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.

Artist Updates

BN-IX108_NYKULT_M_20150612162014Tim Connell who played at Chestnut House Concerts in 2014 and 2015 with Mando Planet also plays mandolin with the world renowned Ger Mandolin Orchestra. They recently performed in New York City, an event that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal. 


 

Our very first house concert guest back in 2012 (and again with Sally Barris in 2015) was Jonathan Byrd. In my opinion he is one of the best writers in Americana music, and Jonathan Byrd’s response to the tragedy in South Carolina was shared over 4,000 times on Facebook.


 

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She said ‘Yes’.

 

Alex Conerly of The Barefoot Movement proposed to his love, female vocalist Marion Grace, at the Grand Ole Opry.  We’re happy to celebrate their engagement.

 


 

After doing a project together for Earthwork Music, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys recorded “Burning it Down” with Max Lockwood and John Driscoll at La Luna Recording and Sound. They sound mighty fine together, but it might be difficult to squeeze a 6 piece band on our ‘stage’ at Chestnut House Concerts.


The July 13, 2015 concert with I Draw Slow is sold out. You can see them on July 14, 2015 at Tellus360. On July 28, 2015 we will be hosting Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings. Suggested donation is 15/20. Potluck at 6 pm and show at 7 pm. Email Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 7179408311 to RSVP.

I Was an Oak Tree

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One of my favorite advertisements in the folk/bluegrass music industry is by Northfield Mandolins.  An instrument is being formed from a tree.  Yes, what an after life indeed. Trees have been made into objects for our use since the beginning of mankind from household items such as tables and chairs, to artistic items that enrich our lives like jewelry, ornate frames and musical instruments.

Jonathan Byrd writes about an oak tree and the various forms that the tree takes over its lifetime and into the next.  In the video below he’s joined by the Pickup Cowboys.  Johnny Waken is on the right playing mandolin and will be with Jonathan on Sunday, May 3 at Chestnut House Concerts.  They’re doing a co-bill with Sally Barris and the show starts at 7:00 pm; potluck at 6:00 pm.  RSVP at tlehman9@gmail.com or call/text 717940 9311.

Jonathan Byrd | Johnny Waken | Sally Barris

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The first house concert at Chestnut House Concerts was October 3, 2012 featuring Jonathan Byrd and Chris Kokesh (The Barn Birds).  We’re now ready for our 34th show and happily invite Jonathan to return to Chestnut House with multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken.

We could not have asked for a better introduction to house concerts in the Lancaster community than a show by Jonathan Byrd.  He’s a musician that has the perfect concoction of performing, storytelling and humor.  Jonathan’s lyrics are like short stories; snippets of phrases that engage your brain from beginning to end.

He hugged the brush and ran the ridge, dropped down and headed for the bridge, quiet as the rising moon. I saw coyote.

~ Coyote, The Law and the Lonesome

Like a song in the night, you bring love to life
Take the burdens of my day; all my worries roll away
Every day you are my true companion, like the sun.

~ True Companion, The Sea and the Sky

It’s a simple bed; you could turn it to a temple just for one night. Sing to me. Hold your holy lips up to the candlelight.

~ Prairie Girl, The Law and the Lonesome

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Jonathan Byrd is touring with Sally Barris.  Sally is a Nashville songwriter who has had songs covered by such top-level artists as Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, and Lee Ann Womack. Her song “Let The Wind Chase You”, recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban, received a Grammy nomination for vocal collaboration in 2009.

These three top notch musicians will be performing at Chestnut House Concerts this Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm.  Prior to the show there will be a potluck starting at 6:00 pm.  If you’d like to attend please contact Tim at tlehman9@gmail.com or text/call 717940-9311.  Recommended donation is $15/20.

Below is one of my favorite songs by Jonathan and he’s accompanied by Johnny Waken on the mandolin.

Great Things in 2014; More to Come

As we enter 2015 one can’t help but take note of all the 2014 “best of” lists.

Several artists that performed here at Chestnut House Concerts were on some of the music related lists of 2014.

The Bluegrass Situation listed The Best Roots Songs of 2014 and named “The Skillet Blues” by Nora Jane Struthers – this song is one of 6 on the album Country EP #1. You can read the entire list on The Bluegrass Situation’s website. Congrats to Nora Jane and her band.

It’s not surprising to see that Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer’s 2014 album Maritime came in at #11(out of 24) on the Euro Americana 2014 chart; in September 2014 they were number one. Dave and Mandy share the list with folk veterans such as Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, and Rosanne Cash. To see the full list visit www.eurhigh-res-best-medicineoamericanachart.eu.

Folk Alley has several annual lists including “Best of 2014 – Folk Alley Listener Poll” in which The Stray Birds’ 2014 album Best Medicine was voted #2.

Our very first house concert was with Jonathan Byrd back in 2012 and The Triangle’s (Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina) 25 Best Albums of 2014 marked Byrd’s recent album “You Can’t Outrun the Radio” as number 13.

Chestnut House Concerts wishes everyone who has passed through our doors – audience members and musicians – a wonderful 2015.

On January 9, 2015 a female trio, Harpeth Rising, will be performing at Chestnut House Concerts.  We still have some seats available so if you’d like to attend please contact Tim at 7179409311 or by email at tlehman9@gmail.com.  Potluck at 6, Show at 7.

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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