Friday, April 23, 2010

Nancy Cook and Micheal Laferty on the Courtyard at Paragraphs

When I opened Paragraphs last spring it was just about the time the Colorado contingent was arriving on South Padre Island with the wind, for a month or two of good times, camaraderie and excellent wind surfing and kite boarding.

Colorado has a lot of really great independent bookstores so several of these visitors to the island naturally found their way to our store. In the process, I was lucky enough to meet Nancy Cook, a wonderful singer-songwriter who currently lives in the Breckenridge area.

Music is often poetically described as a vehicle and in the case of Nancy, the term is literal. In the course of her musical career, Nancy’s songs have taken her far and wide--the Pacific Northwest, California, through the Rocky Mountains, down to Texas, out to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana, and overseas to Italy, Jordan, Japan, and Korea. She is at ease playing everywhere from large halls to cozy cafes, living room concerts, peace conferences, military bases, folk festivals, churches and retreats—anywhere that people want to listen. She has opened as a solo artist for such diverse national acts as Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Leo Kottke, David Wilcox, Warren Zevon, Rodney Crowell, Karla Bonoff, David Bromberg and Leon Russell. In listening settings such as these, she enjoys sharing the stories that surround many of her songs—stories of the journey we all share.

Then, I discovered that she and Micheal Laferty, a singer, songwriter & storyteller of "Texas Music...Island Style"--who we all know and appreciate as the great entertainer he is--liked to work together and do a little songwriting. Micheal's music is a reflection of his island lifestyle and tropical surroundings, and is garnering recognition, in the Americana/Texas Music genre in the States as well as Europe, and he has become a defining benchmark in the emerging “Gulf Coast Americana” market.

Nancy and I had discussed putting on a songwriting workshop at the upcoming music fest but that didn't work out when the format of the festival changed. At times Micheal had mentioned the idea of doing some kind of house concert at the store, but we never really went farther than talking about it.

So I am so thrilled that we have finally managed to find a time when both are available and ready to show up at Paragraphs to hang out and make a little music.

Micheal and Nancy will be at Paragraphs on Wednesday, May 5, at 7:00 pm. All are welcome to attend this free evening of music and fun. Bring your favorite beverage, plan to relax and hang out, and enjoy a great night of entertainment. Donations for the musicians will be appreciated and CDs will be available for purchase.

Nancy is now celebrating the release of her 5th CD, entitled FOCUS—a hybrid mix of new releases and the best of her previous recordings. It is now available locally at Paragraphs Books, or can be shipped or downloaded, along with previous releases, at a very reasonable cost through several internet sources.

Micheal calls South Padre Island Texas “home”, and spends his time happily wandering between the Rio Grande, New Orleans, and the Florida Keys. A repertoire of material that weaves seamlessly in and out of all facets of human emotion, a blazingly wicked wit that immediately engages the audience, and an unabashed love for what he does makes it easy to see why fans, and media alike, compare Micheal with such notables as Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Jimmy Buffett.

His 2008 release ""Parrotheads in Cowboy Boots" is also available locally at Paragraphs.