If you have questions about events, send email to email@example.com or call Lynn at (781) 227-7500.
Upcoming FSSGB Events:
Special COVID-19 rules apply for in-person events for the time being:
Here's what we presented earlier this season:
Windborne’s captivating show draws on the singers' deep roots in traditions of vocal harmony, while the absolute uniqueness of their artistic approach brings old songs into the present. Known for the innovation of their arrangements, their harmonies are bold and anything but predictable.
With a 20-year background studying polyphonic music around the world, Lauren Breunig, Jeremy Carter-Gordon, Lynn Rowan, and Will Rowan share a vibrant energy onstage with a blending of voices that can only come from decades of friendship alongside dedicated practice. The ensemble shifts effortlessly between drastically different styles of music, drawing their audience along on a journey that spans continents and centuries, illuminating and expanding on the profound power and variation of the human voice. The singers educate as they entertain, sharing stories about their songs and explaining the context and characteristics of the styles in which they sing.
BBC Traveling Folk describes Windborne as "subverting expectations and redefining the genre… just absolutely phenomenal!" Audiences and critics lavish praise upon the singers not only for their technical mastery, but for the passion, engagement, and connection with each other and the audience that imbues each performance with a rare power.
But there’s another, crucial dimension to Windborne that guides and roots their artistry. They are adherents to folk music’s longtime alliance with social activism, labor and civil rights, and other movements that champion the oppressed, the poor, and the disenfranchised. Their latest project, Of Hard Times & Harmony, explores themes of social consciousness, singing in four languages and showcasing the depth of emotion their voices can evoke, as well as moments of true hilarity and wit
The group is committed to bringing vocal traditions to a younger audience and over the past year has found surprisingly viral success on TikTok for such unlikely genres as Corsican polyphony or early 20th century labor anthems.
This concert was originally intended to be in person as well as livestreamed, but for several reasons has switched to livestream only.
"Old Zeb," "Song for Gale," "Song for The Bowdoin", "Get Her Into Shore," "Selling The Isabel" -- just a few examples of the extensive offering of some of the best contemporary ballads from New England, along its shores, and beyond you will find in modern folk music today. His songs have been performed and recorded by many respected artists and audiences around the world—compositions respectful of tradition, poignant stories in song, honest, highly singable… always memorable.
Born in Boston, Larry now calls both London, England, and Essex, Connecticut home. He worked for many years on traditional vessels in Maine, sailed on and helped restore the Schooner, Bowdoin, and has released four CDs through Folk Legacy Records, "Worth All The Telling," "Songs For An August Moon," "Furthermore," and his newest, "True Enough." No Depression, the Folk Roots Magazine has called Larry’s music "some of the most finely crafted songs in folk music today." He is the recipient of multiple best folk CDs of the year by leading folk radio programs across the US and Europe, and tours regularly in Europe as well as across the US. A multi-instrumentalist and fine singer, Larry is very pleased to share his fine music with us.
No reservations 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. This is always a fun event!
Please join us for an online FSSGB 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. The show will be co-hosted by Paul Beck and Lori Fassman.
All FSSGB members are invited to sign up to perform one song or tune. Please contact Lori Fassman (firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-264-9710) by January 15 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.
Special COVID-19 rules for in-person attendees:
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.
Workshop description: In the workshop on Sunday, we will be going over a number of straightforward songs in the key of C: Freight Train, Louis Collins, Come Let Us March, Gary Davis's Candy Man, and if we get that far, I will teach Davis's Buck Dance, which is a little more complex than the others. You'll learn how to keep your thumb going, count while playing, And learn how to play a scale in major and minor sixths.
FSSGB will once again be hosting a song swap at the New England Folk Festival, which will be held in Marlborough, MA, this year. (It's a real in-person festival, finally, after 3 years of virtual festivals!) More details will be available as we get closer to the date.
Visit the NEFFA website for more information about the festival.
Martha Burns sings old-time American folk songs the old-time way. Heart songs, cowboy songs, tragic ballads and comic ditties – songs from the mountains and songs from the range. Songs from the earliest period of recorded country music and songs never sung in a studio. Her haunting voice is perfectly suited to her old-time repertoire. An accomplished guitarist, Martha's accompaniments bring out the pith in a song. She has been singing and playing American folk music since Hoover was in the White House - well, almost - and has performed throughout North America and abroad.
Martha grew up in Greenwich Village in the 1950s and sixties, during the height of the Folk Revival. The New Lost City Ramblers and the Friends of Old-Time Music were first bringing the greats of early country music to national attention. Harry Smith’s pioneering Anthology of American Folk Music, the first major re-issue of early folk music 78s, came out the year she was born—the New Lost City Ramblers Songbook, when she was twelve. Martha gained much of her education in folk music on Sunday afternoons in Washington Square Park. When Doc Watson played at the tiny Gaslight Café on Macdougal Street, she was there—with her mother.