June 7, 2014 11:02:44 PM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
A year of exploring influences from the wider world on America's arts culminates in an intimate evening with British singer-songwriter Rupert Wates Thursday, June 12.
Born in London, Wates relocated to the United States in 2006. He has since received almost 30 songwriting awards and is currently touring in support of his latest album, "The Rank Outsiders Ball," released in March.
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange described Wates as "a prime figure in American music." In January, Concerts In Your Home, an organization of house concert hosts booking artists across the United States, named Wates one of their three 2013 Artists of the Year. He has toured extensively in Europe and performed shows in every state in the U.S. Following a concert at Moonlight on the Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, venue founder and owner Keith Harrelson said of Wates, "(He) made us sit up pop-eyed at what he could do with six strings."
Wates' art/folk songs often retell the stories of ordinary people, tracing them through two world wars, the Dust Bowl depression, Vietnam or the civil rights struggle. The new album gets closer to jazz, with touches of vaudeville and even theater.
The concert concludes the 2013-2014 CAC programming season, with its theme of "Coming to America."
"We've had a entertaining season exploring some of the cultural contributions that have influenced our music and arts," said CAC Programming Manager Beverly Norris. "Having someone as compelling as Rupert Wates with us is a special way to bring it to a close."
How to go
Tickets to the 7 p.m. show in the Rosenzweig Arts Center Omnova Theater are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Get advance tickets at the arts center at 501 Main St. Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 662-328-2787.
Listen to Wates online at rupertwates.com and youtube.com.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.