Lori Diamond and Fred Abatelli in Concert April 6, 2019

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On Sat. April 6 at John Henry’s, Lori and Fred will be joined by Kim Jennings, with special guest Joe Armanetti opening.

Bostonian Lori Diamond and New Yorker Fred Abatelli, have been creating and performing music together since their “destined” meeting on Myspace in 2007. These two seasoned players have put the time in, supporting other successful musical acts, but have now emerged to the forefront – and not a moment too soon! Lori, an award winning songwriter (finalist, Great American Songwriting Contest 2010, Best Female Vocalist, Pulse Magazine 2011, 2012), combines alluring, soulful vocals and seasoned piano playing with Fred’s solid finger work and clever phrasing on both bass and guitar. Their songs explore the many facets of the human condition with hope and an esoteric sensibility. Fans of Norah Jones, Sarah MacLachlan and Joni Mitchell, quickly become fans of Lori & Fred as they explore Jazz, Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Gospel and blues influences and gently infuse them into their own fresh and original style.

Lori & Fred have been showcased on the main stage of the legendary, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and have also headlined at many prominent music festivals. Sometimes as openers and other times as accompanists, Lori & Fred have performed alongside John Gorka, Peter Yarrow, Joan Osborne, Amy Ray, David Wilcox, Michael Johnson, Susan Werner, Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul, Tracy Grammer, Brother Sun, Brooks Williams, Jimmy Lafave, Mary Gauthier and more!

With two highly acclaimed CDs under their belts, “LIFTED” is the title of the third, newest collection of their complex, heartfelt songs. The duo has crafted exquisite melodies that employ everything from retro jazz stylings to hypnotic meditations. Songs of eternal love, self-acceptance, and powerful life lessons will soothe, excite and uplift simultaneously! Lori & Fred’s “Lifted” tour is happening right now throughout the North East and you can find ever – evolving news as well as music samples at http://www.LDFAmusic.com.

Tracy Grammer in concert March 9

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Tracy Grammer is on tap for the next concert at John Henry’s Hammer, Saturday March 9, 2019. Tickets are $20, with doors opening at 7:00 and music starting at 7:30.

TRACY GRAMMER is one of contemporary folk music’s most beloved artists. Renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin, and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer is also a gifted storyteller whose incantations add a rare mixture of vulnerability, intimacy, and hard-won insight to her performances. As one fan puts it, “With Tracy, it’s never just about the music; it’s a soul journey.”

And what a journey it has been. Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the “postmodern, mythic American folk” duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, chart-topping albums featuring Carter’s mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez’s bandmates. Called “the new voice of modern folk music,” the duo was clearly in its ascendancy when in July, 2002, Carter suffered a fatal heart attack mid-tour. He was 49; Grammer, 34.

Determined to honor the duo’s trajectory and bring Carter’s songs, and those of other favorite writers, to broader audiences, Grammer kept to the road, releasing several solo and archival recordings, including 2012’s LITTLE BLUE EGG (Red House Records), the #1 most-played album on Folk Radio in 2012 with that year’s #1 most-played song.

Grammer is currently on tour celebrating the release of LOW TIDE, her first album of original songs. “I’ve been a writer all my life, but it was never my intention to be a songwriter,” she says. “However, the road has curves we can’t see at the outset of the journey. At some point along the path, writing songs became the most effective medicine for the pains and unresolved questions of my life. LOW TIDE is an album of revelations, confessions, and ultimately, healing. I am proud of the writing and utterly thrilled with the sounds. I took risks. I tried new approaches. I told the truth, and delivered my multitudes. My eleventh album is the first one that really sounds like me.” Co-produced with long-time touring partner Jim Henry, LOW TIDE was released January 19, 2018 on Grammer’s own label, Tracy Grammer Music, and is available through Fish Records in the U.K.

Grammer plays theaters, coffeehouses, and festivals across the United States and Canada regularly, and has traveled to Europe and Japan. She holds the record for the most consecutive appearances at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and performs in a variety of configurations, with Jim Henry (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Burns Sisters, Susan Werner), Paul Kochanski (Lori McKenna, Threesies, Nields), Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis, Mark Erelli) and David Chalfant (Nields, Stephen Kellogg) rounding out her ensembles.

In addition to touring, Grammer is the director of the Dave Carter Legacy Project. Her publishing company, Tracy Grammer Music, administers licenses for Carter’s catalog of music. She is writing a memoir and curating a new musical monologue called words + music based on her life with, and beyond, Dave Carter. Tracy lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts with her beloved Miss Kitty.

The Page Turners in concert Feb 9 at 7:30

page_turnersIf American Roots Music is an ongoing story, The Page Turners are writing their own chapter. Touring the U.S. full-time and constantly taking in their surroundings of new acoustic music, The Page Turners are a fresh new duo; rethinking and redefining what it means to be a modern American stringband. Drawing from their love of bluegrass, old-time, country, swing, jazz, and fearless songwriting, The Page Turners write sharp and adept original music, while putting new twists on old favorites.

The Page Turners are Carolyn Kendrick (Fiddle, Vocals, Guitar) and Jake Howard (Mandolin, Vocals, Guitar), who began their musical adventure together as students in the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music. Jake and Carolyn come from very diverse musical backgrounds- Carolyn grew up in Northern California in a family of Texan musicians, who knew from the start she’d be a musical trouble maker. From her early days of Suzuki violin and marching band, and then onto Bluegrass and Billie Holiday, Carolyn makes herself at home wherever there’s a groove. Jake hails from Akron, Ohio and developed his love of stringband music and Bluegrass while performing across the country with groups such as The Blue Ribbon Bluegrass Band and Wrong is Right.

Since their genesis, The Page Turners have recorded their self-titled debut album and hit the pavement, soaking up the thriving musical landscape across the United States. They have performed in over 30 states and at renowned festivals such as Greyfox Bluegrass Festival, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Berkeley Bluegrass Festival at Freight & Salvage, The American Roots Program at Berklee Presents: A Tribute to Leadbelly (Berklee Performance Center), Freshgrass Music Festival, Savannah Music Festival: Musical Explorers, and others. Now they are writing the next chapter in their book, relocating from Boston, MA to Austin, TX to become part of the vibrant music and cultural scene in Central Texas. They are touring both East and West coasts in 2018, as well as the Midwest and southern heartlands, and planning their sophomore album. You can catch where they turn the page.

Mama’s Marmalade in concert Jan. 19, 2019, with The Stillwater String Band opening

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Mamma’s Marmalade is a Northampton MA-based, newgrass band. Their fresh take on traditional American music transforms the conventional bluegrass experience into a raucus barnyard party that refuses to let you sit. Since their formation in 2014, the five piece string band has been fusing diverse musical backgrounds into a sound that bursts at the seams with energy, exuding a pure joy for creating music. Mamma’s honest lyrics and warm, acoustic tones invite listeners back to a time when wooden instruments and sweet vocal harmonies captivated the hearts of America. Experimenting with intricate instrumentals and lively covers, their music brings the genre to new and unexpected places.

Opening for Mama’s Marmalade is The Stillwater String Band, for  a wonderful evening of american traditional music!

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The Stillwater String band features:

David “da ve” West – guitar and vocals
Walter Crockett – guitar and vocals
Bill Fisher – bass and vocals

Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards in concert Nov. 17, 2018

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The next concert at John Henry’s Hammer takes place Saturday Nov. 17, and features the folk duo Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards. Music starts at 7:30, with doors opening at 7:00.

Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards are clearly inheritors of a timeless legacy, creating music that is both original and evocative of a rich tradition. Blending distinctive voices and a wide range of accompaniment (guitar, harmonica, ukulele, clarinet, penny whistle, electric bass), their songs have been well-received by audiences around the eastern United States and Canada since 2010. Transcending the genre of folk Americana, their music echoes inspiration from traditional folk duos and singer/songwriters like Ian & Sylvia, Kate Wolf and Neil Young – combining beautiful harmonies and a lyrical intensity, while establishing a unique sound of their own.


Advance Notice

The following Saturday, Nov. 24, John Henry’s Hammer presents a special concert: Duke Levine & The Super Sweet Sounds Of The 70s

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Debra Cowan in concert October 13, 2018

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Debra Cowan
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Coming next at John Henry’s Hammer concert series is the internationally known folk balladeer Debra Cowan, with local acoustic duo Owengale opening.  Music starts at 7:00 for this Oct. 13 show, with doors opening at 6:30.

Following a life-long desire to sing and perform, Debra Cowan left her job as a California middle school math teacher in 1997 and went to live in Edinburgh, Scotland for six months. There she learned the art of unaccompanied singing and upon her return to the USA in 1998 began traveling all over New England performing at any open mike within 100 miles of her new home in Springfield, Massachusetts. Almost 20 years later, she is now a full-time performer who bridges the old and new with a refreshing stage presence. She can be seen in many venues, heard on both terrestrial and internet radio worldwide and will travel anywhere to sing. Her four recordings have been met with high praise world-wide and in June 2015, she was featured in the UK folk music magazine, Living Tradition. She tours extensively in the United Kingdom and in North America and can also be seen on stage with her good friend, singer and musician John Roberts. Debra is a proud member of American Federation of Musicians Local 1000 and endorses Harvey Leach guitars. Between travels, she makes her home near Worcester, Massachusetts with her husband and their two cats, Hazel n’ Herman.   See DebraCowan.com for more info.

Rick Quimby and Linda McCarthy met in the spring of 2014 at the Folk’n A open mike in Worcester, when Linda read some lyrics she had written that did not yet have music, and Rick eagerly offered to set them to music. Within a week their first song, “Meant to Be”, was completed and performed at John Henry’s Hammer open mike in Worcester, and since that time they have continued writing songs together as the duo Owengale, with Linda usually composing the lyrics and Rick the music. Their work spans the range of historical ballads, love songs, and light-hearted songs to tickle the funny bone. Their guiding principle is “If they laugh or shed a tear, we’ve done our job”. Their latest album “Stories in the Grain” (released November 2017) was selected by Nick Noble (WICN, 90.5 FM) to be among the top new albums of 2017. Although Rick and Linda each continue their own independent paths as songwriters and performers, they have come to enjoy working together and are devoting much of their artistic efforts to the collaboration.  See owengale.com for more info.