If you have questions about events, call Lynn at (781) 227-7500.
Upcoming FSSGB Events:
Please read our (evolving) statement about our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. All upcoming events may potentially be cancelled or moved to an online (live-streaming) format, so please keep a close eye on the website and email for late-breaking details.
Please try to support your favorite artists, who will be losing much or all of their income for the forseeble future. Buy their CDs, support them on Patreon.com (if they have accounts there), attend livestreamed concerts and make online donations if a mechanism is in place to do so.
Here are some links to live-streamed concerts and calendars:
Please join us as we celebrate the publication of Peter Johnson’s long-awaited memoir, The Laughing Lesson, published by Peter E Randall Publisher. Peter is a long-time member of FSSGB, and is the founder of Living Folk Records and Concerts.
The event will feature music (performers TBD) with plenty of opportunities to sing along! and Peter will do readings from his book.
Peter is a singer, concert promoter, record producer, writer, traveler, prankster, husband, father, and a fixture of the Cambridge music scene for the last fifty years. He is a member of the family that started, and still manages, Fidelity Investments. As the founder of Living Folk Records and Concerts, he introduced a number of traditional musicians from Ireland and the British Isles to North American audiences, thereby shaping the trajectory of this important music genre as it gained a larger place in world music.
For more information, visit the publisher’s website: https://perpublisher.com/portfolio-item/the-laughing-lesson/
Alison was born in Renfrewshire into a musical family. Since then she has enjoyed a long involvement in traditional music on various levels: singer, collector, broadcaster, author, founding song tutor on the Scottish Music Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Glasgow. Alison came to wider public notice in the mid 1970s through her immensely popular children’s album and book The Funny Family and working in BBC Children’s Radio. Under the inspirational guidance of the late Hamish Henderson in learning directly from - and recording songs - by traditional singers such as the Border shepherd Willie Scott and Lucy Stewart of Fetterangus he was to say of her 'Alison stands out as one of the principal modern interpreters of a ballad singing tradition... uniting scrupulous traditional fidelity with versatile creative and resourceful artistry'.
In 2001 she recorded a solo album ‘Cloudberry Day’ followed by and in partnership with Geordie McIntyre, Rowan in the Rock, and Ballad Tree, classic Scots Ballads in the Tradition Bearers series produced by Living Tradition. Their highly acclaimed White Wings album was most recently followed by Where Ravens Reel.
A Glaswegian of Highland and Irish descent, Geordie's lifetime involvement in song, ballad and poetry is reflected in his singing, collecting and songwriting. His early years as a radio and television technician and later as a Modern Studies teacher, coupled to his passion for the outdoors have, in diverse ways, fueled and complemented his central interest in folk music; as a concert and folk club organiser, author and record producer.
For many years Geordie has collected songs, working with Hamish Henderson, Helen Fullerton and A.L. Lloyd. He has an interest that combines hearing the songs in the community and researching their background.
Geordie has written song notes for numerous recordings along with album reviews. His first-hand experience has added greatly to his articles on the legacy of Hamish Henderson, edited by the late Paddy Bort, in the Gracenote Publications. He has sung at clubs and festivals in most corners of Britain and Ireland as well as Italy and the USA.
Sara Grey is one of the most gifted and knowledgeable artists working in the field of traditional music. Sara's singing is both powerful and sweet, with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American songs and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.
It is not Sara's lovely voice alone that makes her one of the most popular singers on the folk scene; on many of her songs Sara accompanies herself by frailing a five string banjo and, when playing dance tunes, it is obvious why she is regarded as one of the foremost exponents of the clawhammer style. As well as singing and playing, Sara is well known for her storytelling - specialising in stories from New England where she grew up learning many of her stories from her father.
"She is one of a select band of performers who still breathe life into traditional ballads." Vic Smith, Folk Roots "Sara Grey has quietly and powerfully taken over the mantle of premier interpreter of American traditional music." Tor Jonassen, WRDV Sara grew up in New Hampshire but has lived in North Carolina, Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland and England. As a youngster in North Carolina she developed a love for old time songs and banjo music. She cites Kyle Creed as the chief influence on her understated, syncopated clawhammer banjo style. She has now been performing professionally for more than 30 years.
Sara will be performing with her son, Kieron Means. Kieron's voice is especially striking, achieving the rare combination of a high lonesome edge with a warm richness of timbre, and it has a power to move the listener that few of his generation can match. His guitar playing is unconventional, but it's highly effective, while his stage presence is charismatic yet laid-back. His songs range from old-time through the blues - which he sings with startling conviction - to the work of tradition-influenced songwriters, and his own composition "The Shark" has people who know a good song when they hear one nodding in approval.
Martyn Wyndham Read is an Australian National Treasure. A regular visitor to Australia for many years, Martyn probably did more than most to educate Australians about their heritage. Martyn has been involved with folk music for over forty years. In his late teens he left his mother's farm in Sussex and headed off with his guitar to Australia where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew.
English by birth, Martyn first developed his great interest in folksongs of the outback when he went to Australia in the early 1960's. There, while working on the sheep station, he gained first hand experience of life as a bush worker and at the same time fell in love with Australia and its music. During his subsequent travels he spent much of his time seeking out and learning old songs directly from drovers, cane cutters and other bush workers. As the folk song revival gathered pace in Australia, Martyn found himself singing these songs to audiences all across the Australian continent and after seven years down under, he returned to England where he performed these songs to an appreciative British audience. Concert tours spreading his style of music to the far corners of the world have been the norm since then.
To date his recording career spans over 30 years and more than 30 albums, many considered classics of their genre. One of the most engaging performers you’re ever likely to see, his exceptionally intimate performance combines songs, humorous bush poetry recitations, stories and anecdotes of outback life and comments on Australian history and culture that typically leave the audience ready to book the next flight out to Sydney!
No reservations required. Audience is encouraged to make a donation for the performers: Click the Donate button on this page.
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. This should be a lot of fun! Keep an eye on the website and email for details.
Cancelled due to the pandemic -- we'll meet again next year!
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 8 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.
Andy Cohen is a virtuoso finger-style guitarist who has been described as "a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia." He grew up in a home with a piano and lots of Dixieland Jazz records. During the Sixties Folk Revival, he got hooked on the music of Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. When Andy was 16, he heard South Carolina’s Rev. Gary Davis perform and the effect on him was profound. He has devoted his life to studying, performing, and promoting traditional blues and folk music of the pre-World War II era. Andy has toured solo, as well as with Martin, Bogan and Armstrong, John Jackson, Rev. Gary Davis, Brother Daniel Womack, Rev. Dan Smith, Jim Brewer, and Honeyboy Edwards. He also worked extensively with Walt and Ethel Phelps, Big Joe Duskin, Pigmeat Jarrett, Etta Baker, Big Boy Henry, and James "Son" Thomas.
Andy has more than a dozen recordings to his credit, including Oh Glory, How Happy I Am: The Sacred Songs of Rev. Gary Davis and Andrew M. Cohen: Dolceola Favorites. An enthusiastic proponent of the dolceola, Andy says he "never leaves home without it." Described by some as a "miniature piano," the dolceola has a keyboard, but the strings are struck with wooden mallets.
Along the way, Andy earned a Master’s Degree in anthropology. His passions come together in his essay on "The Hands of Blues Guitarists," published in Ramblin’ On My Mind: New Perspectives On the Blues, edited by David Evans (2008).
At an Andy Cohen concert, expect to hear blues rooted in Mississippi, the Piedmont, Memphis, and Chicago, as well as some ragtime, gospel, and original tunes.
In 2011 Andy received the Eisteddfod Award from The Eisteddfod Traditional Music Festival. Festival Director Dr. Jerome Epstein said, "We decided to give the award to Andy, one of this year’s performers, because of his outstanding contributions to the field of traditional music, as performer, collector, and advocate." In 2012 Andy received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Autoharp Gathering.