Verde Valley News – Music in the Stacks returns to Camp Verde Community Library’s Fireside Room on Thursday, December 14th at 5:00 pm. Music in the Stacks is a showcase of local and national musicians who entertain regularly in Northern Arizona. There are 3-5 different performers during the show, with a rotating variety each month.
December’s concert features some of the fan favorites that have been playing since the first days of the library’s Music in the Stacks program. These amazing musicians, sometimes referred to as “The Keepers of the Flame”, include Gary Simpkins, Christy Fisher, Mike McReynolds, Tony Cook, Mark Gifford, and Matt Fabritz.
Gary Simpkins has been around the folk/rock, singer/songwriter scene since the ’60’s, cutting his teeth on the Open Mic scene in his college days in New Haven. He’s played gigs all over the Northeast, notably at the Bitter End in New York City, Club 47 (Now Club Passim’s) in Cambridge, the Exit in New Haven, and Salt in Newport (where he opened for Maria Muldaur). Gary moved to Arizona in the ’80’s and for the past 30 years has been playing folk festivals and shows throughout the region in and around the Verde Valley. He has also almost continuously run open mikes since the ’60’s, including the current weekly version at the library on non-holiday Mondays, and is dedicated to giving new musicians the same mentoring that he had when he started out in New Haven. The monthly Music in the Stacks series that Gary brought to Camp Verde Community Library has been the library’s longest most successful adult program.
Christy Fisher is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Jerome and was recently nominated in four categories by the 2021 International Singer and Songwriters Association. She ended up winning Silver for Female Album of the Year for her album Mixed Signals in Atlanta, GA. Christy has performed with a few area musical groups throughout her 30 years in the area, including Mountain Stranded Time, Cattywampus, Christy and Frenz, The Jerome Philharmonic Convergence, and the Jerome Ukulele Orchestra. Fisher’s performances are a combination of award-winning songwriting, unusual audio engineering techniques, and powerful vocals.
Mike McReynolds who was born into family of musicians, has been playing guitar since the fifth grade and has played professionally ever since as a single, in duos, trios, and in full bands. He’s a sing-songwriter who enjoys writing in all genres of music from blues, and folk to rock. Through the years he has developed his own style and has performed in many of the major singer/songwriter festivals nationally and internationally.
Tony Cook is known throughout the highest echelons of country music in Arizona, bringing a massive catalog of styles, techniques, and influences to any and anyone he plays with.
Mark Gifford is known to many for his talent in setting up the sound for the Music in the Stacks programs, but also showcases his abilities by playing in the local band Salt Miners who perform at venues all over the Verde Valley.
Matt Fabritz, based in Flagstaff, is an accomplished percussionist, from full drum kits to the Cajon for many rock, country, and church bands in northern Arizona.
Camp Verde Community Library is located just off of Montezuma Castle Highway at 130 Black Bridge Road, Camp Verde AZ. For more information about this or any other library program, visit the library’s website at www.cvlibrary.org or call 554-8380.