Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All acoustic, but plenty of electricity

Rising stars and known performers to take Pavilion stage

Express Staff Writer

Wood River Valley siren Molly Venter will perform Friday and Saturday at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Photo by

Provoke the arrival of summer with music and attend the Sun Valley Acoustic Music Weekend at the Sun Valley Pavilion. The second annual weekend of music will feature excellent performers including well-known valley favorites.

The weekend of music will begin Friday, June 11, at 6 p.m. and continue through Saturday, June 12. Tickets are $25 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $60 for both nights, available at the Sun Valley Recreation Center Box Office, by calling (888) 622-2108 or online at

Gates will open Friday at 5 p.m. Performances will feature local favorites Alejandro & Maria Laura, Ethan Tucker, folk and pop siren Molly Venter and "American Idol" star Justin Guarini.

On Saturday, gates open at 4 p.m. and the music will start at 5 p.m. Saturday will feature short sets by Molly Venter and Justin Guarini. Singer and songwriter Zee Avi will take the stage for a longer set and finally Juno Award winners and Grammy-nominated The Duhks will headline the show.

The Duhks are a five-member Canadian folk-rock-Celtic-bluegrass group from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their music draws heavily on all North American musical traditions while integrating Latin-influenced percussion.

Guarini is a premier vocalist and entertainer widely recognized for his work on the debut season of the hugely successful Fox singing competition "American Idol," finishing first runner-up to Kelly Clarkson.


Avi is just 23 but she's an old soul—a huge talent in a petite frame bringing a universal message from the unlikely birthplace of Borneo, an ancient island east of Malaysia that remains a natural paradise, an apt description of her songs. Avi recorded her debut album in L.A., the first joint release from Ian Montone's Monotone Label and Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records. It's a true 21st-century tale of the way the Internet has transformed the music business and shrunk the globe in the process.

Venter is a storyteller in the tradition of Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin. She finds a narrative that is raw, curious and self aware; one without blame or self-deprecation. Venter's voice is compelling and versatile, drawing comparisons to Fiona Apple, Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor, with the emotional potency of Ray Lamontagne. Venter's voice and songwriting combined with her warmth and authenticity onstage make her a commanding presence.

Tucker has been playing for eight years, starting in his hometown of Twin Falls and then at venues in Hailey, Ketchum, Boise, Oklahoma and Texas. The Grassroots All-Stars Band, which Tucker formed in Twin Falls three years ago, includes Tucker on lead vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica, Taylor Duff on lead guitar and vocals, Anthony Newbry on drums and percussion and Garrett "Giggity" Anderson on bass guitar and vocals.

Peruvian singer, songwriters and musicians Rivas and Bustamante have made their presence known in the Wood River Valley, playing various venues and restaurants throughout the winter. The duo will sing in Spanish and English and the loving couple have a stage presence that is alluring and entertaining. The couple sing a wide range of ballads and popular songs.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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