June 23, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalie Eggeman (260-427-6028)
Public Information Officer
Botanical Roots Concert Series
Botanical Conservatory, Fridays, July 25 – August 29
Fort Wayne, IN: The Botanical Roots Concert Series will begin on Friday, July 25 with rock band JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers. This eclectic downtown concert series featuring music from a wide diversity of regional heritages and cultural backgrounds is in its ninth year and promises to be more entertaining than ever before.
2014 Botanical Roots Concert Series:
July 25th JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers (Rock)
JD Wilkes is forging his own path through a distinctly unfettered career in music, visual arts, film and writing. He has recorded and toured with musical projects ranging from the acclaimed punk-blues outfit The Legendary Shack Shakers to the old-time acoustic trio of the earlier Dirt Daubers days, to his current focus on the hard-driving, swampy rock that is the Dirt Daubers’ Wild Moon. JD’s frenetic performance style and all around raucous stage presence finds its sweet spot up front for the Dirt Daubers. Longtime collaborators Rod Hamdallah (of The Shack Shakers) on electric guitar, drummer Preston Corn, and Jessica Wilkes on upright bass round out the live show with well-honed instrumental skill. As husband and wife, JD and Jessica Wilkes trade off on lead vocals, with Jessica’s smoky tone and forthright delivery serving as a terrific foil to JD’s growling, frenzied baritone.
August 1st Zion Lion (Reggae)
Zion Lion is the “baddest” band to hit the Kalamazoo music scene. The members are a combination of several bands from the Kalamazoo area that crossed paths along the way and decided to form what we believe to be the right mix of reggae, African zouk, mucosa, zoukous and some Afro-latin influences. Some of the members have had the honor of opening and sharing the stage with local, national and international reggae artists such as Freddie McGreggor, Pato Batun, Winston Jarrett, Culture, Beenie Man, Lucky Dube, Mikey Dread and the Meditations.
These musicians have played in small clubs to large cultural festivals including, the Kalamazoo Island Festival, Kalamazoo Black arts festival, Grand Rapids Caribbean Festival, Muskegon Summer Festival, Louisville Reggae Festival and Rock Island Caribbean Festival to name a few. You can't help but get up and dance and have an "IRIE FEELIN' " whenever you hear Zion Lion.
August 8th John Nemeth (Blues)
Boise, Idaho is hardly the place anyone would conjure up as a hotbed of soul music. But for John Németh, it’s where his love for the genre began—and the starting point for a journey that’s taken him from his first gigs fronting a teenaged band to five Blues Music Award nominations in 2013 alone. It’s where this preternaturally talented son of a Hungarian immigrant gained his early chops on the harmonica, building on the style of rootsy heroes like Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson.
In early 2013, Németh traded his life on the west coast to settle down in Memphis, Tennessee. “I moved to Memphis because it is the epicenter for soul and blues,” Németh confirms. “The wealth of knowledge runs deep in the instincts of its musicians and its studios.” Memphis Grease, the long-awaited follow up to Németh’s fourth solo studio release, 2010’s Name The Day!, embodies everything that sets this artist apart from the revivalist pack: it’s innovative and unique while epitomizing the absolute best of the genre
August 15th Jessica Hernandez & The Delta’s (Indie Soul)
“Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas have already been rocking the local music circuit in hometown Detroit, but their soulful sound is bound for bigger things.” – Paste Magazine
Comprised of five charismatic tracks that highlight the raw talent of this Detroit act, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas’ Demons EP is out now via Instant Records. Showcasing influences as diverse as the gypsy punk outfit Gogol Bordello and pensive singer/songwriter Tom Waits, Jessica brings a soulful attitude that is far beyond her years to each of her songs.
August 22nd Orgone (Funk)
It started with a boardwalk, a bar, and two kids united by a passion for raw soul recordings. For over a decade, Orgone has been steaming up stages all over the country and drenching the biggest music festivals in sweat. Now, the band is back in its home-grown studio KillionSound crafting and recording its seventh full-length album featuring their new powerhouse singer Adryon de León. Orgone’s sound is a cold-blooded blend of deep soul, rare funk, and afro-disco with a raw rock star edge that is uniquely LA. Shifting effortlessly from slyly slinky to seismically cinematic, the music remains tough and uncluttered. For their heart-pounding live performances and classic, gritty recordings, Orgone has been called by Dusty Groove America, “One of the heaviest acts we’ve heard in years.”
August 29th Nikki Hill (Blues)
Hill and her band (who Nikki deems ‘The Pirate Crew) are climbing to the top of the roots music scene step by step and leaving jaws on the floor along the way. With a no-filter energy, they take all the flavors of American roots music and deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock and roll again! Nikki’s gritty and raw voice with Stax soul dynamics, driving rhythm guitar from Matt Hill, and a tight rhythm section provided by Ed Strohsahl and Joe Meyer come together and make a sound that just sounds like the truth.
Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Nikki comes by her Deep South soul honestly. Her musical roots began while singing in gospel choirs at church as a child. A stint living in nearby college town Chapel Hill introduced her to many different styles of music and the awareness of music (and more importantly, unique and non-mainstream music) as a possible career. After pairing up with her guitar-playing husband Matt Hill, they have made an unstoppable team and have established themselves as roots rock and roll powerhouses!
The Botanical Conservatory invites the community to grab a lawn chair, settle in, and enjoy music that’s fun and funky, creative, and upbeat. Bands are selected from regional and national touring acts with an emphasis on uniqueness, quality, and representation of a specific musical style.
Shows are Friday nights through August 29. Local bands will warm up the scene. Food and beverage will be available for purchase from Mad Anthony Brewing; no outside food or beverage allowed. Admission is $6 at the gate. Youth ages 12 and under are admitted free with a parent or guardian. Gates open at 7:30 p.m.; shows start at 8:30 and the events take place outdoors, rain or shine. The Conservatory is located in downtown Fort Wayne at 1100 S. Calhoun Street.
Botanical Roots is sponsored by The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, 963 XKE Fort Wayne’s Classic Rock, Whatzup, PBS39, Fort Wayne Metals Research, the Downtown Improvement District and the Botanical Conservatory.
For more information phone 260/427-6446 or go to www.botanicalconservatory.org