The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for a concert event featuring Roger McGuinn, hosted inside the Pollak Theatre on April 25, 2018 as part of the 2017-2018 Performing Arts Series.
Presented at 8 p.m., the show represents the latest in a long line of visits to campus by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer whose signature 12-string jingle-jangle and deep musical roots helped to redefine American rock for a generation and beyond. It also serves to mark the continuation of a happy collaboration between the co-founder of The Byrds and the Center for the Arts program.
The 75-year-old singer-songwriter and folk-roots archivist originally known as Jim McGuinn was already a young veteran of the jug-band hootenanny scene (via associations with the Chad Mitchell Trio and The Limeliters) before he donned granny glasses and mod threads to take up guitars against the British invading forces of the mid-1960s. In league with his Byrds mates David Crosby and Gene Clark, McGuinn helped the band stake out a patch of musical turf all its own – one that would connect transistor-radio pop to a deeper cultural current, and, with the recruitment of Gram Parsons, jumpstart the modern country-rock movement.
The seminal group whose jet-setting tour schedule inspired the trippy psychedelic classic “Eight Miles High” stayed grounded in a folk foundation that saw them introduce a generation of young listeners to the songs of Bob Dylan (“Mr. Tambourine Man,” “My Back Pages”) and Pete Seeger (“Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “The Bells of Rhymney”). While these days McGuinn has ditched the airport lifestyle in favor of a WiFi-equipped van, his standing as a musical traveler remains strong – as witness “The Folk Den Project,” a multi-CD set that draws from an encyclopedic portfolio of traditional songs uploaded to the artist’s website.
When he returns to the Pollak stage for the first time since the renovation of Monmouth’s flagship performing arts venue, McGuinn will once more thrill his generations of fans with an “Easy Rider” trip through time – and in so doing, have the time of his life – highlighted by solo acoustic re-imaginings of familiar Byrds classics (“I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” “So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star,” “Mr. Spaceman,” “Chestnut Mare”); later milestones like the McGuinn Clark & Hillman hit “Don’t You Write Her Off,” and tributes to favorites that range from Leadbelly to Joni Mitchell, and even The Turtles.
It’s an experience underscored with fascinating backstories of the selected songs, and a frankly awesome facility that can transform a full-band rock classic like “Eight Miles” into a one-man tour de force. All in a night’s work for an American original who looks back with a curator’s scholarly sensibility – and simultaneously forward, as a passionate advocate for do-it-yourself tech and peer-to-peer communities. “So much older then,” as they say, “…and younger than that now.”
Tickets for the April 25, 2018 appearance by Roger McGuinn are priced at $25 and $35, with a Gold Circle seating option of $50, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/MCA. Tickets for other upcoming events including David Crosby on June 7 are also on sale now.