Freebo

From bass player/band member with Bonnie Raitt for a decade to countless studio sessions and tours with artists ranging from John Mayall, CSN, Maria Muldaur and Ringo Starr, to T.V. appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” “Midnight Special,” and “Muppets Tonight,” as well as tuba performances with Dr. John and the legendary Spinal Tap, Freebo has achieved status and respect in a creative and highly competitive field.

Not satisfied with simply resting on his laurels as a top sideman, however, Freebo has continued to push his creative envelope, and has evolved into an award winning singer/songwriter with three solo CDs to his credit; 1999’s “The End Of The Beginning,” 2002’s “Dog People” (songs about the human/canine connection), and his latest, “Before The Separation”, which was nominated in 5 categories in the JPF Awards, had 2 songs in the top 10 of the International Songwriting Competition, and won the prestigious South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Competition.

Showing his complete arrival and comfort as a singer/songwriter, The Philadelphia Inquirer said of his latest CD, “Freebo’s stepping into a new role of singer/songwriter suits him well. ‘Before the Separation’ flows with a compassionate spirit rooted in ’60s ideals, but packing a gently urgent relevancy. The songs are built on Freebo’s acoustic guitar and fretless bass, giving them a sublimely folkish foundation that occasionally heads off into rock and soul. The finale, “The Freedom Wall,” shows that, in addition to an engaging earnestness, Freebo is also capable of biting irony”.

Freebo’s songs span styles from folk, blues, & country to R&B, reggae, and rock’n’roll, and incorporate themes of love, struggle, triumph, peace, and the journey of life. His live performances, mainly on acoustic guitar, take you on a musical and lyrical ride, creating an intimate unity with his audience.

Penny Nichols

Like many musicians in the Sixties, Penny Nichols started her career as a folk singer in coffeehouses around Orange County, CA. She shared the stage with legendary artists such as Jackson Browne, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies, Jennifer Warnes and Mary McCaslin.

In 1964 & 65 she sang in a bluegrass band with John, Bill & Alice McEuen and then formed a duo with Kathy Smith called the Greasy Mountain Butterballs which toured Vietnam in the fall of 1966. Upon returning, she opened the show for numerous artists at the Troubadour and Ash Grove in Hollywood.

In the spring of 1967, Penny rode up to San Francisco on the back of a Harley motorcycle and decided to stay in the Bay Area for a while. She performed in concerts and clubs all over the bay area including: the Fillmore, the Avalon, the Matrix and opened for bands such as Big Brother and the Holding Co. (Janis Joplin), Steve Miller, Quicksilver Messenger Service, 13th Floor Elevator, Chocolate Watchband, Jefferson Airplane and others. During the “Summer of Love”, Penny played at the Big Sur Folk Festival and recorded her first album, Penny’s Arcade, for Buddha Records. (It eventually sold over 50,000 copies)

After touring the U.S. promoting her album in the fall, she toured Europe in the winter of 1968, staying with George & Patty Harrison and recording at Apple Studios while in London. On her return to the U.S., she decided to devote her time exclusively to songwriting for a number of years and studied voice with noted vocal coach, Florence Riggs. In 1975, she began to perform around Los Angeles with her jazz band, the Black Imp, and opened the show for Little Feat in concert. She wrote and performed commercials for Toyota’s campaign to plant a tree for every car bought, Carnation Dairies, and produced a public service announcement for the Navajo Nation called “Black Mesa” to protest the misuse of the land around the Four Corners power stations in Arizona.

In 1977, while working with Emitt Rhodes on a record for Elektra, Penny joined Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefers. She appeared in the movie FM with the band toured the U.S. and earned a Platinum Record for her singing on Son of a Son of a Sailor.

In the late 70’s & 80’s, Penny went back to school and earned degrees in Music & Psychology from Antioch University, and then went on to Harvard University to do research in music & psychology eventually earning a doctorate in Education there. During the same time, she recorded and toured with many performers including: Art Garfunkel (Fate for Breakfast) Suzi Quatro, Yvonne Elliman, Jennifer Warnes, Albert Brooks, The Credibility Gap, Steve Gillette and earned a Grammy nomination for her work on Arlo Guthrie’s album The Power of Love. In 1990, Penny co-produced her second album, All Life is One.

In 1993, she released another record, Songs of the Jataka Tales. In 1997, Penny and Molly Mason collaborated on the song The Unbroken Thread which is included on the CD, the Catskill Collection.

Her most recent ventures include a new album of songs by Jackson Browne called Colors of the Sun: Penny Nichols sings the early songs of Jackson Browne, based on her long friendship with Jackson. She has also recorded a Harmony and Background Vocal arranging CD’s; a book and CD called the 8 Voyages of Nep, songs of grieving and healing through cancer treatments; and has taught at many other music camps across the country, including SAMW, Colorado Roots and Moab Folk Camp.

Kate Campbell

ImageFor more than a decade, Kate Campbell has been one of the most clear-eyed, poetic and revelatory chroniclers of the Southern experience in popular music. Blessed with an angelic voice, unsinkable tunefulness, a master storyteller’s eye for detail plus the even-handedness to examine life’s blossoms and bruises, Campbell has assembled a body of work unsurpassed in consistency or soulful artistry.

Kate’s uncanny grasp of life and times in the Deep South is such that Ballet Memphis is presenting a command performance of “South Of Everywhere,” which features her music.

Incessant touring in the US and United Kingdom has built and reinforced a remarkably devoted fan base, and Campbell has appeared on such respected national radio programs as Larry Groce’s “Live From Mountain Stage,” NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “World Cafe.”