Joel Mabus in Concert

What: Cornell Folk Song Club Concert
When: Saturday, March 11, 2000
Where: 165 McGraw Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
How Much: $10 / usual discounts
Joel Mabus

As far as we know, Joel Mabus will be making his Ithaca debut this March. He is long overdue. Well-established on the North American folk circuit, having played festivals from Philadelphia to Vancouver, he is a solid midwesterner who doesn't venture East often enough.

Joel is the kind of musician some say is hard to pigeon-hole and impossible to label, for the simple reason that is Joel is so diversely talented. He is one of those uncommon musicians who is known equally well as a hot picker and writer of memorable songs. His hot picking is not limited to one or two instruments. He is impressive on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin, and his tunes have entered the canon of both contradance and bluegrass bands. Nor is his song writing limited to one genre. He received notice for his gracefully moving Touch a Name on the Wall about the Vietnam War Memorial. The song of his I think I've heard most often on the radio is The Duct Tape Blues, in which he cleverly (if not too seriously) follows the advice that if you want to sing the blues you have to sing what you know about. Although Joel is a prolific songwriter, he is quite comfortable with traditional songs and tunes. In concert he can be deceptive. Performing in a gentle, easy manner, he may lull his audience into a relaxed state, just to roll them on the floor with laughter or make them sit up and think.

Describing Joel Mabus isn't actually that difficult; he can be summed up in one word: Style. He oozes with style. So for homespun sophistication, mellow innovation, low-key wizardry, and uncynical minstrelsy, join the Cornell Folk Song Club Saturday, March 11, for Joel Mabus. Tickets are available at Rebop, Borealis Books, Bound For Glory, or by calling Ginny at 272-3471. And, believe it or not, you can probably find parking near McGraw.

(John Henderson)

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