The New Camp Verde Community Library is proud to present Gary Simpkins and Loose Change, Thursday, May 11th, in it’s ongoing “Music In The Stacks” series every second Thursday of the month. The band is a four piece folk/rock ensemble focused on the eclectic and nuanced songs of Gary Simpkins, a performer/singer/songwriter with plenty to say and plenty to sing about. And sing he does, surrounded by the rich sounds of the band! With smooth voice and unique guitar style, Simpkins pulls you into his songs and holds you there throughout the evening. Kenn Trout, a wonderful acoustic stylist of ‘70’s and ‘80’s pop music, will open for the band. The show will be on Thursday, May 11th, 2017, at 5:30-7:45
Gary’s choice of songs is wonderfully eclectic. He includes a mix of cover songs and original tunes, from a soulful performance of Jimmie Webb’s Wichita Lineman, and a truly silly and entertaining version of the ’50’s tune Little Darling by the Diamonds, to deep tracks by Ian Tyson and Travis Edmundson, to innovative originals like “Stay Low, Move Fast,” about people wanting to take your stuff.
The band Loose Change is a solid and dynamic group of performers that have played a number of shows together in the Verde Valley. They include Cottonwood’s Sonja Whisman, singer and fiddler/violinist extraordinaire, visiting Winnipeg Canadian Kris Baldwin, bassist and singer for this ensemble and a wonderful singer/songwriter in his own right, and Clarkdale’s Matt Fabritz, long time percussionist for many rock and country bands in the Verde Valley. Together their harmonies, leads, and rhythm section provide a powerful yet pleasingly full sound that will raise you up and take you on a musical magic carpet ride.
Gary has been around the folk/rock, singer/songwriter scene since the ’60’s, cutting his teeth on the Open Mic scene in his college days in New Haven. He’s played gigs all over the Northeast, notably at the Bitter End in New York City, Club 47 (Now Club Passim’s) in Cambridge, the Exit in New Haven, and Salt in Newport (where he opened for Maria Muldaur).
“No time in history did music make as much of a difference than in the ’60’s,” reflected Simpkins. “Many of the songs I do, including songs by Dave Mallett, John Phillips, and, of course, Bob Dylan, are more than just protest songs. They are a mirror into everything ‘60’s - the war, politics, social justice, free love - everything.”
In impromptu jam sessions Gary seems to know just about every tune written and performed during that period. And he always has a great rendition of these songs to pull out. From Ian Tyson’s “Someday Soon” and “Me and My Uncle” by John Phillips, to Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s on Fire”, Simpkins is just comfortable with the times. The band members share a similar set of musical sensibilities, and when they play it seems like they’ve been playing together for years.
Gary moved to Arizona in the ’80’s and for the past 25 years has been playing folk festivals and shows throughout the region in and around the Verde Valley. He has also almost continuously run open mikes since the ’60’s, and is dedicated to giving new musicians the same mentoring that he had when he started out in New Haven.
Kenn Trout’s smooth delivery, tasteful guitar licks and off beat Ohio humor take the audience on a light and breezy musical trip through the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Inspired by the great song-writers Jackson Browne, Graham Parsons, John Prine and Jimmy Buffett, Kenn takes the audience on a nostalgic trip down musical memory lane.
“I’ve always figured it made sense to let those great song writers do the really hard work,” Kenn says. “Then I just pick good songs and get out of the way.”
Kenn was born and raised in the farmlands of northwestern Ohio, and his dad bought him his first guitar, a $28 arch-top, double F-hole acoustic, from the Sears & Roebuck catalog when he was twelve years old.
“The strings were so far from the frets it made my fingers bleed” he recalls. He played with and fronted several country and country-rock bands during the 80’s and 90’s, and his effortless guitar licks have an old shoe comfort that fits just right.
He is a regular member of the music family at the Thanks-A-Latte weekly music night in Camp Verde. Kenn and his wife, Lora, live in Lake Montezuma with their four-legged best friend, Molly.
Come and experience the power of ’60’s, ‘70’s, and ‘80’s folk/rock with passionate musicians who bring a rich personal history to their performances on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 at 7pm at the Camp Verde Community Library. Admission is free and the audience is welcome to join us at 6.30 pm.
Where: The Camp Verde Community Library (130 Black Bridge Rd, just off of North Montezuma Castle Highway )
When: Thursday, May 11th, 2017, 7pm (audience may arrive at 6:30pm)
Suitable for the entire family.
For more information: call the Camp Verde Community Library at (928) 554-8380, visit their website at http://www.cvlibrary.org/, or on their self-named facebook page.