Singer-songwriter May Erlewine will be featured at the first concert scheduled in the 36th season of winter folk concerts at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek on Wednesday, November 20. Tickets for the 8 pm concert are $25.
One of the Midwest’s most prolific and passionate songwriters, Erlewine has a gift for writing songs of substance that feel both fresh and soulfully familiar. Her ability to emotionally engage with an audience has earned her a dedicated following far beyond her Michigan roots.
Raised in a home full of art and music, Erlewine began writing songs at a very young age. As a teenager she hitchhiked across the country, honing her skills as a performer and absorbing the stories and landscapes that would inform her music. In the following years, Erlewine would perform in every kind of venue imaginable, from street corners to festival stages to the live radio of “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Erlewine draws from a wide variety of influences to create her sound. Lyrically, her songs are rooted in hard-wrought wisdom, joy and sorrow, simplicity, and stories from her own everyday experiences. Musically, these messages are wrapped up in traditional folk roots, Americana, old-time country swing, soul, and even rock and pop sensibilities.
With a long list of full-length albums, two EPs, and numerous collaborations, Erlewine’s catalog is proof of her creative power. Her work has been spotlighted by Rolling Stone and NBC’s The Voice. National acts who have covered her songs include Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Sawyer Fredericks (Season 8 winner of The Voice), Joshua Davis (Season 8 finalist of The Voice), Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, and others.
An optional pre-concert fixed-price dinner will be served at 6 pm. The menu consists of Santa Fe Stew, cornbread, spinach and pear salad, and brown butter pumpkin cake for dessert. Special Consensus, a twice-Grammy nominated bluegrass group, returns to the White Gull Inn for two concerts scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3rd an 4th. Tickets for the 8 pm performances are $25.
Special Consensus performed to a sellout crowd at the Door Community Auditorium over the recent Sister Bay Fall Festival weekend. The Special Consensus’s brand of bluegrass has achieved a uniquely contemporary sound in their four decades of performing, making their music true modern classics. Bandleader and founder Greg Cahill is a recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Special Consensus has received five awards from the IBMA.
Special Consensus’s sound is grounded in a deep appreciation and understanding of bluegrass music. Their infectious sound reminds people of the past while utilizing the innovations of today. With the foundation of Greg’s unique banjo playing style, Rick Faris (guitar), Door County resident Nick Dumas (mandolin), and Dan Eubanks (bass) effortlessly support each other and consistently maintain their bluegrass center, whether they’re playing a jazz-tinged instrumental or a song from their award-winning John Denver tribute album.
Rivers and Roads, the band’s 19th recording, was nominated for a 2019 Grammy, received five 2018 IBMA nominations and was awarded Album of the Year. The tune “Squirrel Hunters” from that recording received the Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year award.
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served each evening at 6 pm. The menu for Tuesday, December 3 is meatloaf with caramelized shallot and mushroom gravy, Yukon gold mashed potatoes and haricot verts, wedge salad topped with buttermilk blue dressing and French Silk Pie for dessert.
The menu for Wednesday, Dec. 4 is Beef Bourguignon over mashed Yukon golds, French Bread and Arugula, fennel and orange salad with citrus vinaigrette, plus Cranberry pie for dessert.
The White Gull Inn series debuted in 1984, with monthly concerts November through April. According to White Gull Innkeeper Andy Coulson, the early inn performances were roughly designed after house concerts, which are usually held in the home of someone who provides lodging, dinner and breakfast and takes up a collection at the door for the artist. Although not technically a “house,” The White Gull had both the rooms and the meals, Coulson said. Before long, the series gained popularity and began attracting artists such as Tom Paxton, Bob Gibson and John McCuen. “It took a while, but the artists who came the first few years liked being here in winter and spread the word,” Coulson said. Nearly 200 musicians have performed at the Inn during the previous 35 seasons. Artists in the series who have either won or been nominated for Grammys include Mollie O’Brien, John McCuen, John McCutcheon, Tom Paxton, Special Consensus, Robbie Fulks and Claire Lynch.
Future scheduled concerts in the series are: Joshua Davis on January 8, 2020; Mile Twelve on January 30; the April Verch Band on February 26; Jeff Black on April 1; and Kyshona on April 29.
Tickets and more info on the concerts and the optional dinners are available by calling the White Gull Inn at (920) 868-3517 and on the Inn’s website, www.whitegullinn.com. If still available, concert tickets can be purchased at the door, although many concerts sell out, so advance ticket purchase and reservations for the pre-concert dinners are recommended.