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!

Not Surprised


One year ago today, Thursday October 20, 2011…I went to the Ware Center to hear Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three. I had no idea who was opening for them until I arrived at the venue.  

I remember that when The Stray Birds came on the stage, prepped and ready to go, Maya made a comment about how the group rehearsed the night before and that they sounded great.  She was not exaggerating even a little bit.  The group was on fire – keeping variety with instrument changes, tight vocal harmonies, mostly originals and a couple covers to awaken the collective memory bank of the audience.  

Since that day a year ago I’ve watched as the group’s popularity has grown, tracking Facebook posts of their tours up and down the coast, hearing about local performances and CD releases. Their new cd is currently the #1 song on the Folk DJ radio chart and their song “Dream in Blue” is the #1 song. 

I’m honored that we are able to host this group on Saturday, December 8, 2012.  I’m not surprised that we have ‘sold out’ seats for this house concert.  Sometimes there are cancellations, so if you’d like to attend and did not yet request tickets, email  your information to tlehman9@gmail.com and we’ll put you on a waiting list. ~ Karen