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…
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…
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.
Published in Star-Ledger on Apr. 29, 2015
– See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?pid=174744157#sthash.sO4vXwlQ.dpuf
On Saturday, the Rose Garden again plays host to The Honey Dewdrops, a couple from Baltimore, Maryland that has managed to develop a singular sound that is both magical and hard to define. From simple blending of their voices to complex riffs on guitar, banjo and mandolin, the pair plays off one another seamlessly and the results are pure and innovative.
I asked them a few questions to try and get into the head of these talented performers in advance of the show. For more information about the show, visit the Rose Garden website.
Archie Fisher, James Keelaghan and Jez Lowe. Three of the world’s finest songwriters and most respected singers have decided to take their friendship on the road. Meeting on a cruise, they found that their music has a great synergy. When they again found themselves staying in the same house last autumn, the idea for the tour was born. The trio will perform individually and together at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the Somerville Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Mass.
When I first heard of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, my first reaction was: who? I’ve heard of a lot of stringbands over time, and a roots ensemble from Michigan was not on my radar. But as a volunteer at Mansfield’s Rose Garden Coffeehouse for some 25 years, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. It was only a few years ago that the coffeehouse’s artistic director, Mac McLanahan, introduced me to the music of the Steel Wheels — another stringband I had never heard of. I gave them a chance and now have come to love that band, and I’ve seen them perform multiple times. With that in mind, I started listening to Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys — and I’ve not been disappointed.
Lindsay Lou and her band will perform this Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Rose Garden, now in its 26th season and one of the premier coffeehouses in the state. This remarkably fun, young roots ensemble has a snappy sound, tight harmonies as the perform folk, pop, Americana, bluegrass and original songs. Lindsay Lou’s sweet, powerful vocals, tinged with blues and jazzy undertones, leave a lasting impression. You just have to hear this band to appreciate that they will be going places. read more…
MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — On Friday, March 6th, the me & thee coffeehouse is happy to open the doors for a concert with Americana and roots band, Driftwood. The opening act is Laney Jones, a Berklee College of Music student who is turning heads all over the country with her original homespun music. Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show at the me&thee coffeehouse which is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.
From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to today’s music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. read more…
Chase away those winter blues with, well, some blues when singer-songwriter Les Sampou appears at East Weymouth’s Music at Sanctuary Hall on Saturday, Feb. 28.
Sampou, whose Americana music is full of twang and blues, has a musical career that has spanned five recordings and countless listening rooms, bars, and festivals as well as over several hundred thousand miles of road, is making her first appearance at the Jackson Square music venue, held in the sanctuary of East Weymouth Congregational Church, 1320 Commercial St. read more…
Over the years, I have watched music festivals come and go. Organizers change or pass on, and music events that seem like they will live on forever vanish, leaving fans wondering what happened. The Boston area, however, has been treated to a bluegrass festival that has grown and flourished. When the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival runs from Feb. 13-15, 2015, it will be celebrating its 30th year.
This year featuring award-winning acts such as The Seldom Scene, Jim Lauderdale with Della Mae, the Grammy-award-winning Del McCoury Band and Grammy-nominated Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, the highly touted Joe Val Bluegrass Festival not only has endured, it’s become a launching pad for bands, many of whom will land gigs on bigger stages nationwide as the year progresses. read more…
VIDEOS: Singer-songwriters Cosy Sheridan with winner Zoe Mulford at Mansfield’s Rose Garden on Saturday
On Feb. 7, 2015 the Rose Garden welcomes two fine singer-songwriters, one a veteran performer who is renowned for her thoughtful and insightful music, the other a talented performer an clever songwriter who won the Performing Songwriter Competition last May.
New Hampshire’s Cosy Sheridan first performed at the Rose Garden in the early 90s, about when she was catching the attention of national folk music audiences. She has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters,” and she has won prestigious awards from the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour Contest. read more…
In the more than 20 years since Paul Rishell and Annie Raines met in a Boston bar, they have sung and played the blues. It’s been a magical mix of acoustic blues guitar, harmonica and vocals that have propelled the duo to national acclaim. They return on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass.
Paul Rishell is widely regarded as one of the best country-style acoustic guitar players around. Annie Raines’ harp playing (harmonica) has been compared to some of the greats such as Charlie Musselwhite and James Cotton. They’ve been working together for about 21 years, and they’ve got the country, old-timey blues thing down cold. They met in 1993 during the recording of Paul Rishell’s album “Swear to Tell the Truth,” and have released several albums as a duo including, “I Want You To Know,” “Moving To The Country,” “Goin’ Home,” and “A Night in Woodstock.”
Canadian folk singer Garnet Rogers returns to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. The performer recently released a new CD, “Summer’s End,” his first since 2007’s “Get a Witness.” The CD came after the passing of his parents, Valerie and Al Rogers, in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and the loss of a close friend, which made the folk singer look through a notebook of songs about his life that had not seen the light of day.
I emailed Garnet with a several questions about the new CD and his take on his music. As usual, he was candid and quite forthcoming. I’m looking forward to the Mansfield show.
North Carolina’s Balsam Range were named on Thursday night as bluegrass music’s top entertainers of the year and vocal group of the year during the 2014 awards ceremony held Thursday night, Oct. 2, 2014 in Raleigh, N.C.
I first saw Balsam Range a few years ago at the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. They were dynamic then, and have since just grown in musicianship and popularity.
An old friend rejoins the Rose Garden Coffeehouse to start the 2014-2015 season. Antje Duvekot, who has played at the venue four previous times, will bring her talents to the Mansfield acoustic listening room on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
Antje Duvekot (AN-tyuh DOO-va-kot) is a lovely match for the Rose Garden, which enters its 26th season. The German-born folk singer’s intimate, soul-searching music and vocals are the embodiment of the singer-songwriter spirit that the venue has always fostered. The Rose Garden has always featured and nurtured acts that are up-and-coming. Antje seems to have bridged that gap and become better known, but it wasn’t long ago that she was a newcomer to the region’s folk scene. read more…
Bill Keith really needs no introduction within the bluegrass world, but just for completeness’ sake, here’s a brief outline of his musical life.
Keith was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1939. He took piano lessons as a child, then learned to play the tenor banjo and plectrum banjo. As a student at Amherst College he taught himself to play the five-string banjo. After college, he played locally in New England, then moved to Washington, DC, to play with Red Allen and Frank Wakefield. In 1963 Bill Monroe hired him to play banjo with the Blue Grass Boys. (He beat out Del McCoury for the job, but that’s another story.) After eight months with Monroe, he played and recorded with various artists, most notably the short-lived supergroup Muleskinner. At present Bill Keith lives near Woodstock, New York. Although he doesn’t perform regularly, he remains active in bluegrass music.
Among the many highlights in Keith’s long and varied career, two achievements in particular stand out. One has expanded our music’s expressive range, while the other has extended its reach throughout America and around the world.
The first of these achievements is the development of “melodic style” banjo playing, the most important and widely used extension of Earl Scruggs’ three-finger technique. Melodic banjo playing uses ingeniously coordinated right- and left-hand fingerings to allow the player to execute fast scales and scale-based passages smoothly and efficiently. Keith initially developed this approach in the early 1960s while trying to figure out a note-for-note banjo arrangement of the fiddle tune “Devil’s Dream.” He quickly recognized that it could be used to play any fiddle tune, and much else besides. It was this new approach to the banjo that earned Keith his job in the Blue Grass Boys in 1963.
In the 1970s, tucked between the sounds of Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and a host of rock bands, Jonathan Edwards was a voice of folk-country-pop clarity. His pulsating rhythm guitar, riveting harmonica playing and crisp and tender vocals, was an escape for a country post-Vietnam, and he offered a dose of originality and simplicity few have brought to the airwaves since.
Edwards, who plays the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass., on Saturday, has not rested on the laurels of his 1971, self-titled gold-record debut. Sure, the songs from that LP remain in high demand, songs like “Sunshine,” the pot-loving “Shanty” or the tender “Sometimes.” He has since been a part of more than 20 projects, from CDs to DVDs, and thankfully, has continued writing. read more…
Jesse Winchester, a folk icon and singer-songwriter beloved for many songs from the heart, died at his home in Virginia after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 69. It was confirmed today on his Facebook page.
Condolences poured in across the Internet today and on Facebook. Joan Baez wrote “Thank you Jesse Winchester. You will be missed.” Jerry Douglas: “Godspeed to gentle soul and precious friend, Jesse Winchester.”
David Mallett, one of America’a most revered songwriters, has a song called “Greenin’ Up Real Good” that shows how spring is finally born in New England each year. This will no doubt be a favorite (and a welcome one at that) when he plays the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield on Saturday, April 19. read more…
David Buskin, co-writer for the folk/pop group Buskin & Batteau has announced that his partner, Robin Batteau, will no longer be performing in the band. Buskin, meanwhile, will return to performing with the folk-comedy trio Modern Man. The change seemingly marks an end to a musical collaboration that has existed, on and off, for about 35 years. read more…
Folk music fans are in for a treat if they head up to Marblehead tonight. The show at the Me & Thee Coffeehouse features Bill Staines, a warm, lefty troubadour whose songs Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, among many others. Splitting the bill will be Sally Rogers, a performer of traditional, contemporary and original ballads. read more…