth Lyceum on Thursday evening, November 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for “Sing and Play the Blues with Willie J. Laws,” a workshop and song circle for musicians of all skill levels and community members of all ages. Bring your instrument, if you play one, come sing, or just listen in. Workshop is free; donations welcome.
On Friday morning, Laws will be at the K. A. Brett School teaching kids in the younger grades about the Blues; interested homeschoolers can contact the school for schedule information, 603-323-7271. On Friday at 2:00 PM at the Brett School, Laws will be joined by his band, with OC Braithwaite on drums and Malcolm Stuckey on bass, for a presentation/performance, “The History of the Blues in America.” This history speaks about who we are as Americans, and about an art form that is not only important and exciting on its own, but that influences myriad musical styles today, from Jazz, Funk, R & B and Country, to rap and hip-hop. The public is welcome; if you plan to bring a large group please let the school know in advance, 323-7271.
Then, join us Friday night at 7:30 PM at The Brass Heart Inn, Chocorua, NH, to see the Willie J. Laws Band live in concert, and to participate in ACT’s pre-Thanksgiving Silent Pie Auction. Get yourself ready for the holidays with an energetic concert spanning diverse musical styles and pie! You’ll have an opportunity to bid on pies you can eat right there or take home with you that night, and on pies you can pick up a day or two before Thanksgiving. Save yourself some cooking and support ACT at the same time—a delicious win-win. Pies will include traditional favorites and specialty pies, gluten-free pies, and more. Table and concert seating, first come first served. Cash bar available. Rockin’ Blues and more at the evening concert; parental discretion advised.
Tickets for the Friday evening performance are on sale here. ACT has a Choose-Your-Own-Ticket-Price policy, $5 to $30+ for adults, $0 to $5+ for kids to 18. We want everyone to come, and ticket revenues help support our community artist residencies and work in the schools. Want more Willie right now? Listen here, or find him on YouTube. The Willie J. Laws residency is sponsored by BEAM Construction Associates, Inc., serving the Lakes Region of New Hampshire with expert building design and master craftsmanship since 1987, the Yankee Smokehouse in West Ossipee, and the Yeoman's Fund for the Arts, and is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.