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3 finalists to compete in Mansfield in 25th annual songwriter contest

2017 May 18
Rose Garden Coffeehouse

After reviewing more than two dozen entries sent in from all over the country,  the Rose Garden Coffeehouse organizers have chosen three singer-songwriters who will appear at the Mansfield, Mass., venue to perform their songs live on May 20. The three will take the stage just before the featured performance by Cliff Eberhart. The three finalists are:

  • Ric Allendorf, Middleboro, Mass.
  • Rob Flax, Jamaica Plain (Boston), Mass.
  • Abbye West Pates, Memphis, Tenn.

Stephen Ide, the Rose Garden’s artistic director, says the entries were of tremendous quality this year. “It was difficult to narrow our choices down to just three,” he says. “but I think we have picked three outstanding finalists. This is a special year for us, since it’s our 25th competition, and we are really looking forward to hearing was Ric, Rob and Abbye will be bringing to our audience.”

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Legendary singer-songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, contest in Mansfield on Saturday

2017 May 15

MANSFIELD, Mass. — Cliff Eberhardt is one of those hard-scrabble singer-songwriters who taught himself how to play guitar and developed his own personal style of songwriting that over more than three decades has brought him national acclaim. He will be the featured act during the season finale of the Rose Garden Coffeehouse at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2017.

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It seems fitting that Eberhardt takes center stage the night of the Rose Garden’s 25th annual Performing Songwriter Competition. This year’s contestants, Ric Allendorf, of Middleboro, Mass.; Rob Flax, of Boston, Mass., and Abbye West Pates, of Memphis, will square off by performing two songs each for a panel of three music-industry judges. read more…


Troubadour Peter Mulvey to perform in Franklin on Jan. 28

2017 January 24

Peter Mulvey will perform at Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in Franklin on Saturday, January 28.

For his 17th album ‘Are You Listening?’ (Righteous Babe Records / March 23), Mulvey traveled to New Orleans to record with producer and friend Ani DiFranco and her band. read more…


Duos night in Mansfield on Saturday, with Genna & Jesse, Neptune’s Car

2017 January 11
by Steve Ide

In the heart of winter, the bitter cold cries out for a warm complement. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14, the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield offers a respite on a cold winter’s night, featuring Duos Night, an intimate evening with Genna & Jesse and New England’s Neptune’s Car. read more…


Bill Staines in Mansfield on Saturday, with dynamic opener Kirsten Maxwell + videos

2016 November 16
by Steve Ide

Legendary singer-songwriter Bill Staines will return to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield on Saturday. I don’t say that lightly. Bill Staines, the folksinger with a warm, inviting baritone voice and songs known far and wide, like “All God’s Critters” and “Roseville Fair,” comes back to an intimate stage that is perfect for his style of music. You don’t want to miss this.

Staines has performed across America for more than four decades, from small coffeehouses like the Rose Garden, to living rooms, to huge concert venues. The Rose Garden show begins at 8 p.m., but doors open at 7:30, and it’s recommended you get there early for a good seat.

Opening for Staines will be Kirsten Maxwell, a New York performing songwriter whose voice will remind you of Joan Baez or Judy Collins. She’s that good. read more…


A quick Q&A with Jim Trick, opening for Monica Rizzio on Saturday in Mansfield

2016 October 19
by Steve Ide

Jim Trick was born to be on stage.  The Marbelhead artist has a special knack for singing songs and telling stories that connect to people’s hearts in a big way.  He makes every audience member forget their worries and brings them into an extraordinary place of caring, healing, and warmth.  It’s been a pleasure and a thrill to watch Jim mature as an artist, playing to new audiences and winning them over with his music, his words, and his smile.

Trick will open on Saturday for the Cape’s Monica Rizzio at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse, 17 West St., Mansfield, Mass. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. read more…


Monica Rizzio brings a ‘geographical cocktail’ of songs to Mansfield on Saturday + videos

2016 October 18
by Steve Ide

Texas transplant Monica Rizzio makes her way from the Cape to Mansfield’s Rose Garden Coffeehouse on Saturday, bringing with her an intimate set of songs and contemporary folk that reflect a captivating sound and a new direction she’s found in her life. Opening for Rizzio will be Marblehead performing songwriter Jim Trick.

Rizzio, former frontwoman for the folk quartet Tripping Lily, took a new direction in her life after leaving the group. It has allowed her to explore songwriting in a new way. I asked Rizzio a few questions about her and her music as she makes her way to Mansfield on Saturday. read more…


Guitar wizard Jack Williams in Mansfield on Saturday

2016 September 13
Jack Williams. Photo by Frank Serio

Strap on your listening caps and enjoy the southern hospitality of one the country finest guitar players. South Carolina native Jack Williams comes to Mansfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 17, to kick off the 28th season of the Rose Garden Coffeehouse. Opening for Williams will be Quincy, Massachusetts performer Chris Pahud. The show is at 8 p.m. (Tickets)

If you’ve never heard Jack Williams play the guitar, you’ve been missing one of the most unique guitar legends in the United States. He is a high-energy performer, whose 54 years of entertaining has seen him labeled as everything from a folk revivalist to a performer of rock, country or R&B, to so-called “beatnik trumpeter,” and an interpreter of songs from the 30s, 40s and 50s. read more…


Videos: A couple of new bluegrass releases, including legendary Doyle Lawson

2016 July 18
by Steve Ide

burden-bearer-coverBURDEN BEARER: Bluegrass Gospel and A Cappella Favorites
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson is well known for high standards in every aspect of his musical career. “Burden Bearer” is the latest example of the exquisite precision in vocals, harmony and musicianship of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. The album is reminiscent of a traditional “call to a camp meeting.” It is a special music event of bluegrass gospel and a cappella music celebrating the musical legacy of faith, hope, struggle and victory of the spirit. Old time renderings live alongside newly forged Gospel songs that pay tribute to the aged, but timeless gospel convention music tradition.


NewTown-Harlan-Road-cover NewTown
Take a trip down hard-traveled Kentucky backroads into the heart of Bluegrass country with the powerful new release from NewTown, Harlan Road. Songs of hard times, love lost but not forgotten, and weary blue tales of forlorn souls appear here but the fresh writing and clever choice of material puts NewTown on a new level.


Christine Lavin & Don White, plus contest, in Mansfield on Saturday

2016 May 16

Folk singers and humorists Don White and Christine Lavin help the Rose Garden Coffeehouse conclude its 27th season on Saturday, May 21. Like every recent finale at the longtime Mansfield venue, the show will be preceded by the annual Performing Songwriter Contest, featuring singer-songwriters from Connecticut, Rhode Island and one who is a native of Massachusetts. The show starts at 8 p.m.

“When Christine Lavin and Don White make us laugh, there is always a warm shimmer of community beneath the silliness,” says renowned folk music writer and author Scott Alarik. “Of all the gifts great entertainers can bring to the stage, I think this is perhaps the rarest and most valuable. Many can dazzle us; but only the very, very best can befriend us, and remind us that, in the end, we are all wary acrobats in the great human circus. And really, when have we ever needed laughs like that more?”

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Folk icon Jim Kweskin, vocalist Samoa Wilson in Franklin on May 14

2016 May 1
by Steve Ide

Folk icon Jim Kweskin will appear at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse on Saturday, May 14th, at 8 p.m. Stunning vocalist Samoa Wilson will be joining Kweskin. She has appeared and recorded several albums with him. Kweskin was the founder of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, the legendary group that started in Boston in the 1960s and played Club 47. With Fritz Richmond, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Bob Siggins and Bruno Wolfe the jugband successfully modernized the sounds of pre–World War II rural music. read more…


Award-winning folk, fingerpicking in Mansfield on Saturday

2016 April 12

Award-winning performers Rolly Brown and Magpie return to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse, Mansfield, Mass., for a split bill of contemporary and traditional folk, sterling instrumentals and powerful vocals and harmonies on Saturday, April 16. Doors open at 7:30 for the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $16 in advance at or $18 at the door. read more…


Vance Gilbert returns to Mansfield on Saturday

2016 March 14
Vance performs at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield in May 2011 ~ Photo by Stephen Ide

When Vance Gilbert returns to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19 (Tickets), it will be familiar turf. The prolific Boston-area singer-songwriter was one of the first performers to play at the venue more than 25 years ago. Since then he has gone on to record a dozen albums and performed thousands of shows all over the world.

Gilbert burst onto the singer-songwriter scene in the early ’90’s when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs around Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. read more…


Troubadour and blues in Mansfield on Saturday

2016 February 3

When Dan Weber and Danielle Miraglia perform a split bill at Mansfield, Massachusetts’ Rose Garden Coffeehouse at 8pm on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, it promises to be an intriguing, exciting mix of styles.

Steeped in blues and a crystalline voice, Danielle Miraglia is armed with a steady thumb on an old Gibson, a stompbox rhythm, harmonica and heart-felt socially conscious tunes. Splitting the bill will be our Dan Weber, a story-laden troubadour who won our hearts with his tale of “Hank & Jesus” and the heartwarming “Goodbye to Dad.” read more…


Legendary folk-pop duo Aztec Two-Step at Mansfield’s Rose Garden

2016 January 7

Rex Fowler and Neil Shulman met at a Boston hootenany in the early 70s. It was a natural fit and one that has endured for more than 40 years. In that time, the duo, based in New York, hasn’t lost a step, and they will perform 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16 at Mansfield’s Rose Garden Coffeehouse, 17 West St., Mansfield, Mass.

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Roosevelt Dime, an Americana, R&B ensemble coming Saturday to Mansfield + music, videos

2015 November 8
by Steve Ide

Perhaps it’s Roosevelt Dime’s slogan that says it best: “Love, Liberty and the Pursuit of Boogie.” The four-piece ensemble from New York comes to Mansfield’s Rose Garden Coffeehouse on Saturday, Nov. 14, providing a ton of heat and rhythm as the cold weather approaches. Described by some as “Mardi-grass,” Roosevelt Dime brings a rich tapestry of musical goodness, rooted in the traditional, propelled by the power of New Orleans. Their music is Americana, if you must, but only in that it blends sounds reminiscent of the richness of many musical genres, from bluegrass to folk to rock ‘n’ roll to New Orleans R&B. In short, it’s just plain fun. read more…


Kennedys bring their jangly folk-rock to Mansfield on Saturday, with Videos

2015 October 12
Maura and Pete Kennedy at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse, Mansfield, Mass., 2010. Photo by Stephen Ide

Pete and Maura Kennedy are returning home, in a sense. They are from New York, of course. But when the duo plays the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass. at 8 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 17, it will be their sixth performance at the venue. So it must feel like home by now.

The pair have been bringing a whirlwind of folk and folk-rock to audiences for 20 years, as long as they have been married. Their music conjures Buddy Holly style roots (they had their first date at Buddy Holly’s gravesite in Lubbock, Texas), tuneful cadences of the Everly Brothers, and the ringing 12-string jangle of early Byrds, all interspersed with darker moments that recall British folk rock a la Fairport Convention. read more…


Laugh along with Modern Man on Saturday

2015 September 15
by Steve Ide

It has been a few years since the trio of David Buskin, George Wurzbach and Rob Carlson– the comedic ensemble known as Modern Man– graced the stage of the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield. When they did, they left audiences in stitches, surprised by the fact that folk music, in all its seriousness, can often laugh at itself and in fact be hilarious. This Saturday’s (Sept. 19, 2015) performance comes just in the nick of time and kicks off the Rose Garden’s 27th season. The band is actually calling it quits sometime in October (until their inevitable reunion; we know how these things go!).

Carlson blames Wurzbach for this, noting that he will be focusing on a real career:

“George has been teaching music theory and technology for several years at Monmouth University in New Jersey,” he said, quioting the website, though he recently said the same over the phone. “It has been a lifelong dream of George’s to visit the Antarctic continent and perhaps even have the experience of standing at the South Pole. “So the good news is that Monmouth University has generously offered to finance the trip and will send George to Antarctica this fall. The bad news is, that due to budget cuts, the University does not have the funds to bring him back.”

He jests, of course, but not about Wurzbach leaving the group. When Wurzbach leaves, Carlson will still be performing with his own Benefit Street Band (with Vin Pasternak and Paul Peyton), bringing enviable wit and character to whatever he touches. The band recently released a CD called “Angels on the Radio,” a contemporary musical mix of folk, pop and a touch of Modern Man. read more…


VIDEOS & Q&A: Folk goddess Catie Curtis, contest in Mansfield on Saturday

2015 May 12
Catie Curtis

When I heard that we got Catie Curtis to perform at Saturday’s Rose Garden, all I could think of was: It’s about time! Curtis (website) has always been a favorite of mine, from the days I saw her perform at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival to when I heard she’d won the Boston Music Award (several times!). Here is this endearing person who is true to her craft, writing thoughtful, accessible, often humorous songs that touch on themes about people’s lives, who gives back to the songwriting community and to the community of humanity, raising awareness for the separation of church and state and for diversity. How could that not speak to the credo of folk singers everywhere?

“My goal is not just to reflect my own personal life, but to reflect back to people what happens in life, in their lives, in our world,” Curtis says. “As we all know, sh#t happens.”

It also seems fitting that Curtis, who runs a songwriter retreat every summer in Maine called “Catie at the Cove,” will conclude the 26th season of the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass., given that she will be performing after the show’s 23rd annual Performing Songwriter Competition. The contest will features three songwriters (Christine DeLeon, Tom Smith and Dan Weber) performing two songs each and judged by a panel of industry judges on their songs as well as their abilities to perform them and to entertain.  read more…


Fiddler Tex Logan, former Bluegrass Boy, dies at 85

2015 April 24
by Steve Ide

Tex Logan’s daughter Jody posted this information at 10:50 p.m.:

RIP Dad passed away peacefully just 30 minutes ago in my
arms. I was singing “Wayfaring Stranger” and told him to let himself go
and cross over … I am at hospital hugging him one last time … I will
make funeral arrangements later I was blessed for 58 years I will always
be your little girl.

Tex Logan

Obituary from The Newark Star-Ledger:


1927 – 2015 | Obituary Condolences Gallery

Benjamin F. ‘Tex’ Logan Renowned bluegrass fiddler and retired Bell Labs mathematician who bridged the gap between highbrow academics and country music, 87 Benjamin F. “Tex” Logan of Madison, N.J., died peacefully in the arms of his daughter, Jody, in Morristown, N.J., on April 24, 2015, at the age of 87.
The memorial service is Thursday, April 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main St., Madison, followed by a celebration of his life and legacy.
Born in Coahoma, Texas, on June 6, 1927, to Benjamin and Mabel (Hood) Logan, Tex earned a B.Sc. in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University, an MSc. from MIT (1956), and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 1956, he joined Bell Labs in New Jersey, where he developed advances in digital audio, patented an echo canceller used in satellite communications and, with colleague Larry Shepp, developed the Shepp-Logan phantom (1974), the standard for computerized tomography (CT) image reconstruction simulations of the head.
Dr. Logan retired from Bell Labs as a research mathematician in 1993. On weekends and evenings, especially during the summer, that same Dr. Logan, smartly attired in a cowboy hat and boots, took out his fiddle, and in foot stompin’ spirit was off to a bluegrass festival. He thus transformed into Tex Logan, one of the best fiddlers in the history of bluegrass music.
In 2008, Tex was honored in Owensboro, Ky., as one of the legends of bluegrass, and on Sept. 30, 2010, received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s distinguished achievement award.
Tex Logan played with Bill Monroe, Stoney and Wilma Lee Cooper, Mike Seeger, The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover, The Charles River Valley Boys, Peter Rowan and the Green Grass Gringos, as well as his own band, the Northeast Seaboard Blues Band.
Tex wrote “Christmas Time’s A-Coming,” a song made popular by Bill Monroe that has been recorded by many performers, including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Sammy Kershaw, Rhonda Vincent, and Patty Loveless, among others; and “Diamond Joe,” recorded by Stoney and Wilma Lee Cooper, The Jerry Garcia Band, David Nelson, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage.
The jam-band generation adopted Tex as one of their own through his connection with big daddy Jerry Garcia, with whom he performed and recorded on several versions of Old & In the Way’s new-grass projects. Tex Logan was a man who possessed the ability to bridge the gap between the highbrow academic worlds of mathematics and electrical engineering, and at the same time dazzled audiences and enthused fellow musicians with his high-energy virtuoso fiddling.
He will be profoundly missed. Mr. Logan is survived by his daughter, Jody Logan, and grandsons, Jamie and Ryan Berlin, of Madison, N.J.; brothers, Russell H. Logan and Samuel H. Logan, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Peggy, and his daughter, Laura Logan. The family would like to thank all of those who have sent their prayers and support. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, 575 Woodland Rd., Madison, N.J., in Tex’s memory would be appreciated.

Published in Star-Ledger on Apr. 29, 2015

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