The Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center presents another great bluegrass series, including Della Mae on Friday, Jan. 12, followed by David Mayfield Parade on Friday, Jan. 19.
Della Mae is a Grammy-nominated all-woman string band founded by lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith and two-time Grand National champion fiddle player Kimber Ludiker. Rounding out the current touring lineup are guitarist Avril Smith, and bassist Vickie Vaughn. Della Mae is one of the most charismatic and engaging roots bands touring today. Their mission as a band is to showcase top female musicians, and to improve opportunities for women and girls through advocacy, mentorship, programming, and performance. Della Mae imbues their songs with the unshakable sense of purpose they’ve embodied since first getting together. Formed in Boston in 2009, with ambitions of disrupting the male-dominated bluegrass scene, the band has proven undeniably ahead of their time placing women at the forefront — an element evident in the origin of their name. “Della Mae is a woman who pops up in a lot of bluegrass songs and who’s a victim of physical abuse—she done her man wrong, and now he’s gonna get her,” Ludiker explains. “From the beginning, this band has been about reclaiming her story and changing the conversation for women, especially those whose stories haven’t been told.”
Over the years, Della Mae has worked toward that goal by teaming up with the U.S. State Department and traveling to over 30 countries in an effort to improve opportunities for women all across the globe. “Advocating for women’s rights is the backbone of this band, and we realized that adding public service work to our touring was an important way we could make a difference.”
The following week, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center welcomes back the fan-favorite David Mayfield Parade on Jan. 19.
The boundless energy and enthusiasm for performing music and engaging audiences are evident at every David Mayfield Parade concert. Back with high acclaim, this outrageous band is memorable to any who have previously attended. Once described as “a dynamic combination of music and comedy worthy of a traveling Vaudeville act ” by The Boston Globe, Grammy & Emmy-nominated producer David Mayfield mesmerizes on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. Mayfield is joined by two-time National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, Steven Moore, and former member of “The Railsplitters”, Christine King on fiddle and vocals, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bonnis on bass and vocals and a former member of “Cadillac Sky.” Together, they parade into town for a light-hearted, fun-filled night of harmony, hot licks, and laughs the whole family can enjoy.
David Mayfield grew up playing bass and touring with his family’s bluegrass band. As a teenager Mayfield established himself as a hot picker collecting national awards for his dexterity on guitar and mandolin, and his knack for colorful performances was immediately evident. He oozes personality on stage, a trait that makes him a natural frontman. Conscious of not just being a musician, but an entertainer, something his father instilled in him in the family band, he certainly makes an impression in his live performances. But it’s the strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with that charm and personality that keep audiences consistently clamoring to join the parade.
Both concerts are $45 each in advance or $50 at the door. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., and the doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Future concerts in the series include Mamma Said String Band on March 15 and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper on April 12.
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.
For more information visit www.sbdac.com or call 239-333-1933.