32 Years of White Gull Inn Winter Concerts
Wed., November 18, 2015
Tim Grimm is a bit of a Renaissance man in the performing arts world. For the past 15 years, he has blended his love for songwriting, travel and the storytelling of acting (theater, film and television). His most recent recording, The Turning Point, produced the number 1 song on Folk Radio in 2014: “King of the Folksingers”. It was a particularly gratifying honor, given the song is a tribute to Tim’s friend and musical icon, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.
An Indiana native, Tim pursued both an acting career and songwriting in Chicago, before giving up music to move to LA, where he acted in films and television. Tim eventually returned to his roots in southern Indiana, seeking a life of “significance rather than success” and resumed his musical career. His songs are full of the rural rumblings that have shaped his life – rich with descriptive details, and sung with warmth and intimacy.
Tim has released nine albums and won awards for Best Discovery in Roots Americana Music by the Chicago Sun-Times and 2004 Male Artist of the Year by the Freeform American Roots DJ’s.
Optional fixed price dinner served at 6 PM: Honey Ginger Braised Pork over pumpkin mushroom risotto, kale salad with carrot and apple; dessert: Browned Butter Pumpkin cake. $21.95
The Special Consensus
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The Special Consensus, a bluegrass group founded in 1975 by banjo player Greg Cahill, has recently been on a tear – garnering a Grammy nomination in 2012 and winning two International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards in October, 2014. Now in its 40th year of performing, touring and recording, the band has appeared on The Nashville Network “Fire On The Mountain” show, toured for three seasons as 4/5 of the cast in the musical Cotton Patch Gospel (music and lyrics by Harry Chapin), and released seventeen recordings. In November 2003, The Special Consensus received a standing ovation after the first band performance on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. International tours have brought The Special Consensus to the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Ireland and South America. Their recording, “Scratch Gravel Road,” was released by Compass Records in March 2012 and was nominated for the Best Bluegrass Album GRAMMY Award. Compass Records released the seventeenth band recording “Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver” in March, 2014. Two songs on this recording received International Bluegrass Music Association awards in 2014: “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” received the Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year Award and “Wild Montana Skies” received the Recorded Event of the Year Award.
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served at 6 PM: Beef Bourguignonne over mashed Yukon Golds, French Bread, spinach Pear and Pomegranate salad; Cranberry Pie - $21.95
Johnsmith with Special Guest Dan Sebranek
Wed., January 13, 2016
Wisconsin based singer-songwriter Johnsmith describes himself as a Bard. “The role of the Bard in every society is to hold up a mirror to that society, to convey and reveal –through the mysterious alchemy of music and words and performance – the secret inner language of the heart – delivered with that ineffable feeling called ‘Soul’, he explains. Critics describe his song lyrics as finely shaped and powerfully moving…voiced with a spirit and soulfulness.” Johnsmith, who last performed in the White Gull concert series in 2014, will again be accompanied by his long time musical collaborator Dan Sebranek.
Dan Sebranek has been playing music since he started playing the banjo with his brother at the age of 10. He also picked up his dad's guitar and learned rock and roll, and at age fifteen, joined a high school rock band. He eventually added the acoustic guitar to his repertoire and began traveling across the nation, spending three years on the road with Bill Miller. For many years, Dan was half of Runaway, the acoustic duo that includes Johnsmith. These days, when he is not playing and singing in his bluegrass band the String Ties, you can find Dan playing rock and roll with his high school friends, or in concert with Johnsmith..
0ptional fixed price dinner served at 6 PM: Chicken Enchiladas, Mexican rice, refried beans, garnish of guacamole; chips with homemade salsa, Dessert: Flan $21.95
February concert to be announced.
Wed., March 9, 2016
The renegade traditionalists of Mipso are doing their part to take three-part harmony and Appalachian influences into new territory. Formed in Chapel Hill in 2010, these four North Carolinians are touring the country in support of their 2013 release, “Dark Hollow Pop”. The band consists of Joseph Terrell on guitar, Wood Robinson on double bass, Jacob Sharp on mandolin, and Libby Rodenbough on fiddle.
Optional fixed price dinner served at 6 PM: Stout Braised Short ribs over horseradish scented mash potatoes, Greens, pears tossed with champagne vinaigrette and blue cheese; Dessert: Chocolate Orange Guinness Cake. $21.95
10 String Symphony
Wed., April 6, 2016
Nashville duo 10 String Symphony consists of Rachel Baiman (fiddle, banjo, vocals) and Christian Sedelmyer (mandolin, fiddle, vocals). It began as a partnership of mutual admiration, a much needed creative release valve for Baiman and Sedelmyer, two 5-string fiddle players and veteran sidemen of Nashville’s music scene. Rachel, a former Illinois state fiddle champion in the old time tradition, needed an outlet for the new sort of songs she was writing, while Christian, originally a classically trained violinist, now a current touring member of the Jerry Douglas Band, was looking to get in touch the impetuous spirit of the rock bands he played in before his arrival in Nashville. With the love of the 5-string fiddle and its musical possibilities as its focal point, the band’s mission statement was as clear as it was expansive: Two fiddles. Two Voices. Epic music. ALL THINGS MUSIC has described the band’s’ sound as a “new take on old ideas,” a concept and tension that the duo continues to explore throughout its about to be released second recording, Weight of the World”.
Optional fixed price dinner served at 6 PM: Chicken Marsala over linguine, garlic focaccia; greens tossed with red wine vinaigrette and dried cherries; Dessert: carrot cake. $21.95.
The White Gull Concert Series Turns 32
In 1983, on a cold November evening, a small group of Door County visitors and residents gathered at a local inn, enjoying the first of what has become a popular tradition: monthly winter folk concerts. During this time, more than 100 talented folk singers and songwriters from all over the country have performed at the White Gull Inn.
The concerts were conceived by the Innkeeper Andy Coulson, a banjo player himself and lover of traditional and contemporary folk music. Coulson was frustrated by the lack of live entertainment during the long quiet Door County winters. The first concerts were loosely based on the "house concert" concept, in which traveling folk musicians, often on tight budgets and in need of work, are invited into the homes of fans along the route of their travels. The fans provide the musician with food and lodging in return for a concert to a small group of friends, often right in their living rooms. A collection at the door goes to the artist to help defray expenses.
The house concert circuit has provided work and travel expenses for generations of singers and brought folk music to many rural areas that are too small to otherwise provide such entertainment. "I wasn't sure who would come to a concert on a weekday in winter in Fish Creek," Coulson recalls thinking in the beginning. "But we had plenty of room and board , and figured that we had nothing to lose. At the very least, we'd have some quality folk music in Fish Creek."
In the beginning, it was not easy finding artists willing to come so far for such a small turnout. However, as word got around, more and more musicians decided that a "working holiday" in the quiet beauty of the Door Peninsula was worth the trek to the north country. The series has gradually been able to attract in more and more well known performers, such as Anne Hills, Chris Smither, Tom Paxton and Cheryl Wheeler, many of whom normally play in much larger halls.
The pre-concert dinners, now almost as popular as the concerts, were added in recent years at the request of local residents. White Gull chefs responded by offering an optional fixed price dinner, served at 6 pm for each concert.
Concert tickets are $16.00-$20.00 and can be purchased at the door, although most concerts are sold out, so advance ticket purchase and reservations for the pre-concert dinners are recommended. You may purchase tickets at the White Gull front desk, or you can do it by phone, using a credit card.
Folk Musicians Previously Featured at the White Gull
Musicians who have appeared in the White Gull folk concert series in the 32 seasons since its inception in 1983: Tom Paxton, Cheryl Wheeler, John McCuen, Bob Gibson, John McCutcheon, Chris Smither, Michael Smith, Bill Miller, Fred Alley, Vance Gilbert, Neal & Leandra, Lou and Peter Berryman, Michael Johnson, Garnet Rogers, Pat Donohue, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Joel Mabus, David Mallett, Suzzy and Maggie Roche, Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, Bill Staines, Buddy Mondlock, Bryan Bowers, Peter Keane, Mark Dvorak, Anne Hills, Willy Porter, Michael Miles, Bob Bovee and Gail Heil, Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, Dave Moore, Cathie Ryan, Small Potatoes, Matt Watroba, Peter Mayer, Kenny White, Natalia Zukerman, Eric Lewis, Tommy Burroughs, Andy Ratliff, Hans Christian, David Roth, Brooks Williams, Steppin In It with Rachel Davis, James Keelaghan, Chuck Pyle, L. J. Booth, Johnsmith, Clay Riness, Tom Pease, Louise Taylor, Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball, Mark Dvorak, Priscilla Herdman, Claudia Schmidt, Moe Dixon, Susan Smentek, Cosy Sheridan, Becky Schlegel, Don Stiernberg, Victoria Vox, Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin, Michael Johnathon, May Erlewine and Seth Bernard, Peter Mulvey, Jonathan Byrd, Jerry Rau, The Special Consensus, Phil Passen and Highland Road, Antje Duvekot, the Waymores, the Honey Dewdrops, David Wilcox, The Steel Wheels, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Paul Cebar, Dayna Kurtz, Kelly Joe Phelps, Count This Penny, Carolyn Martin, the Stray Birds, Molly O'Brien and Rich Moore, Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line, Rita Hosking, Red Molly, Jake Armerding.
The concerts are held approximately once a month, November through April, beginning at 8 pm, after an optional dinner served at 6 pm.