Kent Stage brings folk artists this weekend

Erica Crist

Crooked Still will perform at the Kent Stage this Friday.

Credit: Ben Breier

This weekend, the Kent Stage will host Crooked Still and Melanie with The Weepies.

Crooked Still is a neo-bluegrass band with the ability to “simultaneously push the envelope while retaining the traditional flavor,” according to Country Standard Time, a music-critiquing Web site.

Melanie has had an amazing and record-breaking career since the ’60s. The Weepies is the musical project of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan.

Crooked Still will bring the low, lonesome sound they are known for to the Kent Stage on Friday.

“Our music is a lot lower and darker than the bluegrass and old-time music that people are used to,” said CoreyDiMario, double-bassist. “It’s also spontaneous. No two shows are the same.”

Another factor that contributes to Crooked Still’s unique sound is the fact that they use a cello instead of a traditional fiddle, DiMario said.

Greg Liszt’s futuristic banjo style incorporates a four-fingered picking technique that turns his banjo into a rhythm instrument, according to the band’s Web site.

“Greg (Liszt) made up our name,” DiMario said. “It’s a play-on-words with the imagery of southern old-time music and a whiskey still. So we are a dilapidated image of that.”

DiMario said he thinks college students in particular will enjoy the show at the Kent Stage because they can relate to every member of the band as fellow-20-something-year-olds.

“It’s fun going out and seeing a group that’s your age doing something original,” DiMario said. “People are craving for music that is different from pop radio.”

But the fun doesn’t stop there. On Saturday night, the Kent Stage will showcase Melanie with The Weepies.

According to her Web site, Melanie Safka, famously known just as Melanie, was the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House and the Sydney Opera House.

The Weepies’ most recent recording, Happiness, is the folk-pop brain child of Tannen and Talan. This album of new original standards features Jim Henry on guitars, Richard Gates on bass and Jeff Berlin on drums.

Talan and Tannen met through their music and have embarked on a fully collaborative effort as The Weepies.

Happiness is a blissful collection of original songs, with poetic lyrics and highlighted by the bluegrass playing of Henry on guitar, according to the band’s Web site.

For more information about these or other shows at the Kent Stage, visit

Contact ALL corespondent Erica Crist at [email protected].