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Susquehanna Life

Weis Center’s New Season Kicks Off with Free Outdoor Concert

Aug 15, 2016 10:22AM ● By Erica Shames

Washington, DC-based Americana group the Bumper Jacksons will kick-off the Weis Center’s new 2016-17 Season on Friday, August 26 at 6 p.m. outside on the Weis Center Plaza. The family-friendly performance is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The rain location is the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. A rain call will be made the morning of Friday, August 26.

Patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnic. Patrons will have the opportunity to purchase food from Bucknell’s food truck, The Flying Bison, which will be parked on-site. Complimentary cool beverages will be provided.

The tour engagement of the Bumper Jacksons is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation as part of its Mid Atlantic Tours program with support from the National Endowment of the Arts.

The Bumper Jacksons paint America’s story from New Orleans’ brothels to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78s, the Bumper Jacksons boldly and elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, DIY style.

Recognized as the Mid-Atlantic's “Artist of the Year” for 2015 and the “Best Traditional Folk Band” at the 2013-2015 Washington Area Music Awards, the Bumper Jacksons are on a roll, touring across the country and internationally.  The sextet boasts a bodacious horn section balanced by a beautiful pedal steel.  With this unique instrumentation, they're playfully creative with their originals and re-imagining American roots music with both power and tenderness. 

The full band includes Jess Eliot Myhre on vocals, clarinet and washboard, Alex Lacquement on upright bass and harmony vocals, Chris Ousley on vocals, guitar and tenor banjo, Dan Samuels on drums and suitcase percussion, Dave Hadley on pedal steel and Brian Priebe on trombone (not in the touring band). 

The Bumper Jacksons began humbly as a passionately driven project by the band’s two songwriters, Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley, who shared a common love for the old sounds. Jess, a New Orleans-inspired clarinetist and vocalist, traded tunes and dance moves with the biblically-bearded Chris, an old time banjo player and guitarist. The Bumper Jacksons started as an experiment in pushing the sonic limits of country two-steps and waltzes, but that doesn’t capture the breadth of raw human emotion that the band has been able to evoke with their craft. 

With the release of Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy, Come In (2014), the Bumper Jacksons grew into a powerhouse sextet and proved their mettle as a band that could fill up a dance floor and break hearts in the same set. 

Their newest album, Too Big World (2015), marks the next step in the group’s unique artistic process.

For more information about this free performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The next performance in the Weis Center’s 2016-17 Season is a free world music performance by Rajab Suleiman and Kithara on tour as part of Center Stage on Friday, September 9 at 6 p.m. on the Weis Center’s Plaza. The rain location is the Weis Center Atrium Lobby and a rain call will be made the morning of September 9.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.  

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