Joan Shelley and Jake Xerxes Fussell

Singletary Center for the Arts

405 Rose Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40506

Saturday, April 6th
7:30pm - 9:30pm EDT
Admission Fee: $25 ($10 students)

The Singletary Center for the Arts presents a co-headlining performance by two of the South's finest songwriters, Louisville's Joan Shelley and Durham, NC's Jake Xerxes Fussell.

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Ky., not far from where she grew up. She draws inspiration from traditional and traditionally-minded performers from her native Kentucky, as well as those from Ireland, Scotland, and England, but she's not a folksinger. Her disposition aligns more closely with that of, say, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, or her fellow Kentuckian Tom T. Hall, who once explained—simply, succinctly, in a song—"I Witness Life."

Since the 2015 release of her album Over and Even, Shelley has crossed the country and toured Europe several times as a headlining artist, typically with guitarist Nathan Salsburg, and sharing shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Other Years, and Michael Hurley. She has opened for Wilco, Chris Smither, Patty Griffin, Andrew Bird and Richard Thompson and has appeared as a guest on WTF with Marc Maron, Fresh Air and Later… with Jools Holland.

Singer, guitarist, and folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell has distinguished himself as one of his generation's preeminent interpreters of traditional (and not so traditional) "folk" songs, a practice which he approaches with a refreshingly unfussy lack of nostalgia. By recontextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South, he allows them to breathe and speak for themselves and for himself; he alternately inhabits them and allows them to inhabit him. In all his work, Fussell humanizes his material with his own curatorial and interpretive gifts, unmooring stories and melodies from their specific eras and origins and setting them adrift in our own waterways.

Fussell's newest album, Good and Green Again was released Jan 21, 2022 via Paradise of Bachelors. Produced by James Elkington, the record navigates fresh sonic and compositional landscapes and is, perhaps, his most conceptually focused to-date. He has toured with the Decembrists, Wilco, the Magnetic Fields, Joan Shelley, and Bill Callahan and was an artist-in-residence for the 2023 Big Ears Music Festival.