NEW HOPE >> Bucks County Playhouse will launch its Spring music series with a concert by Lehigh Valley Blues-Rock legend, Craig Thatcher, and his frequent collaborator, accomplished keyboardist, Cliff Starkey. Thatcher and Starkey will perform at the iconic New Hope venue on April 2 and 3 at 8 pm. Tickets are now on sale for $40 each and available at BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or 215-862-2121.
Recording artist and band leader, Craig Thatcher and Keyboardist/Vocalist Cliff Starkey, have been performing together since the early 2000s, beginning when they both toured and recorded with Nina Simone's daughter, Lisa “Simone” Kelly. Since that time, they've developed a very unique performing relationship onstage, as they trade songs back & forth, in a very relaxed and enjoyable manner, covering many different musical genres from blues, soul, R&B, rock and folk, along with a generous portion of Craig's original compositions.
Craig Thatcher is a band leader (The Craig Thatcher Band), an International Clinician/Ambassador for C.F. Martin & Co. of Nazareth, PA, a guitar instructor & recording artist. He has worked with and/or opened for many great artists including: Simone, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, John Mayall, Jimmie Vaughan, Duke Robillard, John Hammond, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jonny Lang, Charlie Musselwhite, Train, Robin Trower, Dicky Betts, Kim Simmonds, Jorma Kaukonen, Marty Stuart, Roseanne Cash, Roger McGuinn, Rory Block, Woody Mann, Peter Rowan, Herman’s Hermits, Spencer Davis Group, Laurence Juber, John Mayer, Steve Miller, David Bromberg, GE Smith, Lenny Kaye, Bill Kirchen and many other international artists.
Craig is also the leader of his own Eric Clapton musical tribute “Badge,” a retrospective of EC’s career beginning with the Yardbirds. The Craig Thatcher Band also presents other “tribute” shows including Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, the Allman Brothers Band and Cream. Craig is also half of a very energetic, exciting and popular duo with violinist Nyke Van Wyk. Together they play often in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley as well as doing group tours to Ireland, Scotland and Italy. Craig has performed in one capacity or another — often as a Martin Guitar Artist/Clinician — in nearly every U.S. state as well as over 35 different countries.
Cliff Starkey is forever grateful for his inheritance of natural musical ability. He has been playing keyboards for over 40 years and became inspired at age 11 by his Uncle James who sang and played piano. Without having a piano or keyboard at home, Cliff would stay after school every day and play the piano in the auditorium eventually developing a unique improvisational style and ability to adapt to a wide range of musical genres. Cliff has performed around the world with such artists as The Three Degrees, and Lisa Simone (Daughter of the late Nina Simone). Cliff has performed on Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show and was the house keyboardist for the “Emeril Live” Show for 9 years.
He was a member of jazz group Pieces of a Dream. He has also performed with artists such as Dave Koz, Sammy Hagar, Jonathan Butler, Michael McDonald, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Be Be Winans, Chick Corea, The Supremes, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Charlie Daniels, Delphonics, The Intruders, New Birth, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes.
Tickets to Craig Thatcher and Cliff Starkey are $40. Bucks County Playhouse is offering special series discounts for patrons wishing to attend two or more of the Spring concerts events (excluding Wynton Marsalis). Ticket buyers can save up to 20% on shows through May 2021. For information visit, BucksCountyPlayhouse.org/SpringConcertSeries.
Bucks County Playhouse has developed rigorous safety protocols to protect those working backstage and front-of-house, including virus testing, mask requirements for all those inside the Playhouse, frequent cleaning, Merv 15-rated HVAC filters, and restricted access backstage. A list of protocols can be found on the Playhouse website. Tickets to these live music events are available at BucksCountyPlayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.