Sunday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. —PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present Kat Wright and her trio plus Pete Bernhard as part of the 2021 Next Stage’s Bandwagon Summer Series, an outdoor, socially-distanced concert series, on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. on the field behind the Putney Inn in Putney.
Kat Wright, whose voice is both sultry and dynamic, delicate yet powerful, and gritty but highly emotive and nuanced, has been described as “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse.” Add to that voice enough stage presence to tame lions, and the combination of feline femininity proves immediately enchanting. There’s soul flowing in and out of her rock ‘n’ roll with a serpentine seduction. Some of soul music’s grande dames belt, shout, seethe, and succumb, while Wright sings gently like a heartache’s apology. It’s funky in spots and beautiful all over.
“There are moments when you get to present an artist whose star is rising, and you know they’ll be a presence on the national stage,” says Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage Arts. “We’re proud to present a Vermont-based artist whose music is catching the attention of a national audience. We know that Kat’s music is on its way to make an impact, and this concert is a chance for Windham County to have that experience of seeing her live before whatever success Kat is destined to achieve.”
Wright, Bob Wagner (guitar), and Josh Weinstein (bass) lean into their trio formation, showcasing their folky/rootsy selves, all stripped down, a triangulation of their strengths, their bareness, their perfect humanness, their voices, their ferocious tenderness, their love of songs and singing and story. In 2020, the trio made its live debut supporting The Wood Brothers on 14 shows, including two nights at Webster Hall in NYC and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Wright has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Jam Cruise, Peach Festival, and Grace Potter’s Grand Point North, on NPR’s Mountain Stage, and with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
Opening the show will be guitarist and vocalist Pete Bernhard, frontman of The Devil Makes Three. Growing up in a small community in southern Vermont in a family rife with musicians, Bernhard was first drawn to traditional blues, but also studied the style and aesthetics of music traditions like New Orleans R&B and country. He headed west as a young man, first to Nashville, then on to Washington state, and finally to Santa Cruz, California, where he formed the folk/blues/ragtime/rock ‘n’ roll trio, The Devil Makes Three, with fellow Vermonters Lucia Turino and Cooper McBean.
The Putney Inn is located at 57 Putney Landing Road in Putney. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and kids 12 and under are free. Advance tickets are available online at nextstagearts.org. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating in socially-distanced pods on the field. Next Stage will provide a cash bar. The concert is sponsored in part by Barr Hill, Farrell Distributing, Oak Meadow, and Southern Vermont Young Professionals. For more information, visit nextstagearts.org or call 802-387-0102.