October 30, 2021
$17 Cabaret-Style Seating
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Jim Newsom and the Cloudless Sky
Jim Newsom is an award-winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is well known and highly regarded throughout southeastern Virginia. His current band, Jim Newsom and the Cloudless Sky, includes Gail Keller Smith on piano, keyboards and steel drum, and Rick Jebavy on the drums.
The band’s latest album, Peace Love Happiness, is Jim’s ninth album overall. Released in February, 2021, the recording features fourteen new originals written since his 2018 CD, New Set of Dreams. Unlike that recording, on which Jim played all the instruments himself, Peace Love Happiness is a group effort recorded with social distancing measures in place during the depths of the pandemic.
Jim’s original songs cover a wide range of styles and touch on a diverse range of subject matter. Besides the title track, Peace Love Happiness includes his reflection on a lifetime of musicmaking in “I Am Not a Jukebox,” as well as a melodic consideration of the fact that “The Days of Being Bob Dylan Are Gone.” “Our Finest Hour” offers hope, even in the midst of difficult times. “My Daddy’s Records” is a remembrance of growing up tuned into the classic hits of the ‘60s while also enjoying the “sassy, brassy big band” music of his parents’ generation. “One Kiss” is a joyous piece of reggae-infused fluff enhanced with Gail’s steel drum accompaniment.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jim grew up in Suffolk, Virginia, graduating from Suffolk High School and Virginia Tech. A professional musician for fifty years, he is also a highly regarded music writer and critic whose work has been published in the All Music Guide, PortFolio Weekly and VEER Magazine and other publications. He is well known throughout the area as a television and radio personality, having hosted programs on the local PBS and NPR affiliates, WHRO-TV and FM, since 1983.