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Looking Ahead: Americana Music, Infusions of the Holiday Spirit and a Variety Show

November 17, 2014
Start celebrating the holidays this week at Blumenthal Performing Arts!

Start celebrating the holidays this week at Blumenthal Performing Arts!

It’s official — the leaves are falling and the temperatures have dropped. For me, that means it’s time to get ready for the holidays, and I can’t think of a better way to do so than with two fantastic holiday shows! We have that, along with a great concert and Open Mic, all happening this week!

Tonight, Justin Townes Earle takes over McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Once compared to a man who wears many suits, Earle has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally, in 32 short years. Between releasing four full-length, critically acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, a new-found sobriety, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. His fifth album (and first on Vagrant Records) serves as the perfect platform for such narrations.

Celtic Thunder Symphony Tour is the first symphony tour for Celtic Thunder, which will depart from its traditional and critically acclaimed large set productions to perform songs from the group’s 2013 chart-topping album “Christmas Voices.” It will be a dynamic live music experience accentuated by the instrumentals of a symphony orchestra. Featuring holiday favorites ranging from traditional carols “Away in A Manger” and “O Holy Night” to the more contemporary “Mary’s Boy Child” and “Fairytale of New York,” Celtic Thunder’s four male soloists, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Neil Byrne and Colm Keegan, will also perform solo and ensemble numbers, signature Celtic Thunder hit songs “Ireland’s Call” and “Turning Away” and traditional Irish numbers such as “Dulaman” and “My Land.” Don’t miss it tomorrow night in Belk Theater!

Friday night, it’s the community’s favorite free event in McGlohon Theater! Open Mic is back and is open to all. Performers such as instrumentalists, singers, dancers, storytellers, poets, jugglers, magicians and others are sure to entertain. Audience seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. CLICK HERE to watch a video from a past Open Mic event.

Due to its overwhelming popularity, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas is back in Charlotte for the holiday season! Mannheim Steamroller is the work of producer/composer Chip Davis. In the mid-1970s, Davis was one of the first composers on the nascent new age scene, releasing a five-album series called “Fresh Aire” and combining elements of modern classical music with that which was still in the process of becoming new age electronic music.

Davis hit the jackpot in 1984 when his first attempt at holiday music, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, became a huge success with over 5 million copies sold, thanks to a new age take on “Deck The Halls.” Christmas music (and holiday music in general) became a staple of Steamroller’s subsequent releases, with seven Christmas-themed albums and two Halloween-focused records coming out over the course of the next 15 years. Since the mid-1990s, Mannheim Steamroller has been widely recognized as the biggest purveyor of holiday music in the industry.

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