Singer-songwriters Webster, Gerber in NC
WHO: Paul Emery presents
WHAT: Chris Webster and Nina Gerber with Peter Wilson opening
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9
WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City
Information and order by phone at
The Nevada City Box Office at the Miners Foundry - 530-265-5462
The Briar Patch - 530-272-5333
Online at http://www.paulemerymusic.com
It all began as an improvisational jam in Nevada City’s old meeting place, Cowboy Pizza, more than 20 years ago. That’s when singer-songwriter Chris Webster and former Kate Wolf guitarist Nina Gerber first played music together.
“It was really fun. We were just kind of goofing off playing songs,” said Webster, known for her band, Mumbo Gumbo, an act that regularly performed at Miners Foundry Cultural Center.
The duo returns to the town where it all began for a special Paul Emery Music concert with an opening by local Peter Wilson Saturday at the Nevada Theatre.
“I love Nevada City. It’s a great little spot. Going to Nevada City was like going on vacation,” said Webster, who hails from Davis and recalls playing at the old Herb Shop.
Audiences can expect soulful ballads, folk tunes, blues, jazz and country influences weaved into the Nevada City show and a mix of covers of old favorites by Kate Wolf, Clive Gregson and Aretha Franklin, as well as new and original songs.
“It’s pretty intimate — just voice, guitar and the audience,” Webster said.
Webster and Gerber first met at the old barn music venue, the Palms Playhouse in Davis when both were performers there. It wasn’t long after that the two began to play music together. Both are fans of Clive Gregson and Christine Collister’s music.
“Similar to our instrumentation, Clive played guitar. Christine just sang. So we started learning a couple of their songs, and then continued playing together over the past 20-something years,” said Webster.
Webster’s solo recordings include: “Drive, Now Playing” and a traditional bluegrass/Americana album recorded with her sister, Cassie, and guitarist Scott Nygaard titled “10,000 Miles.” On stage, Webster comes out swinging with a washboard, deftly switching to acoustic guitar or saxophone to accent her elegant yet quirky stage presence.
Gerber is known for her ability to free herself within an eclectic range of styles that include folk, country, bluegrass, rock and blues. She performed with Kate Wolf for most of Wolf’s short but influential career. Gerber began as an accompanist but eventually became a co-collaborator, arranging and producing some of Wolf’s albums. In addition, she has compiled some posthumous releases.
Gerber first visited and fell in love with Nevada City in the 1970s while performing with Wolf.
“I have some friends up there, and for a while, way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I would come hang out in Nevada City and play bar gigs with Kelly Fleming and friends. It got to the point where people thought I lived there because I was up there so often playing with folks. Over the years, I’ve played that area with many other performers, from big venues to small venues. It’s always been one of my favorite places to come play,” Gerber said.
While performing with Fleming, Gerber met local musician Peter Wilson.
“There’s a nice little community of musicians in Nevada City and Peter is one of them,” Gerber said.
Wilson has toured and performed since 1978 in coffeehouses, colleges, trains and nightclubs across the U.S. and Canada. In the past year, he has performed locally numerous times, most recently during an Elvis birthday show at The Center for the Arts with the Chillbillies. In 2012, he released two CDs, “Shoulder to the Wheel” and “Original Songs and Stories from Troubadour Camp,” recorded with friends Moe Dixon and Mountain John Hilligoss.
Besides Wolf, Gerber has performed and/or recorded with a long list of musicians, including Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O’Brien, Dave Alvin, Rosalie Sorrels, Laurie Lewis, Terry Garthwaite and many others. Several of these artists have appeared on her recordings, “Not Before Noon” and “Good Music with Good People.”
A concert by Webster and Gerber is laid back and without extra frills.
“It will be a night of sweet music, light humor, and an appreciation of being a part of that community for the evening,” Gerber said.
Tickets for Saturday’s show are $20. For information, or to order by phone, call the Nevada City Box Office at 530-265-5462. Tickets are also available at BriarPatch Co-op.
For information go to http://paulemerymusic.com.
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