Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul sing Godfrey's at 39 going on 40
Godfrey Daniels, Lehigh Valley's legendary listening room, celebrates its 39th anniversary with its Fifth Annual Membership Appreciation Concert and Party featuring Vance Gilbert and Ellis Paul, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. March 20, Foy Hall, Moravian College, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem.
The concert is first in a year-long slate of concerts leading up to Godfrey's 40th anniversary.
Kicking off Godfrey's slate of performers post membership party are Davey O with Jessica Smucker, 8 p.m. March 21, Godfrey Daniels, 7 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem.
Smucker's new CD, "Tumbling After," has received critical acclaim for its "organic folk" and "dark edgy pop." Davey O is a singer-songwriter who has garnered praise for his roots rock Americana.
"We are looking at our 40th in 2016, so we are going to do this one a little bigger than we normally do," says Ramona LaBarre Godfrey Daniels Managing Director.
"We have a spring anniversary, which is March 21st of 1976. That is when the club opened. Every March we've done an anniversary event.
"Four years ago for the 35th, we changed that around a little bit and turned that annual event into a members' concert. We've got members who are charter members. They signed up when we launched the membership program in the early 1980s.
"Membership is money that keeps our doors open. So, we want to give back to the members. Secondly, it is a way to increase membership."
Included in the program at Foy are beer and wine tastings from The Other Farms Brewery, Boyertown, and Pinnacle Ridge Winery, Orefield. Light fare will be offered.
"Vance Gilbert and Ellis Paul have performed at Godfrey Daniels several times over the last 20 years. They actually released an album together a number of years ago and ever since then we have wanted them to perform for us together. The larger venue allows seating for hundreds, which we would not be able to do inside of Godfrey's.
"We are also planning a 40th anniversary year of programming, which is going to start in March at this event. We are inviting artists who have performed at Godfrey's over all those decades to return in the next 12 months. Some of them are bigger names, artists who are now playing in larger venues. We are working on that and we do have some in place already."
Artists scheduled to perform at Godfrey's in the coming months include Celtic rock band Tempest, Pierre Bensusan, Steve Forbert and John Gorka. LaBarre is working on booking additional acts to complete the yearlong schedule of programming.