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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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VIDEOS: Q&A with The Honey Dewdrops, in Mansfield on Saturday

2015 April 15
by Steve Ide
Rose Garden Coffeehouse

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.

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International songwriters performing benefit for folk organization

2015 March 31
James Keelaghan ~ Photo by Stephen Ide

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.

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VIDEOS: Unique Michigan-based stringband visit Mansfield on Saturday

2015 March 19
by Steve Ide

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…

Acoustic band Driftwood to perform March 6 at me & thee coffeehouse, with opener Laney Jones

2015 February 23

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…

VIDEOS: Les Sampou, with opener Random Chants on Saturday, Feb. 28 in East Weymouth, Mass.

2015 February 16
Music at Sanctuary Hall, Weymouth

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…

VIDEOS: Rhonda Vincent, Del, Seldom Scene top Joe Val Bluegrass Festival for 30th year

2015 February 5

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

2015 February 2
by Steve Ide

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…

VIDEOS: Acoustic blues of Rishell & Raines in Mansfield, Mass. on Saturday

2014 November 6
Annie Raines ~ Photo by Stephen Ide

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.”

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AUDIO: Garnet Rogers to perform in Mansfield; talks about his latest CD

2014 October 10
Garnet Rogers performs at the Rose Garden Coffeehouse in Mansfield, Mass., in 2008. Photo by Stephen Ide

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.

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NC group Balsam Range named bluegrass Entertainers of the Year

2014 October 3
by Steve Ide

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.

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