Story from staff reports. Photo from JonShain.com.
Cary, NC – We have a special place in our hearts for the blues. That’s why, even though we made a brief mention yesterday, we’re going to tell you more about Jon Shain, bringing his personal brand of Piedmont Blues to Page-Walker this Sunday, sponsored by The Friends of Page-Walker.
Growing Up in a Mill Town
Jon grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a Merrimack River mill-town that had already seen its better days by the time he was a child in the 1970s.
His family’s business was a small textile dyeing company, and he worked in the factory during the summers throughout his teens. At the same time, Shain began to discover his love of American roots music and songwriting, specifically drawn to the narratives about regular people and themes of social justice.
Studied at Duke
Shain headed south to North Carolina in 1986, to study American History at Duke University and to continue his musical journey.
In addition to studying with jazz professor Paul Jeffrey, he had the good fortune to learn the Piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henry’s backing band.
It was at this time that Shain got to meet and play with John Dee Holeman and a number of the great older NC blues players. Shain’s classes in school were heavily concentrated in southern history, English, and world religions. That mixture of the academic environment and the real-world blues music is what has most informed his musical direction.
Played with Little Feat and Hot Tuna
Shain cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin’ Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. The band performed with acts such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, and the Dixie Dregs, released four CDs, and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans.
After his band’s breakup, Shain went solo, returning to his roots in the folk and blues circuit. He has released six studio albums, working with studio luminaries such as Dave Mattacks, Tom Dube, and Chris Stamey, along the way.
Shain’s newest disc, a rollicking live album called The Kress Sessions, was recorded this past spring with his group in Durham, NC.
Jon Shain in Concert
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop
Tickets may be purchased for $15 at the Cary Arts Center box office Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM; online at eTix.com; or by phone at 1-800-514.3849.
For more info visit The Friends of Page-Walker.