Featured Artists of the Hootenanny Cafe
These are just
some of the many fine artists featured on the hootenanny cafe that airs
every Sunday at 9:00PM (Eastern). The show can be heard locally on 93.5FM or world
wide at www.wtbq.com
Upcoming Hootenanny Cafe Mini Concerts
Roger Street Friedman — July 14, 2019
Roger Street Friedman is a singer, songwriter, activist, husband and a father of two, from Sea Cliff, NY. In 2017, Roger released the masterful album, Shoot The Moon. It’s a full-emotional spectrum collection of vivacious and reflective vignettes from real life that recalls the singer-songwriter tradition of Marc Cohn, Randy Newman, Warren Zevon, Mark Knopfler and Robbie Robertson. In an age of irony, few songwriters are this brave in their vulnerability. The album received national airplay and reached #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Americana Album chart, where it spent over 25 weeks in the top 20.
Critic Bill Bentley said, “[Roger] writes with the wisdom of someone who’s seen his share of living, and actually was savvy enough to take notes along the way…” and called Shoot The Moon “one of the best albums” of the year.
Previously, Friedman garnered acclaim for his debut, The Waiting Sky. Champions for the album included USA Today, No Depression, American Songwriter, Relix Magazine, MSN, The Alternate Route, Elmore Magazine and the New York Daily News. He’s toured regionally, performed on Today in Nashville, opened for such venerated artists as Los Lobos and The Blind Boys of Alabama and shared festival stages with Amy Helm and Dar Williams. For the past two years Roger has been dividing his time between New York and Nashville where he’s been writing and performing.
Roger teamed up with folk greats Tom Chapin, Guy Davis, Joel Rafael and Peter Yarrow on his track “Sun Never Sets,” which is a compelling protest song in support of all immigrants. He is using the song to raise awareness of and support for groups that provide legal, financial and educational assistance to immigrants and refugees. Roger performed at the Clearwater Festival in June and will be at The Turning Point in Piermont on July 25 (tickets: https://store.turningpointtickets.com/index.php/roger-street-friedman.html).
Roger is also scheduled to perform at the Huntington Folk Festival, is a 2019 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Grassy Hill Emerging Artist and is a two-time NERFA showcasing artist. His third full-length album is expected to be released late this year.
Aztec Two-Step 2.0 — July 7, 2019
Since Neal Shulman’s retirement in early 2018 from the renowned folk/rock duo Aztec Two-Step, Rex Fowler continues his legacy as it's co-founder, lead singer and principle songwriter by welcoming four new and talented musicians into the band. Dodie Pettit (Rex’s wife and an original cast member of Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera and also CATS) is featured on acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and vocals. Did you know she first met Rex in 1979 as a session player on ATS’s “Time of Our Lives” album? Also featured on upright bass, blues harp and vocals is Steven “Muddy” Roues, Peter Hohmeister on percussion, drums and vocals, and the band's newest member, Joe Meo on sax, flute and clarinet. Jazz pianist and vocalist Chris Coogan also sits in with the band on special occasions.
Rex’s band banter and stage patter is still as fun and engaging as ever; and of course ‘Rex & Friends’ always perform tons of Aztec Two-Step fan favorites and forgotten gems. However, don’t be surprised if you hear Dodie perform a song or two from her impressive 15-year Broadway career; or Muddy and Joe singing lead on one or two of Neal's classic blues-infused ATS originals as well.
The Levins — June 30, 2019
The Levins (pronounced LeVINNs) are a NY-based, nationally touring acoustic duo known for sun- splashed, peace-filled music that connects on a universal level with lighthearted depth. This self- produced NEW RELEASE (4/26/19) "CARAVAN OF DAWN" goes deeper by taking an aerial view of life's ability to break the chains of darkness and light, to explore the sorrow inside joy and joy inside sorrow. Guitar (Ira Levin) and piano (Julia Bordenaro Levin), along with unique harmonies & tightly blended unison vocals, reflect the married couple’s own compatible musical & personal relationship. They closed 2018 with an original full-scale San Francisco musical theater/EuroCircus production based on their 2013 release, "My Friend Hafiz" and they're looking forward to where this new collection will
"The open-hearted songs of The Levins feed my soul. What the world needs now more than ever is the poetry, spirituality, & humanity of their upliftng musicality." - John Platt, WFUV
"Caravan Of Dawn, which hit TOP 10/FolkDJ Chart and Roots Radio Top 20. is a powerful distillation of the duo’s artistic forays, bringing together its varied musical and sonic explorations into a signature aesthetic. Adding to the album’s potency is The Levins’ careful album sequencing, offering the listener a smoothly curated experience, brimming with elegant touches of cello, lush soundscapes, passages with trumpets, and tasteful electric guitar textures. Together, the songs on Caravan Of Dawn orbit around transformative messages of healing. Ira shares,“These days people seem so divided and polarized—many people seek safety in bubbles. We want to offer people hope and a place to connect." Julia concludes, “We hope the album reaches people through its openness and honesty, and that it helps people to move forward and not feel so alone."
These award winners (Indie Acoustic, Empower Music, CTFolk, S.Florida Festival, MASC) were 2017 SERFA and 2016 NERFA Formal Showcase Artists and 2014 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists. In addition to performing/presenting at the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto, The Levins rounded out 2018 in San Francisco with the multiple show production of My "Friend Hafiz", a theatrical circus directed by Broadway director, Mindy Cooper, featuring the live music of their 2013 recording.
Unique harmonies and tightly blended unison vocals, along with their guitar and piano interplay, reflect the couples own compatible musical/personal relationship which began after meeting at an open mic at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley CA. Ira and Julia (a.k.a The Levins) married in 2002 and left their California comfort zone 9 years ago to make music full time on the east coast. The key to their success is their continued dedication to making the world a better place through music.
The Levins' Universal message of inclusiveness and encouragement, coupled with their desire to herald and uplift humanity, as a whole is inspirational and infectious. Their songs, stage presence and energy offer a palatable, positive vibe that leaves you on a musical high. This married singer-songwriter duo (Julia and Ira Levin) give audiences a sense of hope and opportunity for global transformation. Or as one audience member shared, "Their music is good medicine."
Lynn Hollyfield — June 23, 2019
Blend a powerful, passionate singer, a crisp, acoustic guitar player and a heartfelt observer of the world and you will have, singer-songwriter, Lynn Hollyfield. Hollyfield's roots hail from Staten Island, NY when she picked up the guitar at age 10 and ran with musical influences she experienced from home. From great jazz artists, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to the Beatles, Cream and CSNY, Hollyfield launched into her own songwriting infusing these influences to create a diverse repertoire of contemporary folk, pop, blues and jazz.
Layers, her first solo recording, exploded on the folk scene in 2010, receiving air play and positive reviews-nationally and internationally-marking her as a rising star of contemporary folk. Layers, marks a turning point in her work, and brings together her wit, silky sweetness and a thoughtful reverie to her first, solo recording. "Her indie-folk-pop style would have (her) opening up for 10,000 Maniacs or Cowboy Junkies." (Leicasterbangs, UK). Lynn in fact has opened for headliners including: Jesse Winchester, Loudon Wainwright III, Jonathan Byrd and Christine Lavin. Layers, "presents a pensive, roots-driven collection, which feature the artist's angelic voice and fluid guitar picking." (Dickson Mercer, Maryland Independent). Well received by the Folk community, Layers became listed as one of the Top Albums of 2010 on the Folk DJ Playlist and in the Top 99 Albums of 2011, Dan Herman's Crystal Blue Radio Program. "Hollyfield's songs are beautiful and contain a universal wisdom we can all identify with. (Her songwriting) celebrates the truly important things in life ~ the journey not the destination. A wonderful CD you can listen to over and over and discover something new each time." (Jane Woods, Fanrealm.com). The Album graced the artist with four WAMMIE Washington Area Music Awards nominations (2011). Her songwriting received recent Honorable Mentions in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest and The Indie International Songwriting Contest-Folk Category. "Lynn is a wonderful singer-songwriter," states Steve Wolf, Bassist. "Your songs are mesmerizing" Carol Lite, Program Committee, Washington Folk Festival.
Hollyfield's highly anticipated second solo recording, In The Balance, was released the end of April 2014. The album was funded in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign In the Balance, went on to be one of the TOP ALBUMS for 2014 on the Folk DJ Listserv. In The Balance is a compelling collection of 12 original songs set in arrangements that highlight Hollyfield's skillful guitar playing and her inviting, rich vocals. John McLaughlin, Folk DJ/This Digital Folk Life.org, reviewed In The Balance and stated, "there's a range of moods and emotions captured in this music; it's a beauty." Lynn Hollyfield and In the Balance received 5 WAMMIE Nominations and Songwriting awards in the Mid-Atlantic and UK Songwriting Contests.
Hollyfield's vocals have developed since her early musical endeavors as part of the duo, Hollyfield & Spruill, who released two recordings, Slipping Time and Blue & Green. Recently described as "the warmest voice since Christine McVie," by Ron Goad, percussionist, SAW (Songwriter's Association of Washington-Board of Directors) and "a most gorgeous tone, I could listen to your voice all day..." Lynn Veronneau, Jazz vocalist. "I love hearing your voice! It’s rich, gentle, comforting and inviting," writes Amy White, Award Winning Musician (Al Petteway & Amy White). In addition to performing throughout the Northeast, Hollyfield supports other musicians and songwriters by hosting a popular, SAW Open Mic (Songwriter's Association of Washington) at the New Deal Cafe, Greenbelt, MD, as a Venue Manager for Focus Music Alexandria, as The Music Director at the Celebration Center for Spiritual Living and as a founding member and producer of Homegrown Coffeehouse, held at the National Colonial Farm-Accokeek Foundation, Accokeek, MD since 1999.
Sarah Eide — June 16, 2019
In an industry that can often feel over saturated with stale soundscapes, lifeless lyrics, and predictable patterns, Sarah Eide’s music cuts through the clutter. Bursting out of any genre’s box, her music deftly weaves influences of roots, folk, jazz and pop, creating a singular sound that is uniquely her own. Songs that are thoughtful, quirky, and honest, are matched with a signature musical style that is equal parts complex and catchy. With skillful piano playing and a powerful voice, these songs are what pulls her audience in and keeps them coming back.
Eide’s anticipated first full length, fully produced album, “Dreams on Hold” released on May 6, 2019 and has been quickly garnering praise by fans and critics alike, being hailed as "an enthralling Americana storybook" (CITY Newspaper). This heart-throbbing album depicts the unique, modern challenges of a real woman experiencing motherhood for the first time, covering a wide spectrum of emotion from tender to tongue-in-cheek to lamenting.
The album, which For Folk’s Sake calls, “endlessly charming,” showcases a star lineup of Chicago talent, featuring acclaimed Jazz drummer Jon Deitemyer (Matthew Santos, Patricia Barber, Matt Ulery), Shane Jonas of the Low Down Brass Band, Joe Camarillo of The Waco Brothers and Jess McIntosh who is the fiddler for Al Scorch. Produced by Eide, it demonstrates her abilities not only as a songwriter, pianist and singer, but also as a young female producer (something not enough women get credit for). Eide says the album is “about those moments when you feel like you're at tug of war between your aspirations and life’s priorities.”
Her vulnerable songwriting and adept compositions have earned her accolades, most recently as a finalist in the Great American Song Contest for the song, “Shadow.” This first single released from the album contains tongue-in-cheek lyrics and sparkling piano riffs making for a smart and catchy tune. “I can’t shake you my shadow...” Eide sings in the opening lines of the song, a commentary on how children see and reflect, often unflatteringly, everything you do.
Her path has been unconventional from the start. Graduating Berklee School of Music six months pregnant meant finding an equilibrium between her own ambitions and her growing family.
“I was initially resistant to having my songs reveal my motherhood,” said Eide, “but since the birth of my second child, I’ve opened myself up to it, realizing it’s only made my life fuller and more interesting. Also seeing there aren’t many examples of young mothers in the music industry (unless they are already famous) I thought it was important to forge this path, even just to encourage other young moms and parents.”
Most of the songs on the album were written either about or for Eide’s own children. However, the themes will resonate with anyone who knows what it’s like to parent young kids. While many children will enjoy the fun and soothing melodies, the only song written as an actual children’s song is the standout, “The Bridge Song.” Its catchy tune and meaningful message about bringing people together will have the whole family singing along.
The album as a whole covers a wide spectrum of emotion. “Little O,” is a tender lullaby written for her daughter after returning from a two week tour. While, “Cry Cry Cry” is an up tempo lament in the style of New Orleans Jazz. The songs gently weave through these extremes with a reassuring nod that, like the title track “Dreams on Hold” concludes, it’s all worth it.
Sarah Eide will be touring with supporting musicians throughout the Midwest and Northeast during the Summer and Fall of 2019 .
Rob McHale — June 9, 2019
Rob McHale is a North Carolina Songwriter and Storyteller whose songs can take you
through a small town, down a dirt road or on an historical journey – and bring you back
His flair for penning historical and social commentary songs has received recognition
and awards from Billboard, American Songwriter Magazine, Woody Guthrie Folk
Festival, and others.
In North Carolina Rob can be found telling the legend of Tom Dooley at the grave of
Laura Foster or talking about John Brown, General George Custer , Jesse James, Woody
Guthrie, a small town, and a host of other legends at historical societies, arts councils,
libraries and events.
Performing solo or with his band, featuring his brother Pat on harmonica Rob performs
in the US and internationally bringing these songs and stories to our friends in Europe.
Rob has been touring in support of his 4th Album (March 2018) ‘Prophets on the
Boulevard ‘ #8 on the Folk DJ Charts March 2018 and in the Top 100 Folk Albums of
2018. Rob’s 3rd album ‘ Tom Dooley and Friends ‘( 2016 ) also reached #8 on the
Folk DJ Charts featuring the #2 and #9 songs.
Gregory Williams, Executive Director of Clearwater — June 2, 2019
Greg will be sharing songs by several of the many performers at this year's festival, including, the legendary Mavis Staples, Ani DiFranco, The Wailers, Railroad Earth, The Lone Bellow, Immortal Technique, Del McCoury Band and many more. Visit clearwaterfestival.org for the complete artist lineup and tickets. This year, the Clearwater Festival is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the sloop Clearwater and 100 years since the birth of Clearwater founder and folk icon and activist, Pete Seeger. In addition to a wide variety of musical, craft and other artists, this year’s festival will feature a Youth Activist Training event led by a group of young activists like 13-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor, who made headlines this year when she spent 12 Fridays outside the United Nations advocating for climate justice.
Additional artists in the Clearwater Festival line-up include Chapin McCombs Chapin, The Mammals, Alan McClintock, Arif Choudhury, Betty & the Baby Boomers, Chief Perry, Children at the Well, Dennis Yerry, Dirty Stay Out Skifflers, Edukated Fleas, Ernie Sites, Evan Pritchard, Evy Mayer, Geoff Kaufman, Greenheart, Jacob & David Bernz, Jamie Brickhouse, Jan Christensen, Jonathan Kruk, Late Show's Gospel Choir, Laurie & Ira McIntosh, Leeny Del Seamonds, Lonnie Harrington, Luis Ramos, Magpie, Marita Solberg, Mel & Vinnie, Mercedes Garcia, Niemo, Norah Dooley, Peter Siegel, Ramapo Spirit of the Mountain Drummers, Reggie Harris, Reggie Seasar, Rik Palieri, Sheila Arnold, Spirit of Thunderheart, The Rad Trads, The Rix, The Storycrafters, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, and William Ruiz.
The Clearwater Festival is a destination for music fans and families alike, featuring seven sustainably powered stages with diverse music, dance, storytelling and family-oriented programming. Kids 12 and under are free!
The Working Waterfront offers rides on small boats and the tall ship, sloop Clearwater, while the Crafts Area showcases crafters and folk artists with quality handmade items, demonstrations and workshops. The Green Living Expo is the place to learn about sustainable lifestyle and business choices, and The Discovery and Tideline tents feature hands-on environmental education programs and Hudson River research. The Environmental Action Tent highlights Clearwater’s watershed and environmental justice initiatives, and the Artisanal Food & Farm Market offers food sourced from the Hudson Valley.
The Clearwater Festival is wheelchair accessible and most stage programming is staffed with American Sign Language Interpreters.
The Festival is dependent on almost 1,000 volunteers who work in all areas across the Festival. Volunteers experience the festival from behind-the-scenes and work on committees from performer hospitality to peacekeeping and zero-waste. Volunteer registration is open and a list of committee descriptions is available on clearwaterfestival.org.
To stay up to date on all Clearwater Festival news, please visit clearwaterfestival.org.
The Great Hudson River Revival is produced by the nonprofit, member-supported, environmental organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. All proceeds go directly to support Clearwater’s environmental education and advocacy.
For over 50 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, and providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people.
Benjamin Dakota Rogers — May 27, 2019
Benjamin Dakota Rogers makes his highly anticipated return to the folk world
with his brand new single, Better by Now, stripping the genre down to its core and
emotionally charging it with the raw human experience that can only be delivered
from the honesty and grit of a farm boy’s hands. Hailing from the countryside of
rural Ontario, Benjamin funnels his penchant for starry nights and nostalgia into
his stylized folk sound, reaching far beyond to include influences of roots, blues
and country music.
Benjamin found a passion and purpose in folk music after inheriting his Great-
Grandfather’s violin at the tender age of seven. From budding musician to aweinspiring
performer, his love of creating meaningful music has taken the reins and
garnered much attention from folk artists and enthusiasts alike. “Rogers’ unique voice,
thought-provoking lyrics, energetic performances and dynamic fiddle techniques leave
this up-and-coming musician in a class of his own.” – InSpades Magazine.
With the release of his new single, this singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
folk-phenom proves he’s at the top of his game in every way imaginable, grasping
for the stars that light up his quaint hometown of Scotland, ON. As he prepares
for the release of his most ambitious project to date, Benjamin Dakota Rogers
continues to redefine the genre with an infinite sound evolution that promises
to deepen the path he’s already carved for himself for years to come.
Susan J Berman — May 12, 2019
Singer-songwriter Susan J. Berman plays an eclectic mix of musical styles from Broadway to bluegrass. Her inspirations come from a variety of sources including the captivating, historic island of Nantucket, Massachusetts that she calls home.
Susan’s first solo CD, Nantucket Girl made its debut on the Folk DJ charts last Fall. With 12 original songs and one cover Nantucket Girl presents a collection of songs for maritime enthusiasts, adventurers, history lovers and those who delve deep. The upbeat and punchy “Nantucket Girl’s Song” is based on a poem of the same name from the 19th century. The bluesy “I’ve Never Tasted Love” explores the seductive side of food. “This Old Mill” tells the story of the oldest working windmill in the United States. The poignant ballad “Leave the Hall Light On,” was written in grief. Through her songs Susan takes listeners on a musical journey that transcends time.
Susan also creates music with her long time musical partner and fiancé Ray K. Saunders. Susan & Ray met at an open mic in North Beach, Maryland nearly two decades ago. They founded the popular Southern Maryland band RockFish. Ray continues to be the driving force behind the band on lead guitar and vocals. RockFish is known as the band that “plays hard and travels light.” Susan joins the band when time and place allow.
Performing as a duo called Music with Susan & Ray, both draw from their extensive playlist and years of performing together. They bring audiences a diverse and unique musical experience. Susan & Ray craft their distinct sound with guitars, vocals and a palpable chemistry. They are currently working on a new recording project including new takes on favorite cover songs. Tracks from this project will be released soon.
Alice Howe and Freebo — May 5, 2019
FREEBO is a genuine folk, rock and blues icon who, after over 40 years of recording and touring with many of the great artists of our time (Bonnie Raitt 10 years, CSN, Maria Muldaur, John Mayall, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Neil Young, & many more) is regarded as one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of today.
ALICE HOWE, the rising voice of modern folk in the US, debuted on Folk Radio in 2017 with a #1 Most Played Song, “Homeland Blues, from her EP You’ve Been Away So Long. A 2019 Kerrville New Folk Finalist, Alice will soon be releasing her first full-length album, Visions (May 17, 2019), produced by Freebo.
Together, FREEBO and ALICE HOWE present a unique study in contrasts, a venerable music icon and a talented newcomer joined together to celebrate their collaborations. Each a compelling performer in their own right, they both lead and support each other in their well-crafted songs with flawless harmonies and tasteful instrumentation. Since their first meeting in 2017, the pair has been touring together nationally and internationally and spent the fall of 2018 on a critically acclaimed run of the UK and the Netherlands.
Remembering Pete Seeger's 100th Birthday — April 28, 2019
In honor of Pete Seeger's 100th Birthday, please join me for a special Hootenanny Cafe as we remember and reflect on the life and music of Pete Seeger, through the eyes, and in the words of his daughter, Tinya Seeger.
For so many of us, Pete Seeger was a true hero, in every sense of the word. Not only was he a champion of folk music around the world, but also a champion of human, and civil, rights. On May 3, 1919 this incredible human being was brought into the world. And so, every year around this time (May 3) we should take pause to remember and celebrate the life and the legacy that Pete Seeger shared with all of us. And so, I am honored to have Tinya Seeger in the studio, once again, to share her stories and her memories of her dad, PETE SEEGER. Don't miss this incredible show!
Bett Padgett — April 21, 2019
Bett Padgett burst on the music scene the day she was born. A colicky baby, her mother let her scream her lungs out, giving her a powerful voice. Today she uses that voice as a tool to express her thoughts through song about today’s social, political and environmental climate. In addition to sharing her thoughts on these serious topics she enjoys writing about her dogs, the joys (and frustrations) of raising children, aging parents, the closeness of family and good friends. Though she is classically trained in piano and voice, and the fact that her father was a jazz musician, it was folk music that won her heart. Her love of traditional and Celtic music gives her sound a blend of styles. She uses her talents on guitar (alternate tunings with partial capos), mandolin, piano, rootsy claw-hammer banjo and harp to back her rich alto voice.
A North Carolina native, she became enamored by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and its plight with the encroaching ocean in the 1990’s. It lead to a song which then lead to an entire CD entitled “Hatteras: if a Lighthouse Could Speak”, her third album, which received widespread acclaim in 1999 when the tower was relocated one-half mile inland. Her eighth CD, “At the End of the Day” was #15 on the folk music charts in November, 2017 and in the top 20 for three months. She is currently working on her ninth album which will be released in the fall of 2019. Her new collection is entitled “If I Catch My Dream” and she surely is well on the road to doing just that.
Bett has taught music since 1978, including classes in guitar at North Carolina State University. She has inspired many to write their own compositions and songs. She is a founding member of the North Carolina Songwriters’ Co-op, and regularly organizes songwriting workshops. She hosted the world-renown Little Lake Hill House Concert series for eighteen years, promoting international touring artists where she learned performance skills from some of the best. Fans say, "Bett's heartfelt voice and words convey her positive spirit, love of life, and activism for a better world.” And “Attending one of her shows feels like coming home to family.”
David Graff — April 14, 2019
David Graff is a singer/songwriter who began his professional music career as a drummer, recording and touring with numerous Vancouver bands at an early age. Soon his desire to take control of his musical fortunes led him to songwriting, and he spent the next stage of his career writing and recording in Vancouver and Los Angeles.
He recorded an album in 1987 with Grammy winning producer Greg Ladanyi in Los Angeles. Placed a number of songs in film and television and received a Genie Nomination in 1992 for best song in a Canadian movie. Recorded a limited release EP in 1998 entitled “Some Of What I Know” to notable success, playing numerous shows and industry showcases with his band.
But by the turn of the century, feeling burned out on the music business, he moved to Bowen Island and turned his creative energies to making art professionally. He quickly acquired representation in a number of galleries in Canada and the U.S. His work is in private and corporate collections around the world and can be seen in major movies, television and art publications.
During his self-imposed hiatus he continued to write songs, despite having no plans to share them publicly. But his creative and musical roots run deep, so in 2012 he began performing again, and in 2016 started working in earnest on an album of new songs. The recording sessions took place in Vancouver, Nashville, and Bowen Island. Co-produced by daughter Julia Graff and James Perrella and featuring a number of Vancouver’s top touring and studio musicians, the album “Supposed To Fly” quickly took shape and was released in October 2018. From the anthemic title track to the rollicking barroom vibe of “Home” and “Can’t Trust That Woman After Dark”, it is an album that is quintessentially Americana.
In the short time since the release of “Supposed to Fly”, the album has received significant airplay and glowing reviews world-wide. The album has been featured in Roots Time Magazine (Belgium), “Highly recommended” by Planet Country (Italy), and lauded by Americana UK magazine: "Indeed, it is his singing, full of character and experience – a distinctive storyteller’s voice, that is the most notable aspect of this new release. His vocal style is gritty and emotional, with a good range and an ear for a catchy, sometimes unexpected melody."
No Depression (USA), the venerable bible of Americana music had this to say about David’s songs:
• “Supposed to Fly - Very Eagles-like in tradition…but even better than any Eagles composition.”
• “I Love My Truck - Pure jukebox fodder and handclapping addiction. This song has all its darts dead center in the bullseye. Bravo.”
• “Best Bar in Hell - Another winner comes fast and furious. It’s a first class country song- Nashville and Austin could not have done better.”
Skope Magazine says, “This is instant enjoyment and music to my ears. The overall artistry and musicianship on this record is magnificent and so finely-crafted.”
Supposed to Fly has achieved standing in a number of charts so far:
-Airplay Direct Americana - Top Album #4 Feb 2019
-Folk Roots Radio - Top 25 Best of 2018
-Folk DJ Charts - #57 Top Album 2018
To date, there have been four videos of songs from the album released to YouTube, including the debut of “Watch Over the One’s I Love” on Canadian Beats (canadianbeats.ca).
On the heels of two sold-out album release shows, David is preparing to hit the road, booking gigs as a solo/duo act as well as with his full band, drawn from the top tier of Vancouver’s Americana music scene.
The Chapin Sisters — March 31, 2019
“Prepare to lose your soul", says L.A. Record of siblings Abigail and Lily Chapin, whose seventh recording, Ferry Boat, will be issued by Loantaka Records on April 30th, 2018.
Making music that The New York Times praises as “tantalizingly close to beauty”, The Chapin Sisters carry on a proud family musical legacy: Father Tom Chapin is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, legendary late uncle Harry Chapin was a musical artist and activist best known for his 1974 #1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle”, and grandfather Jim Chapin was an esteemed jazz drummer and author of seminal drum instructional books.
Since 2005 the sisters have garnered critical acclaim by forging a distinctive musical imprint in which they “wed lilting voices, dynamically complex vocal harmonies, and folk-influenced melodies to dark, wryly sarcastic lyrical content” notes Amazon.com in an editorial review.
Kenny White — March 24, 2019
Hailed by reviewers from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle for his “thrilling” and “unique” piano playing, Kenny White is a talented singer/songwriter and a successful NYC-based record producer. He has written, performed, and produced music for hundreds of TV and radio commercials as well as film soundtracks, and has worked with stars like Keith Richards, Merle Haggard, and Linda Ronstadt.
Although he is an accomplished and sought-after pianist, White is known for his clever lyrics – compared to artists as diverse as Randy Newman and Leonard Cohen. His shows include original music, with songs ranging from humorous to heart-breaking, with White accompanying himself on piano and guitar. He often tours with Cheryl Wheeler and with Judy Collins, who released three of his CDs on her Wildflower Records label. He has just completed 18 months traveling as opener for the Stephen Stills & Judy Collins reunion shows.
White is currently touring in support of his current album, LONG LIST OF PRIORS, which features guest musicians such as David Crosby, who says that “Kenny has earned a place among my favorite singer/songwriters. A true wordsmith and musician who reveals a fine sense of humor as well.”
Carl Corcoran — March 17, 2019
In Carl's teens in the 1970s, rock and roll, folk and pop lured the young Dubliner to the pubs, clubs and coffee shop venues in a blossoming singer songwriter scene. A 'surprise' offer from EMI to sign a recording contract produced three original albums containing songs written by Carl and various collaborators. Record company marketing folk decided that Carl should adopt a new moniker and so Jamie Stone was born. Carl's first album 'New Day' gathered six awards at the RMI Awards in 1974, including Artist of The Year. His songs 'Gulliver' and 'I Believe in Love' were chart toppers in the Irish market. Two more albums (“Storyteller’ and ‘Let It Shine’ were recorded and release in 1976 and 1978 respectively. His hit single ‘I Believe in Love’ held the No 1 position in the Irish charts in 1977.
In 1978, Carl headed for New York. The American sojourn, which lasted 20 years, brought experiences of a varied nature in the world of entertainment. He established himself as a popular and busy performer in the Irish American community, releasing a CD of Irish and Irish inspired original songs on the Rego Label – called “Dancing the Dublin Reel” – voted the “Album of the Year” by the Irish Echo in 1996. A beautiful love song, ‘Forever and More’ co-written by Carl and collaborator Rosemarie Taylor was included on another Rego Records release ‘The Irish Wedding Song Collection’ – and is a popular choice as a Wedding Song for many couples. In the latter five years, the passion for radio was irresistible. Carl played an anchor role in a successful commercial radio station 60 miles outside New York, where he presented Irish specialty shows as well as maintaining the Morning Shift weekdays 9am-12 noon at WTBQ....playing music from the 50’s through the 90’s.
On returning to Ireland in 1998, a move which coincided with the setting up of RTÉ lyric fm, Carl was asked to host 'The Third Wave' late night on Lyric (Sat and Sun), which he presented for three years. Simultaneously, Carl became a regular presenter on RTÉ Radio1 until the slot at The Lyric Breakfast came his way. Carl remained in that early morning role for four years, until October 2007 when the Breakfast Man returned to the once familiar night hours at RTÉ lyric fm taking over the role of Presenter for The Blue of the Night. Four nights a week (Mon-Thurs), Carl took his listeners into the Blue of the Night with the broadest musical brush stroke on the airwaves. He held this position as the acclaimed curator/presenter until July 2017. In September 2006, Carl studied and was awarded a Master’s Degree (First Class) in Community Music at the University of Limerick. Summer 2007 saw Carl as Director of Blas International Summer School of Traditional Irish Music and Dance. This event hosted by the late Prof Micheál Ó Súilleabháin is held on the superb campus of the University of Limerick. Carl maintained this role as Director for 3 years.
In 2017 he was invited to take on the role of Course Director for the inaugural year of the MA in Songwriting at the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick – the only course of its kind in Ireland. He has successfully curated this course for the last two years and continues in that role.
Songwriting is still an active pursuit for this busy musician. Collaborations with New York songwriter Jimmy Kelly have been recorded by various artists. Their recent effort ‘Atlantic Sky’ celebrates the Irish American psyche, written as a tribute to emigrants who travelled the ocean to start a new life. Those who have recorded this gem of a song include two former members of Celtic Woman Alex Sharpe and Edel Murphy (separate recordings) tenor Ronan Tynan and Irish singer Sean Keane. Other material from this collaborative force have been recorded by The New York Tenors (‘I Wont Turn My Back on You’).
Noah Derksen — March 10, 2019
Born and raised in the heart of the Canadian prairies and maturing on the west coast of British Columbia, Noah Derksen writes with the groundedness of harsh Manitoba winters mixed with the optimism of British Columbia’s coastline. Ever seeking motion and progression, Noah has spent the past three years honing his live performance skills across Canada and in select regions of the United States, playing concerts from BC to Nova Scotia, and New York to California. In 2018 alone, Noah played at renowned venues and events such as the National Arts Centre(Ottawa, ON), Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle, WA), Trout Forest Music Festival (Ear Falls, ON), and theWinnipeg Folk Festival (Winnipeg, MB).
With a self-described genre of “contemplative folk”, Noah’s introspective nature is immediately apparent, felt through honest and poetic lyricism alongside aesthetic musical arrangements.
On March 1st, 2019, Noah released the first part of a new album, entitled America, Dreaming.
Janet Bates — March 3, 2019
Based currently in rural British Columbia, Janet has spent several years living in Oregon where her songwriting inspiration began. She became politically motivated in the months leading up to the Iraq war of 2003. Attending an anti war rally on MLK day she was given the MLK “Riverside” speech and the first lines of that speech inspired her to become an activist. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal” She went on to organize several anti war rallies in Bandon, Oregon, and on the day that the US invaded Iraq, she began writing songs.
When the first bombs started falling in Iraq she felt helpless but then remembered that she had a voice. Ever since she was a teenager, singing in coffee houses and other events, people always said she had a voice like Joan Baez. SO she decided to write songs that gave life to the stories of those who have no voice…. the ones who needlessly die in wars, those whose lives are ruined, the poor, the victims of violent wars.
Between 2003 and 2009, she went on to release 5 CDs. All 5 of the CDs achieved international airplay on radio. For 2 years in a row, her airplay achieved the top 20 spot for Canadian artists on the folk DJ lists. She performs with her husband Ken Bates,(who plays the bouzouki, guitar and mandolin), and drummer Mark Dievendorf. Janet writes all of the music they play and plays 12 string guitar. For these years they mostly played at political events. They performed for Dennis Kucinich events both in 2004 and 2008. She has played and been interviewed on the Thom Hartmann show several times. Janet has been performing and giving her voice to many social and political events over time. She was a finalist in the singer songwriter events at the Solar festival in Vermont and Susquahanna in Maryland.
Kind words about the 2009 CD
“Janet Bates has produced with Little Spinner a CD that is one of those fairly rare ones that you just want to play from beginning to end and then start over again. It is that good and meaningful. Bill Hahn WFDU --Bill Hahn, WFDU radio
Love your music. Please send more CDs. I'm playing your songs on the radio show, Music of the People, WMCB, 107.9 LPFM, Greenfield, MA. Thanks, Diane Crowe --Diane Crow, WMCB and LPFM radio
A lovely album...am playing cuts this morning on WJFF radio. thanks for sending it. Sonja Hedlund Ballads and Banjos --Sonja Hedlund, WJFF radio”
Life changed in 2009 when Janet was diagnosed with an advanced form of endometrial cancer and in fact recorded the last CD while on Chemotherapy.
She moved back to Canada after her treatments, and took a hiatus from music, but now 10 years later she is ready to release a new CD this spring/summer. “It Is Here I Leave You Dragon”, the title song of this new CD is a song about her letting go after realizing she had survived the cancer…letting go of all the darkness that one carries after these life changing events. Clearly a song about cancer survival it is a song that also lends itself to so many other “survival” stories in all our lives.
Although her original motivation to write was the Iraq war Janet has been moved and impassioned to write about other sociopolitical topics such as climate change, the impoverished and about those impacted by our present world circumstances. There are also beautiful songs about love, and relationships. She has been married to Ken for 35 years now and her feelings for him have made their way in to many of the songs she writes.
Janet is a powerful lyricist and story teller. The music she writes to these songs have wonderful and heart felt melodies and rhythms providing complex and truly enjoyable music…this all despite no formal music training. This is truly a gift that she has and feels that the songs are all just gifts she was given to share with others.
Kerry Patrick Clark — February 24, 2019
KPC is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, therapist, comedian, word painter, and masterful entertainer. Those who are lucky enough to catch him in concert, leave a different person. The range of the experience for many runs from laughter and lightness to depth and connection and the realization of a shared humanity. That’s the thread he weaves into every performance because it’s the center of who he is: he knows that being human means we want to laugh, we want to be thoughtful, we want to be nostalgic, we want to feel connected, we want to sink into our hearts and we want to feel the entire range of our emotions so that we can take our full selves back home and maybe even remember to be more present in our relationships.
Sounds lofty, right? Well, consider this. Music is truly a universal language, and science tells us that music heals. It helps us relax, it stimulates our senses, and its frequencies actually pierce our bodies, our minds and our hearts. Imagine what happens when we are being carefully led on a musical journey by an expert musician, an award-winning songwriter, and a beloved performer who’s transformed audiences all across the country. It’s a powerful, deeply personal, resonant experience. A gift.
Kerry is a blend of the practical and the visionary. And he’s a mixture of genres and time periods: today and yesterday, pop, folk, country, singer/songwriter, Americana. Mostly, he is solidly and quintessentially rooted in his own life experiences, which somehow magically deepen and reverberate through ours as well.
Ellen Bukstel — February 17, 2019
Politically active, socially conscious, wildly incisive and humorous as all get out throughout her fascinating and influential, multiple award winning career, Ellen Bukstel has covered all the hot button issues we as human beings and Americans can’t ignore. She’s been pro pot and folkin’ hot (the HMMA nominated “Who’s The Pusher Now?”, with 50,000+ YouTube views), a frustrated citizen (“They Lost My Vote”), whimsical about menopause (“Is It Hot in Here…Or is it Me?”), tough on domestic violence (“You’re Not Better Than Me”) and bold in the face of uncomfortable aspects of world history (the Music To Life songwriting competition winner “By My Silence”). When pop great Michael Bolton called her “an amazing artist and spirit,” he was simply the most famous person among thousands who have recognized her contributions as a voice of her, and all subsequent, generations
On Legacy of Love, the Florida based singer-songwriter’s highly anticipated new full length collection, Ellen takes us beyond all the whimsy, activism and social commentary to paint a multi-faceted, emotionally impactful portrait of a life that has had its share of pain, struggle and challenges, but has been remarkably and gracefully well lived. It’s a heartfelt, sentimental (but never sappy and always insightful) journey of love, loss, getting old (artfully so!), with a little protest, a little politics and always a little humor.
Forest Sun — February 10, 2019
With over 65 million plays on Pandora, troubadour and award-winning songwriter, Forest Sun, enlivens audiences around the globe with his wealth of songs and stories, all sung and told in a laid-back California style. Sun's soulful music draws on a deep well of Americana and is compared to everyone from Jack Johnson, John Mayer and The Avett Brothers to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. He's opened for Bonnie Raitt, The Beach Boys, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Keb Mo and Brett Dennen among others and musical collaborations include Jolie Holland, Sean Hayes, ALO and Hot Buttered Rum. Forest Sun’s music is featured in film and television, including MTV's Good Vibes, the Showtime Series The Big C, and three surf films, Land of Saints, A Common Thread and 5th Symphony Document. Forest’s songs appear on the benefit CD Burning Heart, Songs for the Gulf (to raise money for cleaning up the oil spills) and Songs for Laura Vol 1 and Vol. 2 (to raise awareness for people with cancer and their families). You can also hear Sun on San Francisco’s favorite radio KFOG’s Local Scene Vol. 1 & 3. Forest’s music has found it’s way to Japan with the CD Dancing Again released by Buffalo Records and songs featured on the Japanese compilations Surf Time 1 and Surf Time 2.
Zoe Mulford — February 4, 2019
Zoe Mulford is becoming best known as the writer of "The President Sang Amazing Grace," which Joan Baez covered on her album "Whistle Down the Wind" in 2018. An American songwriter now living in the north of England, Zoe backs her clear voice with guitar or claw-hammer banjo to deliver powerful, evocative songs that draw on the traditional music of the US and the British Isles to make sense of the modern world.
Zoe grew up near Philadelphia, but took up the guitar and fell in love with the banjo during a twelve-year stint in Durham, North Carolina. Four years in Washington, DC introduced her to the community of contemporary songwriters, including the Azalea City Recordings cooperative. In 2006, she moved to the north of England. She now divides her time between Philadelphia, PA and Manchester, UK and tours on both sides of the Atlantic.
"The President Sang Amazing Grace" first appeared on Zoe's 2017 album "Small Brown Birds." Joan Baez heard the song on local radio while driving near her home in California.
"It's an amazing little tune," said Baez in an interview on NPR News. "When I first heard it, I had to pull the car over, because I started crying. And then for the first two weeks of trying to figure it out on the guitar, I kept crying. I was afraid that when I got in the studio, it wouldn't be over. But I went into the studio, and then I just looked at the musicians and I said, "Let's go to church."
Dashboard Hula Girls — January 27, 2019
The Dashboard Hula Girls are a Hudson Valley based band led by songwriter Jeffrey Ashey. Ashey’s voice sits somewhere between Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits and are balanced by vocalist Jackie Rudy. A vocal pairing that’s been described as Beauty and the Beast. Bob Harris plays guitar, mandolin and dobro. Bob spent 15 years touring with Vasser Clements and engineered for the likes of Johny Cash. Michael G Ronstadt adds virtuoso cello.
Influences range from Woody Guthrie, Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois to Beacon resident Pete Seeger.
The new album Savoir Faire to Spare has songs ranging from the 1960’s folk of “54 Miles” about the Selma civil rights march of 1965, to the jazz standard stylings of “The Love of Money” which might not be out of place on a 1970’s Tom Waits album. “Dig My Way to Freedom” tells the story of the prison break in Dannemora, NY.
Ashey says 2018 really awoke a desire to address issues such as race and income inequality which he plans to do much more of in the future.
Andy and Judy — January 18, 2019
New England natives, Andy & Judy have been singing together since 2009 and began writing songs in 2011. Today, this talented folk duo performs regularly at coffeehouses, festivals, libraries, and stages where they have been featured artists, openers and headliners. They tour through New England, the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Great Lakes Regions and have been featured on popular folk music radio programs. They have also had two albums on the Folk DJ charts – This Old Town reached #11 in July 2017 and Reflections reached #9 in November 2018. Both albums were named Top picks of the year by several DJs. FolkWorld Europe has praised the duo saying “their songs are beautifully crafted and performed.”
Andy & Judy do a masterful job of involving the audience in their performances. Sing-a-longs and smiles are the norm at one of their concerts. Their close harmonies blend Judy’s evocative alto and Andy’s deep baritone. Beginning instrumentally with a classic folk guitar base, Andy & Judy have deepened their sound through the addition of mandolin, banjo, piano, harmonica, ukulele, and with support musicians, bass, violin and percussion. The instrumental complexity presented on their five CDs, Riverbend, Dragonfly, Follow Your Dream, This Old Town, and Reflections, support the increasing lyrical depth of their compositions.
Even though their songwriting style has its roots firmly planted in traditional and folk music, the influences of country, gospel, blues, and bluegrass, can be heard in their songs. Historical people, places and events are common themes. Their songs are carefully crafted and performed so that the listener experiences all of the emotions woven into their music.
Judy is from southeastern Massachusetts where she was introduced to folk music at an early age through her mom’s Peter, Paul and Mary records. She started guitar lessons at age 6 with the hope of joining her church folk group. A few years later she stopped playing guitar and joined the school choir. When she started performing with Andy she went back to the guitar and added piano, mandolin, and ukulele to the mix.
Andy was born in Maine and spent most of his youth in upstate New York, where he grew up listening to folk and church music while traveling with his family before eventually settling in the Boston area. He has taught himself to play guitar, banjo and the harmonica.
Mara Levine — January 13, 2019
Called one of the best singers of her generation by Christine Lavin, folksinger and jewelry designer Mara Levine has been creating beautiful interpretations of fine traditional and contemporary folk songs for many years. Mara was nominated by Ron Olesko in 2009 for the Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. She was selected for a Quad showcase at NERFA for 2014. Mara tours nationally, often sharing shows with Gathering Time. She also performs as a duo Terry Kitchen, a duo with Caroline Cutroneo, and with their group Celestial Harmonies with Barbara Novick, Frank and Nancy Mocccaldi.
Recently, her single "You Reap What You Sow" (Susan Shann) recorded with Bluegrass Luminaries Mollie O'Brien, Mark Schatz, Greg Blake, Scott Vestal, Rob Ickes, Bob Harris and Andy Leftwich, was the #1 song on the November 2017 Folk DJ Chart and #16 for the year, and it spent 19 consecutive weeks on the Bluegrass Today "Grassicana" Chart as of May 22, 2018. By My Silence(Bukstel/Annis) recorded with Gathering Time, was the #1 song on the September 2017 Folk DJ chart, and #19 overall for 2017. Both songs are previews from her upcoming CD FACETS OF FOLK, due for release January 2019.
On FACETS OF FOLK, Levine presents a number of songs of social conscience with themes of taking a stand, making a difference, considering the treatment of others and becoming a better person. Those tunes, written by popular contemporary songwriters as well as emerging talents, are all carefully set among folk favorites and lesser known songs. The lead off track, “You Reap What You Sow,” (Susan Shann) recorded with bluegrass luminaries Greg Blake, Bob Harris, Rob Ickes, Andy Leftwich, Mollie O’Brien, Mark Schatz and Scott Vestal, was extremely well received when it was released as a single in November 2017, hitting #1 on the Folk DJ chart and spending 22 weeks on the Bluegrass Today Grassicana chart.
A traditional holiday song from the Scottish Hebrides, “Taladh Chriosda” has been re-recorded with frequent touring partners Gathering Time. Four additional songs were recorded with Gathering Time, including a rousing version of the Tommy Sands protest anthem, “Daughters and Sons”, featuring special guests Kim and Reggie Harris swapping lead vocals with Levine, and “By My Silence” a provocative warning about the perils of remaining passive in the face of injustice, written by award winning Florida singer-songwriters Ellen Bukstel and Nick Annis, which reached #1 on the Folk DJ Chart when it was released as a single in September 2017.
FACETS OF FOLK was co-produced by Bob Harris, (Johnny Cash, Vasser Clements, Girlyman) who plays guitar and helped with arrangements on many of the tracks, and also with John Guth (Tom Chapin, Galt MacDermot) who plays various instruments and helped with arrangements on five of the tracks. Other contributing musicians; Kim and Reggie Harris, Robin Greenstein, Michael G. Ronstadt, Ed Trickett, Josh Joffen, Terry Kitchen, Caroline Cutroneo, Jan Alba, Harold Morton, Sean McComiskey, Barbara Novick, Cheryl Prashker, Tilman Reitzle, Akiva Wharton and Patrice Avsharian Wiseman
Her second album, Jewels and Harmony, received stellar reviews and was the #1 album on the folk chart for January 2013. The CD also had the two top songs and Mara was named the most played artist for the month. The record was subsequently #3 on the folk Chart for 2013, and was named #4 Cover Album of 2013 by Cover Lay Down. Jewels and Harmony features 15 tracks produced with a 60's folk sensibility, with fresh interpretations, beautiful multi-part harmonies and collaborations with notable artists including Si Kahn, Brother Sun, Pat Wictor, Gathering Time, Joe Jencks, Loretta Hagen, Terry Kitchen and Caroline Cutroneo.
Tellico — January 6, 2019
With vivid, original storytelling, vibrant musicianship and intelligent arrangements, Asheville, NC band Tellico creates an innovative sound that redefines what today’s Southern Appalachian music can be. Instead of modernizing tradition, Tellico takes it deeper, effortlessly weaving meaningful, imaginative songwriting with intelligent arrangements. There is no gimmick here, and yet, there is nothing tired or cliche. Tellico explores the beauty of songcraft through the lens of tradition and an unmistakable sound.
At its core is the voice and guitar of Anya Hinkle. Her sound is rooted in the mountains of her home in southwestern Virginia, but seasoned by travels across the world and back. With arresting honesty, her singing and songwriting comes from the heart. The foil to Hinkle’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, can be found in fellow songwriter, vocalist, bass and harmonica player, Greg “Stig” Stiglets. Inspired from the stories and events of daily life, his attention to melody and groove help to further showcase the instrumental prowess of the band.
Both Aaron Ballance (dobro, lap steel, pedal steel) and Jed Willis (mandolin, clawhammer banjo, electric guitar) hail from central North Carolina. The state itself provides its own conservatory for study, and its students learn from first generation roots music pioneers as well as serious students of the genre in the classrooms of jams, bands, and festivals. Obsessed with playing music going back to their teen years, Ballance and Willis are veteran players.
These four musicians deepen their awareness each year of the synergy among them while eyeing terrain that is yet uncovered. From their converged paths emerges a sound that has jelled over more than a decade of collaboration. Their freshman effort Relics and Roses was well-received, gathering accolades from tastemakers and earning them stage appearances at the country’s most prestigious festivals (MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Official Showcase Artist and World of Bluegrass-IBMA).
Noel Paul Stookey — December 23, 2018
One might think that, as he closes in on his 80th birthday, Noel Paul Stookey would be content to kick back, relax and take a contemplative view of a musical career that has spanned six decades.
But on a November afternoon, sitting in the kitchen of his South Blue Hill home with a guitar in hand and both voice and fingers still in good form, Stookey observed that “the harsh reality of our political climate” still cries out for the sort of resistance that has been an integral part of his music since the protest songs of the 1960s when he arrived on the folk music scene as one-third of Peter, Paul and Mary.
And now, when faced with “the bizarre results of the 2016 election,” he’s more than ready to provide that resistance. Stookey says the fact that his music has political perspective “is part of a larger evolution that began when I went to Greenwich Village in the ’60s and discovered that music, while entertaining and perhaps inspiring, could also be informative. I feel a responsibility to my neighbors to articulate what many of them may be feeling but don’t have a musical platform.”
Stookey has just released a four-song compact disc titled “summerfallwinterspring” that includes a song loosely designated for each season. Two of the CD’s songs are about as politically topical as it gets.
A spontaneous comment last spring by a longtime friend sparked Stookey to pen the lyrics to “Impeachable,” set to the well-known tune of “Unforgettable.” Given the controversy that has surrounded the presidency of Donald Trump so far, it’s not surprising that a YouTube video version of the song has garnered more than a million views so far.
Late this summer, Stookey was moved to put to music what he calls “a Facebook rant” by Thomas J. Gray taking issue with the notion advanced by Trump supporters that, since he won, Americans should “work together” to support an agenda they perceive as harmful to our democracy. “I thought that’s the way the situation should be approached,” said Stookey. “Not by calling names — there’s enough of that going on — but just telling people what you won’t be a party to. Because if you don’t, you’re going to be a party to it.”
“I Will Stand (Work Together)” quickly became part of the set list for his live performances, frequently arousing spontaneous ovations that interrupted almost every line.
Stookey then put out an email invitation to several of his singer-songwriter friends inviting their musical contributions to a recorded version of the song. Over a two-week period, the responses — from Peter Yarrow, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Josh White Jr., David Mallett, Barry Ollman, David Roth and Maureen McGovern — were combined with the voices of a chorus of volunteers from the Blue Hill area, mixed by engineer John Stuart at his Gorham studio, and turned into a seamless musical production. It sounds, says Stookey, “as if the artists recorded the song in the same studio at the same time.”
The fall and winter songs, “Moon River” and “Somethin’ Special,” are part of a longer range Stookey project: a holiday album for 2018.
Stookey said he chose Henry Mancini’s classic “Moon River,” setting it to guitar chords inspired by the music of Eric Satie, “to speak to the hopeful dreamer in each of us.”
The winter offering is a holiday reminiscence that harkens back to Stookey’s Maryland childhood. “Somethin’ Special” tells the heartwarming story of a Christmas gift conjured up by an artistic mother and inventive father. “Between the two of them,” says Stookey, “they found ways to surprise AND inspire me at critical times in my life.”
“If you’re a musician,” says Stookey, “you can’t stop making music. Hardly a moment goes by that there’s not some melody going on in my head. As long as that keeps happening, I’m going to be active.”
Josh Harty — December 16, 2018
Josh Harty is a messenger. A North Dakota songsmith. “A true son of the heartland whose bold defiance and riveting delivery channel the essence of American music” (Glide Magazine). Josh grew up performing with his dad at every Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, Moose Lodge and Rotary Club in the Upper Midwest. Having released several internationally-aclaimed albums and performing across the US & Europe, it is clear that Harty was born and bred for this. His live shows prove that good storytelling combined with journeyman musicianship is as authentic as music gets.
When Josh is not on the road, he resides in Madison, WI and is also a long-time member of Folk Alliance and a founding member of The Wisconsin Room: an organization that promotes WI artists to an international audience and brings world- class music to Madison from elsewhere in the form of intimate gigs at various venues.
"Josh Harty is a Mid-West singer/songwriter with a keen eye, observant lyrics, and a fine driving guitar style that pulses with feeling and fire." -Elmore Magazine “A true son of the heartland whose bold defiance and riveting delivery channel the essence of American music” (Glide Magazine). Josh Harty is a messenger, North Dakota songsmith. Josh grew up performing with his dad at nearly every Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, Moose Lodge and Rotary Club in the Upper Midwest. In more recent years having released several internationally-acclaimed albums and performing tirelessly across the US & Europe, it is clear that Harty was born and bred for this. His live shows and his own personal brand of Country and Americana prove that good storytelling combined with journeyman musicianship is as authentic as music gets.
Bruce T Carroll — December 9, 2018
After years spent "lost in the wilderness" of music and commerce (i.e. building and running a venue in Larchmont, NY, the famed Watercolor Cafe), Bruce T Carroll has returned to his roots and his first and abiding love: lyric songwriting.
With the release last year of his first official album Ruckus and Romance, hailed by No Depression Magazine as "devilishly brilliant" and "intensely beautiful", Bruce has forged a new career as a singer-songwriter using irony and imagery as tools in trade. The great cast of musicians who helped make Ruckus and Romance such a distinctive work include Clifford Carter, David Spinozza, Marc Shulman, Sara Milonovich, Tracy Grammer, Nicole Alifante, Porter Carroll, Lincoln Schlieffer and Joe Bonadio. Ruckus and Romance has garnered significant airplay worldwide, including being featured on WFUV's "On Your Radar" hosted by John Platt, who called it "an accomplished album, attuned to the zeitgeist of the moment". While promoting the CD over the last year Bruce has shared the stage with the likes of Slaid Cleaves, Jimmy LaFave, Dan Bern, Ellis Paul, and Rita Coolidge..
Bruce's brand new release, a six-song EP called Finding You, is a sort of lyrical tone poem, with the theme of finding, or regaining, something that might be missing, or lost. His song (and the first song on the EP) "Fox In The Henhouse", may, or may not be, his definitive statement on the state of the union...Produced by Andy Stack, this six-song record features performances by Andy (guitars, bass, keyboards), Sara Milonovich (violin), Lee Falco (drums), Jeremy Baum (organ, accordion) Brandon Morrison (bass), and Adrien Reju (vocals)...
Craig Bickhardt — December 2, 2018
By the time Craig Bickhardt was 25 years old he'd signed a record contract with Bob Dylan's manager Albert Grossman; inked an artist development deal with legendary talent impresario and head of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun; had one of his songs recorded by Art Garfunkel; shared the concert stage with Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Stills and Harry Chapin; lost nearly everything he owned in a California house fire; and had his only guitar stolen by a junkie in NYC. It appeared as if his budding career had all the makings of a Llewen Davis-esque tale. Despite steady touring and achieving respectable successes such as scoring music for the Academy Award winning film Tender Mercies and writing songs that have been covered by Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Alison Krauss and others, Bickhardt remains a relatively undiscovered artist himself. His latest CD, The More I Wonder, features his beautifully weathered vocals, skillful guitar work and intelligent songwriting at its best.
Barry Adelman — November 25, 2018
Music For Humanity exists to help spread more music throughout the world. We do that via a monthly music series and awarding music scholarships to young aspiring musicians.
It really all started in 1968 when Co-Founder Barry Adelman attended a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Carnegie Hall and was impressed by the power of the performance. In 1969 he attended the Woodstock Festival in Bethel NY. Again he saw people of all faiths and persuasions gathering for music. Over the next few decades he became a singer/songwriter and wrote many spiritual songs.
In 2005 Barry heard the voice of God. It whispered "Music for Humanity". He looked around, but no one was there; however he couldn't deny the whisper. It was like the whisper in the movie Field of Dreams; Barry knew he had to take action.
He looked up Music for Humanity on the internet and discovered the name reserved, but no website. Barry contacted the person, Kurt Irmiter, who had reserved the name, and together they decided to create a not-for-profit, Music for Humanity. In 2007 Music for Humanity was officially given a 501c-3 status by the IRS, which means donations to MFH are tax-deductible.
MFH has given 42 music scholarships ranging from $1000 to $8000. The requirements to apply for a scholarship are simply to be a music major at an accredited college or university in the United States. Scholarship winners are selected based upon talent, financial need and an ability to become an “ambassador” for Music for Humanity. That means an ability to help build the invisible bridges, roads and tunnels that connect our hearts via music. More connections, more music, means a better world for all of us
C Daniel Boling — November 18, 2018
“Think of a subtle intertwining of Steve Goodman, John Prine and Tom Paxton.”
– Fred Schmale , Real Roots Café, Dutch music magazine
A 2014 Winner of the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk songwriter contest, Daniel shares experiences from a life well-lived in places as far-ranging as Okinawa, Japan, and Padre Island, Texas. Daniel is a balladeer/songwriter and delights audiences with his well-crafted story songs coast-to-coast and overseas in over one hundred shows a year in house concerts, listening rooms, theatres and festivals. For three decades Daniel was a gun-toting Park Ranger and Criminal Investigator in National Parks and Public Lands throughout the west and he started touring fulltime at 50.
Daniel’s songs tell interesting stories about a variety of characters, including himself, played on guitar, banjo and banjitar (a banjo/guitar hybrid) with a deft fingerpicking style. His clear tenor draws positive comparisons to John Denver and Pete Seeger, and folks say there’s a lot of Steve Goodman in his delivery and storytelling. Other songwriting awards include 1st Place at Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Walnut Valley Festival, Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Festival, and Albuquerque Folk Festival. You can’t help but relate to Daniel’s songs!
Tia McGraff — November 4, 2018
Hailing from just south of Toronto, Ontario Canada, Tia McGraff is an internationally-renowned, award-winning Americana/singer-songwriter and author. Accompanying Tia on her musical journey is her life/musical partner, Tommy Parham. The two met and married while both were living in Nashville, TN and have enjoyed an extensive career performing, songwriting and recording together for more than 12 years. They bring such an honesty and passion to their music that they have even been described as the modern day, Johnny and June!
With the 2018 release of Stubborn In My Blood, first single, “Let 'em See Your Strong” is already reaching beyond all demographics and boundaries, having been adopted by “Me2” and women’s empowerment groups around the world!
New single, a cover of the classic, “One Tin Soldier” is sure to light up radio playlists. A gifted author, Tia’s children’s book, Jake The Road Dawg has helped raise funds and awareness for her local chapter of The Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
Nine international CD releases, various film/tv placements, and numerous nominations and awards (including Americana CD of the year first round nomination for 2015 Grammy Awards) have earned Tia and Tommy a respect in the music industry and a global fan base. The duo have a gift for ‘getting to the heart of the matter’ and writing relatable songs about life, love and this crazy world we live in.
Kirsten Manville — October 28, 2018
With elements of Americana, folk, country, and blues, Kirsten Manville creates songs that feel like they may have come straight from journal entries. Deceptively simple lyrics paint pictures, tell stories, and evoke a range of emotions. From the pain of finding and losing love, and hard times in a down-on-its-luck town, to the small pleasures of line-dried laundry and homemade pie, and the escapism of a romantic night for two, Kirsten’s warm and sultry voice draws the listener in, infusing the songs with feeling and depth.
Some People Sing, her latest CD, was a Top 5 album pick in the January 2018 issue of Metronome Magazine, and Kirsten was featured on the cover of the magazine in March 2018. The song “...but Down” was included in the Alternate Root Magazine's weekly top 10 in November of 2017.
Kirsten's songs have received radio airplay on a number stations both in the United States and overseas. Her song “A Simple Life” spent time in the Top 30 charts (peaking at number 11) of The Globe Radio, an Adult Album Alternative format internet radio station, and her song “Play My Guitar” has been in the Top 20 songs on WOSRadio. In July 2013 she was a finalist in the songwriting competition at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival, and in February 2016 she was a winner in the Maine Songwriters Whittlesey Barn Songwriting/Performance Contest. Kirsten performs regularly in the northeast, and has had the honor of opening for well-known folk artists Don White and Joe Jencks. She holds a BA in music from Bowdoin College, and is also an accomplished flutist.
Halie Loren — October 21, 2018
Halie Loren is an international, award-winning jazz singer/songwriter. Raised in Alaska, this Oregon-based artist brings a fresh and original perspective to time-honored musical paths, channeling her innate understanding of connectedness across musical boundaries to forge bonds with diverse audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe. A lover of global cultures and music, her repertoire is a multi-lingual one, including songs in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Korean as well as her native English. (“Not only does Loren fill a room with her wondrous voice when singing in English, but she also maintains a high-spirited uniqueness when singing French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese - Bill Leikam, All About Jazz”)
She’s released eight albums to-date, garnering several national and international awards as well as significant critical and chart success along the way, with her albums consistently charting at #1 in Billboard/Japan Jazz Charts, iTunes (Canada and Japan) and Amazon Music.
Loren’s debut jazz CD, 2008’s “They Oughta Write a Song,” won Best Vocal Jazz Album of the year in the JPF awards (then the world’s largest independent music awards). She was signed in 2010 by JVC/Kenwood Entertainment (Japan/Asia) and in 2011 by Justin Time Records. Halie has since released nine additional albums including two Japan-only releases, and gone on to win many awards as both a singer and a songwriter. Loren’s original song “Thirsty” won the Independent Music Awards’ best jazz song of the year in 2011. Her 2012 release, “Heart First,” was honored by Japan’s Jazz Critique Magazine as the best vocal jazz album of year, and reached No. 1 on the iTunes Canada jazz albums chart. In 2013, “Simply Love” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Jazz / Japan and entered iTunes Canada as #1 jazz album. Her 2014 best-of compilation release “The Best Collection”, 2015’s “Butterfly Blue”, and 2016’s “Live at Cotton Club” also hit #1 on Billboard Japan’s jazz chart.
Along with recording success, Loren’s live performances have expanded to include performances with the Jazz Orchestra of Sicily, the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra in Oregon, the Monroe Symphony in Louisiana and the prestigious International Britt Fest Orchestra. (“One of the brightest talents of contemporary pop-jazz singing. A refined vocalist who expresses a world of rarefied poetry” - Sicilian Jazz Orchestra, Palermo, Italy)
In the past years she has traveled east to west in the U.S. and other parts of the world, including Canada, Japan, Italy, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Haiti, and Egypt. The last few months of her tours have included sold-out tour dates in Japan, Korea (including a Korean festival performance with an audience of over 25,000), Quebec, Florida, and Georgia. Last year found her in London and New York working on a new album of her original material “From the Wild Sky” with UK producer Troy Miller, a project for which she raised over $68,000 of funding from her worldwide fans via crowdsourcing site Kickstarter. “From the Wild Sky” was released worldwide in April 2018, and since then, Loren has been touring in support of it with tour dates across North America, Asia, and Europe, with more on the horizon.
Among the innumerable pleasures to be had here is the rare joy of hearing an accomplished songwriter fully spread her wings. From the Wild Sky captures Loren soaring — confident, embattled and empowered, ever attuned to the healing powers of music.