Debra Cowan in concert October 13, 2018

Debra Cowan








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 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 for more info.

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