The Harp Twins, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, Stoughton Opera House, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Tickets: $15. Call 608-877-4400 or visit StoughtonOperaHouse.ticketforce.com.
“Stairway to Heaven,” “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and “Highway to Hell” are not songs you typically associate with the harp. But they are among Camille and Kennerly Kitt’s favorites to perform.
The Kitts, also known as The Harp Twins, are almost as interesting to watch as they are to hear. Their swan-like gracefulness while playing identical acoustic Concert Grand Harps is nearly as enchanting as the music they make.
Identical twins, the Kitts hail from the Chicago area and are classically trained on harp. But instead of performing a classical repertoire, they prefer taking modern rock and heavy-metal classics and making them their own. The Kitts also arrange and perform songs from popular TV and film soundtracks, anime and video games.
The Harp Twins first learned to play piano and at age 12 decided to take up the harp. After becoming proficient, they began to perform for small gatherings. To promote themselves, they would videotape themselves performing. People began to notice, and the duo’s fame spread quickly via YouTube and other social media platforms.
The sisters each earned a bachelor’s degree in harp performance and graduated from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Illinois. They went professional about seven years ago, and they have released four albums and recorded music for nine films.
In an online interview, Camille said most of the twins’ followers are not harp fans: “They just found us and said, ‘Wow, this is different; I’ve never seen this before,’ and they recognize the songs we play even though they’re just played on two harps. We’ve been blown away by the feedback and support.”
Steve Earle & The Dukes, 7 p.m. Sunday, March 25, The Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. Tickets: $42.50-$62.50. Call 608-241-8633, and 8 p.m. Friday, March 30, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $39.50-$55. Call 414-286-3663.
Steve Earle is a three-time Grammy winner with 16 albums to his credit. He is recognized as part of the “outlaw country” movement, although his music ranges from bluegrass to roots rock, folk, blues and country.
Earle had a rebellious childhood in Texas, and he dropped out of school at 16 to hit the road and follow his idol, singer Townes Van Zandt.
Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville in 1974, where a host of people—including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Patty Loveless—eventually began recording his songs.
Earle worked as a laborer in Nashville and didn’t release his first album until age 31, but his 1986 debut, “Guitar Town,” was critically acclaimed. His music has championed the outsider and anti-establishment movements. He is also known for his political stances, which are expressed both through his music and his activism.
In 1996, Earle contributed a song about the human and social costs of the death penalty, “Ellis Unit One,” to the movie “Dead Man Walking.” He has since emerged as a major voice in the campaign to abolish capital punishment.
In 1997, he released “El Corazon,” a critically acclaimed album that encompassed country, blues, folk and rock. One of the record’s tracks also featured a collaboration with the bluegrass group the Del McCoury Band, presaging Earle’s interest in the genre. He released his own bluegrass album, “The Mountain,” in 1999.
Earle’s three Grammys were all in the category Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Fozzy, 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $20-$25. Call 414-286-3663.
Heavy-metal band Fozzy is led by vocalist Chris Jericho and guitarist Rich Ward. The band formed in 1999 and released two albums of cover songs in the early 2000s before releasing its first album of original material in 2005.
The album, “All That Remains,” sold more than 100,000 copies, according to the band’s website, and it featured a host of guest musicians.
Fozzy has released four albums since then, including “Judas” in 2017. The album’s title track was released as a single and became a big hit, receiving more than 13 million views on YouTube and reaching No. 1 on various charts around the world. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart.
In an online interview, Jericho said the band is solid and doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks to thrill an audience.
“We are the show,” he said. “We don’t have dragons flying from the ceiling. We don’t have pyro(technics) going off. We want to be Van Halen in 1979. Everybody has a great time on stage. Everybody is giving it their all. Everybody’s having fun, and when you have fun, it translates back to the audience.”
Ward describes Fozzy as “a perfect balance of fun and aggressiveness. It has one foot in bluesy, Southern rock groove and one foot in new wave British heavy-metal. It’s the perfect marriage of (Judas) Priest and (Iron) Maiden and some of those cool bands I grew up with in the late ‘70s like Journey and Bad Company and (Lynyrd) Skynyrd.”
Ron White, 8 p.m. Friday, April 6, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. For tickets, call 414-286-3663.
Comedian Ron White began his career in the late 1980s and is best known for being a charter member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy. The show sold out across the country in more than 90 cities and reportedly grossed more than $15 million.
White also made several appearances on Blue Collar TV. In 2005, the WB Television Network aired the pilot for “The Ron White Show,” a variety show that was canceled before it got off the ground.
White had more success with his book, ”I Had the Right to Remain Silent, But I Didn’t Have the Ability,” which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list in 2006.
He has appeared in several films including “Sex and the City 2” and “Horrible Bosses,” and he had a cameo in a Rascal Flatts music video. He released a stand-up DVD, “Behavioral Problems,” in 2009 and another, “A Little Unprofessional,” in 2012.
Two years later, the album “A Little Unprofessional” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album 2014.