Susan Werner

Susan Werner

Blue Moon Coffeehouse’s 16th Season to Begin

August 31, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Blue Moon Coffeehouse will kick off its sixteenth season with a rare Friday night show to be held at 8 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington). The show will feature singer-songwriter Susan Werner, who returns for her twelfth performance at the Blue Moon. Three additional shows have been scheduled for the fall semester, with more to be announced in the spring. These shows will return to the traditional venue, the Main Lounge of Memorial Center (104 University St., Bloomington).

Tickets for Blue Moon Coffeehouse are $10 for students and the general public, and can be reserved and purchased through the Blue Moon Hotline at (309) 556-3815, through e-mail at bluemoon@iwu.edu, or in person at The Garlic Press (106 North St., Normal) or at the venue beginning at 6 p.m. the night of the performance.

Recognized as one of the defining artists of today’s folk music genre, Werner is currently on tour promoting her sixth album The Gospel Truth. A collection of original songs she describes as “hymns for the spiritually ambivalent,” the album incorporates styles ranging from traditional bluegrass gospel to her own unique medley of folk, jazz and pop.

Raised in rural Iowa, Werner studied classical voice at Temple University in Philadelphia before performing at coffeehouses around the northeast. In 1992, she released her debut album, titled Midwestern Friday Night. Her breakout album, Last of the Good Straight Girls, came in 1995. A decade later, Werner had an instant hit on satellite radio with “My Strange Nation,” a battle hymn-style “alternative national anthem” that encompasses both poetry and hypocrisy. Known for her literacy and wit, the Midwestern-born songstress has earned a reputation for her cabaret-style live performances. As Chicago Tribune wrote, “[Werner] is a triply blessed artist who sings adroitly, plays the piano smartly, and, best of all, writes songs of genuine distinction and high class.”

The second Blue Moon performance of the season is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, with a performance by another returning Blue Moon favorite, Peter Mulvey. Often compared to artists such as Tom Waits and Randy Newman, Mulvey’s high-energy style, bass-prominent guitar playing, dense lyrics and urban rhythms have made him one of the most innovative artists on the folk scene. A prolific singer-songwriter, Mulvey has released nine solo albums. His latest is titled Knuckleball Suite.

Jess Klein, an artist who was nominated for the 1998 Boston Music Award, Best New Contemporary Folk Act even prior to the release of her debut album, will perform at the Blue Moon on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Boston Globe has called Klein “a soulful dynamo,” and The Boston Phoenix says, “If you haven’t seen Klein play, you’re doing yourself a disservice.” Recently, she has performed at recent musical festivals including SXSW, Newport Folk Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

The final performance of the fall semester will be on Saturday, Dec. 8, and will mark artist Carrie Newcomer’s annual return to the Blue Moon. Newcomer has been with the Blue Moon since its inaugural concert, and her vivid storytelling and humor and dynamic performances have made her a popular favorite among IWU students. Her songs, which have been called strong, poetic and haunting, continue to win over new audiences nationwide.

The Blue Moon Coffeehouse is named after the second full moon occurring in a month, a rare and unusual phenomenon fraught with excitement and possibility. The Blue Moon brings to the Illinois Wesleyan community entertainment presented in a coffeehouse setting. As a concert venue, the Blue Moon has been recognized by the Pantagraph’s Spring 2003 and Fall 2004 reader’s choice survey as one of “The Best of the Best in Central Illinois.” Over the years, the Blue Moon has showcased some of the premier talents in contemporary acoustic music, including artists Vance Gilbert, Patty Larkin, Greg Brown and Ani DiFranco.

For additional information about the Blue Moon, ticket sales or scheduled performers, visit the Blue Moon Web site at http://sun.iwu.edu/~bluemoon/ or contact Darcy Greder, associate dean of student affairs and co-curricular planning, at (309) 556-3541.

Contact: Teresa A. Sherman, (309) 556-3181