Look and Listen
The Faces and Voices of the Blues at the historic Tripp House
Dolores Hippler and Pat Harper created the organization known as PocoNotes so they could “help present musicians and artists in an environment that would show respect to the artist, the audience and the venue.” After 15 events in the area, the self-proclaimed “children of the ’60s” duo continues to make their grand vision a reality; make the world a kinder place through music.
This wonderful entity we call “music” will pair two artists deeply immersed in the world of the Blues; one artist equipped with a guitar and a voice, another artist capturing the music with his keen eye and camera. On June 8, 9 and 10, the three-day event “The Faces and Voices of The Blues” will be held at Scranton’s historic Tripp House, 1011 North Main Ave, featuring a photo exhibit by acclaimed documentary photographer, Jim Gavenus, and a Blues workshop and concert by internationally-touring Blues musician and historian, Toby Walker.
Kingston resident Jim Gavenus’ work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and has won the Gordon Park Documentary Photographer of the Year Award as well as recognition by the North Carolina Bluegrass Hall of Fame. This will be his first time featured at a PocoNotes event.
“Most of the work that I do deals with some type of social issue; poverty and civil rights,” Gavenus said. “I also do a lot of music work. I think it’s a little bit of a balance because the other stuff (illness and poverty) can be overwhelming to be around. The music is really a positive energy for me.”
Toby Walker is a Blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and storyteller based out of northern New Jersey who has spent most of his life studying the music, playing for audiences and telling tales about his travels down south. The Blues caught his ear and interest at a very young age with his exposure to Mick Jagger and company.
“I was 14 years old listening to the Rolling Stones,” Walker said. “I found out that those guys were listening to people I had never heard of before, so I checked them out. They were listening to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. That’s how I got into the Blues.”
This event will highlight both of the artist’s works, showcasing their years of exploring the world of Blues music, but also the stories behind the music and their dedication to sharing these tales and images with others.
The Gavenus photo exhibit will be available for viewing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Walker will lead a Blues workshop on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. for guitarists of any skill level or participants interested in digging deeper into the Blues. “The workshop will basically be me teaching other guitarists how to play the music that I am talking about in my show,” Walker said. “These are songs I have learned during various travels to places like Mississippi, Virginia and North Carolina. I’ll be teaching some of the songs from the artists that I studied from.”
Not only will he perform concert Saturday night at 8 p.m., he will also be providing music at the Sunday afternoon exhibit.
Both artists are not only looking forward to the event, but they are happy to be working with PocoNotes in celebrating the arts in unique and unconventional ways.
“The venues that they pick to have the events and the events themselves are very intimate and very fan friendly,” Gavenus stated. “It’s not just someone taking your ticket and that’s the end of it.”
“It says that the area has some type of artistic atmosphere where things like this can exist,” Walker said. “And hopefully they will flourish more often.”
— tom graham
Tickets for three-day passes start at $35 for V.I.P., $25 for General Admission and $10 for Seniors/Students. All passes include viewing of the photo exhibit, the Blues workshop and the live evening musical performance. The V.I.P. passes also include a Friday evening Cocktail Reception Launch Party and a Saturday evening pre-show “Meet and Greet” with the artists. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.PocoNotes.com, (888) 800-POCO, Nada & Co. and Duffy Accessories in Scranton. Tickets will be sold at the door if available. For more information about the event, go to www.PocoNotes.com. For more information about the artists, visit www.GavenusPhoto.com and www.LittleTobyWalker.com.