The Luthiers Concert- A Review
By Ken DeLaat
Photos By Faune Benson Schuitema and Cheryl Benson
11 years running and once again a packed house at the Dogwood Center’s Black Box as folks poured in to witness the latest version of The Luthier’s Concert.
Keith Caldwell, Jerry Roberts, Gene Calkins and Ian Tronsen opened the show with each on stage playing a creation from Keith’s workshop. The quartet proved to set the stage for the evening with a gentle set of familiar folks and bluegrass tunes.
They were followed to the stage by perennial Luthier performer Mark Swanson always an audience favorite. Swanson began with ‘Sunny Afternoon’ an old Kinks song and did a little political stepping out as he...
...introduced the song Paul Simon performed at Jimmy Carter’s inauguration.
“We come on the ship they called the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the nation’s most uncertain hours
And sing an American Tune.”
Don Benson another concert veteran brought the show to intermission with his original songs along with his granddaughter Cyanne Schuitema who joined in with the ukulele she recently crafted under the guidance of her Luthier Grandfather. Local songstress and longtime Benson family friend Megan Wirts channeled a little Leonard Cohen in her duet with Benson whose dialogue with the audience betrayed the pride he held in sharing the stage with these two talented women.
The Bearded Ladies Men who are not all bearded nor all men, once again proved to be a popular act with front man and repurposer extraordinaire Chester Winoweicki playing a variety of what he called Junkstruments fashioned from tubs, boxes, cake pans and other items. He was backed up by some smooth clarinet licks from by Lisa Ziemelis and the mellow T-bone tuneage coming from her husband Carl. The three along with the fine guitar work of Adrian Schuster made for a lively crowd-pleasing set.
Isaac Smith played in his first Luthier’s concert at the age of 12 taking one of Elon Howe’s violins on stage as a quiet but talented pre-teen. On this night he took the stage as a college graduate with a degree in Bluegrass Music and accompanied by fellow fiddler and girlfriend Katie Springer of North Carolina. The two played Elon Howe creations and captivated the audience with their two-fiddle recital that put on display their significant talent as well as the obvious chemistry existing between them.
The finale came when Swanson brought all the performers on stage and led the audience in a group sing of ‘Take Me Home Country Roads.’
Kudos to Faune Benson Schuitema the creator of this yearly celebration of local craftsmen for once again putting a mid-winter smile on the faces of patrons who enjoyed the 11th annual NCCA Artsplace presentation of The Luthier Concert.
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