CARTHAGE — New England Celtic Arts and the Western Maine Storytelling Festival will present Maine’s David Surette, Susie Burke and Matt Shipman in a storyteller's circle at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center on Sunday, July 22.
The show's emphasis is on the stories behind the songs.
Warmth, vitality and spontaneity mark the performances of Burke and Surette, and have earned them a reputation as one of the finest acts on the New England folk scene. Burke is known for her beautiful, complex voice; Surette for his nimble-fingered string playing.
Together since 1988, they perform a blend of contemporary, traditional and original folk and acoustic music.
Between their solo and duo projects, Burke and Surette have released 10 albums since 1990 on the Madrina Music label. They released their "When the Small Birds Sweetly Sing" CD in 2008.
Shipman, who has become a familiar face on the traditional music stages of New England, has been performing for 10 years. He is from Exeter, N.H., but has lived all over the country, the last nine years in Maine. He taught himself to play guitar and mandolin while in his early teens. He also enjoys playing bozouki, tenor and old-time, five-string banjo.
Shipman graduated in 2004 from Vermont College with a self-designed traditional music studies major. For this study, he traveled through Nova Scotia, North Carolina and Maine compiling songs and stories from people he met. This culminated in a radio documentary about traditional music in the 21st century. During that time, he also attended the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, where he studied various instruments and styles.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m., with a jam session slated at 6:15 p.m. when audience members can briefly play their musical instruments with performing artists. Skye Theater is at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road and U.S. Route 2. For tickets, $15 at the door, call 562-4445.