Pop Up Performance Series
Join Roswell Arts Fund for an evening with
JAKE XERXES FUSSELL
Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Chattahoochee Nature Center in the Ben Brady Pavilion (9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA 30075)
“Jake Xerxes Fussell creates music that resides at the seams of Appalachia and the cosmos.” – NPR Music’s All Songs Considered
**Proof of vaccination is required for entry. Masks are required in indoor spaces. Rain or shine event.
- Rain or shine event.
- Proof of vaccination is REQUIRED for entry.
- Masks are required in all indoor spaces.
- Doors will open at 6 pm, concert will begin at 7 pm.
- Cash bar will be available (no outside beverages permitted).
- Local construction may affect your arrival time and route. Click here for details.
Roswell Arts Fund wants to make this an enjoyable accessible experience for everyone!
Please contact Becky Kile at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information, would like to request any of the services below for the Jake Xerxes Fussell concert or have suggestions for additional offerings for future programs.
Golf Carts and Elevators: Golf cart or wheelchair assistance service will be available from the parking area to pavilion. Elevators are available within the center.
Seating: Wheelchair seating is available. Please email email@example.com after purchasing your tickets to reserve your space.
Sign Language Interpreter: By request, we will provide sign language interpretation services, subject to availability. Request this service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 weeks prior to the concert.
Balloons, Adjusted Seating or PVC Sensory Pipe: By request, based on availability we will reserve a seat closer to speaker and provide a balloon or PVC sensory pipe to amplify the vibrations. Request this service by emailing email@example.com at least 1 day prior to the concert.
Durham, North Carolina singer and guitarist Jake Xerxes Fussell (yes, that’s his real middle name, after Georgia potter D.X. Gordy) grew up in Columbus, Georgia, son of Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist, curator, and photographer who hails from across the river in Phenix City, Alabama (once known as “The Wickedest City in America” for its rampant vice, corruption, and crime.) Fred’s fieldwork took him, often with young Jake in tow, across the Southeast documenting traditional vernacular culture, which included recording blues and old-time musicians with fellow folklorists and recordists George Mitchell and Art Rosenbaum (which led Jake to music) and collaborating with American Indian artists (which led Jake eventually to his graduate research on Choctaw fiddlers.)
As a teenager Jake began playing and studying with elder musicians in the Chattahoochee Valley, apprenticing with Piedmont blues legend Precious Bryant, with whom he toured and recorded, and riding wild with Alabama bluesman, black rodeo rider, rye whiskey distiller, and master dowser George Daniel. He joined a Phenix City country band who were students of Jimmie Tarlton of Darby and Tarlton; he accompanied Etta Baker in North Carolina; he moved to Berkeley, where he hung with genius documentary filmmaker Les Blank and learned from Haight folkies like Will Scarlett (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Brownie McGhee) and cult fingerstyle guitarist Steve Mann; he appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. He did a whole lot of listening, gradually honing his prodigious guitar skills, singing, and repertoire. In 2005 he moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he enrolled in the Southern Studies department at Ole Miss, recorded and toured with Rev. John Wilkins, and in 2014, began recording his first solo album.
Jake’s 2015 self-titled debut record, produced by and featuring William Tyler, transmutes ten arcane folk and blues tunes into vibey cosmic laments and crooked riverine rambles. Collaborating with Tyler and engineer Mark Nevers in Nashville was a conscious decision to depart cloistered trad scenes and sonics for broader, more oblique horizons. Tyler, a guitar virtuoso known for his own compositions that untether and reframe traditional six-string forms and techniques, helmed the push boat in inimitable fashion, enlisting crack(ed) Nashville session vets Chris Scruggs (lap steel, bass, mandolin: Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Marty Stuart), Brian Kotzur (drums: Silver Jews), and Hoot Hester (fiddle; Bill Monroe, Ray Charles) to crew.
In 2017 Fussell followed his celebrated self-titled debut with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. What in the Natural World features art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).
On Out of Sight, his third and most finely wrought album yet, guitarist, singer, and master interpreter Fussell is joined for the first time by a full band featuring Nathan Bowles (drums), Casey Toll (bass), Nathan Golub (pedal steel), Libby Rodenbough (violin, vocals), and James Anthony Wallace (piano, organ). An utterly transporting selection of traditional narrative folksongs addressing the troubles and delights of love, work, and wine (i.e., the things that matter), collected from a myriad of obscure sources and deftly metamorphosed, Out of Sight contains, among other moving curiosities, a fishmonger’s cry that sounds like an astral lament (“The River St. Johns”); a cotton mill tune that humorously explores the unknown terrain of death and memory (“Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues”); and a fishermen’s shanty/gospel song equally concerned with terrestrial boozing and heavenly transcendence (“Drinking of the Wine”).
About the Pop Up Performance Series
Imagine a space for music, theatre, and dance…a place where our community gathers to enjoy a favorite band or ballet production…a destination for entertainment, inspiration, and laughter… an opportunity to showcase emerging talent and bring world-class performances to our city.
The RAF Pop Up series is the first step towards building a permanent, premium performing arts venue in Roswell with the potential to complement our robust restaurant scene, increase tourism, embody our local pride, strengthen our brand, and activate our Modern Spirit. Southern Soul.
On behalf of the City of Roswell, Roswell Arts Fund completed a three-part Performance Space Feasibility Study and presented the final results to the City on May 14th, 2018
The findings of the study, led by Webb Management and DLR Group, showed the following:
- Roswell’s unique location and character present a prime opportunity for a state-of-the-art, regionally distinct facility able to stand out and co-exhist with neighboring venues.
- High levels of income and education in addition to diversity in age and race indicate a strong potential audience for traditional and non-traditional programming.
- The potential programming could include regular performances by an in-house band or ensemble; local, regional, and national touring acts; and outside rentals.
- Market demands for a performance space are high and yet there is a clear gap in available high-quality spaces in the area.
What Make A Pop In Experience Unique?
- Diversity: Performances from a variety of genres and cultures
- Creativity: Unique opportunities in each space for merged art experiences
- Community: One of a kind living room concerts connecting you to the music, your neighbors and your surroundings
- Collaboration: World class performers alongside incredible local artists
Highlights from 2020 Performances
- The inaugural season of the RAF Pop Up Performance Series began with a standing room-only concert at the intimate Roswell Historic Cottage.
- Due to COVID-19, our plans changed but the show must go on and we quickly reimagined our events and transformed parking lots into safe, physically distant yet social spaces for artists and audiences.
- 1400 concert-goers joined us for in-person concerts coming from Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Marietta, Smyrna, Decatur, and Atlanta.
- Another 2100 households tuned in for our first-ever live stream concert early in 2020.
- Headliners in 2020 included: Ed Roland (of Collective Soul), John Driskell Hopkins (of Zac Brown), Randall Bramblett Band, Acoustic Syndicate, Ruby Velle and Enrique Che (of Making Movies)