The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces a distinguished list of music headliners to be presented at the 55th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The 10-day celebration of the arts in Pittsburgh is unlike any other in the nation. The world-class, multi-disciplinary festival is free to attend and is open to the public. Attracting more than 400,000 visitors annually, the Festival begins on the first Friday in June and takes place at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s famed three rivers in Point State Park, throughout picturesque Gateway Center, and in the city’s world-renowned Cultural District.
The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival strives to deliver top-notch performing and visual art—from the Pittsburgh region’s thriving arts community and from around the globe—including music, theater, dance, public art installations, gallery exhibitions, a renowned visual Artist Market presented by Peoples Gas, creative activities, food, and more. Artists are selected through a rigorous jury process—emphasizing quality, craftsmanship and presentation—in a wide variety of media, from jewelry to painting, woodworking to photography. Each day of the 10-day Festival includes a performance by distinguished music headliners.
“Each year, the music lineup the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival brings world-renowned artists and musicians to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District,” commented J. Kevin McMahon, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust president & CEO. “The Trust is pleased to continue its mission of connecting the community to the arts, and we are grateful for the generous and faithful support of Dollar Bank as lead sponsor.”
Joseph B. Smith, senior vice president of Marketing for Dollar Bank noted, “The Festival offers the city an opportunity to unite across sectors and artistic disciplines. The broad range of artists selected for this year’s lineup reflects the diversity within our city and region. Dollar Bank is proud to support this time-honored tradition and is equally as pleased to welcome back the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to the Dollar Bank Stage.”
2014 MUSIC HEADLINERS
Friday, June 6 – Jeff Tweedy
Jeff Tweedy is “one of the most daring songwriters of his generation” and his band Wilco “vital, adventurous . . . breaking new stylistic ground with each ambitious and creatively restless album” notes Salon.com. The founding member and leader of the American rock band Wilco and co-founder of alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy is one of contemporary American music’s most accomplished songwriters, musicians and performers. Since starting Wilco in 1994 Tweedy has written original songs for eight Wilco albums and collaborated with folk singer Billy Bragg to bring musical life to three albums-full of Woody Guthrie-penned lyrics in the Mermaid Avenue series.
Saturday, June 7 – Sam Bush
Bluegrass Day with generous support from Colcom Foundation
Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush, also known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association for his accomplishments. Bush has helped to expand the horizons of bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues, funk and other styles. He’s the co-founder of the genre-bending New Grass Revival and an in-demand musician who has played with everyone from Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck to Charlie Haden, Lyle Lovett and Garth Brooks. While Bush is best known for jaw-dropping skills on the mandolin, he is also a three time national junior fiddle champion and Grammy award winning vocalist.
Sunday, June 8 – Trampled By Turtles
WYEP 91.3FM Day
“The awesomely named Minnesota string band has been on the rise for years and its gentle, introspective sixth album adds a layer of artistry and emotion only hinted at in previous work,” mused the Associated Press while awarding Trampled By Turtles with the #10 Best Album of 2012. With six albums to their credit and a word-of-mouth reputation that draws legions of diehard fans to their must-see-to-believe live shows, Minnesota roots music hybrid, Trampled by Turtles have released their first live concert recording Live At First Avenue. Formed in Duluth, MN, in 2003, Trampled by Turtles band members of the band did their own time in punk and rock bands, brandishing their electricity proudly before switching to acoustic instruments. While they never set out to be a “bluegrass” band, Trampled by Turtles employs many of the same traditional techniques of the genre, but their differences in influences, attitude and attack make for their unique sound.
Monday, June 9 – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
For more than 116 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The Pittsburgh Symphony, known for its artistic excellence, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. This tradition was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900, the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras, with more than 36 international tours, including 20 European tours, eight trips to the Far East, and two to South America. For more about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, visit pittsburghsymphony.org.
Tuesday, June 10 – Kaiser Chiefs
After more than 10 years, four albums, platinum record sales, a volley of top ten singles and 3 Brit Awards, Kaiser Chiefs (consisting of lead singer and lyricist Ricky Wilson, bassist Simon Rix, guitarist Andrew White and keyboardist Nick Baines) have emerged from near-collapse, appearing galvanized, bolstered by the addition of a new drummer, Vijay Mistry [formerly of Club Smith] and inspired by a new sense of freedom and musical possibility. Their newest album, Education, Education, Education & War began out of frustration and evolved into a masterpiece that takes the temperature of a nation seven years into a recession, riddled with people desperate for work, who are also debt-ridden, suspicious of corporations, big business, government, and eager for signs of compassion, understanding and hope. The album title is a reference to Tony Blair’s famed 2005 speech on the power of education: “Education, education, education,” he told the crowd that April in Sedgefield, “then and now the key to the door of Britain’s future success.” Education, Education, Education & War paints a compelling portrait of the modern age: factories, labour exchanges, battlefields, there is mud on boots, homesickness, love and loneliness.
Wednesday, June 11 – Amos Lee
“I enjoy the unplanned things that happen in the studio,” says Amos Lee. “The shapes that things take, the manipulation of sounds—it’s a learning process for me. I can’t do that when I’m just writing on my guitar. Usually, the stuff you like the most wasn’t what was planned anyway, so I try not to put too much pressure on it because then the fun leaves.” For his fifth album, Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song, Lee took a different path for the recording; he worked in a new city with a new producer, while, for the first time, he brought his touring band into the studio with him. The twelve songs that resulted—the follow-up to 2011′s chart-topping Mission Bell— which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200, Amazon, and iTunes charts, and spun off a hit single with “Windows are Rolled Down” – bring Amos into new sonic territory, while retaining the trenchant impact of the scenes, characters, and stories in his writing. This album arrives a full ten years after Amos Lee first signed with Blue Note Records and began a career that continues to grow and surprise. With the release of his self-titled debut in 2004, the Philadelphia-born former schoolteacher immediately earned the attention of not only the press and discerning music fans, but also of his fellow artists. He has toured with legendary artists like Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, collaborated with Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams, and been regularly touted as a favorite songwriter and performer by the likes of The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum.
Thursday, June 12 – The Smithereens
The Smithereens’ three-decade history is a story of substance, integrity and persistence triumphing over shallow artifice and transient trendiness—of hard-working underdogs achieving success on their own terms by sticking to their guns and ignoring the dictates of pop fashion and music-industry convention. Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and original bassist Mike Mesaros grew up in Carteret, New Jersey, forging a friendship as teenagers through a mutual love of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll and other vintage sounds. After meeting the similarly inclined DiNizio, the four formed the Smithereens, and won some local renown with a pair of independently released EPs, 1980’s Girls About Town and 1983′s Beauty and Sadness. The Smithereens achieved commercial success in 1986 with their first full album Especially for You, and the band continued to reap considerable airplay, critical acclaim and fan loyalty with the subsequent long players Green Thoughts, Smithereens 11, Blow Up, A Date with The Smithereens and God Save The Smithereens, which yielded such enduring numbers as “Only a Memory,” “House We Used to Live In,” “Drown in My Own Tears” and “A Girl Like You.” Their newest album, Smithereens 2011, slyly acknowledges the fact that it’s the band’s 11th studio album, and that it’s been 11 years since their last collection of original material. “I think it’s as good as anything we’ve ever done,” Pat DiNizio says of Smithereens 2011.
Friday, June 13 – Curtis Harding
Soul isn’t a feeling, a sound or a movement. It’s a connection, a current in the air — the spark of recognition, emotions leaping across live wires. It’s the way a sinewy bassline steers your hips and eyes to the stranger across the club. It’s how a handful of humble words can give millions the inspiration to overcome. It’s the genius of a simple chorus that can explain the hard truths you couldn’t last time you saw her. Curtis Harding says that soul music, and his music, speak for themselves. It’s self-evident on the Atlanta artist’s debut, Soul Power. The driving sound of his electrified Stratocaster, the foot-stomping backbeat and the lyrics swimming in reverb — with something this flourishing, it’s almost reductive to just dig around the roots. Harding’s style was born in Michigan and bred on the road, a restless childhood spent singing gospel alongside an evangelizing mother, then cultivated in Atlanta, where he sang backup for CeeLo Green and befriended the Black Lips (he plays with Cole Alexander in Night Sun). But, as befits a restless traveler, his music calls one place home, but fits in anywhere.
Saturday, June 14 – Lucinda Williams
It’s not all that hard to find an artist who’s capable of offering a guided tour of life’s dark clouds – nor is it rare to come into contact with one who can hone in on the silver lining. But the ability to do both with equal grace, well, that’s an altogether rarer gift – and it’s one that Lucinda Williams displays with remarkable élan on her latest Lost Highway album, Blessed. The expanse of Williams’ palette is gradually revealed over the course of Blessed, a collection that unfolds in an origami-like fashion. Ever since the release of Williams’1978 debut Ramblin’ on My Mind (recorded on the fly with a mere $250 budget behind her), the Louisiana- bred singer-songwriter has been ready, willing and able to call upon both her natural affinity for roots music and her familial literary tradition. Williams entered the ‘90s with the rich, sepia-toned Sweet Old World — a disc that, as much as any release, helped to place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners’ minds. Cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998’s raw, was the immediate masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy Award as a performer (she’d also scored one as a writer thanks to Mary-Chapin Carpenter’s version of her “Passionate Kisses”). Williams stretched her boundaries on 2001’s Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps. In recent times, Williams has shown herself to be the kind of artist who’ll never back down from a challenge, whether collaborating with surprisingly kindred spirits like M. Ward and Flogging Molly or putting her own spin on iconic tunes like Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” and Jimmy Webb’s classic “Galveston”.
Sunday, June 15 – Jake Bugg
20-year-old Jake Bugg moved from performing as an opening act at the Splendour Festival in his home town of Nottingham, to performing two years later in front of a crowd of 17,000 fans in the summer of 2013. Last October, Bugg’s self-titled debut album entered the charts at number one, announcing one of the most electrifying young British singer-songwriters to emerge in recent memory. In its wake have come multiple award nominations including BRIT, Ivor Novello and Mercury Music Prize, prestigious supports with Noel Gallagher, The Stone Roses and The Rolling Stones and a euphoric globetrotting summer from Glastonbury to Japan, Australia and America. Barely a year after his debut, in November 2013 Bugg raised the bar with the release of Shangri La. The album shares a title with the Malibu studio where it was made, once the 70s haven of Bob Dylan and The Band, now the creative hub of legendary producer Rick Rubin, the recording Titan whose jaw dropping c.v. spans from Def Jam and Johnny Cash to Adele and Kanye West. Following Bugg’s debut tales of teenage life growing up on his Clifton estate in Nottingham, Shangri La runs further and faster with the gritty urgency of “Kingpin”, “Slumville Sunrise” and the mighty opener “What Doesn’t Kill You”.
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