April 3, 2004

Small Potatoes


Celtic cowboy jazz swing blues folk

SMALL POTATOES mall Potatoes is Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso. This Chicago-based duo has been touring on the folk circuit since 1993 and in that time they’ve become sought-after regulars at many clubs, coffeehouses across the U.S. They have made repeat appearances at major folk festivals, including the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Walnut Valley Folk Festival, and Philadelphia Folk Festival. They were one of the "most requested" acts at the 1999 Falcon Ridge New Artist Showcase. Jacquie is also a winner of the 1998 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest.

hey call themselves eclecto-maniacs. They describe their music as "Celtic to Cowboy" and say it has taken them "years of careful indecision" to come up with a mix of music that ranges from country, blues, and swing to Irish, with songwriting that touches on all of those styles and more. Their two recordings, Waltz of the Wallflowers and Time Flies , on Wind River Records, cover all these styles. They both sing, they both play guitars and an array of other instruments. They even yodel. Dirty Linen Magazine called them "one of the most polished, inventive, and entertaining shows on the circuit." Sing Out Magazine called Time Flies a "wonderful, wonderfully eclectic" album and said "Small Potatoes might well be leading mainstays on the folk scene for years to come." Their new album, Waltz of the Wallflowers appeared on several "Best of 2000" radio playlists, including WFMT's syndicated "Midnight Special".

hen you see Small Potatoes perform, you hear two great voices, some fine guitar playing, and a touch of tin whistle, flute, mandolin, bodhran, and other percussion toys. Together they present a truly rare blend of vocal and instrumental abilities, award-winning songwriting, and arranging talents. They have the unique ability to adapt to the style of music they happen to be playing. They seem comfortably at home whether playing an upbeat cowboy swing tune or a tender, traditional ballad — though there are no rules here either, sometimes the traditional sounds contemporary, sometimes the contemporary sounds traditional. And they also pay attention to the little things, the warmth, the humor and a rapport with the audience that makes for a memorable performance. A listen to a few tracks on Waltz of the Wallflowers, Jacquie’s one-of-a kind 1998 Kerrville New Folk winning title track, Rich's powerful 1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes, or their Celtic-flavored rendition of the Jefferson Airplane classic, Lather provides a more than ample illustration.

humor, close harmonies, hot licks

Praises for their performances:

  • "They don’t sound like anybody else. I like that. They lay out a blanket and every song is a picnic."
      Warren Nelson, Wisconsin Public Radio

  • "Small Potatoes might well be leading mainstays of the folk scene for many years to come."
      Mike Regenstreif, Sing Out Magazine

  • " ... They’ll never open for me again! "
      Cliff Eberhardt

Link to their web site

Our open mike tonight featured performances by:

  • Tom & Sue
  • Claude
  • Barry Be
  • Larry Lewitt
  • Bob Mist
  • Jim Tepe
  • Steve Chizmadia
  • Two for the Road
            [ Dave Gavin & Lou Malfi ]
  • Estelle Hendrich
  • If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...