Arts and Entertainment

Two songwriters tune up for a double-bill show

Island musicians Steve Amsden and Kevin Almeida have enlisted nearly a dozen musicians to join them for a double bill concert this weekend at the Blue Heron.

The concert is part of Vashon Allied Arts’ “New Works” series, which provides the Blue Heron venue to notable Island performers.

Guitarist and songwriter Amsden, who has lived on the Island since 1983, will perform all new compositions, many currently in the recording process. Representing many musical genres, from ska and slow blues to tongue-in-cheek country love songs and rock and roll, much of the new music was born from his recent travels.

“I wrote a lot of those songs on the train — lyrics came first and then the music, (which is) the opposite of the way I usually work,” said Amsden.

Musicians joining Amsden will include guitarists Daryl Redeker, Luke McQuillin, Tom Bean and Steve Stusser. Other musicians will include Randy Bruce on fiddle and piano, Wally Bell on cittern and Doug Ringer on bass.

Amsden’s set will also be a family affair: his 26-year-old daughter, Genevieve and his 22-year-old son Vincent will join him on a classic rock three-part harmony cover tune.

Bassist and songwriter Kevin Almeida characterizes his sound as “smoky, California music.” His songs includes introspective, personal tunes about love and relationships as well as other pieces that he says are “full-on rock.”

He said he has been influenced by the groove and rhythms of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, America, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Little Feat.

Almeida has recruited Roger Taylor for backup vocals and percussion, Geoff Johns for more percussion, Steve Susser on guitar and Greg Parrot on bass.

Violinist Sarah Perlman, flutist Mary Austin and mandolin player Paul Colwell will also bring their talents to the stage during Almeida’s and Amsden’s musical sets.

Steve Amsden and Kevin Almeida’s concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Blue Heron. Tickets, $12 and $14, are on sale at Blue Heron, Heron’s Nest, Books by the Way, and by calling 463-5131.

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