The Law & the Lonesome

The duo The Barn Birds was the perfect band for our inaugural Chestnut House Concerts show in 2012. Tim was familiar with Chris Kokesh from the Portland music scene and her songwriting, fiddle playing and crystal clear vocals paired nicely with Jonathan Byrd‘s magical storytelling.

One of my favorite Jonathan Byrd songs is the title track from his 2008 album, The Law and the Lonesome. Jonathan is deliberate and introspective as he sings:

Christ on his hilltop and the cop at the truck stop are both only doing their jobs.
You’ve got a double-cross to bear. Now you’ve lost the last friend that you had to lose.
He’s in the ambulance. You’re in the cruiser, with a fatal case of the sucker-punch blues.

You took the wrong way home.

On Sunday, April 23, 2017 the Toronto-based Slocan Ramblers will be playing at 7:00 pm. They cover Jonathan Byrd’s The Law and the Lonesome tune, but as a more straight, fast-paced bluegrass version.  I included videos below of both bands.  slocanRamblers

To hear The Slocan Ramblers at Chestnut House Concerts on April 23, contact Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 717-940-9311 to reserve seats.  Suggested donation of $15-20 per person; all money goes to the musicians.

Potluck at 6, music at 7.

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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 tlehman9@gmail.com 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.

 

The Americana Agency

Our first house concert was The Barn Birds (Jonathan Byrd/Chris Kokesh).  Tim knew Chris from Portland, Oregon and heard her perform many times with the Misty River Band and with other musicians over the years – including Jonathan Byrd. Upon inquiring whether The Barn Birds could do a house concert for us, we were directed to John Laird at The Americana Agency. The connection with John led us to other great artists for our house concert series including The Stray Birds and Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys,

This summer we had the privilege of meeting John at the Red Wing Roots Festival in Virginia, and again at Grey Fox in upstate New York.  John has an ear for talent and the artists we’ve met through his roster are personable and engaging – and in turn speak very highly of The Americana Agency.

We have two more bands in our 2013-2014 line up that are represented by John’s agency – The Wild Ponies on January 17, 2014 and in one week, we host another artist from The Americana Agency – Nora Jane Struthers.  She and multi-instrumentalist Joe Overton will be doing four shows before Christmas starting with Chestnut House Concerts on the 18th and then heading north to New York for the remaining shows.

As often happens around the holidays, some audience members have canceled due to schedule conflicts.  We have room for about 4 more so if that means you, give us a call, text or email tlehman9@gmail.com to save a seat.

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Birds of Chicago – September 18th

There are lots of things I like about my husband Tim and his skill at photography ranks up there pretty high. We have lots of framed photos in our home from his trips abroad but some of my favorite photos are ones that he’s taken of musicians while they are performing. It’s pretty tricky – the photographer has to wait until the artist is: a) far enough away from the microphone that it doesn’t obscure too much of the face, b) not making a grimace or strange expression – which most singers do as they put emotion into their voice, c) free of instrument tuners, event wrist bands and stage clutter. Sometimes all these stars (A,B,C) align & photo magic happens.

AllisonRussell

One such magical photo was taken in Portland, Oregon at the Alberta Rose Theater of Allison Russell. Allison was performing with J.T. Nero, Chris Kokesh, Lincoln Crockett, Mikey August and Jason Montgomery. On Wednesday, September 18th Birds of Chicago (Allison Russell and J.T. Nero) will be at Chestnut House Concerts for the first show of the 2013-2014 series.

Birds of Chicago falls in the general category of Roots/Americana with the smooth voice of Allison mixing with J.T. Nero’s husky vocals. Both artists are song writers and they blend aspects of gospel, folk and soul with ukulele, guitar, clarinet and banjo instrumentation. Seats for the show are saved by emailing tlehman9@gmail.com or calling/texting 717-940-9311. The name of each person attending is requested in advance and donations of $15/20 are accepted at the door.

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Artist Updates

The Barn Birds will be touring together again in the fall providing shows in the Northwest and the Northeast in October 2013. For more information about their tour schedule you can visit http://www.chriskokesh.com/performances.html.

Mark your calendars for an appearance by The Stray Birds in Lancaster, PA on Friday, October 18, 2013. Series 42 is hosting this fantastic local group at the Elks Club Lodge, 219 N. Duke Street. Ana Egge will be touring with them for this show and a few others including a November 1 performance at World Cafe Live on Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

April Verch continues holding a strong tour schedule and will be in Sweden at the end of July and into August. Check out this artist’s rendition of April from fan Steve Jackson – even the plywood was captured in what he calls “zen calligraphy”. April Verch

The Kruger Brothers are also traveling internationally – headed to their homeland of Switzerland in October and November 2013.

Ear to the Ground Music posted a nice review of The Barefoot Movement in June.
http://www.eartothegroundmusic.co/2013/06/27/the-barefoot-movement-figures-of-the-year/

Banjo master Bill Evans performs with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys at the Midwest Banjo Camp in June. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKA_KGq7UJk

Tania Elizabeth will be busy with The Duhks in the next several weeks as they tour the Northeast including appearances at the Redwing Roots Music Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Green River Festival and the Grassroots Festival.

Announcements for our fall schedule at Chestnut House Concerts will be made soon. We hope you all are having a great summer.

Highlights from the 2012-2013 Chestnut House Concerts

  • Surprising Lindsay and Josh Rilko (Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys) with the appearance of Josh’s parents Dan & Suzie Rilko from the DC area.
  • Watching April Verch do her thing, with great backup from Cody & Hayes.
  • Soaking in the warm personalities and extreme talent from The Kruger Brothers – the house concert setting with these guys is indescribable.
  • Jonathan Byrd’s storytelling – both through his lyrics and vignettes between songs
  • The new/fresh sounds from The Barefoot Movement, including Quentin’s tribute to my parents “In the Cool of the Day” (Jean Ritchie).
  • The potluck night that there were THREE mac & cheese dishes.
  • Lindsay Lou’s voice!
  • Kiran, our favorite house concert guest.
  • The Stray Birds packed the house.  Maya did not reveal that earlier that day she was in a serious car accident until after the show – such strength, talent, determination from this group and it’s fun to watch them gain popularity/fame as time passes.
  • International fiddler Tania Elizabeth with husband Andy Stack – and surprise guest appearance of Adrien Reju.
  • Mark Lavengood (aka Huggy Bear) from Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys – what’s not to like about a dude who has a beer from Founders Brewing Company named after him?  – Huggy’s Nuggs
  • The sweet voice of Chris Kokesh and her fiddle playing – although one of my favorite tunes “Sundays Loving You” featured Chris on the ukulele.
  • The beautiful stage backdrop provided by Tania Elizabeth’s artwork.
  • Hasee’s (The Barefoot Movement) contagious excitement in just being alive.
  • The parting group hug from Uwe and Jens.
  • Listening to Dan and Josh Rilko play together after the show, late into the evening.
  • The responsive, friendly, generous, appreciative guests (over 150!)  that attended in the past year.  We hope you’ll come back for more in 2013-2014!