Saturday, January 20, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Jennifer Ferguson Smith & Wyatt Easterling
In Fall 2017, Baltimore singer/songwriter & guitarist Jennifer Ferguson Smith made her debut solo performance after years as a staple on the Mid Atlantic music scene and beyond as part of the husband/wife duo Naked Blue. She’s contributed to countless recordings as a session player on background vocals, guitar, Irish Bouzouki, accordion & cello for local and national artists including Gary Nicholson, Crack the Sky, Wyatt Easterling, Patty Reese, The Sidleys, Tony Denikos, Eric Scott, and more. She’s also written and recorded songs featured in film and television and cut by several national recording artists, as well as 6 full length albums with Naked Blue. “Her upcoming EP (2018 release) leaves no doubt as to her playing skills. Lush and intense, this is lovely stuff. Jennifer has tapped a vein of beauty so pure that it hurts, in the best ways, to hear it. In the writing and performing of these tunes, Smith makes heartbreak a welcoming place, one as irresistible and plaintively beautiful as the voice that carries them.”
Wyatt Easterling went to Nashville as a folk singer on the verge of signing with CBS Records, but in true industry fashion the deal fell through. Undeterred, he signed on as a writer with a new publishing company and after a couple of years there, he became head of A&R at Atlantic Records where he signed some of country music’s biggest names. He also began working as a producer, guiding John Michael Montgomery’s debut album Life’s A Dance to an impressive three million copies sold. Continuing to write, Wyatt had numerous songs recorded by the likes of Dierks Bentley and Joe Diffie, including the gorgeous title track from Bentley’s album Modern Day Drifter. After all of his time navigating the many facets of the music industry, it turns out his true destination was in fact to be a singer-songwriter. He started touring, including consecutive appearances as a finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk contest, and he’s since recorded his three albums including his brand new album Divining Rod released in 2017.
Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Beaucoup Blue
Beaucoup Blue is the Philadelphia based father and son duo, David and Adrian Mowry. From blues to bluegrass, their soulful tradition and contemporary styles mesh into an innovative and authentic sound. They pretty much cover the full range of “Americana” quite uniquely in their song writing and how they choose to represent classic material. During their years together as a duo they have received numerous awards including “Grand Prize Winner of the Billboard Magazine World Song-Writing Contest,” and the “Grand Prize Winner of the Telluride Blues & Brews Acoustic Competition” as well as top 40 on AMA’s Americana, Roots, & Folk radio charts. Touring nationally and internationally as a duo, they perform regionally with some of the areas top musicians. Four albums to their credit “Out Of The Woodwork” 2003, “Hearts At Home” 2005, “Free To Fall” 2009, and “Elixir” 2017. All four albums display two soulful voices and slide guitar virtuosity. Combined with great musicianship from accompanying and guest artists encompasses a rich and honest feel, noticeably influenced by familial ties. Hear for yourself two generations coming together for the common good of great music everywhere.
Friday, February 23, 2018 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with Ellis Paul
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. 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”, “Me, Myself, & Irene” and “Shallow Hal”. 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.”
Friday, March 23, 2018 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with Ellis
Ellis is an engaging and wholehearted writer, singer and performer who is full of light and spirit. There’s just something about Ellis. She is at once funny and wise, thoughtful and uninhibited, and her captivating voice is matched by her uplifting lyrics. If you looked up the definition of open-hearted in the dictionary, you just might find her photo there. Her performances are transformational; she leaves her audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts. A winner of numerous awards and honors, Ellis has been recognized both for her songwriting skills as well as her engaging performances. She has won the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Contest and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion 4 times in the last 3 years as well!
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Rj Cowdery & Louise Mosrie
Rj Cowdery is a Columbus, Ohio based artist who has solidified her place as a standout in the world of performing singer-songwriters.
Rj confesses to being a late bloomer; while she’s been writing songs for three decades, she only made the life-altering decision to focus on music full-time within the past few years. She’s quickly made up for lost time, garnering songwriting awards at some of the most prestigious festivals in the U.S., including wins at the Mountain Stage NewSong, Kerrville New Folk, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist, and Sisters Folk Festival/Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest. Her lyrics are unpretentious and warm with wry humor punctuated by some seriously sassy guitar work. She writes about some of the most difficult of emotions in a way that allows listeners to lean in hard against her honeyed voice, and then come out the other side changed. Rj is a much sought after performer and guitar player. 2015 was highlighted with performances at The Kerrville Folk Festival, Wildflower Music and Arts Festival, and The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. She added instructor to her repertoire at The Song School at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival and at Columbus Songwriter Workshop. 2016 marks her first Canadian festival performance at The Vancouver Island Music Festival. Louise Mosrie grew up in the small town just outside of Nashville, TN on a farm with British parents and several siblings – riding horses, writing poetry and singing with the radio. Fast forward a few years, a move back to Nashville and some deep soul searching, Louise began writing songs about the South – what she knew and where she grew up. In 2008, she began working on a new album eventually to be called “Home” because she’d come full circle in her “voice” as a writer. She was once introduced as “…William Faulkner with a guitar”. With those songs, she entered some song contests connected to festivals and ended up winning top awards at Kerrville Folk Festival, Wildflower! Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Buoyed by a couple thousand earnest fans, she began touring all over the Eastern seaboard, the South and Texas. In 2012, her 15-year marriage ended and her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and died 6 months later. Out of those dark days came some new songs that would eventually be recorded on her newest release “Lay It Down”: 10 songs of love, loss and surrender.
Sunday, May 13, 2018 – 7:00 pm
An Evening with Martyn Joseph
Martyn Joseph is a powerful singer and songwriter gifted with the rare ability to speak to the soul with his expressive and poignant lyrics. With a career spanning 30 years, 32 albums, over a half a million record sales and thousands of live performances, the versatility of his music touches genres of folk, rock, soul, folk funk and Americana, yet somehow all these labels cannot define the spirit of his music. Compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews, he has created his own style and reputation as a mesmerizing live performer and stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives. He’s a jaw dropping guitar player who has developed a unique percussive style, teamed up with a powerful show stopping voice, and has been called “The Welsh Springsteen”. He has won the love of audiences from USA and Canada to Europe through an impressive number of live dates, and has previously toured with the likes of Art Garfunkel, Jools Holland, Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega, Mike and The Mechanics, Joan Armatrading, Celine Dion and Shirley Bassey. 2016 was one of Martyn’s busiest, and this was acknowledged by him being nominated in the “Hardest Working Artist” category at the UK Independent Music Awards, being the only folk artist to receive any nomination. Martyn Joseph. A unique talent driven by passion and love for his trade, continues to write, sing and play from the heart. It’s a road he’s been travelling for most of his life and, as he often tells his audience, ‘you keep turning up and so will I.’
$25 Suggested Donation
Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with Benjamin Dakota Rogers
Benjamin Dakota Rogers is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Combining fiddle and guitar, he is writing honest folk music that draws you in with stories and spoken-word poetry. Benjamin’s third album and latest release titled “Whisky & Pine”, is eleven original songs delivered with reflective emotion and warm harmonies. His poetic ballads blend flawlessly with his rousing guitar and fiddle compositions, cementing his status as an up-and- coming alternative folk powerhouse. With strong influences stemming from traditional music and the east coast, Benjamin’s hard-driving fiddle technique is transformed into his own contemporary style. His thought and emotion-provoking songs show hints of his influences: Leonard Cohen, Gregory Allen Isakov and Passenger. His engaging live performance is delivered with his unique voice, guitar and explosive fiddle. Inspired at the tender age of seven, Benjamin found a passion and purpose in folk music after inheriting his Great-Grandfather’s violin. From budding musician to awe-inspiring performer, his love of creating meaningful music has taken the reins and garnered much attention from folk artists and enthusiasts alike.
Saturday, September 22, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Evening with The Durham County Poets
Durham County Poets are a lively and soulful ﬁve-piece folk and roots band from Southwest Quebec’s Chateauquay Valley that performs an eclectic blend of blues, folk and rock with tinges of country, gospel and swing tossed in for good measure. Although together only since 2011, Durham County Poets are seasoned musicians. Its members collectively have more than a century of diverse musical experience – having previously played in blues, rock, country, Cajun and vaudeville outﬁts. Fronted by Kevin Harvey, a bluesy crooner, on lead vocals and harmonica, Durham County Poets feature David Whyte (electric and acoustic guitars), Neil Elsmore (acoustic guitar), Carl Rufh (double bass) and Rob Couture (drums/percussion). All of the Durham County Poets are songwriters. Either individually or collaboratively, they compose a musical potpourri of ballads, gospel, blues and country-rock songs – making for varied sets while performing in concert. The obvious joie de vivre they feel playing together is reﬂected in the good-time feel the Durham County Poets share with concert audiences and listeners.
Friday, November 16, 2018 – 8:00 pm
An Evening with Scott Cook
A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada’s Scott Cook has managed to distill the stories collected over a decade of near-incessant touring across Canada, the USA, the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. He brings humor, a disarming honesty, years of roads, and a deep love of humanity to his songcraft and storytelling. He is equally at home alone on stage, accompanying himself with ﬁngerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo, or backed by his acoustic trio the Second Chances. Cook’s songs are true stories set to music, drawing on inﬂuences from folk, roots, country, soul, and blues. He has made his living playing music full-time since 2007, and despite all the hard miles, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.
Sunday, December 9, 2018 – 4:00 pm
An Afternoon with The Early Mays
The Early Mays are Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion and Rachel Eddy, who share songs based in a love of American tradition, while also exploring their own creative voices. All three are celebrated solo artists who bring their rich and carefully honed craft to The Early Mays. Emily weaves folk, classical and world music traditions together in her songwriting. She recently won a New Music USA grant to compose a song cycle for banjo and chamber ensemble, scheduled for release on New Amsterdam Records, November 2017. Ellen is an accomplished ballad singer and visual artist who has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, and was an American Music Abroad finalist with the US State Department. Born and raised in West Virginia, Rachel is a prolific performer who has shared the stage with musical legends including Tim O’Brien, Uncle Earl and Bruce Molsky. She moved back to the US last year after 6 years of living and touring in Europe. There is an unsurpassed magic that springs from entwined and entrancing vocal harmonies. The Early Mays love the camaraderie of the studio, the road, and rehearsals, and you can feel the gratitude radiate from whatever stage they are on. You’ll never leave a show without carrying a little bit of that warmth away with you.