☼ Cold River Ranters | Nelson Town Hall (8:00 PM)

$12 General/$9 (Sr/Jr)

Download the Poster for this Concert.

Hot Gonzo Primitive Folk Jive !!!!





Roots music! That’s probably the impression that comes to the mind of anyone seeing The Cold River Ranters for the first time. And it’s a pretty reasonable conclusion. A lot of the band’s repertoire is made up of the older kinds of American folk music—Appalachian fiddle tunes, sea chanteys, riverboat songs, blues and folk dance music from the black South, and the jug band music that came out of the black experience, as well. Also there are Celtic pieces, which are related to the Americana the Ranters perform.

However, there are some unusual tunes that fit very well with the others on stage, but don’t seem to fit the categories that one might be reaching for to describe the band. On any given night you might hear a tribal melody from Africa, a lilting tune from high in the Himalayas, a catchy dance rhythm from the Caribbean, or an ecstatic number from the Indian Subcontinent. And there are the originals that reflect all of these influences. Oh, yes, don’t be surprised to hear a cut or two from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, and John Prine. What ties it altogether is the mad energy the Ranters put into every piece of music they perform and the primitive folksiness they seem to thrive on. There is a lifting power in each performance that you are just not going to get with the majority of folk acts.

Banjo, mandolin, resonator guitar, acoustic bass and accordion—the Cold River Ranters proudly present the traditional instruments from the American past. But how about alto saxophone, clarinet, parlor bagpipes, or bamboo flute? The Ranters don’t have a museum-like approach to their music, which would have the tunes remain preserved and untouched in glass cases. Instead they see traditions as alive and ever-changing, so they have no problem with introducing out-of-the-ordinary instruments into the mix—nor in digging up old relics that have nearly been forgotten and figuring out how to include them as well, instruments like jaw harps, jawbones, metal jugs, bones and gopichandras. They use these seeming oddities not as novelties to get a few laughs from an audience, but because they are as useful in creating the Ranter sound as a banjo or a steel-bodied guitar.

Energy and artistic integrity is the key to the band’s expression. The melodies reflect various cultural traditions, but the pulse created by  the musicianship, the unique blend of the instruments themselves, and the blood- and-guts stylings of the lead singers take the music to  unexpected places.

Think acoustic, think folksy, but anticipate an edge beyond.

A night with the Cold River Ranters is always a celebration!

8:00 PM

Saturday, March 28, 2009

$12 General/$9 (Sr/Jr/Advance)

If you wish to mail a check for advance reservations, make the check payable to Monadnock Folklore Society and mail (so we receive the check at least 1 week before the concert) to the address on our Contact Us page.

NEW RECORDING: The Montville Project

The Montville Project is a new recording of quintessential New England tunes, performed by four quintessential New England musicians: Art Bryan, George Fowler, Surya Mitchell, and Fred White. The project grew out of a workshop which the musicians presented at the 2007 Maine Fiddle Camp inMontville, Maine, called The Essential Dance Tune Repertoire. As explained in the liner notes, “Any musical tradition has a core repertoire which experienced players are expected to know.” Attendees of the aforementioned workshop encouraged the recording of the tunes – most of them have been recorded previously and in some cases frequently, but until now there has not been a definitive collection exclusively representing the classics. “Definitive” must be qualified: originally 200 tunes were identified as candidates, but practical considerations required editing the list down to 53. Most of the tunes are presented in sets of three or four, for a total of 22 tracks, making over an hour and seven minutes of music! Read more

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion | Deb’s House Concerts | Chesham

More Info
Deb’s Chesham House Concerts

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

March 14 at 7:00pm
Potluck at 6:00
Tickets $

RSVP at 603-827-2905 or
email deb@pfmsconcerts.org
(Limited seating)

“The distinguishing feature throughout is the couple’s caressing harmonies, which carry on the legacy of Johnny and June, Gram and Emmylou.”-Maverick“.the pair click together like an old belt buckle.”-Independent On Sunday

“Authentic.” “Timeless.” “Harmonious.” “Exhilarating.” Any or all of these adjectives could describe the folk-rock sound created by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion (eye-ree-un). The musical richness and psychological depth of their initial collaboration, the fittingly titled Exploration, is irrefutable proof that the disarming granddaughter of Woody/daughter of Arlo and the prodigious South Carolinian quite naturally bring out the best in each other.

Sarah Lee was two years old when she made her singing debut as part of a children’s chorus on Arlo’s 1981 album, Power of Love, but she had little subsequent interest in making music herself, although she was surrounded by it. “I think it was in me,” she says, “but I wasn’t ready for it.” After graduating from high school in 1997, Sarah Lee agreed to tour-manage her father, who was emceeing the Further Festival, on which members of the Grateful Dead were joined by the Black Crowes. She got on so well with the Crowes and Chris Robinson that, when the tour ended, she made what proved to be a life-altering decision: “I knew all these cool rock & roll guys, so I decided to move to L.A.”

Irion came out of the vibrant Carolina indie-rock scene of the early ’90s, first as a member of Queen Sarah Saturday and later with Dillon Fence. He, too, got friendly with Robinson while Dillon Fence was on the road with the Crowes. Robinson convinced Irion to come out to L.A. and join Freight Train, a band he was producing. That was in the fall of ‘97, just after Sarah Lee arrived in town. Whether by serendipity or cosmic intervention, the two were on a collision course; they met at an L.A. club and began dating a week later.

For more music information visit Peterborough Folk Music Society’s web site at pfmsconcerts.org

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance | Nelson | Caller Rebecca Lay, Music by Gift of the Marcii

Saturday, March 14
Nelson Town Hall
7:30 Beginner’s Workshop
8:00 – 11:30 – dance
Admission $8 / $6 for students and senior citizens
Info: 603-762-0235

Gift of the Marcii is a high-energy contra dance band which uses accordion, piano, concertina, mountain dulcimer, vocal effects and various sorts of percussion,  to create a rich and unusual sound, bringing a unique experience to the contra dance. Brothers Andrew and Aaron Marcus are also members of the band Giant Robot Dance. Young Brattleboro caller Rebecca Lay is known for her clear teaching and melodious voice.

If you’re in town, come to the Corned Beef & fixings dinner at the Nelson Congregational Church, from 5 – 7. INFO

Download the Poster for this dance

☼ Colman’s Well | Nelson Town Hall

Colman’s Well in Concert
Wednesday July 2
7:30 PM
Nelson Town Hall
$10/$8 (Sr/Jr)

Unique and enthralling, Colman’s Well moves from sweet to strident and from Ireland to Appalachia, touching heart and soul with their vocal blend.

Colman’s Well is Nils Fredland, Rachel Gordon, and Brendan Taaffe. Bringing together their love of harmony, they sing an eclectic blend of (mostly) a cappella songs, ranging from the Stanley Brothers and the Sacred Harp to Fiona Apple and Monkey Puzzle (though, admittedly, they lean more towards the front half of that equation). The three first sang together in Ireland last summer as part of a Turtle Dove Harmony camp, performing a Doc Watson number in front of a sold-out crowd in Westport, Co. Mayo and have since gone from strength to strength, pulling on material from the bluegrass canon, the stark power of shape note music, and contemporary folk to deliver songs with verve and delight. Reveling in tight, unaccompanied harmony, the trio does bring some instrumentation into play, with Brendan on guitar, mbira and ukulele, Nils on trombone, and everybody on various forms of percussion.

MySpace Page for Colman’s Well

Enticing biographical sketches:

Nils has traveled a diverse road to Colman’s Well. Starting off as a boy soprano, he entered college as a low bass. Nils’s deep voice and openness have landed him in a wild range of ensembles: barbershop quartets and early music groups at Indiana University; award-winning a cappella group Monkey Puzzle, at the forefront of the thriving original music scene in Bloomington in the 1990’s; Malcom Dalglish’s olites, which recorded two BMG released CD’s; hot ska band Johnny Socko; and Northern Harmony.

Rachel’s musical pursuits have taken her from musical theater stages in Illinois to choral venues in Ireland. Passionate about singing her whole life, Rachel grew up in Normal (yes, really), Illinois in a home full of music, and has been a member of several a cappella groups, including the all-female Sirens at Macalester College and Treble in New York City. Rachel moved to southern Vermont in 2007 after falling in love with western New England’s wealth of beautiful vistas and musical opportunities, and is currently learning to play the fiddle and upright bass in addition to singing with Colman’s Well and several community groups.

Brendan was raised on a steady diet of Pete Seeger and Irish music and was brought to his first shape note sing by his grandmother. The sounds that burst out in that old New England town hall still ring in his ears, and his high tenor and striking compositions have seen him sing with Northern Harmony roughout Europe, teach with Village Harmony, and perform with a number of smaller groups. Brendan is the founder of Turtle Dove Harmony, an organization that brings adults together to sing, and a co- director of the Franklin County Hospice Singers.

Eighteen Feet Square and Seven Feet Stud

“Know all men by these presents, that I Samuel Shadwick of Newton in the County of Middlesex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay housewright am holden and stand firmly bound and obliged unto William Dudley of Roxbury, [there follows 10 additional names] … all of the Province aforesaid, in the full and just sum of forty pounds, to be paid to the said Dudley [and the 10 others] … a committee for the admitting settlers into the line of towns so called … which payment well and faithfully to be made I bind my self, my heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these presents. Sealed with my seal. Dated this seventh day of December 1736.”

Why was Samuel Shattuck pledging to pay members of a committee overseeing the settlement of new towns the sum of £40, equivalent in today’s economy to about $1,875? Read more

Folknotes: March

My first experiences of coffee were from my grandmothers percolator, and at various diners on Cape Cod, where I spent summers working for my grandfather on his cranberry bogs. Some years later I was privileged to do a bit of touring playing contra dance music, and I remember a trip to Seattle where coffee was just beginning to come out of the closet, as it were. What a revelation! It’s a mixed blessing to discover such things; after that whenever our band would go on the road, we decided it was worth the risk of offending our various hosts by bringing our own coffee kit – a good supply of French Roast, and our own French press, carried in a foam-lined metal box. Read more

☼ ☼ ☼ English County Dance | Nelson | David Millstone ~ caller, Thal Aylward ~ fiddle, Carol Compton ~ piano

On Sunday, March 1, MFS presents an English Country Dance at the Nelson Town Hall. David Millstone, Carol Compton, and Thal Aylward will provide calling and music.

This event will be an introduction to the pleasures of English Country Dance and is designed for both contra dancers and experienced English dancers. All are welcome and no partner is required. Bring clean shoes to protect the floor.

1:00 – 4:00 PM

Admission: $10

David Millstone, Lebanon, NH, started contra dancing in the early 1970s and
became an enthusiastic English country dancer starting in 1987. He has been a
caller of American dance for thirty years and English country dancing for about
half as long.

He helped start the Strafford (VT) Ball, a Playford country dance event, and he
helps set the program each year for that event. He leads a regular English
country dance series in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont and
he has shared his love of English country dance at such varied venues as
Pinewoods, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, the regular
English dance series in Boston, the Brattleboro Dawn Dance, balls in upstate New
York, and in such far-flung locations as Atlanta, New Mexico, Winnipeg, and
Copenhagen. In addition to leading sessions for experienced dancers, he has
enjoyed introducing English country dances at international folk dance camps, to
groups of hard-core contra dancers, and with dancers in such overseas locations
as Prague and Zurich.

An elementary school teacher for thirty years, he’s known for his broad
repertoire, good sense of humor, and clear instructions. He enjoys mixing older
dances (both familiar and less well known) with contemporary compositions.

Millstone is also a dance historian and videographer who has completed
documentaries about Bob McQuillen, Dudley Laufman, and Ralph Sweet; he is
co-author of Cracking Chestnuts, a look at some classic contra dances, being
published by Country Dance and Song Society. He was a member of the CDSS
Governing Board for six years.