BEST BETS: Wall of Cain to provide rock ‘n’ roll lesson at Milton Theatre

Wall of Cain, made up of, from left, Chris Kirby, Chris Leslie and Natham Ames, will perform their Tribute to Classic Rock show Thursday night at the Milton Theatre. (Submitted photo)

The local band Wall of Cain gives Nathan Ames a chance to play what he calls the “good stuff.”

Mr. Ames, a longtime guitarist from Milford, is part of a group that performs a harder style of classic rock. With original songs and covers, they encapsulate the sound of bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Foreigner, Pink Floyd and more.

“This sort of band is what’s lacking in this area. Nobody is doing what I consider real classic rock,” he said.

Mr. Ames joins lead singer and bassist Chris Kirby of Wyoming and Chris Leslie of Dover on percussion as Wall of Cain will perform A Tribute to Classic Rock Thursday night at 8 at the Milton Theatre.

The show’s first half contains self-written music off their 2009 album “The Wicked Tree” and their forthcoming record due in a couple of months. Then in the second half, the band plays a host of classic tunes.

This will be Wall of Cain’s second time performing this particular show. They did this same program in front of an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at Dover’s Century Club on Dec. 1 and they’ll be back there on March 2.

“Our fan base has grown quickly as an original band. A lot of the places are skeptical of a band like us. But we’re all serious musicians who feel good about this and know this is what we want to do,” said Mr. Ames, whose full-time job is as a professor of music at the University of Delaware and classical guitar teacher at Delaware State University.

The Milton show will also feature two colleagues of Mr. Ames at UD, poet Dr. Anne Colwell and Shakespearean actor and writer Dr. James Keegan.

“They will each come up and do a quick blurb and talk about why a song is in the setlist and give some information on the group or the song,” Mr. Ames said.

“It will be a real rock ‘n’ roll education.”

The three musicians who make up Wall of Cain have been playing together for a few decades now.

“Chris Kirby and I played together in high school,” said the Caesar Rodney High graduate. “And when I wasn’t in a band with Chris Kirby, I was in a band with Chris Leslie. But this is the first time that all three of us have played together and it’s really worked out well.”

Wall of Cain traces its early stages back to that early album “The Wicked Tree.” They were joined by other members of Mr. Kirby’s previous group The Chris Kirby Band.

“We recorded the album and then we didn’t pursue it for a few years after that,” Mr. Ames said.

A stripped-down Wall of Cain emerged as a trio in 2016 for a show at Dover’s Patchwork Playhouse.

Along with the two shows on the horizon, Wall of Cain has gigs at Woodside’s Green Stinger planned for March and July along with that new album.

“We have a lot of scratch tracks right now,” Mr. Ames said. “We recorded it through Chris Kirby’s Sugar Grove Studios.”

He describes the still-untitled record as more guitar- and drum-driven than the previous one with a bit less orchestration.

“We’re writing more music that’s doable for what we do in concert. I compose music in all genres. We love to able to play polished live versions of what’s on the albums,” Mr. Ames said, adding that writing is a collaborative process.

“We all write. I’ll bring an idea and someone else will have an idea and we’ll sit and work it out together.”

Tickets for Thursday night’s Milton Theatre show are $10 to $15 and can be purchased at miltontheatre.com, by calling 302-684-3038 or at the door.

The Milton Theatre is at 110 Union St.

Midnight Moon In Harmony

While the outdoor activities have been canceled for tonight’s First Friday event in downtown Dover, the group Midnight Moon will still perform as part of the Dover Public Library’s In Harmony … series.

The group combines classical arias with contemporary lyricism. Midnight Moon has recorded two albums, “Angels in the Mist” and “Kiss”.

June Suh is an adjunct professor of music/voice at Cecil College in Maryland. She has appeared in concerts and opera productions at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Asia’s KNUA hall, Italy’s Teatro alla Sicilia, and other major opera centers throughout the world.

She has won and/or been a finalist in many competitions, including the Accadia Foundation for the Arts Competition for Operatic Voice in New York.

J. Andrew Dickenson is a professor of music at Cecil College. He has been involved with various productions as a performer, music director, composer, and arranger. Mr. Dickenson has recently written scores for various theatre productions as well as three original musical theater works and was commissioned by the Eclipse Performing Dance Company to compose music for their productions. His music can be heard on his solo guitar recording, “Dandelion Wine”.

The free concert will take place at 6:30 at the library, 35 E. Loockerman St.

Fox paintings at library

Also at the library, The Holly Branch of American Pen Women’s featured artist for the month of January will be Clark V. Fox. The dates of the show, “Experience the Paintings,” are from Jan. 7 until Feb. 8. There will be a reception on Jan. 14 and a workshop on Jan. 19.

Clark V. Fox, aka Michael Clark, born 1946, is an American artist best known for his architectural motifs and his subtle explorations of color and linear elements. He lives and works in New York City.

An exhibit of his early works was previously seen in late 2016 at Dover’s Biggs Museum of American Art.

100 years of DelDOT

In 2017, the Delaware Department of Transportation celebrated 100 years of service to the residents of Delaware and all who travel through the First State.

On Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Jennifer Cohan, secretary of DelDOT will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives focusing on the first 100 years of this state agency. The Delaware General Assembly passed the Highway Act of 1917 which formed a centralized highway department with the authority to build and maintain a “permanent” highway system extending throughout the state. Secretary Cohan will present the history of the department and how Delaware’s transportation system has evolved and expanded over the past century.

In addition, with the start of 2018, the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room will be open for patrons from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. This weekend will the be first Saturday when these hours take effect.

The program is free and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail thomas.summers@state.de.us.

The talk is part of the First State Heritage Park’s First Saturday in the First State events, which will focus on transportation.

Dancing with Stars sold out

Word came this week that tickets for both the dinner and event portion of Dancing with the Delaware Stars have sold out.

Tickets for the Dippold After Party from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. are still available for $25. You can also vote for your favorite dancers as well. Visit www.dancingdestars.org to purchase tickets or vote.

The event will take place Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club and Mom’s House of Dover are the primary beneficiaries.

In the event, local celebrities are partnered with dance professionals to perform a judged dance routine similar to the hit television show. All dance couples vie for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. Couples are judged based on dollars raised, judges score and votes from the public.

This year 11 couples will participate in the extremely popular event, which this year increased its dinner capacity by 120 patrons, according to event organizer Terri Brown.

Young joins Coastal Concerts

Finally, Coastal Concerts of Lewes recently announced the appointment of former judge Robert B. Young to its board of directors. Judge Young presided over numerous significant civil and criminal cases before retiring from the bench.

He also served as the presiding officer of the Kent County Mental Health Court. He served through his term as judge on the Superior Court ending in April of last year, one of only 20 people to do so from Kent County since the inception of the Delaware Superior Court in 1831. He recently joined the firm of Reger Rizzo & Darnall in Dover.

Judge Young is the past president of the Delaware State Bar Association and the Delaware Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is active in numerous state and federal legal organizations, including the American and Kent County Bar associations, as well as several task forces, such as the Governor’s Task Force to Draft Handicapped Accessibility Legislation and the Delaware Superior Court Task Force on the More Effective Use of Juries.

He has written six musical comedies, which raise funds for Delaware’s Combined Campaign for Justice, a nonprofit organization committed to helping low-income families and individuals deal with traumatic events, including hunger, poverty, homelessness and abuse, among others. He is part of the band that performs in his musicals as well, playing banjo and rhythm instruments.

Now Showing

New in theaters this weekend is the suspense-thriller “Molly’s Game” with Jessica Chastain and the horror sequel “Insidious: The Last Key.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the horror film “It” and Jackie Chan in “The Foreigner.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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