Wednesday, Dec 04 2013 04:11 PM

Americana singer puts spin on holiday music

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    By Photo courtesy of Eve Selis

    "Road House Rock" singer Eve Selis will perform Sunday as part of the Bakersfield Community Concert Association's series.

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BY SUSAN SCAFFIDI Contributing writer

The Bakersfield Community Concert Association really wants you to attend this weekend's Christmas show, so they've made some ticketing changes to lure newcomers.

"Road House Rock" singer Eve Selis will bring her own version of Christmas season music to the Rabobank Theater on Sunday afternoon. Selis, based in San Diego, is noted for her throaty, gutsy voice -- reminiscent of Rita Coolidge -- and for successfully blending many music traditions into her own style.

Related Info

Bakersfield Community Concert Association presents Eve Selis

When: 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave.

Admission: Individual tickets available for $25; $10 students. Tickets: bakersfieldcca.org, 205-8522 or 589-2478

"It's in the genre of 'Americana' music," Selis said. "Because it's rock 'n' roll, with blues and country and a little bit of folk music."

Although she performs a wide range of music, Selis said the BCCA asked her to make her December concert a Christmas show, so she is going to perform songs from her 2012 CD, "A Merry Little Christmas," on which Selis does her own version of traditional carols, Christmas standards and a few original novelty songs -- some straightforward renditions, others performed through a filter of Chuck Berry-style rock 'n' roll, old-fashioned blues, folk and other styles.

"We did 'Blue Christmas' with a ukulele," Selis said. "We had a lot of fun with that."

Normally, concertgoers are required to purchase a season ticket for community concert events, but treasurer Diane Ackley said the association has been experimenting recently with single-ticket sales.

"We want to increase our audience," said Ackley, who reported that the association was getting feedback from audience members that individual tickets would be a way to do that.

At the concerts where the new single-concert ticket strategy has been tried, several attendees -- impressed with the performances -- have approached the association inquiring about buying a subscription for the season, Ackley said.

"They would show us the individual ticket and we would sell them the season ticket for the difference in the price."

The new push to increase attendance reflects the loss over time of membership, from a high of about 2,000 just a few years ago to 1,500 members this year.

"Part of our problem is that our membership has gotten older and they're telling us they don't want to go out in the evening," she said.

Selis' concert is a 3 p.m. matinee, but most concerts are later.

"We can't really control the times or the day because it has to be when (the performer and the Rabobank) are available," Ackley said.

Season tickets are $80 for adults for an eight-concert season; $30 for full-time college students; and $20 for high school students. Ackley noted that the BCCA concerts, which have been around for more than 60 years, had little competition for many of those years. That's not true anymore.

"Now there's a lot more that people can go and do."

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