page-banner-concerts

2018 Concert Season

ANNA TIVEL & JEFFREY MARTIN

THIS SHOW IS AT CAPACITY

WE ARE ON A WAIT LIST

November 03, 2018 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

Anna Tivel is a Portland, OR-based songwriter who grounds her work in quiet stories of everyday struggle. She’s a keen and detailed observer, and the characters in her songs come alive in small moments of beauty and despair. With three full-length albums out on Portland’s well-loved Fluff & Gravy Records and a fourth due out this spring, Tivel spends her time writing and touring the US and overseas. Her most recent album, ‘Small Believer,’ was produced by guitar mastermind Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell) and released in September of 2017. NPR praised the album, saying it “repeatedly achieves this exquisite balance of the quotidian and the sublime with imagery that’s deeply poetic.” Her previous album, Heroes Waking Up was hailed by Folk Radio UK as “a superb and sublime album from a voice that deserves to be shouted from the highest rooftops.”

Jeffrey Martin is an American singer songwriter, born in San Antonio, Texas in 1984. While he’s been writing songs since he was in high school, he didn’t begin touring until 2010 when a few chance opening gigs fell his way. Before he ever slept out his car for music, he enjoyed sleeping out of his car all over the country just for the sake of traveling— so the anti-glamourous lifestyle of a touring singer-songwriter suited him well. Since 2010 he has criss-crossed the country with his songs, a few times in an old Isuzu Trooper, and once in a Toyota Camry with which he pulled a homemade wooden teardrop camper. And on all occasions he has his faithful road companion, a yellow lab named Ben. As often as he can he tours with fellow songwriter Anna Tivel who backs him on fiddle and mandolin. When asked whether he considers himself a musician or a songwriter first Martin had this to say: “I’m a writer more than I am a musician. If I could play guitar half as well as I can write I’d be wearing nicer pants.”

ELLEN CHERRY

November 17, 2018 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a singer, songwriter, musician, designer, artist, producer, recording engineer, and human.  The Emmy nominated singer/songwriter is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. In 2016, ellen presents a new touring project called Portraits in Song that marries her love of storytelling and her passion for history through songs and portraits of interesting women in history.  This year, she is releasing three new recorded works (PortraitsThe Thread, and Anthrawfony) as a follow up to the very intimate, piano-based album entitled Please Don’t Sell the Piano (2012). ellen was a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence and co-produced Mobtown Moon, a re-imagining of “Dark Side of the Moon” (2013) that featured over 50 musicians from Baltimore. In 2010, she wrote, recorded and performed a song for an Emmy nominated TV campaign and also composed the score for a shadow puppet piece entitled “Alonzo’s Lullaby”, which has been awarded the prestigious UNIMA Citation of Excellence and jump started years of continuing work with puppeteers. ellen tours nationally and internationally, charming audiences from house concerts to festivals! Mixing equal parts of pathos and humor throughout her songs, ellen cherry is mysterious and powerful on stage and her banter gives audiences a peek into a whimsical, curious mind. She seamlessly fuses her love of History, Poetry, and Literature with the Usual Suspects of Love, Loss, and Despair, with a powerful, commanding voice and skill on both guitar and piano.

THE GOOD TIME TRAVELERS

December 15, 2018 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

The Good Time Travelers are a multi-instrumental acoustic duo with vocal harmonies and a stage presence so big that they have been described as a “2-piece power-trio”. Pete Kartsounes and Michael Kirkpatrick have a sound that is rooted in bluegrass and folk music, but the sentiment is pure rock and roll. They’ve performed around the country at festivals such as Big Sky Big Grass (MT), Northwest String Summit (OR), Folk Alliance (MO), Winter Wondergrass (CA/CO), River City Roots Festival (MT), Beartrap Festival (WY), Mystic Hot Springs Music Festival (UT), and Salmonfest (AK). The Good Time Travelers have opened for Bluegrass greats such as Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, and Del McCoury & David Grisman.

Singer-Songwriter Michael Kirkpatrick is a modern day minstrel residing in Colorado. His voice has been described as “deep, earnest, swoony and powerful”. Original Americana, Rock and Folk combine with Michael’s rich baritone to define his theatrical presentation—imagine a Cat Stevens-Darrell Scott-David Bowie hybrid. Performing over 250 dates a year on guitars, mandolins and voice, Michael brings it all to the stage: sweat, sensuality, tears, and sometimes: blood.Michael has been named “Best Male Singer-Songwriter” by the Fort Collins Musicians Association four years in a row (2013-2016), his 2013 album KEY TO MY CAGE was awarded “Best Colorado Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album of 2013” by The Colorado Sound Fan Poll.  In 2014, he was crowned Telluride Troubadour and his 2015 release HONEY RIDER earned a spot in the Colorado Sounds Top 50 albums of 2015. In 2017, Michael will release his 3rd Solo album LITTLE MUSE and The Holler!’s WILDWOOD.  Aside from performing as a solo artist, you can catch Michael on stage with The Good Time Travelers, his Folkadelic Rock band The Holler!, Uptown Toodeloo String Band, Blue Canyon Ritual and Littlest Birds.

An award winning singer-songwriter and a cutting-edge musician’s musician, Pete Kartsounes is fulfilling a vision of writing music in the key of truth. This heavily seasoned performer/songwriter has spent most of his life traveling the globe and creating original music that entertains and enlightens any room. Pete is on a quest to enrapture you with his soul filled music, to be celebrated by music lovers, and to make a difference one note, one word and one show at a time. Originality is a cornerstone as Pete continues to write a plethora of great songs and music in many different genres. Already with a handful of highly acclaimed CD’s under his belt; Pete continues to push the envelope of his craft and has recorded and performed for years with his own bands, along with members of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Pearl Jam, Blues Traveler, String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass and many more.,,/p>

2019 Concert Season

ANTJE DUVEKOT

January 18, 2019 – Friday

05:300pm Potluck Dinner & 06:15pm Music

When singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot (Aunt-yuh Doo-va-Kott) was a teenager, her world was thrown upside down when her mother remarried and the family moved from Germany to Delaware. Antje spoke very little English and music became a refuge in her confined life. She discovered contemporary folk music by listening to artists including Ellis Paul, John Gorka and Ani DiFranco. She was drawn to the melancholy and deeply emotional songs and funneled her energies into creating her own music. She is now based in Somerville, Massachusetts, near the incredible music community of Boston.

She began recording music on her own at the age of cassette tapes for her friends. At 18 she won the first open mic competition she entered, at the Sam Adams Brewpub in Philadelphia. Within a year, she had recorded a number of songs on a borrowed 4-track tape machine and released a self-produced full-length cassette entitled Waterstains” which she sold at gigs in and around Newark, Delaware, where she had attended the University of Delaware.

She holds three top songwriting awards including the Kerrville New Folk Competition’s Best New Folk Award, Boston Music Award for Outstanding Folk Act, and Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

In late December 2017, faced the fears and uncertainties of having throat surgery and the inherent risks to her singing voice. The update is no more pain. She can talk again and my surgeon gave me the go-ahead to start singing again. To her huge relief, the main “flavors” of my voice are still there and still completely Antje.

Antje’s latest album, Toward the Thunder, is her fourth full-length studio album featuring 11 tracks. The album is her most personal to date and she handled all aspects of the record herself, including designing the cover. It was produced by Scott Petito and recorded at NRS studios in Woodstock, the new album centers around themes of courage, resilience and striving for something better. It features an impressive cast of folk royalty from Shawn Mullins to Anais Mitchell, Liz Longley, and Richard Shindell. In addition to nine new Duvekot originals and a traditional song, it includes a Dar Williams cover “The Light and the Sea” from which the record title is derived. In my humble opinion… this is her best work, to date.

KYLE CAREY

Ernie Geiger opens

January 26, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

Kyle Carey weaves together resonant threads of Celtic and American roots music into a rich tapestry of acoustic storytelling called ‘Gaelic Americana’. Kyle was raised by her schoolteacher parents first in the Alaskan Bush (where she heard Yup’ik Eskimo spoken as often as she heard English), and then in rural New Hampshire. She studied literature in college, and then travelled to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia on a Fulbright Fellowship to begin her study of the Gaelic language and its music. Carey is one of those scarce-as-hen’s-teeth Irish-Americans fluent in the language of her ancestors. That was followed by a two-year sojourn, attending Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, on the Isle of Skye, where she cemented her command of the Gaelic language and fell under the tutelage of Christine Primrose, a native of nearby Lewis and one of Scotland’s most revered traditional singers. From Primrose she learned the secrets of pronunciation and tone that distinguish those who sing from the deep heart of that music.

Carey has showcased that style in the traditional Gaelic songs—two on each album—that have graced her previous CDs and also this third one. Her debut, ‘Monongah’ was recorded in western Ireland and produced by Donogh Hennesy of the acoustic super-group Lùnasa. ‘North Star’, released in 2014, was recorded this time in Scotland, and was produced by Seamus Egan, a founding member of Solas.  In her original material, she breaks new ground in her ability to make that style the pulse of a new American sort of folk music. The essence of that revolution lies in the real distinction Carey draws between Celtic Americana—i.e., the well-traveled path of American musicians performing in the style of traditional Celtic music—and the Gaelic Americana that she writes and performs. Her music is innovative not only in its bone-deep feel for Celtic tradition, but in all that she is able to graft on to it by way of a personal vision as capacious as the North American continent.

The “Americana” portion of this synthesis has been plucked variously from bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian ballads and fiddle tunes; in the lyrics from personal experience, Appalachian folktale, Dustbowl narrative, the Old and New Testaments, Greek mythology, and the rough-hewn poetry of West Virginia’s Louise McNeill.

She is the daughter of non-fiction writer Richard Adams Carey and a direct descendant of the Adams and Quincy Adams families. In 2017 she became engaged to Italian philosopher and 2016 ‘Gaelic Learner of the Year’ Carmine Colajezzi.

Ernie Geiger will open the show. Ernie plays the Great Highland Bagpipe which has its roots in the 1300’s and also a lowland pipe. He will be playing a shuttle pipe, which evolved around 1675. Much of his music is Ceol Beag, (light music) which consists of marches, slow airs, and dance music including straspeys, reels, jigs, and hornpipes. This will be a real treat and a perfect compliment to Kyle’s Gaelic performance.

FOLK ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL

There will be no concert in February

I will be attending the Folk Alliance International (FAI) conference in Montréal, Québec, Canada. FAI is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community with a mission to nurture, engage, and empower the international folk music community – traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional – through education, advocacy and performance. FAI crosses a diverse array of genres including Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Indigenous, Old Time, Traditional, Singer-Songwriter, and Spoken Word. The 5-day event includes over 180 Official and over 3,400 Private Artist Showcases, as well as an Indigenous Music Summit, Networking and Mentoring Sessions, Professional Panels, International Folk Music Awards, and a Wisdom of the Elders Presentation. There will also be keynote addresses by musical luminaries.

In simple words…limited sleep and unlimited music.

EMILY SCOTT ROBINSON

March 2, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

With her NEW album Traveling Mercies, Emily Scott Robinson offers a complex, thoughtful portrait of a real itinerant artist, one who carries the lessons of her past as she searches for a hopeful future. She and her husband live full time in a motorhome and spend long stretches on the road, turning chance encounters with strangers into stirring folk meditations on the human condition.

Though this is Robinson’s first proper studio release (having already released a full-length album, Magnolia Queen, and a live EP), it’s by no means her first introduction to the songwriting community.

In 2015, she won American Songwriter’s May/June lyric contest for Magnolia Queen cut “Marriage Ain’t the End of Being Lonely.” She followed that award with two more, notching a Kerrville New Folk Winner trophy in 2016 and a Wildflower Performing Songwriter Contest win in 2017. In an early nod to Traveling Mercies, AmericanaFest announced Robinson as an Official Showcasing Artist for the 2018 lineup in Nashville this September.

With Traveling Mercies, Robinson has announced herself as one of our important emerging voices in Americana and roots music. Beyond that, she’s given us a beautiful album, a balm for trying times which shows, through intricately crafted melodies and hard-earned wisdom, that we all have the same struggles at our core, and there’s no better time than now to take that to heart.

“Emily Scott Robinson, Traveling Mercies. Press releases tout “breakthrough albums” almost as often as CNN proclaims “breaking news,” but for once, the phrase isn’t hype: North Carolina–based folk singer/songwriter Emily Scott Robinson really does deserve to reach a wide audience with this CD. Her songs are well crafted, with strong melodies; and though this is her first official studio album, her gorgeous, nuanced vocals—which variously remind me of Iris DeMent and Nanci Griffith—sound like the work of a veteran performer.” – No Depression

STEVE SESKIN

March 23, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

Steve Seskin is a successful songwriter who has written seven number one songs, including Grammy-nominated “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” recorded by Tim McGraw, and “Don’t Laugh at Me,” winner of NSAI Song of the Year and Music Row Magazine Song of the Year in 1999 as recorded by Mark Wills. His other #1 hits are “No Doubt About It” and “For a Change,” both recorded by Neal McCoy, “No Man’s Land” and “If You’ve Got Love,” both recorded by John Michael Montgomery, and “Daddy’s Money,” recorded by Ricochet. In 2014, Steve was nominated to the NSAI Hall of Fame. Recent recordings of his songs include “Pictures,” by John Michael Montgomery, “We Shook Hands,” by Tebey, and “I’ll Always Be There For You,” by Brian McComas, “This Too Shall Pass,” by Sinclair and “Standing Still”, “Proof”, “Lift You Up” and “Electricity” by Seth Glier. While Steve is best known for writing hits, he is also a successful performer, recording artist, keynote speaker and songwriting teacher. Seskin began his songwriting career when he moved to San Francisco in 1972. Crystal Gayle suggested that Seskin go to Nashville. During his first visit there in 1985, Seskin began with only one appointment with an ASCAP executive who subsequently arranged Seskin appointments with several publishers. Seskin also is known for performing at schools in support of the Operation Respect / Don’t Laugh at Me tolerance project, named after “Don’t Laugh at Me,” a song he wrote with Allen Shamblin that was performed by Mark Wills, Peter, Paul and Mary, and many others.

HEATHER MALONEY

April or May 2019

Massachusetts writer and song-singer Heather Maloney was raised on a record player instead of a TV, Maloney dug deep into per parents’ record collections for entertainment, obsessing over the Beatles Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, C.S.N.Y., Bob Dylan, and more. So, it’s no surprise that the folk, pop, and rock greats of the 60’s and 70’s found their way into her own music. With those influences as a foundation, and a strong dose of 90’s radio hits Maloney was forming her sound long before she even wrote a single lyric.

According to her mother, her singing career began in the aisles of a Northern New Jersey grocery store, where she developed a reputation for serenading shoppers. The writing would come much later, after spending the first few years of her early 20’s in a state of self-proclaimed “Musical A.D.D.”. After training her voice in classical operatic, improvisational jazz and classical Indian vocal techniques, Maloney was suddenly and overwhelmingly compelled to drop all things musical. Actually, to quit making sounds or noise, altogether.

She found herself living at a silent meditation retreat center in Central Massachusetts, where she would practice for 3 years, studying and Vipassana Meditation, pouring over Rumi and Rilke, and keeping a journal documenting daily life at her cottage in the woods. It was in this place of quiet that, ironically, she began writing her first songs. Songs inspired by her experiences in meditation, including equal parts of the dark / uncomfortable / twisted parts of the human mind, as well as the sparkling and brief moments of that longed-for, ever elusive thing called insight. Maloney said that if she hadn’t started writing songs at the meditation center, she would be “completely covered in tattoos, because each song is about something I really, really want to remember badly … so I wouldn’t have to go through it again.”

And with the same sudden and overwhelming resolve that led her to the meditation center in the first place, she re-emerged into the music space with a guitar and a few songs that meant something to her. In the years since Maloney has left her life of silence and reflection, she has toured constantly, written hundreds of songs, and slept on over a thousand different pillows.

Maloney celebrates the release her 2018 EP, Just Enough Sun. The six songs (five new originals and a cover of Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”) were recorded as mostly single-take, live performances in a room where instruments bled into vocal mics and vocals into instruments. The result is a raw and deeply vulnerable collection songs that follow Maloney’s literate and often heartbreaking exploration of family history, childhood dreams and the adulthood realities that butt-up against them; loss, misogyny, unrequited love, poverty, and even the moral dilemma of sending monkeys into space for the sake of science. The daughter of a psychotherapist and a carpenter, Heather’s songwriting is equal parts introspective and relatable.

MICHELLE LEWIS

May 11, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

Many performers live for applause. Michelle Lewis just wants to make you cry. “There are sad songs, and uplifting songs. But more sad songs,” She says. “For me, music is always more interesting the deeper you dig emotionally. My passion and my love is more centered in those sad, melancholy songs.” If that sounds like a lot of despair, it isn’t. Her sad songs leave you smiling. Her joyful songs leave you a wreck. Yes, there is hardship and tragedy. No, Michelle Lewis is not depressed. As an artist, she lives for the paradox of the uplifting lament. Her sorrow is a totem for love. She writes from the strength of the bond not the pain of the fracture. This duality makes hers such a fascinating voice.

More polished than folk and more personal than pop, Michelle writes intensely visual songs with a gut punch of emotion. As a storyteller, she explores life’s defining moments, juggling the immediacy of first-hand experience with the serenity of emotional wisdom. Her lyrics find beauty in sadness, her music is rich with melody. Intimate folk lyrics wash over a whirlpool of lush production. Refrains of acoustic virtuosity accompany modern soundscapes that might keep a second home in dream-pop. Guided by her musical influences — Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, and Jewel among others — Michelle’s style is truly her own. Much of her catalog interprets the events in her life, just don’t ask her who or when or why. But she’s always listening.

Hypnotic finger-style guitar melodies give away her Berklee College of Music education. She moves swiftly and lightly over the guitar, an exacting technique applying all five fingers to plucking patterns that build immersive melodies. Her live shows contain an astonishing lack of strumming.

Michelle tours globally from her current home in Los Angeles, softly singing her heart out from Belgium to Wyoming. This Fall she’ll tour her new full-length album, All That’s Left, through Europe and the US. She has been a regular at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and across the river from her longtime home in Boston at Club Passim.

On YouTube, Michelle’s single, “Run Run Run,” found a devoted audience among Boston Marathon runners. The song and video were featured on the national broadcast of the 2014 race, and to date the music video has amassed more than 375,000 views. Written at her home just four blocks from the finish line prior to the events of 2013, the song transformed when Michelle played it for a Boston audience the day after the marathon bombings. In that moment the song took on a different, special meaning for her in her home town. “It’s all about looking ahead, not looking back,” said Michelle. “I originally wrote the song for a friend, but it wound up helping me heal.” Fundraiser proceeds from single sales raised more than $1,600 toward the city’s recovery efforts.

Michelle’s first full-length album release, This Time Around, arrived in 2004. She has been a longtime collaborator with producer Anthony J. Resta (Elton John, Duran Duran, Shawn Mullins), spanning their work on her EPs Broken (2009) and Paris (2011), her second full-length album, The Parts Of Us That Still Remain (2014), and her forthcoming album All That’s Left (2018).

MOORS & MCCUMBER

June 30, 2019 – Sunday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

James Moors and Kort McCumber are an acoustic duo that crafts beautiful story songs that walk the line between rootsy folk and melodic pop. The two songwriters met at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in 2005. Sitting around a campfire swapping songs, they each heard something in the music of the other that just fit. The two have been performing and writing together ever since. Having collectively sold more than 15,000 copies of independent releases from the stage, the duo has now released two of their own full-length albums.

Based in Superior, Wisconsin, James Moors is heralded by Steve Morse, longtime Boston Globe writer, as “Sharing some of the same melodic gifts of Neil Finn, enhanced by a warm-hearted spirit that makes you want to hear more.” Born and raised in Minneapolis, he grew up with the music of The Replacements, Soul Asylum and Prince but today draws inspiration from troubadours like Ron Sexsmith and Eliza Gilkyson. An official recipient of the prestigious McKnight Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, his songwriting has been recognized three years in a row by the Big Top Chautauqua competition.

A talented multi-instrumentalist, Colorado artist Kort McCumber plays a variety of instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, piano) in his own brand of Americana that is one part rock and blues, two parts country-bluegrass and all parts McCumber. But it is his songwriting abilities that have made him a Colorado favorite and garnered him national and international recognition. He won the 2008 Flat Rock Festival Songwriting Competition in North Carolina and was a finalist in this year’s International Songwriting Competition.

Although successful solo songwriters, Moors & McCumber discovered that their music together is more than the sum of the parts. Embracing a bigger sound than most duos, they switch up instruments on almost every song (playing guitar, mandolin, piano, bouzouki, fiddle, harmonica, cello, 12-string guitar and Dobro), creating catchy melodies that are big, bright and electrifying to watch live.

ORDINARY ELEPHANT

August 10, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

International Folk Music Awards 2017 Artist of the Year Ordinary Elephant captivates listeners with their well-honed combination of insightful writing, effortless harmonies and intertwined clawhammer banjo and guitar. Husband and wife duo Crystal and Pete Damore have been performing together since 2011, but their 2017 sophomore release ‘Before I Go’ established them nationally and internationally. Quickly receiving the support of the folk community, the album reached No. 2 on the Folk DJ Chart for January 2017 with their opening track ‘Best of You,’ not only setting the tone of the record, but capturing the No. 3 Song of the Month slot. Crystal and Pete have lived the song’s message—being moved to create, perform, and put everything into what they do.

‘Before I Go’ is also exciting European ears. Upon his review of the album, Dani Heyvaert of Rootstime.be said “I remember when Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were here for the first time…I suspect that this couple is going to play in the same league in the foreseeable future.”

These were particularly welcome words given that it was Gillian’s playing which led to Ordinary Elephant’s particular configuration. From an early age Pete has been a guitarist, but once Welch’s “Hard Times” came across his car stereo speakers, the banjo beckoned. The realization of how well the clawhammer style he was unearthing complemented Crystal’s lyrically rooted singer-songwriter approach was a happy accident at the kitchen table one night, which led to many more nights of collaboration.

This collaboration of husband and wife, their connection, and their influences (such as Guy Clark, Anais Mitchell, Darrell Scott, and Mary Gauthier) all meet on stage. You see it, hear it, and then you find yourself truly feeling it. Pete’s understated, melodic and mellow banjo weaves through Crystal’s steady and clean rhythm guitar, and poetic lyrics are purposefully delivered in rich harmony, “like their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together.” (Bill Aspinwall, Texas Music Journal)

After growing up a state apart, Crystal in Louisiana and Pete in Texas, the two found each other at a weekly songwriter night in Bryan, Texas in late 2009. After a couple of years of co-writing and developing their sound, Ordinary Elephant brought their music to Houston with a move in late 2011. They recorded their 2013 debut album ‘Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes’ there, which garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards. Today, they happily call the road home after shedding most of their possessions in 2014 to take on nomadic life. Living full-time in a van and travel trailer with their dogs, they are exploring the country, creating, and uncovering attentive audiences with which to share the conversation of their music.

SARAH MCQUAID

September 21, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

“The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved,” writes guitar legend Michael Chapman in his introduction to Sarah McQuaid’s fifth solo album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous – which he offered to produce after meeting Sarah at a festival where they were both on the bill.

Recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Northern Ireland, Sarah’s also drawn critical praise for her voice (which has been variously likened to malt whiskey and melted chocolate) and her engaging rapport with audiences: “I’ve attended hundreds of concerts of all kinds, and her subtle mastery onstage launches her straight into my fave shows ever,” wrote The Huffington Post.

With the release of her new album, the Madrid-born, Chicago-raised, Cornwall-based singer/songwriter has expanded her battery of instruments to include piano, electric guitar and drum, and it’s drawn critical raves internationally: Dutch music magazine Heaven hailed it as “an early contender for folk album of 2018,” the UK’s fRoots said it was “a collection to savour” and the USA’s PopMatters called it “a gateway into a true innovator’s soul.”

“Seeing a shared world in a new way, from a different angle, is the role of the songwriter. Sarah gets a gold star on that front. This is a fabulous album.” —The Afterword

“A darkly melodic, richly layered folk tapestry … haunting and sparse, yet beautifully rendered … a voice as thick and soft as fur.” —Elmore Magazine

“A work of formidable passion.” —FolkWords

AMILIA K SPICER

October 19, 2019 – Saturday

04:00pm Potluck Dinner & 05:00pm Music

Singer-songwriter Amilia K Spicer has a thing for wide-open spaces and mystical places.  Even her record label name, Free Range Records, reflects her vagabond spirit—which has carried her from the green hills of her native Pennsylvania, through the hill country of central Texas, to the mountain monasteries of Tibet.  Based in Los Angeles and Austin, she might tell you she feels most rooted when she’s heading toward a distant horizon.  Amilia is a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, organ, Hammond B3, banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and glockenspiel.Amilia drew attention the first time she played an LA club on a whim.  Ears perked, and she was on her way-—to a rare Mainstage Kerrville Folk Festival debut, three Kennedy Center performances, song placements in several high-profile TV shows (Party of Five, Dawson’s Creek), and quirky indie films.

From a croon to a wail and back to a whisper… Amilia’s vocal ability and undulating quality of her voice lends itself to the folky sentiments of the overall arrangement. Her voice is seductive and smoky… like a hot stone smothered in honey. Her lyrics feel achingly intimate, often inciting rich, earthy imagery and poetic symbolism.

The songs on Spicer’s new album, Wow and Flutter, capture the vastness of those horizons with a cinematic quality, somehow sweeping us into the panorama as we listen. It should surprise no one that she pursued a career in film before music became her muse.  The dichotomy of shadow and light, grit and wonder, are in the sonics, rather than on the screen. “Born a small, fierce critter in the midst of Hollywood sharpshooters”.

Accompanying Spicer on the album are a talented group of musicians.  Contributing artists include keyboardists Rami Jaffee (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters) and Mike Finnegan (Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal), Woody Guthrie disciple and singer-songwriter  Jimmy LaFave, and bassist Daryl Johnson (Stones/Dylan). Guitarists Tony Gilkyson (X, Lon Justice) and Gurf Morlix  (Lucinda Williams) appear as special guests.  She also produced the record with the assistance of multi-instrumentalist Steve McCormick.  Malcolm Burn handled mixing.

LIZ LONGLEY

Date Being Determined

For painters, the joy and challenge of creation begins with a blank canvas. For Liz Longley, it started in an empty room.  “I was living in Boston and my roommate had just moved out, so I paced the hardwood floors of her room with my guitar,” Longley recalls. “I walked back and forth until the songs were done. It was as though they were stuck in the apartment walls.” Longley has a gift for culling musical treasures as though straight from thin air. And now, the Berklee College of Music graduate and award-winning songwriter is set to share them with listeners on her self-titled album-her first after signing with Sugar Hill Records in December 2014. The collection of 11 songs was recorded in Nashville with an all-pro band-and in a pulse-quickening fashion so rare in today’s world of overproduced, airbrushed records. “I love being in the studio and feeding off the energy of other musicians. It’s not something I get to do often on the road because I’ve mostly toured solo.” While Longley’s songs and vocals invite complimentary comparisons to Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole and Nanci Griffith-all artists she’s supported live-her latest effort spotlights a style and confidence that’s all her own. You can hear it in the subtle-yet-soaring vocals on “Memphis,” the dagger directness of “Skin and Bones,” the bittersweet farewell that drives “This Is Not the End” (featured in the 2012 season finale of Lifetime’s Army Wives). They’re all cuts that dare you to hold back the goosebumps.

In fact, Longley’s singing never fails to thrill and enthrall. Her voice and tone, touched with the slightest of country inflections, pours out like clean, crystalline water. Still, she can roar like a waterfall or flow effortlessly along the bed her backing band lays down. The new songs grew amidst a period of transition and travel in her life; moving between Boston and New York before finally settling in Nashville, and spending much of her life on the road in a succession of minivans. To that end, the songs have been road tested at Longley’s live shows, their power to connect with fans beyond question.

Why write and sing songs so transparent and confessional? For Longley, it boils down to the simple truth of authenticity. “I just try to be myself,” she says. “If I feel like a song is not genuine to me, I absolutely do not present it because people see right through it. It’s all about the honesty, and I try not to overthink it-then it would lose some of the magic.” Longley first felt the magic while growing up outside of Philadelphia. A song she wrote in ninth grade-her first ever-earned a standing ovation when she performed it for the student body: “I was unprepared for that sort of reaction and it was life-changing moment,” she says. “That’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.”  The track record she’s assembled since shows just how much Longley grew into her dream. She’s taken home top prizes at some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Rocky Mountain Folk Fest Songwriting Competition.

But it all traces straight back to Longley’s first song. She says she’ll continue to open her soul in the service of her art because that’s what matters most to her. “Every time I get into these songs they resonate with me, lock with me, because they’re based on something I went through,” she says of the new collection. “I hope they connect with people and that they’ll help with whatever they’ve gone through. That’s what music does for me, and I hope I can do that for someone else.” After all, what better way to fill an empty room than with fully realized music?

DON HENRY with special guests

Date Being Determined

Don Henry is a well respected songwriter in a town of songwriters… Nashville, TN. He and co-writer Jon Vezner were the first writers to capture Song of the Year awards from the Nashville Songwriters Association International , the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association and the Recording Academy (Grammy), in the same year. His songs have been recorded by legends like Ray Charles, BJ Thomas, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Kathy Matteaand many others. He has shared the stage with artists as diverse as Joey Ramone, Emmylou Harris, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Janis Ian, etc. Don is a veteran of 35 years in the music business. His experience in writing, publishing, producing and engineering has evolved him into the singer / songwriter / guitarist and entertainer he’s become today. Don’s unique perspective is expressed in instantly memorable melodies and equally smart arrangements that appeal to listeners across musical borders, and across the nation. And on top of that he is just a good, humble person.

BILLY CROCKETT

Date Being Determined

Billy Crockett is a performing songwriter, music producer, recording artist, and the creative director of Blue Rock Studio in the Texas hill country.  He has recorded eleven solo albums and toured internationally. Billy is a multi-instrumentalist and has produced albums for Cliff Eberhardt, Grace Pettis, Beth Wood, RJ Cowdery, Darryl Purpose, and others.  He has been featured on the BMI songwriter panel at SXSW, the TV series Troubadour Texas, the Academy of Gospel Music Arts, and as guitar clinician for Yamaha. Billy’s most recent past releases are Wishing Sky (folk/pop) and Passages (instrumental guitar). He has recorded and toured across four decades.  He recently tracked 13 songs with a handful of renowned musicians – Roscoe Beck, Eric Darken and Daran DeShazo with Patrick Conway as Engineer. The result was Rabbitt Hole. Billy wanted to channel his creativity into more intimate, confessional songs, and there’s no question he’s succeeded. Billy is touring in support of his newest project.

ROSE COUSINS

Date Being Determined

A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. She deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark celebrated her Boston community and featured a cast of musicians Cousins had known and played music with for a decade. It won a JUNO Award, 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, NPR Music and Oprah Magazine.  Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy. She asked Grammy Award winning producer, Joe Henry, whom she had befriended in 2012, to help her make her forthcoming CD Natural Conclusion. “My goal was to be wide open emotionally. This band created a space for me to rise as a musician yet let me lead. Ultimately this is a record of performances, the moment, raw, vulnerable, and real. I suppose not unlike the subject matter within.”

THE SEA, THE SEA

Date Being Determined

THE SEA THE SEA (Mira Stanley Costa and Chuck E. Costa) is an Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering nearly 10 million streams on Spotify. The animated video for their song “Waiting” sparked viral interest including Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and inclusion at the international TED 2015 conference. Mountain Stage host Larry Groce calls them “ready to take their place among the best young male/female duos now performing.” Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, recently earned features by Apple Music including Best of the Week and A-List Singer/Songwriter. They perform songs built around their vocals, guitar, banjo and percussion to the extent that their songs sound sonically full and engaging. Harmony-rich… lyric-driven songs… simple and true.

SETH GLIER

Date Being Determined

Despite his relatively young age, MPress recording artist Seth Glier is a seasoned troubadour. A singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who averages over 250 live performances annually, Seth has shared the stage with artists as diverse as James Taylor, Ani DiFranco, Edwin McCain, Martin Sexton, Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams, and IS known for his passionate live sets and powerful command of both piano and guitar. His music has also caught the ears of fans, industry and critics alike, with USA Today stating that his “exquisite tenor echoes Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.” Building on the acclaim of his Grammy®-nominated sophomore album “The Next Right Thing”, Glier’s subsequent record “Things I Should Let You Know” was praised by M Music & Musicians Magazine for its “shimmering, seductive melodies”. On his fourth album for MPress Records, “If I Could Change One Thing” (April 2015), Glier embraces a genuine modern-pop direction, marking a bold departure from his previous, more acoustic recordings. His latest album Birds is steeped in conflict and contradictions. There’s grief and loss, but also strength and resilience; doubt and dismay, but also a sense of optimism as Glier confronts heavy topics and wrestles them into the daylight.