John Roberts and Tony Barrand will make their first Brattleboro, area concert appearance in three years at the New England Youth Theatre (NEYT), show time 7.30 PM on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011.

John and Tony have sung at concerts and festivals and recorded many CDs for more than four decades since they met in graduate school at Cornell. They are widely acclaimed interpreters of English ballads and songs that they perform in close harmony and accompany with concertina and banjo. They are perhaps best known in Vermont for the popular annual Christmas pageant, “Nowell Sing We Clear”, performed with local musicians Fred Breunig and Andy Davis.

Many of the CDs produced by Roberts and Barrand focus on repertoire from a single topic such as: Naulkha Redux (songs based on Rudyad Kipling poems), Across the Western Ocean (songs of the emigration on the North Atlantic), Dark Ships in the Forest (songs and ballads of the supernatural), Heartoutbursts (songs collected by composer Percy Grainger) and Live at Holsteins (drinking songs). The concert on September 3rd will draw from and illustrate these themes and demonstrate the full range of comic and tragic songs used by John and Tony, the duet harmonies they employ, their banjo and concertina accompaniments and the recitations and tales they recount.

Tickets will be available at the door ($15.00 or $12.00 for seniors or children) and in advance on <> or at Maple Leaf Music, 23 Elliot St, in Brattleboro. NEYT is fully handicap accessible.

Scott Ainslie “Hard Times” video and fundraising for Brattleboro

Scott Ainslie sends the following information:

I’ve just uploaded an appeal for donations to the Red Cross fashioned from my footage of the Whetstone Brook floodwaters here in Brattleboro, Vermont and set to Stephen Foster’s remarkable anthem “Hard Times, Come Again No More.”
We are working on getting a benefit concert together for affected area families and businesses now. Have a look at what our little 8″ deep brook turned into on Sunday, August 28, 2011 and if you have even a little extra to share, consider a donation of any size to the local Red Cross chapters here in Vermont.
The new video is available at: Brattleboro’s Hard Times by Scott Ainslie

Please pass the word. We’re all doing what we can to help out. Your help will be much appreciated, as well.
Best wishes,
Scott Ainslie
Brattleboro, Vermont USA

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Fall Ball 2011

Peterborough, NH: The Peterborough Fall Ball (17th annual)

Nor’Easter with Will Mentor

Matching Orange with callers of the Mad Robin Collective

Arigana Highway with Rebecca Lay

The Gotham Pioneers with Steve Zakon-Anderson

Description: An all-day Contra Dance celebrating Fall! 4 bands, 4 callers and 12 glorious hours of contra dancing!

noon – midnite

Cost: $22

For more information: (phone): (413) 369-4369; Email:

Granny D Folk Festival

Keene State College
A day of celebration of the opening of the Granny D Collection

Students, Staff, Faculty and Community Members perform at this alcohol- and smoke-free event. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket!

L.P. Young Student Center Lawn, or Mabel Brown Room if inclement weather

3 – 5 PM

World Harmony Keene Community Chorus

World Harmony Keene Community Chorus
Wednesday nights starting Sept 7th in Keene, NH

Lynn and Will Rowan have started a world harmony teen and adult community chorus for men and women on Wednesday nights from 7 – 9pm starting up again in the Fall on Sept. 7th in Keene, NH. Participants will learn to sing traditional songs from North America, the Republic of Georgia, South Africa, Bulgaria, Quebec, Corsica, and more; no previous experience or music-reading ability required. The chorus will be held at the Keene Unitarian Church (KUUC) on Washington Street.

Tuition will be $135 or $15 / session. 11 weeks total Sept 7th – Nov. 16th.

Lynn and Will Rowan have traveled the world collecting songs. They are veteran workshop leaders with Northern Harmony and Renewal, teachers for Village Harmony, and members of the award-winning trio Windborne. Lynn and Will have an energetic, easy-going teaching style. In singing with them, you learn not only the notes, but also new ways of using your voice and you hear stories from all the places these songs come from.

For information, please contact: 802-451-0425 or

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough 1st Saturday Contra Dance | Steve Zakon-Anderson | Old New England

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance on September 3, featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with Old New England — Jane Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles and Bob McQuillen.

Dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with a short workshop beforehand. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8 or $6 for students and seniors. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Peterborough, NH. For more information: (phone): (413) 369-4369; Email:

Elvie Miller takes top prize at Ireland’s Fleadh Competition

At the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann inaugural meeting in September 1951 it was decided to create a national festival, . Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann ((Festival of Music in Ireland)) is the second biggest festival in Ireland. Sessions, fun-days, pageants, marching bands, competitions, ceili bands, concerts, singing, busking, exhibitions and the arts are all part of the biggest celebration of Irish culture in the world.

Elvie Miller
Elvie Miller

The goal of the Fleadh Cheoil is to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The Fleadh has developed as a mainly competitive event, but also showcases concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, and street sessions.

The Fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for over 10,000 musicians, who carry on the tradition of playing and cherishing Irish music, songs, and dances.

And when the competitions are over, many impromptu sessions take place which sometimes last until the early hours.

Elvie Miller, daughter of fiddler Rodney Miller, won first place for piano accompaniment in the adult division. Note that Rodney will be featured at the September Nelson Contra Dance on 9/10/11.

Contra Dance | Brattleboro VT

Brattleboro Dance Schedule
(more info at or 802-257-9234)

Contra Dance at the Stone Church
Main and Grove Streets, Brattleboro, VT

September 25, 2011
Rickey Holt, calling
Randy Miller, fiddle
Roger Kahle, guitar

7:30 – 10:30 (beginners lesson 7:15)
$10 / $7 students, seniors, low income
Slow jam 5:30 – 6:30

Contra Dance and VT Benefit Concert | Brattleboro VT

Brattleboro Dance Schedule
(more info at or 802-257-9234)

Contra Dance at the Stone Church
Main and Grove Streets, Brattleboro, VT

September 11, 2011
Rebecca Lay, calling
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, fiddle
Emily Troll, fiddle/accordion
Josh Van Vliet, guitar


Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. Goodnight Irene Benefit Dance with the Brattleboro Contra Dance Band, Planet Zydeco, Girl Howdy, and the Buzzards Brass Band. Contra, zydeco, country swing, and New Orleans-style “second line.” 4 to 10:30 p.m. Stone Church, Main and Grove Streets, downtown Brattleboro, Vt. $15-20 sliding scale donation suggested for Vermont Red Cross disaster relief. Information: 802-257-9234.


Good Night Irene Dance to Benefit Vermont Red Cross

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A four-band extravaganza to benefit the Vermont Red Cross for victims of flood relief is planned for Sunday, Sept. 11 from 4 to 10:30 p.m. at the Stone Church, Main and Grove Streets in downtown Brattleboro. The regularly scheduled Brattleboro Contra Dance will expand to become the Good Night Irene Benefit Dance, including zydeco and country swing with Girl Howdy and Planet Zydeco, along with New Orleans-style “second line” parade interludes by the Buzzards Brass Band. Girl Howdy will kick things off at 4 p.m. with honky tonk music for country swing and two-stepping. Admission is a suggested sliding-scale donation of $15 to $20, or whatever you can pay. All proceeds go to the Vermont Red Cross. No prior dance experience is necessary, and all ages are encouraged to attend. There will be a potluck dinner throughout the evening; if you wish to participate please bring a dish to share.

Girl Howdy is a 5-piece classic honky-tonk combo from Way Out West (Western Mass., that is) featuring Rose Sinclair on steel guitar, Paula Bradley on piano, Betsy-Dawn Williams on flat-top guitar, and special guests Jeff Potter on drums and Lillian Fraker on upright bass. Girl Howdy has been performing at festivals, and clubs throughout the Northeast since 2003, and were invited to play at the 2010 Texas Steel Guitar Jamboree in Dallas. The Providence Journal says, “Girl Howdy packs some serious gurl-harmony with classic honky-tonkin’ grooves.”

The Brattleboro contra dance band features Ethan Hazzard-Watkins on fiddle, Emily Troll on fiddle and accordion, and Josh Van Vliet on guitar, with dance calling by Rebecca Lay.
The band plays traditional and original tunes from Ireland, Quebec and New England, combining fiery fiddling, dynamic accordion melodies and harmonies, and rich guitar accompaniment to make exciting dance music. The members are known throughout the country for their work with bands such as Elixir, The Figments, Anadama and others. Rebecca Lay is a vegetable farmer in Guilford, VT by day; by night she calls contra and square dances, and has become known throughout the country as a talented caller and skilled teacher. She’ll have everyone up and dancing regardless of age or experience.

Planet Zydeco has played their popular Creole Louisiana dance hall music all around the Northeast for many years. Band members include Rose Sinclair, accordion; Peter Pettengill and Nick Keil, electric guitars; Suzanne Wozniak, rubboard; Alan Bradbury, bass; Doug Plavin, drums.

The Buzzards Brass Band, a New Orleans style parade band led by New Orleans native Pete Simoneaux, and featuring a host of leading area musicians, is well known in Brattleboro for its performances at Gallery Walk, Strolling of the Heifers, July 4 celebrations, and numerous street demonstrations.