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
Chuck Williams — April 22, 2018
Chuck Williams has been appearing throughout New England and in recent years has gone coast to coast with his music. Raised in Toledo, Ohio, Chuck has lived most of his adult life in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, moving to the Buzzards Bay shoreline in 2002. He has been traveling to coffeehouses, performing arts centers and festivals sowing seeds of his songs along the way. His writing has been gaining notice throughout song circles and he has earned several awards for his finely tuned craft. He can take you on a journey that makes you think, smile and at times want to cry.
Chuck's lyrics and melodies are a musical journey reflecting emotions of everyday life brought to you through the stories within his songs. If you feel his style is rooted in the American folk-rock tradition, you would be on the right path that leads to this musician’s memorable songs.
Rhode Islands Motif Music Awards has nominated Chuck as Singer/Songwriter of the Year ('07, '08, '09, ‘11), for Album Of the Year ('07, '08 and ‘10) and Best Folk Act (’07, ‘12).
Chuck has had the pleasure of opening for national touring artists such as Cheryl Wheeler, Kelly Joe Phelps, Rod McDonald, Steve Forbert, Pegi Young & the Survivors, Jimmy LeFave, Beau Coup Blue, Claude Bourbon and Michael Troy.
Chuck is the President of the Rhode Island Songwriters Association. He is also a member of Folk Alliance, NERFA, ASCAP, ACMA and RISA
Williams employs a voice that resembles Neil Young's with the edges rounded-off. There seems to be a proud and strong tradition of folk music speaking truth to power within his tunes. Don DiMuccio, Motif Magazine
A little political energy is conjured in “I Want My Country Back,” a song Michael Troy co-wrote with Chuck Williams and it seems they're turning the liberal folk singing tradition of the 1960’s back on them...politely and diplomatically. Sounds like a conservative (and I don't know if Michael was a conservative -- it's an assumption) can thread together an equally compelling lyric and melody to sing a meaningful and powerful song. I wonder if Peter, Paul and Mary would have covered this song? Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk, Richie Havens or any one of those folk singers? The door swings both ways. The problem with many of those folk singers is that they sang about important issues and injustices but they seldom suggested a solution in any of their tunes. John Apice, No Depression
Linda Draper — April 15, 2018
While growing up in a musical household with parents and siblings who are all musicians (her father is a classical guitar virtuoso who studied with Andres Segovia), Brooklyn based Linda Draper listened to everything from Bach to “Bop” from an early age, soon moving on to the church choir and then to writing her own songs and playing guitar as a teenager.
In 2001 Draper recorded her debut LP “Ricochet” with producer/music icon Kramer (Low, Galaxie 500). Their partnership continued with her next three LP's. Her debut LP on Planting Seeds Records, “One Two Three Four” was met with rave reviews. In 2007 she co-produced her next LP "Keepsake" with Major Matt at Olive Juice Music. In 2009, Draper returned with her sixth LP "Bridge and Tunnel", produced by Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson).
Linda's previous album, “Edgewise” produced by singer-songwriter Matt Keating was self-released in 2013 and was also released on vinyl (Planting Seeds Records). Of the record American Songwriter said; “Channeling the finger-plucked folk music of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, Linda Draper gets back to her acoustic roots.” The first single on this album, called "Hollow" was featured on the Starbucks in-store playlist. M Music and Musicians Magazine proclaimed: “With all of these songs—pop-rock sparklers informed by the kind of edgy country and clever folk beloved by NPR subscribers—movement carries risk, but it beats staying put.”
As her career and music catalog demonstrate, “staying put” is not something Linda likes to do. Her musical path has led to tours throughout the US and UK. She has performed in festivals such as CMJ, Folk Alliance, Campfire (Cambridge, MA), the Athens Popfest (Athens, GA). Over the years, Linda has opened for Teddy Thompson, Melissa Ferrick, Luka Bloom, Dan Navarro, Eilen jewell and Amy Correia.
Linda Draper’s latest album “Modern Day Decay” was crowd-funded through PledgeMusic. The album was recorded at Mission Sound in Brooklyn, NY. Matt Keating produced this album as well, and it was mixed by Grammy Award winning Engineer Geoff Sanoff (Bruce Springsteen, Cat Power). Of her latest album Linda says, “Thanks to the backing support from my fans, we were able to record these songs in two top-notch studios with a great band (including Matt Keating on keyboards and lead guitar, Eric Puente on drums and Jeff Eyrich on bass). The project was such an amazing collaborative process and I am grateful for the support that has led me to where I am today.”
Kim Moberg — April 8, 2018
Kim Moberg was born in Juneau, Alaska, the daughter of a classical pianist mother of Alaskan Native Tlingit descent and a US Coast Guard veteran father from Kansas. Music has always been an integral part of Kim's life, helping her to adjust to the frequent moves associated with growing up in a military family. From the sounds of Beethoven to Johnny Cash, Dave Brubeck to Hank Williams, and Bob Evans to David Bowie, the love of all genres of music has been ingrained in her soul.
At the age of 14, Kim began playing acoustic guitar on a borrowed nylon 6 string, earning lessons by typing lyric and chord sheets for students who were taking guitar lessons from her mother. A few years later, she purchased a Gibson Epiphone guitar and taught herself to strum and finger pick to her favorite music from the '70's -- James Taylor, Jackson Browne, The Beatles, -- but debilitating stage fright kept her from pursuing her dream of becoming a professional performer. In 2014, after a hiatus from music to raise her two daughters with her husband, Kim set out to overcome her stage fright at local Open Mics and fundraisers. Kim is now a singer/songwriter who performs as a solo artist, has collaborated with other a number of musicians, and performed as one half of the duo "Still Willow".
Kim's musical inspiration derives from both traditional and contemporary musical genres of acoustic, roots, folk and country. She strives to sing stories that evoke contemplation and emotion. A self, taught finger pick style acoustic guitarist, Kim has an introspective interpretation of songs and is especially drawn to musical stories that tug at feelings of melancholy, heartbreak, and healing. Her original songs speak to reunion, awakening and social consciousness.
Recent accomplishments include Kim's performance for over 1,000 artists and industry professionals at the Suzi Wollenberg DJ Showcase at the 2017 Northeast Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference in Stamfort, CT, where she was selected to perform by WOMR DJ Bob Weiser; and Kim's 2nd place win at the annual Linden Tree Coffee House Winter Potpourri: American Idol Folk performance, earning her a co-bill concert with the legendary Bill Staines.
Kim's debut cd entitled "Above Ground" , recorded and produced by Grammy nominated producer Jon Evans in Brick Hill Studio, was released worldwide in September 2017.
In addition to performing music, Kim, together with close friend and singer/songwriter Kathleen Healy, have co-founded RavenDaisy Productions, created to book, promote and produce live music concerts in support of Indie artists.
Kim is a strong believer in the importance of giving back and being actively involved. She offers her music and time at events to support her local community such as hosting the monthly Craigville Coffeehouse Open Mic, serving as a board member for Vinegrass (a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for music students http://www.vinegrass.org),and performing at political
Katherine Rondeau — April 1, 2018
“With her powerfully rich voice to lead the way, Katherine delivers a rootsy performance that harkens back to the best of the Folk Revival with a modern style.” Ron Olesko, WFDU-FM
Katherine Rondeau is a full-throttle folk singer-songwriter! After bursting onto the Philly folk scene in 2015, she was quickly recognized for her rich, bold voice and engaging style. She has since claimed her place at venues throughout the region including Godfrey Daniels, World Cafe Live, the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club, and as a three-time Philly Folk Festival performer (2015-17).
And the music? Imagine yourself in the hills of Appalachia – hear that strong, lyrical wail calling down from the mountain, and the steel ring of the guitar strings? That’s the rootsy folk sound of Katherine Rondeau. Her 2016 release New Hope Chateau was a Folk DJ chart favorite. The Midwest Record wrote: Her compelling story songs take on a myriad of themes, from love lost and love preserved to robust political anthems.
Shawn Taylor — March 25, 2018
Shawn Taylor has devoted the past decade to his ‘wandering roots’ music, as a traveling troubadour, songwriter and CT based bandleader. His 4th independent release, “Balance” (June, 2017) embodies his ‘wandering roots’ genre and philosophy; meandering from Appalachia to Reggae, folk to rock, time twisting finger-style compositions, to sparse introspective ballads and gut busting blues, exploring disparate characters, times and situations, in the eternal struggle for balance.
“His keen eye, soul-drenched vocals and steadfast acoustic finger-picking, punctuate his musical canvas with a skillful, heartfelt flair reminiscent of troubadours John Prine, John Gorka and Bob Dylan,” declared Metronome Magazine, Boston. “But make no mistake, Taylor is his own voice. Shawn Taylor is one of the finest singer-songwriters on the scene today.”
He’s shared the stage with folk notables such as, Maria Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Pat Wictor, Scott Ainslie, Spuyten Duyvil and Sarah Potenza. And his wandering roots run deep.
His mother grew up an ‘army brat’ on bases around the US and Europe. His father was an anti-war, Vietnam Vet, turned vagabond gypsy. Shawn was born in Ohio and raised in Massachusetts, but he’d lived in four states before he turned one. At twenty, he left college to ‘thru’-hike the Appalachian Trail for six months. The next year, he ‘thru’-hiked VT’s Long Trail, with his girlfriend Amy, who later became his wife. Their latest (not last) ‘thru’-hike together was California’s John Muir Trail in 2006.
He released his 4th CD, “Balance” in April 2017, followed by the first ever, full Taylor family summer tour, with his wife and kids (7 & 9), their CRV, 2 tents, 6 weeks, 19 performances, 14 states, and 4000 miles, and many stories along the way
Emily Barnes — March 18, 2018
> Tucked away in a town so tiny it isn't found on most maps, singer-songwriter Emily Barnes can be found sitting on the stone steps of her 200 year old home stitching together the latest melody from the fabric of her mind. That is on the rare occasion she is home. For the past few years, Emily has been tirelessly trekking down the open road playing venues of all shapes and sizes stopping listeners dead in their tracks with a voice that cuts to the bone and songs that pull on the heart strings.
> Now a nationally touring artist, Barnes continues to build a grassroots following from city to small town, one new believer at a time. Her Sophomore album 'Let in the Light' was released on March 10th 2017 and has been taking listeners through the nostalgia of finding oneself after the inevitable darkness seeps in. It is honest, it is raw, and as quirky as the show you are likely to experience. With an assortment of "found" instruments, lo-fi birds, pots and pans, this album paints a picture from start to finish.
> There is a feeling one gets when witnessing something authentic and rare, and that aura permeates the room at an Emily Barnes show.
Susan Shann — March 11, 2018
Originally from northwest New Jersey, Susan was influenced early on by the vocal genius of Ella Fitzgerald, the blues fire of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the psychedelic landscapes of Pink Floyd, the astounding creativity of Joni Mitchell and so many others. She began writing songs and playing guitar in her teens, performing at coffeehouses and restaurants throughout the area. After acquiring a music education degree from Montclair State University with highest honors, she taught for several years before making the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee in 2004 to pursue a career as a songwriter and performer.
Called by the urgency of climate change and other environmental issues, Susan became very involved with environmental activism and community organizing. Within a short period of time, she earned a permaculture design certificate, founded Transition Nashville and established “Earth Revolution”, a local access environmental program produced with a team of volunteers for three years. Susan also participated in the work of many other organizations focused on environmental and social justice issues, establishing a reputation as a local leader and tireless advocate for needed change.
She has since returned her full focus to the task of creating great music, recently earning a publishing contract with Grammy-winning producer Bill Vorndick, with whom she has just completed her third album, "Rhythm of the Road."
Susan has had the honor of sitting in as a singer with the world-famous western swing band “The Time Jumpers” many times, and has been invited to perform at such prestigious local events as “Tin Pan South” and others. Susan is excited to move her love of songwriting and performing front and center once again, writing songs that reflect her pop, rock and blues influences while also integrating her passions for earth-care, social justice and spiritual themes, in a way that can positively impact and uplift others.
Villa Palagonia — March 4, 2018
Villa Palagonia: Where North, South, East, West, and Humanity Collide
Eclectic acoustic brushed with hues from Mediterranean folk is the avenue on which the band Villa Palagonia perches—yet the side streets and dusty alleyways that these musicians travel offer engaging timbres that are woven together by songs imparting tales of the old world and the new.
Founded in 2013 by multifaceted guitarist Joe Ravo and multi-instrumentalist and singer Allison Scola, Villa Palagonia calls upon its members’ southern Italian roots and American know-how to create original music peppered with elements from traditional Sicilian and Italian folk songs. Joe Ravo is a versatile guitarist who has performed alongside the likes of Dave Brubeck and Stanley Turrentine and traveled around the world as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State. Allison Scola is most familiar to folk audiences because of her performance as part of Chicks with Dip’s Joni Mitchell’s Blue Celebration. As a solo artist, she has performed at venues as grand as Shea Stadium, as kitschy as CBS Morning News’ Living Room Live, and as intimate as her cousin’s patio in Bagheria, Sicily where the world-renowned estate Villa Palagonia exists.
The ensemble released its debut album Rhythms & Roots in 2016. Hailing from New York City, they have performed throughout the United States, appearing at folk festivals and in concerts series including Illinois' Woodstock Folk Festival, Brooklyn's First Acoustics, WMSC Radio Nowhere with Joltin' Joe, WFUV John Platt's On Your Radar, and WFMT Folk Stage with Rich Warren.
Looking forward to it! Thank you!
Naming The Twins — February 25, 2018
Naming the Twins is the Nova Scotia based, harmony rich guy-gal duo of Robbie Smith and Kath Glauser whose vocal blendings sound a bit like Simon & Garfunkel, if Art was a girl, a bit like Peter, Paul & Mary, if one of the boys was taking the night off. Their original material maintains the tradition of Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers.
Their energy, casual banter, wide variety of song styles and remarkably well matched voices captivate audiences wherever they perform. Their presentations are well balanced with thoughtful ballads and toe-tappin’ numbers, transporting the listener with lyrical imagery and sweet harmonies.
Robbie Smith has been a songwriter, singer and player of instruments all his life. From an early age, through the windows of his scenic home outside Shelburne Nova Scotia, his imagination took flight gathering scenes and circumstances which flowed back through his pen and onto the page.
His truly inspired lyrics capture the essence of life lived by and on the sea and the attention of Roger Whitaker who recorded four of Smith’s songs. Robbie has also shared the stage with Pete Seeger and John Allan Cameron and recorded several albums of his own.
In 2008, after years of being a solo artist, Robbie was taken with the voice of an acquaintance and knew he had found his vocal soul mate – a special blend that some performers never find.
From the beginning, Kath Glauser brought her clear natural folky harmonies, organizational skills and engaging stage presence to the table and has since added lead vocals, guitar and mandolin. Recently she helped write 3 of the songs on their latest album, “Turn Styles”.
Remembering James Durst, with Madhumita — February 18, 2018
James Durst was a touring artist for about 50 years before he transitioned from this planet in 2016. He performed for audiences of every age in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; in more than 200 cities in 45 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia; and in Russia, Azerbaijan, Japan, Korea, India and Israel.
James performed a rich and ever-evolving repertoire of distinctive songs. His spirited, lighthearted, relevant and often humorous performances included original pieces and interpretations of songs from two dozen languages that reflect a global perspective and underscore the interconnectedness we share with all of life. These songs addressed global and social concerns common to all, including environmental sustainability, world peace, and the need for greater understanding of and compassion for one another.
The interplay of James’ skillful, rhythmic guitar playing and strong, expressive voice provided a colorful palette that he used to paint compelling musical pictures to encourage individual empowerment and compassionate relationships, while helping all of us feel more hopeful about ourselves and our place on the planet.
He engaged each distinct audience in a participatory journey condensed from his travels that brought all closer to our world and to each other. Through the synergy created by melding word and melody, his performances dissolved language and cultural boundaries, as demonstrated by this experience following a concert in Skopje, Macedonia: A woman who spoke no English told James through an interpreter “I didn’t understand a word, but”—touching the area of her heart— “I understood what you were saying.”
James also founded the Work O’the Weavers with David Bernz, and formed a quartet to celebrate the music and life of the Weavers in 2003.
James and I (Madhumita Chakrabartti) met in 1997 at the Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehouse. We became life partners, got married and continued our journey together until his passing in 2016. We enjoyed joining our voices together in harmony for shows in the US, India and Israel during these 19 years. Today, I continue his work of supporting traveling musicians by presenting WorldWind House Concerts in our New Jersey home; celebrating his life and work through community building; and being active in the folk community as a board member of the Princeton Folk Music Society.
Robert Bobby — February 11, 2018
Robert Bobby was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the suburb of Newtown Square. As a young teenager, his brother introduced him to the music of Bob Dylan and that was his doorway into his own musical adventure. In high school and college, he frequented The Main Point folk club, hearing and learning from artists like Dave Van Ronk, Chris Smither, Tom Rush, Tim Buckley, Steve Goodman, Muddy Waters and many more.
After attending Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, Robert Bobby formed The Speedboys, a rock and rhythm & blues band which gained a widespread regional following. Between 1978 and 1985, they released three (3) self-produced, critically acclaimed albums. Robert Bobby released a solo album, Chilly Wind, shortly thereafter. On January 6, 2018, The Speedboys and Robert Bobby were honored as the first inductees into the brand new Lancaster Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Since the year 2000, Robert Bobby has concentrated on performing the acoustic music he loves. In 2005, he began performing primarily as The Robert Bobby Duo with his wife, Mrs. Bobby, on bass guitar. They perform a varied repertoire of Robert Bobby originals & select cover songs in a listening room setting. They are members of the International Folk Alliance and regularly attend Folk Alliance Regional Conferences.
Sadly, in January 2017, just as he and Mrs. Bobby were looking forward to retiring from the day jobs to focus on his music, Robert Bobby was diagnosed with brain cancer. Radiation, chemotherapy and advancing cancer have taken their toll on his ability to play his guitar and sing. The Robert Bobby Duo was able to perform a few shows in the fall of 2017, finishing up with their last public performance on December 2, 2017. At this point, Mrs. Bobby is focused on her new role as chief caregiver. She would like to see Robert Bobby’s songs live on and is encouraging other artists to perform them.
Robert Bobby has played in support of the following acoustic artists:
1. Chris Smither
2. Steve Forbert
3. Rory Block
4. Roy Book Binder
5. Parker Milsap
6. Diana Jones
7. Fred Eaglesmith
8. Junior Brown: ok not so acoustic-sue me
9. Dom Flemons
Robert Bobby has performed at the following:
The Birchmere: Alexandria, VA
The Tin Angel: Philadelphia PA
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival as Emerging Artist Contestant, NY
The Lansdowne Folk Club: Lansdowne, PA
Susquehanna Folk Society & Whitaker Center: Harrisburg, PA
Gene Shay's Folk Show: WXPN Philadelphia, PA (3 times)
Little Buffalo Festival, PA
The Ware Center, Tellus 360 & The Chameleon: Lancaster, PA
Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Quad Showcase.
Scott Krokoff — February 4, 2018
With a rich sound drawn primarily from his love of 60s and 70s music, New Yorker Scott Krokoff (pron: Crow-Cough) weaves elements of folk rock & country pop into confessional and compelling Americana. He is an evocative and introspective songwriter, and a deft finger-picker in the vein of James Taylor and Paul Simon with “an edge of Replacements styled alt rock to his strum” (Hiplanta). Scott has opened for Elle King and Grace Weber, toured in the US and Europe, including playing in Belgium for his biggest fan, and received radio airplay throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
Scott’s last record, Realizations & Declarations, Vol. 2, received rave reviews praising Scott’s “terrific imaginative powers” (Bearded Magazine) and his “graceful tales of morality and perseverance” (The Vinyl District) with “melodies that'll have you humming for days” (Nooga) and “music in the vein of 1960s and ’70s songsmiths, but also recalling hot up-and-comers like Father John Misty” (PopDose).
While he has supported his young family as an active lawyer, Scott is adamant that one should never put a shelf life on his or her dreams. As such, many of Scott's songs document his passion to persevere with his music, and all three of his record releases —2007's A Better Life, 2012's Realizations and Declarations, Vol. 1 and 2015’s Realizations & Declarations, Vol. 2 — brim with lovely and tuneful revelations that proselytized the art of taking risks in life as well as the consequences of not taking them.
People of all ages have found Scott's music appealing and inspirational, relating to his music not only because of the terrific rhythm and energy each song possesses but because he represents the desire we each have to dream big and live life to the fullest. One of Scott's favorite experiences was when his biggest fan flew him from New York to Belgium at his expense to play his 10th year wedding anniversary. That fan later explained to Scott that he was so inspired by his music, he felt compelled to revive his own musical dreams. Scott's situation is proof positive that if you really want to, you'll find a way.
Scott is currently working on his next record due to be released by June 2018.
Crowes Pasture — January 28, 2018
“An uncanny blend of voices… the duo sound born to mesh their voices. His, a handsome, sandpapery timbre, and hers, angelic, with a lovely wilt.” - Bill Copeland Music News
Crowes Pasture is the acoustic duo of Monique Byrne and Andy Rogovin. Based in Boston, the duo brings leather and lace harmonies to classic and contemporary folk music in a style that draws from old-time, folk and bluegrass traditions. Performing on guitar and banjo, they draw inspiration from both traditional folk storytellers like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and icons of vocal harmony like the Carter Family and Simon & Garfunkel. Their music invites comparisons with the likes of The Civil Wars, Gillian Welch/David Rawlings, The Milk Carton Kids, The Jayhawks and Ian & Sylvia.
The duo released their second album, Edge of America, in October of 2017. The album quickly reached #7 on the National Folk DJ Charts and continued to chart throughout the remainder of the year, landing itself a spot on the Folk DJ Top Albums of 2017 list. The title song, Edge of America, reached #3 on the Folk DJ Top Songs Charts October 2017. John Patterson, host of The Song Parlor, described the song as offering an immigrant’s eye view of the American dream and the reality.
Other original songs on the album explore everything from the struggles of Depression-era spouses, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on everyday life in Ocean County, the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo and a tribute to one of the most fascinating athletes of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali.
The duo’s approach to outside material on the album is just as memorable. “Crowes Pasturizing” songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Donovan by stripping them down and reconstructing them with their distinctive harmonies and musical ideas, Crowes Pasture taps into a sound that transcends eras and genres.
Bill Copeland of “Bill Copeland Music News” praises the album, saying “there is an earnestness of purpose in these songs that remind of all the great ballads and folklore that define [the folk] genre.” Nick Noble (host of “The Folk Revival” on WICN-FM) has praised the duo for their “lovely harmonies and a passionate approach to musical performance,” while WUMB’s “Local Folk” host Patrick Coman enthused over their “skillfully crafted, emotional songwriting, compelling vocals and tasty accompaniment.”
Charlie King — January 21, 2018
Charlie King is a musical storyteller and political satirist. He sings and writes passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Pete Seeger hailed him as “One of the finest singers and songwriters of our time.”
Charlie has been at the heart of American folk music for half a century and has been writing songs for over 40 years. In October of 2017 he received the annual Phil Ochs Award, in recognition of his music and activism for social and political justice in the spirit of Phil Ochs. Other honors include: an "Indie" award for one of the top three folk recordings of 1984; the War Resisters League’s 1998 Peacemaker Award given to Charlie and Odetta; the 1999 Sacco-Vanzetti Social Justice Award for which he was nominated by Pete Seeger; and the 2014 Joe Hill Award, a lifetime achievement award for excellence in the field of labor culture.
Charlie’s songs have been recorded and sung by other performers such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell and Judy Small. He is currently touring with his latest recording Life & Love, Tears & Laughter, a 15 song, eclectic mix of classic folk songs - time tested - and new songs reflecting on the testing times we live in.
Charlie has recorded over a dozen solo albums since 1976, as well as three albums with the touring ensemble Bright Morning Star, and numerous compilation albums with other artists. From 2001 to 2014 he recorded with his partner, Karen Brandow. In addition to a full time career of concert touring, King has sung in support of numerous groups working for peace, human rights, environmental sanity and alternatives to violence.
His central vision as an entertainer is to leave audiences with a sense of optimism and possibility about the future. "I try to cover a broad emotional landscape in my concerts. The stories I collect and the songs I write take the listener on a journey of humor, heartache and hope. What I most value in a song is the way it helps us see an old reality in a totally new light."
Charlie was born in 1947, and was raised in Brockton, MA. He cites as musical influences the folk music revival of the 1960's, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War era.
Folk legend Peggy Seeger says, "If we had more Charlie Kings in the world I'd be less worried," and Tom Paxton adds, "Luckily, we have him!"
All-She-Wrote — January 14, 2018
All-She-Wrote: Gloria Jean, David LaPlante & Stephen Pounds are regulars at the Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, and play many live music venues across the Northeast such as Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, The Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA, Sonny Och’s folk concert series in Middleburgh, NY, The Thrall Library in Middletown, NY, and The Crossroads Coffeehouse in North Andover, MA. They are known for rich harmony vocals and clear acoustic guitar playing, performing authentic renditions of classic folk songs from the 60s & 70s interspersed with Gloria Jean’s original songs. They play guitars built by David LaPlante, who crafted instruments for Noel Paul Stookey of Peter Paul & Mary, and is a renowned guitar historian and Martin Guitar expert (David provided a chapter for the book, Inventing the American Guitar: the Pre-Civil War Innovations of C.F. Martin and his Contemporaries). They have two cds, the 2004 self-titled All-She-Wrote, and their 2017 release, Passing It On. Both earned a place on the Folk-DJ Listserve’s “Top Albums” list. Passing It On features guest instrumental tracks by Rounder recording artists, The Lonely Heartstring Band, as well as the incomparable Larry Packer on violin and mandolin. Larry has played with The Band, Lou Reed, David Bromberg, and too many to list here; and now regularly joins All-She-Wrote at performances.
Shawna Caspi — January 7, 2018
Toronto-based singer-songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist Shawna Caspi
hadn¹t done much travelling before tapering off a series of administrative
jobs to start touring full-time. She had never even rented a car. She had
never been camping before performing at the Blue Skies Music Festival in
Since then, Shawna has toured throughout Canada and the United States,
including performances at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival, the Shelter Valley
Folk Festival, the Summerfolk Festival (ON), and the Deep Roots Music
Festival (NS), and concert series including the Calgary Folk Club, the
Nickelodeon, the Northern Lights Folk Club (AB), the Greenbank Folk Music
Society (ON), the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse (MA), On Your Radar (NY),
and Six String Concerts (OH).
Shawna¹s fourth album Forest Fire, released in September 2017, is a
collection of songs about burning things down and building them up again.
Engineered and produced by Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Bahamas, Ron Sexsmith),
the elegant arrangements draw the listener into the depths of haunting,
atmospheric tracks, then lift them out with airy, bluegrass instrumentation
and hopeful narratives for brighter days. It¹s dark granite stone with a
shot of glimmering quartz through the middle. When the words get heavy, they
are held up to the light of love, grace, and gratitude. With these songs,
Shawna strives to be unafraid, to embolden quieted voices, to tell the truth
above all else.
Siobhan O'Brien — December 10, 2017
Siobhan O’Brien is an Irish Singer/Songwriter who now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
" In addition to Bob Dylan inviting her to join him on stage, Siobhan has performed in concert as a guest vocalist with the famed Irish group The Chieftains. She has also appeared with The San Diego Symphony Orchestra’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in 2010. She has supported such acts as: The Cranberries, Christy Moore, Donovan, Sharon Shannon, Henry Mc Cullough (Wings), Maria Mc Kee, Damien Dempsey, Paul Brady, Mick Flannery and many more.
Leonard Cohen heard about Siobhán from a friend of his which prompted him to send a book to her called 'Dance Me To The End Of Love' with a Henry Matisse painting on each page, as a gesture of encouragement. Siobhan's last CD 'Songs I grew Up To' includes special guest appearances by several of Siobhan's musical friends including Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains) Pete Cummins(Fleadh Cowboys/Nanci Griffith) & Brendan Bowyer (Royal Show Band)
Song after song, she delivers a spectrum of emotions accented by distinct rhythms and catchy hooks. Covering themes of spirituality, love and the challenges of being human, O’Brien chronicles her journey in a manner that is relatable but also cause for reflection. There is an exquisite tension in her voice that resonates and affects – Deeply.
The Promise Is Hope — December 3, 2017
Ashley and Eric L’Esperance first felt the electricity of their undeniable chemistry at an impromptu song swap. A year and a half later they were married and released their debut album “Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going.” Jessica Phaneuf, WUMB, says “I listen to A LOT of music, and this [album] would be at the top of the pile.” The Promise is Hope has earned their place among New England’s finest emerging indie-folk duos, with a live performance that is often described as beautifully moving, inspired, and connected.
Their music marries two distinctly talented songwriters, and their sound is shaped by tastes of folk, electronic, acoustic and pop. Ashley performs subtle yet stunning melodies with a classically-trained, but often folksy, voice. Her poetic lyrics explore the deep mysteries within nature and human relationship. Eric’s obvious reverence for the great folk songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s shines through his sweetly deep voice. His prose-like lyrics unravel the joys and struggles of life’s journeys, and take what appears to be freeform and make it flow beautifully into well-crafted pieces. Together, the two artists complement each other in every respect. Their songs are sometimes fun, sometimes deep, and always aimed for the heart. As Eric puts it, The Promise is Hope aims to “write songs that are honest and true … in a way that hopefully helps others see the truth and the beauty that exists in their own lives.”
These “hometown heroes” won two 2017 Worcester Music Awards and a nomination for 2017 Best of Central Massachusetts “Best Entertainer.” They were invited to perform at the 2017 Connecticut Folk Festival, and have shared the stage with national folk artists such as Amy Speace, Antje Duvekot, and Gaelynn Lea. They have captured the hearts of listeners in hundreds of crowds all over New England and the Mid-Atlantic, and are currently writing material for a sophomore album set for release in early 2018.
Aztec Two-Step — November 26, 2017
Acclaimed folk/rock duo Aztec Two-Step celebrate the release of their new CD "Naked" - the duo’s first recording of all original material since 2004. It’s title-track, also released in video format, is an uplifting socially-conscious song with poignant contemporary themes. The Naked video https://vimeo.com/221429272 is in keeping with the band’s uplifting perspective, as the song speaks to the angst of the times with its buoyant notion that “with a little push and shove, and a lot of peace and love, maybe we’ll break through.’” The montage of visuals depicts children as the best hope for a brighter future even as we contend with the issues of climate change, broken families, the proliferation of guns, ideological extremism, and more. This video was followed up with another signature song from the Naked CD "Family" - which invokes the holiday spirit by including family photos and video clips sent in by the duo's fans. Family fan video - https://youtu.be/DIqxpZHDC4Q
Rex and Neal's enduring partnership has been a notable chapter in the annals of American folk/rock ever since the release of their 1972 debut album on Elektra Records, challenging its conventions while maintaining a potent creative currency for four and a half decades. Just as the title of the new single and the new album also brings the band full circle - ‘we’re all born naked with wings to soar’ – they sing on the title-track, it’s the joy they take in sharing their experiences and topical concerns with their fans that bolsters their first all-new material in more than a decade.
Ernest Troost — November 19, 2017
Ernest Troost is an Emmy-award-winning film and television composer and a recipient of the Kerrville New Folk award for his songwriting. His evocative style combines folk and Piedmont-blues-style guitar picking with timeless stories and colorful character portrayals drawn from the American past and present. His new album, O LOVE has been a hit with fans and critics alike. “Troost is a brilliant Americana songwriter. . . . making pensive, sometimes snarling, Steve Earle-ish, lyrically-driven Americana rock with inspired playing and smartly judicious arrangements. Fans of Steve Earle, James McMurtry, Jeffrey Foucault and the rest of that crew will find an awful lot to like in Troost’s brooding, intense songcraft.”
Hope Dunbar — November 5, 2017
Hope Dunbar was born and raised in Southern California but with a few twists and turns, six months in Paraguay, a year of college in Granada, Spain and finally falling in love, she landed in Utica, NE (popuation 800) seven years ago with her husband and three sons. A musician her whole life, Dunbar came relatively late to songwriting when she penned her first attempt at three verses and chorus when she was thirty years old with three little kids. Now, ten years later, she's releasing her third studio album, "Three Black Crows" produced by Chicago singer/Songwriter, Emily White, and engineered by Bruce Roper at his Little School Street Studio in Chicago, IL. Dunbar feels the ticking of time and she hears the howl of the north wind so on this new endeavor she's decided to be bold and start her own musical genre classification. She's calling herself New American Prairie. In her words New American Prairie, "speaks to the resilience I see in my friends and neighbors. It's a pioneering spirit that digs in and refuses to leave. I suppose that's how I'd describe myself as an artist. I'm in it for life."
On her new record she explores stories of loss and heartache and the quiet strength it takes to keep going. She writes about a mass shooting in "The Shooter" and about how we're not getting any younger on "Three Black Crows." "I write" is a bittersweet autobiography of the reality of being a travelling troubador while "Better Than Ever" has her living a dream come true joined in on the recording by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Darrell Scott, her songwriting hero. Dunbar's previous albums include 2012's "Woman Like Me" and 2015's "The End of Wanting."
She was a Kerrville New Folk Finalist in 2015 and earned a 2nd place nod in American Songwriter Magazine's Lyric's contest in early 2017 for her song, "We Want."
Meghan Cary — October 29, 2017
Meghan Cary didn’t mean to be a musician. But when her fiancé unexpectedly died, she picked up his guitar, figured out how to play it, and wrote her debut, earning her Billboard Magazine’s Critic’s Choice for Best Newcomer. “I wrote my grief into music and sang my way out of the abyss.” Cary continues to share the healing power of music with the community that has rallied around her message of hope and being heard.
Known for her raw honesty and ability to connect with and engage her audience, Cary brings people to their feet and at times to tears with high-energy tunes, masterful storytelling, and lyrics that resonate universally. Cary’s song “Sing Louder”, a call to raise our voices together to make a difference, has become an anthem for the music-loving community.
In fact, “Sing Louder” resonated so well with audiences in her live shows, that Cary was inspired to include some of these fans on her new record of the same name. Cary gathered 48 music lovers in the studio to raise their voices with her on two tracks, “Sing Louder", and “Responsibility”. Many of them stepped far out of their comfort zones to don headphones and sing into a microphone. They sang with passion, joy and abandon, and it was a profound experience for Cary and all those involved. That energy was captured on Sing Louder.
“Music is the most potent tool I know to break down walls, slip through barricades, and connect with each other. And when we authentically connect, we can change the world,” said Cary. “Now more than ever we need to be courageous enough to transcend emotional, intellectual, and political barriers, and raise our voices…together.”
Cary began her career on stage as a theatre actress with over 100 credits for her work in the U.S. and Europe, and a successful on-camera and voiceover career. She’s written a one-person show with music, “On the Way to the Waterfall”, which she continues to perform around the country. She is also currently composing music and lyrics for the Broadway-bound musical, “The Accidental Caterer”.
After pushing pause on performing to raise two children, Cary launched back onto the music scene at Philly Folk Fest and was awarded a coveted Emerging Artist Showcase slot at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Cary’s smoky voice, emotional singing, and vulnerable writing continue to win over audiences, and garner favorable comparisons to Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Merchant, Stevie Nicks, and even Bruce Springsteen.
In response to life’s inevitable curve balls, Cary’s mantra is: “If you don't know the words...Sing Louder!”
Beth Wood — October 22, 2017
Beth Wood is a modern-day troubadour and believer in the power of song. Her exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, powerhouse voice, and commanding stage presence have been winning over American audiences for twenty years. Beth recently launched 20/20, a celebration of her twenty years as a full-time musician in which she will release twenty new works to subscribers and fans in 2017. Over the course of those twenty years, Beth has been touring, writing, creating, collaborating, and performing non-stop. She has released ten independent albums and one book of poetry with album #11 and book #2 currently in the works. Beth now lives in Portland, OR and is loving the Northwest life. Beth has immersed herself in the northwest music community, including working on staff with the Sisters Folk Festival and Americana Song Academy for six years as staff director and host of the festival's well-loved Sunday Community Celebration. Beth’s work has expanded to include teaching voice and song coaching as well as leading workshops at festivals, songwriting retreats and beyond. Beth believes that engagement in the process of creation is as important as its outcome. Her musical philosophy is that there are no wrong notes.
Mike Aiken — October 15, 2017
Mike Aiken is an Americana, Country, Roots artist with an ocean view. Originally from rural Western New York, outside of Buffalo, he currently lives aboard his sailboat in Norfolk, Virginia when he’s not on the road or in Nashville. His highly anticipated seventh studio album, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR, will be released early in 2018, a follow up to Grammy-nominated CAPTAINS & COWBOYS. Mike brings his favorite band together to help tell the musical stories behind the songs including Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart) on extra guitars, David Roe (Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash) on upright bass and vocal appearances by co-writers Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk) and Chris P James (Burrito Brothers).
“The audience hooped and hollered and stomped their feet! With his stories and songs, it was like an old friend singing on your back porch. Mike’s music gave a comfortable classical country feel but with an original edge that kept everyone entertained. “ - Mark McCreary, Ross Ragland Theater
Aiken’s love for singing, songwriting and sailing has taken him all over the world. As a songwriter he puts pen to paper and shares his colored and colorful life. As an artist who comes by his stories honestly, Aiken has definitely taken his place among well-respected songwriters and musicians in the Americana and Country communities.
An inner sense of chivalry oozes from every story he tells and every song he sings. Aiken has drawn tales - and hope - from “trail riders, aging rodeo champs, sea captains, Rastafarians and outlaws on the lamb” and crafted tunes that draw the threads of these independent spirits together. His live show features tasty playing, sweet harmonies and a video backdrop that highlights the stories behind the songs. You can expect to hear upbeat, rootsy grooves, from slide guitar to honky-tonk piano, percussion and harmony vocals that take you to the heart of a summer jump-up. On stage with Mike Aiken (vocals, acoustic, baritone, National steel) will be Sweet Amy D (vocals, percussion), the multi-talented Andrew Piland (vocals, acoustic, accordion, keys) and Jordan Ponzi (vocals, upright bass).
“Mike Aiken took the crowd on an exotic adventure, to the farthest Isles of the Caribbean, the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. Mike warmed the audience during his Tall Tales and Troubadours show with the stories and songs of his journeys, across oceans and highways and was rewarded with a standing ovation...” - Paul Shugrue, WHRV -NPR
“…a masterful mix of styles, including a “swampy”-sounding baritone guitar. His original songs are sharply written, with memorable tunes and intelligently observant lyrics about life on the sea and on the land. The songs come across as “country-soul” –similar to a gritty, soulful singer like Tony Joe White.” - David Dennie, Pretlow Concert Series
Paul Sachs — October 8, 2017
Paul Sachs writes lyrical and gritty songs. Born and raised in New York City. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Springsteen are the songwriters that influenced him and pushed him into the folk music circles of the city. In 2013 he won the prestigious New Folk Songwriter’s contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. His new CD Love is Love came out in 2016 and WFUV's John Platt named "Love is Love" one of his top ten favorite songs of the year. Sachs continues to tour and write as much as he can.
His CD, "Oil Town" was named one of the top folk albums in 2011 on both the Folk DJ list and Roots Music Report. Sing Out magazine states: "Song after song he creates some lovely melodies. The cuts on "Oil Town" involve those challenged by love, by work, and the struggles created by economic imbalance...This is a keeper, and its excellence grows on you.”
Love is Love 2016
In masterful strokes, Sachs’ lyrics take us on a tour through humanity’s darkest alleys. Richard Cuccaro Acoustic Live
Davey O — October 1, 2017
Equal parts songwriter and storyteller, Buffalo’s Davey O. has been recognized on a national level for his past two CD releases with multiple honors among the “best of“ lists of several Folk & Roots radio stations, and as a 2013 New Folk Finalist at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival. Davey has also earned the respect of his peers for his incredible work ethic, performing between 120 - 140 dates per year, and for his constant dedication to the art of song craft. With a journalist’s eye for detail and poet’s ear for the well-turned observation, Davey O. finds the universal in the particular, turning day-to-day minutiae into dusty paeans to the indomitability of the human spirit. With each tale another slice of life examined.
Davey is looking to build on the success of his previous release “No Passengers,” (2014 Top 25 of 100 albums Roots Music Report, Best of 2014 - WHRW, WAMC, The Sundilla Radio Hour, WMSC, Radio Crystal Blue, WVPE ) with the 2017 release of “A Bright Horizon Line” (Top 20 Album, Folk DJ List, April 2017) - his new, full length CD. Joined by veteran folk artists Tracy Grammer (background vocals), and Pat Wictor (dobro), as well as up and coming artists Matt Nakoa (piano), and Eric Lee (mandolin, fiddle), “A Bright Horizon Line” is a collection of 10 tracks (9 original compositions, and a cover of the Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over”) – each one taking the listener on an adventure via music and words, strung along the common thread of this journey we are all on. Co-produced with Neale Eckstein at Fox Run Studios, the production values and arrangements are clear, concise, and cinematic in their quality, successfully capturing the elements of both contemporary and traditional folk music.
Joe Jencks — September 24, 2017
Joe Jencks is an international touring musician, award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist known for his performances of musical beauty, social consciousness and spiritual exploration. Jencks’ most recent CD – Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers was the #1 CD on the International Folk DJ Chart, also garnering recognition for #1 Song and #1 Artist. Additionally the recording spent eight weeks as the #1 CD on Sirius XM Radio’s Americana Chart! Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever relevant, Lady of The Harbor, Jencks has become a fan favorite throughout North America, and is the co-founder of the harmony trio Brother Sun.
Jencks has been touring internationally for nearly two decades and has released 15 CDs in that time. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.
Joe’s newest solo CD - Poets, Philosophers, Workers, and Wanderers - will be released May 1st, 2017. With arrangements that blend sparse acoustic performances with Copeland-like orchestral tapestries, and encompass Celtic, Blues, and Traditional Folk styles, this CD reflects the depth of Joe’s musical knowledge and diversity of influences. In addition, guest artists including: Ysaye Barnwell (Sweet Honey In The Rock), Cathy Fink, Harpeth Rising, Tret Fure, Reggie Harris, Edie Carey, Jon Carroll and many more. This long awaited collection of songs represents Joe’s finest work to date, both as a vocalist and as a songwriter.
KC Groves — September 17, 2017
An accomplished instrumentalist (mandolin, guitar, bass), vocalist and songwriter, K.C. Groves has been at the heart of many celebrated projects. As the creative center and bandleader of the popular group Uncle Earl for over a decade, she helped bring old-time music to a wider audience. The "g’Earls" played major festival stages in the United States and toured extensively abroad, gaining fans and musical cohorts such as Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, who produced their second Rounder Records album Waterloo, Tennessee which was the #1 album for the year on the Folk DJ chart for 2007.
Residing in Colorado where she is at the forefront of the Front Range bluegrass scene, KC sings original songs with themes which range from dreaming of seeing the Northern Lights, of love lost and of letting go, something that she and her fellow residents of the flood-ravaged town of Lyons have had to do.
Mentored as a young musician by bluegrass greats such as Sally Van Meter, Charles Sawtelle and Laurie Lewis, Groves has released two solo albums of original material and was a Telluride Troubadour contest finalist. Her first CD, Can You Hear It, (produced by Charles Sawtelle,) won the Detroit Music Award for Best Bluegrass Artist / Group in 1999. She has teamed up with countless notable musicians, including old-time musician and craftsman Riley Baugus and Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman. KC has toured with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado on bass and vocals and also performs as a duo with vocal powerhouse Greg Blake.
Groves’ ability to assemble talent is also evident as a mentor and producer, her last project, the Free the Honey CD, Fine Bloom, reached #1 Album, #1 Artist, and #1 Song for October 2015 on the Folk DJ Chart, and she has just produced an outstanding project for Barbara Jo Kammer, One Song at a Time, with a stellar cast of musicians, set to release September 1, 2017.
Along with founding the successful High Street Concert series in Lyons, K.C. has spearheaded the weekly bluegrass jam at Oskar Blues, one of the largest and longest running weekly jams in Colorado and is a member of the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society’s Hall Of Honor.
Holly Near — September 10, 2017
Respected around the world for her music and activism, Holly Near inspires people to join in her celebration of the human spirit. Equally compelling at her shows or through your speakers, her music fully engages listeners in the world around them. Holly has made a career speaking to anyone in the world who believes in peace, justice, and feminism, a wonderful spectrum of humanity. Born in Ukiah, CA in 1949, Holly began singing in high school, including work with a local folk group. She built on her performing career with acting parts on Mod Squad and appeared in a number of guest roles in seminal 70s TV shows like Room 222 and The Partridge Family. In 1970, she was a cast member of the Broadway musical Hair. Following the Kent State shootings in May of that year, the entire cast staged a silent vigil in protest. The song, “It Could Have Been Me” (which was released on A Live Album, 1974), was her heartfelt response to the shootings. In 1971, she joined the Free The Army Tour, an anti-Vietnam War road show of music, comedy, and plays organized by antiwar activist Fred Gardner and actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. In 1972, Holly was one of the first women to create an independent record company, paving the way for women like Ani DiFranco and others. Her goal was to promote and produce music by politically conscious artists from around the world, a mission that Redwood Records fulfilled for nearly 20 years. Often cited as one of the founders of the Women’s Music movement, she not only led the way for outspoken women in the music world, but also worked for peace and multicultural consciousness. Throughout her long career Holly has worked with a wide array of musicians, including Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, and many others. Holly Near has been recognized many times for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; she was named Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and received the Legends of Women’s Music Award. During her travels in the Pacific with the Free the Army show, Holly became a globally conscious feminist, linking international feminism and anti-war activism. She was an active participant and coalition builder in what she calls the “heady days” of 70s activism, when so many movements were gestating and jostling with one another. Another significant arena of Holly’s activism is the LGBTQ community. Her interest was both personal and political. She was one of the first celebrities to discuss her sexual orientation during a pioneering 1976 interview with People magazine. A staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights, Holly is comfortable with her own sexuality and has a clear understanding of the fluidity of sexual orientation. Holly is also a teacher, presenting master classes in performance craft and songwriting to diverse audiences. Building on this role, her historic papers are housed at Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library and are regarded as an informed look at the last 40 years of social change movements. She has also become a spokeswoman within the social change music movement. During her time on the road, luminaries in the folk world have noted how her presence sets the tone for each event she joins. As she has observed, “Music can influence choices, for better or worse. A lullaby can put a troubled child to sleep but Muzak can put a whole nation to sleep. A marching band can send our children off to war. It can also have everyone laughing and dancing and loving as it leads a gay-pride parade.”
Barbara Jo Kammer — September 3, 2017
“One song at a time.” That’s how Colorado’s Barbara Jo Kammer approaches her passion as a music therapist, her life as a performer, and it’s how she’s navigated the challenging journey to recovery after decades of alcohol and drug addiction.
One Song at a Time also happens to be the fitting title of Kammer’s debut album, an engaging collection of American Roots music, masterfully produced by KC Groves, award winner and founder of the group Uncle Earl; and Swingfingers Studio engineer Aaron Youngberg.
One Song at a Time takes us on a journey with a thoughtfully chosen selection of songs that deftly weave in Kammer’s own personal story of struggle and redemption. The album kicks off powerfully with her joyous, bluegrass infused version of the classic “I Can See Clearly Now,” speaking to the clarity of mind and spirit that has sprung from her sobriety. Her rendering of the George Jones’ hit, “Choices,” is nothing short of inspired, reflecting her years of struggle. Traditional favorites and popular classics show Kammer’s versatility with a powerful voice reminiscent of greats like Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, or Mary Chapin Carpenter. The album includes a poignant original tune written by Barbara Jo. “The Winning Side” is an honest and personal glimpse at the artist’s journey through addiction and recovery.
The singer/songwriter began harmonizing to commercial jingles at the tender age of 2, according to her mom. Dad was a Barbershop singer who harmonized with his young daughter, and introduced Barbara Jo to her first bluegrass music with the song, “Mountain Dew.”
With a seasoned band of musicians called Barbara Jo and The Hippie Buckaroos (Doug Lindsay, Bob Backlund, Norm Strassner, Jeff Becker, and Darryl Thompson) Barbara Jo has become a popular fixture on the acoustic music scene in and around Colorado. The group was named among the Best 10 Cover Bands in Colorado by Westword Magazine in 2016.
With the help of an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, she set out to reach her lifelong goal of recording an album. She credits the creation of this project to being in recovery since July 1, 2007. “My hope is that I can inspire and bring joy to those who suffer from addiction.” In addition to her role as performer, Kammer is an active music therapist working with elders in retirement communities. She also offers experience, strength and hope to those suffering from alcoholism and addiction.
“I used to create lots of chaos for me, my family and friends;
had to give up the fight, admit I wasn’t right.
There’s healing in living amends”
—from “The Winning Side” by Barbara Jo Kammer
“Barbara Jo applies her formidable vocal chops to an interesting variety of songs and pours her heart into them. The musical support and production are top-notch.”
—Pete Wernick, creator of the Wernick Method and member of Hot Rize
Guy Davis — August 20, 2017
Guy Davis once said, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing. It’s no wonder his reverence for the music of the Blues Masters who’ve gone before him has been evident in every album he’s ever recorded or concert he’s given.
Guy has had his musical storytelling influenced by artists like Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy, and his musicality from artists as diverse as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Babatunde Olatunji. However, there’s one man that Guy most credits for his harmonica techniques, by stealing and crediting from him everything that he could, and that man is the legendary Sonny Terry.
Guy’s new album, “Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train – A Look Back at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry” is an homage to these two hugely influential artists, not only on Guy’s career, but to thousands of musicians around the world. One such artist is the Italian harmonica ace, Fabrizio Poggi, who collaborates with and produced this recording.
Recorded in the summer of 2016 in Milan, the album features the original, title track song written by Guy Davis, songs by both Sonny and Brownie, as well as songs known to have been recorded and performed by the famed duo written by their contemporaries, such as Libba Cotton and Leadbelly.
Guy and Fabrizio have a relationship going back a decade in which they’ve performed together on tour in Europe and in the United States. In 2013 Fabrizio produced and played on Guy’s highly acclaimed recording, “Juba Dance”, which was number one on the Roots Music Charts for eight weeks. And ‘Fab’ also performs on Guy’s last album, “Kokomo Kidd”.
Guy Davis has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues”. His work as an actor, author, and music teacher earmark him as a renaissance man of the blues. What music and acting have in common, he explains, “is that I don’t like people to see the hard work and the sweat that goes into what I do. I want them to hear me and be uplifted. And I want some little eight-‐year-‐old kid in the front row to have big eyes and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that!’.”
Jim Lord — July 30, 2017
Jim Lord is an American folk/rock singer/songwriter and musician. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, His early influences included such artists as James Taylor and Leonard Cohen. Later, Lord became inspired by artists of the British folk/blues revival, especially Bert Jansch and Ralph McTell. Lord's first album “Inside Out”, produced by former “Fugs’ guitarist Ken Pine and released on the Inlet Records label in October 1982, was a Billboard Magazine Top Billboard Album Pick (recommended LP). Lord's second album “Hangdog Heaven”, released on the Blue Vinyl Records label in March 2000 and produced by Ken Pine and Larry Gates, was characterized by the New York Post as a "...dozen-song man-and-a-guitar disc [that] freely crosses the borders of folk rock, contemporary country and old-fashioned jazz guitar.". He is currently touring the Northeast and is playing in venues in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Ottawa, Canada
He-Bird,She-Bird — July 23, 2017
Stir up a gravel-silk-and-honey vocal blend, add strings and wings, and you’ve got He-Bird, She-Bird, a harmony-driven Americana roots music trio from Long Island, NY. Sparks of contemporary folk, country, bluegrass and gospel fuel their stand-out originals & spirited cover interpretations. The band is thrilled to announce the June 1, 2017 release of its debut album, He-Bird, She-Bird, featuring twelve original songs with full band instrumentation. Check out the distinctive sound of He-Bird, She-Bird – people are flocking to see them!
Todd Evans is a longtime advocate and curator of live local music and a director of The Bluegrass Club of Long Island (BCLI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The first band he performed in was The Clam Diggers in fifth grade, and many years later, he continues to learn through several music-related projects and configurations. Ask him what his musical approach is and he’ll tell you, “If you listen real closely to the song, it’ll tell you what to do.”
California native Terri Hall has studied piano, voice, and saxophone, and has sung with every choir and chorus that would have her. After moving east, she got up out of the alto section and began playing and singing at local jams, where she found her musical soul mates. A natural-born storyteller, Terri holds a degree in History with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology; she has set her sights on giving a TED Talk.
Christine Kellar has been transfixed and transported by vocal harmonies for as long as she can remember. She loves charting vocal arrangements, and aims one day to publish choral pieces and stage a children’s musical. Among her previous musical projects is Dance on the Planet, an album of original children’s music.
He-Bird, She-Bird performs across Long Island and the New York metropolitan area at venues ranging from large fairs and festivals to intimate house concerts. Come out and connect with the distinctive sound of He-Bird, She-Bird -- people are flocking to see them!
Emily Mure — July 16, 2017
New York City native Emily Mure has journeyed from playing concert halls as a classically trained oboist to busking as a singer-songwriter on the streets of Ireland. Her third album, Worth (releasing September 22), brings together all of her rich experiences as a musical traveler, spotlighting both her technical ability and gift for vulnerable, heartfelt songwriting.
Recorded last winter at Dimension Sound Studios in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Worth blends Mure’s clear vocals with a variety of instruments – including strings, piano, organ, and ukulele. It also takes listeners through a complex collection of themes that aren’t always easy to mine, such as coping with anxiety, saying goodbye to one’s hometown, and learning to cultivate self-acceptance.
“Gaining the strength to face these challenges head on -- and for me, writing about them -- has been a personal journey of healing,” she explains.
However, it’s Mure’s hope that the record will help others, as well. “Many of these songs are very personal, but I almost always write with others in mind. Perhaps if someone can relate to something I've said, it might offer some comfort knowing they're not alone.”
All the songs on the album were composed by Mure, save one cover, “As The World Falls Down,” by David Bowie; a tune she decided to learn when the icon passed in January 2016. Having already helmed the majority of violin and cello arrangements on Worth, she decided to try her hand at putting strings to this particular one.
“Bowie was such an inspirational force,” Mure notes. “I re-watched The Labyrinth since it was one of my favorite movies growing up. When I heard this song, I remembered how much I loved it, and felt moved to pay homage.”
While she has no fear of tackling difficult subjects, Mure also has a soft touch with love songs, as evidenced by Worth’s “Already Are,” a composition she wrote for her husband as a gift on their wedding day. The song summarizes the enormity of recognizing love, building trust, and growing alongside another person.
“This song was a realization,” she says. “The realization that for me, saying yes was accepting the unyielding love I’d had for him since we met all those years back. Writing it gave me a chance for several months leading up to our wedding to meditate on that love, and on how much he means to me.”
Mure co-produced the album with Dan Cardinal (Darlingside, Josh Ritter, Ballroom Thieves), with Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne) performing the majority of instruments on this record. Jeff Lipton (Andrew Bird, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver) mastered the album in Boston.
Mure’s songwriting, which she began cultivating during her years at Ithaca College, has been recognized in prestigious national competitions (Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival) and has been featured on networks including NBC, ABC and PBS. As a live performer, she has shared the stage with notable musicians including Darlingside, Joe Crookston, the Bones of J.R. Jones, and the Duhks.
Loretta Hagen — July 2, 2017
Reviewers describe award winning singer-songwriter Loretta Hagen as ‘heart driven, soul filling, Folk Americana.‘ With 4 critically acclaimed CDs to her credit, Loretta’s rich alto voice and strong song-writing skills have led her to win many awards, including a JAM Awards’ (Jersey Acoustic Music Awards) “Top Female Songwriter of the Year,” JAM nomination for “Album of the Year,” winner of the NJ Folk Festival Songwriter Competition and 2 time designation as a CT Folk Festival finalist.
In every life, there are inevitable times of darkness and of light. Loretta Hagen's fourth CD "Lucky Stars," takes the listener on a personal journey through loss, healing, and ultimately the promise of hope.
Four years in the making, "Lucky Stars" brings Loretta's journey full circle, when faced with the heartache of illness, death, and going on without loved ones so cherished. She finds solace in the promise of new beginnings, love, and the inherent knowledge that our Lucky Stars are watching over us.
Loretta's third CD, “Mud and Stone,” well received by DJs worldwide, debuted at #10 on Folk DJ Charts, consistently #1 on the Roots Music Report for NJ, #5 Top 50 Folk Albums RMR, and topped many best of lists. Five years later the album is still going strong, recently receiving 4 nominations for the Just Plain Folk Awards with awards being announced late fall 2017.
"This effort [Mud and Stone] is first class, top tier, a true contender as an artist to reckon with." John Apice ~ No Depression
Following her critically acclaimed CD Something More, co-produced by Pat McInerney (Nanci Griffith), Hagen released Sundown Till Dawn, a CD that garnered rave reviews and radio play across the country.
Sundown Till Dawn is extremely personal, with the title track written about her mother who suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. Loretta’s Mom passed away peacefully at her home. The emotionally charged ballad is included on the soundtrack of a film called “10 Mountains 10 Years” chronicling the journey of a group of mountain climbers who are raising awareness about the disease.
Loretta has performed at premiere venues across the Northeast and Nashville, sharing the stage with Pete Seeger, Roger McGuinn, Sloan Wainwright, Steve Forbert, Richie Havens, Kim Richey and Marshall Crenshaw among many others.
Loretta performs primarily with her trio consisting of husband/guitarist Gary Hagen and djembe players Linda Lambiase or Curtis Kretz.