Two balladeers come to Columbus for a special afternoon of contemporary and Western folk music at the Columbus Public Library on Saturday, February 19, when award-winning songwriters Kerry Grombacher and Aspen Black perform their “Two Troubadours: Stories in Song” concert. . at 2 pm Both multi-instrumentalists, their works draw striking portraits and tell fascinating stories that they accompany with guitars, bass and mandolin.
“This will be our duo’s first concert in Columbus,” Kerry Grombacher recently said. “I was here for a solo concert in March 2021, and I’m honored to be back. As a writer, history student, and a man who travels tens of thousands of miles every year, I love the idea to visit this gateway to the west and drive on US Highway 30 – the legendary Lincoln Highway – through the Platte River Basin.
Aspen Black added: “I’m really looking forward to playing in Columbus. I’m a cowgirl from Virginia, and it’s awe-inspiring for me to spend time in the Great Plains, with the big skies and long horizons that signify the West in our imaginations.
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Kerry Grombacher and Aspen Black, two successful solo artists, have been working together as a duo since 2014, performing nationwide for arts councils, house concerts, festivals, museums and libraries. Their songs are influenced by the tradition of English ballads, the music of string orchestras from the home of Aspen in Appalachia, and the corridos of the desert southwest, where Kerry lived and worked.
Kerry Grombacher plays guitar and mandolin. The title track from his 2021 CD, “Range of the Buffalo”, was named Song of the Year by the International Western Music Association, and the CD is a Top Ten nominee for the album award. year 2022 of the Academy of Western Artists. . His songs have been featured on ABC-TV’s adventure travel show, “Born to Explore”, and on Putumayo World Records’ CD “Cowboy Playground”, which has been released in over 60 countries. He has released five albums of original songs, and his songs have been recorded by a roster of artists that includes Jim Jones, Belinda Gail, The Texas Trailhands, Gary Prescott, and Trails & Rails. He proudly notes that there is a room named after him at the Sands Motel in Grants, New Mexico, on historic Route 66.
Nalini Jones of the Newport Folk Festival said: “Kerry Grombacher is the best kind of songwriter, with lyrics that take us on journeys to places we’ve never been before, and melodies so pure and true that they seem to rise from the plains…”
Aspen Black plays guitar and bass. She received a 2019 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Cowboy Poetry, for her Cowboy Poetry CD, “Tales from the Road”. Aspen’s “Lovin’ the West” won the Rural Roots Music Commission’s 2017 Classic Western CD of the Year, and her “Eastern-Western Cowgirl” was the 2015 Female Country-Western CD of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she was one of five finalists for the International Western Music Association’s Female Poet of the Year award, and her poetry CD, “Invisibility,” was one of five finalists. of the Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year in 2015 and in 2017. 2016.
Dick Shoemaker of YNN-TV in Franklin County, Va., says, “Aspen Black has the voice of an angel. I could listen to him sing all day, sit back and smile.
The free concert on Saturday, February 19, 2022 will take place at the temporary location of the Columbus Public Library, 2419 14th St., in Columbus, and it will begin at 2 p.m. For more information, please call the Columbus Public Library at (402) 564-7116, or visit www.columbusne.us/library or www.facebook.com/columbuspubliclibrary.
Karen Connell is the director of the Columbus Public Library.