2018-04-16 / Spotlight News

Expect an emotional journey with The Barefoot Movement

By D. K. Christi


The Barefoot Movement will be appearing at Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs on April 21. From left: Alex Conerly, Noah Wall, Tommy Norris, Katie Blomarz. The Barefoot Movement will be appearing at Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs on April 21. From left: Alex Conerly, Noah Wall, Tommy Norris, Katie Blomarz. Noah Wall, lead songwriter and vocalist for The Barefoot Movement, promises audiences an evening of pure entertainment from foot stompin’ fun to relaxing sounds that soothe the soul. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at the Center for the Arts Bonita Springs, direct from Nashville, by van and by plane.

“We may have more than the usual excitement,” said Wall. “Our guitarist and singer Alex Conerly is expecting his first child at performance time.”

After a few changes to the young acoustic band over the years, The Barefoot Movement has come into its own sound with a new recording on the horizon and a full touring sched­ule. “We really launched as a group at First Night Raleigh New Year’s Eve Celebration in 2007,” said Wall.

In addition to almost non-stop touring to some of the top bluegrass festivals in the U.S., The Barefoot Movement members were guests of the U.S. Embassy for a cultural exchange in Burkina Faso, Africa, in 2014, and were named “Band of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association, also in 2014.

“We have been in all of the states with the exception of Hawaii and North Dakota, though a few we drove through,” said Wall. “The experi­ence in Africa was a powerful exchange – music and dance is such a big part of their culture. For each of our performances, their tradition is to perform in return. This music and dance was incredible and surpassed all expectations we had.”

Wall and mandolinist Tommy Norris met their senior year in high school in Creedmore, N.C., and discov­ered their common love for the same music. Wall began playing the fiddle in second grade and already was writing songs. Norris played classical guitar. Wall let him borrow a mandolin and Norris never gave it back. The fourth and newest band member is Katie Blomarz on the upright bass.

“Music from the new recording will be shared with the Bonita audi­ence,” said Wall. “We don’t have a release date yet. Our producers worked with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dillon and the Eagles. We have been work­ing with great California producers long distance,” she said.

The Barefoot Movement’s original music has appeared in documenta­ries and shorts and one standout piece that will be played at the Bonita performance is “Early in the Morning.” Another favorite is a song about a nurse in Vietnam, perhaps somber in some respects but healing rather than sad.

“Expect an emotional experience,” said Wall. “We take people on a little bit of a musical journey that is mostly lighthearted.”

See thebarefootmovementofficial.com and artcenterbonita.org or call 239-495-8989. The concert is at the Center for Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.

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