Saturday, March 15, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Joe Craven
with special guest Jenna Lindbo
Award winning creativity educator, actor, festival emcee, and multi-instrumentalist, Joe Craven’s love of music making has put him in many musical genres and alongside many musicians over the years, from Jerry Garcia, Yo-Yo Ma, David Lindley, and other groups such as Alison Brown’s Quartet, The Persuasions, Psychograss, The Horse?ies and the list goes on. For 17 years, he was percussionist/violinist with the David Grisman Quintet.
Anniversary Concert Co-Bill
Saturday, May 10, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Naked Blue & ellen cherry
Drawing from the Americana tradition and firmly grounded with a pleasing pop sensibility, the performing songwriter team, Jen and Scott Smith, aka, Naked Blue have become a mainstay on the folk/pop scene. They quit their day jobs in 1991 and have been writing, recording & performing music ever since. The strength of their songwriting has allowed them to easily transition between intimate acoustic performances and full band shows on some major stages. Scott & Jen’s obvious joy & camaraderie on stage together and easy rapport with their audience are the backdrop to their trademark performance, defined by Jen’s instantly recognizable voice and Scott’s passionate and impeccable guitar work. Over the years they’ve developed a reputation for great songwriting as well and their music has been featured numerous times in film & television. Emmy nominated singer/songwriter ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. In 2012, ellen released her newest and most intimate work yet, a piano-based album, entitled “Please Don’t Sell the Piano”. Throughout 2012, ellen was a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence and co-founded MOBTOWNmoon, a new collaborative project for Baltimore musicians. In 2010, she wrote, recorded and performed a song for an Emmy nominated TV campaign and also composed the score for a shadow puppet piece entitled “Alonzo’s Lullaby”, which has been awarded the prestigious UNIMA Citation of Excellence. ellen tours nationally and internationally, charming audiences from house concerts to festivals!
Saturday, May 31, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman
For a duo that has existed for only two short years, Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman have accomplished some amazing feats! Melody’s critically acclaimed debut album Gold Rush Goddess was named one of No Depression’s top 50 albums for 2012. In 2013 Melody won the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest and she and Jacob released their first duo album We Made It Home, capturing the essence of their experiences on the road and of returning home. Grammy-winning bluegrass/roots music legend Laurie Lewis produced the album. Between these triumphs and constant touring, Melody and Jacob occasionally make it back to their San Francisco Bay Area home.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with The Boxcar Lilies
with special guest Beggar’s Ride
The Boxcar Lilies have quickly made a name for themselves with their standout combination of spine-tingling, innovative harmonies and quality songwriting. Accompanying themselves on guitar, clawhammer banjo, concert ukulele, electric bass, and washboard, they have brought their uniquely warm sound and energetic stage presence to venues across the Northeast and beyond. The Boxcar Lilies are Jenny Goodspeed, Stephanie Marshall, and Katie Clarke – three singer-songwriters that met and discovered a shared passion for three-part harmony. At the time they met in 2009, Clarke was playing bluegrass and traditional country, Marshall was recording contemporary country and rock songs in Nashville, and Goodspeed was writing in the vein of 70s era singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell. It didn’t take long for them to realize that their varied interests and influences added up to something special. Their most recent recording Sugar Shack debuted at #2 on the Folk DJ charts and they’re now playing to SRO crowds at places like the Birchmere, New Bedford Festival, and the International Folk Alliance conference.
Saturday, July 19, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Rj Cowdery & Tony Denikos
Rj Cowdery is a Columbus, Ohio based artist who has solidified her place as a standout of the next generation of performing songwriters. Though she wrote her first songs as a teenager, Cowdery took a circuitous path to becoming a full-time artist. She experienced exciting creative breakthroughs followed by distractions and obligations that took her away from her lifelong dream of being a professional singer/songwriter. But it has all paid off in recent years. After working for years in health care and writing on the side Rj finally found the nerve to choose music as her career. Since joining the ranks of traveling troubadours she has gained fans from across the country her heartfelt lyrics and tender voice and racked up major songwriting awards including Kerrville New Folk, Mountain Stage NewSong, Wildflower, and most recently the Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Oregon.
Maryland native Tony Denikos is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s songwriting treasures. A familiar face at local clubs, festivals, and coffeehouses showcasing his foot-stomping backbeats, engaging melodies and “tastier than Texas BBQ” guitar work, he’s won the hearts of those who appreciate great songwriting delivered with an honest and authentic voice. A contemporary singer-songwriter who describes his music as modern Americana with deep roots, Denikos has independently released four critically acclaimed recordings and garnered national songwriting awards including the grand-prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (“Tip Of My Tongue”) and winner of the Great American Song Contest (“Home For Christmas”).
Saturday, August 9, 2014 – 7:30 pm
Pot Luck Dinner & BBQ at 6 pm
An Evening with Beggar’s Ride and
BeJae Fleming with Jackie Blount
Saturday, September 6, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Jon Shain
with special guest Patty Reese
Over the years Jon Shain has developed and refined his own contemporary version of the Piedmont Blues, a bouncy, energetic style that developed in Shain’s adopted hometown of Durham, NC and elsewhere around the region. In 1986, Shain headed south to North Carolina to study American History at Duke University and to continue his musical journey, as well. In addition to studying with jazz professor Paul Jeffrey, he also had the good fortune to learn the piedmont blues tradition firsthand by playing in Big Boy Henry’s backing band. It was at this time that Jon Shain also got to meet and play with John Dee Holeman and a number of the great older NC blues players. His classes in school were heavily concentrated in southern history, English, and world religions. That mixture of the academic environment and the real-world blues music is what has most informed his musical direction. Jon cut his touring teeth from 1989-1998 founding the Chapel Hill, NC folk-rock group, Flyin’ Mice and their spin-off group, WAKE. The band performed with acts such as David Grisman, Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, and the Dixie Dregs, released four CDs, and played clubs, schools, and festivals up and down the East Coast, building a legion of fans. After his band’s breakup, Shain went solo, returning to his roots in the folk and blues circuit. He has released six studio albums and in addition to festival slots and headlining club dates, the last few years has seen Shain playing esteemed listening rooms such as The Living Room and Caffe Lena and opening sold out theatre shows for John Hiatt, Keb’ Mo’, Little Feat, and others. When Shain is not recording or performing, he stays busy giving private instruction in Piedmont blues fingerstyle guitar, and teaching group workshops in songwriting and blues guitar.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Jory Nash
with special guest Doug Alan Wilcox
Jory Nash is an award-winning singer-songwriter and storyteller who blends elements of folk, jazz, blues, pop & soul into an original stew of sound. He has recorded 7 critically acclaimed albums, including his 2012 release Little Pilgrim. His 2009 album New Blue Day was named Penguin Eggs Magazine Critic’s Choice Album of the Year. Jory Nash has also received a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination for Best Producer for New Blue Day. Jory Nash is a past Artistic Director of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and is the co-founder of an annual large scale, multi-artist concert celebrating the music of Gordon Lightfoot. Jory plays acoustic guitar, piano and banjo and his warm, unique voice urges you to listen to his thoughtful lyrics and intricate melodies. He is regularly heard on numerous CBC Radio programs, SiriusXM, BBC, and college/NPR stations across North America as well as touring regularly across Canada and the United States playing folk festivals, house concerts, folk clubs and soft seat theaters.
Saturday, November 22, 2014 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Moors & McCumber
James Moors and Kort McCumber are an acoustic duo that crafts beautiful story songs that walk the line between rootsy folk and melodic pop. The two songwriters met at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in 2005. Sitting around a campfire swapping songs, they each heard something in the music of the other that just fit. The two have been performing and writing together ever since. Having collectively sold more than 15,000 copies of independent releases from the stage, the duo has now released two of their own full-length albums.
Based in Superior, Wisconsin, James Moors is heralded by Steve Morse, longtime Boston Globe writer, as “Sharing some of the same melodic gifts of Neil Finn, enhanced by a warm-hearted spirit that makes you want to hear more.” Born and raised in Minneapolis, he grew up with the music of The Replacements, Soul Asylum and Prince but today
draws inspiration from troubadours like Ron Sexsmith and Eliza Gilkyson. An official recipient of the prestigious McKnight Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, his songwriting has been recognized three years in a row by the Big Top Chautauqua competition.
A talented multi-instrumentalist, Colorado artist Kort McCumber plays a variety of instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, piano) in his own brand of Americana that is one part rock and blues, two parts country bluegrass and all parts McCumber. But it is his songwriting abilities that have made him a Colorado favorite and garnered him national and international recognition. He won last year’s Flat Rock Festival Songwriting Competition in North Carolina and was a finalist in this year’s International Songwriting Competition.
Although successful solo songwriters, Moors & McCumber discovered that their music together is more than the sum of the parts. Embracing a bigger sound than most duos, they switch up instruments on almost every song (playing guitar, mandolin, piano, bouzouki, fiddle, harmonica, cello, 12-string guitar and Dobro), creating catchy melodies that are big, bright and electrifying to watch live.