"Geremia is something of a national treasure" -- Elijah Wald
For almost forty years, Paul Geremia has survived solely by the fruit of his musical labours. Having abandoned all other means of support in 1966, he has been travelling far and wide ever since, performing in every capacity from street singing to club and concert bookings, throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.
In the years since, Geremia has built a reputation as a first rate bluesman, songwriter, a "scholar" of early jazz and blues, and one of the best country blues fingerpickers ever with his tools - six and twelve-string guitars, harmonica, piano and a husky soulful voice - and with an innate sense of the humour as well as the drama of the music, he keeps traditional blues fresh and alive with his performances.
Combining his interpretation of the earlier music of people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell and Blind Blake, with his original compositions, he has created a style which is very much his own and which has received accolades in the U.S.A. and Europe, too numerous to mention.
Geremia's background isn't typical for a bluesman. He is a third generation Italian-American who, as he laughingly puts it, "was born in the Providence River Delta". Growing up in a family that moved across the country and back numerous times weaned his appetite for music, history and travel, which served him well later on.
During the sixties, Paul noticed that the music he had enjoyed playing on harmonica (his first instrument) was now referred to as "Folk Music" and was enjoying popularity. During his short time in agriculture college, he was mostly occupied with learning guitar and hitch-hiking to where the music was. He soon left college and hit the road permanently. He found paying gigs in coffee houses and "basket houses" in cities and at college campuses and made occasional forays South and West in search of the music he loved and what gigs he could find.
During these years, Geremia crossed paths with people whose influences were beneficial to his development and understanding of the tradition. He worked as opening act for some of the early blues "legends" thereby gaining an immeasurable depth of knowledge from people like Babe Stovall, Yank Rachel, Son House, Skip James, Howlin' Wolf, and many others, especially Pink Anderson whose career he helped revitalize.
Geremia has recorded ten solo albums, and has appeared on numerous anthologies and compilation discs. His superb recordings have made him a critical favorite and place him firmly among the legends who inspired and influenced him over the past four decades.
Jaime Brockett (pronounced "Jamie") is a memorable and uniquely stylish New England folksinger. As the Boston Globe described him, Jaime is a "hard-core, unregenerated folkie."
His popularity soared, as a recording artist and performer, starting in the 1960s, when his version of Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic became an overnight classic. Despite the song's length -- over three minutes, an extraordinarily long recording for that era -- radio stations made time to play it anyway.
Into the 21st century, Jaime continues to entertain audiences -- many of whom will drive long distances for any Jaime Brockett concert or performance -- with his dry wit, clever observations on life, and his consistently rich music. (Rumors of where Jaime is and what he's doing, surface infrequently at Yahoo Group created by Jaime's fans.)
Skilled in many of the musical instruments he collects, Jaime may be best known for his talents with guitar, banjo and dulcimer, but he can eke a sweet sound out of almost any string instrument.
Jaime Brockett may not be a household name, but to those who've had the pleasure of hearing his music -- live or recorded -- Jaime's an instant legend.
A BRIEF BIO: JAIME BROCKETT
Jaime Brockett grew up in Grafton and Westborough, Massachusetts. In 1969, he achieved almost instant fame with "The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic." That popular song is Jamie's rambling, 13-minute version of a Leadbelly classic, co-written with Chris Smither.
Today, Jaime lives in a picturesque corner of New England, collects vintage guitars, and nods at armadillos as he passes them en route his next concert.
Jaime has always filled his movie (aka, his life) with adventures, great music, witty dialogue, and clever observations. He sees his life through sunny yellow lenses as he roams from one coffeehouse or club (and grateful audience) to the next.
Jaime is well-respected as a musician since he made his mark on folk music in the late 1960s. His first album, Remember the Wind and the Rain, attracted loyal fans who -- more than 30 years later -- sometimes drive hundreds of miles for one of Jaime's performances.
Jaime's other albums include: Jaime Brockett 2 - 1970 (Capitol Records), North Mountain Velvet - 1977 (Adelphi Records), and Road Dancer - 1996, (Private release).
Jaime's music has evolved far beyond "The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic." In his 21st century performances, Jaime's original observations are as appreciated as his songs.
Jaime Brockett is a folk music icon, an entertainer on- and offstage, and he's still legendary for his sizzling, pan-fried steaks.
TURN YOUR RADIO ON! Pre-concert radio interviews
4/17 about1:30pm - Jaime w/ Eli Polonsky on WMBR (88.1fm,www.wmbr.org) (archived for two weeks)
4/19 7:45pm - Jaime w/ Nick Nobel on WICN (91.5fm,www.wicn.org)
4/20 noon - Paul w/ Dave Palmater on WUMB (91.9fm,www.wumb.org)
4/20 4:30pm - Paul w/ Lindsay Ellison on WMBR (88.1fm,www.wmbr.org) (archived for two weeks)
Dinner and a Show: Concert patrons can save 10% when they bring proof of concert reservation to The House of Tibet Kitchen, 235 Holland Street, Somerville - 617-629-7567. Ticket holders who make a dinner reservation will be entitled to 10% off their dinner bill. Tax and tip not included. Before being seated please identify yourself to the staff as attending the Paul Geremia and Jaime Brockett concert at Unity.
Paul Geremia and Jaime Brockett
Friday, April 20 – 8:00pm
Unity Somerville, 6 William Street (corner College Ave, 3 blocks north of Davis Square), Somerville
$20 at the door
$15 at Sandy's Music, 896 Mass Ave, Cambridge
$10 student rush (limit 50).
Paul Geremia - http://www.paulgeremia.org/
Jaime Brockett - http://www.mufc.dk/jaime/ (unofficial)
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/events/252361584839835/