Michael Johnson, Kat Eggleston at Mendelssohn

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117027615618274.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.mjblue.com’, ‘ Over the years, Michael Johnson has signed with Atlantic Records, EMI America Records and RCA Records, among others, and started his own record label. ‘);

Charlotte’s Web once again welcomes back an old favorite, Michael Johnson, who brings along a special guest of his own. In a doubly enchanting performance, Michael Johnson and Kat Eggleston team up for an exciting evening. See them at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St.

Michael Johnson

Johnson’s voice immediately identifies him as the man who sings “Bluer Than Blue,” “Give Me Wings,” “That’s That,” “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and other landmark songs. His music shows a diversity, depth and heart that only come from years of dedication to a labor of love. Born in Alamosa, Colo., Johnson grew up in Denver, started playing guitar at age 13 and never quit. He studied in Barcelona and plays on all his records with a unique and distinctive style. In 1968, he joined the Chad Mitchell Trio with John Denver and toured for a year. He also acted in New York off Broadway and toured for a year with the company of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris. Over the years, he has signed with Atlantic Records, EMI America Records and RCA Records, among others, and started his own record label.

Bruce Viland of the Chicago Daily Tribune described him as “… a masterful guitarist who can pull off some amazing stunts with such incredible nonchalance that he doesn’t seem quite human.” Amy Kurland of Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tenn., says: “Michael Johnson is one of the greatest and most sensitive guitar players I know. His singing is warm and captivating, and his songs are the best.” Of himself, Johnson says: “Tell them I’m a showman. I like to talk to people, and I love to make them laugh.” He also says, “I am a soloist at heart,” and often performs alone, though this time he found the perfect companion performer.

Kat Eggleston

Kat Eggleston is one of the most accomplished singers/songwriters today. Elating audiences with her beautiful blend of sweet melodies and gentle honesty, Kat’s music is universally appreciated by young and old alike. She has four CDs released, three of which are available from Waterbug Music, one from Redwing Music. She is also one of the lead singers of The Otters and has made a CD with Kate MacLeod.

Kat Eggleston’s songs touch a range of life’s experiences with unusual clarity and authority. On Second Nature, we’re in for honest lyrics honestly sung. Her musings about home, childhood, and her father’s garden are gems of direct, unassuming plainspokenness. “Fury” and “The Stranger” touch on more severe topics, but tug at our heartstrings.

“Kat Eggleston not only has the soul of a poet but the voice of an angel, not to mention that the lady can play a mean guitar,” wrote Dennis Palkow of the Chicago Tribune. “She is a virtuoso guitarist and hammer dulcimer player, and her songs blend vivid, often gripping, imagery with memorable lyrical melodies,” said Michael Parrish of Dirty Linen.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 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 2205 S. Perryville, 484-0940; The Kilt & Clover, 1414 N. Main St., 962-5458; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

From the Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2007, issue

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