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
Sunday, March 8, 7:00pm
Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell have been singing together for 25 years. And they've talked about making a record together for just as long. In summer 2014 an extraordinarily successful Kickstarter campaign raised the initial goal of $40,000 in 24 hours, going on to ultimately reach over $85,000, to bring that desire to fruition under the band name "The Pine Hill Project."
Tomorrow You're Going, an Americana masterwork of great songs, gorgeous harmonies, and stunning production will be released in 2015. The album is at turns meditative, joyful, rollicking, and deeply moving, and a one of a kind musical event.
Lucy and Richard's voices have always understood each other. It feels like they have a mind of their own. The one instinctively finds its resolution in the other. The simple pleasure of blending these two voices has been a constant for each of them through all the twists and turns of their respective careers.
Lucy and Richard are songwriters—each with many solo albums of original songs. But they are also fans of great songs. For both of them, the discovery of a great song can be as exciting as writing their own. In both cases, they inhabit the song by singing it, falling under its spell, its logic, its mood.
Tickets: $28 advance/ $35 day of the show
with special guest Lissa Schneckenburger
Yes, David Mallet has proven that once again it really is all about the music. There is no doubt that he has left an unfading imprint on Music City and Classic Americana Music forever.—Jan Duke, Aboutnashville.com
Singer-songwriter, David Mallett, is one of America's true original troubadours.
In a career spanning four decades, he has recorded 14 albums, had several hundred covers of his songs, including the American folk classic Garden Song [Inch by Inch, Row by Row] and performed in clubs, concert halls and festivals across the US, Canada and Europe. He has appeared on numerous broadcasts, including National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion. Known for his carefully written, poetic offerings, his body of work has provided material for an eclectic list of artists that includes Alison Krauss, Pete Seeger, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, John Denver and the Muppets.
"Schneckenburger's playing is…quietly virtuosic…her voice is pure and clear, full of simple emotion…"—All Music Guide
"World class fiddler…far from just offering one dance tune after another, simple settings allow the true beauty of the music to shine through."—Sing Out!
The traditional music of New England can be as warm and comforting as a winter fire or as potent and exhilarating as a summer thunderstorm. Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger is a master of both moods, a winsome, sweet-voiced singer who brings new life to old ballads and a skillful, dynamic fiddler who captures the driving rhythm and carefree joy of dance tunes old and new.
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
in a co-bill
"Zara Bode and Emily Miller layer gorgeous girl-on-girl harmonies over swell honky-tonk melodies - the kind that make Loretta Lynn fans weep - and you just know you're in for some hot and/or mournful fiddle. Trust us: These guys are brilliant."—NBC New York
Sweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode may not be blood relations, but their precise, family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the Everlys to The Judds, as well as the spirited rockabilly energy of Wanda Jackson, one of the band's role models. Like the artists they admire, the Sweetbacks are concerned with the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong, albeit with a contemporary sensibility. "We're a renegade retro band that mixes up country, swing and honky tonk," explains Bode. "Sometimes what we deliver is straight out of the 50s; other times it's BR549 meets The B52s."
The Stray Birds - Maya de Vitry (vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle), Oliver Craven (vocals, guitar, resonator, fiddle), and Charles Muench (vocals, bass)—whose "playing is gorgeous, the harmonies exquisite" (WXPN The Key) made their Yep Roc Records label debut October 21 with the release of their second full-length studio album, Best Medicine. Following the band's 2012 highly praised self-titled release, which NPR Music named Top 10 Folk/Americana album and proclaimed, "clearly these are players with chops, songwriters with a fierce command of their craft," Best Medicine was recorded at Stonebridge Studios in Leesburg, VA. Formed in Lancaster, PA, the classically trained and roots music-raised trio has spent the last several years honing their sound and touring extensively, including live performances on NPR's Mountain Stage, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
"Building on the sparseness of guitar, fiddle, bass, and three-part harmonies, the Stray Birds manage to create sounds together that are no less than transcendent."—About.com.
Tickets: $25 advance/ $28 day of the show
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