Ray Wylie Hubbard and his Band with special guest Ray Bonneville will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 21 in Dale B. Lake Auditorium.
The concert is part of Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s annual Artists’ Forum. Tickets are $20 each and are available through both campus bookstores beginning on March 29. If available, tickets will also be sold the night of the performance. Hubbard, whose music is described as Americana, folk and roots country, has produced 14 albums. His next album, “The Grifter’s Hymnal,” will be released on March 26. In a review of Hubbard’s music, The Philadelphia Enquirer/Houston Press deemed, "The blues and country hoodoo tunes of this grizzled Texas troubador uncoil like a rattlesnake disturbed in its sleep. Brilliant." Hubbard is often described as an elder statesman of the Texas music scene. From New Braunfels, Texas, he hosts a Tuesday night radio show called "Roots & Branches." This program promotes new and established Americana artists. Like other performers in his genre, he is perhaps as popular in Europe as in the U.S.—Hubbard has been invited by record companies in the Netherlands to produce albums. His most recent recordings have been produced by Texas guitarist Gurf Morlix. In addition to touring and producing other artists, Hubbard co-wrote the script for the 2010 feature film, “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride.” The cast included Dwight Yoakam and Kris Kristofferson.
Ray Bonneville, a Canadian-born, Texas-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player, opens for Hubbard. Bonneville is known for his “loose, darkly funky vibe.” His Red House release Goin’ By Feel was named one of the best CDs of 2008 by DownBeat Magazine and featured the Americana hit “I Am the Big Easy,” a powerful tribute to the resilience of New Orleans. Bonneville has performed with such blues luminaries as B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Robert Cray. Planet Jazz said Bonneville has “A guitar style of exacting persuasive nuances, with gut felt harmonica lines and a voice soaked in whiskey and road weary sentiment.”
Kalamazoo Valley’s Artists’ Forum is funded in part by the Harold and Grace Upjohn and Irving S. Gilmore Foundations. The college has hosted the event since 1987. Last year’s performer, legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples, sang for a sold-out crowd. Other past performers have included Chris Smither (blues singer and guitarist); David Sedaris (humorist); Patty Griffin (New Folk); Susana Baca (Afro-Peruvian singer); Morris Dees (Civil Rights/KKK buster); Chucho Valdes (Cuban jazz pianist); Taj Mahal (blues); and The Second City (improvisational theater).
Dave Posther, instructor of Film and Lead Instructor of Photography at KVCC, is chair of the Artists' Forum series, which is in its 26th season. He is clearly thankful when he notes, "The Gilmore and Upjohn Grants have allowed us to showcase some of the finest writers, activists, social commentators and musicians in the world. And this year we get to present two of the finest songwriters working today, with Ray Bonneville from Canada and Ray Wylie Hubbard representing the legacy of Texas songwriters that include Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. We just want to continue to bring exceptional performers into the Kalamazoo Community."
For more information contact Dave Posther, firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-488-4476. Reach the bookstores by calling 269-488-4030 for the Texas Township campus or 269-373-7951 at the Arcadia Commons Campus.