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Source: Ives Concert Park

By: Mathew Schumer

On Friday, WCSU’s Ives Concert Park welcomed Americana duo Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams for an intimate night of music as a part of their ongoing seasonal concert series.

Campbell, a longtime collaborator with acts such as Bob Dylan and Levon Helm, is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hailing from New York City; his wife, Teresa Williams, is a singer-guitarist who has toured with the likes of Mavis Staples and Emmylou Harris. In recent years the pair have released two records under the eponymous group name “Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.”

At Ives, the duo were joined on stage by Brian Mitchell, another Levon Helm’s Band collaborator. Mitchell played the keys and took to the accordion for a few choice performances. The other stage musicians consisted of drummer Danny Mcdermott and bassist Jesse Murphy, who tour regularly with the duo.

Starting at 8:00 p.m. and spanning two sets until about 10:30 p.m., the band played a great deal of original material, plus a few heartfelt renditions of classic tunes. One such cover was of John Sebastian’s “Be Home Soon,” played in tribute to his performance of the song at The Woodstock Music Festival, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The crowd in attendance seemed to be very aware of the Woodstock anniversary, with many even sporting commemorative merchandise to the show. As for the general demographic of the audience, it is safe to say that it didn’t entirely overlap with the same generation as much of WCSU’s student body. When speaking on the intention of the show and its target audience, Ives Executive Director Phillis Cortes explained that it was held in large part as “a way to thank our sponsors at Newtown Savings Bank.” Although the show was intended to draw an older audience more familiar with Campbell’s music, Ives offered free admission to the show for students of WCSU in the hopes of attracting members of the student body with a desire to expand their musical palette. 

While there was a small contingent of WCSU students at the show, the administrators and board of directors of Ives are hoping to attract more of a collegiate turnout next season by making events more accessible to the student body. As far as the more entertainment-oriented opportunities on campus at WCSU, students and members of the nearby community at large should keep an eye on similarly culturally enriching events offered at Ives Concert Park.