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.
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.
Open Mic Feature – Peter Lehndorff
Peter Lehndorff writes folk and jazz songs about everyday life. Some are humorous. Some are serious. They are observations about the things that happen to him and the stuff he sees. There are stories about cars; what he eats; and the places he has lived. In addition to his slice-of-life songs, Peter is now mixing the funny with the serious; the romantic with the eccentric. It reflects his recent experiences. His early disc, Love on the Line received a great deal of airplay on college and public radio. Some of his more recent songs feature old friends like Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry. He has also been collaborating with new friends on sites like SoundCloud. He has also covered songs for the British post-punk band, Bent Cousin.
SloGrass, a Central Mass Bluegrass band, has been entertaining New England audiences for 26 years with its unique brand of acoustic Americana; with lively instrumentals featuring banjo, dobro, mandolin, guitar, and acoustic bass; with vocal selections showcasing rich, 2, 3 & 4 part harmonies. The seeds of SloGrass were sewn in the summer of 1989 when Dave, Mark and Fran started getting together once a week to play fiddle tunes for fun and a musical challenge. In the summer of 1993, Bob officially joined the band as its heartbeat on the standup bass. SloGrass plays a mix of vocal and instrumental songs, drawing on various traditions including Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, Folk, American Songbook, Americana, World Music and a few originals. While our name implies a connection to Bluegrass music, we love all kinds. Roughly three quarters of our repertoire is other-than Bluegrass.
Lisa Martin Hosts
2016 marks the 7th anniversary of our monthly series, Hootenanny/Songwriter Sessions. Hosted by Lisa Martin, the sessions bring audiences the chance to see some of the best local, regional and touring singer-songwriters. Intimate, in-the-round performances full of fun and spontaneity, are a hallmark of the series as well as the audience chosen “theme” that each songwriter has to incorporate into a newly crafted song for each show. A Hootenanny will begin each show and will be open to songwriters of all experience levels. Signups for the hoot will start at 6:30 pm and the show will begin promptly at 7:00 pm, with the hootenanny preceding the featured songwriters.
Rani Arbo is a fiddler, guitarist, songwriter and song collector. She has toured nationally for more than 20 years, most of them with the quartet Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem (Signature Sounds), which frequents folk festivals from coast to coast. Rani has toured and recorded with Joan Baez, John McCutcheon and many others. Greg Ryan performed for years as a singer/songwriter before forming the modern gypsy jazz group They Might Be Gypsies with his son Aidan. Their two records received rave reviews, with their debut album winning the Times Argus’ Instrumental Album of the Year. In addition to playing with They Might Be Gypsies, Greg performs with the gypsy jazz group The Queen City Hot Club. Together they perform Arbo’s wry, reflective originals, as well as traditional and cover songs, from Appalachian ballads to Ray Lamontagne. Acoustic Guitar Magazine writes, “Arbo is blessed with an unmistakable voice, both light and sultry, with a hint of tremolo and smoke.”
After the death of Pete Seeger in 2014, a small group of his admirers joined together to celebrate his life with a sing-along concert at the Hampton Grange. The event was a huge success and gave birth to SING:The Quiet Corner Song Swap. There is no charge and lyrics are available for most songs. They frequently use the folk “hymnal”, Rise Up Singing and its sequel, Rise Again for song lyrics. Participants are encouraged to lead their favorite songs or suggest them to the song leaders of the evening. Bring your voices, your instruments and your ears. This is specifically a night for singing, so please, no fiddle tunes or songs without a place to join in.
Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards are clearly inheritors of a timeless legacy, creating music that is both original and evocative of a rich tradition. Blending distinctive voices and a wide range of accompaniment (guitar, harmonica, ukulele, clarinet, penny whistle, electric bass), their songs have been well-received by audiences around the eastern United States since 2010. Transcending the genre of folk Americana, their music echoes inspiration from traditional folk duos and singer/songwriters like Ian & Sylvia, Kate Wolf and Neil Young – combining beautiful harmonies and a lyrical intensity, while establishing a unique sound of their own. Over the years, Mandeville & Richards have shared the stage with acts like Garnet Rogers, Melanie Safka, Eric Brace & Peter Cooper, John Gorka, Willie Watson, Pierce Pettis, Pokey LaFarge, Joan Osborne, Mustard’s Retreat, Atwater & Donnely, Antje Duvekot, and David Wax Museum – in 2015, while showcasing at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, appeared on stage with Tom Paxton.
Despite his relatively young age, MPress recording artist Seth Glier is a seasoned troubadour. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who averages over 200 live performances annually, Seth has gone from opening act to headlining his own shows and playing major festivals. He’s shared the stage with artists as diverse as James Taylor, Ani DiFranco, Edwin McCain, Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams, and has quickly become known for his passionate live sets and powerful command of both piano and guitar. His music has also caught the ears of fans, industry and critics alike, with USA Today stating that his “exquisite tenor echoes Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.” Building on the acclaim of his Grammy-nominated sophomore album The Next Right Thing, Glier’s subsequent record Things I Should Let You Know was called “a genuine revelation” by Blurt Magazine, and was praised by M Music & Musicians Magazine for its “shimmering, seductive melodies”.
Mike Laureano hails from Fall River, MA an old mill-town infamous for its axe wielding resident Lizzie Borden and famous for its chow mein sandwiches, pork pies and the occasional songwriter. He is a 2016 Kerrville New Folk Finalist and a 2016 Woody Guthrie songwriting contest winner. A passionate performer, Mike’s songs are visceral and evocative.
Writing and performing for over twenty years, Kevin Connolly has carved out his own way of writing American songs and earned a reputation as a passionate performer. Connolly has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe while maintaining a strong presence and tie to his New England roots. Working the college and coffeehouse circuit solo, Kevin has also played major festivals including Newport Folk, SXSW, Kerrville Folk and Bumbershoot. He has opened up for a long list of notable artists including Indigo Girls, Huey Lewis, Todd Rundgren and Joan Osborne. Kevin’s songs have also appeared on network television shows and in major motions pictures as well as independent films.