Charlotte’s Web: Triple treat

Mohican Indian artist, kids’ show, singer/songwriter/storyteller/comedian headline weekend events

Charlotte’s Web offers something for everyone this weekend; adults and children will be delighted by talented performers on Friday and Saturday.

Bill Miller

One of America’s most notable native artists, Bill Miller’s music is equal parts modern urgency and timeless mysticism. He will be performing at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St. He’s a rogue rocker with a twist—singing of the love and hope that can be found in each of us. The healing power of the waters is a theme that runs throughout Miller’s new Paras Recordings album Spirit Rain.

A Mohican Indian from northern Wisconsin, Miller has long been one of the most admired figures in the North American music arena and beyond. He began playing guitar at age 12, got into teen rock bands, and later switched to acoustic. He began to play folk music and bluegrass as well as taking up the Native American flute. The turning point came when he attended a Pete Seeger concert shortly after leaving the reservation to study art. He was inspired to move to Nashville to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter.

Despite some setbacks, including battles with alcoholism and family tragedies, Miller never stopped growing as a singer, songwriter and performer. His long recording career includes such landmark albums as Loon Mountain and Moon (1991), Red Road (1994), Reservation Road, Raven in the Snow (1995), Ghost Dance (1999) and The Art of Survival (2000). His song “Tumbleweed,” co-written with Peter Rowan, was included on the 1990 album Dustbowl Children.

As an award-winning recording artist, performer, songwriter, activist and painter, he’s been a voice for the voiceless, a link between two great, and clashing, civilizations. On Spirit Rain, he walks the path of reconciliation in a set of 14 heartfelt songs and evocative instrumentals.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Kids’ Show

The Children’s Theatre Project presents The Rocky Monster Show at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, in the Rockford Public Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St. This not-so-scary show, performed by children ages 6-13, is the story of a masked professor who makes DNA molds of rock stars in his computer. The stars come to life, headed by a clone of Elvis. Enjoy a show full of comedy and great ‘50s rock and roll music. And it’s free!

Cheryl Wheeler

Songwriter, singer, storyteller, comedian—these all describe Cheryl Wheeler, and just when you think you’ve heard it all, there’s something more. She has to be seen to be appreciated, and you can see her at 8 p.m., Saturday at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; The Postal Shoppe, Edgebrook Center, 397-7301; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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