November 2, 2012
Don White and Christine Lavin
We are delighted to bring back a very funny duo of comedy and song. Christine Lavin’s smart and funny songs nail our lives and foibles on the head. She possesses a comedienne’s arsenal of irony and a ton of delightfully skewered songs that cover a lot of territory. Don White stays right at home to mine comic gold. Coming from the world of standup comedy, he is a family man whose concerts can turn what happens at home into an onstage biopic. His funny and touching songs go straight to an audience’s heart.
Christine Lavin is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/recording artist living in New York. She has recorded 20 solo albums (latest: Cold Pizza For Breakfast). She has also produced nine compilation CDs showcasing the work of dozens of songwriters whose work she loves — one of them, the food-themed One Meat Ball, includes a 96-page cookbook that Christine edited. For four years she hosted “Slipped Disks” on XM satellite radio, playing CDs slipped to her backstage by compatriots, and she is the occasional guest host for the City Folk Sunday Breakfast Show on WFUV-FM at Fordham University.
Christine also writes essays for various publications (including the Washington Post, the St. Petersburg Times, Performing Songwriter, and Delta Sky Magazine). Her song “Amoeba Hop” has been turned into a science/music book by illustrator Betsy Franco Feeney (Puddle Jump Press), received the stamp of approval from The International Society of Protistologists, and a “Best Book Award” from the American Association for The Advancement of Science. The new book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, written by Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, includes the complete lyrics to Christine’s song “Planet X,” which details Pluto’s history and planetary status debate in rhyme. And Christine got a “D” in Astronomy in college (see kids? You can make up for the mistakes of your youth).
Christine performs concerts all over the US, Canada, and points beyond, and hosts knitting circles backstage prior to many shows. Songs of hers have been performed by artists as diverse as Broadway stars Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster, and David Burnham, cabaret divas Andrea Marcovicci. Barbara Brussell, and Colleen McHugh, the college a cappella Dartmouth Decibelles, and The Accidentals, winners of the National Harmony Sweepstakes championship.
Photo by Irene Young
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If you laugh and cry within the same ten minutes, you either need a vacation or you are sitting in the audience at a Don White show. This working class family man from Lynn, Massachusetts has emerged as the thoughtful songwriter of the decade whose relevance to our lives is evidenced by the powerful reaction he evokes at every concert.
In 1974 Don started hitch-hiking around America. “I went to Alaska and Newfoundland. That first trip I was gone eleven months and I only spent $1,100,” he says gleefully. His wife — then girlfriend — Theresa joined him on the road. They backpacked around the country for three years with a guitar and their dog — a female whose first ‘heat’ inspired the breathtakingly funny “The Shameful Ballad of Lijah The Orchard Queen” — finding occasional work as itinerant farm hands and laborers. “The freedom was addictive,” he says.
Since settling down in Lynn, Don has worked on a craft of songwriting and performing. He learned his art in the trenches: often doing nine shows a week at Catch A Rising Star over two and a half years. Studying the masters who passed though that fabled club, he developed his own infectious brand of humor and pathos that rivets the crowd wherever he plays.
Don White illuminates the human experience though his writing and performing. His motivation for doing so is eloquently expressed in the spoken word piece he performs after singing “Heartbeat of Heaven.” Whether he is singing, speaking, or setting up the sneakiest punch line of the night, Don has the hearts of his audience. They know they have his.
- Christine and Don are both masters of the shared laugh. They turn their keen comical eyes on the foibles and pitfalls we all share. Where did I put my glasses this time? Why doesn’t my daughter think I’m cool anymore? Scott Alarik
- White is a riot on stage, a bona fide crowd pleaser. One of the most popular acts on the circuit. He plays an audience the way Leo Kottke plays a 12-string. The Boston Globe
- I have been trying to find a way to explain to people just how much fun these co-bills with Christine Lavin are. I have never been involved in anything like it in 20 years in the music business. People are justifiably skeptical when I tell them that, except for a few strategically placed serious songs, the audience is howling for over two hours with the kind of laughter that makes you think that some of them might be peeing themselves just a little. This is a folk show after all. Don White