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
West My Friend — November 24, 2019
In the modern musical landscape, it’s rare to hear something as put-together as three-piece Cascadian folk outfit West My Friend - something so layered, deeply symphonic, baroque, and mysterious in its own winking way while still courting an edge of disaster. Simple is safe, but complex is fiery, intricate, and ultimately more rewarding.
Steeped in the visual styles of western Canada, West My Friend are veterans of the Victoria music scene. After 10 years as a band, they just last month released their fourth album, In Constellation. On this, their latest effort, the band continues to refine the art of creating achingly poignant folk music, only this time, they’re backed by a full symphony orchestra, heavily layered while remaining lighthearted. Intricate yet accessible. Melancholic yet optimistic.
Mingling grassroots guitar, mandolin, accordion, orchestral instruments, and interweaving harmonies, In Constellation (produced by Joby Baker, co-produced and arranged by Adrian Dolan) features longtime members Eden Oliver, Alex Rempel, and Jeff Poynter conceiving a new box, then thinking outside of it. Punctuated by musings on anxiety and belonging, song structures vary and dynamics change from moment to moment, painting powerful lyrical portraits over backgrounds of violins and trumpets that swell, collapse, and tumble between bold harmonies. With over 650 performances and several tours under their collective belt, West My Friend is bringing forth a new sound you’ve never known you’ve wanted and new meaning to the things you’ve never known you needed.
Howard Rothenberg — November 17, 2019
Dr. Howard Rothenberg knew he wanted to become a veterinarian when he was eight years old. He earned a Bachelors degree in Biology at SUNY Stonybrook, and then went on to Veterinary School in the Philippines. Veterinary school was academically rigorous and living in the Philippine Islands provided him with a culturally rich experience as well. After returning to the United States, and passing licensing exams in several states, he practiced in Spring Valley, New York, and later in Greenwich, Connecticut. In March of 1988, Dr. Rothenberg moved to the Hudson Valley. He became the Sole Proprietor/Director of Goosepond Animal Hospital and is currently the Chief of Staff. He has a special interest in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery and has attended extensive continuing education classes in both areas. Dr. Rothenberg is committed to medical excellence in himself and his staff. He takes an active role in making sure that the hospital is one that provides a high level of medical care, as well as compassion for clients and their animal companions.
Dr Rothenberg currently resides in the town of Blooming Grove with his family and pets. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf and guitar.
Dr. Rothenberg uses music as a means of expression of his inner most feelings and sometimes just for fun. His musical influences are mainly from the 1970s and 1980s. His style is derived from folk, blues, jazz, and even a little country. Songs vary from story telling to love ballads. As with all song writers, many of his songs come from life experience both good and bad. He has performed at open mic nights, parties and for his friends. He has written song parodies for special occasions and also performs many cover tunes as well.
Loretta Hagen — November 10, 2019
Reviewers describe award winning singer-songwriter Loretta Hagen as ‘heart driven, soul filling, Folk Americana.‘ With 4 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 “Album of the Year,” 4 time nominee 2017/2019 Just Plain Folks Music Awards for Album of the Year” (Mud and Stone), New Folk Song, Traditional Folk Song, and Holiday Song. 2018 PureM Magazine winner for “Best Song” nominee Best Album (Lucky Stars) winner of the NJ Folk Festival Songwriter Competition and 2 time designation as a CT Folk Festival finalist.
"Lucky Stars" Loretta's 4th CD, 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 2020.
"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.
"Award-Winning New Jersey Folk Singer Always Shined -- Now She Sparkles"
Lucky Stars - "Loretta is in fine voice – probably the best of her career. The tonality is angelic yet possesses strength. Inspiring and beautiful. These songs resonate, and the guitar-work continues to be superlative. Loretta’s album attempts to be a positive message despite the difficulties many face daily. Loretta has a definite talent for well-decorated lyrics tied with meaning." No Depression
“Loretta's manner and voice are imbued with such quiet, unassuming grace that you don't realize at first that she has completely stolen your heart! ”
— Laura Foord, Heights House Concerts
"Loretta Hagen is back with Lucky Stars… a very nicely produced recording featuring eleven thoughtful and reflective songs by Loretta, that are beautifully sung with lovely accompaniment. Definitely worth checking out."
Jan Hall, Folk Roots Radio with Jan Hall
"Loretta Hagen, Lucky Stars is a very well produced album with delicate, clear arrangements, talent as a songwriter with very soulful songs, ..a strong album...a beautiful pleasure." - Mike Penard, Radio Isa France
Si Kahn — November 3, 2019
“If the 'arc of the moral universe bends toward justice', as Martin Luther King said,
then Si Kahn has devoted his life to riding that arc. His powerful impulse to service, combined with deep compassion, is a force of nature. I put Si in the same category as Woody Guthrie, as Pete Seeger, and in a strange way, with my Dad, who shared his righteous sense of humanity, and his love of the 'meek' who he truly believed would 'inherit the earth.'” --Rosanne Cash
SUMMARY: Si Kahn is a folk and bluegrass legend, once described as “a rumor in his own time.” At 75 years old, he is at the peak of his powers as performer, recording artist, song and musical theater writer. His original folk, bluegrass and children's songs have been recorded and performed by hundreds of artists in Europe and North America. Si’s musical body of work includes:
•18 CDs of his original songs, with eight releases on the Dutch record label Strictly
Country Records, plus albums on Rounder, Flying Fish, and the Swiss label Doubletime
•A double album of historic civil rights songs recorded with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp.
•Two CDs of his previously unrecorded songs done by Irish-American artist Joe Jencks
and the German bluegrass band The Looping Brothers.
•The cast album of his musical Mother Jones in Heaven.
•A CD of original songs for children, Good Times and Bedtimes on Rounder.
•The songs and/or scripts for seven musical theatre productions.
AWARDS: Si has been inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, joining such legendary artists as Doc Watson, Roy Acuff, Etta Baker, Uncle Dave Macon, Ralph and Carter Stanley, Jens Kruger, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt.
In 2011, Folk Alliance International gave Si a specially-created “Triple Crown/Hat Trick/Trifecta Award,” honoring him for having had the #1 CD (Courage) and the #1 song (“Peace Will Rise”) and for being the #1 folk artist for the previous year, based on statistics compiled by the international Folk DJ List for airplay by DJs around the world. At its 2016 conference, Folk Alliance International presented Si with its “Spirit of Folk Award."
“In a world rife with many talented songwriters, Si Kahn stands alone. And his deeply thoughtful, elegantly simple, sometimes majestic, often achingly moving and always hard-hitting songs have stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time."
...Dave Higgs, Bluegrass News
Twin Kennedy — October 27, 2019
Twin Kennedy has been described as "Nothing Short of Awesome!" (Cashbox Magazine). With Carli on guitar and vocals and Julie on fiddle and vocals, these sisters have toured extensively throughout Canada and the US.
3-time Canadian Country Music Award Nominee, Winner of two 2016 VIMA Awards and Grand Prize Winner in the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Twin Kennedy is known for their sibling harmonies and high energy show that blends their classical training with their country roots. Most recently, Twin Kennedy released their debut holiday album, recorded in Nashville, TN with some of Music City’s best including the rhythm section from the Grammy award-winning group The Time Jumpers. The lead single from A Twin Kennedy Christmas was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, and their original holiday track “I’m a Child Again” won the 2019 Independent Music Award for Best Holiday Song. In the words of the Nashville Examiner, “Twin Kennedy is 100% made for the stage and made to entertain!”
Shelley Posen — October 20, 2019
Shelley Posen is an Ottawa, Canada-based songwriter and long-time performer of his own and traditional songs. He writes in too many styles and on too many subjects (canoes to codfish, seders to Sacred Harp) for them to be “genre-fied.” But they are recognized not only for their variety, but for their wit, craftsmanship, and their profound effect on listeners. They’ve been recorded by artists in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, and sung around campfires and in living rooms by people who love a good song.
Shelley is a member of the much-admired vocal trio, Finest Kind, who performed for years at folk venues on both sides of the Atlantic, and reunite nowadays for Christmas concerts in Ottawa.
Other than there, the only place to hear Shelley’s songs sung by him is on his CDs (5 solo, 7 with Finest Kind), and radio programs like Hootenanny Café. He is still writing great songs and recording them, but he has retired from solo performance.
Christopher Mark Jones — October 13, 2019
Christopher Mark Jones sees the world through song. First-person stories can be from the point of view of a Mexican immigrant ("Caravan"), a single mother ("I Work Hard For A Living"), a young worker in crisis in Montreal ("Dans La Ville"), or an auto worker ("Lordstown") to mention but a few. This Best New Vocalist in the British Music Talent Competition (1978) now has a voice that’s “slightly rough around the edges” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), but still grabs the listener with his “fascinating lyrics” (Melody Maker) and the “wide-ranging textures and exquisite instrumentation” (Saturday Light Brigade) of his recordings. Listeners have mentioned “Greg Brown's pacing and a Lyle Lovett attitude” (Ben Shannon), as well as Bruce Coburn and Darrell Scott when describing Jones’s songwriting.
In 2017 he released Incantations, his fifth album, and the book Smoke On The Meadow: Selected Lyrics 1977-2017. He has been playing and recording since his 1978 Transatlantic Records (UK) release No More Range to Roam. A former pro basketball player and French professor, Jones spent his early career busking in Paris, touring the UK, Denmark, and Holland, and upon his return to the US, Boston-area clubs. While he now travels primarily as a solo performer from his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania base, he plays regionally in formats including a full band.
The songwriter saga started in Paris in 1976, when Christopher found that all he wanted to do was sing and play guitar. He had spent a half-dozen years playing professional basketball (in Portugal) and studying languages (Portuguese, French, Spanish) and was enrolled at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris at the time where he was studying Chinese. He finished that degree, while playing in restaurants and the Metro, then headed to London to do music full-time. He played a showcase at the Cambridge Folk Festival, where Rosie Hardman heard him and recommended him to Bill Leader, a legendary producer (Bert Jansch, John Renbourne, Nic Jones), who had a deal with Transatlantic Records to issue records under his imprint. The album they did together, with contributions from traveling partner Mick Linnard, Christopher's brother Jeff, Gerald Moore, (a popular club guitarist in London) and Pick Withers on drums (Dire Straits) was licensed in five countries in Europe, distributed by Rounder, and getting good reviews, but it came out at the same time that punk hit in London, and the reception for acoustic songwriters was at an all-time low in the UK.
Moving back to Boston in 1979, he put together a band called Christopher Jones & The Regulars, which worked consistently for several years with excellent musicians --Andre Locke (Mandrake), Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie's Tin Machine), Reed Butler(Chris Smither) and Sheldon Mirowitz (Livingston Taylor & Patty Larkin), among others.
After moving to Pittsburgh to teach French Studies at Carnegie Mellon, he returned to acoustic music through swing and blues, recorded a catch-up album, Heartland Variations, and re-mastered the Transatlantic (UK) album No More Range to Roam. Three additional recordings of new songs have since followed, including Suburban 2-Step (2012), Atlantica (2014) and Incantations (2017) and a sixth album is on the way. Listeners have mentioned echoes of Greg Brown, Lyle Lovett, Bruce Coburn and Darrell Scott in Christopher’s songs. He now performs in multiple formats, but collaborating musicians have included Jim Spears, Vince Camut, Mark Weakland, Mark Perna, David Hart, Eric Kurtzrock, Ryan Socrates and (on Michigan excursions) Dave Gillespie and Greg Winters.
Ray Lambiase — October 6, 2019
Ray Lambiase is a veteran Long Island songwriter, who has opened up for artists as varied as Marshall Crenshaw, Pure Prairie League, The Mamas and the Papas, Dave Van Ronk, Roger McGuinn, Dr. John and many others.
His latest release, Kid Bayonne, debuted at #7 on the Folk Music Dj chart, with the title cut capturing, through the eyes of a boxer, the CD's theme that love is always worth fighting for.
His previous CD, The Ballad of Three Finger Brown, debuted at #12 on the Folk DJ charts in 2016. The title cut recounts the unlikely true story of the Chicago Cubs baseball pitcher who led his team to what had been their last World Series Championship in 1908. The song remains a baseball season staple on college radio stations around the country.
Highlighting his two earliest CD releases, Twenty Lies (And Other Stories) and Time Leaves Things Behind, was Twenty Lies being named one of the Ten Best Albums of 2014.
Ray was an early contributor to the New York City folk singer collective, Fast Folk, in the early 1980s, that launched the careers of Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and John Gorka, before forming his first band and recording his first single, Slow Dance Romeo.
His earliest touring and recording efforts led to local FM radio play and publishing contracts with Combine Music in Nashville, and Special Rider Music, Bob Dylan's publishing arm in New York City.
Three of his songs have been covered by other artists. When I Build My Home can be heard on the Raquette River Rounders album R3. Free Men was recorded for Fast Folk by Doug Waterman. Cedar Hill was recorded by the indie-rock band King Penguin for Fruits de Mer Records.
Tina Ross — September 27, 2019
A New York lyric and rhythm-driven Indie Singer/Songwriter, Tina Ross, with her soulful, emotion-soaked vocals, has been performing since age ten. Tina’s music has been described as “essence writing” as she forages for and captures the unifying threads common to our mutual experience. Her songs have been recognized as an Honorable Mention winner in The John Lennon Songwriting contest, and a Folk/Country Category Finalist in The UK Songwriting contest. Her first gigs were as a child with her mother as a duo, “Tina Ross and Mom” playing folk music for a variety of audiences. In college she studied Biology and Voice, was a Jazz DJ, continued to perform and and met her future music and life partner. She then chose the predictable, carefully designed life of a Chiropractor and Nutritionist. She is now reconnecting to her musical roots and stepping out and trading that in for the uncertain, exposed, gloriously creative and mindful path of a Singer/Songwriter. After the death of her father Tina started more seriously songwriting and performing, finding a community with local songwriters and forming a band with her husband, Andrew (Doc) Hirsch, who plays the fiddle and mandolin. They toured locally playing venues such as The Turning Point in Piermont, NY and the Towne Crier in Pauling, NY. She wrote songs for charities and organizations. She recorded the vocals for a playwright pitching a broadway musical, which spurred her interest in writing a musical. Tina crafts songs that draw from diverse influences; the folk roots from her very first guitar teacher/mentor who introduced her to American and British folk traditions, the pop she feverishly listened to on the radio growing up, her father’s love of crooners and Frank Sinatra, the music that she and her friends coveted - Joni Mitchell, CSNY, The Beatles, then the discovery of Bonnie Raitt when her sister came home from college with cool albums, which morphed into an appreciation for blues, Robert Johnson and Sippie Wallace. Then she soaked up Jazz in the candy store known as the record library at WHRW radio station in Binghamton, NY. She discovered a freedom in singing blues and Jazz but found herself writing music in a folk story-telling style. She is always looking out for those precious song seeds that present themselves to us when we are open and aware. Tina is back in the studio writing and recording her original music and is thrilled to be on track. She has a few projects on tap. She is having her songs illustrated for children’s books, as well as being prompted to write a musical. She performs in retrospective projects celebrating the music of Carol King, James Taylor as well as The British Invasion. She also enjoys performing with her Jazz and American Standard Trio, Triad.
Barry Adelman — September 22, 2019
http://musicforhumanity.org 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 47 music scholarships ranging from $1000 to $10,000 for a total of $100,000. 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. You can see the scholarship winners and donate to MFH at http://musicforhumanity.org/
MFH has a monthly music series (for over 9 years) on the 3rd Saturday of the month at Noble Coffee Roasters in Campbell Hall. We invite three outstanding local/regional performers to share their music, both originals & covers. The list includes a who’s who of performers in the Hudson Valley & beyond. All of these outstanding performers have donated their set to support future musicians. If you’d like to perform and/or be a volunteer please call 845-469-0900 or email Barry@MusicForHumanity.org
James Curley — September 16, 2019
"Singular Songwriter" James Curley sees the world through various lenses - evolutionary theory, Buddhist principles, South Philly street smarts, 6 decades of living in America, literary leanings, musical curiosity - and writes songs that reflect the information coming through those lenses. "My work is my musical style' says James. Hard to categorize, always interesting, worth a listen.
Once dubbed 'the best damn songwriter you never heard', James began writing songs in the mid 1970s in his native Philadelphia, influenced mainly by trips to the Philadelphia Folk Festival and to local clubs like The Main Point, Grendel's Lair and others. He appeared as a solo songwriter back then, opening locally for other artists of the day, including Artie Traum and Lou London.
Leaving Philadelphia in 1976 , James traveled via hitchhiking, bus and friend's cars, living and playing in Boulder, Eugene, and other areas and eventually wound up in Houston, where he was heavily influenced by the Texas songwriter scene there at the time. Moving to Austin in 1979, he immersed himself deeper in the local songwriting scene and performed in venues there until moving to Chicago several years later.
Taking a hiatus from music from 1987 until 1997 to raise a family and start a small business, James took up songwriting with earnest again, and released his first CD - Tom's Cafe - in 2002, Several tracks continue to get modest airplay on indie, folk and college radio stations, as well as having been synced to film and cable television shows. The CD was produced by guitarist Larry Clyman (Big Shoulders, The Otters, Lonnie Brooks Band) and featured performances from some of James musical friends like Nancy Walker and Sue Demel (Sons of the Never Wrong), Jay Sebastian (Twang Bang) and others.
In 2007, James released his 2nd CD - Manufactured Meaning - again working with Larry Clyman. Larry had moved to upstate New York, and James collaborated there with local musicians like Tony Markellis (David Bromberg Band) and Rick Rourke (Lost Wages) to produce the record. Several songs from the record, especially Lay Down Big Easy - a lament for the post-Katrina reality of New Orleans - continue to receive radio airplay.
2013 saw the release of There Used To Be a Train – James’ 3rd CD. Produced and arranged by John Abbey and featuring some of Chicago’s best Folk/Americana musicians (Jenny Bienemann, Don Stiernberg) as well as support from the groups Sons of The Never Wrong and 2-Bit Palomino, the record enjoyed excellent early reviews and radio airplay.
In 2015, James lost his wife and partner of 36 years to cancer, and receded from live performance and recording for a time. Now remarried, he performs solo under his own name, and as a duo with his partner Ilsabe OConnell under the name 'Earnest & Troubled'. He is planning to record both a solo record and a duo record in the near future, as fortune and grace permits.
Shari Ulrich — September 8, 2019
Originally a California girl, Shari Ulrich settled on the west coast of Canada in 1970, and soon launched her life in music. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (violin, mandolin, piano, guitar, dulcimer, harmonica), she’s been winning hearts across North America with her voice, sublime songs and on-stage charisma ever since. From her time with the legendary Pied Pumkin to The Hometown Band, and on as a solo artist, her career has resulted in 25 albums to date, including collaborations with Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes (UHF), Barney Bentall and Tom Taylor (BTU), and more recently The High Bar Gang, a 7+piece bluegrass band with Barney Bentall and Colin Nairne. Along the way, she has garnered 2 JUNO awards and several nominations, an induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, and a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for English Songwriter of the Year.
Not surprisingly, Shari’s daughter Julia Graff, also a multi-instrumentalist, began accompanying Shari on stage at the age of 12. Receiving a Masters degree from McGill University in music (sound recording), Julia is now a busy engineer, producer, and music editor in film and television. Among other projects, Julia engineered and co-produced Shari’s last three albums with partner and fellow McGill grad, James Perrella. Julia’s violin and signature familial vocal blend is frequently heard in Shari’s concerts and recordings.
Shari tours much of the year in a variety of configurations: from solo to a trio that includes Julia and fellow High Bar Gang member, Kirby Barber, to a quartet with pianist Cindy Fairbank, and with a full band. Shari also performs with BTU and the High Bar Gang, and produces and hosts Vancouver’s SongBird North series (for 23 years) for the Songwriters Association of Canada.
An accomplished and dynamic performer, Shari makes any sized audience feel they are in her living room – drawn in by her insightful lyrics, and her engaging warmth and humour.
Her ninth solo album, Back To Shore (June 2019, Borealis Records) showcases Ulrich’s award-winning songwriting, musicianship, and vocals at their finest. With songs that delve with unique insight into the joys and sorrows of the human condition, Back To Shore brilliantly reflects the depth, range and caliber of this highly regarded Canadian artist.
Joel Rafael — September 2, 2019
Armed with a harmonica rack and an acoustic guitar, Joel Rafael chronicles his life and the world around him, in ballads rooted in the American folk tradition, and influenced by Woody Guthrie, with whom Rafael shares five co-writes; two published in the Woody Guthrie Centennial Songbook in 2012, and another awarded IAMA Folk Song of the Year (2012). “Joel Rafael is a disappearing breed,” Rolling Stone. (2015)
"Joel Rafael's songs are filled with passion and compassion," says Jackson Browne. "Passion for social justice, and compassion - for those among us who have to struggle for a place at the table of American prosperity. His voice is unmistakably his own, big, warm and strong, and a conductor for the human emotions that connect us all."
Joel Rafael’s ninth album, BALADISTA (2015), recorded at his ranch in North San Diego County, California, delivered ten essential ballads that embrace and celebrate the human spirit and reflect the half-century journey of an American Songwriter.
Joel Rafael’s tenth album ROSE AVENUE gracefully defines him and his contribution to the American canon. The ten-song masterpiece includes nine originals that reflect the honest accounting of a man in his 70th year. Recorded and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Marty Rifkin in his Santa Monica studio, ROSE AVENUE radiates warmth and significance. Rafael does not stray from his roots in the songs he selected for this outing, or in his choice of musical accompaniment, playing acoustic guitar and harmonica.
Social change has always been a topic prevalent in Rafael’s writing, and two beautiful examples found their way into the mix of ROSE AVENUE. STRONG, written with Jason Mraz, who duos with Joel on the track, brings a message of solidarity. Originally written to share with Water Protectors at Standing Rock in 2016, it now urges protecting water globally. “I love Joel. He’s a passionate and informed songwriter. You can hear the miles he’s traveled in the tone of his tenor. He creates with purpose, and it’s a real honor to be included.” - Jason Mraz
GLORY BOUND tells the shocking story of Emmett Till and his tragic murder, woven with Rafael’s unique literary twist that brings victory out of loss. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, Rafael has given the 1955 death of a fourteen-year-old boy its deserved respect and dignity. Both anthems are accompanied by Rafael’s punchy harmonica lead.
Mraz joins Joel on a second track. “I want to know my community better and embrace the diversity that makes us stronger as a people. I wanted to write a song that would express how much we have in common as human beings. When I gave Jason the beginnings of the song, he immediately understood what I was trying to say, and helped me finish it up.”
“UNDER OUR SKIN is our second collaboration, and one that connects not only our beliefs, but our commonality; our humanity. On the surface, Joel and I might appear to come from different generations and backgrounds, but under our skin, we are made of the same earthly ingredients, powered by the same great spirit. I love how Joel is constantly exploring the topic of unity
Eddie Jeff Cahill — August 25, 2019
Eddie Jeff has been involved with Renaissance Fairs since 1970. He has performed in Canada, England and Denmark as well as most of the lower 48. Utah PHILLIPS said: Eddie Jeff restores pride and dignity to the ancient craft of the traveling singer, poet,storyteller. He will be performing at the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo until the last weekend of September.
Katherine Rondeau — August 18, 2019
Katherine Rondeau is a full-throttle singer-songwriter who focuses her passion for classic folk music through a thoroughly modern lens. After bursting onto the Philly folk scene in 2015, she was quickly recognized for her rich, bold voice and engaging performance style. Katherine’s new album Unfortunate Point of View is still going strong with six consecutive months on the Folk DJ charts, including #4 album and #1 original song in January 2019, and 9 weeks on the North American College and Community (NACC) top 30 Folk charts.
Katherine’s sound is an organic blend of folk, blues, and mountain music. Her music really shines in her live performances – her big, bold voice and engaging style have made her a festival favorite. After making her festival debut at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (PFF) in 2015, Katherine began spreading her music to large audiences throughout the region.
With the support of fans, folk DJs, and critics for her newest work Unfortunate Point of View, Katherine is establishing herself as a national touring artist from venues from Maryland to Chicago to North Carolina and beyond. Look for her next musical release in 2020.
John John Brown — August 11, 2019
> In the winter of 2013, right after his twin boys were born, John John Brown started writing songs that would turn into his debut album The Road. No Depression calls it "a supple and suggestive blend of astute Americana accompanied by a quiet, reflective glow", while Elmore Magazine dubbed him "one of the more promising young names in folk music today". John John's live performances have been garnering critical claim as well. In 2015 and 2017 he was chosen as a Kerrville Folk Finalist for the legendary New Folk Competition. He went home a winner of the South Florida Folk Fest in 2016, and he was selected as a 2017 Emerging Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. In August of 2019, John John was selected to perform at the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock at Bethel Woods, which is the original site of the legendary festival. He will be joined by musical luminaries such as The Doobie Brothers, Santana, Ringo Starr, John Fogerty, Grace Potter and Derek Trucks. His sophomore album is currently in production, and it is heavily influenced by the writing style of John Prine. It is expected to be released in 2020. Seeped in goody storytelling and fingerpicking melodies, John John Brown seems to have discovered part of the mystery that surrounds the great singer/songwriter tradition.
Terri Hendrix — August 4, 2019
Terri Hendrix is a pioneering independent Texas songwriter who spins sorrow into joy and wrings wisdom from the blues with a poetic grace and engaging melodic flair that has endeared her to fans around the globe. A classically trained vocalist and accomplished multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, and harmonica) recently recognized by “Acoustic Guitar” Magazine as one of Texas’ 20 essential contemporary singer-songwriters, she is also one of its most prolific — having averaged nearly an album a year going all the way back to her 1996 debut, “Two Dollar Shoes.” To date, every one of her albums has been released on her own Wilory Records label, making Hendrix the rare artist who has owned all of her master recordings from day one. Along the way, she’s also co-written a Grammy-winning instrumental (the Dixie Chicks’ “Lil’ Jack Slade”), and garnered such honors as a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame, the Art of Peace Award by Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, the Distinguished Alumni Award at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and a 2015 induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame in San Marcos, Texas. Now well into her third decade as a performing artist, Hendrix is currently in the midst of running a “sonic marathon” she calls “Project 5,” which by the time she finishes it will comprise four thematically-linked albums and a memoir. Hendrix is also hard at work building a nonprofit creative center for the arts serving the greater San Marcos area and beyond. It’s called the OYOU, an acronym for “Own Your Own Universe” — words that this free-spirited, self-made woman has lived and thrived by her entire adult life.
Naming The Twins - Remembering Robbie Smith — July 28, 2019
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.
"On February 27, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer, the folk world learned of the sad and shocking death of Robbie Smith - way way too soon. Over the last two years, since meeting and hearing Naming The Twins at NERFA 2017, I became a tremendous fan and admirer of their music. Robbie left behind a true legacy of amazing songs that captivated me and left me always wanting more and more. Robbie will truly be missed!!! But, his music and spirit, will be with us forever. I send Kathleen special and loving thoughts as I devote this show to the memory and legacy of Robbie Smith.
The singer songwriter showcase will be remembering the music of some other wonderful artists we lost over the years, as sent in by artists from all over the country.
It is my hope that the Hootenanny Cafe will help play a vital part in "Keeping the Music Alive"..... Jon Stein, Host of The Hootenanny Cafe
Rachel Marie — July 21, 2019
Rachel Marie follows in a tradition of unapologetically forthright women folksingers, with songs that hearken to "overstuffed lines of Tori Amos, philosophical turn of Indigo Girls, and lilting vocals like Joni Mitchell." The social awareness of folk meets the introspection of the singer-songwriter tradition with a moderate dose of snark. Rachel takes a straightforward and honest approach to songwriting in an effort to foster genuine human connection and encourage empathy through music. Passion for using the power of her voice to shed light on injustice gives rise to poignant poetic statements on subjects from heartbreak and death to police brutality and immigration. An endearingly quirky stage presence as honest as her songs keeps audiences charmed.
Boston-based and Pennsylvania-raised, Rachel has played at prestigious folk venues including the me&thee (MA), Club Passim (MA), the Burren (MA), and Godfrey Daniels (PA) and has shared stages with Cheryl Wheeler, Antje Duvekot, Michelle Lewis, Grace Morrison, and the Kennedys. Rachel's latest full-length album, False Foundations, was released in May 2018. Her November 2018 single “Looking for Light” was featured on an officially curated Spotify playlist the week of its release.
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’).