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Jon Shain & FJ Ventre

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May 25th @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM



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Hailing from Durham, NC, Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter who’s been turning heads for years with his words, his fiery acoustic guitar work, and his evolved musical style – combining improvised piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, and ragtime. Jon has released nine solo albums to date, along with two albums with duo partner FJ Ventre, a Jon Shain Trio live album, and one album of co-writes with Joe Newberry. Shain’s newest album, Restless Soul Syndrome, recorded at Good Luck Studio this past year, will be released April 9, 2024. Shain is also the author of the music books Gettin’ Handy With the Blues – a Tribute to the Legacy of W.C. Handy and Jon Shain’s Fingerstyle Guitar Method, both published by Mel Bay Publications. In 2019, Shain won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN in the solo/duo category.

Jon grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a Merrimack River mill-town that had already seen its better days by the time he was a child in the 1970s. His family’s business was a small textile dyeing company, and he worked in the factory during the summers throughout his teens. At the same time, Shain began to discover his love of American roots music and songwriting, specifically drawn to the narratives about regular people and themes of social justice.

Shain headed south to North Carolina in 1986, to study American History at Duke University and to continue his musical journey, as well. In addition to studying with jazz professor Paul Jeffrey, he also had the good fortune to learn the piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henry’s backing band. It was at this time that Shain also got to meet and play with John Dee Holeman and a number of the great older NC blues players. Shain's classes in school were heavily concentrated in southern history, English, and world religions. That mixture of the academic environment and the real-world blues music is what has most informed his musical direction.

Shain cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin' Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. The band performed with acts such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, and the Dixie Dregs, released four CDs, and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans.

After the band’s breakup, Shain went solo, returning to his roots by touring in the folk and blues circuit. Shain has also become a sought after guitar teacher and studio producer. In 2021, he produced Donna Herula’s blues radio chart-topping album, Bang at the Door.

Over the last several years, Shain has headlined listening rooms both as a solo and with duo partner FJ Ventre throughout the US and he's done two solo tours in Europe. He has opened shows for John Hiatt, Keb’ Mo’, Little Feat, and many other roots legends. When Shain is not recording, producing other artists, or performing, he stays busy giving private instruction in guitar, and teaching group workshops in songwriting and blues guitar.

FJ Ventre began playing music with Jon in 1982 when they met in high school and have developed a brotherly connection that continues to this day. Ventre went to University of Massachusetts-Lowell, earning a B.A. in Music Performance and Sound Recording and remained for some time in the Boston area, performing in the city's vibrant music scene. Since relocating to Chapel Hill, NC in 2000, Ventre has performed with his own group The Swang Brothers, as well as with Chris Stamey, Wes Collins, Huzzah, and a who's who of NC music groups. In addition to being a sought-after bassist, Ventre spends his time behind the mixing board, producing and engineering at his own Good Luck Studio as well as writing his own songs. 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj3klop8pGk

Website: https://www.jonshain.com/

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