“Gorgeous acoustic music which exceeds a genre such as folk or singer/songwriter. Two perfectly connected musicians who belong to the absolute top.”
– Moors Magazine, The Netherlands
Mike and Ruthy are a songwriting, harmony-singing, banjo and fiddle-slinging duo from the Hudson Valley who have been described as literate, political, organic, and inspired. They recently joined Pete Seeger for his performance at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and joined the incredible cast of musicians at Pete’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. Mike and Ruthy are thrilled to be back on the road in their native Northeast in support of their latest recording, Waltz of the Chickadee.
About Waltz of the Chickadee:
Waltz of the Chickadee by Mike and Ruthy is a fine new collection of melodies and words that evoke the springtime. This new recording has a bit more fiddle & banjo than their first duo record, The Honeymoon Agenda. It also delves into the themes of death and birth, with original odes inspired by personal experience.
Mike and Ruthy are joined by their family and friends on many of the tracks: Lyn Hardy, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Abby and Rosie Newton, Dominic John, Craig Santiago, and Jacob Silver.
Another Dawn Another Day by Ruthy kicks of the album like an eerie, daybreak dream with an angelic harmony from her Mom, Lyn Hardy, and a rootsy guitar/banjo groove.
Another very gripping original is the fingerpicked Slow Train, which Mike wrote after many hours of staring at their new baby boy. The swell of bowed basses played by Jacob Silver, and the trance-like drumming of Craig Santiago help to create a uniquely beautiful sound.
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason make memorable appearances on the rollicking Woody Guthrie ballad, Dustbowl Blues, and on Waltz of the Chickadee, a fiddle-driven dance tune which sounds a bit cajun even though it was written by Ruthy at their home in West Hurley, NY.
Surrounded by this sweet mixture of acoustic instruments, the center-piece of the album is the snug vocal blend of Mike and Ruthy, which has been aptly compared to Simon and Garfunkle. Their songs tell great stories and their instrumentals provide the perfect space between tales of loss and inspiration.
The entire project was recorded and mixed at home by Mike and Ruthy with expert guidance from their long-time friend and producer Max Feldman. The sounds, like the songs, are honest and true.
House Concerts build strong friendships between musicians, presenters, and listeners. Most importantly, House Concerts provide the most intimate and compelling performance environment available. – Darryl Purpose
I hope you can join us……Deb
For more music information visit Peterborough Folk Music Society’s web site at pfmsconcerts.org
Known as the caller’s caller, Nils Fredland has been making music, leading dances, and bringing people together for 20 years as a teacher; singer; instrumentalist; contra, square, and community dance leader; and workshop leader. He shares his skill, charisma, grace and goofiness with contra dancers coast to coast every weekend.
Fiddler Ethan Hazzard-Watkins performs traditional and original music with infectious energy, passion and grace. His fiery, lyrical fiddling fuses elements of Irish, French Canadian and New England styles, along with influences from swing, blues and classical music. Based in Brattleboro, VT, Ethan tours extensively, playing for dancing and listening audiences throughout the US.
Lauded for “playing with heart as well as virtuosity,” Brendan Taaffe is a prominent guitarist, fiddler and singer in New England’s thriving contra dance and Irish music community. Brendan honed his driving guitar style and deep knowledge of the Irish tradition while living in Limerick and playing regularly in sessions. Now based in Vermont, Brendan has played at festivals, concerts and dances throughout North America and Europe with his band Magic Foot and other ensembles. He is also the author of Handy with the Stick, a book about Irish fiddling, and the founder of Turtle Dove, an organization that sponsors harmony singing for adults.
Adina Gordon is one of the most well traveled callers in the United States. She teaches with clarity and precision, and her style is so relaxed you almost don’t know she’s telling you what to do, until you realize you’ve done it.
Dance to the high energy infusions of Celticladda, featuring Randy Miller on fiddle, Gordon Peery on piano, and special guest David Cantieni (Wild Asparagus) on woodwinds.
Special Old Home Admission only $2.00 (thanks to a generous benefactor)
Dudley and Lacqueline Laufman, usually joined by a plethora of their excellent musician friends, bring us back to the flavor of the last generation, when the young Dudley spearheaded the contra dance revival and made Nelson the contra dance capital of the world. Old timers will bask in the rugged charm of Dudley’s calling. New dancers should come and experience this living legend.
Chris Weiler will call to music by Nor’easter at the upcoming Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on July 11th.
Nor’easter plays a joyous, inspired blend of styles, including Irish, Scottish, New England, French-Canadian, and old-time. The Boston Celtic Music Festival has this to say about Nor’easter: “A splendid exponent of the exciting new-generation contra dance scene that has blossomed in Boston, and throughout New England, in the past decade.” They are based in Arlington, MA, and this year, the group was the recipient of a Band Mentoring Project grant from the national Country Dance and Song Society (www.cdss.org). Nor’easter is Cedar Stanistreet on fiddle, Julie Vallimont playing piano and accordion and Max Newman on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Chris Weiler joins as caller from southern New Hampshire, and is known for his calm teaching style and rich repertoire of dances.
The evening opens with a new dancer orientation at 7:30 PM, and dancing starts at 8:00. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8, $6 for senior citizens and students.
Washington, D.C. – Dudley Laufman, a musician and barn dance caller from Canterbury, N.H., has been awarded the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship. The National Endowment for the Arts, which bestows the fellowships, announced this year’s 11 winners today.
Laufman is the third New Hampshire resident to receive the award. Contra dance musician and composer Bob McQuillen of Peterborough earned a National Heritage Fellowship in 2002, and Littleton basketmaker Newt Washburn was selected in 1987.
“I really didn’t believe it at first,” Laufman says of the honor, which comes with a $25,000 honorarium and will be celebrated with ceremonies and performances in Washington, D.C., September 21-24, with the public performance on Thursday, September 24. Read more