Jan 262014
 

CHanterelleCrop

Josée Vachon and Donna Hébert have embodied traditional and original Franco-American fiddle and song all their lives. Twenty years ago, they met and became musical partners, forming Chanterelle with former guitarist Liza Constable and bassist Alan Bradbury. Alan returns with Josée, Donna and her guitarist, Max Cohen, for a performance at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday March 9 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

Josée’s unabashed ‘joie de vivre’ is infectious. Born in Lac Megantic and raised over the border in Brownville ME, singer-songwriter Vachon is beloved of Franco audiences, who regularly sing along in French. Her long stint hosting “Bonjour” on cable in the Northeast brought her to many Franco-American homes, and she has continued to record and tour. A recipient of awards from the keys to the city of Woonsocket, to a spot on NEA traditional touring rosters like “The Women’s Singing Traditions,” Josée is an icon within the Franco-American culture.

Western MA fiddler Donna Hébert, named an Artist Fellow in Franco-American fiddling by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, was recognized by Governor Deval Patrick in 2009 for “outstanding artistic achievement.” A fiddle instructor at Smith and Amherst Colleges, Donna performs in a fiddle/guitar duo with Max Cohen (who joins them on this tour), Celtic trio Mist Covered Mountains with Max and her daughter, Molly Hebert-Wilson, and the new Panache Quartet with fiddlers Andrea Beaton, Veronique Plasse and Jane Rothfield.

Alan Bradbury’s Cajun group, Magnolia, are the mainstay of the region’s Cajun music and dance scene. Check out their Providence area dances. Alan’s bass, accordion and vocals just make Donna and Josée so happy that it’s always a homecoming to play Chanterelle gigs with him. Donna’s played dances with Alan since the early 1980s, so she snared him early on for Chanterelle.

Max Cohen is one of the best kept secrets in the guitar world, the true musician’s musician (producer, engineer, arranger), the ‘masked man’ of accompaniment who makes the singers realize the song’s potential. Max also accompanies folksinger Priscilla Herdman, who says, “Max is one of those rare guitarists able to create an atmosphere that supports and cradles the voice with both tenderness and strength.” Donna adds that he “rocks like crazy.”

 

 Posted by on January 26, 2014 at 9:30 am
Dec 072013
 

mummersOn Saturday, December 21, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters(Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, Heather Bower, & Allison Aldrich) and friends; as part of the concert, this year’s Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient  will entertain us with their musicianship. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contradance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away.

 Posted by on December 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm
Nov 102013
 
Nelson Music Collection

Photo from the cover of the Nelson Music Collection

The Nelson Music Collection was first published in 1969, as a “Collection of Authentic Square Dance Melodies. Compiled by Newt Tolman, a flute player from Nelson, and his piano accompanist, Kay Gilbert from Peterborough, it contains 64 tunes that might be heard at one of the local square dances. It became an important resource over the next decade as the face of square dancing evolved (and became more commonly known as contra dancing), and as young musicians aspired to learn the tunes so that they could play for the dances. Eventually it took a back seat to newer collections which offered additional and newly popularized tunes, but serious scholars and musicians remained aware of its existence. Newt and Kay also issued an LP recording of the same name, which featured many of the tunes from the book. It was one of the first commercial recordings of this music. Continue reading »

Oct 062013
 

NSWC portrait

Monadnock Folklore Society’s annual presentation of this seasonal favorite! Admission $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

Nowell Sing We Clear with its unusual songs, carols, stories, and customs has toured every year since 1975. Drawn mostly from English-language folk traditions, the songs tell both a version of the events and characters involved in the Christmas story and detail the customs which make up the twelve magical days following the return of the light at the winter solstice. Many of these ancient customs are the basis of the today’s holiday traditions, such as visiting and feasting, gift-giving, carol singing from door-to-door and the adorning of houses and churches with garlands of evergreen.

Nowell Sing We Clear celebrates Christmas as it was known for centuries in Britain and North America and as it continues in many places to the present.  The songs come from an age when the midwinter season was a time for joyous celebration and vigorous expression of older, perhaps pagan, religious ideas. There is not always a clear line between these and the rejoicing at the birth of Jesus bringing a fresh light into the world at this dark midwinter time. A special and unusual treat is the enactment of a Mummers Play from Kentucky.  Performed in the traditional manner, the play is typical of folk dramas which survive to this day throughout Britain and North America symbolizing and portraying the death of the land at midwinter and its subsequent rebirth in the spring.

While much of the singing is done in unaccompanied style, the pageant is also stamped with the energetic dance band sound of fiddle, button accordion, electric piano, drums, and concertina.  The audience will be supplied with song sheets and encouraged to sing along, though after three decades of touring in New England, a whole generation of young people have grown up with these songs and carols and sing along with as much as they can. Some “new”, that is “different”, songs and carols are introduced every year.  Performers are John Roberts and Tony Barrand, widely known for their lively presentations of English folk songs, and Fred Breunig and Andy Davis, well known in New England as dance callers and musicians.

Nowell Sing We Clear has become a regular part of some communities on the Eastern seaboard.This year the ensemble will be playing as far south as West Chester, PA, and as far north as Brattleboro, VT.   The group has several recordings of songs from the show which have been popular items in many households at this time of year. Their CDs are drawn from songs learned for their concerts: The newest is Nowell, Nowell, Nowell. Others are Just Say Nowell, Hail Smiling Morn (which has a cover designed by famous Vermont artist, Mary Azarian), Nowell SingWe Four,  and Nowell, Nowell, Nowell. The first three LP recordings are all well represented on a compact disk, The Best of Nowell: 1976 – 1985 All recordings are available from Golden Hind Records.

 Posted by on October 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Mar 312013
 

RobertsCowan_promo_4c-500x385We’re excited to bring John Roberts back to the Nelson Town Hall for a concert with Debra Cowan on Saturday, April 27.  The show gets underway at 8:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

It all started with a question in 2009: “How are you getting to Chicago?”

And with that, folk musicians John Roberts and Debra Cowan decided to team up for a series of small concerts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois before arriving as separately booked artists at the Fox Valley Folklore Society’s annual festival. The combination of car-pool and mini-tour was successful enough that John and Debra decided to do more performing together both in the USA and the United Kingdom.

John and Debra met for the first time at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1999 where John and his long-time musical partner, Tony Barrand were performing a concert of Maritime Songs. Afterwards, they continued to meet at various folk music events in New England and became friends, often appearing on stage together at New England folk festivals.

John and Debra both share an enthusiasm and passion for the old songs and ballads that have been handed down through the oral tradition in the English-speaking world. Even though a John Roberts and Debra Cowan evening will certainly include many traditional songs, there will be contemporary songs as well, some by writers personally known to both performers. Be prepared to join in and sing along!

“a brilliant evening, and they complement each other beautifully!”

– Audience member in Cleveland, OH

 Posted by on March 31, 2013 at 10:01 am
Nov 152012
 

The Finnish dance group Revontulet (Fitchburg, MA) and band Oivan Ilo (New Ipswich, NH) will perform at Mariposa on Saturday, November 17, 7 PM.  You may have enjoyed their wonderful performance in June, 2010 when they appeared as part of “Peoples of the North”.

Tickets will be $12/adult, $10/member and $5/child & student.

Oct 312012
 

Trip to Nelson, a contra dance band born in the Nelson Town Hall, will be playing a concert celebrating the release of their new recording, The Winding Road (named after any road that you might take to get to Nelson. The concert gets under way Friday, January 4 at 8:00PM. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr).

The band’s name comes from a tune written by fiddler Pete Sutherland after a concert in the Nelson Town Hall on March 30th, 1984. The tune is included on the album.

Trip to Nelson plays in a style that is both innovative, and respectful of the tradition of New England contra dance music. With many different instrumental configurations at their disposal, they can cover a wide range of orchestrations, producing rich textures and dramatic flair.

The band consists of:
Perin Ellsworth-Heller: fiddle;
Matt Garland: flute, whistle, accordion;
Richard Backes: guitar, mandolin, fiddle, accordion;
Lizza Backes: flute, whistle, concertina;
Gordon Peery: piano, guitar

This concert will also include some special guests who occasionally also play at the Nelson Monday Night Dance.

Trip to Nelson: Sampler from forthcoming CD, “The Winding Road” from Gordon Peery on Vimeo.

 Posted by on October 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Mar 052012
 




Troy MacGillivray returns to the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, May 13 for a 7:00 PM show. Admission is $15/$12 (Sr/Jr). On this visit Troy will be accompanied by Kimberley Fraser, a master at the trio of fiddling, step dancing and piano. Troy and Kimberley will be offering afternoon workshops starting at 1:30 PM. Cost is $50, Register for piano or fiddle at info@troymacgillivray.com.

Troy MacGillivray was raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia; his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.

Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray  displays a unique sense of pride and commitment to his Celtic heritage and his music continues to add to the history and development of the traditional music that is the epitome of the Maritimes, the place he calls home!

Continue reading »

 Posted by on March 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm
Oct 022011
 




On Saturday, December 17 we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music; as part of the concert 2011 Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient  will entertain us with their musicianship. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contradance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away.

 Posted by on October 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm
Oct 022011
 


One of our Annual Seasonal Extravaganzas!

NOT TO BE MISSED!

Friday, December 9 at 8:00 PM

DUBLIN COMMUNITY CHURCH

$15/$12(Sr/Jr)

This will be the thirty-seventh touring season of Nowell Sing We Clear with its unusual songs, carols, stories, and customs. Drawn mostly from English-language folk traditions, the songs tell both a version of the events and characters involved in the Christmas story and detail the customs which make up the twelve magical days following the return of the light at the winter solstice. Many of these ancient customs are the basis of the today’s holiday traditions, such as visiting and feasting, gift-giving, carol singing from door-to-door and the adorning of houses and churches with garlands of evergreen.

Nowell Sing We Clear celebrates Christmas as it was known for centuries in Britain and North America and as it continues in many places to the present.  The songs come from an age when the midwinter season was a time for joyous celebration and vigorous expression of older, perhaps pagan, religious ideas. There is not always a clear line between these and the rejoicing at the birth of Jesus bringing a fresh light into the world at this dark midwinter time. A special and unusual treat is the enactment of a Mummers Play from Kentucky.  Performed in the traditional manner, the play is typical of folk dramas which survive to this day throughout Britain and North America symbolizing and portraying the death of the land at midwinter and its subsequent rebirth in the spring.

While much of the singing is done in unaccompanied style, the pageant is also stamped with the energetic dance band sound of fiddle, button accordion, electric piano, drums, and concertina.  The audience will be supplied with songsheets and encouraged to sing along, though after three decades of touring in New England, a whole generation of young people have grown up with these songs and carols and sing along with as much as they can. Some “new”, that is “different”, songs and carols are introduced every year.  Performers are John Roberts and Tony Barrand, widely known for their lively presentations of English folk songs, and Fred Breunig and Andy Davis, well known in New England as dance callers and musicians.

Nowell Sing We Clear has become a regular part of some communities on the Eastern seaboard.  The group has several recordings of songs from the show which have been popular items in many households at this time of year. Their CDs are drawn from songs learned for their concerts: The newest is Just Say Nowell, Hail Smiling Morn has a cover designed by famous Vermont artist, Mary Azarian, and Nowell SingWe Four.The first three LP recordings are all well represented on a compact disk, The Best of Nowell: 1976 – 1985 All recordings are available from Golden Hind Records.

 Posted by on October 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm