Artist Updates

A few times a year I like to provide some highlights of artists that have previously played at Chestnut House Concerts.

Tattletale Saints

Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan (Tattletale Saints) were guests on NPR’s Mountain Stage on June 20, 2014.  You can hear the entire performance below.

Birds of Chicago 10425493_1506172676282630_3635648870989989909_nIda Mauve celebrates a 6 month birthday.  The Birds of Chicago are as busy as ever touring from coast to coast in North America this summer and fall.

The Barefoot Movement

This 4-piece bluegrass band was asked to visit the United States Embassy in Burkina Faso, Africa as part of cultural exchange effort.  The trip took place the first week of July 2014.  10492557_10152329743134132_6498086861373983910_n

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys  

The New Roots Exchange, Vol.1 was released in April 2014.

STORE_1394750593Side A contains 2 traditional tunes played by a Red Tail Ring (appearing at Chestnut House Concerts in October 2014) and Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys . On side B each group plays alone covering a song written by the other group.  Red Tail Ring covers My Side of the Mountain and Lindsay Lou covers Body Like a Bell. 

The Earthwork Music 2014 Summer Sampler is free and contains over 20 songs including The Wind & Rain from Side A of New Roots Exchange.  It also includes another song by Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys as well as a track by Flatbelly dobro player Mark Lavengood.  You can order your copy by clicking the link below.

Next up at Chestnut House Concerts:  Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys.  September 7; potluck at 6:00 pm, show at 7:00.



















































Things I Learned at the 2014 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

Having just returned from the 2014 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival I would like to share some thoughts.

1. The Deadly Gentlemen continue to be deadly gentlemen and have a new bass player with an amazing voice.

2. If you can’t put down your phone while you’re in a PORT-A-POTTY …you might need therapy. I mean really, who wants to be in there one second longer than necessary?

3. The Barefoot Movement were ON FIRE! This 4 piece band played here at Chestnut House Concerts on Memorial Day 2013 and they’ve developed marvelously as writers, performers and have become a cohesive band. They played three times on three different stages during the festival including the main stage on Thursday afternoon. Of course Tim and I had tears in our eyes as the crowd of thousands gave a standing ovation.

4. James McIver (banjo player for Cold Chocolate) is on tour with the band while completing his dissertation for his PhD in Physics from MIT – meanwhile, after studying the schedule extensively, Tim and I couldn’t remember which stage we were headed to next for more than 5 minutes – let alone which band was playing there.

5. Awesome bands come out of Boston’s Berklee College of Music. We first saw Laney Jones & the Lively Spirits a year ago at Grey Fox and this year we were wowed by Twisted Pine.

6. The woman seated behind the sound booth who kept telling the sound engineers to sit down so she could see …just doesn’t have a clue.

7. Not to my surprise – the audience members either loved or hated Gangastagrass. I won’t say my preference…but Tim did find it curious that we accidentally ended up “Astrograss for Kids – The Colored Pencil Factory” CD instead of the “Broken Hearts and Stolen Money” Gangastagrass CD he wanted.

8. Cold Chocolate played at the Creekside Stage on Saturday. Before the band started the guy to the left of me told the woman he was with “Cold Chocolate is up next and I was told I’ve got to see them”. The woman on my right told her friend “I don’t want to leave until we’ve seen Cold Chocolate – I’ve heard great things about them”. They both were right, this band is a lot of fun. Ethan and Kirsten switch on taking the lead, they do mostly originals with a few covers in the mix.

I hope you can join us on Tuesday (July 22). It’s not bluegrass – Cold Chocolate is in what I call the progressive folk/string band genre. Ethan Robbins – guitar, vocals; Kirsten Lamb – upright bass, vocals; James McIver – banjo, vocals and Ariel Bernstein – drums. Potluck at 6, Show at 7. All donations go to the band.

I’ll even rustle up some cold dessert. I don’t know, perhaps chocolate?




Anything Boys Can Do, Girls Can Do…


Introducing Kate Seifarth, drummer and powerhouse vocalist with Jake Lewis & the Clergy. There’s still a couple seats left for the show on Sunday, July 6, 2014. This show includes special guest Dirty Dollhouse, a three piece female group from Philadelphia.

To reserve a seat contact Tim at 717-940-9311 or at Potluck at 6:00 pm;  Show at 7:00 pm.
Donation at the door. Chestnut House Concerts is at the home of Tim & Karen Lehman, 603 W Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pa.

What a Way to Close Out Your July 4th Weekend!

On Sunday July 6th Jake Lewis & the Clergy with Special GuesImaget Dirty Dollhouse will perform at Chestnut House Concerts.

Chestnut House Concerts holds an optional potluck prior to every show.  If you’re interested in the potluck arrive at 6:00 pm with something to share with others – food or beverage (alcohol ok).  Paper plates, napkins and silverware are provided.

If you can’t make the potluck, arrive by 6:50 for the 7:00 pm show.  To reserve a seat text/call Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at



A Visit with Chelsea Mitchell

1229988_10151788108897492_988490290_nDirty Dollhouse will make a special appearance at the Jake Lewis & the Clergy house concert on Sunday, July 6, 2014.  Not knowing much about the three female musicians in Dirty Dollhouse I reached out to the lead, Chelsea Mitchell.  She kindly (and promptly) responded to my interview questions.  I’ll share them so that you too can get to know them a bit more before their appearance here at Chestnut House Concerts.


How old were you when you first discovered that you could sing well – and who encouraged you?

I was pretty unaware I could sing until I was 14 or so, and even then it was only because someone else told me I could. I sang in my church’s choir and the director happened to be a seasoned opera star who took me under her wing. I ended up studying opera privately for about 4 years and then in college for another 4 years. There is no stronger vocal foundation you can have than classical training, so in that respect, I got extremely lucky.


What was one of your most enjoyable performances – and what made it fun?

One of my favorite performances ever was the Married in the Aviary EP release party at World Cafe Live. That EP was a total labor of love and all the musicians involved were top-notch people and amazing players. I got to share the bill that night with August John Lutz II of Levee Drivers, an incredible performer with an incredible band, and The Lawsuits, who have been on a skyward trajectory since the day I met them. The evening was magical. Plus, World Cafe holds a special place in my heart as it was my first introduction to the Philly music scene back in 2005. I spent every Monday at their open mic with the incomparable Bruce Torres.


How/when did you meet Amber & Vanessa and what brought about the formation of Dirty Dollhouse?

I met them both around the same time in early 2012 through August Lutz. I had seen Amber sing with Levee Drivers and Vanessa with The Lawsuits…their talents were simply undeniable. And since I’ve always been a choir girl and a huge fan of harmony, I wrote a somewhat traditional song called “Nobody’s Daughter” in three parts: Amber took the low, Vanessa took the high, and I sang the melody in the middle. Their voices blended with such ease, it was almost too good to be true. So I wrote some more songs for them and Dirty Dollhouse was born. Considering how busy they have become in the last two years, I’m glad I snatched them up for my project while they were still relatively available!


Lancaster is an incubator of creativity in all the arts areas including music and food. Will this be your first visit and or performance here?

This will technically be my second performance here, but my first as Dirty Dollhouse. I sang a few songs with Levee Drivers at The Fridge recently – love that place! I haven’t actually explored Lancaster, though, so I’m excited to walk around and see what’s happening. I’ve heard nothing but good things.


Chestnut House Concerts hosted Adrien Reju and Brad Hinton in the fall of 2013. We noticed Brad will be on your upcoming album. Will he be doing any yodeling? :)

Haha, I don’t think he’ll be yodeling on this particular album. But damn, is he ever talented. I host Record Store Day at the Newtown Book & Record Exchange every year and Brad has been a staple at the event. Everyone loves him.


Where do get your inspiration for your songs? Have you ever co-written; if so, how does that work?

My inspiration mostly comes from my own life and mainly from conversations I’ve had – and I’m a big talker, so I have an essentially limitless supply of inspiration at my fingertips. I’ve never co-written any songs, but I’ve definitely done a lot of collaborating with Brian Strouse of The Lawsuits for the upcoming Dirty Dollhouse EP. I’m somewhat stubborn and need to have control (a lovely combination), but Brian and I agree on so many things, musically speaking. I love his ideas and it’s just really easy to work with him.


How did you & Jake Lewis meet? Have you shared a stage before?

I met Jake Lewis through his bandmate Katie Seifarth at what used to be Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore…sometime in 2013, I think. We were both participating in “The 9,” a traveling singer-songwriter series. The harmonies of Jake Lewis & The Clergy are so perfect and their music is enchanting. I try to get on as many bills with them as possible just so I can watch.


You have your own albums – has Dirty Dollhouse released any?

Not yet! Nothing official, at least. It’s coming. But for now, we have a Christmas single called “Party Dress” that I did last year with Brian Strouse and a live EP we did a few months ago at East Coast Recording Company. You can listen to both on our SoundCloud!


You discover that you have a free day in your beautiful city of Philadelphia. What would you do?

I would get a Thai iced coffee from Rocket Cat, hope for sunshine, and walk around Fishtown and Northern Liberties, my two favorite neighborhoods. I would probably end the day at North Bowl, because where there’s bowling and booze and tater tots, I’ll be there.


Chestnut House Concerts provides dinner for their performers. What can we make you for dinner?

I don’t eat a lot of meat, but other than that, anything! I’m sure it will be delicious. I would never turn away a big plate of mac ‘n’ cheese, though…especially the kind you bake in the oven with something crumbly on top.

To see Jake Lewis & the Clergy with special guest Dirty Dollhouse, on Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm, contact Tim at 717-940-9311or at  Don’t forget you can arrive at 6:00 pm for the potluck – there’s sure to be mac ‘n’ cheese – the kind you bake in the oven with something crumbly on top.




Upcoming House Concert – July 6, 2014


Philadelphia musicians Chelsea Mitchell, Vanessa Winters and Amber Twait are Dirty Dollhouse and they will provide a special appearance at the Jake Lewis & the Clergy house concert on Sunday, July 6, 2014.