Eclectic though traditionally minded country band that looks to everything from Tex-Mex to rockabilly to classic pop to get their sound. All ages. Show starts at 8pm.

Nov 2

Nov 2

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $35-$45

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Eclectic though traditionally minded country band that looks to everything from Tex-Mex to rockabilly to classic pop to get their sound.

Beninese singer whose Fon-language dance music and percussive rhythms earned her acclaim beyond her homeland.

Nov 7

Nov 7

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $24.50-$36.50

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Angelique Kidjo digs into her roots with her new Razor & Tie release, OYO. Roots that reach far beyond her West African homeland of Benin, because Grammy Award winning singer, dancer and songwriter Kidjo is a definitive 21st century world artist. Her art roves across boundaries, genres and ethnicities, finding the connections that link musical forms from every part of the world, while still bonding closely with her own traditions.

with Girlpool

Singer/songwriter and head of Rilo Kiley whose folk-country-rock solo concoctions recall Emmylou Harris. **NOTE: All Orchestra seating is general admission. If you want reserved seating please choose Loge or Upper Balcony seating.**

Nov 8

Nov 8

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $25

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Jenny Lewis returns with her new album, The Voyager, on July 29th. The Los Angeles artist’s first solo LP since 2008’s Acid Tongue, The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal, and her most musically robust. Featuring production work from Ryan Adams, Beck, as well as Lewis and her longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice, The Voyager finds Lewis at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent life with honesty and incisiveness. And then there’s her voice, which was already a force to be reckoned with, but sounds even richer, more nuanced, more powerful. Lewis says The Voyager was the hardest album she has ever made, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of her band, Rilo Kiley. In the three years she worked on it, there were moments she thought she’d never finish. But, more than ever before, she knew she had to. The story is best told in Lewis’s own words:
Making The Voyager got me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. After Rilo Kiley broke up and a few really intense personal things happened, I completely melted down. It nearly destroyed me. I had such severe insomnia that, at one point, I didn’t sleep for 5 straight nights. Many of the songs on The Voyager came out of the need to occupy my mind in the moments when I just couldn’t shut down.
I asked for help from a lot of places. The first song on the album, “Head Under Water,” is about some of that. I really did get hypnotized. I tried everything. I got acupuncture. I did neurofeedback. I did massage therapy. I looked in the phonebook for a healer in Studio City and I met this woman who barely touched me for an hour and then wrote on index cards about what I was going through. All this just to try and get to sleep! I was ready to call the psychic hotline, “Tell me when this fucking thing is gonna be over.”
I recorded through my father’s death and terrible insomnia and all of the related fall-out. I just kept recording. Some of it was good and some of it wasn’t, but it took my mind off what was going on. Over the course of a couple years, I recorded dozens of demos, often trying multiple versions of the same song. I knew I had to finish it. And every single one of my friends helped me get there. This record took an entire village of musicians, including Ryan Adams, Beck, Johnathan Rice, Farmer Dave Scher, Blake Mills, Benmont Tench, Jason Boesel, Nathaniel Walcott, Alex Greenwald, Lou Barlow, First Aid Kit, the Watson Twins, Z. Berg, and Becky Stark, among others.
“Just One Of The Guys” was one of the tunes I’d tried a few different ways before I finally recorded it with Beck, at his home studio in Malibu. He ended up producing the song and contributing backing vocals. The whole experience was super laid-back — walking on the beach, talking about movies and the Rolling Stones and French pop music. It was just very mellow and lovely. But that was on the eve of my meltdown, and I didn’t go back again for a year.
I took a break from recording last spring and summer to tour with The Postal Service, for the tenth anniversary of our album, Give Up. It felt so good to play those songs. Every night I got crazy chills. I’d look down and the hair on my arm would be standing on end during “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” After having been a front-person for most of my career, it was an amazing time to just be there on the side, to support Ben and Jimmy. It was a great path back to myself, in a way. But the whole time I was out there, I was thinking, “This is wonderful, but I need to be playing my songs. I need to finish up this album once and for all.”
I was searching for a spirit guide. With everything that was going on in my life these past few years, I wanted to try ceding control. It can be a relief, at a certain point in your creative life. You let in a bit of criticism and it frees you up. And Ryan Adams and his partner Mike Viola were the final piece of the puzzle. Ryan and I didn’t know each other very well before this album — we had hardly even listened to one another’s music, to be honest. But I’d heard he built this awesome studio, Pax Am, at Sunset Sound, so I hit him up and asked if I could come in and record something. We put together a band — Ryan on guitar, Griffin Goldsmith from Dawes on drums, Gus Seyffert on bass, Mike on guitar and piano — and booked time for the very next day after I got back from the Postal Service tour.
I had this song, “She’s Not Me,” and I wasn’t really happy with any of the versions of it I’d tried. We ended up doing it in a different key, with a different tempo, with a part cut out. The biggest change was doing it live. There’s just something palpable about a group of people playing music live in a room together. The session was so fluid: I taught the band the changes, we did two takes, and that was it. I thought, “Well, that was awesome,” but Ryan wouldn’t let us listen back to it. The entire two weeks we were in the studio, we never listened to playback of anything, we just moved onto the next song.
Some of his methods infuriated me at the time, but I thrive in that environment — having some conflict to resolve, or having to prove myself. I was showing Ryan that I had something to say, and he knew how to annoy me into that perfect spot. We would get into these philosophical arguments about how to make records. Every time I wanted to put a harmony on a song, Ryan would ask me, “Do you come from a musical theater background?” His argument was that great songs, with great stories, don’t need background vocals. He would say, “Morrissey doesn’t use background vocals.” And I would yell: “Well, I do!”
I trusted the vision, and Ryan ended up being the person to get me over the fear of finishing something I’d been working on for so long. He found me when I was in a weird, tough spot, and he really helped me. And then we got to know each other as friends: You’re singing these songs and you’re weeping in front of your new bro who’s producing your record, and it’s heavy.
While I was in it, I couldn’t see my way out. But eventually, I started feeling better and the insomnia passed. I can sleep again, but I’m certainly a different person now. This record was the hardest one I’ve ever made. I truly thought I was never going to finish it, but I did. The Voyager tells that story: the longest night of my life and the journey to finally getting some rest.

with Big Data

Neo-soul group whose music looks to bridge the gap between Maroon 5 and Stax Records. All Ages. **NOTE: All Orchestra seating is general admission. If you want reserved seating please choose Loge or Upper Balcony seating**

Nov 9

Nov 9

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $27.50-$32.50

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Neo-soul group whose music looks to bridge the gap between Maroon 5 and Stax Records.

The Colorado jam-band notable for their blend of bluegrass, rock, jazz, and R&B influences finally returns to Ithaca. All Ages. Show starts at 8pm. Photo: C. Taylor Cruthers

Nov 10

Nov 10

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $49.50

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Popular jam-band notable for their blend of bluegrass, rock, jazz, and R&B influences.

Southern rock jam band, formed in 1994 as a side project of The Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody.

Nov 15

Nov 15

Doors open at 7:00 pm Starts at 8:00 pm All ages

Price: $29.50-$39.50

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AUTHENTIC ROCK TORCHBEARERS GOV'T MULE RETURN WITH EPIC, STAR-STUDDED NEW STUDIO RECORDING SHOUT!
Double album is first release in four years and features ELVIS COSTELLO, DR. JOHN, BEN HARPER, TOOTS HIBBERT, GLENN HUGHES, JIM JAMES, MYLES KENNEDY, DAVE MATTHEWS, GRACE POTTER, VINTAGE TROUBLE'S TY TAYLOR AND STEVE WINWOOD

Few bands have a reputation for making music as consistently honest, organic and daring as Gov't Mule. Now the enduring group fronted by visionary singer-guitarist Warren Haynes returns with their first album in four years - their Blue Note Records debut Shout!, a breath-taking, exploratory double-disc set to be released on September 24.

"This album puts a spotlight on the songs and the way that we interpret them, which hinges on the unique chemistry we've developed as a band," explains Haynes, who along with Mule co-founder and drummer Matt Abts, multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson charted Shout!'s adventurous contours.

Shout!'s second disc shines a beam on a guest list of famed interpreters Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Ben Harper, Toots Hibbert, Glenn Hughes, Jim James, Myles Kennedy, Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor and Steve Winwood, who each delivered an alternate vocal performance of one of the first disc's new Gov't Mule tunes.

"No one's done this before, which is exciting," says Haynes, "but it's even more exciting actually listening to these artists sing our songs. Their performances bring new ideas, energy and sometimes even different meanings to every number."

Plus Shout! offers some of the most extraordinary playing in Gov't Mule's rich, sonically colorful history. And the album's incredible scope ranges from the suite-like epic "Bring On The Music" to the snarling punk rock anthem "Funny Little Tragedy" to the soul-reggae testifier "Scared To Live."

The inventive and incendiary musical performances throughout both discs spring from the jazz-like philosophy and creative language the Mule's members have developed together. They're the rare rock ‘n' roll group with an improvisational heartbeat, which allows all four musicians to expand on the songs' themes in non-formulaic ways. That quality distinguishes the finest jazz, blues and rock recordings of the '50s and '60s, but is largely absent in modern music.

On Shout! it's audible from the ground up - starting with the Technicolor propulsion of the Abts-Carlsson rhythm section. Their flexible interplay in the studio and on stage, where both musicians amp up their already aggressive, freewheeling approach to providing the sonic foundation of the band, is essential to Gov't Mule's reputation as a living, breathing ensemble. Drummer Abts has the courage and the chops to extrapolate with the other band members, pushing, pulling and accenting his rhythms as each performance evolves. And while Carlsson's bass always keeps its essential snarl, he's among the few players in modern rock that varies his tone and approach to best serve each song.

Although Louis' primary role in Gov't Mule is keyboardist, his guitar playing has expanded to the point where he often plays the instrument for a third of the band's live sets. On Shout! he steps even further into the role of Haynes' six-string foil, with their contrasting styles frequently adding yet another dimension to the album.

Several numbers were cut with Haynes and Louis simultaneously on guitar, including the romantic "Captured," which shares a shimmering ebb and flow with classic Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Louis even takes the brash, ringing fret board solo on the Clash-inspired "Funny Little Tragedy." And he steps up his contributions as a background singer, adding vocal support to five songs.

And Haynes, of course, remains one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era, effortlessly cross-pollinating genres and unfurling solos that broil with passion in his distinctive, signature style.

No wonder fans of the Grammy nominated band have come to expect nothing less than the virtuosity, intelligence and breadth that propels Shout!.

Here's how Blue Note Records president Don Was, who's also a Grammy winning producer and performer, sums up Gov't Mule's place in contemporary music: "The Mule holds a unique and lofty berth. They have roots that run real deep - drawing from the entire history of rock ‘n' roll going all the way back to Robert Johnson and the Delta. Yet, despite their mastery of past idioms, they have managed to rearrange those elements into a whole new thing. So while the music they make is quite contemporary, I dare say they have deeper roots than other bands that are creating new music.

"According to the Blue Note manifesto written by our founder Alfred Lion back in 1939, our label is dedicated to the recording of ‘authentic music.' I don't know how much more authentic you can be than Gov't Mule! It's an honor to release their records on the Blue Note label. On this new album, they've elevated their songwriting, playing and production values to a whole new plateau. It's gonna blow people's minds!"

Add the word "again," because Gov't Mule have been blowing minds since their eponymous 1994 debut. That album found the band boldly transfusing new blood into old-school psychedelic blues-rock at a time when the genre was largely ignored. Gov't Mule's stylistic grasp has grown inexhaustibly since.

Fighting the trend in a declining music industry, the band's fan base, too, has steadily expanded over the course of 15 studio and live releases and thousands of performances - at first in small clubs and theaters, then at halls and major international festivals.

Today, Gov't Mule have become a human encyclopedia of great American music even while adding to that cannon. And through it all Haynes has served as not only the group's captain, but as a beacon of creativity and excellence that inspires fans and fellow musicians.

Parallel to his nearly two decades in the Mule, Haynes has been the six-string mainstay and a vocalist for the Allman Brothers Band and the Dead, and performed or recorded with a diverse array of other artists. In 2011 he made his second in-studio solo album, the aptly titled Man In Motion, which paid tribute to his blues roots and found Haynes experimenting with different guitar tones and effects not traditionally associated with Gov't Mule.

Shout! came to life in a Connecticut studio where the band initially regrouped to reignite their collective flame, and ended up cutting the bulk of the album, with Haynes, his bandmates and longtime Mule collaborator Gordie Johnson producing various cuts. Three songs - the reggae-based "World Boss," the psychedelic dreamscape "Whisper In Your Soul" and the blues-rocker "Done Got Wise" - were recorded at Jorgen Carlsson's Rogers Boat Studios in California, with Carlsson and studio co-owner Steve Holroyd engineering.

Paying tribute to the band's musical heroes became part of Shout!'s creative game plan. Haynes explains that the brawny "Bring On the Music" was written to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the break-up of the classic British blues-rock band Free.

Every note of "Bring On The Music" evokes Free's memorable style - especially Haynes' channeling of the band's fiery Les Paul guitar playing of the group's leader Paul Kossoff.

Another sinewy number, "How Could You Stoop So Low," is a nod to the 40th anniversary of the release of Sly & the Family Stone's influential album Fresh and was co-written by Haynes and Louis, whose rhythm guitar riff is the song's spine. The four-piece Mule was able to recreate Sly's nine-piece sound with the addition of backing singers Alecia Chakour and Nigel Hall from Haynes' solo-project band, and Louis' heavily funky keyboard lines.

Dr. John's grizzly, incantatory turn on the alternate version of the tune was the first guest vocal recorded, although the idea of assembling a cast of great singers to color the songs differently was indirectly inspired by Haynes' friend Elvis Costello. Early in the project Haynes wrote the snarling "Funny Little Tragedy," which reminded him of Costello's early music, and called Costello to ask him about the vocal mics used for his first albums. After the conversation, Haynes started thinking about how the song would sound if Costello sang it. As a result, he couldn't get Costello's voice out of his head and began thinking about pairing other vocalists with the set's other songs.

So Haynes made a list of Shout!'s titles and his top choices for singers, and their responses were overwhelming - a tribute to Haynes' and Gov't Mule's standing among their peers.

"Everyone in the band has such a wide variety of musical points of reference that a song can start in any style - from rock to blues to funk to R&B to reggae - and end up going to a completely different place.

"On Shout! every performance of each song stands on its own, but always sounds like us," he adds. "Even if it's a part of us that most people have never heard before."

In reflection, Haynes offers that Gov't Mule's journey has been full of surprises. "There's no way I could have anticipated the way we'd grow when we started," Haynes remarks. "Everyone in Gov't Mule brings their own personality to the music, and we're always looking for opportunities to expand and excite ourselves. Shout! is proof of that, as well as an album I could never have predicted we'd make even five years ago."

In 2000, when founding bassist Allen Woody passed away, Haynes and Abts discussed the possibility of putting Gov't Mule out to pasture. Instead the band went on to become part of the tradition they had always intended to honor.

"That," says Haynes, "is something we could only have dreamed to achieve and never expected in a million years."

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Creating a Living History

***ATTENTION WORLD MUSIC FANS*** “The power of Angélique Kidjo's unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue.” -- NPR Music Angelique Kidjo graces the State Theatre of Ithaca's stage November 7th at 8pm. Tickets on sale NOW!

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107 West State Street
(607) 277-8283
Ithaca, NY 14850

Box Office Hours: Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm

On show days the Box Office will be open 2 hours before advertised door time in addition to our normal hours.

State Theatre of Ithaca Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that owns and operates Tompkins County’s last remaining historic theatre. Our mission is to enhance the cultural life of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes by preserving, operating and promoting the historic State Theatre as an active venue for national, international and community performances and programming.