Our 2014-2015 Season Concerts
in a co-bill
"It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the mic. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend defier and savagely funny social critic. The result is a delightful contrast between poet and comic."—Scott Alarik
Cheryl's concerts are more like what you would find at a comedy club than expect to find at a folk music concert. She will tell a story that has you rolling in the aisles, and then sing a song that leaves you wiping tears from your eyes. She will talk about some serious current event, and then sing a song that will have you howling with laughter. Her entire concert is an emotional roller coaster.
Her set list is usually a crumpled piece of paper with a bunch of song titles. After each song, she'll look at the list and decide what to do next. If somebody calls out a request, and her guitar is in the right key, she might try it, even if she hasn't done it in a while. If she just finished writing a song, she will usually try it out in front of the next audience. If she has two sets back to back, she almost never does the same (or even similar) group of songs.
From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970's, John was was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the club's basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs—mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy's legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas' Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him—Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin—had become his peers.
Tickets: $30 advance/ $35 day of the show
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8:00pm
"To say your show was great would be an understatement. The music and the commentary were such that anyone closing their eyes would have been, like I was, transported back in time to what was truly folk music's golden age. As I said that night, thank you so much for keeping it alive."—Steve Aaronson, Bethlehem MusikFest
Work O' the Weavers, the folk quartet that Pete Seeger called "four wonderful people who've picked up where The Weavers left off," return to Southern New Hampshire on November 15th.
Work O' the Weavers (James Durst, David Bernz, Martha Sandefer & Mark Murphy) not only celebrates The Weavers' musical contribution to our collective awareness, but they also present the songs in a historical context, reminding us of the times in which the group prevailed in the face of the Blacklist, the Cold War, HUAC and Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist "witch-hunts." It was The Weavers' triumphant 1955 Carnegie Hall reunion concert that gave heart to a generation, and the Vanguard recording of the event that energized and informed the folk revival of the 50's and 60's providing a foundation upon which virtually every subsequent folk performer would build. In addition to The Weavers' familiar songs (like Goodnight Irene, Tzena Tzena, Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Wimoweh, etc.), Work O' the Weavers has begun to introduce newer material into the repertoire that the Weavers might be singing today; this with the enthusiastic support and encouragement of none other than original Weavers Pete Seeger and Fred Hellerman. In the fall of 2004 Work O' the Weavers performed with Pete and Fred in an evening entitled, "How To Beat the Blacklist." In recent years the group has toured all across the USA and in Israel.
Work O' the Weavers founder James Durst is also a founding member of the North American Folk Alliance and has toured as a solo artist in 44 countries since 1965, and performed at The Folkway in Peterborough, NH many times. (See www.jamesdurst.com)
Tickets: $20 advance/ $25 day of the show
Saturday, January 24, 2015, 8:00pm
Returning to Peterborough!
"An Edwards performance is an unforgettable roller-coaster ride which combines his remarkable singing, storytelling, and wit"—Martha's Vineyard Times
Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends…such is a Jonathan Edwards concert. Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers night after night—songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age.
This is one veteran performer who is neither grizzled nor nostalgic. These days Jonathan is likely to be found on the road. I've been…doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people. I've been concentrating on that and loving it," he says.
An artist who measures his success by his ability to attract and take good care of an audience for four decades, Jonathan maintains that it is the feedback he receives after his shows that keeps him going. "It is really gratifying to hear [someone say], 'Your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years.'"
Tickets: $22 advance/ $25 day of the show
Friday, April 3, 2015, 8:00pm
Back by popular demand! One of our all-time favorites!
"From Day One, Red Molly conjured musical magic. A decade later, they've honed their songwriting, their covers, their playing and, above all, their harmonies into something joyful and sublime."
Americana powerhouse vocal trio Red Molly is known for their gorgeous harmonies, crisp musicianship, infectious songwriting, and warm, engaging stage presence. Laurie MacAllister (bass), Abbie Gardner (Dobro), and Molly Venter (guitar) weave together the threads of American music-from folk roots to bluegrass, from heartbreaking ballads to barn-burning honky tonk-as effortlessly as they blend their caramel voices into their signature soaring, crystalline three-part harmonies.
Organic musicianship, a respect for the traditions of American music, and an obvious love of crafting music together lend a joyous atmosphere to their legendary live performances, and a natural balance to their studio recordings.
Gracing stages from Denver to Denmark, from Australia to Austin, Red Molly is renowned for their live shows. Four-time featured artist at MerleFest, breakout stars at RockyGrass, and the darlings of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the "Mollies" bring audiences to their feet, whether it's on a grand festival stage or in an intimate concert hall.
Their latest CD, "The Red Album", realized on May 27, 2014, was featured in USA Today and CMT Edge. It debuted at #1 on the Folk DJ radio chart and is currently at #10 on the Americana Radio chart, and climbing.
"Femme Phenom! No root from the grand tree of music is left untouched - classic country heartbreak, undeniable swing, authentic folk, gospel rock with an edge, and Americana stomp. With smart production, a strong thread runs throughout the album and every note sung is upheld on cosmic harmony. Red Molly is unstoppable. Highly recommended."
Tickets: $20 advance/ $23 day of the show
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