Michael Kelsey, Brian Henke

Western Reserve Folk Arts Association presents

Michael Kelsey

Brian Henke

Fri, March 24, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Kent Stage

Kent, OH

$18.00 - $23.00

Michael Kelsey
Michael Kelsey
MICHAEL KELSEY is a rhythmic, inspired guitarist and performance artist who blends many musical genres with fervour and grace. When he hits the stage to perform, he plays every inch of his guitar pulling out every part of it or anything else an arm's length or foot kick away. Through out a performance Michael may make use of technolgy, his improve skills, objects in the room, and audience interaction to make music for the ears but more importantly a musical experience for the senses.

Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, he began his musical journey weaving in and out of successful area bands as lead guitarist or bassist. Later he opened and ran a thriving recording studio, which after five years he retired in order to enable him to embark freely on his career as a solo artist.

His naturally soulful vocal illuminates carefully chosen lyrics that make his songs shimmer and shine. He plays expressively and manipulates the guitar to create a melodic fusion of alternate tunings and unorthodox hand positions allowing for him to achieve a full sound. The true beauty is in the way the song, the sound and the motion of his music unites. The songs, especially the lush instrumentals, can be reminiscent of the late, great Michael Hedges, but boast Kelsey’s personal percussive stamp, exceptional arrangement and deliberate instrumentation.

His live performances are particularly moving. Sometimes he sounds as if he’s deftly playing more than one guitar. At a Kelsey show audience members may actually lose themselves in the moment and forget they are listening to one person. They can be tapping their foot one minute, in a deep trance the next, then bursting into laughter.

"There is a five piece band in my head. They all have different tastes in music and they are all trying to escape at the same time through my hands, feet and mouth. I hang onto an acoustic guitar and see what happens," Kelsey sums up his stage show aptly. He is well versed in the art of entertaining and at every show he creates a rare army of sound that comes from one man, a voice and an acoustic guitar.

Whether he’s creating a song spontaneously for a lucky lady in the front row, telling a story complete with sound effects, or letting an inspired moment move his fingers around the fret board, Kelsey never performs the same show twice.

After performing an opening set for folk artist David Wilcox, David described Kelsey's show as “Cirque Du Soleil on acoustic guitar."

Kelsey’s abilities have enabled him to be noticed by many. A finalist in Guitar Player Magazine's national competition and winner of Guitar Center’s "Guitarmageddon," chosen as best unsigned guitarist out of over 3000 entrants nationwide says it all. This allowed him to be apart of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2004 performance where he shared the stage with many of the guitar legends such as Santana, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton. He has toured nationally with Blind Melon and Dishwalla and has opened shows for many artist of many styles including The Doobie Brothers, 38 Special, Rodrigo and Gabriella and the California Guitar Trio.
Brian Henke
Brian Henke
Brian Henke composes and performs his music like a painter putting images on canvas, a kind of sonic shaman, drawing his inspiration from the world around him. An avid hiker, he often brings his guitar along to create a spontaneous response to his outdoor settings. Mother Earth (Terra) as artist has given an immense living gallery from the humbling spectacle of her natural wonders to the simple, beauty of a treetop against a blue sky. Her majestic legacy and the magical feeling of awe and peace inspire the compositions of this award winning virtuosic fingerstyle/harp guitarist/ singer songwriter

Brian’s seven instrumental solo guitar CD’s, “Many Waters”, “Love Song for Terra”,”Force of Nature”, “The Nature of Light”, “Tree of Life”, “A Child’s Garden” and “Seven Magic Spells” are a cornucopia of sonic vistas. He celebrates the seasons, a Grand Canyon sunset, the fireside magic of an American shaman, playful waterfalls, the color of the wind and the light of dreams to name a few.
He has just released his first vocal album “Sun and the Moon and the Stars” and will be also working on his next instrumental guitar album “Treehouse in the Stars”.

He recorded “A Crown of Stars” with Blue Feather, Dunlap and Henke, a CD that made it into the top 10 in June of 2007 on the International New Age Radio Charts and is the producer of “The Woodchoppers Ball”, a double CD featuring 26 of the worlds best acoustic guitarists released to benefit Northeast Ohio’s homeless and is the promoter of the annual benefit concert of the same name, having recently celebrated it’s 14th year.

His unique guitar style has been called everything from Folk to New Age to Neo-Classical to Pastoral or as Brian likes to call it “a big stewpot of everything, stirred up, simmered and served to taste.” His music appeals to anyone who likes their music lyrical, thought provoking and performed with virtuosity. Through it all is an undercurrent of spirituality and mysticism that Brian says is very much a part of the creative process. Because of this he has received radio air play all over the world on shows as varied as WKSU’s “Folk Alley” and John Dilberto’s “Echoes”. He has also shared the bill or performed with acts as diverse as “Yes”, “The Strawbs”, “ Bill Frisell” “Linda Ronstadt”, “Glass Harp”, Wendy Rule, Steve Morse”, Yngvie Malmsteen”, “Robin and Linda Williams”, “Richie Havens”, “John Prine” Christine Lavin”, “Dar Williams” ”The Kingston Trio”, ”Alison Brown, ”Adrian Belew”, ”Spiro Gyra, Dar Williams, and many of the best acoustic guitarists in the world including “Andy McKee”, “Pete Huttlinger”, “Phil Keaggy”, ”Alex DeGrassi”, ”Stephen Bennett”, ”John Doan”, ”Beppe Gambetta”, Doug Smith”, ”Dan Crary”, Laurence Juber and many, many others.

A winner of many acoustic and electric guitar awards, he has also been a finalist in the prestigious National Fingerstyle Contest in Winfield, Kansas, the National Guitarmageddon regional finals in Boston and in New Age Reporters Top 10 for 2006 and 2010.
“Brian’s fretwork is masterful, elaborate and he makes every note count…His compositions are harmonious, sometimes complicated, but always engaging…Brian Henke’s music is organic, mesmerizing and best of all magic.” – RJ Lannon New Age Reporter

Contact Brian Henke at brianhenke9@att.net or visit www.brianhenkeguitarist.com
Venue Information:
The Kent Stage
175 East Main
Kent, OH, 44240
http://www.thekentstage.com/