FISH CREEK, WI - On Wednesday, August 23, popular Door County musicians Katie Dahl, Eric Lewis, and Rich Higdon will release their new album "Solid Ground: The Songs of Fred Alley." The concert will take place at 8 p.m. on August 23 at Door Community Auditorium (DCA) in Fish Creek. The concert is being produced in association with Northern Sky Theater.
"This project has been so much fun to work on," says Katie Dahl. "We tracked the whole project one snowy week in January this year, and it's been such a privilege to get to know Fred's songs even better by working so closely with them."
Fred Alley, who died in 2001, was a Door County actor and playwright best known for co-founding Northern Sky Theater. His plays (which include "Guys on Ice" and "The Spitfire Grill") have been seen by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. But what many of his theatrical fans may not know is that Alley was also a great folk songwriter. On "Solid Ground," Dahl, Lewis, and Higdon give voice twelve of Alley's songs, including four that have never been released to the public.
These songs are thoroughly steeped in imagery of northeastern Wisconsin--flannel sheets, threshers on the highway, Lake Michigan--but they are also worldly and sophisticated, literary and spiritual. The album contains vocals by all three musicians and guitar by Lewis and Dahl, as well as dobro, mandolin, harmonica by Lewis and bass and washboard by Higdon.
"Solid Ground" was recorded in the Sister Bay studio of David Alley, Fred Alley's brother. Alley is a longtime engineer whose past work includes multiple albums by some of Door County's favorite musicians, including both Lewis and Dahl.
Katie Dahl, Eric Lewis, and Rich Higdon are some of Door County's most beloved musicians. Dahl is a singer-songwriter and playwright who brings to live performance a rich alto and a warm sense of wit and humor. Rich Higdon is Dahl's frequent accompanist on upright bass and various percussion instruments. The couple perform often in Door County, as well as touring with their music nationwide. And Eric Lewis is a blazing Memphis multi-instrumentalist with an enthusiastic fan following on the peninsula.
At the CD release concert, Dahl, Lewis, and Higdon will perform all the songs from the album, as well as a few others.
The event is one of several events Northern Sky is hosting as part of their Constellation Campaign. Northern Sky announced the public phase of their campaign in June, having raised
$4.4M toward the $6.7M campaign goal during the quiet phase of their campaign in 2016.
The company also announced a significant challenge gift from an anonymous donor who promises to contribute $500,000 by matching $1 for every $2 raised up to $1M, producing a $1.5M benefit. Proceeds from this concert will be added to the matching goal.
The creative campus's site plan includes two buildings to house an indoor theater, administrative offices, a box office, costume and set facilities, and storage spaces. The 250-seat indoor theater will serve as a place to hold rehearsals, readings, workshops, and fall and winter performances.
Tickets for the concert range from $20-32 and are available through DCA, either at
, at (920) 868-2728, or in person at 3926 Highway 42, Fish Creek.