☼ ☼ ☼ Troy MacGillivray & Kimberley Fraser – Evening Concert & Afternoon Workshops| Nelson Town Hall

Troy MacGillivray returns to the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, May 13 for a 7:00 PM show. Admission is $15/$12 (Sr/Jr). On this visit Troy will be accompanied by Kimberley Fraser, a master at the trio of fiddling, step dancing and piano. Troy and Kimberley will be offering afternoon workshops starting at 1:30 PM. Cost is $50, Register for piano or fiddle at info@troymacgillivray.com.

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!

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☼ ☼ ☼ Wooden Dinosaur CD Release Party | Nelson Town Hall

The Monadnock Folklore Society is excited to present home-town boy Jeff Murphy and his band, ‘Wooden Dinosaur’, to celebrate the release of their new CD ‘Spaces’ at the Nelson Town Hall on Friday February 10 at 8:00 PM. Admission is $12/$9 (Sr/Jr)

“Wooden Dinosaur makes the kind of simple, stripped-down music that leaves you feeling nostalgic and longing for more.”
NPR’s All Songs Considered

Wooden Dinosaur is an original six-piece folk ensemble with members from throughout New England. The band makes music that is deeply American, yet forward thinking. Built around the songs of Brattleboro-based guitarist Michael Roberts, Wooden Dinosaur uses a diverse array of instruments – fiddle, upright bass, drums, trumpet and euphonium – in its tasteful arrangements of original material. Though “indie-folk” is the label most often applied to this music, alt-country, blues, old time, and jazz influences are woven into the band’s signature sound.

Wooden Dinosaur’s debut album, Nearly Lost Stars (2010), garnered both regional and national attention, and cemented the band’s reputation as a fresh voice in the New England Americana scene. Since then the group has toured throughout the Northeast and shared the stage with some of the country’s most exciting new acts, including The Devil Makes Three, Brown Bird, The Low Anthem, Joe Pug, Rusty Belle and David Wax Museum.

The band spent 2011 working on their second full-length album, Spaces. Much of the recording for the new album took place at a house in Nelson, over July 4th weekend. Recorded in between family-style BBQ’s and trips to the local swimming hole, the album reflects the group’s dedication to a diverse array of American musical traditions.

Opening the show will be Dollar General, the new project from Vermont composer and guitarist Michael Chorney. This folk-jazz group features the rhythm section from Anais Mitchell’s acclaimed Hadestown Orchestra, along with pedal steel player Asa Brosius. The band plays Chorney’s original songs, which show jazz, country and folk influences, and reflect Chorney’s unique approach to the craft of songwriting.

☼ Irish Music | Denis Liddy and Elvie Miller

Nelson Town Hall
Sunday, August 10th, 7:30
Admission: $12 at the door, $9 seniors/youth

A phenomenal evening of Irish music!

Denis Liddy, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare has been immersed in music and playing theDenis Liddy fiddle since he was eight years old. He is now a primary school teacher in Co. Clare, Ireland, and has also been teaching music in the Barefield area since 1989. Denis has not only been instrumental in teaching and inspiring students to play traditional music but has also broadened students experience and exposure to music through means of his recordings, concert performances, competitions and international touring. Since 1999, his students have recorded four CDs and toured in Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, China, Bulgaria, USA, Australia and Sweden.

Denis has won numerous All-Ireland awards as a soloist and as a group and band member. In 2003, he released the CD Waifs and Strays with legendary flute player Michael Hynes and guitarist Rob Shearer, to critical acclaim. This year, he released “Spectacle Bridge” with Michael Hynes, Jack Talty and Eoin O’Neill. Other recordings on which he has played over the years include Ireland – A Musical Journey with the French flute player Michel Sikiotakis, Planxty O’Rourke in 1995, Tuath with Orfhlaith Ni Bhrian in 1999 and The Bees Wing and Seven Streams with the multi award winning Turloughmore Ceili Band.

Denis has involved himself as both teacher and musician in a variety of other music-related projects and events including the Francis McPeake Summer School, the Willie Clancy Summer School, the Ennis Traditional Music Festival and countless other music workshops worldwide.

Elvie MillerElvie Miller has been playing music since she was five years old, and over the years she has shifted from classical piano to Irish/contra dance accordion and piano. She grew up going to contra dances in New England and now she performs at contra and English country dances all over the U.S. In 2005 she graduated from Oberlin College and traveled through Ireland, England, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, France and Cape Breton as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, studying accordion and traditional music and performing internationally alongside Karen Tweed, Timo Alakotila and Maria Kalaniemi, among others. She currently tours with Rodney Miller, Airdance, Night Watch and Denis Liddy.

In 2003, Elvie released “Grapevine” with Naomi Morse on fiddle. She recorded a beautiful CD “Spyglass” in 2007 with her dad, Rodney Miller on fiddle. Night Watch is due to release their first CD in 2008 with Elvie on piano and piano accordion, Naomi Morse on fiddle, and Owen Morrison on guitar and mandolin. Elvie has many beautiful compositions to her credit and also performed at the prestigious Milwaukee Irish Fest with Denis Liddy in 2007.

Eighteen Feet Square and Seven Feet Stud

“Know all men by these presents, that I Samuel Shadwick of Newton in the County of Middlesex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay housewright am holden and stand firmly bound and obliged unto William Dudley of Roxbury, [there follows 10 additional names] … all of the Province aforesaid, in the full and just sum of forty pounds, to be paid to the said Dudley [and the 10 others] … a committee for the admitting settlers into the line of towns so called … which payment well and faithfully to be made I bind my self, my heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these presents. Sealed with my seal. Dated this seventh day of December 1736.”

Why was Samuel Shattuck pledging to pay members of a committee overseeing the settlement of new towns the sum of £40, equivalent in today’s economy to about $1,875? Read more

Folknotes: March

My first experiences of coffee were from my grandmothers percolator, and at various diners on Cape Cod, where I spent summers working for my grandfather on his cranberry bogs. Some years later I was privileged to do a bit of touring playing contra dance music, and I remember a trip to Seattle where coffee was just beginning to come out of the closet, as it were. What a revelation! It’s a mixed blessing to discover such things; after that whenever our band would go on the road, we decided it was worth the risk of offending our various hosts by bringing our own coffee kit – a good supply of French Roast, and our own French press, carried in a foam-lined metal box. Read more

Dancing in Church

The East Alstead Congregational Church, located about 15 miles north of Keene, New Hampshire, was built in 1798. It is a classic example of old church architecture in the Monadnock region. But the handsome edifice has undergone extensive renovations, including the division into two floors of the original, open, floor-to-ceiling great room. The front entrance was moved from the long, south side to the west end of the building. These alterations were done in the early 1800s, soon followed in 1832 by the addition of a steeple complete with a Revere bell cast in Boston. Locally, this bell is famous for the misspelling inadvertantly cast into the side, which reads “Revere: Bosotn.” Read more