Professor Louie and the Crowmatix will bring their Americana roots sound to the Carroll Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
Professor Louie and the Crowmatix are five-time Grammy nominees and inductees to the Blues Hall of Fame in New York. They began as the backing band for The Band but now tour internationally on their own.
Alongside, they will feature local musicians the Maryland Rock of Ages Horns.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for students and seniors, and $10 for Carroll County Public Schools staff with ID.They can be purchased at bit.ly/2Lqg3mu.
The band has played the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music and Arts Festival several times, and Aaron Hurwitz — christened Professor Louie by The Band’s Rick Danko — has taught during Common Ground’s Traditions Week for almost 10 years. This past summer, he taught classes on piano, improvisation, blues, and the music from The Band and Bob Dylan and its cultural significance.
“It’s the only teaching I do all year, so it’s very special to me,” he said. “Since I’m on the road the other 51 weeks of the year, it’s sort of a nice way for me to sit in one place and teach.”
Their concerts are a mix of the band’s new music, old favorites and American standards.
“We’re always exploring new music, for us,” Hurwitz said. “To be a musician, you sort of have to be a historian. … We’re always trying to explore some of the great songs and artists of yesteryear and some of the new artists.”
Though their home-base is Woodstock, New York, they tour nearly the whole year. Before coming to Westminster, they will have made appearances in New Jersey and Maine all in the same week, right off a two-week trip to Italy.
To them, touring means forming relationships.
“We get to be friends with everybody and be part of the neighborhood,” he said.
The group has 13 releases on The Woodstock Records label, most recently “Crowin' The Blues” and the EP, “The Lost Band Tracks.”
Even those who don’t recognize the band members will likely know some of the acts they have worked with, from The Band to Van Morrison to Bob Dylan.
Hurwitz on keys, accordion and vocals; John Platania on guitar and vocals; Gary Burke on drums; Miss Marie Spinosa on vocals, percussion and keys; and Frank Campbell on bass and vocals make up the group, whose name is a play on the chromatic scale.
In a news release from Common Ground, Bob Coffey, owner of Westminster-based Coffey Music, who pulled together the Maryland Rock of Ages Horns, said, “Playing with the Crowmatix is one of the best gigs of my lifetime,” adding, “It’s a feel-good gig with something to offer for all ages.”
The two ensembles have collaborated for several shows in the past, including the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music and Arts Festival.
“That always makes it more special to use local musicians from the area to perform with us,” Hurwitz said. “We do that pretty much wherever we travel.”
This go-around, Nick Reider on trumpet, David Motter on trombone, Steve Swan on saxophone and Bruce Coates on saxophone make up Maryland Rock of Ages Horns.
Just about every show they play feels like a unique part of the American musical tradition, Hurwitz said.
“And we always try to involve and include everybody from that neighborhood to be part of the show, whether they open for us or we get them up on stage to play with us,” he said.
Hurwitz hosts “Professor Louie's Woodstock Rockin' Revue,” a weekly radio show on WKZE 98.1. Listeners from all over can tune in online at www.981kze.com/listen-live.
More information about Professor Louie and the Crowmatix is available at www.professorlouie.com.