Best Bets: Singer-songwriters Treacher, Catanzaro double up in Dover

New York-based singer-songwriter Robinson Treacher will join Cassidy Catanzaro for a concert June 27 at Patchwork Playhouse in Dover. (Submitted photo)

It’s a musical partnership that almost didn’t happen.

When singer-songwriters Cassidy Catanzaro and Robinson Treacher were booked last year to play a gig together in Philadelphia, Ms. Catanzaro’s then-manager told her not to do it.

“He didn’t like me and I didn’t like him,” Mr. Treacher recalled.

She ignored his advice and played the concert anyway.

“We were sitting backstage and she asked ‘Can I go first? I can’t stay tonight.’ She started playing and I realized she’s fantastic,” Mr. Treacher said.

“Then I started playing and she stuck around and then she stayed for another song. And then she stayed for the whole set.

“She came up to me afterward and said ‘That was amazing. I have to tell you something. My manager told me not to come.’ I said ‘That guy’s a (jerk) and you should be done with him.’ She said, ‘I’m firing him tomorrow.’”

The two have been playing together ever since and start an East Coast tour at Dover’s Patchwork Playhouse, the home of the Kent County Theatre Guild, Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m.

Ms. Catanzaro, formerly of the alt-country group Antigone Rising, says she was glad she decided to ignore her manager’s advice.

“I’ll tell you, the minute I met (Mr. Treacher) I knew my manager was all wrong. I have no idea what he was talking about. Not only was Robinson lovely to work with, but then he opened his mouth. His voice and songs both blew me away,” said Ms. Catanzaro, who has built a loyal area following, playing a handful of shows in the Kent County area over the last couple of years, mainly with Smyrna’s Sol Knopf during his Songwriters and Storytellers series.

“I love the area so much and have played some really fun shows there,” said the New Jersey native, who has toured with The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith and has appeared on “The Tonight Show.” As a songwriter, her composition “For You” was recently featured on Demi Lovato’s “Confident” album.

The New York-based Mr. Treacher was front man of the soul and blues-rock band Delaware Hudson and has cooperated with the alt-country lineup Tensleep.

Singer-songwriter Cassidy Catanzaro is former lead singer of Antigone Rising who has written songs for Demi Lovato, among others. (Submitted photo)

He has since gone solo with a sound all his own, mixing Americana with rock and country while still keeping that soul and blues influence.

Mr. Treacher said he doesn’t like to define his music as any one thing.

“Often people want to put you in boxes. I’ll be interviewed and they will ask ‘If we were to put your music in a record store, where would you go?’ But you don’t really think about it. What comes out of you, comes out of you,” he said.

As a boy, his parents, although baby boomers, didn’t listen to Bob Dylan or The Beatles.

“My dad called that ‘hippie music,’” he joked.

They were more into Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys and Sam Cooke. His extended family expanded his horizons by exposing him to artists such as Black Sabbath, Kiss, The Bee Gees, Joni Mitchell and disco and soul music. He got an air organ when he was 3 years old and later taught himself how to play the guitar.

At 13 years old, he was the lead singer of a band that played bars in the New York area.

“My sixth-grade buddies had older brothers who would be upstairs playing covers of rock songs. I was downstairs playing with my friends and singing. Next thing you know, they were inviting me upstairs to jam with them,” he said.

“My mom would drive me to gigs and back then, you could get in the door with a parent if you were 16. But my mom would say ‘Listen, he’s not even close to 16. But I don’t want to embarrass him. I’ll just sit right here and when he’s done we’ll leave. As soon as we were done, I was out the back door and into the car.

“It was a weird way to start learning about the music business.”

A jam band followed in college, which then segued into Delaware Hudson, named after the train that would travel around Oneonta, New York, where he went to school.

He has gone on to share the stage with the likes of Iris Dement, G.E. Smith, Jorma Kaukonen and Vince Gill and his three solo EPs have been well-received.

“Robinson has a songwriting talent that’s rare these days. It’s skilled and honed and reminiscent of the classic songwriting that made me fall in love with the art form,” Ms. Catanzaro said.

“I wanted to do this tour together because I genuinely feel a creative understanding with this person. We have the same drive to preserve the traditions, come what may. I’m proud to share the bill with him, because I’m a fan.”

Mr. Treacher is equally excited. Along with a new solo album, he’s also working on a record with Ms. Catanzaro. He said they two will debut a couple of those songs in Dover.

“Our voices mesh very well together. And I think we augment each other’s songs very well too. I’m looking forward to a really great time and figuring this whole thing out. I’m excited to be coming down to Delaware,” Mr. Treacher said.

General admission tickets for the June 27 show are $18 and can be purchased at kctg.org or at the door.

The Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 Roosevelt Ave., Dover.

Millsboro concerts expand

Three has now become five as the town of Millsboro will sponsor a series of free Tuesday evening concerts this summer at Cupola Park.

Next up is Indian River, formerly the Clifford Keith Band, on Tuesday, June 25 from 7 to 9 p.m., with Glass Onion taking the stage Tuesday, July 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The two additional concerts were announced at the June 3 town council meeting: Dirt Road Outlawz, July 9 from 7 to 9 p.m., and The Jones Boys, Aug. 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Several food vendors are scheduled to be on hand during the concerts for purchase of items.

Cupola Park is located along the Indian River on the town’s eastern riverfront edge.

Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood said Tuesday evenings were selected, noting concert series to be held in other Sussex County towns.

“We tried to pick a night so it would not conflict,” Mayor Thoroughgood said.

Georgetown’s Summer Concert Series runs on Thursday evenings and Milton’s Sounds of Summer Concerts in the Park are being held Wednesday nights through August.

Staff writer Glenn Rolfe contributed to this column.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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