Friday, February 3, 2017

Off the Common Coffeehouse Featuring Don White


The Off the Common Coffeehouse in Bridgewater concert on Saturday February 4th 2017 at 7:30pm will feature Don White

This coffeehouse features a mix of Americana and Folk music right in the downtown area of Bridgewater MA at the U. U. Church at 50 School St. The doors open at 7:00pm with Quentin Callewaert kicking off the evening of music at 7:30pm.

There is no one-word description for what Don White does. He has survived and thrived for twenty-five years, bringing his audiences to laughter and tears in his live performances, studio recordings, and on the printed page. He is a storyteller-comedian-author-troubadour-folk singer-songwriter.

Don’s approach to music is a weird, unique blend. It has brought him onto the stage with greats like Christine Lavin, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Ritchie Havens, Patty Larkin, Bill Morrissey, Tom Rush, and Louden Wainright III. At every point, Don has been the ultimate observer, infusing his work with his experiences as a husband, a father, a seeker, and a joker.

I was born with the disease.” As a teenager, he would skip school to write. He took journalism courses. Things started to click when his parents bought him his first guitar at age 15, when White was absorbing music from John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and Bob Dylan. He became a student of music.

It was the Grateful Dead that inspired Don White to leave his working class hometown after high school graduation in search of the strange, cool people with long hair he met at local shows. He spent three years hitchhiking across the country, building a foundation for his personality and writing.

Don White’s career took a whole new direction when he started hosting a music open mic at one of the country’s hottest comedy clubs, Catch A Rising Star in Harvard Square. After impressing Catch’s booker with his wit and storytelling abilities, White began to emcee comedy shows. Just as he had studied music as a teenager, Don White began to study comedy.

He now had the toolkit of both songwriter and club comedian – he was “comedian funny,” not “folk funny,” he says. But he quickly realized that the comedy club environment wouldn’t work for him. He wanted to take what he’d learned and bring it into an environment where he could be serious, too. That meant the folk world, where his abilities were unique. “I was bringing comedian sensibilities to a show, and then I had a couple of songs like ‘I Know What Love Is’ so now they’re laughing their head off, and now they’re crying, and that is my niche.”

Many songwriters use their real lives for inspiration, but few do it like Don White. He often draws inspiration from his family, whether it’s a touching song about the circle of life or an uproarious story about dealing with his daughter.

He played with Christine Lavin which gave him yet another career boost. That was also the year White released Live at the Somerville Theatre, a collection that produced his ode to his home town. Not long after that, Don opened for Arlo Guthrie. “The first time I opened for him, I had the feeling like I owed this guy a debt of gratitude, because when I was coming up, he made it seem normal,

White continued to evolve as a write. It allowed him to go take the stories he tells onstage and draw them out, to give a more complete picture of him as a performer and as a human being. “I think that writing the book is the most freedom that I’ve had as a writer, as a creative artist.”

In 2008, White released a compilation, The Best of Don White 1992-2008. He also recorded Winning Streak at Sadler’s Renoworld Studio in White’s hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts. The album contains eight new original songs. “I wasn’t intimidated by the process,” he says. “I know what I want each song to sound like. I’m not sure how the world will take it, but I’m confident it sounds exactly the way I want it to.”

What’s the next stage? White is currently in the studio working on a new album, but who knows where his talents will take him next. “As a writer, I’m interested in all kinds of things now. I have all these ideas now where I want to let the story tell the story, instead of coming out and saying, ‘This is how I feel.’ I want to write that way now.”

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