Jul 042011
 

World class fiddler and local hero Lissa Schneckenburger with Boston based guitarist Bethany Waickman come to the Nelson Town Hall on Friday, October 7 for an 8 PM concert. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr).

The traditional music of New England can be as warm and comforting as a winter fire or as potent and exhilarating as a summer thunderstorm. Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger is a master of both moods, a winsome, sweet-voiced singer who brings new life to old ballads and a skillful, dynamic fiddler who captures the driving rhythm and carefree joy of dance tunes old and new.

Raised in a small town in Maine and now living in Vermont, Lissa grew up with music. She began playing fiddle at the age of six, inspired by her mother’s interest in folk music and a family friend who was a professional violinist. Soon she was studying with influential Maine fiddler Greg Boardman and sitting in with the Maine Country Dance Orchestra. By the time she was in high school she was playing concerts on her own, specializing in the sprightly New England dance tunes that combine influences from the British Isles and Quebec with homegrown twists that have been evolving since Colonial days. Another of her major influences was the diverse musical community that she found at fiddle camps, where she had a chance to play with and learn from a wide variety of musicians including noted Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser. In 2001 she graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in contemporary improvisation, and since then has been performing around the US and internationally for a growing audience of enthusiastic listeners. She has recorded seven CDs, (four solo and three with various groups).

Lissa’s fiddling is uplifting and lively, and her singing is gentle and evocative. Both in concert and in the studio she is regularly accompanied by some of New England’s best musicians, including guitarists Keith Murphy and Matt Heaton and double bassist Corey DiMario. Recently she has been closely studying the roots of the Downeast traditional music that she first heard as a young girl. Her latest project is a pair of CDs dedicated to reintroducing some wonderful but largely forgotten songs and tunes from New England that she uncovered through archival research at the University of Maine and elsewhere. “Song”, to be released in April 2008, contains ten timeless ballads that go back as far as the eighteenth century that she set to carefully crafted modern arrangements, while “Dance”, scheduled for 2009, will feature fiddle tunes. “There is currently a lot of focus on traditional American music from the South”, she explains, “and many bands are exploring and recording that repertoire, but no one is getting to hear the amazing repertoire of traditional music from the North. This is my first attempt at getting some of that music out there for people to enjoy.”

Whether playing for a folk club audience or a hall full of dancers, Lissa brings to the stage enthusiasm, energy, and the bright future of New England’s musical traditions.

 Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm
May 092011
 

Sepia piano bench small

ANNALIVIA returns to the Nelson Town Hall on June 17, 2011  at 8:00 PM.

Admission is $12/$9(senior, youth)

Check out their website for a live version of Murphy’s Shadow performed 11/4/2009 in Peterborough, NH.

At the cutting edge of acoustic and traditional music, Annalivia fuses old and new world sounds to create an authentic new sound, both steeped in tradition and alive with new energy, innovation and originality. Drawing from the musical traditions of Appalachia, Cape Breton, Scotland, England and Ireland, the members of Annalivia also write their own material, including inventive, quirky fiddle tunes and lushly arranged songs. Annalivia is made up of seasoned musicians who have toured with the likes of Cathie Ryan, John Whelan, The Glengarry Bhoys, Dewey Balfa, and Adrienne Young.

The members of Annalivia – Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, Emerald Rae, Brendan Carey – Block and Stuart Kenney are equally at home playing a set of traditional Scottish tunes as they are performing a ballad from the Appalachian mountains. All this they achieve with grace, style and an abundance of youthful energy!

“With a wealth of individual talent on display and so much to absorb, there is no doubt that [Annalivia] will be listened to again and again.”
Irish Music Magazine

Mar 012011
 

We are extremely excited to present the April Verch Band on Sunday, May 15 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $18/$15(seniors, youth).

When you see April Verch perform, perhaps you remember her from the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the first thing that strikes you is the pure energy that infuses her fiddle playing and stepdancing.  When you listen to  her though, what draws you in are more subtle things—her pure voice, the finely detailed elegance of her fiddle phrasing and the depth of a repertoire that ranges through material from bluegrass to Brazilian to Celtic, from a jaunty Canadian folk-song to a poignant contemporary ballad.

April was born, raised and is now living in the Ottawa Valley, where her family has lived for generations. It’s an area with a rich, distinctive musical and stepdancing tradition shaped by the diverse roots of the immigrants drawn to the region’s lumber camps. With her band, she plays traditional and original songs that draw from all over the world, but are clearly filtered through her immersion in the style she grew up with in the Ottawa Valley.

It was April’s time spent studying music at Berkelee College of Music in Boston (under Matt Glaser and Darol Anger) that first lead her to blend together different forms of  traditional music to form her own distinct sound.  She then launched her professional career by winning the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and the Canadian Open Fiddle Champion titles (the first and only woman to win both).  In addition to her vigorous touring schedule, she is in great demand for her teaching skills at workshops, master classes and music camps.

The April Verch Band consists of world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. Verch leads the band with her own simultaneous fiddling and dancing and together they have been selling out prestigious venues and festivals for years. They have toured across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and last year made a six week tour in Australia for the first time. In 2011 they are slated for their debut tour in China. They have established a reputation as consummate performers with boundless energy on stage that inevitably brings audiences to their feet.

 Posted by on March 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm
Nov 232010
 

mummers

On Saturday, December 18 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 2010 Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient Douglas Brunson, a 13 year old, home-schooled 8th grader who started playing piano at the age of five and accordion at age eight will entertain us with his 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.

Oct 252010
 

One of our Annual Seasonal Extravaganzas!

Not to be missed!

Friday, December 3 at 8:00 PM

Dublin Community Church

$15/$12(senior, youth & Advance)

This will be the thirty-sixth 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 25, 2010 at 6:42 pm  Tagged with: ,
Dec 022009
 

Sepia piano bench small

Annalivia returns to the Nelson Town Hall on February 5, 2010 at 8:00 PM. Admission is $12/$9(senior, youth). Check out their website for a live version of Murphy’s Shadow performed 11/4/2009 in Peterborough, NH.

Annalivia plays traditional music from North America, the UK and Ireland with fresh, modern interpretations, while also adding their own original songs and tunes to the traditional canon. All this they achieve with grace, style and an abundance of youthful energy! Annalivia is made up of seasoned musicians who have toured with the likes of Cathie Ryan, John Whelan, The Glengarry Bhoys, and Adrienne Young. Annalivia’s sound is fresh and innovative, while still maintaining the authenticity of the tradition. The members of Annalivia, Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, Emerald Rae, Brendan Carey-Block and Stuart Kenney, are equally at home playing a set of traditional Scottish tunes as they are performing a traditional ballad from the Appalachian mountains!

“These are good times for neo-traditional bands, and Annalivia introduces itself as another noteworthy one.”
-Dirty Linen Magazine

 Posted by on December 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm
Sep 132009
 

nowell081

One of our Annual Seasonal Extravaganzas!

Not to be missed!

Friday, December 11 at 8:00 PM at the Dublin Community Church. $15/$12(senior, youth)

Advance reservations closed. First come first served at the door. Come early as this may be a sell-out. Doors open @ 7:15 PM.

This will be the thirty-fifth 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 September 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm
Jul 172009
 

Cape Breton fiddler and composer Jerry Holland has died after a two-year battlejerryholland180 with cancer. He was 54.  Holland died Thursday night.

Holland was originally from Boston. As a boy, he travelled to Cape Breton in the summer with his family. He moved to the island permanently in 1975.  He performed publicly for the first time at age six — a year after he started to learn the fiddle. He performed on the John Allan Cameron Show from 1974-1977, and played stages around the world.  Over the years, Holland earned a reputation as one of the finest composers and players of Cape Breton-style music.

Jerry was a great friend to the Monadnock Folklore Society, and performed in the Nelson Town Hall on several occassions, most recently in April of 2008. His presence reinforced the Nelson – Cape Breton connection that has been nourished by Harvey Tolman and Roger Treat, both regular fiddler’s at the Nelson Monday Night contra dance.

Farewell Jerry – thanks for the tunes, and for your great spirit – may it soar freely now.

Listen

visit Jerry’s Web Site

 Posted by on July 17, 2009 at 11:47 am
Apr 052009
 

lissaschneckenburger

LISSA SCHNECKENBURGER

TRADITIONAL FIDDLER  AND FOLK  SINGER

Hooker Dunham Theater
139 Main St, Brattleboro, VT
http://www.hookerdunham.org

“…exhilarating young traditional performer…” – Dirty Linen

“Schneckenburger’s playing is… quietly virtuosic… (her) voice is pure and clear, full of simple emotion…” – All Music Guide

Vermont based fiddler and folk singer Lissa Schneckenburger announces spring tour dates with her acoustic trio.  As an active member of the folk music community, Lissa continues to explore musical traditions, embracing a diverse palette of influences while staying true to her New England roots.

Schneckenburger’s most recent release, Song is the first in a pair of CDs dedicated to reintroducing some wonderful but largely forgotten repertoire from New England’s rich musical heritage.  Her fiddling is uplifting and lively and her singing gentle and evocative.  Both in concert and in the studio she is regularly accompanied by some of the countries best musicians.  Recently she has been closely studying the roots of the Downeast traditional music that she first heard as a young girl.

Song contains ten timeless ballads that trace as far back as the eighteenth century that Schneckenburger carefully set to modern arrangements.  “There is currently a lot of focus on traditional American music from the South” she explains “and many bands are exploring that repertoire, but no one is getting to hear the amazing wealth of traditional music from the North.  This is my first attempt at getting some of that music out there for people to enjoy.  It is really important that we represent these two essential aspects of New England’s traditional music heritage equally.  The songs and dance tunes combine to create an overview of the culture and the sound of traditional music from the Northeast.  The CDs Song and Dance are two halves of a whole that describes a musical heritage I am very proud of.”  The second recording, Dance, is scheduled for release in 2010.

Schneckenburger will be touring throughout the north east in April, along with guitar player Bethany Waickman and accordionist Chris Stevens.  Their vibrant acoustic renditions of traditional ballads and fiddle tunes are not to be missed!

For more information, please visit Lissa’s website at www.lissafiddle.com

 Posted by on April 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm