Chris Bergson and Ellis Hooks in the Basement Music Series

Duo to present a memorable night of soul, blues and gospel music in Bennington

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BENNINGTON — Chris Bergson, one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music, and soul, blues and gospel singer Ellis Hooks will perform as a duo on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Masonic Hall, as the 15th season of Basement Music Series presented by the Vermont Arts Exchange continues. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.

Bergson's ongoing partnership with Hooks, an acclaimed soul singer, has established Bergson, in the words of All Music Guide, "as creating his own blend of blues, roots and soul." Joining Bergson and Hooks at the Masonic Hall will be Matt Clohesy on bass and Adrian Harpham on drums.

"Upon first hearing guitar man Chris Bergson and his gravely southern drawl, which is a combination of Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, you can hardly believe this guy is from New York City ... an artist dedicated to bringing blues and classic R&B into the future while honoring the past," says No Depression.

Hooks began his singing career in the church choir, but fell under the sway of the soul, blues, and country music. At the age of 15, he hitchhiked to NYC, playing the occasional club gig on Bleeker Street, and singing in Central Park. He earned enough for a one-way trip to Europe and spent time in Paris, Amsterdam, and in Milan, where he played tube stops and street corners. Hooks is the true continuum in the Southern traditions of soul, blues and gospel. His voice is his own, and his phrasing is a trademark.

" `The Only One' a new release of originals, co-written by Bergson and Hooks, features Ellis swapping Sam and Dave-like vocals with Chris, so well-paired that it's hard to discern where one ends and the other begins. Even better is the short but tasty Steve Cropper-styled solo by Bergson," says Living Blues.

Tickets for this Basement Music Series concert are $18 in advance through www.vtartxchange.org or by calling 800-838-3006. If not sold out, tickets are $22 at the door. Student tickets are available for $10. Garam Garam will be providing homemade food to purchase, and a cash bar will be provided by Thyme Tables Catering of Shaftsbury.

Become a Basement Music Series Sponsor (BMS) and get tickets, a reserved table and if you wish, your name or business logos in promotional material and mentioned onstage. The tax-deductible sponsorships are critical to continuing the BMS and ensuring the diversity and quality of the artists VAE presents. The BMS not only benefits the community, but also local restaurants, artists and musicians. Contact Director Matthew Perry at 802-442-5549 or matthewvae@comcast.net for more information about becoming a sponsor.

Follow the season at vtartxchange.org, on the new Basement Music Series Facebook page and on Twitter (twitter.com/BMSatVAE).

For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange, the Basement Music Series, exhibits and camps, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit vtartxchange.org. The Masonic Hall at 504 Main St. is an accessible facility. Call for specific accommodations.




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