On September 2, The Mainstay’s First Friday with Joe Holt monthly program highlights the music and legacy of Billy Penn Burger; a much-loved regional (Delaware/ Pennyslvania) guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who passed away in 2018 at the age of 63. He left behind a lifelong, award-winning catalog of songs and performances that will be remembered by those who admired him as a musician and loved him as a friend. Steve Prentice, a former bandmate, reminisced that “what really mattered to Billy as a songwriter, was to write songs that had an emotional impact. But the really amazing thing was his ability to accomplish this again and again.” Billy often appeared as a solo performer singing heartfelt songs of peace and love, but also in several local bands that orchestrated his songs with solid guitar licks, cascading keyboards, heart-felt horns and tight vocals. His music has been described as ranging from folk songs to blue-eyed soul. For this program, pianist Joe Holt will be joined by Billy Penn Burger band alumni Steve Prentice, also on piano and keyboards and Nick Bucci on guitar, along with Keli Vale and Sharon Sable on vocals, and Ray Anthony on drums. This rocking band will perform Billy’s originals, as well as covers from other recording artists (Van Morrison, Pete Seeger, and more) from the original band repertoire. The tribute pays its respects to the songs of a musician who captured the vibe of an era when acoustic music, rock and soul merged.
Showtime for the live concert event is 8 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance of the show and can be purchased online at mainstayrockhall.org. Phone reservations are accepted by calling (410) 639-9133 (tickets reserved by phone are $25 when paid at the door). The Mainstay is located at 5753 N Main Street in Rock Hall, Maryland. Its regular calendar of local, regional, and nationally touring artists features a live performance every week of the year (February through December) in a variety of music genres.
The programs of the Mainstay are supported with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Kent Cultural Alliance.