What better way to celebrate the 100th show presented by the Living Tradition Folk Music Series than with a performance by Albert & Gage? Series organizer Steve Dulson has consistently showcased acts—including Katy Moffatt, Rick Shea, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, and Jez Lowe—defined by talent, dedication, passion and unique styles. The Austin-based duo Albert & Gage possesses these qualities, plus an undeniable chemistry that has blossomed over the course of a partnership spanning 10 years and five solid recordings.
South Dakota native Chris Gage is a terrific guitarist/pianist, having played in both Roy Clark's and Jimmie Dale Gilmore's bands. Honey-voiced Christine Albert cut her singer/songwriter teeth in northern New Mexico before moving to Texas in 1982, where she further developed a wide-ranging Americana style that encompasses folk, alt-country, pop and acoustic blues. The two came together when Albert heard Gage play while on tour with Gilmore, and she was quickly drawn to his versatile chops and musical integrity.
On last year's splendid Cry Love, Albert & Gage recorded nine originals plus three choice cover tunes at their own Moonhouse Studios. Their musical landscape is laced with lush guitars, piano, dobro, bass and even a bongo or two, while the subject matter is both personal and political. Highlights include the evocative, tender "Far As You Can See," which laments a child turning 18 and leaving the roost. "Elisabeth" is a heart-wrenching tale born from Albert's conversation with a 98-year-old nursing-home resident, and "But I Love You" turns sociopolitical with its topical commentary on our administration's failure to act against (or even acknowledge) global warming.
Expect dollops of warmth, good humor and charm when this professionally (and romantically linked) duo takes the stage this weekend in Anaheim. Steve Dulson wouldn't have it any other way, now would he?
The Living Tradition Folk Music Series presents Albert & Gage and Sally Shuffield at the Downtown Community Theatre, 250 W. Center St., Anaheim, (949) 646-1964; www.thelivingtradition.org. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $11-$14; children under 18, free with paid adult. All ages.