SEPTEMBER 26 - 29, 2019


Tennessee Rocks

by Inspired by the plays of Tennessee Williams
starring Composers and performers Rick Knudsen, Clyde Shelby, and John Thomas

Provincetown has been “musical” since Colonial times. Parlor entertainment, church choirs and military bands are part of the tradition – along with home-grown rock bands and cabaret. Three Ptown composers have written songs inspired by monologues from Tennessee Williams plays: not settings of TW’s words, but original lyrics sparked by Williams’s ideas. Rick Knudsen, who takes off on Orpheus Descending, came to Ptown in 1971 and joined John Yingling’s band, Kimosabi before fronting his own group, The Shifters. By the way, Knudsen’s now one of Ptown’s leading abstract expressionist painters. Clyde Shelby, composer of the R&B hit “Joanna,” offers up wailing blues that riff on complaints from TW’s Last of My Solid Gold Watches and Kingdom of Earth. Shelby’s been a fixture at concerts and musicals in Provincetown since the early ‘80s, most recently he played Herr Schultz in Cabaret and the Sheriff in Batboy. TW’s Suddenly Last Summer has inspired songs from John Thomas, a central figure in the musical life of Provincetown as composer, performer, and producer since 1990. This year Thomas issued a new CD "Composing Myself" – and created Tibetan Spirit a multi-media exhibition at the Berta Walker Gallery assembled from his original photographs, video and musical composition Annapurna. Judging by thisphotograph, TW had his own musical connections.

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