Mainbrace is a duo dedicated to singing the traditional and modern songs of our seafaring heritage. Their songs tell of Jack Tar's life at sea and on shore -- of wrecks and gales, stately clippers, leaky tubs, boarding house masters and bawdy-house women. Mainbrace sings the chanteys that helped the heavy work along, and the "forebitters" that brightened precious leisure time. In short, Mainbrace sings the whole of the sailor's story from the time of the tall ships to the present.
Mainbrace is Michael O'Leary-Johns and Tony Fraser, singers with many years experience behind them. Michael O'Leary-Johns grew up in a family of Irish singers. He was brought up in Wales but stoutly maintains that he is "proud to be Irish." Mike is the powerhouse and mainstay of the group, and has sung all over the British folk scene for more than 20 years. Formerly, Mike sang with the chantey group Motley Crew. Tony Fraser also comes from a singing family. His parents were both singers who, in the 1960's, helped Roy Harris run the Cardiff Folk Club. Tony's guitar and five-string banjo bring a different texture to an otherwise all a cappella program. Tony is also the one who adds an occasional harmony line. He too has been singing for more than 20 years.
Mainbrace matches commitment to the music with an equal standpoint on performance. Mike and Tony go all out to please, with humor and audience participation given a high priority. And please they do.
The Folk Song Society is pleased to present Martyn Wyndham-Read in concert. Martyn Wyndham-Read has become known as one of the best living authorities on Australian folk music, as well as one if it's best known and most respected performers, in the world today.
English by birth, Martyn Wyndham-Read first developed his great interest in folk songs of the outback when he went Australia in the early 60's and worked on a sheep station. He fell in love with Australia and it's music, and spent much of his time learning the songs from drovers, cane cutters, and sheep shearers he met during his travels.
The music which Martyn collected describes the rich legacy of the many peoples of Australia. He brought his collections of songs back to England, where he found himself in the middle of a folk music revival. He's been singing his songs around the world ever since.
Martyn Wyndham-Read's recording career, starting in 1963 and spanning thirty years, has encompassed over a score of albums, both solo and in combination with his many illustrious friends in the folk world. In concert, Martyn accompanies himself on guitar, and is noted for his powerful, pleasant voice, as well as a genuine warmth and great offbeat sense of humor.
The Folk Song Society is pleased to present Brian Peters in concert. Brian packs a powerful voice, a mastery of his instruments, and a wonderful mix of traditional and modern repertoire into his performances. He is acknowledged as one of England's star talents on the folk music circuit today.
As one of England's leading squeezebox players, Brian Peters is a master of the melodeon (button accordion) and Anglo-concertina. As a guitarist, he is a fine exponent of the open-tuned English folk style, and a sensitive accompanist. And every song he sings with his powerful voice has something good to offer, whether it be from the tradition, or from his varied modern repertoire.
In addition to performing in countless folk clubs around the world, Brian Peters has taught both instrumental and singing techniques workshops worldwide.
Audiences may recognize the voices of the Kossoy Sisters, identical twins, from their version of "I'll Fly Away" in the Coen Brothers' movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Kossoy Sisters, Irene Saletan and Ellen Christenson, were The Roches of their time. By the time they were in college, the sisters had collected an interesting array of dark traditional folk songs from the Southern Appalachians, which they recorded for Tradition records. This legendary album, "Bowling Green", inspired and influenced many singers in the folk revival.
Irene and Ellen, identical twins, began harmonizing at the age of 8 or 9, singing mostly what they heard around the house: songs of the 20's and music hall songs. After hearing Pete Seeger and the Weavers, they gravitated to American traditional songs. Most of their teenage years were spent singing in Washington Square, in Greenwich village, and by the age of 20, they had performed widely in New York.
Known for their clear, bell-like harmonies, the Kossoy Sisters performed at the first Newport Folk Festival, in the original production of Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory, and for several years at the Fox Hollow Folk Festival. Although they still sing mostly southern mountain songs, they have also adopted other traditional and contemporary songs, accompanying themselves on guitar, banjo, and autoharp.
Careers, families, and a stint in the Peace Corps for Irene have kept them from performing as much as their fans would like, but with the recent release of their new album, Hop On Pretty Girls, the Kossoy Sisters hit the road again, and FSSGB is delighted to be one of their stops along the way! We hope you will join us for this special event.
For many years Priscilla Herdman has been delighting Folk Song Society members with her rich voice and unerring choice of material. She is an extraordinary finder of powerful songs, as well as an eloquent performer who pulls her audience members in and encourages them to sing with her. Priscilla has an absolutely gorgeous voice with a three-octave range, fantastic clarity, and a silky smoothness. She is a singer's singer and one of the most admired interpreters of contemporary folk music. Audiences know her as an extraordinary song finder and an eloquent performer. They come to hear her sing and to sing with her. They are embraced by her warm and powerful performance.
In addition to a wide variety of American songs, Priscilla also interprets Australian and Canadian contemporary folk music. Her repertoire includes songs by Eric Bogle, Cathy Fink, Anne Hills, Connie Kaldor, Henry Lawson, John McCutcheon, David Mallet, Bruce [Utah] Phillips, Stan Rogers, Richard Shindell, Judy Small, Bill Staines, Nancy White, and many others.
This year Priscilla recorded her most recent solo album, "The Road Home"., which features background vocals by her good friends Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen, among other artists. She has been touring and recording with Anne and Cindy and has recorded three albums with them, including the "Voices of Winter" live concert album and a new recording called "At the Turning of the Year." Priscilla has recorded three albums of children's music, called "Moondreamer", "Daydreamer" and "Stardreamer", which between them have won six awards for excellence in childrens' music. For more information about Priscilla, see her web site at http://www.priscillaherdman.com.
As you can see, Priscilla is highly talented and productive. At the concert we will have the chance to share in her new discoveries, as well as rediscover old favorites. Come join us there!
The annual FSSGB members' concert is always a popular event. Our members perform songs which range from traditional ballads to original compositions, and from instrumental to a cappella pieces. Some of the instruments that have been played at this concert in the past include violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, keyboard and concertina. Some FSSGB members who have performed at this event have gone on to have successful performing careers, such as Elijah Wald, Mark Ryer, Fool's Errand and Merle Roesler.
Many new musical relationships have formed as a result of the members' concert, including our hosts for the evening, Two for the Show - Ellen Schmidt and Jake Kensinger! They began playing together many years ago for a members' concert, and have since become very active performers in the local folk music scene.
Members are invited to sign up to perform - one song or a spoken word piece. You may perform alone or with others. Some performers have been participating for years; others will do so for the first time. Children are most welcome. The program will feature professional musicians as well as living room folk enthusiasts. All are welcome. The Midweek Singers are an important part of the program as are the many members who show up especially for this event. The audience is always supportive and lively.
To sign up, you may contact Ellen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Folk Song Society is very pleased to present Ed Trickett in a rare New England solo concert. Ed Trickett has been collecting and interpreting traditional and traditional-based folk songs for over 30 years, and has appeared on over 40 recordings and appeared on Garrison Keillor's “A Prairie Home Companion” and other public radio broadcasts. Ed is known as a "song interpeter". By day he is a professor of psychology. He looks for the hidden truths in songs, and sings them to us in a manner that gives us a new meaning to old songs. Usually playing guitar, and singing in a very gentle manner, Ed is also an accomplished piano player. He doesn't consider himself as a "professional" musician, but he is indeed a professional in every sense of the word.
His repertoire includes a wide range of ballads, sea songs, songs of love and protest, and an occasional song of no consequence whatsoever. Ed has appeared on more Folk-Legacy recordings than any other individual artist, backing first one singer and then another with his excellent harmonies and his fine guitar.
Ed Trickett is well-known to New England audiences, primarily due to his singing with New Englander Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir. He accompanies himself on 6- and 12-string guitar and hammered dulcimer, an instrument that he helped popularize. Ed has a beautiful unaffected tenor voice that lulls you into enjoying a marvelous evening of music, as if joining him in his living room.
Please join us for this wonderful concert!
NOTE: This concert is sold out -- contact Ann if you'd like to get on the waiting list.
Oscar Brand is a Folk Singer, Recording Artist, Songwriter, Guitarist, Bawdy Song Balladeer, Sea Chantey Performer, Radio Broadcaster, Television Program Host, Special Events Director, Emcee, Broadway Musical Composer, Playwright, Actor, Author, Storyteller, Musicologist, Historian, Children's Recording Artist, Curator of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Honorary Ph.D. He was also on the panel that created Sesame Street...
His programs have been hailed as "Wonderful", "Exciting" and "Fantastic", but underneath he is a very ordinary and humble great folk singer. His programs have captivated audiences all over Canada, the United States, and Staten Island. They could be "Laughing America", wherein Americans laugh despite hard times, "Revolution through Rap", wherein we watch our music grow from colonial ballads through rock and roll, "Ballads and Ballots", American political songs...etc.
Brand won his first Peabody Award in 1982 for the National Public Radio broadcast, The Sunday Show. Fifteen years later he shared the Personal Peabody Award with Oprah Winfrey. In 1945, having won the war, he began presenting what is now the oldest continuous radio show in history, the award-winning "Folk-song Festival" on New York Public Radio.
His list of credentials and accomplishments is too extensive to list here -- please visit his website for more information. You won't want to miss this opportunity to hear him perform in an intimate setting.
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker have performed throughout the U.S. and internationally, singing songs and telling stories from the American tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over thirty-five years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. Rhonda Rucker is an accomplished harmonica and piano player, and also adds vocal harmonies to their songs. She has developed her own unique style of playing harmonica, which complements their music, whether they are playing railroad songs, Appalachian music, blues, slave songs, Civil War music, gospel, work songs, cowboy music, ballads, or Sparky Rucker's original compositions.
Together and separately, they've won numerous awards including the 2001 Storytelling World Award Honor Title and a nomination in 1991 for the W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Recording for "Treasures & Tears". Together they've recorded four albums, toured extensively, appeared at festivals, on radio and TV, including an appearance in the Time-Warner TV miniseries "The Wild West".
Pete Seeger says ""Sparky Rucker is unique! He'll make you glad to be alive and struggling," and Loyal Jones of Berea College in Kentucky says "Sparky and Rhonda put on a good concert, with plenty of heart, soul, and good feeling. It is always a joy to see and hear them."
Halali's repertoire spans the gamut from lively jigs and reels to more sensitive slow numbers and inspiring vocals. They perform new music, as well as timeless traditional classics, and cleverly arranged covers. Three of the four members will be with us on April 3rd – Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese and Flynn Cohen.
Hanneke Cassel is the winner of the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, as well as the '92 and '94 National Scottish Junior Championship. She has a degree from the Berklee College of Music in violin performance and her first solo album My Joy was released this spring.
Laura Cortese has been featured on tour with Alasdair Fraser, and recently appeared in the world premiere of Tim O'Brien & The Crossing: Staged with Dance by Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. She is the 1998 New England regional Scottish Fiddle Champion.
Flynn Cohen is one of the country's premier guitar accompanists and has degrees in music from Dartington College of the Arts in England and Mills College in California. He also performs with the John Whelan Band, most recently accompanying John on his highly successful and critically acclaimed European tour.
The individual members of the band have been very busy performing and putting out their own CDs, and now the group has its first CD, self-titled “Halali” on Footprint Records. Hopefully they’ll have copies available at the concert, and you can also purchase it on line at FolkWeb.com.
Please join us for this dynamic, upbeat concert!
This production will feature many FSSGB members. For more information, contact Ellen Schmidt at email@example.com
Sheila Kay Adams is a versatile and talented performer. She is a traditional ballad singer, musician, Appalachian humorist, published author, and master storyteller. She has a down-home style with a professional foundation. With a warm, relaxed and genuine presence, Sheila develops an immediate rapport with her audience. Whether singing the ancient story-songs, playing the banjo, performing an original composition, or creating a window into her rich culture by sharing a story about the colorful folks of her small mountain community, she spellbinds audiences of all ages. Sheila is able to draw from a vast amount of material and can provide entertainment in a wide variety of environments. She is also an excellent teacher, providing residencies, workshops, and classes. Having taught in the North Carolina Public School System for seventeen years, as well as presenting in classrooms at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, Sheila is exceptionally adept in engaging and holding the attention of students in an academic setting.
Sheila comes from a small mountain community in western North Carolina. For seven generations her family has maintained the tradition of passing down the English, Scottish, and Irish ballads that came over with her ancestors in the late 1700’s. Sheila learned these ballads from her relatives, primarily from her great-aunt, Dellie Chandler Norton.
She also grew up listening to great storytellers. Stories from them, and about them, and her own growing up years in the little community of Sodom have formed the nucleus of her performances and writing. A gifted and talented performer on the clawhammer banjo, Sheila captivates audiences with her playing, singing, and stories.
Sheila's latest CD is a compilation of several live concerts performed for audiences from North Carolina to Indiana. Included are her most requested stories and songs: Little Mathey Groves, The Four Nights Drunk, Inez and the Snake Handlers, The Farmer's Cursed Wife, Little Betty and Amos, What Ever Happened to John Parrish's Boy?, and Granny's Song.
As stated by Richard Thompson, a previous director for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, "Sheila’s ability to listen and communicate via the oral or written word is superb...Her understanding of the Appalachian mountain life, people, and social fabric - the subject of her performances - has a universal appeal and touches all of us...even those not from the area."
Jeff Davis and Jerry Epstein, both extraordinary interpreters of traditional music, have known each other and made music together for over 35 years. They are widely known as being among the finest exponents of the older traditional song of North America to be heard anywhere, and they share a committment to the old songs performed in the old way. The love, knowledge, and respect they have for the material they perform comes through in every song.
Jerry plays concertina, piano, and guitar, and Jeff plays just about every stringed instrument there is, incuding piano. Both are powerful singers with repertoires that include many rarely heard gems, gleaned from decades spent studying some of the finest of the previous generation of singers of traditional folk song.
Both Jerry and Jeff have released excellent albums together and separately, including "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still", "Time Has Made a Change in Me", and Jeff's "Two Little Boys" with Jeff Warner. They also performed as Bermuda Quadrangle with Jeff Warner and David Jones. The quartet put out a recording called "A Beautiful Life." All these recordings can be ordered from www.minstrelrecords.com or by calling (800) 356-1779. (Hopefully they'll have some recordings for sale at the concert!)
Please call for reservations (since space is limited) and directions.
Louis Killen is one of the most widely influential musicians of the folk revival and a key voice of English traditional song. He is a hard-core, unadulterated folksinger whose passionate delivery is matched by a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of the songs and the working people who made them.
Born and raised in the heart of the industrial North East of England, he came early to a love of folk music. Nurtured by a singing family whose tastes ran from liturgical music to cowboy songs, Irish ballads, grand opera, blues, jazz, classical and local Music Hall, the dominant music in his life has been the folk music of the British Isles. Louis's family background is predominantly Irish: his paternal great-grandfather brought his family from County Mayo to the banks of the River Tyne in 1852. His grandfather married a Scotswoman and his father an Irishwoman.
Though his ancestry is largely Celtic, being a native Tynesider has stongly affected his approach to music. Tyneside is an area that absorbs other cultures and converts them into its own - to this day, even after thirty-five years living in the USA, Louis's speaking accent still denotes his roots. The mixture of Irish, Scots and English living in the coal-mining and industrial region known to the ancients as Northumbria sets it apart from the rest of England, pulling into it the musical traditions of all three countries while maintaining its own distinct musical style. Louis Killen draws on all four traditions to bring a wide range of folk music to his audiences.
To these four is added the Anglo-American tradition of deep-water shantying and sailor ballads common to both nations. Louis's first-hand experience working aboard brigs, brigantines, schooners and sloops in the late '60s and early '70s put him in the forefront of the current revival of maritime music on both sides of the Atlantic.
In a career spanning over forty years, with more than thirty-five albums/CDs to his credit, Louis Killen's influence as a performer, teacher and inspiration to others is unparalleled. Both as a singer and as a concertina player - an instrument whose use for self-accompaniment he pioneered - his impact on the folk song movement is hard to overstate. He is the folksinger's folksinger.
Will Noble, the great Yorkshire singer, will entertain us with his great store of hunting songs, chorus songs and Yorkshire lore.
Bob Lewis, a marvelous source singer from Sussex, comes on his first trip to America with a great store of unaccompanied songs from his family and the older tradition of the South coast of Britain.