ACMA welcomes Billy Kemp, Muriel Anderson, Lipbone Redding & more

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The Americana Community Music Association is Fort Myers home for original Americana music, has an all time record of nine shows this month. 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. Most shows are a $15 donation at the door. The ACMA rents the All Faiths Congregation on McGregor for most shows.
In February, five shows are at the ACMA listening room, and four of them are on the road: Songwriters at Sunset located at Lovers Key State Park and three library shows in Captiva, Estero and Fort Myers.
Here’s what’s happenings at the ACMA listening room in February:
Another enthusiastic and unanimous thumbs up from the ACMA music committee snagged Billy Kemp a spot on Feb. 1 in the “high season” line up. Bill Burkert will open for him.
A Baltimore native and Tennessee resident, Billy Kemp is a musician, songwriter, singer, composer and producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his tasteful and inventive guitar playing. He performs passionate home made songs and compositions, mostly roots music. Billy first made points in his hometown by forming the Paradise Pickers, a hybrid of country and rock which released one record in 1980. During the ‘80s, Billy followed his heart and went to Nashville. While based in Music City, he toured internationally with Tommy Overstreet, Terri Gibbs and Bandana. In town, he performed on the Grand Ole Opry with Jeanne Pruett.
In 2000, Billy formed a new roots-rock ensemble, Willbilly—his nickname in high school because of his love for country, folk and blues music. He also expanded his role as a producer and studio-owner, establishing a successful recording facility in rural Maryland. From 2006-2016, Kemp wrote, recorded and performed with the critically acclaimed, Appalachian Folk duo, Jeni & Billy. In 2018, Billy released The Painter’s Bucket, a collection of previously released and unreleased songs from 1983-2018.
The one and only Lipbone Redding returns to the ACMA stage Feb. 8. Joe Virga will open that night. This show is a $20 suggested donation. In his early twenties, Lawrence “Lipbone” Redding migrated from North Carolina to New York City with his guitar. After a brief stint as an actor, carpenter, bartender and producer for the Museum of Sound Recording, he promptly became a subway musician.
From 1998 to 2001, Lipbone honed his guitar and people skills amongst the underground caverns of New York City, In 2002, his craft allowed him to travel and make a living wherever life took him: India, Europe, South America, New Orleans, San Francisco. In 2005, Lipbone Redding emerged into the vibrant East Village nightlife, where he became a staple of the downtown music scene. From 2005-2012, he held a residency at the tiny but famous Jules Jazz Bistro on historic Saint Mark’s Place.
In 2007, Lipbone signed with Indie label, Be-Pop Records, founded by bass player and producer Jeff Eyrich (Natalie Cole, Tanya Tucker, T-Bone Burnett, John Cale, The Blasters, The Plimsouls, Dave’s True Story, Cheech & Chong). 5 albums and a “Best Of” compilation have since been produced by Jeff and Be-Pop Records. It was also during this time that Lipbone teamed up with choreographer/dancer, Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening, Fela!) to work on Chapel/Chapter. Since 2012, in order to maintain a travel lifestyle 200 engagements per year, Lipbone has returned to his roots and has sprouted new shoots.
Muriel Anderson is scheduled to perform Feb. 16, and Blu Lotus will open for her. This show is a $15-$20 suggested donation.
One of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp-guitarists, Muriel Anderson’s obvious joy of music, humor and her facility across the genres of folk, classical, bluegrass, popular and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide. An engaging performer, Muriel’s unique approach to the instrument virtually transforms the guitar into a lyrical choir, then a marching band, then a Japanese koto, then a Bluegrass band, one minute launching into a Beatles’ tune and the next, a Spanish classic. In addition, her new program is highlighted by a backdrop of stunning visuals by celebrated photo-artist Bryan Allen, bringing you on a world tour, and even into space.
Muriel is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship and has performed/recorded with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Victor Wooten and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. Her CD “Nightlight Daylight” was chosen as one of the top 10 CDs of the decade by Guitar Player Magazine. Her double CD “Nightlight Daylight” won top honors in a dozen awards and is the first ever to include an interactive fiber-optic lighted CD cover, her own concept.
The ACMA welcomes Max Hatt and Edda Glass on Feb. 22 for the first time on Feb. 22. Pete Bensen will open the show. Max Hatt and Edda Glass have “an incomparable spook” (Nashville Scene) and “a unique sound” (Larry Groce, NPR), comprised of Glass’s unmistakable voice and Hatt’s lyrical guitar. Originally based in Montana, their award-winning original music and unique interpretations of American and Brazilian standards have taken them all the way to New York City’s Lincoln Center, DC’s Kennedy Center, NPR Mountain Stage, Sundance Film Fest and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. Praised for her “impeccable vocal command” (PopMatters) and compared to a gamut of singers from Astrud Gilberto to Billie Holiday, Glass’s voice is ultimately “one of a kind…you cannot confuse her with another artist” (New York Theatre Guide). Hatt’s equally distinctive guitar work combines the harmonic innovations of jazz with the melodic resonance of folk, creating music that’s “subtly poignant, elegantly funky, and haunting without trying to be” (Nels Cline, Wilco).
The month winds up with Claudia Schmidt on Feb. 29, with Smokey Daytona Band opening. To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.
From lying on sandy beaches under an endless barrage of northern lights, to the expected anguish and frustration of spinning tires on cars stuck deep in snow, from the age-old struggle of change between adolescence and adulthood to the observation of sheer idiocy, she leaves it to the imagination of her audience to conjure their own images of her storytelling and song. No interpretation of a Claudia Schmidt song or story is wrong-she invites audiences to tie their associations to her style.
Additionally, the ACMA holds a singer songwriters circle every Sunday 2 – 4 p.m. at All Faiths Unitarian Congregation at 2756 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. The circle is for acoustic songwriters of all levels.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and all shows start at 7 pm. For more info, visit


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