Category Archives: Uncategorized
Artist Update: Eggs for Honey
On December 5, 2015, Chestnut House Concerts hosted Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer just over 2 years from their first house concert here in 2013. Mandy and Dave co-write their songs, and as time passes, their music is stronger, the lyrics richer and the harmonies sweeter.
After their show on December 5, Dave and Mandy mentioned that they would be house sitting “off the grid” for friends on a nearly uninhabited island of Washington State’s San Juan Islands. They would be working on a new album while taking care of some aging donkeys. And, if you were at the house concert that night, you may remember some jokes about Dave being trapped on the island while Mandy learned the banjo.
Eggs for Honey is from their album off-grid low-fi and was featured as song of the day for Folk Radio UK (FRUK). I can see why – it was posted just 20 minutes ago and I’ve already played it 4 times. Click the link below to read more about and listen to Eggs for Honey. http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2016/06/premiere-dave-mcgraw-mandy-fer-eggs-honey/
The album “off-grid lo-fi” will be available on June 24, 2016.
Kaia Kater, another female banjo player who writes her own music will be at Chestnut House Concerts on Monday, August 22, 2016. More on Kaia Kater in upcoming posts.
Dom Fisher of Wood & Wire
Bassist Dom Fisher is one of the founding members of Wood & Wire from Austin, Texas. Dom is a native of New York and obtained a degree in Jazz Studies (double bass) from Ithaca College. Dom describes his band as “strongly rooted in traditional bluegrass, with elements of progressive grass such as modern harmony and song forms”. Wood & Wire will be performing at Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, June 17, 2016. There’s a potluck at 6:00 pm and the music will begin at 7:00 pm.
If you would like to attend the Wood & Wire house concert contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text to 717 9409311. Suggested donation of $15/20 at the door; all money goes to the musicians.
Dave Neigh of the Steel City Rovers – 4/5
Meet Dave Neigh, fiddle player with the Steel City Rovers.
When Dave is not playing with the Rovers he can be found playing guitar, bass, Irish tenor banjo, mandolin, tuba and harmonica. But not all at one time.
Dave also plays with the Ever Lovin’ Jug Band and the blues fiddle group Step On It!. To see the Steel City Rovers on Thursday night (June 18, 2015), rsvp with Tim at email@example.com or call/text 7179409311. Potluck at 6; Show at 7.
Low Lily: Preserving Tradition
Francis James Child, the son of a sail maker, was born in Boston on February 1,1825. Child attended public school for his primary and secondary education during which time his potential and intelligence was apparent enabling him to continue his education at Harvard – graduating first in his class in 1846 and thus beginning his academic career at Harvard. Child was Harvard’s Boylston Professor of Oratory and Rhetoric until 1876 when he became the university’s first professor of English.
During his time at Harvard, Child’s deep passion was the collection and preservation of the ballad tradition. He desired the most comprehensive collection of all known English and Scottish ballads, which by this time, included their American and Canadian variants. Child collected 305 ballads total, each one numbered and referenced as Child #7, Child #274, and so on.While Child’s collection was acknowledged by scholars, very few additions or changes were made for over half a century. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that there was a renewed interest in ballads during the folk music revival.
John Burgess, author of Francis James Child -Brief life of a Victorian enthusiast: 1825-1896 states that since the 1950s, “new interpretations (of ballads) have appeared regularly, remarkably fresh and original given the ancient sources of the lyrics. Child passed on to subsequent generations of audiences and performers a legacy of scholarship that they have been able to enjoy on their own terms and express in their own fashion. In doing so, he preserved the continuing vitality of the ballad tradition that he loved so much” (Harvard Magazine, 2006).
A fine example of the preservation of ballads comes from the band Low Lily. Vocalist and guitar player Liz Simmons heard a recording of “False Sir John” (aka May Colvin, the Elfknight, or Child#2) by Jean Ritchie and then changed the ballad from a major key to a minor key, modifying the melody and tempo. This ballad originated in Scotland, was modified by many including an Appalachian folk singer, and now by contemporary artist Liz Simmons.
Low Lily is an “American roots and branches” vocal and string trio which draws from tradition and today to create their own brand of new acoustic folk music. They will be appearing at Chestnut House Concerts on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Potluck at 6 pm, show at 7 pm. RSVP with Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 717 9409311.
Final House Concert in 2014
to RSVP for the December 7, 2014 show contact Tim at email@example.com or call/text 717-940-9311.
Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.
Sunday, November 23 | 7 p.m.
Tim and I were able to take a whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest during the last two weeks of August. Tim lived in Portland for many years and we had the opportunity to visit friends and relatives in Oregon, Washington and Victoria BC.
Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer performed at Chestnut House Concerts in November, 2013 and they reside in the San Juan Islands in Northwest Washington. We knew that we would not be able to visit them on this trip as they were busy touring, but it was a sweet surprise to find their Kickstarter announcement of Maritime in my Facebook feed during our trip.
While Tim drove from Tacoma to Port Angeles so we could take the ferry to Victoria, I played Dave and Mandy’s announcement of their Kickstarter project for Maritime. Producer Zach Goheen, drummer Andrew Lauher, and bassist Christopher Merrill (Birds of Chicago) joined Dave and Mandy in a cabin in the San Juan Islands to record Maritime.
Check out their Kickstarter campaign and hear some clips of their new music. We hope to have them back at Chestnut House Concerts in the spring of 2015 so you can hear the new tunes directly from them.
Tonight, September 7, 2014 we host a sold out show with Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys. September 27, 2014 is a house concert with guitarist Billy Strings and mandolin player Don Julin.
Fill Your Boots
The Bombadils released their album “Fill Your Boots” in 2012.
Whether you think “Fill Your Boots” means “get moving, take responsibility, don’t waste time’ or “live life to the fullest, take in all that you can possibly absorb” I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy the 10 Celtic/progressive folk/bluegrass songs from this album plus tunes from their next album (to be released in August 2014) at the performance on Saturday, May 17 at 7:00 pm. If you’d like to attend RSVP by contacting Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations at the door (15/20), Potluck at 6:00, Show at 7:00.
Come and fill your boots.
10 String Symphony – Rachel Baiman & Christian Sedelmyer
January 21, 2014 proved to be one of those snowy winter days when no one could get around on the roads except for the US postal workers, and in the early afternoon the dog and I met the mailman on one of our walks. He delivered to me Speakeasy Man, Rachel Baiman’s newly released CD and the next hour was spent absorbing the new music and some hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.
This CD was one of several Kickstarter projects that Tim and I have backed, and as has been our experience with the others, we were extremely pleased with the sound of the final product. Half of the recording took place in Scotland and half in Nashville. Rachel brought together some amazing talent for the foundation of this album including Dave Goldenberg (mandolin), Andrew Small (upright bass), Matheu Watson (guitar, mandola, vocals), Dan Watkins ( guitar), Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion) and Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle).
The songs are a mixture of originals and covers; my favorite cover being the best version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s See That My Grave is Kept Clean that I have heard. A few guest appearances on individual songs include the great Nathaniel Smith on cello (Natalie MacMaster, Jeremy Kittel, and Sarah Jarosz), Shelby Means on bass and backing vocals (Della Mae), Phil Cunningham on accordion and Brittany Haas on fiddle.
Rachel will be at Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, April 4, 2014 along with Christian Sedelmyer performing as 10 String Symphony. 10 String Symphony released their first album in November 2012, their instrumentation has expanded from 2 5-string fiddles to include the occasional clawhammer banjo and resonator mandolin, though still maintaining a stripped down, tightly woven and carefully arranged duo sound. They are on tour with Tattletale Saints from New Zealand and each band will take a set and also play a few songs as a 4 piece.
Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm. To save a seat for the show, contact Tim at email@example.com or call/text 717-940-9311.