Mile Twelve – May 27, 2016

Consider attending the Mile Twelve house concert on Friday, May 27  – it will be the perfect start to the Memorial Day weekend. This four piece bluegrass band is from Boston and since their formation in 2014, this band has quickly been on the rise.  

Potluck at 6 pm, Music at 7 pm.  Suggested donation of 15/20.  RSVP with Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or  call/text  717 940 9311.

 

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March Music from Boston Bands

Next month Chestnut House Concerts is hosting two bands from Boston. 

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On Saturday, March 5, Wrong is Righta three piece band that met through a love of roots music at Berklee College of Music in Boston will play at 7:00 PM.  Wrong Is Right is the blend of mandolin (Jake Howard), fiddle (Sumaia Jackson) and upright bass (Mike Gaisbacher). We had the chance to hear this band at Greyfox Bluegrass Festival in July, 2015. Influences of classical, jazz and bluegrass shine through their original tunes.  I was particularly impressed with this group’s harmonies and the high level of technical skill from each musician.  Their first album, an EP titled “Wrong is Right”,was released in July 2015; all songs are original tunes.

 

On Friday, March 18, Chestnut House Concerts will squeeze Boston-based The Lonely Heartstring Band into our listening space. If you love the traditional 5 piece bluegrass sound with guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and upright bass, you don’t want to miss this band.

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Both events will begin with a potluck at 6 pm and the music will start at 7 pm.  Contact Tim to save seats at tlehman9@gmail.com or by a call/text to 717 9409311.  The suggested donation is $15/20 and you pay when you arrive. Check the About page for more details.

 

 

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 AmericanCover_of_Francis_James_Child's_''English_and_Scottish_Popular_Ballads'' 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 tlehman9@gmail.com or text/call 717 9409311.

 

 

 

In Good Company

1001230_10151785871362497_51346885_nChestnut House Concerts welcomes Laney Jones and the Lively Spirits on Friday, February 21st.  Laney and two of the Lively Spirits are students at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Laney is studying voice, songwriting and American Roots Music. Most of the music she performs are original tunes and she accompanies herself on banjo or ukulele. Joining her on stage will be Lars Thorson on fiddle, Jacy Anderson on guitar (also students at Berklee) along with bass player Matthew Tonner.

Founded in 1945, the mission of Berklee College of Music is to educate, train, and develop students to excel in music as a career. Student population is just over 4,400 and about 30% if these students are female.  28% of the student population is international, representing 98 countries.

Some names of Berklee alumni that may be familiar to you?   Levon Helm, John Mayer, Branford Marsalis, Bruce Hornsby, Paula Cole, Melissa Etheridge, Roy Hargrove, Gillian Welch, Esperanza Spalding, and Diana Krall.

Laney’s video “Black Coffee” seems appropriate in a post about college life.  We have a few seats available for Friday night’s performance.  Text or call 717-940-9311 to rsvp.  Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.  Donations at the door of $15/20.