Sat, Jul 27
“Natalie Merchant is a rare breed: an artist who has never compromised, but instead evolved with integrity, thought, and meaning.” – Daily Telegraph
“An artist with a singular voice and vision. Time has only amplified the power of Merchant’s music.” – Mojo
For A Summer Evening with Natalie Merchant, she will be joined by her longtime guitarist Erik Della Penna, with whom she has been playing for two decades; they will perform material from the past thirty-five years of Merchant’s career. “I’ve reached a point in my career of wanting unique experiences on tour, of not settling for the predictable routing and venues. Last July, Erik and I had a very pleasant experience touring the United Kingdom as an acoustic duo. This Summer, we’ve decided to do a tour of New England following the same format, steering clear of big cities and playing unique and intimate venues in small, picturesque towns. I imagine we will meet many locals and visitors seeking the same sort of experience that we are and I expect the audiences and the settings will inspire us.
Q magazine has called Natalie Merchant “among the most compelling and distinctive voices of the last decade”, while Vogue has said she is “one of the most successful and enduring alternative artists to emerge from the Eighties intact and uncompromised”. Her career began in 1981 when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1984. As lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometimes pianist, Merchant released six critically acclaimed studio albums with the band, including the platinum-certified In My Tribe, Blind Man’s Zoo, Our Time in Eden, and the multi-platinum MTV Unplugged, which became the band’s most successful release as well as one of the best-selling in the Unplugged series. She left the group in 1993, and in 1995 released her multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, followed by the platinum Ophelia and Motherland. In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter.
During her career, Merchant has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Billy Bragg, Gavin Bryars David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, REM, and Wilco. Merchant remains dedicated to a wide array of social justice and environmental causes. Recently, she spearheaded the making of the protest concert film Dear Governor Cuomo with New Yorkers Against Fracking, actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, and filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Alex Gibney, and she directed and produced SHELTER: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence.