Sophie Lavoie & Fiachra O’Regan(return to archive index)
Sun, Feb 25, 2018 – 3:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall – Nelson NH
Join us for a Sunday afternoon concert at the Nelson Town Hall with ‘Sophie & Fiachra’ on February 25 at 3:00PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)
Described as “Invigorating” by The Irish Times, Sophie & Fiachra take the Traditional Music of Quebec and Ireland and mate it in a unique way, remaining true to their roots while creating a new and original sound.
Their sound is rooted in the Fiddle playing and singing of Quebecoise Sophie Lavoie, the uilleann piping and Banjo playing of Fiachra O’Regan from Ireland. Their sound is sweetened all the more by Gaelic and French Canadian song arrangements.
“This is Irish Music with a Quebecois Twist at it’s very, very best” said Mike Harding. This is no surprise given Sophie & Fiachra’s track record with delighted audiences throughout the world – and their deep love for, and intimacy with their respective musical traditions.
Troy MacGillivray & Mac Morin(return to archive index)
Wed, Sep 13th, 2017 – 7:30 PM – Nelson Town Hall – Nelson NH
Join us for an evening of Cape Breton music featuring Troy MacGillivray and Mac Morin on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30 PM in the Nelson Town Hall.
Admission is $18/$15(Sr/Jr)
Troy MacGillivray of Lanark, Nova Scotia, came into this world with a birthright. Heir to the centuries-old music his Scottish ancestors brought to Canada over 200 years ago, he has become a master of the fiddle and piano traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Audiences around the world have been captivated by the flying fingers and energetic pace of this multiple award winner…and if you’re lucky, you just might get a little step or two out of him! From a young age, he impressed audiences with his fiddle, piano and step dancing skills.
Troy’s roots-centered approach to playing has the power to inspire any audience. This is repeatedly proven in his performances in Canada (including Nunavut), the US and UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Australia. Troy’s musical prowess can be attributed to a deep commitment to musical craft built upon the foundation of an impressive bloodline. The Lanark MacGillivrays and MacDonalds have been proprietors of the Gaelic tradition in North Eastern Nova Scotia for decades. Troy’s immediate family have all displayed their musical talents by joining him on both the stage and in the studio.
As with most Cape Breton musicians, music for Mac Morin started early and was humbly nurtured in the home. Step dancing came first, with his earliest steps and guidance provided for by his mother, Mary Catherine, herself a noted dancer who toured the UK and performed at the the World Expo in Montreal in 1967.
By 15, Mac was known as one of Cape Breton’s finest dancing performers and began teaching traditional dance in Cape Breton. He continues to travel through out Canada, the US and Europe teaching/performing the traditional dancing of the Island with recent workshops at the Gaelic College (Cape Breton), Sabhal Mor Ostaig (Scotland), and the University of Limerick (Ireland). He has also recently performed several tours with Dannsa, a Scottish dance/music ensemble during the winters of 2009-2013.
Although piano was not his first display of the Cape Breton culture, it has become another element that Mac is now known for. Since he began to play nearly 20 years ago, he has managed to record and tour with many great performers including Yo-Yo Ma, the Rankin Family, Ashley MacIsaac, Allison Krauss, Dianna Krall, the Cheiftains, Art Garfunkle, and many more. He was a cofounder/coproducer of the Cape Breton traditional group, Beolach, whose 2 albums were nominated for East Coast Music Award (ECMA). He has most recently recorded with Natalie MacMaster on her ECMA award winning album, Cape Breton Girl, and continues to tour with her throughout North America and Europe. On rare occasions when he is home in Cape Breton, he is highly sought after to lend his skills at dances, concerts, ceilidhs, and the house parties.
Not only a performing artist, Mac produced and recorded a self titled album (released in 2004) that was nominated for an ECMA and is now in preproduction on another future release.
Night Tree(return to archive index)
Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017 – 7:30 PM – Nelson Town Hall – Nelson NH
Join us for on Thursday, August 3 at 7:30 PM for an exciting evening of music with Night Tree. Admission is $18/$15(Sr/Jr).
Rooted in original works spanning from the Celtic world, sextet Night Tree creates original music that borrows from the Swedish, Jewish and American folk tradition. Night Tree includes the dark resonance of the cello, baritone saxophone, and cajón meeting with the drones of
accordion and intertwining with the soaring melodies of dueling fiddles. Contrast is created with the replacement of the baritone saxophone with the soprano saxophone, adding another fiddle-like melodic instrument to the mix. Drawing from an unusually diverse mix of musical backgrounds, Night Tree has discovered a sound both colorfully and resonantly different while delving into the realm of harmonies and rhythm that range from edgy to inviting, both unheard of and timeless.
Night Tree, named the 2016-2017 Wildcard Honors Ensemble at the New England Conservatory (NEC), first began in a practice room starting with just fiddle, cajon, and accordion. It quickly expanded to include an additional fiddle player, cellist, and baritone saxophone. This creative and spiritually connected band held early rehearsals in complete darkness to have an unobscured focus on developing their musical and aural connection. These rehearsals guided them as they targeted each other’s individual sounds. Duos and trios formed within the ensemble, as well as building and molding the sound of the band. Rehearsals consisted from free improvisations to traditional Irish jig-to-reel sets and everything in between, as can be heard in their arrangement ‘Ships’, which surrounds two traditional tunes about actual ocean vessels with improvisational sections that depict a shipwreck.
Night Tree are:
Lily Honigberg – violin
Chris Overholser – violin
Zach Mayer – bari and soprano sax, voice
Sunniva Brynnel – accordion & voice
McKinley James – cello
Julian Loida – percussion
Solstice Sisters(return to archive index)
Fri, June 30th, 2017 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall – Nelson Town Hall
The Solstice Sisters return for a celebration of the Summer Solstice on June 30 at 8:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)
Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, Allison Aldrich, and Heather Bower have been a mainstay of our Winter Solstice party for years, presenting a program of original and traditional and sometimes just wacky seasonal music. They decided that getting together for the solstice concert was so much fun that it was a shame it was only once a year. But wait …….. there are two solstices in the calendar year, what better excuse could there be?
So come celebrate the Summer Solstice, Fathers Day, the end of black fly season, St. John’s Day, the longest day of the year, Midsummer, Ivan Kupala night, Wianki, Jani, the shortest night of the year, the Red Sox or whatever floats your boat with a selection of music that only the Solstice Sisters could put together.
Lula Wiles(return to archive index)
Fri, Apr 21st, 2017 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Monadnock Folklore Society presents Lula Wiles in concert, April 21st at the Nelson Town Hall. Starts at 8:00 PM; admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
Though the band is young, all the members of Lula Wiles have spent their lives grounded in songs. Born in Maine to musical families, they began playing music together as kids at Maine Fiddle Camp, and eventually each made their way to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. Isa and Ellie began performing as a duo in 2013, and Lula Wiles was born when Mali joined the band a year later. When Lula Wiles performs, the band’s many years of friendship are clear from their effervescent vocal blend and electrifying musical chemistry. Now based in Boston’s thriving and close-knit roots music community, Lula Wiles have performed at premier festivals and clubs throughout the East Coast, including Club Passim, the Sinclair, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Fresh Grass Festival, and Green River Music Festival. They were also selected as Official Showcase Artists for the 2016 Folk Alliance International conference. Roots authority No Depression predicts Lula Wiles “will be a huge force on the Americana scene for years to come.” All proficient vocalists, multi-instrumentalists, and songwriters, the three women of Lula Wiles are each uniquely powerful in their own right; but combined, they are a force to be reckoned with.
If you ask Lula Wiles about their self-titled debut album, they’ll be quick to tell you it was a long time coming. The album’s eleven original songs were written over the course of the preceding four years, tested and lived in on stages and in bedrooms and backyards in Maine and Boston, and reborn in November and December 2015 through the band’s collaboration with producer/ guitarist Adam Iredale-Gray and drummer Sean Trischka. Self-released on May 27, 2016, the album is Lula Wiles’ first creative statement, an exploration of their sound. The band is deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. The songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by rich vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images – a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan calls the record “a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless.” The three band members swap instruments and frontwoman duties, with six songs penned and sung by fiddler/guitarist Ellie Buckland, four by fiddler/ guitarist Isa Burke, and one by bassist Mali Obomsawin. Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited live show that resonates like a whiskey-slap to the heart.
3 Ravens(return to archive index)
Sat, Mar 25th, 2017 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Monadnock Folklore Society presents Lui, Max, and Donna in concert Saturday, March 25th at the Nelson Town Hall. The concert starts at 8:00 PM; admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
“Elegant, mystical, delicate tales told in imaginative ways. Every tune they spin turns to gold. Just gorgeous!” – Hudson River Sampler DJ Wanda Adams Fischer(WAMC-NPR Albany, NY).
Samuel Foucher, Liz and Dan Faiella(return to archive index)
Sun, Jan 8th, 2017 – 2:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
A lively afternoon of music and refreshments awaits you at the Nelson Town Hall on January 8th at 2pm. Samuel Foucher and sibling duo Liz and Dan Faiella are performing. These young musicians bring you traditional New England and Celtic music on accordion, fiddle, low whistle and guitar.
Raised on contradances, fiddle contests, and Irish sessions, sibling folk duo Liz and Dan Faiella bring to life the traditional Irish and New England music of their roots with Liz’s lyrical fiddle and vocals and Dan’s spirited low whistle and guitar. The two have captivated audiences at premier folk venues, contradances, and festivals around New England. Liz and Dan have performed at Club Passim, the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the New England Folk Festival, the Acadia Trad Festival, and New Hampshire’s Seacoast Irish Festival. They have received music and dance scholarships from the New England Folk Festival Association and the Country Dance and Song Society; and have shared the stage with celebrated New England folk musicians including David Surette, Randy Miller, Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, Matt and Shannon Heaton, and Grammy winner Dan Zanes.
Samuel Foucher grew up going to contra dances, playing piano and accordion, and going to music festivals. One of his early inspirations was receiving the Johnny Trombly Scholarship for young musicians from the Monadnock Folklore Society, and studying piano with Bob McQuillen. On accordion, he began by teaching himself and recently has attended music camps where he expanded his studies with Jeremiah McLane and Jimmy Keane. Samuel has performed for contra dances and farmer’s markets around New Hampshire, and made a guest appearance with Trip to Nelson.
Now out of high school, Samuel is going on a semester this winter at Kroka Expeditions. The semester involves cross country skiing, winter camping, whitewater canoeing, biking, academics, and travelling a total of 700 miles under human power in Vermont and Canada. This performance is presented both as a fundraiser for this epic adventure, and a chance for him to bid “farewell for now” to family, friends, and community.
The doors open to the Nelson Town Hall at 1:30pm on Sunday, January 8th. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door.
Cricket Tell the Weather(return to archive index)
Thu, Nov 17th, 2016 – 7:30 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Bluegrass comes to the Nelson Town Hall on Thursday, November 17! Join us for this NYC band’s unique brand of music blending the songwriter’s voice and the pulse of a string band. The concert starts at 7:30 pm, admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)
Cricket Tell the Weather is the creative project of Andrea Asprelli, award-winning songwriter and fiddler, backed by a collective of NYC’s best traditional musicians. Winners of the 2013 Fresh Grass Award in North Adams, MA, Cricket features award-winning songs with fresh lyrics, thoughtful arrangements, and chilling, no-frills vocals.
Cricket Tell the Weather takes a genuine approach that is, at once, simple and sophisticated — a style that reflects Asprelli’s own aesthetics. The daughter of two Classical musicians, Asprelli only began her foray into fiddle music in her twenties, after becoming inspired by New England’s small but fiery bluegrass communities. Her voice as a songwriter came through in 2011, when she was awarded 1st place in the Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Competition for her co-written song, “Remington.” Cricket first came into the regional spotlight as a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist and as winners of the Fresh Grass Award in 2013.
Cricket’s sophomore album Tell the Story Right weaves contemporary sounds and themes around a backbone of American roots music. Featuring seven original songs, two modern covers, and one traditional spiritual, this album won’t disappoint lovers of the tradition, and will leave a number of modern listeners wondering why they don’t have more bluegrass on their playlists.
The project’s collective cast includes guitarists Mike Robinson, Jason Borisoff, and Jeff Picker, banjoists Doug Goldstein and Hilary Hawke, and bassists Dave Speranza and Sam Weber.
Alan Reid and Rob van Sante(return to archive index)
Sat, Oct 22, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall for an evening Scottish music with Alan Reid and Rob van Sante. Admission is $15/$12(Senior/Student).
Alan Reid and Rob van Sante present a lively show rooted in the music of Scotland, its rich history and varied landscape providing much of the inspiration for their material. Seamless harmonies underpinned by sensitive arrangements on piano, guitars and accordion are topped by an engaging delivery peppered with dry humour and pithy anecdotes. Their latest album, ‘Rough Diamonds’, is currently showcasing on their regular tours of North America and and Europe.
ALAN was a vital member of celebrated Scottish folk group Battlefield Band from 1969 till 2010. He helped cement the band’s international reputation with his story-style songwriting and sensitive renditions of traditional song. From achingly beautiful ballads to a musical cycle on the Scots born American naval hero John Paul Jones Alan has gained a reputation for songs strong in melody and historical content.
He was nominated at the 2009 Scots Traditions Awards in the ‘Composer of the Year’ category and contributed to Linn Records’ mammoth 12 CD recording of the entire Robert Burns song catalogue. His writing featured in the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2014 production of the musical ‘The Glasgow Girls’ while his singing and speaking talents were utilised in ‘The Life and Times of Scrooge’, a solo album of Finnish rock star Tuomas Holopainen of metal band ‘Nightwish’.
ROB, born in Holland, has lived most of his life in the north of England. Steeped in music from an early age (his mother was a piano playing child prodigy) guitar has always been Rob’s favoured instrument. He was initially attracted to rock and blues as a teenager but it was in England that he discovered a love of folk music. Rob is well known in the English folk scene, playing with a host of folk luminaries and recording many of them in his home studio.
In 2014 he recorded, produced and engineered the latest album of veteran songwriter John Connoly (writer of the ever popular ‘Fiddler’s Green’). Rob gigs with John whenever he can.
Troy MacGillivray with Wendy MacIsaac and Buddy MacDonald (return to archive index)
Sun, Sept 18th, 2016 – 7:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us Sunday, September 18 for a special evening of Cape Breton music at the Nelson Town Hall. The concert starts at 7:00 pm and admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
Troy MacGillivray was raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia; his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays a unique sense of pride and commitment to his Celtic heritage and his music continues to add to the history and development of the traditional music that is the epitome of the Maritimes, the place he calls home!
Wendy MacIsaac is a renowned fiddler from Cape Breton who has been playing music for over 30 years. She is recognized as one of the “old school” style of players who has kept the traditional sound going and has a deep respect for it.
Wendy is also a sought after piano accompanist and step dancer.have been chasing audiences around since thirty five years .
Cape Breton singer-songwriter Buddy MacDonald has performed all over Canada and the United States, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Holland as a solo act and as part of celtic folk band combinations.
Buddy MacDonald was born and grew up on Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia, in a rural setting where culture is strong and music is important, and it is that format that he follows, entertains is what he does.
Ilumina – Stu Fuchs & Sarah Carlisle (return to archive index)
Thu, Aug 4th, 2016 – 7:30 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us Thursday evening, August 4th at the Nelson Town Hall for an evening not to be missed. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
‘Ilumina’ is a duo of lifelong musicians who perform an uplifting blend of dazzling instrumentals, world music, jazz, sacred poetry and soulful original songs. Stuart Fuchs (guitar, ukulele, Native American flute & didjeridoo) and Sarah Carlisle (upright bass, mandolin) tour internationally to music festivals and with the renowned sacred chant artist Snatam Kaur.
Stuart Fuchs is a performing multi-instrumentalist who is passionate about bringing the healing benefits of musical play into everyone’s life. He performs virtuosic instrumental music and soulful original songs on Ukulele, Guitar, Native American flute, Aboriginal didjeridoo and the Bolivian charango. Through his innovative, compassionate and holistic workshops he introduces people of all backgrounds to their “long lost musician” – from Fortune 500 company executives to hospice patients. Stuart has been featured on National Public Radio with his award winning gypsy jazz band “Babik” and has collaborated in creating and performing orchestral arrangements of Django Reinhardt’s music with symphony orchestras. Stuart worked as an artist in residence at Roswell Park Cancer Institute for over six years and in 2014 was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to composing and perform healing music with cancer patients and performed these multimedia compositions at the University at Buffalo Mainstage.
Sarah Carlisle (Siri Kirtan Kaur) began her musical studies on the double bass at the age of ten, and in 1998 attended the Peabody Conservatory on full scholarship. She studied classical and jazz music in college and spent many years playing jazz in Washington, DC, and New York City.
Ari & Mia (return to archive index)
Sun, Jun 12, 2016 – 7:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us Sunday, June 12 for a 7:00 PM concert with Ari & Mia, Boston’s Americana sister act at the Nelson Town Hall. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr). Referencing the traditions of Southern and Northeastern fiddle music and the early American songbook Ari and Mia create a realm where their own compositions cross paths with older traditions. Their stylish and sophisticated music honors the sounds of Appalachian cottages, rural dance floors, and urban concert halls.
Combine this with their innovative approach to song and tune-writing and the result is a fresh and contemporary sound.
Ari & Mia “blend a traditional rootsy grounding with a clear background of classical training. Their own works are soothing and fresh, tasteful and accomplished. This duo is taking the classical study of a conservatory program and bringing it alive in folk touring circles,’ says SingOut! Magazine. Both sisters studied at Boston’s New England Conservatory in its cutting edge Contemporary Improvisation department. Their newest album, Unruly Heart, ranked high on the national folk radio charts for 2011 and Mia’s song “Across the Water,” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category. Their new album, Land on Shore, was released in May 2013.
Ariel Friedman, a classically trained cellist from the Boston area, is one of few musicians to be challenging the boundaries of cello-playing. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2008 where she studied cello performance with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and received a masters of music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in 2011. A winner of ASTA’s 2009 Alternative Styles Award, she is in current exploration of American roots traditions, early jazz, a range of classical repertoire, and in composing songs and pieces influenced by her diverse musical tastes. She tours internationally with Scottish National Fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel, plays with New England’s highly acclaimed fiddle band, Childsplay, and has taught at music camps and programs from New England to New Zealand.
Mia Friedman began playing violin and singing at an early age. She is largely influenced by American roots music and old-time Appalachian traditions, and blends this with contemporary experimental music in her compositions. She graduated from New England Conservatory in 2012 where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky, and is an active composer, performer, and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category. She tours around the United States with Ari and has her own solo act.
Rhythm Future Quartet (return to archive index)
Sun, May 8, 2016 – 7:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us at the Nelson Town Hall on Mother’s Day, May 8, for an evening of traditional and original Gypsy Jazz with the Rhythm Future Quartet appearing as a trio(minus Max) for this event. The concert will begin at 7:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.
Where the band’s self-titled debut album re-visited classic jazz and Gypsy jazz favorites, Travels, the quartet’s current release, concentrates on group originals that make captivating use of musical sources from outside the conventional Gypsy jazz terrain. Travels reflects both the accumulated knowledge garnered from the groups world wide touring as well as the international influences that inspired new rhythmic and harmonic possibilities within their compositions and arrangements.
Jason Anick, an award-winning composer and one of the youngest professors at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, has shared the stage with an array of artists including Grammy award winning guitarist John Jorgenson, Stevie Wonder, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Tommy Emmanuel. Olli Soikkeli (coined “the Finnish boy wonder”) recently made the move from Scandinavia to New York City, where he quickly became a top call guitarist in the bustling Brooklyn jazz scene. He has performed alongside rising star Cyrille Aimee, world-renowned Gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others.
Max O’Rourke was the winner of the 2015 Saga Award from DjangoFest Northwest, and at 19 has already toured/recorded with many of the top American Gypsy Jazz musicians including John Jorgenson and Gonzalo Bergara. Greg Loughman is a top call bassist in Boston and has been heard with such luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Curtis Fuller and George Garzone.
Eric McDonald & Will Woodson with Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley (return to archive index)
Fri, April 8, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Fountain Arts Building, Dublin School, Dublin NH
Join us for an exciting evening of piping and strings featuring two duos well versed in the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. Will Woodson & Eric McDonald will join forces with Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley on Friday, April 8, for an 8:00 PM concert at the Fountain Arts Building on the campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr/Advance).
Will Woodson & Eric McDonald are two of the finest young proponents of traditional Scottish music today. With an unusual blend of wind and plucked strings, they bring a breath of sensitivity to a tradition that is often known for its high velocity. Their unique approach, while rooted in the indigenous music of Scotland, is also informed by the vibrant traditional music scene of their native New England. Border pipes, wooden flute, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, and voice fuse together to create a detailed fabric of tunes and songs. Soaring reels and swinging jigs give way to more contemplative ballads, each displaying the organic chemistry of the duo. Their music is equally at home in a concert, festival or pub atmosphere. You can see them touring across the country bringing their unique brand of Scottish music to the stage as well as around the thriving music scene of Portland, Maine, where they reside and share a teaching studio.
Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley are two fine young musicians living and collaborating in the Boston area.
Will Woodson is an innovative and powerful performer of traditional and contemporary music on border pipes, wooden flute, and tin whistle. He he holds a master’s degree in the performance of Scottish music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He’s recently returned to America from Scotland, and before heading north to Maine, he spent a year in Brooklyn, New York where he performed and taught music, also helping to develop the thriving IONA session. He has performed across America, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and a good bit of continental Europe, appearing at major festivals like Piping Live and Celtic Connections in Glasgow. He’s shared stages with the likes of Phil Cunningham and Mick Maloney, and he has brought his teaching skills to events such as Maine Pipes and Fiddle and the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend. Will has studied with some of the greatest living exponents of the tradition, including Allan MacDonald, Finlay MacDonald, Marc Duff, and Hamish Napier. His knowledge of border pipes reaches beyond performing, and he currently works as apprentice for pipemaker Nate Banton. Will plays a unique and highly developed set of his and Nate’s design. Will is known for his highly personal musical style, which utilizes the full extent of his singular instrument.
Eric McDonald is one of New England’s premier acoustic performers and instructors, known for his versatility in many styles. Born and raised in the Boston area, he grew up steeped in Beantown’s vibrant music scene. He studied at Berklee College of Music under world renowned musicians John McGann and Eugene Friesen. While studying he toured with full time folk acts like The Dave Rowe Trio and Matching Orange, and acted as music director for productions by companies such as Actor’s Shakespeare Project. His accompaniment on DADGAD guitar can be heard on albums by those such as Katie McNally and Brendan Carey Block, whom he can also be seen with on stage. He has performed across the country and overseas alongside major artists such as Archie Fisher, Malinky, Rodney Miller, Hamish Napier and Ian Robb of Finest Kind. He is a member of the Scottish power trio Cantrip and the contemporary old time group The Knockbox Stringband. He has been seen on stage at such events as the New World Festival, the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and countless others. Eric’s teaching is practiced and well developed. He spent five years on staff at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, MA and brings his skills every summer to Maine Fiddle Camp.
Joey Abarta has spent the last ten years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes. A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club. His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he tours with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America; while at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events.
A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, fiddler and guitarist Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he had the opportunity to collaborate with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. He was a finalist in the Sean O Riada fiddle competition in 2014 and winner of Boston’s Fiddler of Dooney competition in 2013. Nathan can be seen playing at concerts, ceilis, sessions and festivals in Boston and throughout the United States and Ireland.
Wooden Dinosaur (return to archive index)
Fri, March 4, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Fountain Arts Building, Dublin School, Dublin NH
Michael Roberts and Wooden Dinosaur return to our stages on Friday, March 4 at 8:00 PM at the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus. We’ve been trying to get together on this concert for over a year and now it’s finally happening! Yahoo! Admission is $12/$9 (Sr/Jr).
Wooden Dinosaur is the songwriting project of Vermont singer, guitarist and bandleader Michael Roberts. Roberts is currently working on a new album that will be released in spring 2016.
Throughout the project’s 10+-year career, Roberts and his collaborators have explored the back roads of American music from throughout the last century, creating a fearless blend of old time fiddle music, country soul, rock n roll, Dixieland jazz, and delta blues. Roberts has produced five solo albums under the name, and with his band, two EPs and two full-length albums.
Wooden Dinosaur’s upcoming release will be its most cohesive and fully realized to date. The songs were inspired by the rural writing of Wendell Berry, John Berger, and Wallace Stegner, as well as early “Americana” albums by Ry Cooder, The Band and Jackson Browne.
For our Monadnock Folklore Society concert, Roberts, along with hometown boy Jeffrey Murphy on bass and Frank Roberts on drums will preview songs from their upcoming release, in addition to songs from their growing catalog of original works.
“Wooden Dinosaur makes the kind of simple, stripped-down music that leaves you feeling nostalgic and longing for more.”
–NPR’s All Songs Considered
Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt (return to archive index)
Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall
Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt return to the Nelson Town Hall celebrating their 35 years of playing music together, with old favorites and new songs, blending amazing voices and dulcimers and guitars and having a rollicking good time.
More than 4 decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded nineteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing. If it were the intention of the creator or creators of this universe to perfectly blend together the night sky with moon and stars, it might have been their intention as well to deliver Claudia Schmidt as their messenger of reminder. To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.
Sally Rogers began her career as a full-time touring musician in 1979, after encouragement from Stan Rogers, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter. That was followed by an invitation from Garrison Keillor to appear on A Prairie Home Companion. She appeared more than a dozen times on that show, which launched her performing career. Her travels have since taken her to Europe, China, Hungary and Poland, England and Scotland and across the United States.Sally Rogers performs an evening of traditional, contemporary and original ballads and song, interwoven with stories taken from her life as a performer, a wife and a mother. Throughout her concerts, she accompanies herself on guitar and Appalachian dulcimer, or performs without accompaniment in a voice that needs no further enhancement. Reviewers have described her voice in superlatives ranging from “remarkable” to “mesmerizing.” As one critic summarized, “…it’s really next to impossible to do justice to a voice of that quality.” Much of the material performed by Sally includes compositions of her own, many of which are considered classics of the folk and popular genre.
When Claudia and Sally perform together, their individual strengths as performers shine even brighter, while at the same time an almost mystical third entity is created from their synergy. Anyone who has heard them together in their previous Nelson Town Hall concerts will be thrilled to see and hear them again, and with their new material. And if you have never been to a Sally & Claudia show, don’t put it off any longer – this will be a fabulous concert.