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Tuesday, January 24

Just Announced! Portsmouth Singer-Songwriter Festival

Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival: Legends, Stars + Up-and-Comers

2012 theme: Americana music
Featuring 23 singer songwriters Merle Haggard, Rosanne Cash, Lucy Wainwright Roche, The Felice Brothers + more!
Sponsored by 92.5 The River

Limited number of passes on sale to members noon, Wed., 2/1
Passes on sale to public noon Fri., 2/10
Passes on sale through 2/21; passes are not available online
Individual tickets on sale to members noon Wed., 2/22; to public noon Wed., 3/7

The Music Hall has just announced the Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival to take place Friday – Sunday April 20-22, 2012 at its two theaters in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With a first year focus on Americana music, the festival covers the spectrum of acts – Legends, Stars + Up-and-Comers. Sponsored by 92.5 The River, the festival kicks off with Merle Haggard on Friday night and ends with Rosanne Cash on Sunday evening. On Saturday evening, there will be two shows – one in the Historic Theater featuring an incredible lineup: The Felice Brothers, O’Death, and Farthest Forests, while in the Loft, Elsa Cross and Lucy Wainwright Roche will entertain. On Sunday afternoon, a Round Robin will take place in the Loft – a celebration of the vibrant Seacoast singer-songwriter scene, with each rising-star act playing for 15 minutes. Local music critic Christopher Hislop from Seacoast Media Group is the master of ceremonies of that event.

“The Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival will be one unforgettable weekend,” says Patricia Lynch, executive director of The Music Hall. “We’re kicking off this year’s festival by celebrating the country roots, rockabilly, pathos, grit and guts of Americana music, with full bands, solo, acoustic, electric. The way to make the most of the festival is to secure a pass which gives you tickets to shows and access to parties. Don’t miss out – for the best seats, best prices and best parties, get your pass asap!”

Thérèse LaGamma, Deputy Director of Programming, weighs in, “Portsmouth has the infrastructure to support festivals as we have learned from the success of film festivals such as our Telluride by the Sea and our hosting the New Hampshire Film Festival.  I am especially looking forward to combining the star power of legends like Merle Haggard with lesser known acts like O’Death! And, selecting Americana music as our first year focus celebrates the fact that the Americana singer songwriter tradition has shaped so much of the American experience. With our long history, our place as an American Treasure and the fact that Portsmouth was made for festivals, this event was a natural!”



6:00pm Opening Night Feed: Featuring the tastes of Americana, The Loft - Gold and Bronze Passholders
6:30pm Pre-show access to Founders Lobby - Gold Passholders
7:00pm Pre-show access to Founders Lobby - Silver Passholders
8:00pm   Elsa Cross opens for Merle Haggard and The Strangers, Historic Theater


5:30pm Pre-show access to Founders Lobby – Gold Passholders
7:00pm The Felice Brothers/O’Death/The Farthest Forests - Historic Theater
6:00pm Pre show access to Loft lobby - Gold Passholders
6:30pm Pre-show access to Loft lobby - Silver and Bronze Passholders
7:30pmDouble bill: Elsa Cross, Lucy Wainwright Roche The Loft


12:00pm Passholders access to the Loft
1-6pmRound Robin celebration of Seacoast singer-songwriter scene - The Loft
6pm Pre-show access to Founders Lobby – Gold Passholders
6:30pm Pre-show access to Founders Lobby - Bronze Passholders
7:30pm Rosanne Cash Historic Theater
9:45pm Post Festival Glow party The Music Hall Loft- Gold and Silver Passholders featuring the Golden Glow

Gold pass: $185  Primary seating & tickets to all shows (same seats for Historic Theater), access to Opening Night Feed & Post Festival Glow Party, VIP access to lobbies.
Silver pass: $135  Preferred seating, tickets to shows on Friday & Saturday, access to Post Festival Glow Party.
Bronze pass: $110  Preferred seating, tickets to shows on Saturday & Sunday, access to Opening Night Feed.


Merle Haggard and The Strangers

The Historic Theater, Friday April 20, 8pm
Opener: Elsa Cross* (also performing April 21 at the Loft)
Tickets: $78; $70

A Portsmouth favorite now living and working in Austin, Texas, Elsa Cross says it was 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll that led her to its roots in old country, where she found the songs of Patsy Cline, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and the young Elvis Presley.

“…Reminiscent of the great Hank Williams but with the gusto of a tattooed rockabilly beat.”–  Portsmouth Herald

Three-time Grammy Winner, Country Hall of Famer, and 2010 Kennedy Center honoree Merle Haggard casts a far-reaching shadow. This legendary country balladeer has mastered the idiom at every level and written hundreds of songs, many of which have made their way to the top of the music charts.

“He is the greatest country artist of our times.”– Rolling Stone

The Felice Brothers/O’Death/The Farthest Forests

The Historic Theater, Saturday, April 21, 7pm
Tickets: $28; $22

A raucous crew of folk rockers from the Catskill Mountains, The Felice Brothers musical journey has taken them from New York subway platforms to the main stages of SXSW, The Newport Folk Festival, and the Bonnaroo festival.

““Putting the outlaw spirit back into country music.”– Guardian UK

Brooklyn based O’Death combines influences as diverse as Sonic Youth and old Civil War gospel, with sweet ukulele-driven melodies and testosterone-soaked post-teen-angst punk energy.

“The sexiest Appalachian hardcore (or hardcore Appalachian) band north of the Mason-Dixon line…”– The Village Voice

The Farthest Forests, a Seacoast duo featuring Anne Marple on vocals and Peter Squires on music, use imaginative lyrics and creative instrumentation to forge a unique folk sound that ranges from sparse and haunting to outright jubilant.

“This is one sweet duo!’”– United News Services

Double Bill: Elsa Cross, Lucy Wainwright Roche

The Loft, Saturday April 21, 7:30pm
Tickets at the door: $15

A member of music family royalty, Lucy Wainwright Roche is a masterful performer with a voice that has been described as hauntingly angelic. Her tales of life as seen from the road create a unique tapestry that weaves the ordinary into the magical.

“There’s no questioning her alluring potential as a songwriter.”– bbc.co.uk

Round Robin in the Music Hall Loft

The Loft, Sunday April 22, 1pm to 6pm
Tickets at the door: $10

A celebration of the vibrant Seacoast singer-songwriter scene, with each rising-star act playing for 15 minutes. Local music critic Christopher Hislop from Seacoast Media Group is the master of ceremonies.

Rosanne Cash

The Historic Theater, Sunday April 22, 7:30 pm
Tickets: $47; $42

Grammy Award-winner Rosanne Cash (the eldest daughter of the late Johnny Cash and his first wife) has had 11 #1 country hit singles, 21 Top-40 country hit singles, and two gold records. Her work as a singer-songwriter draws on many genres, including folk, rock, pop, and blues.

“Sublime singer, a terrific songwriter in her own right”– The Chicago Tribune

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