Small Potatoes in Concert
The powerhouse underground duo Small Potatoees has been touring for just over a decade. In that time (years of careful indecision, they joke), Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso have established themselves as one of the most broad-ranging acts on the folk circuit: broad humor and wide-open genres.
They are self-described "eclecto-maniacs." Drawing from country, blues, Celtic, and cowboy swing, they have developed an exuberant, energetic, funny, yet disciplined style distinctly their own. Their concerts, known for lively audience interaction, have a wild but workable mix of traditional and contemporary songs, some they've written themselves.
Jacquie Manning's "Waltz of the Wallflowers" was a winner at the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest in 1998, and Rich Prezioso's "1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes" is deeply moving. They fill a stage with their charisma as well as instruments, including acoustic and national steel guitars, mandolin, a large assortment of flutes and whistles, and a serious array of implements of percussion (from bodhrans to toy drums that are altogether un-serious). Both are superb musicians, "with vocals so tight you need WD-40 to get them apart," and Rich's remarkable guitar playing stands out in what is a crowded field of talented musicians.
These Small Potatoees don't linger long in their home base of Chicago: they average more than 200 shows on the road a year, earning accolades along the way, Dirty Linen dubs these spuds "one of the most polished, inventive, and entertaining shows on the circuit." According to Susan Werner, the Smalls provide "100% of your recommended daily allowance of infectious musicality and non-stop energy."
Familiar to festival goers across the country, the duo has many local fans and won "Best of Bound for Glory" in 2000. Perhaps it's because, as Warren Nelson of Wisconsin Public Radio notes, "They don't sound like anybody else. They lay out a blanket and every song is a picnic." If you're ready to cast off winter for picnic time, join the Cornell Folk Song Club in welcoming Small Potatoees for a merry evening.
Tickets are available at Ithaca Guitar Works, Greenstar Co-op, Small World Music, Colophon Books, and, if any are left, at the door. You may also order tickets online and by mail: SASE to CFSC, PO Box 481, Ithaca, NY 14851.
(John Henderson and Margaret Shepard)
For information about the concert, contact
More info about Small Potatoes
Folkstuff home page