Door Community Auditorium (DCA) is pleased to present its second-annual Blues & Roots Fest at 7 p.m. on November 2, 3, and 4, featuring Leyla McCalla, Mission Temple Fireworks Revival with Paul Thorn & The McCrary Sisters, Ruthie Foster, and The Fairfield Four.
Leyla McCalla (Thursday, November 2) is a New York-born Haitian-American living in New Orleans. Proficient on cello, tenor banjo, and guitar, McCalla (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) sings in French, Haitian Creole, and English. Deeply influenced by Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, McCalla’s music is at once earthy, elegant, and witty—soaked in three centuries of history, yet also fresh, distinctive, and contemporary. The New York Times calls McCalla “magnificently transparent … weighty thoughts handled with the lightest touch imaginable.”
Friday, November 3 brings Mission Temple Fireworks Revival with Paul Thorn and The McCrary Sisters. Hailed as the “Mark Twain of Americana,” Paul Thorn brings his gritty, gospel-infused Southern rock straight from his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, where he grew up as the son of a Pentecostal preacher. AllMusic calls Thorn’s music “gutbucket blues, old-time rock and roll, a sharp pop sense, and a gift for good old storytelling thrown in.” The McCrary Sisters are the daughters of the late Reverend Samuel McCrary—one of the original members of fellow Blues and Roots Fest feature The Fairfield Four. Dynamic and powerful, The McCrary Sisters carry on their family’s legacy with grace, hope, and gorgeous harmonies. Atlantic City Weekly raves, “When Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda McCrary sing, there is no way … not to be moved.”
Closing the festival on Saturday, November 4 will be a double-bill by Ruthie Foster and The Fairfield Four. Ruthie Foster can command any stage with her fiery blend of soul, blues, rock, folk, and gospel. She returns to DCA fresh off the release of her critically acclaimed release “Joy Comes Back,” which Paste Magazine calls “further evidence of Foster’s prowess when it comes to breaking through boundaries.” Best known for their appearance in “O Brother Where Art Thou,” the Grammy Award-winning Fairfield Four perform their trademark a cappella music to enthusiastic crowds across the country. The quartet has been singularly important in revitalizing and preserving the oldest styles of traditional spiritual and gospel singing. Soul Audio calls The Fairfield Four “at once mournful and haunting, yet still tinged with hope and joy.”
Blues & Roots Fest is made possible with support from presenting sponsors Peninsula Pulse and Door County Living; major sponsors Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik and Lori and David Nicholas; and supporting sponsors Fun in Wisconsin, Wild Tomato, and Wisconsin Public Radio.
All shows will take place at 7 p.m. on DCA’s mainstage. Tickets for the individual events range from $22 to $68 (or $10 for students 18 and under), with three-day packages available from $76-140 (or $25 for students 18 and under). Advance reservations are recommended and can be made through the DCA box office, located at 3926 Highway 42 in Fish Creek. The box office is open Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person, on the phone at (920) 868-2728, or online at www.dcauditorium.org.