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Marblehead Massachusetts is a picturesque coastal town that is steeped in history. In its early years fishing and the shoe industry were Marblehead's two major sources of income. Today it is mainly a residential community with some minor industry and a few specialty retail stores and is known to be one of the yachting capitals of the world.
The original painting of "The Spirit of ˜76" is housed in Abbot Hall and visitors come from all over the world to see it. Visitors also come to view the scenic harbor and the narrow crooked streets in the Historic district that is lined with antique Colonial and Victorian buildings.
The town of Marblehead offers residents and visitors a series of events during the course of the year that include an arts festival and a tall ships cruise. Also offered are jazz concerts and a Christmas walk.
For the past eight years, Boston's rising stars Girls Guns and Glory have been making a name for themselves through relentless touring (about 200 gigs a year worldwide), the release of four critically acclaimed records, a slew of local awards, including being the Boston Music Awards first act of its genre to win Act of the Year, and international awards (Independent Artist of the Year at the French Country Music Awards). And, now, the hard-working band is refining their focus to the roots of rock 'n' roll with a twist of country on their fifth album, "Good Luck," due on February 4, 2014 on Lonesome Day Records. The foursome (Ward Hayden on vocals/guitar, Paul Dilley on electric and upright bass/piano, Josh Kiggans on drums/percussion, and Chris Hersch on lead guitar/banjo) found inspiration for this record from early '50s rock 'n' roll icons such as Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly, as well as country greats like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. With Good Luck, GGG is looking back to that era of music for a more rock 'n' roll-focused record with producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Nils Lofgren, Steve Earle, The Bottle Rockets) at the helm. "We were familiar with the work he'd done with Steve Earle and The Bottle Rockets and he was Joan Jett's original guitarist. Right after we made our fourth record 'Sweet Nothings' in 2011, he heard us on the radio and contacted us, asking about our plans. It's funny because we had been talking about trying to get in touch with him and there he is calling us out of the blue," explains Hayden. It was this serendipitous coming together that really solidified the sound of "Good Luck." "One of the ways we really benefited from Roscoe was that he had seen us play live several times and was able to see what the audience reacted to the most," continues Hayden. "Even though we play a variety of styles of music, he saw that fans really reacted to the more rocking songs. We wanted to focus this album on making more of a straightforward rock 'n' roll record that would translate well to the live show and he really helped us accomplish that." The 10-track album kicks off with the heartfelt, feel-good rocker "All the Way Up To Heaven," which sets the tone for the album thematically. "It's about finally winning in love and feeling that thrill of getting something good and having a true appreciation of it," says the singer. The record was written over the past two years with the exception of two songs, "Shake Like Jello" and "UUU," which have been in the band's repertoire for about four years. "We never really had a place for those songs because we were viewing ourselves more of a country band than a rock 'n' roll band and those two songs are definitely more rocking. They fit perfectly on this album," he notes. Another song close to GGG's heart and the band's Northeast roots is the ballad "Centralia, PA." "Chris and Paul are originally from Eastern Pennsylvania and we tour a lot in that area. We found out about this coal-mining town there called Centralia that was destroyed by a coal fire over 50 years ago. It's a ghost town now because it's unfit to live in. I became fascinated by the tragic story of the town and we kind of wanted to put Centralia back on the map with this song," he says. SUSAN CATTANEO opens Susan Cattaneo is not afraid of the dark. A powerful singer and sophisticated songwriter, Susan has seen the darkness in the corners and sings about it fearlessly. Following in the footsteps of Matraca Berg, Kim Richey, Lucinda Williams and Gretchen Peters, the well-respected Boston artist combines vivid storytelling with a modern songwriters spin. Call it New England Americana with a twang. Respectful of tradition, but not bound by it, Susans rootsy vibe blends rock, folk, soul and blues with a healthy dose of country. "I'm a songwriting geek, I appreciate the work that goes into creating a song. Great songwriters have an authentic point of view, but they are also artisans, masters of the craft. I'm proud that my songs have something to say, and that they are carefully crafted." Not a surprising statement from an artist who is also a Songwriting Professor at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music. A Jersey girl with a Southwest heart, Susan grew up on a farm in the Garden State but spent her summers on a ranch in Arizona. She began her music career early, singing six-part harmony with her family and performing country songs by the campfire. She played in bands during her college years and performed in many clubs in New York City while pursuing a career in television (she is an Emmy-nominated writer/producer and NY State Broadcasters Award winner) before turning to music full time. For a number of years, Susan wrote in Nashville and raised two children. In 2009, she returned to performing. Since then, she has released three records and toured nationally and in Italy. Her songs have been played on country stations all over the world, charting on the Americana Chart, the Music Row Chart and the European Country Chart. She has opened for or shared the stage with artists such as Amy Grant, Rose Cousins, David Wilcox, Dave Alvin and The Guilty Women, Son Volt, Melissa Ferrick, Paula Cole, Travis Tritt, Bonnie Bishop, Ellis Paul and Huey Lewis and The News. Susan's fourth album Haunted Heart is the culmination of a journey of self-discovery and a creative left turn. Leaving behind the modern country of her previous albums, Haunted Heart marks a return to a more organic sound. Produced by Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, Ronnie Earl), the album features a stellar cast of musicians from the national Americana scene (including some of New England's best). Acoustic, electric and all sort of steel guitars are provided by Duke Levine (Peter Wolf, J. Geils, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Garland Jeffreys), Kevin Barry (Peter Wolf, Ray LaMontaigne, Mark Cohn) Lyle Brewer (Ryan Montbleau) and Stu Kimball (Bob Dylan). The rhythm section includes Richard Gates (Susanne Vega, Melissa Ferrick) on bass and Marco Giovino (Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Band of Joy) on drums. Kenny White (Peter Wolf) is on keyboard and special guests include Jimmy Ryan on mandolin and Kristin Cifelli and Scarlet Keys on vocals.
When: Feb 20, 2015 8 PM to Feb 20, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 16 USD (Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20 )
"Despite his success and sense of history, Mr. Paul remains an artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential in his music." - The New York Times Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It's a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences. Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters.Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love..., intimate, passionate and enduring. These are the scenarios that emerge from Ellis Paul's new album, Chasing Beauty, a set of songs which detail, in typical Paul fashion, stories of people and places that reflect larger truths about us all. "Kick Out the Lights (Johnny Cash)" pays tribute to that fearless American icon name-checked in its title. "Plastic Soldier" offers homage to a wounded soldier returning from Afghanistan. A real-life barnstorming pilot takes the spotlight in "Jimmie Angel's Flying Circus," while iconic Boston blue collar musician Dennis Brennan takes the focus in "Waiting on a Break." Even the Empire State Building and the Boston Red Sox get their due, via "Empire State" and "UK Girl (Boston Calling)," respectively. In reality, these stories are a continuation of tales Paul has told for more than a quarter century, over the expanse of nineteen albums, numerous critical kudos (15 Boston Music Awards alone), inclusion in several movie soundtracks, and stages he's headlined both near and far. "I've got a car with over 475,000 miles on it, and it's my third road vehicle," Paul declares. "I've been doing 200 shows a year for over twenty years. There isn't a town in the country where I won't find a friend. I'm a nomad. And I'm gonna write and play until I'm gone." No doubt he will. Still, it's somewhat ironic that Paul gravitated towards this bigger world of intent and expression given that the place Paul considers his hometown these days isn't New York or Nashville, or Boston or Austin or Charlottesville, VA. where he lives, but rather Presque Isle, Maine, a tiny enclave surrounded by three rivers. Not surprisingly, the name translates to "almost an island." Presque Isle shares a vanishing tradition with many small towns these days, where family farms are giving way to industrialization and giant corporations, and earning a livelihood from the land is no longer the simple option it once was. Nevertheless, it's still a haven for traditional values and for people as real and authentic as the soil they once tilled. If there's one grace left to cling to, it's the grace of nature's beauty, sealed off by the surrounding mountains and fields. Likewise, his geographical origins also couldn't have been further from the world at large. He was born in the dead of winter in the small town of Fort Kent, Maine, a place nestled right up next to the Canadian border. He came from humble origins, a family of potato farmers who could count among their forebears a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg, whose heroism on that field of honor earned him the 140 acres of Maine farmland that his descendants would continue to sow. It was the place that taught Paul the meaning of hard work and self-reliance, and the values that accompany as much drive and determination any individual could muster. As a boy, Paul found his escape in athletics, working out as a runner and testing his mettle in the open spaces near his home. He became a star competitor, and enjoyed the advantage of traveling throughout the nation after being given opportunities to compete. Along the way, he saw more of the country than most people do in a lifetime. "I was lucky to be able to travel for competitions all over the U.S. and to see places I once could only dream of," he recalls. "The Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles, the endless plains of Texas, the Kansas prairie, the Rocky Mountain in Wyoming. Every trip was funded by a hat the town passed around on my behalf, and it never came back empty." When Paul finished second in a nationwide track competition, he was met at the airport by the high school marching band and a fire engine with spinning lights that drove him in triumph through town. In an expression of hometown pride, the mayor handed him the key to the city. No one ever told Paul he had to follow in his family's tradition. He was a dreamer after all, and he had seen enough of America to know there was more out there than his little town could ever offer. Consequently, his ambitions were never destined to stay bottled up for long. He would write, paint, play trumpet and sing in the school choir. "I never had anyone tell me I had to be a farmer," Paul insists. "I had plenty of people telling me how my hard work and talent could take me places. That's enough to get you dreaming, And enough to make you believe those dreams are within reach." Indeed, Paul found those dreams were within his reach, at least in terms of his imagination. However their pursuit would take him far from home. His first destination was Boston College, courtesy of a track scholarship. Yet as Paul describes it, his athletic endeavors, combined with his academic responsibilities, served to rob him of his creativity. It was only after he suffered a knee injury which forced him to take a year off that he rebounded with a new form of expression, made possible when his girlfriend's sister gave him a secondhand guitar. "A mysterious, lustful partnership with the instrument followed," Paul concedes. "It became a marriage, a friendship, a lifelong bond that only comes when you find that one thing that becomes an extension of yourself. I played for hours, choosing to write my own original songs and sing instead of studying, socializing or exploring what the Boston streets could offer after hours." After graduation, Paul did find time to explore those paths, while taking opportunities to indulge his creative ambitions. Working as a teacher and social worker with inner city children by day and pursuing the possibilities offered by Boston's fertile music scene at night, he gained prominence in local coffeehouses and open mic nights. It was the same circuit that opened the door for other like-minded artists of the day, and in turn, gave Paul exposure to such creative contemporaries as Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, John Gorka, Catie Curtis, and Bill Morrissey. It also helped him win a Boston Underground Songwriting competition and placement on a Windham Hill Records singer/songwriter compilation, bringing him his first hint of national exposure at the same time. The major tipping point in his career came with the opportunity to open for Bill Morrissey, one of New England's most prominent folk artists. Paul would repeatedly ask Morrissey about his own influences and seek his advice on who he ought to listen to. "You know, that's a very smart thing to do," Morrissey muses. "It helped set him apart. A lot of young singers I meet are not curious about what went on before; they just say, 'I want to sing another song about my life.' Paul has a sense of roots, of connectedness to the whole history of folk music; he sees the thread that runs through all the generations of this music." It was mutual admiration that caused Paul to ask Morrissey to produce his first full album, 1993's Say Something. It was released on Black Wolf Records, the label he founded with Ralph Jaccodine, the man who would become his manager. "Ralph was fulfilling a dream to get into the music business," Paul recalls. "Starting with a folk singer isn't a rocket launch, but we got off the ground. We started a label and began a lifelong, DIY partnership and have been in the trenches for over 20 years." Paul also became infatuated with the music of Woody Guthrie, drawn to Woody's social consciousness and the humanitarian streak that ran through his work. He even had a tattoo of Guthrie imprinted on his right shoulder, referring to it as "a badge of who he was." His commitment to Guthrie's legacy eventually led to his inclusion in a ten day celebration of Woody's work held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in September 1996, an event that included such notables as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco and which was presided over by Guthrie's daughter Nora. Later, when Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma hosted the first Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in July, 1998, Paul was tapped as one of the headliners. He has since made this an annual part of his touring schedule, garnering the honor of being named an honorary citizen of Okemah in the process. The connection with Guthrie continued into the new millennium when Nora Guthrie invited him to put music to a set of her father's lyrics. He later participated in the "Ribbon of Highway" tour, a communal salute featuring such luminaries as Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Ramblin' Jack Ellott, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and Janis Ian, among others. There's likely no greater evidence of how Guthrie's insights and humanity have rubbed off on Paul than in this particularly telling tribute from Nora Guthrie. "A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects,"she said in praising Paul. "In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it's comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage! Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we've been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I'm goin' where you're goin'!" Where Paul is "goin'" is to practically every place a microphone beckons and a crowd of the folk faithful awaits. He's become a staple at the Newport Folk Festival, played Carnegie hall, and venues from Alaska to Miami, Paris and London. In addition to his 19 albums released on the Rounder and Black Wolf record labels, his music has appeared on dozens of distinguished compilations. A Film/DVD entitled 3000 Miles -- part concert film, part documentary, part instructional video -- provides a further prospective on both the man and his music. He's also released a pair of children's albums, earning him honors from the Parent's Choice Foundation for both. His latest, "The Hero In You" has been turned into a picture book, detailing the lives of great American heroes. Ellis' literate, evocative and insightful writings are further showcased in a book of poetry and short stories entitled "Notes from the Road," already in it's third pressing. It's no wonder then that recently Paul received a prestigious honor: an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maine, which also asked him to write the school's alma mater as well as deliver its commencement address in May 2014. Happily, his music has been shared with a wider audience as well, through commercials, documentaries, TV shows and in the soundtracks of several blockbuster films, among them three by the Farrelly Brothers -- "Hall Pass" (starring Owen Wilson and Alyssa Milano), "Me, Myself, & Irene" (starring Jim Carrey) and "Shallow Hal" (starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow). Peter Farrelly summed up the sentiments of all those who have come to know and appreciate Paul's music by referring to him as "a national treasure." Not surprisingly, Paul's consistently been heralded by others as well. One writer noted "that it reminds you how much we need storytellers back in pop music -- storytellers with empathy, fine eyes and an understanding that even though we live in a soulless, indifferent would, out music doesn't have to reflect our culture." Another reviewer was even more pointed. "Ellis Paul is one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation," she commented. "And for many of us he is the face of contemporary folk music. Few are as smart, as literate, as poetic as Paul. I cannot think of another artist on the acoustic music scene is better loved by fans, or more respected by his contemporaries." Indeed, he is all that, and in a very real sense, even more. He's an observer, a philosopher, and an astute storyteller who shares with his listeners the life lessons he's learned, and in turn, life lessons they ought to heed as well. By affirming and defining who he is, Ellis Paul affirms and uncovers the essence of us all. -- Lee Zimmerman (writer/reviewer for American Songwriter, No Depression, New Times, Country Standard Time, Blurt, Relix, and M Music and Musicians)
When: Mar 27, 2015 8 PM to Mar 27, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 22 USD (Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20 )
On his latest release Shouts and Whispers, singer-songwriter Ari Hest creates a non-typical collection of tracks that ultimately form a cohesive narrative. With songs of sadness and resignation giving way to lucidity and catharsis, Hest's introspection and intelligence are on display, creating moments of magic within his poetic, spare lyrics and backing them up with his ear for haunting melodies. Hest conceived half the album as an acoustic set, while the other half took shape via keyboards, as he explains below. Shouts and Whispers begins with the swirling, hypnotic 'Harvest', soon followed by a centerpiece track, the stunning, understated 'Into the Empty White'. 'How We'll Always Be' is perhaps a declaration of giving up the fight, and the melancholy 'No One Can Stay' has an elegant darkness. There's a glimmer of hope within 'Bona Fide', and finally a cathartic yowl as 'After The Thunder' builds to its crescendo. Hest comments on the process of making the album: "At first I wanted to write and record some songs where I put the guitar down and focused on keyboardsI've always been into music from Tears For Fears, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Hornsby, and was excited to experiment in that direction. So I asked my buddy Carl Barc if I could invade his studio for a while to experiment with some ideas on his Juno and CP70 keyboards. I loved creating in a way I hadn't - using those instruments as the backbone of tracks and leaving guitar largely out of it." "In the middle of working on those songs I began playing solo shows supporting Judy Collins around the U.S. and Europe. Her show and her audience beg for a more acoustically minded set, so I'd go on stage with just a guitar and occasionally play songs that were fresh out of the oven. I enjoyed being able to take a break mentally from what I was doing with Carl. I was able to focus on how I could arrange these other new songs sparsely." Eventually Hest found the time to record a few of them with the help of producer Matt Pendergast at Q Division Studios in Boston, MA. Then he listened to both projects. "After hearing the two finished batches of songs I saw two distinct themes, not only in a musical sense but also lyrically. The vibe of the keyboard driven tracks is intense. I wrote a lot about the uncertainty of what I do for a living. On the contrary, the acoustic songs come from a place of lucidity. I started thinking it'd be cool to combine the two somehow." The result is an album that isn't an album in the traditional sense, but it manages to flow like a complete thought. "I've always been the introspective type. I guess as a singer-songwriter you're gonna have some of that anyway in your makeup. My previous records were inward most of the time, but Shouts and Whispers has another distinct angle, one of understanding the world I live in and embracing how I fit into it a bit easier than I used to." Hest has released seven albums, three EPs, and "52" in 2008, an innovative project whereby he wrote, recorded and released a new song every Monday for a full year. In addition, Hest is half of the folk pop duo The Open Sea, along with longtime friend Rosi Golan. His music has been featured on numerous television shows including Private Practice, Army Wives, and One Tree Hill. Recently, Ari's song "The Landlord" appeared in an episode of NPR's "All Things Considered". He's also scored a film called 'Dreamriders,' which won several independent film awards. And throughout his career, he has toured worldwide to support his records, most recently in Germany as well as several European countries, and built the kind of loyal fan base any musician would envy. While Shouts and Whispers is an excellent indication of what Hest is capable of, his live show may leave even more of an impression. Watching him play, one can't help but be thrust into his world, hanging on every word like a child listening to a ghost story. Opener: Honor Finnegan Honor Finnegan is the Susan Boyle of quirky indie folk, only hotter. Her songs are humorous then heartbreaking with melodies that soar. Based in New York City, she has been making a splash in the northeastern regional folk scene with her original songs and ukulele playing. Combining elements of musical theatre, comedy, traditional folk, and poetry, Honor is cooler than the other side of the pillow. Honor Finnegan was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and learned to appreciate a variety of people and music living in a mostly African American neighborhood and sitting in the back seat of her single mothers car listening to the radio for long periods of time. When Honor was 11 her dream of being an actress came true when she was cast in the 1st National Tour of "Annie". Honor eventually outgrew the Annie thing and went back to Chicago, spending her early adult life studying Improv with Del Close who created "Honor Finnegan vs. the Brain of the Galaxy" to try and help the poor waif get somewhere in life. In 1991 Honor moved to Ireland. While living in Ireland, Honor sang with jazz bands, blues bands, big bands and traditional Irish bands including DeDannan for about a day. She released a cassette, "Learning to Fly", in 1996 and was a finalist in the Paddy Music Expo in Limerick. Her song "Better Love Water" was sung on the Gay Byrne Radio Hour twice with the all-female a Capella group, "The Cappuccinos". Honor moved to New York in 1998. Honor is a regular attendee at the late great Jack Hardy's songwriter's exchange, which has nurtured the talents of Suzanne Vega, and Shawn Colvin to name but a few. She is also a proud member of Tribes Hill, a folk music collective based in the Hudson Valley. She was a finalist in the 2011 Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Competition, and she has shared the stage with Buskin & Batteau, Sloan Wainwright, and David Massengill.
When: May 1, 2015 8 PM to May 1, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 18 USD (Fri, 01 May 2015 20 )
"Elegant." "Riveting." "Soulful." "Classic mastery." These are a few of the terms that have been used to describe the unique and stunning swing-jazz music of acoustic guitarist Guy Van Duser and clarinetist Billy Novick. Together as a duo for more than thirty years- longer than most marriages- Guy and Billy have performed in concerts, clubs and festivals all over North America and Europe. You also may have heard them as frequent guests of the Prairie Home Companion show, NPR's All Things Considered, or on one one the numerous film and television soundtracks they have been featured on. And like a good marriage, their music has wed together two perfectly suited musical personalities. Their music is based around Guy's innovative finger-style guitar wizardry, and his uncanny ability to play bass lines, chords and melodies all at the same time. With his daring imagination, breathtaking technique, and his wonderful musicality, Guy has become an inspiration for guitarists all over the world. Novick's ever-inventive and soulful clarinet playing provides the ideal complement to Guy's guitar. With his vast knowledge of the classic jazz era, his dazzling improvising skills, and his entertaining vocals, Novick is able to both add a melodic and dynamic spark to Guy's guitar . Their music sounds fresh and original, yet is also deeply rooted in the rich legacy of the classic jazz age. The duo can play any piece from their huge repertoire- an obscure Ellington tune, a Gershwin classic, a complex Jelly Roll Morton arrangement, or perhaps one of the their originals- and immediately have it sound their own. And, my, how they swing! The two of them together can create a pulse as driving as any big band. They have a musical telepathy and understanding that has been honed by more than twenty-five years of playing together, a rhythmic drive that doesn't quit and a thorough mastery of their instruments. Add to all of this their relaxed and engaging stage manner, and you will be treated to a joyously entertaining and musically enchanting show that, indeed, has already stood the test of time. "Riveting echoes of an earlier jazz era..." Washington Post Opener: JULIE DOUGHERTY "I've been singing since the mid-sixties, starting with my sister, Kathy, performing folk music at coffeehouses in the Boston area, such as the Unicorn Coffeehouse and the King's Rook (we were lucky enough to open up several times for the Kingston Trio in the 70's) through the years since then, I've travelled much of the country singing Irish music, original folk-rock music, country-rock music in the 80's, and have made several trips to Nashville, where I placed two original songs with two major publishing firms and almost moved there in the early 90's....but my roots are in New England! I also hosted a songwriting cable TV show, called Songwriters In The Round for three years, on which we featured many fine songwriters including Noel Paul Stookey, Chris Smither, and Al Kooper, to name just a few. "I spent a year and a half writing and performing in an original funk band in the Boston area, the Boston Horns and also explored some jazz and blues combinations. I really love all kinds of music and love singing as many styles as I can. I'm very lucky to have had plenty of work over the years and have recorded a couple of my own CD's along the way
When: Mar 20, 2015 8 PM to Mar 20, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 18 USD (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 20 )
The son of a welder from rural New England, Rod Picott is a masterful songwriter and soulful singer who carries with him as fine a suitcase of songs as you'll find anywhere. Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Fred Eagelsmith have recorded Rod Picott songs. A former construction worker who hung up his tools when he released his debut CD in 2000, Picott has carved a career for himself with a run of 6 beautifully crafted self released CDs over the last 13 years and a well earned reputation as a engaging, emotion fueled performer. Hang Your Hopes On Crooked Nail, produced by RS Field [Billy Joe Shaver, Justin Townes Earle, Hayes Carll] is a collection of carefully crafted songs of rugged truth and beauty. Recorded at Joe Pisapia's [KD Lang, Guster] Middletree Studios in East Nashville the CD highlights Picott's particular gift for exploring complex themes in common language. The eleven songs on Hang Your Hopes On a Crooked Nail offer an unblinking albeit wry gaze into our common heart and a clenched fist of defiance against the trials that tear at our humanity. "Accept Rod Picott for what he is; Americana of the highest order" Julian Piper/ Acoustic Magazine "Gems that finely balance despair, desire and optimism with dexterity" Arthur Wood/Maverick Magazine "Hangdog lyrics and deadpan delivery have the ability to strike a chord with anyone who has a heart." Alison Stokes/Country Music People RADOSLAV LORKAVIC Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorkovic has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano style. His tenure on the R&B and folk circuits has culminated in five critically acclaimed solo recordings and numerous appearances on the recordings of and performances with artists including Odetta, Jimmy LaFave, Ribbon of Highway Woody Guthrie Tribute, Greg Brown, Richard Shindell, Ellis Paul, Ronny Cox, Dave Moore, Andy White, and Bo Ramsey. His thirty year touring career has led him from the taverns of the upper Mississippi River to the castles of Italy, The Canary Islands, The Yup'ik villages of Alaska, The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1958, Lorkovic's initial exposure to music can be attributed to two grandmothers. Antonija, his maternal Grandmother, sang him Croatian, Slovenian and Czech folk songs since birth. At age one he was reported to be singing back on pitch. By age three he was putting on floor shows for his grandfather and friends who would respond by showering him with coins yelling "pivaj Radoslav pivaj!" During this time classical music played in the home constantly due to the influence of his paternal grandmother Melita Lorkovic, a internationally renown classical pianist. After this blend of central European musical influences Radoslav moved to the United States at age six. He had a foothold on a classical music career when at age fourteen he was sidetracked by a blues scale that a friend had taught him. After several years and countless hours of expounding on this spark, Lorkovic began touring at age 20 with Bo Ramsey and the Sliders. Lorkovic entered the band having mastered the styles of boogie-woogie greats such as Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Freddie Slack etc.. Ramsey's influence drove Lorkovic deeper to the core of the blues. The music of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Little Walter shifted Lorkovic's focus to the basics as he began to draw from the styles of Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins. Several years later Lorkovic and Ramsey joined forces with Greg Brown adding musical authenticity to his deep Iowa Roots. At this time Lorkovic was simultaneously brushing up on his classical heritage and looking south to the polyrhythmic sounds of Professor Longhair and James Booker. He had picked up Tex-Mex and Zydeco accordion as well. In 1990 he made his solo recording debut. Six CDs later, Lorkovic currently tours the world regularly appearing at prestigious events such as the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, WOMAD, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa folk festivals, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Mountain Stage, Prairie Home Companion, eTown as well as a litany of Italian castles and villas.
When: Nov 7, 2014 8 PM to Nov 7, 2014 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 18 USD (Fri, 07 Nov 2014 20 )
Bill Staines and Lui Collins---a fantastic double bill Bill Staines For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer", Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer. Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, "He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic." Bill's music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers that make up this land. Lui Collins Folk singer/songwriter Lui Collins has been performing, writing and recording for over 40 years, earning international acclaim for her music. Her music ranges from original and traditional folk songs to bossa nova in the original Brazilian Portuguese. She's made 16 recordings of her own and has sung and played guitar or banjo on others' projects as well. She's shared the stage with such folk-world notables as Tom Rush, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Van Ronk, Stan Rogers, John Gorka, and Anais Mitchell, and has recorded with Johnny Cunningham, David Darling, and Rani Arbo, among others. Lui has been hailed by the Boston Herald as a "folksinger for our times" and by the Boston Globe as "one of New England's first and brightest stars." She was voted third most popular performer at the Champlain Valley Festival in 1992, along with Pete Seeger and French Canadian band La Bottine Souriante. Renowned guitarist Dave van Ronk called her "one of the best guitarist-arrangers I have heard in years." And Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers quipped, "Lui sings my songs better than I do." Besides her concerts, Collins is involved in teaching and early elementary music curriculum development. In 2003 she founded "Lui Collins' Upside-Up Music" for families with young children.
When: Feb 6, 2015 8 PM to Feb 6, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 20 USD (Fri, 06 Feb 2015 20 )
"EXUBERANT AND RHYTHMIC, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness," says the Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel's playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought the native Oregonian many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelors of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and China. HANNEKE'S LATEST RELEASE, Dot the Dragon's Eyes (December 2013) features an all-star cast of musicians - including Mike Block, Rushad Eggleston, Jeremy Kittel, Keith Murphy, Christopher Lewis, Dave Wiesler, Ryan McKasson, Cali McKasson Kovin, and Ariel Friedman. Influences from Scotland to China, along with grooves and musical innovations from the hip Boston bluegrass/Americana scene, fuse together to create a uniquely American approach to Scottish music. She creates sounds on the cutting edge of acoustic music, while retaining the integrity and soul of the Scottish tradition. IN ADDITION TO HER SOLO ACT, Hanneke tours regularly with Baroque/Celtic group Ensemble Galilei, and has performed with the Cathie Ryan Band, Cherish the Ladies, Alasdair Fraser, and Matt Glaser and the Wayfaring Strangers. She is an active member of Boston-based band Childsplay (featuring 20+ fiddles made by Bob Childs) and co-founder (with Laura Cortese and Lissa Schneckenburger) of Celtic chick band Halali. She teaches regularly at Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon and Sierra Fiddle Camps, Boston Harbor Fiddle Camp, and the Club Passim School of Music. Hanneke's fiddling has graced the stages of The Boston Hatch Shell (performing with Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block), Boston's Symphony Hall (opening for Judy Collins), Mountain Stage, The Plaza Hotel, and the Lincoln Center. AWARDS *2008 USA Songwriting Contest 1st place INSTRUMENTAL 3rd place OVERALL *2006 Nomination for Boston Music Award Best Folk Act *1998 Berklee College of Music Strings Award *1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion *1996 Oregon State Texas-style Grand Champion *1996 Berklee U.S. Scholarship Tour Award *1992 and 1994 U.S. National Jr. Scottish Champion DISCOGRAPHY *Dot the Dragon's Eyes (2013) *For Reasons Unseen (Nov. 2009) Hanneke Cassel *Notes From Across The Sea Ensemble Galilei *Waiting for the Dawn Childsplay *Calm the Raging Sea Hanneke Cassel/Christopher Lewis *From the Edge of the World Ensemble Galilei *In the Moment Alasdair Fraser/ Natalie Haas *Silver Hanneke Cassel *Some Melodious Sonnet Hanneke Cassel *The Farthest Wave Cathie Ryan *Many Happy Returns Hanneke Cassel/ Dave Wiesler *HalaliHalali *My Joy Hanneke Cassel *Diary of a Fiddler Darol Anger *The Wee Hours Various
When: Feb 13, 2015 8 PM to Feb 13, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 20 USD (Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20 )
"What's so bad about happy?" John Fullbright sings on the opening track of his new album, 'Songs.' It's a play on the writer's curse, the notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or depression, that great art is only born from suffering. "A normal person, if they find themselves in a position of turmoil or grief, they'll say, 'I need to get out of this as fast as I can,'" says Fullbright. "A writer will say, 'How long can I stay in this until I get something good?' And that's a bullshit way to look at life," he laughs. That plainspoken approach is part of what's fueled the young Oklahoman's remarkable rise. It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, 'From The Ground Up' to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record "preternaturally self-assured," while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying "it's not every day a new artistearns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright's music makes sense in such lofty company." The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year's 10 best live performances, and the album also earned him the ASCAP Foundation's Harold Adamson Lyric Award. If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when 'From The Ground Up' was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre's most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt. "I never came into this with a whole lot of expectations," says Fullbright. "I just wanted to write really good songs, and with that outlook, everything else is a perk. The fact that we went to LA and played "Gawd Above" in front of a star-studded audience [at the GRAMMY pre-tel concert], never in my life would I have imagined that." John onstage at the Grammys, 2013 Onstage at the GRAMMY Awards. But for Fullbright, it hasn't been all the acclaim that means the most to him, but rather his entrance into a community of songwriters whose work he admires. "When I started out, I was all by myself in a little town in Oklahoma where whatever you wanted, you just made it yourself," he explains. "I didn't grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters, but I grew up around records. One of the most fulfilling things about the last two years is that now I'm surrounded by like-minded people in a community of peers. You don't feel so alone anymore." If there's a recurring motif that jumps out upon first listen to 'Songs,' it's the act of writing, which is one Fullbright treats with the utmost respect. "When I discovered Townes Van Zandt, that's when I went, 'You know, this is something to be taken pretty damn seriously,'" says Fullbright. "'This is nothing to do with business, it has to do with art and identity.' You can write something that's going to outlast you, and immortality though song is a big draw." But just as important to Fullbright as writing is careful editing. "I can write a first verse and a chorus fairly easily, and it's important just to document it at the time and come back to it later," he explains. "That's the labor, when you really get your tools out and figure out how to craft something that's worthwhile." Fullbright inhabits his songs' narrators completely, his old-soul voice fleshing out complex characters and subtle narratives with a gifted sense of understatement. "My songwriting is a lot more economical now," he explains. "I like to say as much as I can in 2 minutes 50 seconds, and that's kind of a point of pride for me." The arrangements on 'Songs' are stripped down to their cores and free of ornamentation. Fullbright's guitar and piano anchor the record, while a minimalist rhythm section weaves in and out throughout the album. That's not to say these are simple songs; Fullbright possesses a keen ear for memorable melody and a unique approach to harmony, moving through chord progressions far outside the expected confines of traditional folk or Americana. The performances are stark and direct, though, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and most honest form. Studio 2013 Working in the studio with Wes Sharon on 'Songs.' "I'm a better performer and writer and musician now, and I wanted a record that would reflect that," he says. "We tracked a lot of it live, just me and a bass player in a room with a few microphones. The basis is a live performance and everything else supports that. I think you just get as much energy and skill as you can into a take, and then start building from there. And what we found is that you don't have to add too much to that." The songs also reflect how drastically Fullbright's life has changed since the release of 'From The Ground Up,' which launched him into a rigorous schedule of international touring. "Going Home" finds him appreciating the simple pleasure of heading back to Oklahoma, which he likens to The Odyssey. "When you're gone for so long, once you know you're headed in the right direction to your own bed and your own home, that's one of the greatest feelings you can have," he says. "I Didn't Know" is a song he premiered live at concert hosted by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, a story he tells still somewhat incredulously, while "When You're Here" is a somber piano love song, and "The One That Lives Too Far' is a raw account of the strain that distance can put on a romantic relationship. "All That You Know," which features just voice and Wurlitzer, implores listeners to appreciate what's right in front of them, and the finger-picked "Keeping Hope Alive" is a song of resilience through hard times. To be sure, 'Songs' has its moments of darkness, tracks born from pain and heartbreak, but for a craftsman like Fullbright, there are few greater joys than carving emotion into music, taking a stab at that lofty goal of immortality through song. It makes himand his fanshappy, and there's nothing bad about that. GREG KLYMA Greg Klyma is a prolific songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and seasoned performer, bringing to every stage a catalog of material that assumes his audiences are both smart and able to laugh. His birth date puts him squarely in the middle of Generation X, but Greg is an old-school troubadour. His enduring themes, articulate and amusing stories, and populist ideals make him one of those rare young artists who is carrying the torch of Woody and Ramblin' Jack. He rolls in off the road, pulls out a guitar, and proceeds to take us back to the basics: family, love, gratitude, and laughter. It's the timeless art of the true troubadour, keeping alive the American folk tradition. 15 years into a career that has yielded seven albums, dozens of national tours, and the acclaim of folk's most prestigious reviewers, Greg's eager fans paid for his new album. Completing the online fundraising well ahead of schedule, Klyma delivers an emotionally charged blend of fan favorites from recent tours, and plenty of never-before-heard material on his eighth album, Another Man's Treasure. Long known as a passionate and largely positive populist, Klyma's new album showcases an impressively matured songwriting talent. Travelling the perilous landscape of love, Another Man's Treasure admits sadness, anger, regret and profound tenderness. Going beyond the Woody Guthrie/Mark Twain sass of recent years, Klyma shows himself navigating intimacy as a thoroughly modern man. But this blue-collar boy knows when to swallow the heartbreak, and so the album rallies with an equal measure of punky sing-alongs and bootstrap lifters. Solo tracks feature Klyma's adroit guitar and banjo picking, while the band numbers rollick with great energy and a chorus of harmonies, thus welcoming the listener to Klyma's universe: long drives alone full of solitary contemplation, landing somewhere in America to shake the rafters and remind everyone of the love and dedication that keeps us going.
When: Nov 21, 2014 8 PM to Nov 21, 2014 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 18 USD (Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20 )
Called Canada's finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected and lauded music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity. Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique storyline Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community. Armed with a songbook that has enlightened and enthralled, and been embraced, by audiences around the world, Keelaghan's life as an artist is one that is a perpetual journey on so many levels. Most importantly it's a journey that has invited fans of literate and layered songwriting to be a part of his artistic expeditions, some that weave their way through marvelously etched stories of a historical nature with underlying universal thenes , and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations. His masterful story telling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia. "The necessity to write has always been a double-edged sword. I've always had the urge to write. Some things weren't being said in the way I wanted to say them. Then there are the different sides of what I write about. The narrative writing, the historical material, as well as the personal, where you have to take responsibility for what you are saying," says the Calgary native who has been calling Winnipeg home for the past few years. A disciplined visionary, Keelaghan's aces have long been a love of language, and history, as he earned a history degree years ago, his skills as a thespian that he acquired at an early age, that explain his ability to make an immediate connection with audiences in a live setting, and an ear for a memorable melody, and harmonies that make those melodies glisten. "I'm good for 80 or so books a year, mostly history, non-fiction, but inspiration can come in many forms, I'm always on the lookout for a good story or idea. My sister told me the story that became Kiri's Piano. It was such an image," says Keelaghan that visits a dark chapter in Canadian history, Japanese interment camps in the Second World War. Not only does his deep catalogue include timeless originals like Fires of Calais, Cold Missouri Waters, Jenny Bryce, Hillcrest Mine, and Kiri's Piano. Keelaghan is also a possessive interpreter of outside material, a fine example being his gripping take on Gordon Lightfoot's epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy on the Lighfoot Tribute disc Beautiful. There are a number of illustrations of his interpretive skills on his 2006 recording A Few Simple Verses. The closing tune on that spellbinding set, My Blood written with Jez Lowe, is one of many examples in Keelaghan's career, where he has invited collaboration into his creative process. "I was at the Celtic Colors Festival in 2008 and the producers locked six of us in a house for a week, and the company included Dave Gunning, David Francey, and Rose Cousins, it was an amazing experience. We had to come up with enough material for a show at the end of it. "To go along with a lifelong accumulation of influences, there have been these opportunities to work with equals, whether if be Oliver Schroer, Hugh McMillan, or Oscar Lopez. The sparks of collaboration, batting melodies back and forth, whatever, have produced some wonderful results," says the artist who ties it all together with a powerful voice, delivery, and a commanding presence where he finds a balance between examining the lighter and heavier sides of life. Admiration and respect for his work amongst his peers is best summed up by David Francey who recently stated that, "James Keelaghan sis a voice in contemporary Canadian songwriting that has helped us define who we are as a people. He writes with great humanity and honesty, with an eye to the past and a vision of the future. He has chronicled his times with powerful and abiding songs, with heart and eyes wide open."
When: Jan 16, 2015 8 PM to Jan 16, 2015 10 PMin Marblehead, Massachusetts Cost: 10 - 20 USD (Fri, 16 Jan 2015 20 )
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