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

mammas-marmalade promo

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!

stillwater
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

Mark & Raianne

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

Duke Levine flyer_cropped

Debra Cowan in concert October 13, 2018

DebraCowan-photo
Debra Cowan
owengale_promo_photo
Owengale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Bill Staines in concert September 22, 2018

Bill Staines

After touring and playing concerts for over 41 years, you would think that musician and songwriter Bill Staines might think about slowing down, but that’s just not the case. Bill continues to perform more than 175 shows a year and drives close to 70,000 miles getting to them. He is one of the most durable and beloved singers on the folk music scene today.

Staines has twenty-six recordings to his credit and has written over three hundred songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough, and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is sung at campfires and folk music gatherings, in homes and churches, all around the country. Songs like “All God’s Critters,” “The Roseville Fair,” “Child of Mine,” and “River,” have become folk music classics. Composer David Amram once described Bill as “a modern day Stephen Foster. His music will be around a hundred years from now.”

On stage, Staines is an intimate, compelling performer, out of the folk scene of the 60’s, encouraging his audience to sing with him on his chorus songs. He will mix in traditional tunes with his own contemporary folk ballads. His humorous tales of life on the road and observations of everyday people provide an entertaining blend of story and song.

“I have always wanted to bring something of value to people with my songs. I think that is important, to try to write beyond myself, to write to the great things that we all experience in our lives.” For Bill, that is what folk music is all about–a music rich in the human experience and spirit.

Bill has recorded two children’s albums, The Happy Wanderer and One More River, both of which have won the coveted Parents’ Choice Award. His music has appeared in a number of films, including the HBO series, Deadwood, Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles’ first endeavor as a director, and Off and Running with Cyndi Lauper.

Bill has done numerous radio and television appearances and, during its early years, was a frequent performer on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion Show.”

Staines has released two songbooks: If I Were a Word, Then I’d be a Song published by Folk Legacy and Music to Me published by Hal Leonard Corp. An illustrated book of his song All God’s Critters was published in 2009 by Simon and Schuster with illustrations by talented artist, Kadir Nelson. Bill’s memoir, The Tour, was released in 2003.

 

Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers in concert May 5, 2018

Erin Harpe

On Saturday May 5th Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers are playing their local album release party at John Henry’s Hammer Coffeehouse at First U of Worcester, MA! The new album, BIG ROAD, is already charting and getting great reviews! Get your copy at the show, and dance to red-hot and fun delta boogie blues – with a little reggae, funk, and soul mixed in! “Harpe is a guitar slinger for modern times… Easily Bonnie Raitt on modern performance enhancing drugs.” (Chris Spector, Midwest Record).

Living Blues Magazine calls Erin “one of the most dynamic, talented and exciting roots rocking blues women on the scene… she has it all – a golden voice and the guitar chops that dazzle.”

For music, news, merch, tour schedule and more info go to: http://www.erinharpe.com/