Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 7:30 pm

An Evening with the Durham County Poets

durham county poets liveDurham County Poets grew out of the lively music scene in Ormstown, Quebec, a town that was once called Durham county. They first performed at the Branches and Roots folk festival in 2011, and by July 2012 their first album Where the River Flows was released. The result was a collection of songs that much like the river in its title seemed to flow effortlessly, one into the other. The album takes you on a journey from start to finish, with influences drawing from the Band, James Taylor, to straight up blues, gospel and folk. Fast forward to 2015 with a second album Chikkaboodah Stew, released in mid 2014, they aren’t losing momentum. The Durham County Poets are made up of Lead singer-Kevin Harvey, electric & acoustic guitars-David Whyte, acoustic guitar-Neil Elsmore, double bass-Carl Rufh & percussion- James Preimel.

$25 Suggested Donation

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 – 7:30 pm

An Evening with Sarah Aili & Mary Bragg

Aili-BraggA Northern California native and half-a-decade resident of Brooklyn and NYC, Sarah Aili has found a blissful balance in Nashville, TN, where she currently resides and continues her journey as an artist, songwriter and storyteller in melody. Sarah has studied and played in the musical worlds of pop, jazz, country, rock, blues and theater and draws from each of these groups to create her own sound. Sarah has performed on stages throughout the US from the West Coast to the East. As her voice and writing style lead the way into a genre which some have coined, “Adele – only Country”, Sarah often finds herself likened to music in the vein of Jewel, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Linda Rondstadt, Carol King and Colbie Caillat. Sarah has two EP’s available to the public and is currently working on a few different projects that will be released soon.

Classically trained in voice, Mary Bragg has focused on developing her craft on her own terms. After college, New York became her muse, her trouble, her chaperone. Several years into growing acclaim in Brooklyn’s Americana scene, she attracted overflow crowds for a yearlong residency at New York City’s famed venue The Living Room. She has been honored in such prestigious songwriting contests as Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Troubadour, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Wildflower! Festival, and the International Songwriting Competition. Now having recently been accepted into the world-renowned circle of songwriters at The Bluebird Cafe after a 60-second audition, Bragg finally has been embraced in Nashville. The 2011 release of her album Tattoos & Bruises, met with critical acclaim by USA Today, No Depression magazine and others, didn’t hurt. Her most recent release Edge of This Town was recorded after winning the inaugural BandPage/Zoo Labs Music Residency Contest, which enabled her to create the album at Zoo Labs Studios in Oakland, California in November 2014. Her sophomore release, Sugar (2007), was produced by Darius Jones and recorded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her debut album, Certain Simple Things (2004), was co-written, engineered and produced in Athens, Georgia, by Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum).

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Saturday, August 13, 2016 – 7:30 pm

Annual Pot Luck Dinner begins at 6 pm

An Evening with Sam Gleaves & Charles Pettee

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Born and raised in southwest Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam found his voice and fell in love with the mountain love songs, which he carries into his generation with pride. Sam’s performances combine traditional Appalachian ballads, dance tunes, original songs and the stories that surround the music. Sam earned a degree in Folklore from Berea College and has toured extensively, performing at U.S. venues such as Mountain Stage and the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and abroad in Ireland, England, Canada and Japan. Sam writes new songs in the Appalachian tradition, telling stories about love, the home place, working people and present social issues in the mountains. “Ain’t We Brothers”, Sam’s debut record of original songs, was released in November, 2015. Produced by Cathy Fink, it also features guest artists Janis Ian, Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis, Marcy Marxer, Tyler Hughes and others.

Charles Pettee‘s fresh approach to the traditional arts of flat-picking and folk-singing began during his childhood in Asheville, NC, where he started on guitar and mandolin at an early age. He is co-founder of Flying Fish recording artist The Shady Grove Band. His distinctive mandolin style, voice, and original compositions are an essential part of the group’s appeal and garner airplay in over twenty foreign countries. Charles is also a founding member of FolkPsalm, founded in 2004, performs the 3,000 year old sacred poems of the Hebrews – the Psalms – with music that sounds startlingly contemporary in their deeply human expressions of ecstasy, dread, defiance, and hope. Charles has hosted workshops on both guitar and mandolin technique at some of the most prestigious music festivals in the US and Europe (including Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, KS, and MerleFest, Wilkesboro, NC

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Friday, September 9, 2016 – 8:00 pm

An Evening with Kipyn Martin & Nancy Beaudette

kipyn-nancyKipyn Martin is an emerging Americana singer/songwriter whose roots sink into the banks of the Shenandoah River. According to folk legend John Gorka, Kipyn is “a beauty of a singer.” She currently plays festival stages in Virginia and Maryland and delights audiences at vineyards, coffeehouses, and house concerts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. This year Kipyn was honored by being named a semi-finalist in the inaugural Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards. In 2014 Kipyn had the privilege of opening for John Gorka, Ellis Paul, John Flynn, The Stray Birds, Ellis, Humming House, and The Kennedys. Other accolades in 2014 include winning Gold, Silver, and 3rd Place Overall in the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest with her song, “Dance Across the Sky”. In 2015 she also played a series of sold out concerts of Joan & Joni: A Tribute to the Music of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, a collaboration with recovering opera singer Allison Shapira. Placing in the NewSong Academy Songwriting Competition inspired Kipyn to pursue a Master of Music degree, which she attained from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2012. A passion for poetry and song fuels her as she writes the songs for her second full-length album. A vitality of voice, both poetic and musical, makes this woman a performing artist not to be missed.

Blending brave and honest songwriting, first-rate musicianship, and a huge helping of native Canadian wit, Nancy Beaudette is an artist of songs and heart. She was raised near Cornwall, Ontario, a place sustained by farming and millwork where French and English languages were friendly neighbors. Her new CD, (Nancy’s eighth release) “South Branch Road”, delves into those roots, weaving a nostalgic past into lush songs of familial history, good-humored folly and poignant observations of life and loss. On-stage and off, this award winning songwriter practices hometown hospitality. Come to one of Nancy’s shows and you will experience first-hand all the warmth and welcome of a Canadian kitchen party!

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Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 7:30 pm

An Evening with Sorcha Cribben-Merrill & Matt Nakoa

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Sorcha Cribben-Merrill has a sultry and jazzy voice that captures the blues, jazz and country influences in her music. Wielding acoustic guitar and claw hammer banjo her songs teach a great appreciation for creativity’s capacity to uplift, empower, and heal. Matt Nakoa is an internationally touring singer/songwriter. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he regularly tours with folk icon Tom Rush. His performances are an intimate and genuine, soulful and bittersweet, and a rich poetic songbook ranging from sweeping pop songs to a more intimate and acoustic palette.

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Friday, November 4, 2016 – 8:00 pm

An Evening with John Wort Hannam

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John Wort Hannam returns to the Historic Cooper’s House! John lives in Ft. McLeod, Alberta, Canada (check out a map) and doesn’t get out this way very often.  In 13 years of being a working musician, John has released 5 albums, capturing a Juno nomination for Best Traditional/ Roots album and a Canadian Folk Music Award for Album of the Year. John Wort Hannam’s winsome, lonesome and then some style of acoustic roots reveals a woven textile of metaphor, phrasing, irony, and rhyme that reads with ease like well written prose. He is one of the new torch-bearers of a vast songwriting tradition in the styles of John Prine, Louden Wainwright III, and Steve Earle but proudly Canadian. “John Wort Hannam looks like Billy Bob Thorton, hails from rural Alberta, and does roots-country like no one’s business.” —Spill Magazine

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Sunday, November 20, 2016 – 6:00 pm

An Evening with Catie Curtis & Maia Sharp

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Catie Curtis has been touring the world for 20+ years performing at two Presidential Inaugural Balls, with Lilith Fair, and at Carnegie Hall.  She has released 13 CD’s and The New Yorker called her a “folk-rock goddess.”  Maia Sharp wears man hats including writer, performer, and producer.  Her songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Art Garfunkel, and many more.  She has released 6 solo CD’s and has appeared numerous times on Mountain Stage, World Café, and the Today Show as well as getting played on Triple A radio stations nationwide.

$25 Suggested Donation

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Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 7:30 pm

An Evening with Lynne Hanson

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Some have referred to her music as Americana, roots, and rough-around-the-edges folk, but Canadian songwriter Lynne Hanson prefers “porch music with a little red dirt.” Hanson songs are like a favorite pair of jeans. They’re rough around the edges, faded and worn through in spots, with a bit of honestly-acquired dirt ground into the seams.   Hanson grew up in Ottawa Canada, and starting playing guitar when she was 14, learning on a hand-me-down from her older brother. She released her award-winning debut album Things I Miss in 2006, and with many tales to tell, two more albums quickly followed: Eleven Months (2008) and Once the Sun Goes Down (2010). Each new release garnered critical praise, earning Hanson a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination in 2009, an invitation to the Kerrville Folk Festival as a New Folk Finalist, and a year later the prestigious Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award handed out annually by the Ontario Arts Council.   Then … silence. A four-year hiatus from recording. Lynne took some time to take control of her personal life which also marked the beginning of a new approach to songwriting. Her fourth studio album River of Sand is the creative output of that very personal journey.  It’s still as Hanson has always described it, but there’s a little more dirt and the dirt is just a little bit darker. No topic is off limits, and the 11 songs run the gamut, painting a candid canvas of whiskey-soaked heartbreak and personal struggle, all contrasted against hope that better times are coming.   Her songs may be full of grit, but Hanson’s live performances are polished.