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Rachel Ammons, Stas Heaney
March 8 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Midwest Weather, Rachel Ammons
9pm: Midwest Weather
While growing up in the Midwest, Staś had a knack for repeatedly stumbling into world-class musical experiences as he studied piano, voice, violin, and percussion. He picked up a number of other instruments along the way, and continued composing for piano. Unbound to genre he has performed with jazz ensembles, choirs, dancers, orchestras, garage bands, wind symphonies, and folk groups. As a result, symphony halls, opera theaters, recording studios, clubs, and cathedrals throughout the Midwest were just a few of the venues under his belt before finishing college in Kansas City.
Those many years of luck have shaped him into an intuitive and versatile musician with a penchant for the peculiar.
Staś’ solo project, Midwest Weather, melts originality and technicality into familiarity. These infrequent solo appearances are a glimpse into what his musical brain looks like when left up to its own devices. With a diverse array of composition and instrumentation it promises listeners who don’t like what they’re hearing to only wait five minutes — it’ll change.
10pm: Rachel Ammons
From the moment they met, Rachel and Smilin’ Bob hit it off. He saw something in her and immediately assumed a mentorship/second father role. The pair was vastly different, 30 years different in age, one a young girl, the other a grizzled war veteran who had lived several lifetimes before he turned 21.
They became best friends, constant companions, and bandmates. After the bluegrass band started to fall apart, Rachel discovered that Bob’s real passion was his one man band. He played everything with strings and a lot of things without. Anything he touched became an instrument. He played the slide guitar and she was hooked from the first note.
She began spending all her free time steeping in his mastery of all things Delta. His soul, improvisational spirit, humor, bravery, nobility, generosity and encyclopedic knowledge of southern heritage music left an indelible mark on Rachel. The pair was practically attached at the hip, jamming for days on end in the livingroom, Rachel listening, absorbing, mimicking everything her hero demonstrated. In a couple short years she had gone from a classical violinist, still timid about improvising, to a multi-instrumentalist unafraid to try just about anything.
She stopped believing in “mistakes” per Bob’s instruction, and grew exponentially in all things musical. He had a special fondness for Delta and heritage music but played every style well, exposing Rachel to a vast collection of influence in their time together. They began a band they called Tyrannosaurus Chicken, and over the next years he passed on his knowledge and skills to the next generation, preserving a priceless legacy, as they began gaining a cult-like regional following and rising through festival billings.
Located in Kansas City’s historic Westport District, The Westport Saloon has become a midwest haven for the underground. Roots, Honky Tonk, Bluegrass, Blues, Blues Rock, Folk, Rockabilly, and that Twang you live for.
Like the settlers of Westport, we work tirelessly to bring amazing names to our stage. Over the years we have hosted acts such as Wayne “the Train” Hancock, Dale Watson, Moe Brandy, JD Wilkes, Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band, The Goddamn Gallows, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies, Luke Bell, The Hooten Hallers, Carries Nation and the Speakeasy and so many more.
Like the settlers of Westport, we are also known for our whiskey. Overtime, and as tastes have changed, we have amassed quite the collection to keep your glass filled and you coming back. Saloons predate prohibition establishments, when drinks were uncomplicated, not pretentious and hearty. It’s alright to be heavy on the bourbon and Scotch – we don’t judge.
Midwest Weather, Rachel Ammons