ACMA: The 502s, Grant Peeples, local showcase

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The Americana Community Music Association has a great lineup for September.
The ACMA provides a venue for local and touring artists, many are award winning performers in the Americana/Folk community. All shows are in a quiet, intimate setting and every show is a meet and greet with the artists. YouTube any of these artists and be prepared to be impressed by the talent that is available to you all year round for a cost of a $15 donation. The headliners are touring “under the wire, should be famous” musicians. Each show has a local songwriter that performs at a professional level open for the headliner. The ACMA rents the All Faiths Congregation on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers for most shows.
The ACMA welcomes The 502s on Sept 7. Once again, the high energy indie folk group will crowd onto the ACMA stage to bring a little of everything to the local stage. They were a hit last year, bringing new faces and songs into the venue.
“The 502s are a charismatic indie folk band from Maitland, Florida and they’ve got enough energy to take on the world,” according to No Depression.
Listening to their light-hearted gang vocals and buoyant trumpet lines, you could certainly slap The 502s with an ambiguous indie label. Their loosely boondock, on-the-road-again acoustic tenor makes them a fit with the Americana crowd. And with their big, open strumming patterns, finger-picked banjo, and mildly twangy vocal flair, it would be easy to call them a folk band, throw on a plaid shirt, and compare them to The Lumineers or The Avett Brothers.
Since 2015, The 502s have taken their swaggering blend of Americana across the USA. The band recently gained an international following thanks to a viral Facebook video of their song “What To Do” with over 750,000 views. Their album is a heartfelt invitation to good old-fashioned fun, and they have been celebrating 2018 with a 50-concert tour across 19 US states, the UK, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Opening for the 502 is a Carlene Thissen. She is a singer, songwriter and author from Naples. Her voice reminds us of her influences, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez. From Woodstock memories to her passion for Immokalee’s farm workers, Carlene’s music will take you back and may even inspire you to go change the world.
Grant Peeples returns to the ACMA stage on Sept 14. He loves the concept of a listening room …. and he has a lot to say. His shows are a roiling mix of funny stuff and not-funny stuff. He doesn’t do a lot of love songs. When appropriate…he’s been known to play a few “off-color” tunes.
He has made ten studio records, three live recordings and two poetry books. He tours coast-to-coast, primarily as a solo artist, but often with a side man. He usually plays festivals with his band The Peeples Republik.
He lived on a small island off the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua for eleven years. And much of what he writes about today is informed by that experience. Gurf Morlix, who has produced Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, and Slaid Cleaves—has produced four of Grant’s Records, including his most recent, “Settling Scores Vol II” (2018).
David Hintz opens for Grant Peeples. David Hintz has been performing and writing songs since the mid 1960s. For reasons he will never quite understand, he put away pen and guitar for many years until the early 21st century. So after a 25 year hiatus, David was coerced into going to an open mic in Fort Myers. David is a local favorite and valued member of the ACMA. David has two CDs: Rode Hard and Put Away Wet (2013) and Out With a Bang (2015).
As part of the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, the ACMA will put on a Sing Songwriter Showcase on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Barrel Room in downtown Fort Myers. The ACMA has put together a mix of some of the best local songwriters, touring and non-touring. You will not want to miss this free show featuring Kim Mayfield, Ray Cerbone, Robert Bidney, Bill Metts and Roy Schneider.
Kim Mayfield started playing music on the family piano at age nine. She played for herself for years before learning to play with others. As a member of the trio “Reckless Saints” Kim has picked up guitar and mandolin, as well as learning to play keyboard without “notes.” She is in her 11th year of touring nationally and internationally with her husband and music partner Roy Schneider. Kim was a semi-finalist in the 2019 International Songwriting Competition.
Ray Cerbone is one of the founding members of the Fort Myer’s ACMA. Ray began playing guitar during the early ‘70s folk scene. With the support and inspiration of fellow local and touring musicians, he began writing and playing in earnest in 2010. Traveling a long road in a short time, his music encompasses many genres, including Americana, folk, blues, ballads, and a little bit of country. His storyteller style takes the listener to another place in time, his music and lyrics bringing evocative insights into the many sides of life. Ray is also a singer-songwriter’s song-singer. That is, he does interpretive covers of other great originals by little-known but very talented artists using his own creative touch. His inventive fingerstyle guitar is uniquely diverse and easy-on-the-ears.
Ray’s recently released CD, How Much Time, has received glowing reviews and is being featured on KEOS Radio in Austin, Texas, 98.1 in S. Florida as well as others. He has shared the stage with Jaime Michaels, Pierce Pettis, Muriel Anderson, Rebecca Folsom, Jefferson Ross as well as Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield (The Reckless Saints), and Robin O’Herin.
Ray fronted The Apocalypse Blues Revue, a hard hitting blues rock band formed by Shannon Larkin and Tony Rombola of Godsmack fame. The band was signed to Mascot/Provogue records and released two full length records, the first of which reached number two in the blues charts. Over six years the band played blues festivals and blues venues on both coasts.
Robert Bidney is a singer / songwriter whose messages are as strong as his melodies. His music is relatable and has a strong commercial sensibility. His songs have been covered by an eclectic group of recording artists around the world, plus his work has been on several national radio and TV commercials. Bidney’s second album Rush of Hope, released in May 2019, addresses universal themes through a lens of optimism. With its message of love instead of hate, the music resonates in today’s social climate. Rush of Hope, in its first few months after release, has received positive album reviews, airplay in the U.S., Scotland, Amsterdam and London. He is an active member of the Americana Community Music Association and lives in Southwest Florida
Bill Metts started playing guitar during the country blues revival of the ‘60s and fell in love with the art of finger-style guitar. He began his writing career after moving to South West Florida and regularly attending open mics in Fort Myers, notably the (sadly) no longer operating “Nita’s Sweet Bean Café” where many local singer songwriters cut their teeth. Shortly after, he was asked to served on the board of the nationally known Americana Community Music Association and hosted their weekly Songwriter Circle for four years. He has also, for seven years through a not for profit organization called Hope by Song, been composing songs from the writings of people dealing with great emotional trauma in order to help them heal through the power inherent in music.
He has performed at the prestigious Mississippi John Hurt Blues Festival, the world famous “Ground Zero” in Clarksdale Mississippi and twice at the Island Hopper Festival Songwriter Fest. He has also opened for such greats as award winners Doug MacCleod and Jon Shain, and is scheduled to open for the legendary Roy Bookbinder.
Roy Schneider, a troubadour and formerly syndicated cartoonist, has developed a devoted fan base for his particular flavor of Americana music since2008, through international radio airplay and consistent touring with life-and-stage partner Kim Mayfield. Playfully dubbed “Blue-Twangled Folk‘n’ Roll” in a 2014 No Depression interview, Schneider has brought his musical blend of the gritty, fun, soulful and sweet to delighted audiences across the U.S. and abroad.
In October, the ACMA presents Cliff Eberhardt on Oct. 5, Friction Farm on Oct. 12, Mike Laureanno on Oct. 19 and Omar & Violet on Oct. 26.
A singer-ongwriter circle is held every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at All Faiths Unitarian Congregation at 2756 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. The circle is for acoustic songwriters of all levels. Songs and experiences are shared in a non-judgmental, casual atmosphere. No membership required. All are welcome to come and play or just to listen.
Most concerts are held at All Faiths Congregation located at 2756 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and all shows start at pm. For more information visit


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