Hoot of a Decade

Owl's Nest Productions is marking 10 years with a concert celebration and CD release

Ten years ago, pianist-singer-songwriter Lisa Otey and guitarist-singer-songwriter Kathleen Williamson started the local independent record label, Owl's Nest Productions.

Partners in life and in music, Otey and Williamson have used the label as a clearinghouse for all their musical efforts--which run the gamut from jazz, blues and boogie-woogie to folk and pop--as well as those of some of their friends.

Since then, the label has released six CDs by Otey, including a duo album with Dutch pianist Mr. Boogie Woogie, and Williamson's wonderful, eclectic, Love is Best of All. Brand-spanking new on the label is Viva la Diva!, a live disc by Lisa Otey and the Desert Divas.

To celebrate the decade of music and the release of Viva la Diva!, Owl's Nest Productions, in association with community radio station KXCI-FM, is presenting a special concert Saturday night, May 15, at the Temple of Music and Art.

The concert will feature performances by Otey, Williamson, Mr. Boogie Woogie and the Desert Divas, a group that includes Otey, Williamson, Anna Warr, Liz McMahon and Hurricane Carla Brownlee. Also on the bill will be steel guitarist Hal Rugg, drummer John Westfall, bassist Steve Grams and guitarist Ed DeLucia.

Mr. Boogie Woogie, who was born Eric-Jan Overbeek, is the premiere blues and boogie-woogie pianist in the Netherlands, working tirelessly to keep the music alive throughout Europe. He has often played with Otey. Together, they represent something of a musical exchange program--she heads to Europe to play with Overbeek; he to Tucson to play with Otey.

Overbeek's appearance at the concert also is part of his current U.S. concert tour with his backing band, the Hot Wings, in support of the release of his new CD, They're Wings ... They're Hot, which was recorded in Tucson at Jim Brady Studios. In addition to Overbeek, the Hot Wings consist of Dutch drummer Ab Dekker and Tucson musicians Steve Grams on bass and Danny Krieger on guitar.

For the next three weeks or so, the tour will play Tucson venues, as well as some in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Patagonia, and Silver City, N.M. The stint also will include a CD release party for They're Wings ... They're Hot on Sunday, May 23, at the Boondocks.

Other Tucson gigs include Friday, May 14, at Chicago Bar; Sunday, May 16, at Plush; and Tuesday, May 18, at Perry's.

Otey, by the way, recently returned from her latest European tour, for which Williamson joined her in Germany. She played the Netherlands with a trio of European back-up musicians and did a few shows with Mr. Boogie Woogie. As a solo act, she played from Switzerland to Spain.

Otey tells the Weekly to warn fans that tickets for the Owl's Nest 10th anniversary gig are going fast. In addition to the locations above, Kool's Native Arts in Green Valley is selling tickets. Check the Owl's Nest Web site, owlsnestmusic.com, for more upcoming dates by Owl's Nest artists.

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