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.

The series will begin Tuesday with the Reunion from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 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.

Ag museum open house

The Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover will hold an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event showcases Delaware’s rich agricultural history through exhibits and artifacts on display in the museum’s 38,000-square-foot facility where some of the many highlights include: a huge collection of antique tractors, threshers, plows and other early farm machinery that literally “shaped” Delaware’s rural landscape from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s; a Swedish design log cabin (circa 1750); a 1940s crop duster (agricultural sprayer); antique machinery used to sort, grade and polish fruit; Cecile Steele’s chicken house (circa 1923) on the National Register of Historic Places; and, a large display of whittling pieces of art produced by nationally recognized folk artist, Jehu Camper.

Ag Museum volunteer Richie Sheehorn demonstrates the art of blacksmithing for visitors. (Submitted photo)

Outdoors, First State rural heritage and history is brought to life in the museum’s 1890’s village where 10 historic buildings and an equal number of outbuildings are used to tell the story of life in Delaware’s rural communities during the late 1800s.

Moved to the museum grounds from locations across the state, these buildings have been preserved and all are open to the public with exhibits.

Village highlights include: St. Thomas Church (circa 1857), Reed General Store (circa 1873) the oldest continually operating country store in Delaware up to 1980; Mill Lane School House (circa 1850); Johnson Blacksmith and Wheelwright Shop (circa 1850) and the Carney Farmhouse (circa 1893).

Volunteer education program interpreters will be on hand to share the history of the 1890s village buildings with visitors as well as information on the variety of educational programs the museum offers.

Museum staff and volunteers will provide short guided tours discussing the various artifacts and objects on display in the museum’s Great Hall.

And, of course there is pot-bellied pig Lulu and her feathered “pen pals” Lucy, Lilly, Licorice and Lizzy.

The event is free. For more information, visit www.agriculturalmuseum.org or call the museum at 302-734-1618.

The Delaware Agricultural Museum is at 866 N. Dupont Highway in Dover.

Miss Delaware Competition

As we told you last week, The Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization will hold its 78th annual competition Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Cape Henlopen High School Auditorium in Lewes.

The winner of this year’s competition will be the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship and will go on to compete for the title of Miss America 2020.

This year’s theme is “Miss Delaware 2.0,” which reflects the new era of the Miss America Organization. The new competition boasts greater inclusiveness by eliminating the swimsuit portion of the competition, thereby giving more women the opportunity to earn scholarships, compete for the job of Miss America, and make a difference in their communities.

Miss Delaware candidates will compete in interview, talent, social impact statement in evening wear, and on-stage questions.

Hosting this year’s competition is Linda Kurtz Risk, Miss Delaware 2004.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting missde.org/events.

First State Symphonic Band

The First State Symphonic Band will perform its spring concert at the Smyrna Opera House Saturday at 7 p.m.

The First State Symphonic Band is a community group dedicated to the education and performance of contemporary and classical band literature.

Tickets are $10 to $20 and can be purchased at SmyrnaOperaHouse.org or at the box office at 7 W. South St.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is “Men in Black: International,” the comedy “Late Night” and Samuel L. Jackson in “Shaft.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the horror film “Us” and the animated film “Wonder Park.”

Staff writer Glenn Rolfe contributed to this column.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment