Words and Music

Saturday January 19, 2019

7:30 pm

Singer/Songwriter Circle



Laurie Lewis, Don Henry,

Claudia Russell and Nina Gerber

Join us for a night of outstanding music as three award-winning songwriters trade songs in a Nashville-style song circle. Prepare to be moved as Don Henry, Laurie Lewis and Claudia Russell perform some of their favorite tunes accompanied by virtuoso guitarist, Nina Gerber.


Don Henry’s songs have been recorded by legends like Ray Charles, Patti Page, and Conway Twitty, as well as by Blake Shelton, Lonestar, and Jimmy Wayne. He won a Grammy for Kathy Mattea’s version of “Where’ve You Been.”Don is a songwriter’s songwriter, bringing humor, depth and a profound sense of humanity to his songs. Entertainment Weekly says, “Henry comes across as a first cousin to Randy Newman, with hot-wired songs about born-again whores, interfaith marriages, and the homeless taking over the White House. This is funny and thought provoking stuff, all of it good.”

 The Bay Area’s own Laurie Lewis is a Grammy-award winning musician and renowned all over the world as a singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator. Linda Ronstadt speaks for many when she says of Laurie: “Her voice is a rare combination of grit and grace, strength and delicacy. Her stories are always true.”  She has twice been voted Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Laurie has recorded nearly 20 albums in a number of musical formats for such labels as Flying Fish, Rounder, Hightone, Sugar Hill, Kaleidoscope and her own label, Spruce & Maple Music. Her latest album with her band the Right Hands, The Hazel and Alice Sessions, was nominated for the “Best Bluegrass Recording” Grammy in 2017.


Claudia Russell’s heartfelt and humorous songs have won her accolades from far and near. Britain’s Country Music People UKwrites, “Few singers can construct a song as well as Claudia Russell, and her sharp, well-observed lyrics, have an engaging timeless feel.” American Songwriter named her 2013 CD, All Our Luck Is Changing “a masterpiece.”  Sing Out magazine called Claudia “an outstanding talent in the crowded field of singer/songwriters.” And Boston’s WUMB-FM named Claudia Artist of the Year.  A third generation singer, Russell’s father Val Rosing was a singer with the BBC, and her grandfather was a Russian opera tenor who performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

Last but not least, Nina Gerber adds her virtuoso guitar to the evening’s music. Nina is one of the West Coast’s most sought after guitarists, known for her intuitive and sometimes ethereal style. Everyone she accompanies sounds better with Nina along for the song.  She’s added her talents to a wealth of wonderful artists, including Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky and notably Kate Wolf, with whom Nina started her musical career. Her album Good Music with Good People features outstanding performances with Jackson Browne, Eliza Gilkyson, and Bruce Cockburn.