Anne Hills performs at Emerson House Oct. 20

Staff Report

Award-winning singer/songwriter Anne Hills will perform at the historic Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20.

The performance is part of the 41st Annual Charlotte’s Web Concert Series at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.

Hills has become one of the better-known voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances (2009 Bound for Glory live radio show favorite- Ithaca, N.Y.), her unique solo and collaborative recording projects (2001 WAMMIE for duet CD with Tom Paxton, Under American Skies), and her overall artistry and benefit work (2002 Kate Wolf Award, Carole Robertson Award and Kerrville Female Vocalist of the Year 1997).

Hills’ song, “Follow That Road,” was the title cut of the Martha’s Vineyard Songwriter Retreat and has enchanted audiences for more than a decade.

Whether she is singing her own song, the words of 6-year-old Opal Whiteley, or the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley; accompanied with her guitar, banjo or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment. So, even if you haven’t become familiar with her voice (featured often on XM/Sirius Folk Radio, The Midnight Special and many other folk shows), you won’t want to miss a chance to hear her songs and stories in person.

Hills has just begun touring more extensively, winning over audiences with her warm, lively and humorous performances.

The AllMusic Guide says: “A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary music’s premiere vocalists. … Her knack for writing heartfelt songs [has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.”

Tom Paxton says: “Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”

Tickets, $15 for adults and $5 for students, are available in advance in person at Mendelssohn PAC, 415 N. Church St.; by phone at (815) 964-9713; or online at Season Subscriptions are available for the remainder of the season ($94 for adults, $27 for students, $202 for family) in addition to Flex Passes (adults: $56 for four concerts or $85 for six concerts; students: $18 for four concerts or $27 for six).

Mendelssohn can be reached at (815) 964-9713.

From the Oct. 17-23, 2012, issue

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