View a different season:
FSSGB is pleased to present "Bound for Glory", our annual Woody Guthrie Tribute show. This is a free concert performed outdoors on the lovely grounds of Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. It features many FSSGB members, many of whom have performed in past Woody shows going way back to the 60's, along with newer FSSGB members.
"Bound for Glory" is a performance of songs and stories about the life of Woodrow Wilson ("Woody") Guthrie, considered by many to be the founder of modern American folk music. Many wonderful songs written by Woody and performed by members of FSSGB are interspersed with short recitations from his autobiography. It is a funny, cynical, earthy and tragic account of his life in an Oklahoma oil-boom town, of the Depression that followed, and of his subsequent travels in, on, and under trains, in stolen cars and on his feet, round an America going rotten from the top downwards.
Chorus sheets are made available and the audience is encouragd to sing along.
Steve Turner is known as a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments, stretching the boundaries of traditional forms, with one of the best voices in the business. He is a multi-instrumentalist, who also accompanies himself on the cittern, and also plays mandolin and banjo.
Steve began his career on the Manchester, UK folk scene at the end of the '60s, with the Geordie band "Canny Fettle", touring with them for eight years and making two albums with them. In 1979 he won the UK Melody Maker's national "Stars of the 80s" competition, which persuaded him to turn professional, and for the next 12 years he toured solo, nationally and internationally, releasing four albums with Fellside Records during this period (Out Stack, Jigging One Now, Eclogue and Braiding).
After 13 years away from the folk scene he made a welcome return in 2004 performing in folk clubs and festivals, and in 2008 producing his 5th album, the highly acclaimed "Whirligig of Time" which featured UK luminaries Martin Carthy, Nancy Kerr and Miranda Sykes.
Since then he has released further albums, "Rim of the Wheel" and "Spirit of the Game", and his latest much anticipated 8th album "Late Cut", featuring Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Sam Carter, was released in January 2019.
In the F/Roots August/September 2014 edition Nancy Kerr in her "Rocket Launcher" interview when asked "what was the best gig you ever saw?" answered "… Steve Turner …"
Carolyn Robson is a professional singer and musician specialising in traditional folk song and dance. Her extensive repertoire consists mainly of songs from her native Northumberland and Scotland as well as from other parts of the British Isles. She has appeared in several groupings, recently as part of trio Dempsey, Robson, Tweed with Kevin Dempsey (guitar and voice) and Karen Tweed (accordion). Along with Moira Craig she was part of the a capella trio Craig Morgan Robson until the untimely passing of Sarah Morgan.
Moira Craig is from East Kilbride, where her family have lived for generations, her grandfather, father and brothers were all singers and musicians. At family parties she and her brothers took turns singing and entertaining. Everyone sang or played and it could be anything from the latest pop song, the old songs and ballads, to music hall or whatever anyone fancied singing. Moira moved to London in 1983 to work as a nurse and singing has taken up most of her life outside of work since that time. She has long been recognised by club and festival goers for her superb interpretations of Scottish, Irish and English songs and ballads. A former winner of the “Sidmouth Singer of the Year” award, Moira became more widely known through her contributions to the Pastimes albums. She also has a solo album, "On Ae Bonny Day". Moira has appeared in Britain, Germany and the USA, charming audiences with her clear ringing voice and wonderful repertoire.
About the workshop: In pockets of communities around Britain there are traditions of singing local Folk Carols at Christmas, the most well-known being the Sheffield Carols. Carolyn runs four community choirs in Hampshire and together she and the late Sarah Morgan researched several carols collected in Hampshire. Carolyn and Moira will teach a selection of them at the workshop. There is no need to read music; all will be taught aurally.
Ed Trickett has been collecting and interpreting traditional and tradition-based folk songs for almost four decades, and has appeared on over 40 recordings and as a featured guest on Garrison Keillor's NPR radio show A Prairie Home Companion. His repertoire includes a wide range of ballads, sea songs, songs of love and "an occasional song of no consequence whatsoever." In addition to his solo career, Trickett is well-known to New England audiences for having been a member of the celebrated trio Bok, Muir and Trickett, with whom he recorded ten albums and performed for 26 years.
For his day job, 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. The songs he has recorded alone, with Anne Mayo Muir and Gordon Bok, and with other artists are some of the most beautiful ever recorded.
Start your holiday season with Boston's favorite Christmas tradition - the annual Pub Carol Sing!
Sponsored by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston
and The West Gallery Quire.
Come and sing Carols from the Sheffield, West Gallery, and Sacred Harp traditions (as well as some standard favorites), led by Bruce Randall of The West Gallery Quire.
With special guests, The Paper Bag Mummers, providing merriment and mayhem!
Suitable for all voices and melodic instruments. Music will be available.
Free! (but we will pass the hat for the waitress)
Contact Bruce Randall (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Folk musicians Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, two of the most original and exciting contributors to American contemporary folk and world music, will bring songs and tunes full of depth and joy to FSSGB at a lovely home in Newton Corner, MA.
Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, each well-known and loved for their decades of music making, come together to give a concert of contemporary and traditional songs and tunes. Cindy is a superb singer, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Grey is one of America’s finest players of the Irish flute and tin whistle, as well as an accomplished singer and concertina, fiddle, piano and harmonium player. As composers each contributes to the unique tapestry of contemporary folk and world music in America today. Together they weave their music with vibrant colors and subtle textures.
Scott Alarik of The Boston Globe calls Cindy "...one of folk music's most respected songwriters... provocative, heartwise, and original ...a brilliant guitarist... " while Grey's playing has been called "positively spellbinding" (The New Mexico Daily, Albuquerque, NM) and "exceptionally exceptional" (The Spectator, Raleigh-Durham, NC). The duo’s repertoire includes Cindy’s sparkling original songs, distinctive settings of traditional Irish music, Scandinavian fiddle duets, old-time fiddle and guitar tunes from southern Indiana, and new music that Cindy and Grey are inventing together. There is plenty of variety and breadth of musical territory here, all deeply rooted in folk traditions, and interwoven with the renaissance and baroque counterpoint in which both Cindy and Grey were immersed while growing up. Included are vocal duets, guitar, Irish flute, Irish alto flute, tin whistle, concertina, harmonium, and duet fiddling, along with plenty of stories that put the music into a personal context. Their newest album, Welcome Day, was released in 2015, and joins Cross the Water and a CD single, "Back When We Were All Machines."
For more on Cindy and Grey, visit www.kalletlarsen.com where you may listen to their music for free and view videos of their performances.
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.
Our hosts will be Lori Fassman and Paul Beck. They are long-time FSSGB members, and are both past Presidents of FSSGB.
FSSGB members (including new 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.
Contact Lori Fassman at email@example.com to sign up by January 25.
Proceeds from this show help keep the Society strong - we thank the performers and the audience for making this event possible.
This concert will feature a fundraising bake sale -- donations of baked goods are welcome, and bring some cash so you can take some home with you!
Click here to hear some recordings done by our talented members!
Bob is a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother. He plays banjo and autoharp, sings and yodels, and can drive a dance band with his guitar and harmonica. Bob is well known and loved for his dry and witty stage humor.
Since 1971 Bob has traveled the country taking old time music to audiences of all ages at festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, music camps, radio and TV programs. This is rural music as played in homes, at dances and for earlier entertainments such as minstrel shows and country radio.
Along with a repertoire including dance tunes, ballads, cowboy songs, humorous and sentimental numbers, blues and rags, he spices their shows with stories, history and folklore. Bob sings (yodels, too) and plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and autoharp.
"No one handles old-time cowboy and humorous songs better than Bob. His vocals are hauntingly rough. His guitar and harmonica are as good as you will ever hear. Whether performing in concert, playing for a barn dance, or on a recording, Bob leaves you wanting more." Don Stevens, All Music Guide
Digital Heritage Consulting plans to go live! Stay tuned for instructions on how to participate.
The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston has partnered with member and local host Lynn Noel to livestream this virtual houseconcert. We invite and encourage you to enjoy this live event and to support the artist with the links below.
Please purchase CDs or downloads from Matthew Byrne directly at https://www.matthewbyrne.net/music
Like and follow Digital Heritage Consulting on Facebook for more livestreams and blog posts on how to build online community for folk music and heritage arts.
Matthew Byrne has an uncanny ability to make something old sound new again, or for that matter make something new sound old.
Storytelling through song is a fundamental duty of traditional music and Matthew Byrne does this brilliantly. His repertoire has been shaped by his musical upbringing and Byrne supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room. With parents who were both singers and song collectors and a strong family focus on sharing songs, Byrne has inherited a unique repertoire as well as a fascination with unearthing and reimagining traditional songs.
"I'm not a folklorist or ethnomusicologist, at least not of oficially. And I'm not a purist. I've poured over the nuances of the pub standards as much as the obscure murder balladry. What attracts me to a traditional song is the right combination of melody and language, both of which have always fascinated me." But Byrne is also a student of history whose love of traditional music goes well beyond the words and music. For him, songs are ways of understanding people before him...their lives, work, language, and worldview.
Matthew is 'currently supporting his newest release, Horizon Lines - a collection of traditional material from both sides of the Atlantic that continues Byrne's journey through his own unique musical lineage. This album won Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Having received this distinction for a second time, Matthew Byrne continues to establish himself as one of today's most authentic and vital traditional voices.
Matthew will be joined by his brother Allan, a wonderful singer and guitarist in his own right who grew up performing and sharing a lot of the same repertoire with Matthew.
Scott Ainslie's FSSGB house concert is going to be a virtual event! House Concert: Saturday, April 18, 8 pm EDT - wherever you are! (Please note - even though this Facebook event lists a Saturday AND a Sunday event IT'S ONLY ON SATURDAY NIGHT!)
HOW CAN I HELP? No reservations are required for this virtual house concert, but please consider supporting the performer by making a donation (on the day of the event) through FSSGB at http://www.fssgb.org/fssonline.php - click on the Donate button to make an online payment through our Paypal link by using PayPal or a credit card. During concert times, we will assume that all donations that come in are for the performer. We appreciate your support of performers who have lost their gigs because of the COVID-19 virus.
HOW TO WATCH: We will be publishing a Facebook Live link here a week before the concert. You do not have to log in to Facebook to watch the show! Just click on the link a few minutes before 8 pm on Saturday, April 18 and enjoy, from the device of your choice! We've heard that iPhones and iPads seem to do well with the sound if you don't mind a small picture. With Airplay or Chromecast, you can watch the live concert on your TV: see pcmag.com/news/stream-facebook-live-videos-to-your-tv.
Steeped in traditional music from both sides of the color line, Scott Ainslie is a renowned acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He learned southern old-time ballads, banjo and fiddle from senior musicians in North Carolina and West Virginia and blues from his black elders in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi: his roots are deep.
Scott Ainslie's mother found him at the family piano picking out melodies from the records she listened to during the day when he was three years old. He's been a musician all his life. A Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington & Lee University, Ainslie came of age during the Civil Rights era, and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power.
Armed with a variety of instruments – vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South – Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America alive.
John Roberts is a singer of folksongs from the British Isles, born and raised in Worcestershire, England, of a Welsh family. He currently lives in Schenectady, NY, and has been an active member of the Northeast folk song and dance communities for over 40 years. Singing solo, he often accompanies the songs with concertina or banjo, or sings them a cappella.
John has performed at various folk festivals including the Mystic Sea Music Festival, the Newfoundland Folk Festival, New Bedford’s Summerfest and Working Waterfront Festivals, the San Francisco Sea Music Festival, the Fox Valley (IL) Festival, and the Old Songs Festival. You might infer from this list that the music of the sea is one of his specialities; you would be correct. As well as a solo CD, Sea Fever, he has recorded sea songs albums with Tony Barrand (Across the Western Ocean) and with the trio Ye Mariners All - all available from Golden Hind Music and Bandcamp.
John still does perform occasional concerts with Tony, but these days mostly performs solo, or sometimes with his longtime partner Lisa Preston, who also accompanies him on harp on his Sea Fever album. He also often performs in tandem with Debra Cowan, an American singer of both traditional and more recently composed songs, with strong ties to the British Isles. Debra and John do not consider themselves a duo, though they often support each other’s songs vocally and instrumentally; they also recorded a CD together - Ballads Long & Short.
Bob and Jeanne are old friends and life partners who share a love of music and history -- which they love sharing with others. With a friendship dating back to the early 1970s, Bob and Jeanne combine his lifetime of bringing traditional music as "edu-tainment" to students of all ages, with her work as a History Ph.D. with a growing reputation for helping restore lost musical "soundscapes" and adding to an understanding of music in a historical context. Bob and Jeanne effortlessly weave vocals, instruments, anecdotes, humor, humanity and history into an evening of pure musical fun and entertainment.
Johnny Cash praised Bob Zentz's "The Ramblin' Conrad Story;" Pete Seeger also recognized Bob's talents as a songwriter and troubador – high praise in the world of folk. In 1970 he won the William E. Oliver Songwriting Award in Los Angeles for his song "Jeremy." Back home in Norfolk Bob founded Ramblin' Conrad's Guitar Shop in Ghent in the 70's, which quickly became ground zero for area musicians and the local folk music scene. Bob has been performing for more than thirty years. He is a guitarist and also plays the autoharp, lute, melodeon, mouth harp, banjo, concertina and mandolin. He specializes in historical and maritime music, and claims a repertoire of more than 2,000 songs.
Jeanne McDougall Zentz, a Ph.D. historian, has been Bob's partner in music and life for the past ten years. Together they have co-founded the Ramblin' Conrad Folklife Institute, which continues the tradition of sharing folk music with everyone.
Tom Smith's songs are in turns humorous, touching, thought provoking, and inspiring. Deeply rooted in the old-school folk tradition, his timeless stories are told with a voice that is honest and sincere with melodies that you will remember forever.
In the words of noted WUMB-FM Boston radio DJ, Dave Palmater – "Contrary to what a lot of people think, folk music is still a living tradition. It's a living tradition that feeds on new songs that speak of people's wants, people's needs, people's struggles and people's triumphs. Tom Smith is more out of the tradition of say Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton than Jackson Browne or Connor Oberst. He's a man who writes songs that seem like they've always been there. There are very few songwriters working today that I would call folksingers, but I would call Tom Smith a true folksinger."
Tom grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a family where music was part of the fabric of everyday life. As a young man living at the epicenter of the folk-quake that was Cambridge, MA in the 1960's, Tom solidified what has become a life-long love of self-made music. Now a folk veteran of over forty-five years, Tom performs at festivals, coffeehouses, schools, and concerts throughout the Northeastern United States to audiences large and small, young and old.
Bob, Jeanne and Tom were scheduled to be the staff at our annual Fall Getaway Weekend in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to cancel the in-person weekend. They will join us in person in 2021, and in the meantime have graciously agreed to share their music with us through this livestreamed event.
Audience is encouraged to make a donation for the performers: Click the Donate button on this page.
We have a special treat for you! Dave and Anni will present a virtual concert for FSSGB starting at 11 am EST on Sunday, November 15! We have deliberately set this up in the middle of the day so that you can create your own special event in our home while watching! Will you have a Full English Tea or a hearty New England Brunch with Dave and Anni?
We will post the details on how to watch the concert soon, and Lynn will be sending them out by email to members a few days in advance of the concert! There is no need to make a reservation. As we have at past virtual concerts, we will ask you to consider making a donation to support the performers. All donations received on Nov. 15 and 16 are assumed to be for the performers. You can make donations through the FSSGB Donation page or by using the PayPal "Send Money" featuring and sending the donation to firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for a donation link to appear during the performance.
Dave and Anni joined forces in 1985, after spending many years around the folk club scene, in which time they featured on several albums made by other performers. Within a short time they teamed up with friends Charley Yarwood and his wife Cathy to form the acapella harmony group Beggars Velvet. The group were very soon in demand for clubs and festivals and recorded their only album, Lady of Autumn. They made two tours of the USA in 1990 and 1991 before they stopped performing together in 1993 after eight very successful and happy years. Since then Dave and Anni have continued to work as a duo, making their duo debut on stage at the Eisteddfod Festival in Dartmouth Massachusetts in 1993 to begin a very successful career as a harmony duo, working largely acapella and featuring mainly traditional and traditional idiom material. They have worked extensively in the UK and the USA to much acclaim and now have five albums of their own to set alongside the Beggars Velvet recording, which is still in demand after many pressings.
As well as touring concert venues, clubs and festivals Dave and Anni have also been involved in a number of special musical and dramatic productions on both sides of the Atlantic. They toured provincial theatres in England in 96/97 taking substantial singing and acting roles in the stage musical "The Widows Uniform" a fully dramatised production of Rudyard Kipling's Barrack Room Ballads. And more recently, in the USA, they took the parts of Henry and Susannah in Peter Bellamy's Ballad opera "The Transports".
Dave and Anni have featured on both local and national radio in Britain and also performed a live concert (with studio audience) for WGBH Radio in Boston. Although Dave and Anni perform substantially at home in the UK they also make at least one trip each year to the United States, where they have an established following and have also performed in Holland, Denmark and Finland. Anni has developed a specialist repertoire of songs originating from her native North East, and Dave has been writing songs in traditional vein since 1982 - many of these are widely sung and have become part of the general song repertoire of singers all over the world.
Join the Zoom meeting if you'd like to socialize before and after! (All participants will be muted except those leading a song, when singing is in progress.)
The event will also be livestreamed to Facebook (no Facebook account required)
Please join us for an online holiday singing party!
A few people will take turns leading songs, and others will be able to sing along from their homes. (We know, it’s not as much fun as all singing together in person, but it’s the best we can do for now.)
We’ll build in some time for people to socialize, before and after the singing. Exact format TBD. This should be a lot of fun! Keep an eye on the website and email for details.
Please join us for a somewhat non-traditional Members’ Concert! This is a favorite event of the year for many of us — an opportunity to delight in the rich and diverse talents of FSSGB members, old and new.
All FSSGB members are invited to sign up to perform one song or tune. Please contact Lori Fassman (email@example.com, 978-264-9710) by January 6 to reserve a spot.
All performers will be in the Zoom meeting (muted during others’ performances), and the show will be livestreamed to Facebook so everyone else can watch. (You don't need to have a Facebook account to watch the livestream.)
We will accept donations during the performance which will benefit FSSGB. Once we’re allowed to convene in public again, much of that money will go to scholarships which enable young Boston-area musicians to attend folk music camps.
General admission: $20
Unemployed/laid off: $5
Please use this link to purchase tickets:
John McCutcheon Concert Tickets
After purchasing tickets, you'll be prompted to create an account. You'll need to create the account before you can watch the concert.
"John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction."
— Pete Seeger
"The most impressive instrumentalist I've ever heard."
— Johnny Cash
"He has an uncanny ability to breathe new life into the familiar. His storytelling has the richness of fine literature."
— Washington Post
"Calling John McCutcheon a 'folksinger' is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player."
— Dallas Morning News
Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and ethnomusicologist based in Providence, RI. He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 Strathmore Artist in Residence and a board member of Bluegrass Pride. He is a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize.
Blount specializes in the music of Black communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of the Finger Lakes. A versatile performer, Blount interpolates blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition he belongs to. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work. His teachers include Rhiannon Giddens, Bruce Molsky and Judy Hyman. He has claimed first place in both the Banjo and the Traditional Band categories at the prestigious Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, WV. Blount has shared his music and research at the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University, and Berklee School of Music, among other venues and institutions. He has also appeared on Radiolab, Soundcheck and NPR's Weekend Edition. He regularly teaches fiddle and banjo at festivals and camps like the Augusta Heritage Center, the Ashokan Center, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Blount tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band The Moose Whisperers. He has performed and recorded solo, and in ensembles of up to six people. His first full-length solo album, Spider Tales, is out now on Free Dirt Records & Service Co. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, received positive coverage from NPR, Rolling Stone and Billboard among others, and earned five out of five stars as The Guardian's Folk Album of the Month.
To call Martin Carthy a master musician doesn’t do him justice. To put it simply, he personifies the British folk revival of the 1960s-1970s and continues to dominate a genre rife with ancient ballads and bursting with contemporary songs reflective of these ever-so changing times. His musical repertoire aside, Carthy’s unique guitar style remains the envy of guitar players the world over.
Carthy’s music underpins so many of the folk classics we have come to know and love in the last 50 years. You should know that Simon and Garfunkel’s version of “Scarborough Fair” came from Martin Carthy. He has influenced writers and performers from Bob Dylan to Richard Thompson as well as the most recent generation of folkies. Whether as a solo artist, a member of the fabled Watersons family band (he married Norma Waterson in 1972), or part of the trailblazing Steeleye Span, Carthy has left his mark on plenty of stages and consistently wowed audiences with his spot-on interpretation of traditional song.
Martin Carthy turns 80 in a couple of weeks. The latest lockdown in England and the subsequent end of public music has left him chafing at the bit and nearly ready to burst with songs unsung. Spend a delightful and intimate afternoon (American time) or an evening (Whitby time) with him. The blessing of a YouTube concert, of course, is that the show will be available on screen for 48 hours after the initial viewing. Tune in when you can, and tune in again.
A give-what-you-can donation ($10 per person suggested; more always welcome) goes directly to the artist. As per usual with concerts of this kind, the proverbial tip jar will be available for those who wish to make an additional contribution to the artist.
Here's a chance to spend an afternoon with Tom Lewis (virtually). Five folk organizations (Old Songs, Inc, the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc, Folk Song Society of Greater Boston, Folklore Society of Greater Washington, and Branford Folk Song Society) have teamed up with Janie Meneely & Rob Van Sante (Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio) to bring you this live-streamed event from Whitby, UK.
Pay what you can - $10 suggested. The concert will be streamed on YouTube. A link to the concert and a reminder will be emailed to registered attendees a day before the concert. The Concert will remain available for viewing for at least a week after the live premiere. No Refunds.
Many of you have had the opportunity over the years to see and hear Tom at the Old Songs Festival or in concert at the Old Songs Community Arts Center in Voorheesville, NY. Until touring is safe for everyone again, we are happy to bring Tom to you virtually.
Tom Lewis loves to sing. And he loves it when people sing along. His powerful voice easily reaches to the rafters and just seems to pull other voices up aloft with it. Known throughout the maritime music world for penning classics like A Sailor Ain’t a Sailor (The Last Shanty), Marching Inland, Sailor’s Prayer (the one where the dove has wings as sharp as razors), Tom is just as likely to belt out a traditional sea chantey pulled straight from Davy Jones locker. He’ll even tell you a story, and it might even be true!
Tom got hooked on sea music when he heard the likes of Lou Killen, Archie Fisher and Ewan McColl in his early folk club days. During his 23 years as a submariner in Her Majesty’s Navy, Tom never missed the chance to visit folk clubs, concerts and festivals, building a reputation that has spread across three continents. Add to his credit ten albums and a hefty songbook.
We are absolutely delighted to be presenting The Vox Hunters (Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi) and some of their folk friends: AJ Wright, Cate Clifford, Flannery Brown, and Lynz Morahn, for a FSSGB Brunch Concert at 11 am on Sunday, June 13.
Fix up your favorite brunch dish and join us on Zoom (muted, but we'll chat before and after the concert) or watch the livestream on Facebook (no Facebook account required). The Zoom link will be distributed to our email list and the Facebook event a day or so before the concert. No reservations are required, but we encourage the audience to make a donation to benefit the performers, who have all lost so much in this past pandemic year. It’s easy to make a donation – you can donate ahead of time by clicking on the dedicated "Donate to the performers" button on the concert post on the FSSGB website. We will also have the donation link available in the chat during the concert, on both Zoom and Facebook.
In case you don't know them, let us introduce them:
The Vox Hunters: Hailing from the great state of Rhode Island, Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi are seekers and singers of old songs, cultivators of local music, and chronic multi-instrumentalists. They are touted as strong tradition-bearers in their generation, and their genuine affinity for the music is evident in the emotion they draw from it. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices tastefully garnished with fiddle, free-reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters offer an all-natural connection to the living tradition of folk music.
Anayis (AH-nah-ees) “A.J.” Wright is a distinctive voice in traditional folk who captivates audiences and scholars alike with their connection to maritime music, English folk, and shape note. A.J. has played English concertina for seventeen years, cello for twenty, and incorporated ukulele, mountain dulcimer, whistle and more into the rotation over the years.
Cate Clifford is a powerful voice in the traditional folk genre whose moving performances leave audiences spellbound as she seamlessly alternates between strong, clear lead vocals and sensitive, compelling harmonies. She has performed in house concerts, venues and festival showcases across New England and New York, and is featured on Lynz Morahn’s EP, Kick It Off. When she’s not singing, Cate collects songs about Robin Hood and King Arthur, love songs beyond the romantic or libidinous, and little songs (with Ben Gagliardi). Cate serves on the board of Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival (PMFF).
Flannery Brown is a Providence-based cellist, singer and groove enthusiast. She has been playing folk music since childhood and is influenced by a wide variety of musical styles, including Old Time, Blues, Rock & Roll, Electro-Acoustic improvisation, and Balkan and Georgian polyphonic singing. Flannery studied ethnomusicology at Bard College, focusing on American and Eastern European folk music, and is also a sculptor and fabricator with a penchant for horror, which may be evident in many of her favorite folk songs.
Lynz Morahn asked her parents for a violin when she was five years old, and music has been a love of her life ever since. In high school, she was honored to participate in regional and state choirs, and as an adult, she has turned her violin into a fiddle and found great joy in folk music and social singing communities! She is regularly found playing, singing, and teaching around campfires, in living rooms, and at festivals and camps such as Rustic Roots, Fiddle Hell, Fat Toad, TradMaD, and the Portsmouth Maritime and Mystic Sea Music Festivals.
Photo credits: Vox Hunters photo by Anna Colliton. Cate Clifford photo by A.J. Wright.
FSSGB is a proud co-sponsor of this event! Tickets are being handled by Old Songs.
A chance to spend an afternoon with John Conolly (virtually). Old Songs, Inc, the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc, Folk Song Society of Greater Boston, and Branford Folk Song Society) have teamed up with Janie Meneely & Rob Van Sante (Falcon Audio Visual Arts Studio) to bring you this live-streamed event.
John Conolly honed his songwriting around the fish docks of Grimsby, a once bustling fishing port perched at the mouth of England’s Humber River. As he watched the fishing fleet limp into oblivion with the demise of a once-thriving industry, he began to chronicle the stories of the men who worked on the boats and along the docks. Fiddlers’ Green, which he wrote in 1964, has become firmly entrenched in the canon of maritime music, along with a number of his other songs: Punch and Judy Man, Trawling Trade, Men of the Sea (with Bill Meek), The Widowmaker — the list is long. Conolly performs with warmth, good humor and lilting accompaniment on guitar and melodeon.
Can’t be there at 2:30? The concert will be recorded and available through the weekend to view at your leisure.
Most years we'd have an in-person singing party on the third Saturday in June, and at the very start of the gathering we'd have a quick election to vote in the Board members for the coming year. However, in light of the pandemic, we'll be holding the election meeting separately (probably earlier the same day) and will have the singing party over Zoom (also livestreamed to our Facebook Live page, which anyone can see, even if you don't have a Facebook account).