MUSE: Songwriters in the Round featuring Jack Williams
w/ Deva Yoder and Richard Dean
Featured Artist #1
MUSE: Songwriters in the Round featuring Jack Williams
MUSE:Songwriters in the Round is an ongoing performance series that focuses on the art and process of the contemporary songwriter. Each evening we'll invite three dedicated songsmiths to the stage to perform their best and most memorable material in a "in the round" format. We will strive to present the highest level of national as well as local talent, always seeking to include the voice of women and seasoned veterans as well as promising up and coming artists. It is our desire to help grow the large Swallow Hill community of writers, performers, musicians and music lovers by celebrating the songwriter's process with stories of discovery, challenge, memories, dreams and aspirations.
Featured Artist #2
The music of Jack Williams, rooted in his native South Carolina, was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He is counted among the most dynamic performers on today's "folk" circuit - "...one of the most enlightened and entertaining performers I've ever encountered", said Dave Humphreys of Two-Way Street Coffeehouse in Downer's Grove, IL. Jack is considered a "musician's musician", an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Rich Warren of WFMT Chicago's The Midnight Special said, "His artistry is nothing short of amazing". Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote, "He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk."
Avoiding the compromises of the commercial music industry during his 50+-year professional career, Jack prefers touring under the radar, playing concerts, large and small, week in and week out, from the sheer love of music and performing. Playing for more than 50 house concerts each year, Jack enjoys the intimacy of that venue most of all, with a more personal connection to his listeners. Jack is a sought-after artist on all contemporary acoustic music stages, from coffeehouses and festivals to music halls and city arts stages. From acclaimed appearances at the Newport, Boston, Philadelphia, Kerrville, New Bedford SummerFest Folk Festivals, his musicianship, songs, stories and commanding presence have established him as an uncommonly inspiring and influential performer.
Jack frequently shares his musical knowledge with others. In addition to leading numerous workshops as he tours the country, he has been on the staff of The Swannanoa Gathering in NC, Lamb's Songwriter Retreat in MI, The Folk Project in NJ, WUMB's Summer Acoustic Music Week in NH, and co-hosts a semi-annual Music Workshop Weekend near his home in the Ozarks.
Jack has nine CDs of original music on the Wind River (Folk Era) label, the newest being "Four Good Days", plus his DVD "High Cotton", a video collection of on-stage performances. An additional CD, "Don't Let Go", is a collection of cover songs reflecting major influences on his musical development. Jack has produced all of his own recordings plus CDs by Mickey Newbury, Ronny Cox, Eric Schwartz, and others.
His songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Tom Jones and David Clayton-Thomas to Chuck Pyle, Cindy Mangsen, Ronny Cox and Lowen & Navarro. In addition to his solo career, as a guitarist he has accompanied such luminaries as Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Mickey Newbury and Harry Nilsson.
Featured Artist #3
Deva Yoder has been playing shows for nearly 20 years. In her early years she played around Denver at coffee shops, busked on 16th Street Mall, played underground haunts and eventually worked her way up to opening for national acts like Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield. After a hiatus, she joined a local cover band and rotated between singing, playing guitar and playing drums. Deva grew up listening to her musician Dad play with high caliber musicians that wrote for Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and who were members of the band, Crazy Horse. Her dad also played bass for a touring band that opened for Jefferson Airplane. She is the sister of DMC World Champion and Pretty Lights DJ, Chris Karns, and her brother Casey owns the popular Denver restaurant, Meadowlark Kitchen. Her husband and drummer was once the drummer for the early 2000's indie rock band, Lovedrug. Her influences include Americana singer-songwriters such as Patty Griffin, Over The Rhine, Mindy Smith, Laura Viers, Sam Phillips, Suzanne Vega, and Ryan Adams. Stormchasers is her solo debut album; written, performed, co-produced and self-released by Deva.
Featured Artist #4
Richard Dean is a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist with five solo albums to his credit. His latest, Vignettes, has just been released (September 12, 2017). Vignettes features masterful performances by Pete Wasner (Vince Gill, Lowell George), Andy Hall (Infamous Stringdusters), Denver masters Mike Marlier, Jeff Jenkins, and Eduardo Bijoux Barbosa, plus horns by legends Bob Rebholz and Pete Olstad, among others.
Born in Dallas, Texas, and educated in Austin, he has been a resident of Colorado for most of his adult life. He was raised on country and blues, and has a special affinity for both. Of Richard Dean's 1997 CD, "Changes in the Heart," Swallow Hill Quarterly said, "'Changes in the Heart' shows Dean at the peak of his formidable powers…a mature, thoughtful songwriter."
His songs have been recorded and performed by Tom Rush, Emmylou Harris, Michael Murphey, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and others.
Richard was half of the Colorado duo Timberline Rose in the 1970's, and the guitarist in Michael M. Murphey's band during his "Wildfire" heyday.