Sally Rogers, Howie Bursen, and Jeff Davis: at the Mariposa Museum

Sally, Howie, JeffFolksinger Sally Rogers, who first become known to Monadnock region audiences through her concerts at the Folkway, returns to Peterborough with her husband Howie Bursen, and frequent collaborator Jeff Davis, for a concert at the Mariposa Museum on Friday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Sally and Howie, whose harmonies will send shivers up your spine, have racked up a string of successes in song writing, studio recording, and crowd-pleasing displays of instrumental virtuosity.  They have appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion,” and have toured from coast to coast.  Howie is known for his warm baritone voice, devilish sense of humor, inventive guitar arrangements and red-hot banjo wizardry.  Sally is well known for her mesmerizing voice, brilliant songwriting, her dulcimer playing, and 15 solo recordings.  Rounding out the trio is Jeff Davis, a masterful musician, who plays banjo, fiddle, mandocello, and more.  A respected collector and interpreter of traditional music, Jeff has traveled to visit source singers who remembered the old songs and tunes, and to libraries and archives, looking for the best of the music that was once common in our towns and villages.
Together they will be playing ballads, old and new, songs written by Howie or Sally, songs from all sorts of places including North Carolina, Nova Scotia, the Upper Peninsula, the west of Ireland, unaccompanied vocals from East Sussex, England, the Georgia Sea Islands, and likely a few songs from New Hampshire, too.  There will also be fiddle tunes from all over, fiddle-banjo duets, double banjo pieces and all manner of other things.
CDs will be available for sale at the event.
Admission: Adult $15 Member $10
The Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.

☼ ☼ ☼ Nowell Sing We Clear | Dublin Community Church

NSWC portrait

Monadnock Folklore Society’s annual presentation of this seasonal favorite! Admission $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

Nowell Sing We Clear with its unusual songs, carols, stories, and customs has toured every year since 1975. 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 song sheets 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.This year the ensemble will be playing as far south as West Chester, PA, and as far north as Brattleboro, VT.   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 Nowell, Nowell, Nowell. Others are Just Say Nowell, Hail Smiling Morn (which has a cover designed by famous Vermont artist, Mary Azarian), Nowell SingWe Four,  and Nowell, Nowell, Nowell. 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Cosy Sheridan | Nelson Town Hall


Cosy Sheridan returns to New Hampshire and the Nelson Town Hall for a concert on Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)

Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters”  She first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Since then she has released 10 cds, written a one-woman-show and her music has appeared in books and film. She has taught songwriting, guitar and performance workshops at music camps for the past 15 years, including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and The Swannanoa Gathering. She is the director of  The Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah.

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance | 1941

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on December 14th, featuring Adam Boyce calling and playing with Richard Backes and Gordon Peery.

As of Saturday 12/14 AM, we are planning to hold this dance.

In 2012, some pictures were found that were taken at a Nelson dance in 1941. It is our hope to recreate the look and feel of that dance. Thus, 1941 attire is suggested though not required.

Nelson Dance 1940s

Adam Boyce, a 10th generation Vermonter, is a fiddler, composer, piano player, contra dance prompter and square dance caller. He has been involved with nearly every aspect of fiddle contests in New England since 1994, including judge, piano backup, as well as competitor. He was the 2000 Vermont division champion at the Northeast Fiddlers contest in Barre, Vermont, and has placed in nearly every New England state.

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 at the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.