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AAFFM Presents: Jim Sharkey, and The Clams feat. Frank Hamilton
December 15, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm EST$8 – $10
December 15, 2018
Fiddler’s Green Coffeehouse
Singer-songwriter Jim Sharkey is an Irish and Americana folk musician making his second Fiddler’s Green appearance. Jim grew up in County Roscommon, Ireland. He came to the U.S. in 1982 after joining the U.S. Navy in London, England. He spent five years as a photographer on the USS Dixon in San Diego, California, and ten years working in television and video production in North Carolina and Maine. He taught children with special needs in Westbrook, Maine, and Roanoke, Virginia. He currently teaches at The Arts Based School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and he continues to play two or three times a month in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland, and Washington DC, accompanying himself on guitar, harmonica, and bodhran (Irish drum). Jim’s original songs blend Celtic traditional ballad influences with contemporary issues that are often set in the area he resides.
Jim has recorded three CDs: Misty Morning Rain, Sweet Anne’s Road and Black Is the Color. He’ll include some seasonal songs in his set – among them, his 2017 release The Christmas Comet.
The Clams, an Atlanta-based jazz quintet led by legendary folk/jazz musician Frank Hamilton, takes its name from the humorous reference to mistakes made on recordings, a name given to this by Bix Beiderbecke. This extraordinary band will ring in the New Year a couple of weeks early for our Fiddler’s Green patrons.
Early jazz emanated from New Orleans. At the end of the Civil War, band instruments used in military marching bands wound up in pawn shops throughout the country. In New Orleans African-American musicians found them and incorporated them into a new marching band dance form called, in those days, “jass.”
At the same time a section of New Orleans contained sporting houses of prostitution. Musicians found work in these establishments to generate that business. As with the name “rock”, “jass” was a euphemism for sexual activity. Eventually the word’s spelling became “jazz.”
One of these famous sporting houses, Lulu White’s Mahogany Hall, was presided over by Alderman Story. Hence, the red light area became known as Storyville. Many great jazz musicians started out in jazz marching bands and in these houses. The Navy shut these brothels were shut down in 1915 due to rampant venereal disease, but the music survived.
Alongside the marching bands and the cat house pianists, there were string bands with guitars, mandolin, banjos and upright basses and horns in combinations that prevail to this day in the form of what is called a jazz combo. The Clams carry on this music tradition. Their influences include the cornet playing of Bix Beiderbecke, the banjo and guitar stylings of Eddie Lang, and piano styles from Fats Waller to Jelly Roll Morton. The Clams play and sing this jazz that millions joyfully danced to from the early 1900s through the 40s.
Five stellar Atlanta musicians comprise the Clams. Bill Rutan is a legendary tenor banjo player who has traveled over the world playing with various New Orleans jazz groups and driving every one of them with his impeccable rhythm and extensive vocal repertoire of songs. L.A. Tuten is a versatile musician who has recording credits and is known for being in demand as a local musician; he’s also a former director of Atlanta’s Marching Abominables. Matt Phillips is a multi-talented performer who plays cornet in the style of Bix, plays mandolin and works as an expert repairman of quality violins; he’s also a visual artist known for his drawings and paintings. Mick Kinney is a master of many instruments and a swinging jazz style; he’s an accomplished fiddler, pianist, teacher and musical director. Frank Hamilton’s career spans many years as a folk and early jazz guitar player and singer; he was co-founder of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and the Frank Hamilton School in Atlanta.