Featured Artists of the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show

These are just some of the many fine artists featured on the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show. Hear the show here.

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Mike BermanMike Berman — March 3, 2024

Mike Berman writes and performs original songs rooted in the folk and California folk rock traditions.  Mike’s first album Where I’m From, released in January 2023, received excellent reviews and was featured on dozens of folk radio programs across the USA and beyond. He has performed concerts and showcases at venues across Southern California, such as The Coffee Gallery, The Lost Chord, Jeweled Universe, Universal Bar & Grill, Mission Tile Music, Stardust Concerts, and many other venues, both solo and with his three-piece combo TIMBR. He has appeared at legendary venues McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Los Angeles, the Towne Crier in Beacon, New York, and Club Passim in Boston. He’s also been a regular performer at on-line showcases including Bruce Swan’s Music My Mother Wouldn’t Like, Jan Seides “Any Sunday Songwriters” series, and his own Social Distance Café. He recently was awarded “Best Performance” at the Songwriters at Play competition in Solvang, California. Mike’s album Where I’m From was in the top thirty on the NACC charts in January 2023. Produced by Ed Tree, the album featured performances from top musicians including pedal steel legend Jay Dee Maness, 2-time Grammy nominee Guy Davis, and LA blues diva Teresa James. Dave Franklin of Dancing About Architecture wrote that “Where I’m From is a great album… the sound of a modern-day James Taylor… country cool for the modern age.” Legendary songwriter Steve Gillette commented that Mike’s songs “uphold the tradition and are evidence that the California sound is in good hands.” Songwriter Rob Waller, founder of “I See Hawks in LA”, says that “Mike’s songs carry a depth and humanity that stick with you.”

Mike is a veteran musician, having performed in the 80’s with the Hudson River Sloop Singers as well as in his duo The Rusty Lock String Band, including festival gigs at the New Jersey Folk Festival and the Raritan River Festival. After a long layoff to raise a family and build a career as a university administrator and information technology expert, he has dived head-first in songwriting in the last few years. His songwriting his developed through workshops and master classes with the likes of Richard Thompson, Tom Paxton, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Guy Davis, Ellis Paul, Laurie McAllister, Gretchen Peters, and many other accomplished songwriters and performers. He is currently recording new material for release in 2024.


Lilli LewisLilli Lewis — February 25, 2024

Free from genre, Folk Alliance International “Spirit of Folk” award recipient Lilli Lewis is a skillful Americana polyglot for whom folk, country, gospel and jazz are all the same thing. Whether she plays at the Kennedy Center, opens for The Indigo Girls, performs at New Orleans Jazzfest or in a sweaty New Orleans club, Lewis imbues her performances with grace, wit, immense talent, and musical authenticity. Her latest release is "All Is Forgiven" on Righteous Babe Records. “She stake(s) out her place in the scene—on the authority of mastery…“” – NPR's All Songs Considered

And the theme that Lilli chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Birds and / or Taking Flight


Kate McDonnellKate McDonnell — February 18, 2024

Kate McDonnell comes from generations of symphonic musicians. Her father sang in operettas in his younger years, and her mother continues to play anything she can hear in F#on the piano, just as her own mother did. All three of Kate’s siblings have the musical gift, so at any given night around the dinner table they were bound to break into song.Throughout high-school and college, Kate and her identical twin sister and flutist Anne played as a duo in talent shows, dingy clubs, and on porches. She discovered guitarists Carlos Montoya, Mason Williams, Leo Kottke, Steve Howe and others and began to take the guitar more seriously. Fast forward, to the mid-80s, Kate moved to New England and began to write her own songs, performing them as half of a popular New Haven, CT, duo McDonnell-Tane. Over a few years’ time, Kate and guitarist Freddie Tane, formerly of Bill Haley’s Comets, opened for musical giants like Dylan, Willie Nelson, Kathy Mattea, Suzanne Vega, and others. She even found time to perform in an all-female trio Colossal Olive in and around New Haven throughout the decade that she lived there. Kate then broke out as a solo act in the early 90s and released four critically acclaimed recordings on Waterbug Records, Appleseed Records, and Brambus Recordings. For the next decade, Kate’s career began to blossom.By 1992, Kate began to tour the US regularly, while her first of many European tours came in 1998, coinciding with the release of her second album NEXT.As a result of her recordings and accelerating acclaim with her 3rdDon’t Get Me Started (Waterbug Records, 2001) and 4th Where the Mangoes Are (Appleseed Records, 2005), Kate became a staple on American folk radio charts. Fellow musicians and radio helped spread her name: Jonathan Edwards called her“one of the premier female solo acoustic acts around,”and the late Bill Staines dubbed her “one of the finest writers and performers I’ve heard in a long time.”In 1999, Kate appeared on the internationally syndicated "World Café" radio show and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Another career high point followed in 2001 after the release of her third CD, "Don’t Get Me Started," on Dog-Eared Discs, when Kate played at the folk world’s premier event, the legendary Newport Folk Festival. The Village Voice predicted in its review of the CD that "you get the feeling you may see others covering her tunes in the future, as she is a gifted writer...." The Swiss label Brambus Records picked up "Don’t Get Me Started" for overseas release and it was soon on the top five list for U.S. and international folk airplay. 2005 marked a shift in Kate’s material as a result of joining with Anne Lindley to try their hands at co-writing, and it was a complete success.Kate Kate McDonnell 4000 char-bio 2023.doc released “Where The Mangoes Are”, a collection of 12 songs, seven of which were co-written by Lindley. They continue to write together to this day. Kate took a break from her solo career to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work at Smith College and began to work at day-treatment centers andwith special education students in schools (2006-2020). She learned quickly that a musician can't turn her back on musical together, lest it pester her during quiet moments. So, Kate decided to make music full-time,again, producing a 5th recording Ballad of a Bad Girl(Dog-Eared Discs 2021), 7of its 11 songs co-written by Anne Lindley. The album earned her the distinction as being the #6 and #5 most played album on the US Folk DJ charts for the two months following its release,as well the #17 slot for the year of 2021. Ballad of a Bad Girl features legendary musicians Jerry Marotta (drums) and Tony Levin (bass), with Kate on vocals, guitar, and banjo. She is currently recording her 6thalbum,yet to be titled.


Paula Boggs BandPaula Boggs Band — February 12, 2024

Since age 10, Paula Boggs has been a songwriter. Her life winded through the military, law and business before in 2005 returning to music through a University of Washington songwriter’s certificate program followed by forming genre-defying nation-touring Paula Boggs Band, soon recording it’s fifth studio album.

Besides music creation and performance, Boggs touches music and the arts in myriad ways. An active member of the Recording Academy since 2011, Boggs sat on President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, is a former board member of School of Rock LLC, Seattle Symphony, Avid Technology (ProTools, Sibelius, et al) and public radio KEXP where she co-chaired its New Home Campaign. Currently she sits on the boards of Newport Festivals Foundation (overseeing Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals) and Peabody Conservatory.

In 2018 she received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and is known globally for her work in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Soon after being elected PNW Chapter board governor in 2020 Paula was appointed her chapter’s first ambassador to the Recording Academy’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. Paula Boggs Band will play its first Folk Alliance Official Showcase in February 2024 and is sponsored by Deering Banjos, Breedlove Guitars and Radial Engineering, Inc.

And the theme Paula chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: ANCESTORS


Ash and EricAsh and Eric — February 4, 2024

The married couple’s latest album “Sure”is “a tale of love… [with] some heartaches and a pinch of disputation along the way” (Americana UK). Hailing from the gritty heart of New England (Worcester, MA), the two are experts in discovering beauty in the challenges of life. Their musings reflect the hope and pain we all experience, sung in voices as vulnerable and honest as their lyrics. Their songs feel like a warm welcome, a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold at the end of a long day. No Depression says their writing will leave listeners “...coming away from many of these [songs] cleansed,”.

Their warm harmonies, swirling acoustic guitars, and easy stage presence have earned them a dedicated following in the emerging US folk scene, performing with folk legends like Livingston Taylor, Vance Gilbert, Heather Maloney, and Mark Erelli. Their independent 9-song release, “Sure”, was recorded, mixed and produced by Eric at a boarding school in Western Massachusetts, and will be accompanied by a feature-length film, releasing June 2024.

Ash & Eric played together for the first time in 2012. The intense connection was immediate. They both describe a feeling that they knew each other before they knew each other. They began playing together frequently and fell in love quickly. Their first project as a duo, The Promise is Hope, was born March 1, 2014 in Worcester, MA -- their beloved home city. At the end of the house concert, with many friends gathered, Eric proposed and Ash said “yes.”

The journey that has unfolded since that first concert has been defined by these two dreamers’ daily choice to continually pursue their vision. The vision, which began as two people sharing their hearts through the artistry of songwriting and performance, has grown and expanded to envelop a beautiful and growing community of faithful followers.

Under the moniker The Promise is Hope, Ash & Eric released two full-length albums, “Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going” (2015) and “Every Seed Must Die” (2018) before changing their band name to Ash & Eric in 2021.

They have performed countless shows in a myriad of venues from house and living room concerts to legendary rooms like Club Passim (Cambridge, MA), Southern Vermont Arts Center (Manchester, VT), and Godfrey Daniels (Bethlehem, PA). They have performed on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Stage (Hillsdale, PA), won the CT Folks Grassyhill Songwriter Competition, and performed at the CT Folk and Black Bear Americana Festivals. Ash & Eric have been nominated for New England Music Awards, won many Worcester Music Awards, and was offered a Semi-Formal Showcase at the 2019 NERFA Conference in Stamford, CT. Their vision has been tested and tried through long hours on the road, playing their best shows for whoever showed up in a room.

Ash & Eric are two dreamers forever committed to making music for their listeners that is honest, intentional, and beautiful. The pair continues to say “YES” to the power of vulnerability, simplicity, and new starts.


Caroline CotterCaroline Cotter — January 28, 2024

“There’s just this opening of doors that happens that totally shifts things. It’s a complete game-changer,” notes Cotter, a Rhode Island native now living just outside Acadia National Park in Maine. “When I’ve shared myself in this way, then people are really excited to share what they’ve got around them.” But what’s a globetrotter, who has played more than 1000 shows in 45 states and 14 countries, to do when a worldwide pandemic makes travel nearly impossible? “I became very close to nature and just hugged a lot of trees and rocks,” says Cotter with a chuckle. She nannied, worked on a goat farm, gardened, revitalized an arts non-profit, and taught music and songwriting. “In a way, I had to reinvent myself. I had to find a deeper sense of belonging and meaning in things that weren’t what I knew of myself for the prior 15 years. I identified as a traveler, a singer-songwriter, and a performer, and all of a sudden, I had nobody to sing to and nowhere to go.” As Gently as I Go concludes with “Morning Mantra,” a musical warm hug of a reminder to keep going in a world that often feels dark, sad, and full of troubles that are out of our control, it serves to calm Caroline as well. She was diagnosed with ADD as a child and both songwriting and travel are key parts of how she manages to stay sane. Caroline released her debut album in 2015 and a second album in 2018, and is both a 2018 Freshgrass/No Depression Songwriter of the Year award finalist and a 2019 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase finalist. “Songwriting for me is a cathartic expression of my life experience. It’s creative expression that just completely shifts me and gets out the ickiness,” shares Cotter, recounting a recent moment when sitting down and writing a song wiped away the anxious feeling she had been dealing with all day. “Seeing new things and connecting with people helps also, because I can get so deep into my own head, and the second I start a conversation with somebody else, it’s not about me anymore.”


Elizabeth LeeElizabeth Lee — January 21, 2024

Elizabeth Lee, a singer-songwriter rooted in the Midwest collaborates and performs with her dad, Bobby Pugh. Elizabeth's exposure to her dad’s songwriting while growing up laid the foundation for her own musical pursuits, which unfolded post-college. Bobby's long-held dream of sharing his songs found renewed motivation when they started writing together after Elizabeth graduated. They recorded their first studio album in 2016 and began performing part-time. In 2023, they took the plunge into a full-time music career, releasing 5 singles. They evolved from a duo to a full-fledged band, their dynamic characterized by Elizabeth's soothing, crystalline vocals and Bobby's seamless harmonies. Their musical footprint extends beyond the studio, with features on Indianapolis podcast ‘Voices of Indy’ and ‘The 94twenty Podcast’ from Nashville, TN. Their compositions have found unexpected homes, including a placement in the Lifetime movie 'Sabotaging the Squad.' Their genre-defying sound ranges from acoustic-pop vibes to folk-rock, always anchored by a commitment to captivating vocals and storytelling. The group hopes to inspire listeners to pursue their dreams, and stands as a reminder that it’s never too late to start something new.


Mark WahlMark Wahl — January 14, 2024

Mark Wahl is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and luthier. Hiss songs are often poignant vignettes with strong use of metaphor, simple melodies, and compelling lyrics. He is fond of alternate tunings on guitar and baritone ukulele, and his animated and often foot stomping delivery is engaging. “I try to write with detail and emotion and to connect on a personal level with the listener." Currently recording his third album, his solo 2018 CD Circadia was nominated best Americana of the SAMMY’s (Syracuse Area Music Awards), and his popular 2013 CD Everything Returns featured his trio Canvas Moon. Mark was chosen for the 2019 Syracuse Acoustic Guitar Songwriting Project, the 2022 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Grassy Hill Emerging Artist Showcase, and he was the Black Bear Festival Curator’s Pick at the 2023 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference. After 13 years as director of the Ontario Center for Performing Arts, Mark now focuses on performing and making fine acoustic instruments.


Ben GageBen Gage — January 7, 2024

Ben Gage is an Americana musician from Akron, OH. Ben Gage grew up in the rust belt of Northeast Ohio, spread out in the countryside along the great Lake Erie. His roots run deep alongside the hard working blue collars that Ohio has to boast. That tenacity, love of family, and respect for a long day can be seen in his music. In Fall of 2021 Ben quit his job in the tech-sector to pursue music full time. Now he travels the US sharing stories and songs and always collecting more. Folk and Blues music gives us a way to hand along a story, and it’s what fuels Ben’s songwriting and the reason he includes the listener. The best story sets aside the complexities and focuses on honesty. You will find yourself feeling as though you’ve heard his songs before even if it’s your first time.


Special Three Set Singer Songwriter ShowcaseSpecial Three Set Singer Songwriter Showcase — December 31, 2023

Come join the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show on New Year's Eve (12-31-23) for a Special Three Set Singer Songwriter Showcase. The theme for this special night: NEW SONGS FOR THE NEW YEAR (Songs that were written , and, or, recorded in 2023.) - a great way to wind down the old year and ring in the new.


Kristen Grainger and True NorthKristen Grainger and True North — December 17, 2023

Kristen Grainger & True North is an Americana string band comprised of three champion instrumentalists (Dan Wetzel, guitar, octave mandolin, mountain banjo), Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, and fiddle), and Josh Adkins (upright bass), and led by the enchanting vocals of songwriter Kristen Grainger. With gorgeous original songs that nestle in the ear on the way to the heart, the band delivers an unexpectedly intimate, live-from-your-living-room experience, the lush alchemy of their combined talents captivating audiences wherever they go. Kristen's songwriting has been recognized nationally, winning top honors at MerleFest, Wildfower, Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the USA Songwriting Contest. She was named, alongside Dolly Parton and Brandi Carlile, one of the "Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack" by The Bluegrass Situation. Three of the band's albums have hit #1 on folk radio charts, and they had their first #1 single in 2021. Their newest project, Fear of Falling Stars, released Nov. 10th, is now available for streaming or download.

And the theme that Kristen chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Near Misses and Close Calls


Kristen Grainger and True NorthKristen Grainger and True North — December 17, 2023

Kristen Grainger & True North is an Americana string band comprised of three champion instrumentalists (Dan Wetzel, guitar, octave mandolin, mountain banjo), Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, and fiddle), and Josh Adkins (upright bass), and led by the enchanting vocals of songwriter Kristen Grainger. With gorgeous original songs that nestle in the ear on the way to the heart, the band delivers an unexpectedly intimate, live-from-your-living-room experience, the lush alchemy of their combined talents captivating audiences wherever they go. Kristen's songwriting has been recognized nationally, winning top honors at MerleFest, Wildfower, Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the USA Songwriting Contest. She was named, alongside Dolly Parton and Brandi Carlile, one of the "Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack" by The Bluegrass Situation. Three of the band's albums have hit #1 on folk radio charts, and they had their first #1 single in 2021. Their newest project, Fear of Falling Stars, released Nov. 10th, is now available for streaming or download.

The theme that Kristen chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Near Misses and Close Calls


Chris HaddoxChris Haddox — December 10, 2023

Hi folks...Chris Haddox, here, coming to you from the great state of West Virginia. I am a product of the state through and through, and many of my songs and stories Chrisdraw upon the wondrously beautiful landscape, the the rich musical traditions, and the “never met a stranger” mentality of her people.

I’ve been writing songs since the second grade. The first song I recall writing started with a line from a poem a classmate had written. He had titled his poem “What’s On The Other Side.” So, naturally, like any good thief posing as a songwriter, I used that line and title to craft a one verse song and never looked back. Since then I’ve written piles of songs that cover piles of topics. As do most songwriters, I’m often trying to find new ways to tell old tales, and often writing about things other folks with better judgement might leave alone.

Inspired by the music of the Delmore Brothers, I dropped out of college in my senior year in order to pursue a songwriting career in Nashville. Multiple stints in/out of Music City left me more knowledgeable about the music business, but no closer to making a career out of songwriting than when I started. While I had no ambitions about being a performer, I can to the realization that if anyone was ever going to hear my songs, they were going to have to hear them from me as no one else seemed very interested in performing them. So, one night while playing to an overly distracted crowd in a local bar I decided to drop in one song, didn’t say anything about it being mine, just to gauge the audience reaction. When after the show several folks commented about that one song they had never heard before—the one that stood out to them as their favorite of the evening—I decided to drop in original material more often, eventually migrating to where my sets were mostly originals. This went on for many years...just writing/playing/assessing audience reactions.

One the eve of my 40th high school reunion I stopped to play at a songwriter’s night in a town along the drive. That particular writer’s night was frequented by a fellow named Ron Sowell—a well-known figure in the West Virginia music scene and the bandleader of the long-running Mountain Stage. Following the show Ron invited me to a participate in a show—a best of the WV songwriters event—that would kick off the 2018 Woody Hawley Concert Series. A few weeks after that performance, Ron approached me about producing an album of my original material, and shortly after that I was invited by Mountain Stage host, Larry Groce, to perform on the show in February of 2020. As everyone knows, the world pretty much fell apart in January of 2020, so the Mountain Stage appearance was delayed indefinitely. I was finally rescheduled to play the show in January of 2022, but Larry called me to see if I’d mind being moved to the March 2022 show as he had just confirmed that Janis Ian would be headlining the show, and he felt I’d be a good fit for that bill. Heck yeah!!!

Since then, I’ve been beating the bushes to get my music out to the world. My debut album climbed to #11 on the FAI chart, and every song from the album has received airplay on over 60 mostly domestic stations. I continue to write and perform and am currently working on new, or sifting through old, material for the next album or five. My favorite shows are small listening venues and house concerts, but I’m equally at home on large stages, and seem to be able to connect heart-to-heart with the audience members where there are two or hundreds.

When not playing music, I am an Associate Professor of Sustainable Design at West Virginia University, and am active in a variety of community-based initiatives in Morgantown, West Virginia.


Becca AndersonBecca Anderson — December 3, 2023

A lively and fun performer on guitar, piano, and rhythm instruments, Becca Anderson’s straight-ahead voice soars in a fearless variety of song styles from light reggae, country to folk to jazz. Her first album, “Amazed,” features her early work—original tunes with simple folk to complex reggae arrangements—was produced in 2001. “Love, Love,” her second CD, recorded at Metronome Studios in New Hampshire, followed in 2012. Comments on her work: “rich collection of songs and life insights,” “feel-good material that will uplift you and slow you down,” “rich depth of voice and range,” “powerful, meaningful songwriting,” “a creamy top register that spoke of serious voice training” (Opera News), and “timeless and enduring music” (WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT).  For two years, Becca toured New England with the Rags to Riches duo, singing a full concert of Gershwin/Porter tunes. She has performed internationally on concert stages, at galleries, festivals and benefits, healing-arts seminars, and on the New England folk circuit singing her own songs for over fifteen years. Her latest concerts showcase the collection of original tunes from her second CD, “Love, Love,” designed to lift the viewpoint and satisfy the discerning ear.


Julia RoomeJulia Roome — November 26, 2023

Julia may be the youngest in the competition, but she has already accomplished so much in her life. Her recent chair turn on “The Voice” Season 24, and currently airing, has her on Team Niall Horan. She’s also gigging several times a month, singing the national anthem, and has performed in both an off Broadway play and many regional ones as well. Julia only lives a little over an hour from New York City, so she’s had an opportunity to sing at the Friars Club, as well as amateur night at The World Famous Apollo Theatre (where she’s won twice!). Keegan Ferrell, a “Voice” Season 20 Voice contestant, noticed her on social media when her original EP reached number 9 on the the iTunes charts, prompting him to work with Julia to continue building a portfolio of original music. Their first song together “Childhood” garnered a massive amount of attention and has the most streams to date. When Julia isn’t gigging or recording, she’s writing new original music, and exploring future dance and Ariel acrobatics show possibilities. Julia is extremely competitive and played travel Softball and Soccer as well as being an Olympic Downhill ski racing hopeful, before deciding to focus more on music.


Tret FureTret Fure — November 19, 2023

Tret Fure started her career in 1970 as the guitarist/vocalist for Spencer Davis. In 1973, she released her first solo album on MCA/UNI Records, produced by Lowell George of Little Feat. A prolific artist in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Tret Fure has released 18 albums and CDs over the course of her 53 year career. She has also engineered and produced countless recordings by a variety of artists, including her own work.

This year she won the 2023 Phil Ochs award in recognition of her music and activism for social and political justice. Other highlights include winning the South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2 of 3 categories, Best Overall and Best Up-Tempo Song, winning the Women in the Arts “Jane Schliessman Award” for Outstanding Contributions to Women's Music and the “A Still Small Voice 4U” songwriting competition with her song “Monuments”.

Tret teaches guitar and songwriter, has a cookbook, paints pet portraits and also served as president for Local 1000, the Traveling Musicians Union for 6 years.


Barry AdelmanBarry Adelman — November 12, 2023

Music Connects Us “For the Future of Humanity Support Music Education”. For over 18 years MusicForHumanity.org has done that with scholarships & new instruments for school districts. MFH has also spread more music via a free monthly concert series for over 13 years, given an annual Honorarium to support professional musicians (over 6 years). Last year MFH presented the First Annual Music Teacher Appreciation Award, a $1000 Grant. They will do that again on November 18th. And this year they began the First Annual Songwriting Contest with a $1000 1st Prize and $500 2nd Prize. The winners will be announced at the 158th Music for Humanity Free Performance Night on Saturday December 16 at Noble Coffee Roasters in Campbell Hall NY; deadline to apply is Sunday November 19th at midnight. You can enter at this link: https://musicforhumanity.org/song-writing-contest/ In today’s world we need more “music ambassadors”. We don’t need more businesspeople, more politicians, more scientists, engineers, or sports heroes. We need more people who can bring us together. We need more “music ambassadors” who can build the invisible roads and bridges to connect our hearts & souls. Music can effectively communicate that what we have in common, as human beings, is far greater than any differences. Music for Humanity has a special event on Sunday December 3rd 2PM at City Winery in Montgomery NY. It features two of the greatest “music ambassadors” who have ever performed for us over the last 18 years: Slam Allen and Reggie Harris on a co-bill. Slam was the lead guitarist and singer for the James Cotton Blues Band for 10 years. After James passed, Slam went out on his own. Reggie, follows Pete Seeger in the folk tradition. Both Slam & Reggie know instinctively hao to bring people together via their music. They’ve both traveled the world, sharing their music, and bringing people together. They are true “music ambassadors”. This will be more than a concert. Please join us. Most Music for Humanity events are free, but this one is a fund raiser. Tickets are available at this link: https://musicforhumanity.org/event/music-for-humanity-presents-music-connects-us-featuring-the-slam-allen-band-and-reggie-harris/ We guarantee you’ll walk out saying “that was fantastic”. This Hootenanny Café Radio show will feature a few MFH scholarship winners plus some of the performers who have donated sets to help support the mission. MFH has given $167,000 in scholarships, $10,000 for new instruments for Hudson Valley school districts and about $4000 in Honorariums to professional musicians. We’ll also share some of the entries into the songwriting contest by artists throughout the country. Music builds the invisible roads & bridges that connect our hearts & souls. More Music means more connections. More Music means a better world for all of us. “For the future of Humanity, Support Music Education.” Please consider a tax-deductible donation here: https://musicforhumanity.org/donate/ or send a check to Music for Humanity, PO Box 359, Chester, NY 10918. MFH is a volunteer organization. There are no salaries. Together we are and will continue to make a difference. Thank you for your support!


Johnny EatonJohnny Eaton — November 5, 2023

Long Blurb For Johhny Eaton

When you’re an artist that hasn’t released new music in 18 years, it stands to reason you’re going to have a lot to say when the right moment comes around again. For Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Johnny Eaton, that moment is now. Eaton’s new album, here’s the thing, offers 12 songs that display his full musical range, from traditional country to plaintive, confessional folk, as well as a couple of side trips into neo-soul and post-punk. With a weathered, campfire-coal baritone voice, Eaton spins tales of life in different parts of Canada reminding us of harder times and sweeter times in turn. Eaton began working on here’s the thing in 2022, recording with producer Gareth Auden-Hole at his La La Studio in Gatineau, Quebec, and a host of contributors—18 to be precise, an eerie coincidence with the gap in Eaton’s output. Among them were guitar maestros Noah Zacharin and Jimmy Bowskill, along with other notable names from the roots and soul/jazz music scenes. Eaton explains, “These are songs I wrote while living in Montreal and playing in an old-time country band, while living in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, and while living in Ottawa and working as a cartographer while hosting a livestream show called ‘Tunesdays with Johnny’ throughout the pandemic. Because choosing songs for an album is my least favourite part of the process, I let my livestream audience vote on YouTube for which songs they wanted on the album. Essentially, each song is a democratically elected representative, with the exception of the title track, which was an execution of my darling love’s power of veto.” Not a bad system, really, to gauge what listeners are into after so many years, but that’s hardly to say Eaton hasn’t been doing interesting things in the meantime. After graduating from Mount Allison University (paying his way by working as a tree planter in B.C. and northern Ontario), he set his sights on Whitehorse, Yukon in 2005 where his music career fully got underway. Eaton toured Canada several times in the mid-00s, while also landing acting jobs on opposite ends of the country in Victoria and Halifax. But when the need for more steady employment arose, he went back to school to study cartography and is currently employed by the City of Ottawa, making maps and analyzing geographic data. Eaton’s creative urge has never waned. Actually, he says that having a relatively stable life now has made him a better songwriter. “I think I’ve just become more comfortable in my own skin, more accepting of my skills and limitations, and that’s resulted in my new songs feeling more authentic and more earnest, while leaning less on artifice and performative cliches.” Indeed, songs on here’s the thing such as “Nova Scotia’s Shores,” “Lost In Manitoba” and the epic, 10-minute “Resolution” are steeped in detail, drawn from memory, and delivered with an unapologetic nod to Canada’s great troubadours. “I love all the songs on the album," says Eaton, "but if I had to choose my favourites, they’d be the ones with a deeper personal meaning for me. I wrote ‘Nova Scotia’s Shores’ after moving back home to Ottawa and feeling the ache to return east. Everything in the song is autobiographical, and all the places mentioned are real. ‘Resolution’ was written just after New Year’s 2018 during a massive snowstorm. I stared out the window at the snow coming down, strumming the guitar slowly in what felt like with the rhythm of the snow, and it all just started flowing out of me. The song ‘Here’s The Thing’ ended up tying everything together. I wrote it when I knew I was falling in love for the first time in almost 20 years, and I wanted her to know it without being too gushy or over-the-top about it.” It’s easy to describe Johnny Eaton as what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy, but one listen to here’s the thing reveals so much more. Having been down the road and back many times, he’s now ready to share it all.


Brittainy JeanBrittainy Jean — October 29, 2023

Originally from West Chicago, IL, Brittany Jean is a folk singer/songwriter based in the Pacific Northwest, currently living in a little, apple town on the Columbia River. Brittany’s style is rooted in the folk and Americana music she has loved all her life, and in one way or another, every song she sings is a love song.

Brittany’s music has taken her across the country many times—opening for Three Dog Night’s sold out concert at the City Winery in New York City, playing the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival in North Carolina, the Fishstock Concert Series in Wisconsin, the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado, The Pearl Theatre in Idaho, opening for Kalimba in Seattle, touring Vancouver Island, British Columbia… to name a few of her adventures!

Brittany has released five full-length albums and one EP— all recorded in Nashville, Tennessee: Whispered Stories, Leavin’ Home, Wander With Me, All The Love, Wintertide, and Lightfoot.

Whispered Stories was released in September 2013, and it was completed with the help of fans — making her debut album even more special.

Brittany Jean’s sophomore album (Leavin’ Home) was released in March 2016. Leavin’ Home includes Brittany’s song “Wildfire,” which was written in response to first-hand experience during the Carlton Complex Wildfires of 2014 (the largest wildfires in Washington State history at the time—a record broken the following year). This song was a centerpiece for the fundraising effort of the Carlton Complex Longterm Recovery Group, whose purpose is to rebuild the 300+ homes that were lost that summer of 2014

Brittany’s third album (Wander With Me) was released in January 2018. With songs about being brave and standing tall to songs about learning to dance again, this album is an invitation — “Won’t you wander with me?”

Released in April 2020, All The Love is a collection of love songs and love stories, featuring eight original songs and four covers of favorite songs by Stevie Nicks, Dave Loggins, Don McLean, and one from “The Greatest Showman.” (From this album, “The Mirror Go Machine” was a finalist in the 2020 International Acoustic Music Awards for best Bluegrass/Country Song of the year!)

Early 2020, after learning of and then dealing with the loss of her performance schedule for the rest of that year, Brittany turned her focus to creating her first-ever Christmas Album. Comprised of personal favorites and brand new, wintry originals, Wintertide was released before Christmas 2021. From songs about home and a cabin up north to songs about crystal trees and a Christmas ghost ship, this album is a sweet new addition to the Christmas Music catalogue. (Wintertide charted #2 on the Folk Alliance International Radio Chart in December 2022, and “Call Me North” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for Best Folk Song for 2023!)

Brittany’s Lightfoot EP was released Summer 2023, and this project is her “thank you” to an all-time favorite songwriter; and Brittany’s sixth album (Colors & Covers) will be released Fall 2023, a collection of songs that reflect a handful of the different shades and seasons in this colorful life. (From Colors & Covers, “Golden Hour” was a finalist for the International Acoustic Music Awards’ Song of the Year, and Brittany was also a Finalist for Best Female Artist for 2023!)

Thankful for where music has taken her so far, Brittany Jean is looking forward to where the road will take her next, the new songs yet to be written, the fellow wanderers to meet, and the adventures to be had along the way…


Sail CassadySail Cassady — October 22, 2023

Music is healing and can help soothe the soul. It can also help to find, unearth and bring out our INNER TRUTHS. Music can also shine light on such conditions as: Sexuality. Mental Health. Consciousness, etc

These are some of the meta themes that run through the music of flamboyant LGBTQ2A indie-rocker 'Sail Cassady' who hails from Victoria, BC.

Like The National with a dash of Lou Reed, their debut album ‘Juniper’ documents the torture and delights of the artists own grueling process of self-discovery, and gives you a glimpse into the subterranean realms of the Sail Cassady consciousness. “Lusting you, You’re lusting me, Lusting you, Against the tree..” Leather Shoe Lovers‘Juniper’ was self produced along with Bob Gronotte (JP Maurice, Stel, Towers and Trees, and Hawk and Steele L, Tal Bachman) and dropped on all platforms Aug 25th, 2023 on Surkeus Records. And the theme that Sail Cassady chose for The Singer Songwriter Showcase: INNER TRUTH


C Daniel BolingC Daniel Boling — October 15, 2023

C. Daniel Boling – Balladeer/Songwriter

“Think of a subtle intertwining of Steve Goodman, John Prine and Tom Paxton.” – Fred Schmale / Real Roots Café, Dutch music magazine

“New Mexico's songwriting savant.” – Tom Paxton

"Daniel's songs are filled with sweet imagery and infallible word craft, and his live performances bring another dimension of energy and charm." – Singer/Songwriter Steve Gillette

Winner of the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk songwriter contest, the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, and others, Daniel shares experiences from a life well-lived in three countries and seven States. This balladeer/songwriter with the friendly tenor brings his well-crafted story songs to happy audiences throughout the U.S. and in Europe from House Concerts and listening rooms to major festivals – Kerrville, Winfield, Woody Guthrie, and others. Daniel is also a member of the iconic 1960s folk trio The Limeliters. Born into a traveling Air Force family, he later worked as a National Park Ranger (yes, the gun-toting kind) and as a Criminal Investigator for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He started touring full-time at 50, when most guys are planning their retirement.

NEW OLD FRIENDS is Daniel’s 9th solo album and was once again produced by Jono Manson and released on Berkalin Records in August 2023. All 15 songs on the album are co-writes between Daniel and legendary folk songwriter and Grammy Lifetime Achievement honoree Tom Paxton. Tom joins Daniel singing five songs on the album. Daniel’s 2016 album, THESE HOUSES, was considered for GRAMMY Nomination as “Best Folk Album”. In 2016 THESE HOUSES was chosen among Top 10 Albums of the year by Folk Radio DJs across the U.S., as was his 2014 album SLEEPING DOGS in that year.

Daniel’s songs tell interesting stories about a variety of characters, including himself. He plays guitar and banjo with a deft fingerpicking style that always enhances the stories, and a bit of harmonica into the bargain. His clear tenor draws positive comparisons to John Denver and Pete Seeger, and like Pete, Daniel is happiest when his audience sings too!

Daniel also performs for senior living communities playing a show he calls “Songs My Daddy Loved.” Remember when family and friends still got together on the porch in the evening and made their own music? Songs carried the news and kept traditions alive. These are songs from back then and from the early radio days: Folk; Gospel; Country; & Pop from the 30s, 40s and 50s and Daniel’s own songs that still carry on the tradition. You’ll recognize songs from Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, the Carter Family and lots of others you love. And Daniel’s lovely wife Ellen often joins in for some duets!

There’s a lot of Steve Goodman in Daniel’s delivery and storytelling, and you can also hear the influence of other classic folk singers and songs from the great American folk tradition. It’s no surprise that iconic Appalachian folk singer Jean Ritchie is his second cousin. He’s won numerous songwriting awards including Kerrville New Folk, Walnut Valley Festival, Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Festival, Albuquerque Folk Festival, and Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

There’s a reason that folk duo Still on the Hill calls him “one of the most talented songwriters on the circuit.” Whether you’ve walked the very same roads, you can’t help but relate to these songs – and no matter what your story is, you’ll love Daniel’s.







Kitty DonohoeKitty Donohoe — October 8, 2023

Kitty Donohoe is an Ann Arbor, Michigan based songwriter (and Emmy recipient) and she's been at it for most of her life. Raised in a big, creative family outside of Detroit, she always had a knack for melody and rhyming, and after picking up the guitar in high school she knew that songwriting was her path. Like most artists she was in and out of several bands over the years, starting out singing covers but gradually adding her own songs to the mix. When the audience began requesting her own music she knew she had chosen the right direction for her life. She now works mostly solo but loves to add other musicians when it makes sense. Deeply connected with her own heritage of Ireland and Canada, her songs are often reminiscent of those places, especially as she likes adding traditional instruments to her originals such as fiddle, uilleann pipes and bodhran. She herself plays guitar, cittern (a large mandolin) and piano. In addition to songs, Kitty writes 'tunes' or melodies, several of which have shown up on her CDs. She's currently putting together an all-instrumental project. Some recent highlights in her career include doing a performance with the Canadian Celtic Choir in London, Ontario a few months ago, and being a featured artist on the long-running Chicago radio show 'Folkstage.' The former host of the program, Rich Warren, says of Kitty "she is far above and beyond most singer- songwriter's" and he included her in his list of "50 of the most significant songwriters in the last 50 years" - high praise, indeed! Kitty's most known song is 'There Are No Words' that she wrote on September 11, 2001 as she was watching the World Trade Centers crumble on television. She was urged to record the song immediately, which she did, and from there it's taken an interesting path. It was used as the centerpiece in a Detroit NBC station special about the attacks (hence the Emmy), in an indie film about the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon, and a live appearance at the dedication of the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2008. It's also been used and sung by countless others over the years, including Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary fame. Kitty toured out east in the 90's, performing in places like the Birchmere, Passim and other well-known clubs, but decided it made more sense to stay at home closer to her family, so she has stayed ever since primarily in the Midwest and Canada ~ although she's looking to expand that territory in the next year


Gina HolsoppleGina Holsopple — October 1, 2023

Based in Oswego, NY, Gina Holsopple has been performing and recording music for over 20 years. She has been nominated for two Syracuse Area Music Awards, in addition to winning songwriting contests across the eastern half of the country. For the past 15 years Gina Holsopple has been building Gina Marie Music Studio, a music store that provides instruments and supplies, rentals, and over 200 lessons per week to the wider community. She has served as the Musical Director for many community theater productions: including Suessical Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., and Narnia. Gina works as "mom"ager of Rueby Wood, most recently the lead of the Disney+ film "Better Nate Than Ever" and who also traveled for a year and a half with the first National Broadway Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the role of Charlie.

A songwriter first and foremost, Gina has released 12 albums and is getting ready to release her 13th this fall. Her music is lyrically driven, with floating melodies that search out the tiny moments of magic that exist amidst the chaos of being human.


Tina RossTina Ross — September 24, 2023

Tina Ross is an emerging New York Singer Songwriter making up for lost time. In her second act, she overcomes vocal and hand injuries to pursue her very patient muse with resilience and perseverance. Ross is full-speed (double time) songwriting with The Jack Hardy Songwriting Exchange and Steven Seskin, recording with Mark Dann (having recently finished her debut album), performing, and embracing her growing music community.

Tina's first act informs her music; as a mother, wife, grandmother, chiropractor, nutritionist, advocate for raising awareness of food insecurity and hunger, public speaker, vocalist in a Jazz trio, and a forever hopeful fan of music. Her life with music wasn't just peripheral. At age ten, she performed in a folk duo with her mother, "Tina Ross and Mom". In college, she performed on campus during her semesters studying voice. Even throughout professional school, Tina never stepped away from her musical roots.

Tina had to overcome challenges before she could fully explore a songwriter career. After being accidentally hit in the throat, she could not talk for more than five minutes without her voice frying. Singing was out of the question. She worked through this successfully with doctors, physical therapists, and vocal coaches. And after she injured her hands as a chiropractor, she searched for a way to adjust her guitar playing to the limitations of this disability. Open tunings became an essential part of Ross’s music, opening sonic landscapes that she would not have imagined without that adaptation. This discovery resulted in distinctive, nuanced textures in her guitar playing.

Tina Ross hosts the Open Stage and hosts and produces the monthly online series “Inside the Song” for The Folk Project of New Jersey. Tina interviews seasoned songwriters and explores their songwriting process. Guests have included Dar Williams, Ellis Paul, Tom Chapin, Christine Lavin, The Kennedys and more. Tina brings her innate curiosity to understand the vision behind an artist’s work.

Tina Ross combines her soaring, intimate voice and sonic-scaped guitar playing with songs that resemble the white space of a timeless painting. Here she probes the indispensable space between yin and yang, light and dark. That space creates shapes, allowing everything to exist, and nothing happens without it. A quiet, elegant fierceness runs through her songs, speaking to wonder, humility, doubt, defiance. They are imbued with vulnerability and mastery alike, a testament to giving it one’s very best shot. Tina is named the winner of the prestigious 2023 FocusMusic Heyman Rising Artist Award. She’s been recognized by the UK Songwriting Contest, The International Acoustic Music Awards and The International Blues and Roots Radio Contest as a finalist, the UK Songwriting Contest as a semi-finalist, and the John Lennon and SolarFest Songwriting Contests as an Honorable Mention.

Tina's debut album, released February 2023, is her official imprint into the digital folk community after performing in notable folk conferences and festivals, including The Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club, Rockwood Music Hall with John Platt's "On Your Radar", The Bitter End, The Troubadour at The Folk Project, Folk Alliance, opening for Tom Chapin and Christine Lavin.

Her lyrics illuminate and unveil the endless discovery that sparks the forging of an authentic life. “I am my most authentic self when singing and writing music and am grateful that I did not let more time pass before I dove in.”


Sue and DwightSue and Dwight — September 17, 2023

Contemporary folk music with a few twists. Although Sue and Dwight were born too late to be part of the 1960s Folk Revival, their music embodies the spirit of that time. The Canadian songwriting duo’s uplifting and soothing music focuses on themes of peace, courage, and social justice. With one foot planted solidly in folk music, the duo comfortably step out into pop, gospel, and the blues. Their three CD’s and numerous singles reflect on their prairie roots, their experiences in Canada’s largest city, and their travels to rural areas of East Africa. “Their lyrics always tell a story and frequently pull at your emotions...asking us to consider what we can do to improve our world and the planet we live on.”  – Bruce Hanson, smalltowntoronto.com The first CD, Darlings Of The Open Stage, is a tribute to passionate performers everywhere who take the stage each night to share their music. The duo honed their own songwriting at an open stage at Toronto’s Cameron House hosted by the Leslie Spit Treeo. Little Child Big World, the follow up CD, is a collection of songs inspired by travels to small villages in Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. While there, Sue and Dwight met small farmers, people living with AIDS, night commuters and other courageous and resilient individuals. While underlining the injustice of the disparity between the developed and developing world, the CD’s focus is on the individuals the duo met. Their stories paint pictures of a world so familiar yet so afar. Their most recent CD release For A Moment is a collection of songs that reflect the diversity of moments that make up our everyday lives. Some moments are fleeting glimpses into the lives of people we pass by. Others can be deeply personal...leading to epiphanies that give us a whole new outlook. Our lives are full of these and other moments. The duo has continued to be busy with their songwriting and have released over a dozen Singles since 2018. Many of these will be featured on their upcoming CD expected to be released in Fall 2023. Sue and Dwight like to connect with audiences wherever they are. For the past 20 years, the duo has been a fixture on the Toronto Music Scene performing in clubs, house concerts and festivals including a six-year weekly residency at The Cameron House. Tours have taken them further afield to other parts of Canada. They have also had the good fortune to be able to perform for the very people many of their songs have been written about...women living with HIV, students, and farmers...in school yards, villages and fields in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. Sue and Dwight have also been a part of Toronto’s Subway Musicians Programme. The experiences of a subway busker have provided a rich source of insights and stories that Sue has compiled in a book called Attention All Subway Riders - A Busker’s Eye View. In 2012, Sue and Dwight developed a musical show that pays homage to the duo’s folk heroes like Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Buffy-Sainte Marie, and Bob Dylan. ‘60′s Folk Singalong - Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone’ tribute show transports audiences back to the coffeehouses of that special time.   During the pandemic Sue and Dwight developed a series of online shows to keep the music alive. 'Livingroom Live', a weekly show of their original songs, a monthly 60's Folk Singalong, and a monthly show dedicated to pop hits of the 1970s are now in their third year. They have played over 200 online shows to audiences across North America since 2020. 


Ben BostickBen Bostick — September 10, 2023

Ben Bostick is a South Carolina-raised, Georgia-based singer-songwriter and one man band.

After leaving home for a decade of rambling and toiling at odd jobs, Bostick blew into California and decided to try his hand busking on the Santa Monica Pier. To the great surprise of the former ranch hand and roofer, Bostick found that he could make a living playing music. Ben saved his busking money and used it to record his debut EP, My Country, in 2016. No Depression says, “he comes on like an unholy alliance of George Jones and Merle Haggard.” My Country was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the Roots/Country category.

His debut album, Ben Bostick (2017), takes on a more progressive country tone, recalling such artists as Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, and showcases his versatility as a songwriter. “This eponymous album is so well written that it is to look into the heart of the divine, a true great,” says Liverpool Sound & Vision.

Hellfire (2018), Bostick’s sophomore release, is a collection of high energy songs written during his band’s yearlong residency at The Escondite in downtown Los Angeles. Lonesome Highway says, "Bostick has a wicked & wry sense of looking at things and amidst a gumbo of Country, Rockabilly, Blues and Rock we are treated to plenty of drinkin’, hard partying on Saturday nights, lustful love flings, poor boy messes and just downright bitter and mean men - loners set to do you harm."

September 2019 brought Bostick and his family to Atlanta, GA. As a follow up to the raucous Hellfire, Bostick released the contemplative Among the Faceless Crowd in the midst of the pandemic in April 2020. The aptly themed album was about working folks having a hard time getting by. The Daily Vault says, "The haunted feel and moral complexity of these songs inevitably bring to mind Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. It’s a point of comparison one should never make lightly, but it’s merited here thanks to the exceptional craft and affecting power of Bostick’s songs."

In February 2020 Bostick welcomed his second daughter into the world. In March the pandemic hit and work dried up. In July Bostick’s eldest daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare and severe genetic disorder that affects all aspects of her life. In the midst of these global and personal trials, Bostick abandoned an album of portraits and penned a collection of love songs to help his wife and him endure. The songs on Grown Up Love (2021) are born from the experience of a couple that has been through the fire.

A stalwart of the Georgia live music scene, Bostick plays 250+ shows a year in bars, breweries, and barbecue joints around the state. 2023’s The Rascal Is Back is a collection of original tunes that are staples of his live repertoire. If you need a soundtrack to your weekend or a musical companion on a long drive, look no further than this fun, funny, propulsive set of country and heartland rock.


Eddie Jeff CahillEddie Jeff Cahill — September 4, 2023

Eddie Jeff Cahill is a wonderful singer songwriter from the Midwest.He has been an annual in studio guest of the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show - up until the pandemic struck. Happy to say Eddie Jeff will be returning this year as once again he dons his costume as the birdman at the Ren Faire in Tuxedo, NY August 26-Oct 8. Not only is he a wonderful performer at the Faire, but he is a wonderful performer in his own rights. Don't miss the return of Eddie Jeff Cahill to the Hootenanny Cafe Cafe.

Remember: This will air on Monday, Sept 4 at 9PM (Est) - Special Night


Robert BidneyRobert Bidney — August 27, 2023

Robert Bidney is a Southwest Florida-based singer-songwriter whose songs are both relatable and have a strong commercial sensibility, and whose messages are as strong as his melodies. Accompanying himself on both guitar and keyboards, he is a seasoned performer who connects with his audiences through his infectious energy and emotional performances. Bidney has been writing songs for most of his life -- songs with meaning – songs that define him and reveal his soul.

His latest release, 2023’s Thank Goodness, features eight tracks that Bidney hopes will help heal the world – inspired by the changes and challenges that we’ve all been experiencing over the past few years. Thank Goodness is his third studio album following 2019’s Rush of Hope (which addresses universal themes through a lens of optimism) and his 2015 debut It’s All About Love (whose songs convey a message of love instead of hate). His recordings are available on all the major digital download and streaming sites. An eclectic array of artists around the world has also covered Bidney’s songs.

His creativity and commercial awareness merged while Bidney was employed by advertising agencies for which he wrote and produced a number of national radio and TV jingles for clients and worked closely with many top musicians, producers and songwriters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Among the companies and organizations for which he’s composed national jingles are ARC Angels, Epilepsy Foundation, Levitz Furniture, Mohawk Carpets, Office Depot, PetSmart, Swim ‘N Sport Shops, and The Sports Authority.

Not one to be pigeonholed into a particular musical style, Bidney writes and performs songs in a folk, Americana and folk-rock vein and has incorporated country, pop and musical theater stylings in his work as well. He cites Leon Russell as his biggest influence, while also counting Burt Bacharach and Graham Nash among his inspirations.

For the past five years, Bidney has been a guest songwriter at the two-week-long Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, a nationally recognized event sponsored by iHeart radio that features successful songwriters from Nashville and across the U.S. He is an active member of the Americana Community Music Association. As a songwriter who frequently delves into topical songs, he also is a juried artist with Music-To-Life (a national nonprofit organization co-founded by Noel “Paul” Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary fame that connects socially conscious musicians with the mentors, resources and training needed to realize their bold visions for community change) and a member of Braver Angels (a grassroots organization that seeks to depolarize American politics).


Sofia TalvikSofia Talvik — August 20, 2023

On her new 9th album ‘Center of the Universe’, Swedish born musician; Sofia Talvik, brings together her own distinctive nordic melancholy, Laurel Canyon vibes and modern folk mixed with bluegrass, further defining the path that is uniquely hers.

Throughout the 10 songs on the album, there is a broad range of topics of some of life’s most earnest moments, ranging from the Ukraine War, American women’s rights, the thousands of missing children in the US and the torment of domestic violence survivors across the world.

The first single "Circle of Destruction" has already been featured in Bluegrass Today as well as picked up by numerous stations around the U.S and Europe, such as the BBC in the UK. A previous version of "Too Many Churches" released last year reached no 3 on Folk Radio Charts in September 2022. An acoustic version of "Meanwhile in Winnsboro" released in the early days of the pandemic was featured in American Songwriter Magazine. The two latter songs are now formally released on the album in new versions.

Talvik has released 9 full length albums and countless singles and eps. She has performed at festivals ranging from Lollapalooza to SXSW. part of the New Acoustic duo Hansan with German cellist David Floer.

Primarily a live artist, Talvik has taken her music across Europe and through 48 U.S. states, riding in her 1989 Winnebago Warrior with her husband and sound technician Jonas at the wheel, digging deep into the American sound and channeling it through her Nordic roots to create a singular brand of Americana. While her Swedish roots serve as the basis for her songwriting, she often calls upon her many journeys and experiences for inspiration, especially the uniquely American archetype of roaming the endless highway.

She is currently on a 4 month 50+ concert Tour of the USA.


Cassidy DickensCassidy Dickens — August 13, 2023

Cassidy Dickens is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter originally from the mountains of southern West Virginia. Surrounded by Appalachia’s colorful storytelling, front porch picking, and rich vocal harmonies from day one, Cassidy has always been enamored by the singular power of music to capture fleeting memories and raw emotion. This lifelong enchantment has inspired a musical catalog overflowing with love, heartbreak, home, and other universal-yet-intensely-personal themes.

Cassidy’s debut album, Ghosts, released in 2014, earned her nominations for Beachcomber Magazine Music Awards’ Best Album & Female Vocalist of the Year. She then moved to Nashville in 2017 and co-produced her sophomore album, Anxious Love, with Californian artist/producer Ben Justus. The album drew cross-genre comparisons to lyrical icons like Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna, as well as contemporary powerhouse female artists like Alanis Morissette and Cam.


Mike WardMike Ward — August 6, 2023

Detroit singer-songwriter Mike Ward is known for his lyrically-centric, vocally-charged folk songs. While growing up in Port Huron, Michigan, he listened to the Irish music of his heritage and sang in several choirs before digesting the influential sounds of Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, Springsteen and John Prine. These days, he finds inspiration in the works of Jason Isbell, Sarah Jarosz and John Paul White. His intimate songwriting echoes through empty city streets, back country roads and family portraits. It also resides in the hidden spaces between joy and tragedy, love and loss.

Ward brings a unique perspective to his songwriting after having spent 40 years working in the advertising industry while continuing a lifelong passion for hockey, which resulted in his infamous nickname “PsychoWard.” His debut album, We Wonder, released in 2018, was named “Best Folk Album of 2019” by Phil Maq of 89.3-FM (WHFR).

In 2019, Ward immersed himself into the songwriting community in Detroit as well as Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) and several online groups. This led to an association with David Roof of Rooftop Recording as well as collaborations with some of Michigan’s finest songwriters and musicians who would contribute mightily on his future projects. Ward released his second album in 2021, "The Darkness and The Light", as a thoughtful way to highlight past struggles, including regret and loss, and champion the need for hope in a changing world. The album landed at #33 on the Folk Alliance International (FAI) folk charts in March 2021 and has been played on the radio internationally.

A year later, Ward dropped "Particles to Pearls", which explores the love of family and the passage of time. In addition to multiple Detroit Music Award recognitions, he received an honorable mention in the Great River Folk Fest Songwriting Contest for the song “Letting Go.” That same year also brought Ward’s sociopolitical EP "Troubled Times" as a bold reminder to raise your voice and chase your freedom. The EP’s three contemplative tracks emphasize protecting individual rights, upholding free speech, and supporting immigration.

This spring, Mike will release his fourth album Love Never Rests, which features 11 introspective tracks that examine observations about life, love and loss along with relationships of the past, present and future. All stories are told through his emotive viewpoints of wisdom and gratitude.

Outside of his releases, Ward performs regularly at small venues, clubs and house shows throughout Michigan, the Midwest, and the East Coast. He’s been on stage at Trinity House Theatre, Wiltsie’s, Lager House, Pete’s Candy Store, Folknet and Over Yonder Concert House. Mike also performs at notable festivals, including the Wheatland Music Festival, FARM DJ showcases and performance lanes, Nor-East’r Festival, Thumbfest, Holler Fest, Thunder Bay Folk Festival and Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats. Finally, Ward has been featured on several radio, podcast and streaming shows such as Ron Olesko’s Folk Music Notebook Shelter in Place Showcase, Jon Stein’s Hootenanny Café Showcase, John Bommarito’s Acoustic Alternatives, Charlie’s Open Mic Acoustic Showcase with Charlie Mosbrook, The Stratton Setlist and Bruce Swan’s Music My Mother Would Not Like.


Christie McCallChristie McCall — July 30, 2023

Christie was born in Newfoundland, Canada, where her father was stationed with the U.S. Navy. Her family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia when she was six months old. Her father served in the US Navy and her mother was a business owner. Still, as she recalls, “My parents worked a lot when I was little, my father was still in the Navy and my mother was a business owner. The one memory from my childhood that stands out the most was that there was always music playing at home. My parents loved to play music on the stereo every single day. My sisters and I would move the living room furniture out of the way and sing and dance and use a hairbrush for a microphone.” Christie and her sisters took piano and ballet lessons for a few years, but only her sisters took singing lessons. 

That was fine with Christie since her ambition from an early age was to become a ballet dancer. “We would visit my aunt in Norfolk every Sunday. On the way home, we would drive by the Hofheimer's Shoe Store, and see the beautiful, satin, pink pointe shoes spotlighted in the window. I would always point them out to my family and say, ‘I am going to be a ballet dancer one day and dance in pointe shoes!’”   Christie took to playing piano as if born to it. “Mom said I started playing songs from the radio by ear on the piano, two hands, when I was four years old. I could sing 2-3-4-part harmonies when I was six.” Besides a knack for playing piano, Christie’s singing talents proved to be even more formidable. Even though her dream was to become a ballet dancer, she had to stop dancing when she landed her first professional “gig” on The Spirit of Norfolk, a local dinner cruise ship, when she was only fifteen and a half years old. Her career blossomed to include singing for weddings and receptions. These musical ventures solidified Christie’s ambitions to pursue a career in the performing arts.    In college, Christie shifted back to her first love of dancing, first earning a B.A. in Theater, with a dance emphasis, at Old Dominion University and an M.F.A. at the University of Oklahoma in Modern Dance Pedagogy, Choreography, and Performance. After graduate school, she achieved her childhood dream by joining two of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s casts of CATS, first performing in the Hamburg, Germany production, and later in the National Broadway Tour as Sillabub which played throughout the US and Canada. After years of touring, she would go on to become a professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (a position she still holds), teaching courses in the Anthropology and History of the Fine and Performing Arts of World Cultures. She also taught Ballet and Jazz Technique at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.    The starting point of her recording career began in 2001 when she traveled to Vermont to renowned Imaginary Road Studios to record a demo. What began as a demo evolved into recording her first vocal album, Don’t Look Back. As often happens, life intervened. The time from her first recording session to the formal release has been a wonderful journey and Christie is excited to launch her career as a vocal artist. Her first single, "Leap of Faith," was released earlier this year, and her debut CD, Don't Look Back, produced by Will Ackerman, Grammy Award winning artist and founder of Windham Hill Records, will be released on October 26, 2023.


Jim PageJim Page — July 23, 2023

This is what some are saying about Jim Page. Good reasons to tune in!!!!

“One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History” - Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Recorded 21 albums. Songs covered by Doobie Brothers, Christy Moore, Dick Gaughan, Michael Hedges, Roy Bailey. Toured 13 countries. “If Jim Page ain’t the bastard son of Woody Guthrie I’m T-Bone Walker” - Robert Hunter

And the theme that Jim chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Success Against The Odds (or, Beating The Odds).


Jeni HackettJeni Hackett — July 16, 2023

Jeni Hackett is a singer/songwriter from Kresgeville, Pennsylvania. Jeni started performing while in high school back in 1996. She never had a passion for music until suffering a knee injury opened a musical door that led Jeni to where she is today. She is a self-taught guitarist and with a natural vocal ability. Never having a music lesson in her life, she has mastered her way through the live and recording scene of Northeast PA. In 2000 she traveled out to Kansas City, MO to record her first EP: Frozen Hearts/Flaming Fire. After coming home, she worked her way through all of the local open mics to finally get her foot in the door to start playing live PAID shows.

In 2002 she released her first full length album, Gravity, which was produced and recorded at the Menagerie Studios in Saylorsburg, PA. Right Before My Eyes, was Jeni’s second full length disc. That was also produced and recorded at the Menagerie Studios and released in 2004. Jeni has also had her tunes released on a few compilation CDs, including The Stage TV-Stripped, WNTI Unsigned Volume 1, and The Menagerie Compilation Disc.

In 2005, Jeni’s solo career came to a halt when she joined her first band, SteelCreek. This was her first experience venturing into the country music world. Her uncle, who was the keyboard player of the band at the time, convinced her give it a shot. Almost 20 years later, the band is still together and playing more than ever! It is comprised of six musicians who have been in and around music for the majority of their lives. Jeni and the band have opened for national acts such as, Joe Nichols, Confederate Railroad, The Weight Band, The Bacon Brothers, Tim Foust of Home Free, Austin Burke and Kaleb Lee. They have also been seen on local TV stations and various telethons, and have appeared on numerous radio stations.

Jeni is currently in the studio mixing her third full length CD, Black & Blue and she released her first music video last year for the title track of the album: Black and Blue. She is also very busy performing live. Just this year alone, she has 163 shows booked for herself as a solo act, acoustic duo or trio and the full six-piece band.


The ScoochesThe Scooches — July 10, 2023

Global folk sensation The Scooches, led by vocalist Betina Hershey and multi-instrumentalist Nick Russo, have announced the release of ‘LIFT YOU UP,’ the celebrated group’s third full-length album. The NYC-based band, formerly known as Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, raise their voices, their instruments, their consciousness, with an eclectic melting pot of original music inspired by world folk traditions, global Americana, New Orleans verve and the unfettered exuberance of the 1920s. Expertly helping with the lifting is a world-class lineup of standout musicians from New York, Suriname, Sapelo Island (Georgia), Mexico, India, and the Caribbean. Elmore Magazine championed the group’s “remarkable musical dexterity with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition” while Big Takeover Magazine best described their fluid convergence of minds, souls and cultures as “Not just music forged from myriad sounds and cultural styles garnered from genre and geography but the music of the world, about the world.” The new 12-song collection builds upon the exuberance that made 2018’s ‘Get Us Out Of Fearland’ (#2 on the International Folk Chart) and ‘Very Next Thing’ (2016), a transcendent breath of fresh air. Inspired by the current social climate, most of the songs on LIFT YOU UP, including “Let’s Grow Our Roots Deep And True,” “Spread Your Wings And Fly” and “Open A Door,” call upon society and the human race to believe that we, collectively, can make a difference, a change for the better. Lead single, "Stop This Climate Change,” a poetic and uplifting anthem fraught with grave concern, yet infused with positive intuition, perfectly encapsulates their empathetic, yet urgent, call to action. Other album highlights include the reggae-dub groove of the title track, the playful, country break-up song “I Broke The Egg,” the 1920s-inspired “What’s Meant To Last Will Last,” the smoky Motown-inflected duet “Give It To Me Real” (featuring Miles Griffith and Hershey trading lines), the gospel-tinged “Leavin’,” the eerily lilting “Run,” about trafficking and gun violence, and the rollicking bluegrass-driven “Let’s Grow Our Roots Deep And True,” about finding home. The ever-timely traditional protest song “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round” (which Joan Baez recently sang with Justin Jones of the Tennessee Three at Newark airport) is presented in two versions and both are stunners; the first a celebration to lift the spirits, the second a Gullah Geechee version featuring stirring contributions from improvisational vocals from Miles Griffith and drumfolk riddim percussionist/vocalist Dr. David Pleasant. With production and jaw harp from Len Monachello at Soundtronics in NYC, LIFT YOU UP raises the bar with spirited contributions from Angela Workman (vocals), Russell Hall (bass), Kenny Kosek (fiddle), Jennifer Vincent (double bass), Ahmad Johnson (drums), Hilliard Greene (double bass), Art Hirihara (organ) and dancer Michela Marino Lerman, who adds a bit of tap on “What’s Meant to Last Will Last.” In total, 17 musicians combine forces to lift you up. Over the years, The Scooches have performed at the Kansas City Folk Festival, Club Passim, Blue Plate Special, WFUV, John Platt's “On Your Radar” and syndicated old-time radio show WoodSongs with various members also performing with artists such as Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Jerry Garcia, Julia Roberts, and Wynton Marsalis. Russo and Hershey have made appearances in movies such as Disney's ‘Enchanted,’ ‘Mona Lisa Smile,’ ‘Away We Go’ and PBS Masterpiece’s ‘The Chaperone’. “Americana music at its purest and most impressive” - No Depression “A band that has to be seen to be believed.” - John Platt (WFUV) VERY NEXT THING #6 Album - International Folk DJ Chart (Sept 2016) GET US OUT OF FEARLAND #2 Album - International Folk DJ Chart (April 2018)


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