Poppet is the bold alter-diva of California-raised musician Molly Raney. She also has an extensive background in music theory, music history, and ethnomusicology, from both her childhood lessons and her education at the University of California in Davis. She spent 7 years studying with vocal coach Dr. Rebecca Plack of the San Francisco Conservatory–a major influence on her vocal style and elasticity. This broad musical background, plus her involvement with community freeform radio station KDVS, accounts for Poppet’s own sonic diversity. Poppet creates fully orchestrated electro/baroque pop, forged through dense layers of electronic and acoustic sounds and hinging on her etherial and extraordinarily expressive voice. In 2016, dancer and choreographer Nina Joly joined Poppet’s live set, integrating contemporary dance into an ominous and heartrending cycle of songs focusing on the human conscience. Nina’s work has been shown by the Saint Paul Ballet, as a guest artist for the Five College Dance Department, at the American College Dance Festival, at the Check Us Out Dance Festival NYC and on international tour with the band Foxygen.
Garnet Rogers has established himself as ‘One of the major talents of our time”. Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “charismatic performer and singer”, Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence – close to six and a half feet tall – with a voice to match. With his “smooth, dark baritone” (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs “give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart” (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.
As traditional Irish music and dance continue to enjoy phenomenal success both here and in Ireland, Áine Minogue is an artist who has long explored its themes and who captures its very essence. Her voice reflects the lyricism and richness to be found in Irish music, mythology and poetry with a voice undeniably her own and a diverse group of instruments that add to the traditional flavor of her work.
Born in Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Áine’s large musical family encouraged her to pursue a number of different instruments during her youth (which explains her obvious skill at arranging). They played together as a family and attended fleadhs (traditional music festivals). But it was at the age of twelve while at boarding school in County Galway that Áine discovered her true love – the harp – which she decided to pursue in lieu of the others. After completing school she spent three years developing her talent as a harpist at Bunratty Castle, County Clare, then moved to the United States, settling in New England.
Open Mic Feature – Shawn Taylor
With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep, gritty, soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Taylor’s songs ooze American roots; wandering roots. He’s drawn comparisons from Tom Waites to Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen to Chris Smither, but his original songs are colored by the experiences of his own working class, wandering roots. He’s been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, familly man, Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hiker’ and a performing musician and song writer, for over twenty years. He plays venues from New England to Nashville and has shared the stage with artists such as, Maria Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Garnet Rodgers and Caravan of Thieves.
Every performance is surprisingly different and always entertaining, exciting and educational with the award-winning duo Atwater~Donnelly, who provide a unique and thrilling blend of traditional American and Celtic folk music and dance, along with original songs and poetry. The highly praised husband-wife duo blends gorgeous vocals with an astounding array of instruments including the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, limberjacks, feet and more. Their performance is appealing to all ages with humor, audience participation, and a relaxed stage presence.
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.
Award-winning Boston contemporary folk singer/songwriter Terry Kitchen is as much a storyteller as a musician. His new CD The Post-American Century combines his considerable skills as a singer, composer and guitarist with his fearless emotional honesty, keen eye for detail, and deep empathy for his subjects for a compelling portrait of the land we live in. The Post-American Century presents ten sketches of American life, from the unhealed schism of the Civil War to the Baby Boom generation’s looming mortality. His first release since the 2013 publication of NEXT BIG THING, Terry’s debut novel, and first full-length folk CD since 2009’s Summer to Snowflakes, The Post-American Century finds Kitchen’s songcraft honed sharper than ever, with insightful lyrics matched to moody, stick-in-your-brain melodies.
Kevin Giuliano is an aspiring singer / songwriter located in Rhode Island. From an early age Kevin expressed an interest in music. He recalls times sitting in a dark room, hidden from his family, playing his father’s beat up old acoustic guitar. After a 15 + year hiatus from music Kevin is back at it. For the past year and a half he has been working to relearn the basics and improve upon his guitar playing and singing. Kevin writes songs that are best described as a mix of rock, country and folk music. You may catch Kevin playing locally in Rhode Island and Massachusetts at various events including open mics, festivals, nursing homes and private parties.
Donna Dufresne & Gypsy Romantique’
Gypsy Romantique’, whose slogan is: a little Django, a little Tango, a little Swing, A LOT OF FUN!, is just all that. Whimsical and romantic with a lot of the humor infused in Dufresne’s lyrics, the band takes the audience on a magical tour through the jazz and swing era in a brightly wrapped package of new and original material. You might think you’ve heard the songs in an old black and white film. Melding the gypsy inspired Paris hot club jazz of the 1930’s and American western swing of the same era, with their Latin influences and a touch of unabashed schmaltz, Gypsy Romantique’ is able to carry you away to the magic of the silver screen when it really was silver and not Technicolor. What you end up with is an entertaining cabaret of music that spans multiple generations.
With songs that are rich in lyric and image, Donna Dufresne presents her story-filled originals in a clever and amusing style that leaves audiences assured of a memorable performance. Donna has a rich background in vocal and dramatic performance.. She owes her unique, and somewhat eclectic, musical identity to the profound influence of British Isles folk music early in her career, and the blend of cowboy music and jazz she listened to as a child. Donna has developed an original repertoire that is distinctly her own, drawing from the era of early western swing, American Songbook, and a little gypsy jazz to create a romantic, vintage sound.
American singer-songwriter Kate Callahan, a native of Hartford Connecticut, was nominated for a CT Music Award in 2012. Callahan’s lyrics have been called “zen-like” by folk legend Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul, and Mary). WNPR Host Colin McEnroe says “…she swings out and away from influences, where startling music is made –Kate deserves to be called an artist these days.” She has traveled the U.S performing and opened shows for legends Judy Collins, John Gorka, the late Bill Morrissey, and an appearance alongside Regina Spektor.
Kristen Graves is a folk/pop singer, songwriter and humanitarian. Mentioned by both Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and given her own day across the state of Connecticut by Governor Malloy for her musicianship and activism, she has shared stages with Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Rusted Root, Holly Near, Dar Williams, Guy Davis, Dan Zanes, David Amram and many more. With catchy songs, a penchant for story telling, and inspiring lyrics, Kristen delights audiences across the country.
Diana Jones is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in New York and Nashville. She grew up in the Northeast with no art or music in her home, the adopted daughter of a chemical engineer. During her childhood and adolescence, she felt an almost mystical, seemingly inexplicable attraction to rural Southern music, but it wasn’t until her late 20s, when she located her birth family in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee, that her deep affinity for traditional folk and Appalachian music began to make sense.
Her 2006 recording, My Remembrance of You, earned her a nomination as Best Emerging Artist at the Folk Alliance Awards, leading to tours with Richard Thompson and Mary Gauthier, appearances at folk festivals on both sides of the Atlantic, and covers of her songs by Gretchen Peters and Joan Baez.
After Holly Hanson wrote “Lighthouse Keeper” to help her boys with home-school lessons, she decided they should live in a lighthouse. For an entire week, they were the keepers of an island lighthouse off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. Steve Hayes is the other half of this personable Americana duo, contributing his own well-crafted songs, as well as some damn good guitar work. They offer music in a down-to-earth style that is so good the prestigious Great American Song Contest called their “Fly Fishing the Big Hole” “. . . vivid, focused and engaging,” and added, “It’s a pleasure to hear songs of this caliber.”
Whether they’re playing an intimate house concert or on the main stage at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, you’ll love Neptune’s Car welcoming presence and song variety. Holly’s light soprano blends perfectly with Steve’s warm tenor. Vibrant lyrics and compelling melodies nestle in inviting arrangements, telling us stories rich in detail, from a miner’s life in “A Blue Sky Turned to Rust,” to “Emily Dickinson,” told with lyrics as beautiful as the poet’s work.
They’ve shared the stage with Bill Staines, Anne Hills, Archie Fisher, and many others. Their songs have charted on the Folk-DJ list – in 2015, The 45th Parallel was number twenty on the CD chart; quite impressive when you realize DJs receive hundreds of CDs a year. Public radio’s popular CarTalk has featured their songs three times.