☼ The Nelson Coffee House

Sunday, June 15th
7:00 p.m.
Nelson Town Hall
Suggested Donation $5

The Nelson Coffee House includes a variety of performers of song, spoken word, and sometimes other stuff. This month has a special Father’s Day theme, with the evening’s featured performers being Andy Davis and his son Arthur.

Andy Davis has been a dance musician and caller since moving to New England in the late 1970s. He has been a regular staff person and program director for many Country Dance and Song Society summer family programs over the years. He plays accordion, piano and banjo in addition to singing a repertoire of traditional songs. For the past twenty years he has performed each December with Nowell Sing We Clear. He teaches K-6 music in the Vermont public schools. All of his students know how to ‘square up a set’ and how to ‘dosido the one below’. He lives in Brattleboro with his wife Robin, daughter Emma and son Arthur.

Arthur Davis is a freshman at Brattleboro Union High School. He plays piano, recorder and trumpet in a variety of musical styles. Arthur is adept at harmony singing and is working his way into the dance music scene as a back up pianist. In addition to music, Arthur enjoys baseball, reading and crossword puzzles.

Other performers will include Gordon and Spencer Peery – more to be announced soon!

Harvey’s Heritage Award

Harvey Tolman’s influence on local musicians, his recordings and compositions, and his regular appearances at the Monday night Nelson contra dance have all magically combined to help spread the compelling dance music of Cape Breton throughout the region and well beyond, across the country. It was indeed an occasion for great rejoicing when Harvey was honored by being selected to receive the Governors Arts Awards “New Hampshire Folk Heritage Award” in 2007. The Folk Heritage Award was presented to Harvey by the N.H. State Council on the Arts on April 24, 2008, before an enthusiastic audience at the Colonial Theater in Keene.

The Council on the Arts had contacted me in the fall of 2007, asking if I’d be interested in creating a work of art that could be presented to Harvey at the awards ceremony in the spring of 2008. I was deeply honored and thrilled to be given this opportunity to help honor Harvey, who I’ve known for many years. I’ve enjoyed dancing to Harvey’s music, and visiting him to listen to and play tunes. (click on the image to see a larger rendering) Read more

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance | Nelson | Jeff Petrovitch ~ caller, Music by the Dead Sea Squirrels

Saturday, May 9
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

Local energy packet Jeff Petrovitch teams up with the amazing Dead Sea Squirrels:

Cathy Mason – fiddle,
Craig Edwards – fiddle and banjo,
Henry Yoshimura – guitar

The Dead Sea Squirrels is a string band with a twist.  Our tunes come mainly from the Southern US, but because we play for contra dances, our repertoire is made up of danceable tunes arranged in medleys designed to closely match and enhance the movements of the particular contra dance being taught/called.  We tend to push the boundaries of the southern style with spontaneous fiddle and fiddle/guitar harmonies.

This will be an amazing dance!

petro Here is a picture of Jeff playing the fiddle. We didn’t have a picture of the band so we have put this in for effect, but rest assured that Jeff will NOT be playing for this dance. So, we hope you’ll come, ’cause he’s a great caller.

☼ Contra Dance | Nelson | Caller: Lisa Sieverts | Music: Nat Hewitt, Gordon Peery, Spencer Peery

Saturday, September 13th
Nelson Town Hall
7:30 Beginner’s Workshop
8:00 – 11:30 – dance
Admission $8 / $6 for students and senior citizens

Lisa Sieverts returns leads an evening of high-energy contras, backed by an all-Nelson band. Nat Hewitt is one of New England’s strongest dance fiddlers, and is particularly gifted at improvising and taking the tunes to new places, while retaining their core danceability. Gordon Peery drives the piano like John Henry drove his hammer, and Spencer Peery on guitar gives you an idea of what Jimi Hendrix might have done if he’d ever played contra dance music. This just might be the kind of evening your mother warned you about!

Download the Poster

Folknotes: May

There are undoubtedly more foolish things one could do than to rise before dawn, ascend Pack Monadnock wearing knickers, strap bells to your shins, and prance around waving, alternately, hankies and sticks at each other, with the temperature below freezing on the first May morning.

Perhaps it was the gorgeous sunrise, the briskness of the air, or maybe just the idea that anyone nutty enough to be up there was probably a good candidate for fun. In any case, the mountain was abundant with good cheer as the Harrisville Morris Women and The Jack-in-the-Green Morris danced, sang and joked (yes we must not forget the fool) in the spring. Camera’s were abundant as well. Go to MFS TV to see some video, or to this year’s May Day Morris Dance photo page.  Read more