Co-Bill: Tattletale Saints & 10 String Symphony


Returning to Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, October 23, 2015 are the 10 String Symphony and Tattletale Saints.

The Nashville-based duo that is 10 String Symphony formed in 2012, when Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer formed the band out of mutual admiration for each other’s playing. They have two albums, 10 String Symphony and, to be released on October 23, 2015, Weight of the World.

Tattletale Saints is a duo from New Zealand that is now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Cy Winstanley, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, is joined by vocalist and double bassist Vanessa McGowan. Tattletale Saints recorded their debut album How Red Is the Blood in January 2013 in Nashville with Grammy winning producer and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien.

Our house concerts begin with a potluck at 6 pm and the music starts at 7 pm.  A suggested donation of 15/20 per person can be made at the door. If you’d like to attend, email Tim at with your name and the number of seats to reserve.

Cluck Old Hen

At the 2015 Grey Fox Music Festival Tim and I were able to attend a workshop on The Mountain Music Project with Abigail Washburn, Tara Linhardt, and several Nepali musicians -one who was playing the sarangi. The sarangi is carved from a single piece of wood with goat skin stretched across it. It has 4 strings like a violin and the middle strings are tuned in unison to create a droning sound.  My ears interpreted it as a cross between a violin and a dulcimer.

The Mountain Music Project – from Appalachia to Himalaya is effort supported by Tim O’Brien and Abigail Washburn that creates awareness of mountain music in other cultures. It was interesting to learn that the Nepali culture has many songs similar to traditional Appalachian tunes. For example, Honira Salala (Water Flowing Slowly) has a similar melody to Going Across the Sea; Deri Phul Paareko (So Many Eggs) has the same concept as our very popular Cluck Old Hen.

Below is a delightful rendition of Cluck Old Hen by The Blackberry Bushes Stringband. Jes Raymond (guitar) takes the vocal lead and the song has fun creative mandolin (Daniel Ullom), banjo (Alex Genova) and fiddle (Jakob Breitbach) breaks. Between 2:30 and 3:00 the band has some complicated timing changes with bassist Forrest Marowitz keeping the groove and then everyone in the band joins vocals for a final a cappella verse.


The Blackberry Bushes Stringband will be performing original tunes on Friday, September 25 at Chestnut House Concerts – but we may get them to sing a few traditional tunes like Cluck Old Hen. If you’d like to attend please contact Tim at or call/text 7179 409311.  Potluck at 6:00 pm, Music at 7:00.

A Chestnut House Concert Interview with Ian Foster


An interview with singer – songwriter Ian Foster.

Karen:  Ian, if I were to visit you in St. John’s, the city you call home, and had just one day, what would you want to show me during the visit?


Ian: St. John’s, Newfoundland has a few #1s, so the tour would involve those. It’s the oldest city in North America, and also the most easterly. So, I would show you the ocean, which is easy to do where I live – it can be seen just minutes from my home in the downtown core of St. John’s.



 I would take you to Cape Spear, which is about a 20 minute drive outside of the city, and show you the most easterly point in North America. 


I would show you Signal Hill, site of the first transatlantic wireless transmission.

Karen: On your most recent album “The Great Wave” there is a song titled If the Weather Holds. While this song is about more than weather, it is notable that Newfoundland is not a place for wimps. How has your island’s extreme weather impacted your song writing?

Ian: I’m from the urban centre in Newfoundland, so we don’t see the same extremes as some of the remote parts of the island. I do often think that places with harsher climates can yield especially good art – maybe it’s because we’re inside during the snowstorm strumming a guitar instead of lounging on a beach in the sun!

Karen: When you are songwriting do the lyrics or melody typically appear first?

Ian:  It depends on the song. Sometimes the music will come first and will hang around without words for a while. Sometimes someone will tell me a story so compelling that I’ll lyrically have a fully formed song without music almost immediately. On occasion, they both evolve together, informing the other. No matter what – there has to be a strong relationship – one has to fuel and push the other. 

Karen: You attended the 2014 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference and this is where you became acquainted with Lancaster-based musician Jake Lewis. How important are conferences like NERFA for musicians?

Ian: Conferences can be extremely important for musicians. This tour will see my first shows in PA, MA, MD, WV and NY. About half of the shows on this tour came out of NERFA somehow, whether that was directly from presenters or from meeting like-minded musicians like Jake. Of course, there is a risk for the musician – they can be expensive weekends, and there are no guarantees. In all of those cases, musicians are literally paying to play in the hopes that it will generate work down the road. Exposure is an important factor, as everyone says, but – as the saying goes – you can die from exposure! It’s all part of the ‘business’ side of music. 

Karen: You have a love of storytelling. Do you come from a long line of storytellers?

Ian: My father is definitely a man interested in stories. I did a history minor in university, and I remember there being a big difference between academic history and the history as my father told it. defaultAcademic history places such a strong emphasis on statistics, dates and facts. Obviously, those things are important, but sometimes, academic history can stop there. My father loves facts (he could tell you the .mm of a certain bullet used by the allies in a particular gun in WWII), but he also loves anecdotal tales. That one little story which tells the big story; the one that connects us to those before us. That’s something that made me love history, and then made me love telling the little histories I sometimes tell in song. 

Karen: Thanks Ian for taking the time to answer these questions.  We look forward to hearing your music and your stories on Sunday, May 24, 2015 at Chestnut House Concerts.

If you’d like to attend this house concert, contact Tim at or by phone/text at 717-9409311. Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.

One Year Later

In September 2013 Chestnut House Concerts Ida9Monthsstarted the fall series with Birds of Chicago.  At that time Allison was nearing her final trimester of pregnancy.  She gave birth to Ida Mauve the last week of December, 2013.

Hopefully the next time her parents visit Chestnut House Concerts for a show we can meet her in person.

Tomorrow night (October 1, 2014) we’re hosting Evie Ladin & Keith Terry.  There is room for more guests so contact us during the day if you’d like to come to the show.  717-940-9311 or, potluck at 6, show at 7.

Traditional American String Band Music – with Energy Levels Usually Associated with Extreme Sports



When then 19 year old Billy Strings moved to Don Julin’s hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, some friends told Don to ‘check this kid out’. He did, and after the performance introduced himself to Billy and suggested that they get together and pick some time.  After a single rehearsal the duo has been playing a mix of traditional and original bluegrass tunes all across the country.

Billy began playing guitar when he was 4.  His father would play Doc Watson tunes at parties and  family gatherings and Billy learned guitar so he could play along.  Today he is 21 and considered a musician to watch in the folk/bluegrass world.  Don Julin has mastered the mandolin and his skill on the instrument combined with his knowledge of the music business world really makes the duo work well together. They were recently signed by Crossover Touring.

Their show is full of energy – the mix of Billy’s extraordinary picking, his powerful voice (mature beyond his years), Don’s mandolin picking and harmonies, and the chemistry between the two musicians – leaves the audience wanting more.

Below is an audio file of “Beaumont Rag” from their 2014 release “Fiddle Tune X”.

To RSVP check in with Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at  $15/20 donation at the door.  Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.  If you know someone who can’t get enough of great guitar and mandolin picking, or extreme sports, make sure you bring them along.

Congratulations Luke & Sarah!

Wedding1Three cheers to Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser of The Bombadils who were married on Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Montreal.  Your wedding photos are lovely; best wishes from your fans in Lancaster, Pa.


Chestnut House Concerts is hosting Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday September 7, 2014.  If you would like to attend, respond to the event on our Facebook page or email Tim at

Our first ‘Welcome Back’: Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

One of the first bands we booked at Chestnut House Concerts was Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys.  We started our house concert series with The Barn Birds (Jonathan Byrd and Chris Kokesh) from The Americana 5178333_origAgency that also represents Lindsay Lou,  and they offered us a show with Lindsay in May 2013.  They were our 5th house concert  and it was encouraging to have Lindsay pause between songs to motivate us all to keep building community through shared experiences that are away from the television.

Lindsay has one of those strong versatile voices that maintains its clarity no matter the octave and she filled all 3 floors of our home with beautiful notes. We are than thrilled to have Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys return to Chestnut House Concerts for our 22nd show on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

What do they have now that they didn’t have then?

  • A 4 song EP Here Between
  • multi-instrumentalist/vocalist PJ George on upright bass
  • Time and Luck a duo album from Lindsay and Joshua
  • The New Roots Exchange, Volume I – a 4 song vinyl joint project with Red Tail Ring (coming to Chestnut House Concerts in October, 2014)

There are seats still available for the September 7th show.  RSVP by contacting Tim at or by phone/text at 717-940-9311.  Potluck at 6, Show at 7.

Suggested donations of $15/20.  Hugs from dobro player Mark “Huggy Bear” Lavengood?  Free.


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  Donations at the door (15/20), Potluck at 6:00, Show at 7:00.

Come and fill your boots.