August 18, 2024 6:00 pm

Grant Peeples and Fred Gillen, Jr. at Stage 33 Live

Grant Peeples is darkly hilarious and dead serious, often at the same time. Fred Gillen, Jr. is a globetrotting, truth-telling troubadour. Each takes a different path to the same destination.Grant tours coast to coast...
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Grant Peeples is darkly hilarious and dead serious, often at the same time. Fred Gillen, Jr. is a globetrotting, truth-telling troubadour. Each takes a different path to the same destination.

Grant tours coast to coast and is a regular performer at The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, the 30A Songwriters Festival, and The Florida Folk Festival. He's the recipient of the Focus Foundation Award for Creative Excellence, which cited the “humor, compassion, and wisdom of his songs,” and their “unflinching social insight and cultural acuity.” He's credited with eleven studio albums. He's published three books of poetry.

Tallahassee born and raised, life started mostly simple and then got increasingly complicated. He started writing songs. He moved to Nashville. He left Nashville a year later. He got himself a night club and booked everyone from BB King to the Judds, The Temptations to George Straight, Jerry Lee Lewis to Dionne Warwick, Bonnie Raitt to Jerry Jeff Walker. He went broke in the night club business. He moved to a remote island in the Caribbean off the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua and stayed there for more than a decade before getting the itch back. He got a $100 guitar, and he’s been playing every day and writing songs ever since. A self-described “tree-hugger that watches NASCAR,” Grant is known for his axe-sharp socio-political tunes, raucous humor, and heart-gigging ballads that keep an ever-critical eye on American culture and identity.

Fred Gillen, Jr. has released eleven acclaimed full-length albums, and has performed all over the U.S. and Europe. His live performances are spontaneous and full of storytelling, and he enjoys audience participation. His songs have been featured on ABC's "All My Children," NPR's "Car Talk," and CMJ's New Music Marathon Sampler. His version of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" was featured on "Pete Remembers Woody," a collection of Pete Seeger's spoken stories about Woody Guthrie. Besides playing with his heroes like Pete, he’s opened for such artists as Merle Haggard, Todd Rundgren, and the David Bromberg Big Band. His songs incorporate elements of a huge swath of folk, rock, roots, and Americana music, and though he covers a wide variety of lyric topics, his over-arching message is simple: “we're all in this together.”

Grant Peeples and Fred Gillen, Jr. will perform at Stage 33 Live, 33 Bridge Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont, on August 18, 2024, at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $20 in advance through stage33live.com or at the door. Only 40 tickets will be sold; advance tickets guarantee entry. The event will be recorded and filmed.

Stage 33 Live is a casual and intimate industrial-rustic listening room in a former factory hosting local, regional, and national performances and presentations of original material. No bar or kitchen, the stage is the mission; coffee / soda / juice / water and weird snacks available by donation. More information about the nonprofit, all-volunteer project, and this and other upcoming events, online at stage33live.com

Stage 33 Live gratefully acknowledges the help of so many individuals without whom none of this would be able to happen, and institutional support this season from The Island Corporation, the Vermont Arts Council, Guilford Sound, WOOL-FM, the Rockingham Arts & Museum Project, and Chroma Technologies to help fund improvements and maintenance, and generally smooth out a lot of the rough edges. Stage 33 Live is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all donations are deductible to the fullest extent. Volunteers run the thing from stem to stern.

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