James Lee Stanley has released 24 solo CD’s, the three most recent being Without Susie, (2020) At Last – In Philadelphia (2016) and The Apocaloptimist (2015); as well as three duet CD’s with Peter Tork; A Beachwood Christmas with Tom Paxton, Peter Tork and Pamala Stanley; Two Man Band Two-a duet CD with Michael Smith; All Wood and Stones-a duet CD with John Batdorf; All Wood and Doors-a duet CD with Cliff Eberhardt All Wood and Stones II with John Batdorf, and the recently released All Wood and Led (2022) with Dan Navarro , as well as the original cast recording of Straight From the Heart - The Musical, which he produced, performed in and wrote the book, lyrics and music.
The documentary The Opening Act – The Extraordinary Journey of James Lee Stanley is a semi finalist in the Santa Monica, San Jose, Atlanta and Los Angeles Film Festivals, as well as the recipient of the Peoples Choice Award in the London Film Festival.
He wrote the Top Five hit Coming Out of Hiding, as well as the hits I Don’t Want To Talk About It; Plenty of Reason; All I Ever Wanted; and Make It Tonight.; scored the Emmy Award Winning CATHY Specials for Prime Time CBS-TV, the Cable Ace Award Winning Tom Parks HBO Special, and the Award Winning Tom Parks Diabetes Documentary; has produced the artists Mike Pinder/Moody Blues, Nicolette Larson, and Peter Tork, amongst many others.
James Lee has shared the stage with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Robin Williams, Dionne Warwick to Steven Wright, Art Garfunkel to Robin Trower; sometimes spending as much as 300 days a year on the road.
He also spent five and a half years on the TV Show, StarTrek Deep Space Nine, as various aliens including the singing Klingon.
James spent two terms on the board of the Folk Alliance International (2009-2015), and was a board member of NARAS-LA (1992-1996).
And he’s still such a nice guy…
Meg Tennant is a Canadian folk-roots songwriter originally from Northern Ontario and currently living in British Columbia. She has performed at festivals, concerts and songwriter showcases in both provinces and has opened shows for Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves, Tracy Grammer and Tom Russell at Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club.
Meg’s latest CD “Echoed Light”, which she co-produced with Toronto roots rock songwriter Mark Ripp, offers up some hope, comfort and clarity. Roots Music Canada said “The songs, most of them recent, pulse with the ideology of perseverance that Meg brings to all of her stories”. “Echoed Light” was included in Roots Music Canada’s list of 11 Favourite New Discoveries of 2019.
Previous releases include her first solo CD “Driving With You”, produced by award-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist John MacArthur Ellis, and a collaborative collection, “The Sweetest Day” with the band August.
Meg's songs have been recorded and performed by Canadian folk, ragtime and bluegrass artists, and her A Capella song “Bucket of Love” continues to be performed by choirs in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Sweden.
In the late ‘70’s, Mike led a Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks influenced band called Light Horse Harry. Barbara happened to be in the room at an audition to replace the band’s departing bassist and, upon discovering that this hot chick was neither the wife nor the girlfriend of the new bassist, Mike asked her out.
Before long, Barbara’s love of singing inspired her to join the band and she went from girlfriend to backing singer to featured vocalist. Mike’s songwriting became more prolific – it must have been love! Light Horse Harry played the NYC college scene; their shows were loose, lots of fun, and hot swing/bluegrass fiddler Marty Laster would always bring the house down.
These were the new wave days of Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, and after their wedding in 1981 Barbara and Mike decided to go for the big time with a new band, a rock band, with Barbara fulfilling her destiny as lead singer. The band was called Tour de Force and, clad in her Betsy Johnson splendor, Barbara fronted the guitar/bass/drums (and sometimes keyboards) combo at downtown venues like SNAFU and C.B.G.B. A highly anticipated international stadium tour fell through with the collapse of the Venezuelan economy; after the drummer left, the remaining members continued to write and record.
Then life intervened, Barbara and Mike moved out of the city and started a family, and for a while much of the music in the house was tinkling from wind-up toys. Once their older daughter was no longer an infant, they felt the gravitational pull of singer-songwriter stardom and started networking with local songwriters and musicians. A cornucopia of new songs ensued. Meanwhile, Mike and Barbara were performing at coffeehouses and festivals in the tri-state area, and recorded their self-titled album at PM Productions. The engineer at this recording studio also reviewed equipment for Mix magazine, so they got to play with lots of high-end and vintage equipment, and ended up with a beautiful-sounding album. The Poughkeepsie Journal wrote, "Thoughtful and intelligent lyrics in a base of well thought-out, hook-laden instrumentation...together, the Boroks write and make great music."
Their songs won awards in major songwriting contests, were played on over 50 radio stations worldwide, and they performed in events nationwide, including the Northeastern and Southwestern Folk Alliance conferences, Chicago and Florida festivals, and won Grand Prize at the Music To Life song contest at the prestigious Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival. Their songs also appear on The Folk Next Door IV Local Color, Fast Folk Undercurrents, and on three compilation albums by the Funny Music Project (The FuMP).
Their second album, What’s That Thing?, was recorded at their home studio. One of the songs, “Loch Ness Café”, was played on BBC radio, and it turned out that a Loch Ness Café actually existed in Inverness, Scotland – they contacted the band for permission to frame the lyrics of the song on their wall. (The song went on to be a finalist in the U.K. Songwriting Contest and the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest.) Also, Scottish poet and Inverness ambassador Willie Cameron read the lyrics on BBC Scotland, and Barbara is currently working on a video featuring his performance.
Their latest album is House of Love. In their review, The Ark of Music wrote, "Their perspective is refreshing, their writing is original, and their material, on the whole, is some of the finest songwriting we’ve been fortunate enough to come across in recent years.". Singles from this album include "Quark", "Lazy Me" and "It Ain't What It Ain't".
Barbara and Mike are currently recording two new albums. One is a themed album titled Arguing With God. The other one (no title yet!) will be our usual mix of fun, serious and slightly bent songs in a variety of styles.
Their website is newmiddleclass.com, and their facebook page is newmiddleclassmusic.
Alaska-based Americana singer-songwriter Roland Roberts has released his sophomore full-length album, So It Goes, today. In an interview with DITTY TV, Roland opened up, explaining that he “experienced his lowest lows and highest highs all in the same year, losing his father and brother within a few months. That profound level of grief helped to shape his new album.” The 11-song collection — written while living at the base of Hatcher Pass, Alaska and recorded at Old Crow Recording in Whitehorse, Canada — showcases Roland’s innate ability to capture the character traits of what it means to be an American. He’s spent time in different parts of the country and weaves those experiences into his music. Born in Memphis, TN, he grew up as a Southern boy in Alabama, but moved to Colorado after graduating college. On a Rocky Mountain High for a 10-year stint, he then ventured to set up camp in Alaska, where he currently lives. “Roland Roberts has that raspy Americana voice that puts a lump in your throat . . . he sounds a little like James Taylor.” –Melissa Clarke, Americana Highways, June 6, 2022 Music flooded his senses from a young, impressionable age. “Some of my first musical memories are my dad just playing guitar and dobro around the house,” says Roberts. “He and his brothers and my grandfather would play together at family reunions and stuff like that.” Inspired by early trailblazers such as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine and The Allman Brothers Band, Roberts continues to find modern inspiration from the likes of Jason Isbell and Blaze Foley. “My grandfather, Roland Sr., was an old country music guy and my dad was a big southern rock guy,” recalls Roberts “So both those genres played an early role. Another monumental thing was when one of my friend’s older brother gave me a Drive-By Truckers tape when I was around 14 or so, Gangstabilly was the album. I played that tape until it didn’t work anymore.” With So It Goes, Roland Roberts wants listeners to understand that life goes on. “We love people, we lose people. Sometimes your whole world is turned upside down in both good ways and bad, but you gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other because time never slows…and So It Goes.”
Kris Schultz took the scenic route to songwriting. She spent years working for Austin-based musicians and bands as merch slinger, van driver, and road manager without playing, writing or singing herself. After taking a break from that life to start a pet care business with her twin sister, on a whim she bought a cheap guitar and decided to take a songwriting coaching consultation with one of the artists she had previously worked for. After penning her first song, Kris was hooked. Within five months she was playing her first set at a local coffeeshop, discovering she loved live performance as much as she did writing songs. In the five years since that first song, she’s toured the Midwest, the Southwest and part of the Southeast, as well as playing dates around Texas. She released her debut album, “Standard Issue Heart” - produced by Charlie Richards - in October of 2021, and plans to record the follow up with Richards producing in 2022-23.
After a 15-year hiatus, Folk-Americana singer-songwriter Aimee Van Dyne is receiving a warm welcome back to the music community. Her new 11-song release, ‘Broken Love Songs’ has been aired on over 100 radio stations nationally and abroad, and has placed on the Alt-Country Chart, the FAI Folk Chart, and the RMR Americana-Country Album Chart, to name a few. Her song, ‘Lonely Me,’ was selected as a finalist in the Country category for the 2022 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and her song, ‘Hold On,’ was selected as a finalist in the Folk category for that same contest.
Born into a musical family, Van Dyne is a classically-trained pianist who picked up the acoustic guitar at the age of thirteen after discovering the music of Neil Young. Moving on to study art and architecture in college, it wasn’t until she was in her thirties and working as an architect in New York City that Van Dyne began to pursue music professionally, performing at venues such as The Bitter End and The Living Room, where her live performances were hailed as “three of the best voices in town soaring through a uniquely imaginative blend of ideas.” (NY Music Daily).
With the birth of her twin daughters, Van Dyne made the difficult decision to devote herself to child-rearing full-time, casting aside her guitar into her cellar, where it remained for the next ten years. A move from Brooklyn to the Berkshire Mountains, along with the dissolution of her 23-year marriage, was the impetus for her return to songwriting.
Written and arranged by Van Dyne, ‘Broken Love Songs’ is a deeply personal and confessional exploration, whose “loosely connecting thread is that of going into the wilderness and emerging intact” (NY Music Daily). Indeed, Van Dyne has submerged herself into wild places, both figuratively and literally, examining the dark entanglements of failed relationships, but acknowledging that “on the other side of dark comes the light.” Her original compositions, acclaimed as “songs of durable beauty and intricate craftsmanship” (Alan Young, Lucid Culture), are characterized by strong melodies, catchy hooks, and symphonic, three-part harmonies. They reflect influences such as Neil Young, John Lennon, and Lucinda Williams.
Co-produced by multi-instrumentalist Jim Henry (Tracy Grammer, Eliza Gilkyson) and recorded by David Chalfant of The Nields, ‘Broken Love Songs’ features a first-class team of musicians, including Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter), Paul Kochanski (Lori McKenna), and Jon Graboff (Ryan Adams, Norah Jones).
Van Dyne is thrilled to be playing live music again! She has upcoming shows scheduled in New York City and throughout the New England area. She currently lives in Berkshire County, MA, with her two lovely daughters and her three silly cats.
Kris grew up on a farm in Florida making up songs with her sister in their treehouse. She started doing plays and musical theater and moved to LA to pursue acting. But she kept writing songs and eventually that became her main focus. She put out a full-length album called “The Left Atrium” in 2013, then “Heartbreak Is Contagious” EP in 2017, and “Pieces That Were Stolen” in 2018.
In 2019, Kris Angelis packed up her broken heart into her little blue Prius and personally booked and performed over 100 shows across all 50 states. The album that came out of her experiences "That Siren, Hope" produced by Bill Lefler, partially co-written with Garrison Starr, and featuring fiddle by Jeb Bows (Gregory Alan Isakov) came out on Jan 24th, 2020 debuting at #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and as the highest ranking independent release that week on the Billboard Top Current Albums chart at #79. It also appeared on the first-round Grammy ballot and Kris was selected for the Grammy NEXT program.
“That Siren, Hope” was on the Americana Albums radio chart for 19 weeks, getting to #59 with spins all over the country on FM and SiriusXM, the title track was featured on Netflix’s “Atypical”, and the music video was premiered by American Songwriter Magazine. Her music video for “Photobooth” had 4 nominations including Video of the Year and 3 wins in the International Independent Music Video Awards including Best Folk/Americana Video and Fan Favorite.
Apart from writing and recording the new record, Kris kept busy in 2020 with live-stream performances including the UnCancelled Festival, Folk Alliance Unlocked showcases, Happy Hour for the Guild of Music Supervisors with KT Tunstall, Live from The Hotel Cafe, RoadNation's Road-Less Series, and many many more, as well as releasing a Live album and some singles including an original Holiday song with Abe Abraham.
Kris’s last album, “The Skies We Look To” came out April 30th at #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and “I’d Give Anything” was featured in American Songwriter, landed on New Music Nashville, Next From Nashville, and Indigo Official Spotify playlists, and charted for 15 weeks on Americana radio. “My Quiet”, another song from the album, is a winner in the International Songwriting Competition.
Lynn Crossett is a singer-songwriter based in San Marcos, Texas, who travels between Central Texas and Southern California performing Americana, alt-country style music. His latest album titled "In the Company of a Song" was produced by Grammy Award winning alt-country legend Lloyd Maines and features not only signature steel guitar work by Lloyd Maines but also fiddle and mandolin by Dennis Ludiker (Asleep at the Wheel, Milkdrive) and harmony vocals by HalleyAnna Finlay Welch on two songs ("Warren and Whitney" and "Child Support Trips"). Because Lynn divides his time between his home base in the Austin, Texas area and Southern California, the album contains a wide range of lyrical and musical themes - from the tale of a busker on the Santa Monica Pier in the first song ("Stay Awhile"), the road trip song, "California Ride," the title track with its Eastern, Central, and Pacific Time Zone allusions, the more playful "Do You Remember Me," the word-painting storytelling of "Warren and Whitney" and "Child Support Trips," to the observations of Los Angeles in the final song, "Boulevard," which has elements of reggae on this Americana/folk record and even has Lloyd Maines singing harmony vocals, something he has only done for artists with whom he has worked for many years, such as Joe Ely, Terry Allen, and Terri Hendrix. The songwriting combined with the masterful yet minimal production makes this album an engaging listen from start to finish.
Gigi Love writes songs from her travels, about people and places she has experienced and that have inspired her. She takes listeners on a musical journey through life and nature.
Born in Texas, Love began playing the guitar and singing at age seven. She moved to Pennsylvania and was a young performer in the Bucks County Bandstand, then moved back to Texas to play at major venues around the state. Gigi lives in Utah. Since 2016 she has performed in the National Parks across the nation, playing her songs from National Parks Centennial Songs album. Gigi was named the first Trails & Rails Troubadour with the National Park Service and Amtrak. She performed her national parks songs on long-distance Amtrak trains. Love continues to play in national parks and monuments including a 2019 appearance at the Grand Canyon for its 100th Anniversary. Gigi sings for wilderness and the environment. Her album Listen to the Red Rock is a call to listen, act & protect this precious land.
“LISTEN TO THE RED ROCK is a beautiful compilation of songs inspired by the wild and expansive landscape of Utah’s Red Rock wilderness region. The album brings together a number of award-winning folk, Americana, and bluegrass artists; Anke Summerhill, Cosy Sheridan, Gigi Love, Kate MacLeod, Leraine Horstmanshoff, Marv Hamilton, and Meander Cat, who have donated their songs in passionate support of the passage of America's Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA). Topics range from songs that exalt the beauty and majesty of these lands to poignant, heartfelt reminders of how cheaply we give away our greatest treasures, and songs about the fight to preserve them amidst great pressures. Gigi’s hope is that listeners will feel inspired by the message and will petition their senators and representatives nationwide to support this bill.”
Harriet Reynolds is an award-winning singer songwriter who knows her way around the music industry. She has performed on stages from coast to coast for over two decades and continues to draw a crowd of faithful fans every time she picks up her guitar and walks on stage.
Her music is carefully crafted to entertain and elicit emotion with her compelling melodies, rhythms, and lyrics that she crafts and delivers straight from the heart. Her music has been described as Americana and folk and pop—she works across the gamut. And as she always says, a good song is a good song, as long as it connects with the listener.
She loves the exchange of energy with the audience and all those who hear her—online or in person—leave uplifted and engaged in a mutual admiration society.
Harriet’s fourth original album Ready For A Change has been recently released to great acclaim. She will be touring with a series of in-person concerts in the fall of this year and well into the spring of 2023, and she is so excited to be back out on the trail again.
In addition to her upcoming live performances, she appears on Tuesdays at 5pm Central on Facebook for the online show she created during the pandemic. Harriet’s Happy Hour has aired for more than 90 performances to date.
You can find her latest album, as well as the previous three, on all the major online outlets. And of course, you can find her on Spotify, Pandora and all your favorite streaming sites, and you can find her many merch items on www.harrietreynoldsmusic.com
For venue or house concert bookings, custom song creations, or other info about Harriet and what she is up to, you can find her at www.harrietreynolds.com
Joe Jencks sings with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel. A 25-year veteran of the international Folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter and celebrated vocalist based in the Chicago area, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove, and grit. Jencks has penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant Lady of The Harbor. Joe is a dual US-Irish citizen and has served as a Cultural Ambassador with the U.S. State Department.
In August of 2022, Jencks released his 17th recording, The Coming of the Years, an album that stands firmly in the modern Celtic traditions and is still quintessentially a Joe Jencks record. Centered around songs Jencks wrote while on tour in Ireland over a 12-year period, this album emerges as a synergistic blend of past and present merging with themes of immigration spanning multiple generations. The album is already being received with critical acclaim. Jencks’ 2017 CD Poets, Philosophers, Workers, and Wanderers earned #1 Artist, #1 Album, and #1 Song on the North American Folk DJ Chart as well as spending several weeks at #1 on the SIRIUS XM Americana Chart. In addition to his work as a touring performer, songwriter, and producer, Jencks leads songwriting workshops with diverse communities from Military Veterans to School Children. Jencks is also a grant recipient from the Archives of American Folk Music at The Library of Congress. From Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center to Festivals across the US and Canada, Joe Jencks has become a fan favorite throughout North America and beyond.
JOHN DILLON is a singer/songwriter in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. His recent album HOPE ROAD - from Addiction to Recovery chronicles his life journey from recreational drug use in the ‘60s to full-blown cocaine addiction in the ‘80s. His recovery began in 1992 at a treatment center in Pennsylvania.
Through the release of HOPE ROAD and ongoing live performances, he aims to raise awareness of the disease of addiction and the hope of recovery.
During the 1960s hippie movement, the mind-altering substances were part of the culture, part of the adventure. For three days in August of 1969, John soaked up the music, the mud and the vibe at Woodstock, and a few months later decided to drop out of college to get a ‘real’ education. Sacramento to Cheyenne brings to life his years of traveling the country via thumb and freight train… before the drugs and alcohol turned against him.
John settled in a New Mexico new age spiritual community, where he didn’t drink or use drugs for 8 years. When his marriage broke up and he left the group, the drugs and alcohol returned.
Years later and re-married, he found himself leading The Double Life, one while he was on the road for work, and the other while he was home with his wife and kids. John’s Addiction reached a point where he could no longer get through a day without using. The inner torture became a War (written by his son, Jackson).
In White Flag, John recalls a ‘divine intervention’ in the form of a run-in with the law. His true recovery journey began at an addiction treatment center in 1992 getting The Help I Need. His cover of John Hiatt’s Thirty Years of Tears describes the rehab experience.
Subsequent songs on the album show how John has maintained sobriety and spiritual growth through working a 12-step program, Learning to Serve and much Gratitude. Chesapeake Bay acknowledges that even in sobriety, life can present serious family challenges. BYOG refers to one of the tenets of 12-step recovery, that it’s a spiritual program, and it doesn’t matter what your religion (or lack of one) is. The album closes with the title song Hope Road, which offers encouragement to listeners by describing what's possible in a sober life.
John is recognized for his work as producer and co-host (along with his wife Vivian Nesbitt) of Art of the Song a one-hour program about songwriting and creativity heard across America on over 100 public radio stations. He is musical director and guitarist to support Vivian’s acting as they tour Si Kahn’s musical, Mother Jones in Heaven. John’s book The 20-20 Creativity Solution gives readers a step-by-step process to enhance their creativity. As a luthier, John has built over 80 custom guitars for the likes of Hank Williams, Jr., Trisha Yearwood, the Mavericks, Tish Hinojosa and Steve Earle.
John lives on a farm in upstate New York with his wife Vivian, her mother, two dogs, two horses and lots of guitars.
J. W. McClure mixes humor, heart and a deep poetic sensibility with sweet tenor vocals and nimble-fingered guitar in his songs, influenced by folk, country, blues, jazz and early pop styles, and honed over decades in the classic folk circuit of coffee houses, bars, festivals and concert venues. His tunes evoke a world both mundane and subtly spiritual, mordant but hopeful, and always splashed with wry humor and only slightly self-mocking optimism. In his recorded efforts, J. W. is joined by long-time collaborator and extreme multi-instrumentalist Thaddeus Spae on guitarron, harmonica, guitar, keyboards, trombone and more, as well as other musical guests adding long-distance accompaniments. We have three albums that are current: Family History, Interpretations of Jimmie Rodgers, andCowboys on the Skyline. I have earlier stuff that shows up now and then. The Jimmie Rodgers stuff is no accident as I have always tossed that inwith some antique classics onall my shows
A classically trained musician with a love for great songwriting, Roxi Copland’s innovative sound is forged at the crossroads of Americana, roots, and jazz. From her confessions that “the things I speak aloud might hurt the ones I love” to professing seductively “I prefer my arms with yours entwined,” the five songs that make up her I Come From Crazy EP reveal an artist unafraid to divulge her shortcomings, frustrations, and desires.
“It took a while for me to be self-confident enough to write a song without complex chords in it,” she recalls, referencing her previous life as a singing pianist in jazz clubs. “I noticed that what I really loved as a kid were songs that told stories, and a lot of those were country and Americana … my songwriting started to have more of a tilt towards that direction.” Throughout the EP, Copland’s sultry vocals are framed by country-tinged instrumentation from a stellar lineup of some of Austin’s finest. The resulting sound is akin to a rowdier, rootsier Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot.
Lead single “Daddy Don’t Do Politics,” which has earned accolades from both the International Songwriting Competition (2020 Semi-Finalist, Folk/Singer-Songwriter category) and the Great American Song Contest (2021 Finalist, Folk / Americana category), might be the most timely of all the tracks on the EP. In just over two minutes, it offers up a succinct summation of that moment when a father gets a lesson in privilege from his more progressive daughter. “He didn’t appreciate me pointing out that he had a huge head start in life, and I didn’t appreciate him willfully ignoring a massive amount of privilege. So I got a little passive-aggressive and wrote this song and admittedly had a lot of fun while doing it,” Copland recalls.
Looking for an escape of sorts during the pandemic, Copland says she steered her efforts towards simply having fun with music, centering the storytelling, and looking internally to family dynamics for inspiration. “I was focusing on telling a story, whether it was funny, sarcastic, or getting a political dig in, and trying to write to that story rather than coming up with a song and then writing a story to fit.”
When almost all of her gigs fell off the calendar due to Covid, most of her income did as well. Serendipitously, Copland noticed that Douglas, an award-winning producer/engineer, had also lost all his bookings and was offering a “pay what you can” option for time at his King Electric Recording studio in Austin. Having worked with a massive list of artists that span every genre imaginable, from Celine Dion to Jimmy LaFave, Douglas proved to be the perfect guiding hand for putting Copland’s self-reflective musings to tape, and the EP came together very quickly. It didn’t hurt that Copland came in with a solid sense of direction in terms of how she wanted things to sound; “I knew 90% of what I wanted on every song before I went in there,” she explains. “When I took it to Justin, he added these interesting touches that I don’t think I would have come up with.”
The EP closes with one of the most well-known of all traditional folk songs, “House of the Rising Sun.” As Copland details, she crafted an arrangement that harkens back to the lesser-known original version. “It was initially written for a woman to sing, which changes the meaning of the lyrics from the Animals’ arrangement that most folks are familiar with—about a guy that apparently just can’t stop visiting a New Orleans brothel. The original version is about the sex worker herself, and my arrangement goes back to that.” The resulting darker, more dissonant take is the perfect showcase for Copland’s most unique strengths, her ability to play with tradition and give it her own stamp, one of equal parts confidence and wit, and one that will have you returning to I Come From Crazy again and again.
Whether in a cinematic crescendo of all-consuming sound or in a quiet soliloquy of only voice and guitar, Ever More Nest allows audiences to wade deep into the waters of their humanness or stay safely ashore, where the rhythm of waves—the steady rock and roll—bring contentedness and joy. Featuring songs written both before and during the pandemic, Ever More Nest’s newest release Out Here Now (August 19, 2022) builds upon the immersive sounds and themes of its predecessor with textures, tones, and lyricism that delve deep into what makes us human. Produced by Neilson Hubbard, the album is a “journey to and celebration of the soul that lends itself well to the active-listeners, dreamers, travelers and seekers,” according to songwriter Kelcy Wilburn. A native of North Louisiana, Ever More Nest’s Kelcy Wilburn (“Kelcy Mae”) was equally influenced by the gospel, country, and blues of her Bible Belt hometown as she was by the emotional rawness of the artists that consumed her generation: The Cranberries, Counting Crows, Tori Amos, Radiohead, et al. At 18, she moved to New Orleans, where open-mindedness and acceptance gave her the freedom to be herself and to find her voice. As a student of creative writing, she fostered a love of language evident across her early releases as Kelcy Mae and across Ever More Nest’s debut and sophomore albums. Also produced by Neilson Hubbard, the Ever More Nest debut (The Place That You Call Home, 2018), was nominated for Best Alt-Country Album in the Independent Music Awards and its single, “Major Tom,” named a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and Unsigned Only Music Competition. Following its release, Wilburn and her cadre of accomplished New Orleans musicians graced a variety of stages across the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast United States, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee’s Summerfest music festival, and listening rooms across the country. Inspiration for the band name “Ever More Nest” came from a line in a poem by Mary Ann Samyn, which Wilburn found striking in its ability to evoke both a nostalgia for and discomfort with place. The Place That You Call Home is likewise obsessed with the idea of place and poses the universal question: “Just where do I belong?” According to Folk Radio UK, “The answer is clearly in any discerning Americana CD collection.”
Apple & Setser (Brad Apple & Pam Setser,) officially a duo since 2017, have played music together on and off for 30 years and have similar performing backgrounds in their respective family bands. Both musicians grew up playing music at the Ozark Folk Center and traveling the region performing separately. The duo regularly performs at the Mountain View Meeting Place in Mountain View, Arkansas, and travels the road to play shows and promote their music throughout the area. Apple & Setser were nominated for Best Acoustic Act for the 2022 Arkansas Country Music Awards. Apple & Setser's self-titled debut album APPLE & SETSER is a collection of new originals, classic favorites and lesser-known traditional songs that take us on a nostalgic visit to that past when songs told stories that touched our hearts and memories. The album takes us on a journey back in time with foot-stomping songs, fond thoughts of family and friends but also digs deeper into our souls with a few songs about lost love. Brad Apple and Pam Setser capture our hearts by producing an album chock full of the sweet sounds of acoustic stringed instruments and the flavor of Mountainview, Arkansas, featuring notable and award-winning bluegrass and gospel guest musicians David Johnson, Tim Crouch and Danny Crawford. Golden-voiced singer and multi-instrumentalist Pam Setser, based in Mountain View, Arkansas, was nominated for Americana Artist of the Year for the 2021 Arkansas Country Music Awards. The folk/bluegrass/country singer and musician was part of her family's band (The Simmons Family Band) for 16 years. Her experiences included appearing on Hee Haw and performing for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Pam has performed at the Ozark Folk Center since 1973. She also had the honor of sharing the stage with Grandpa Jones, Ramona Jones, The Whites, and Joni Bishop. Pam also performs with the Pam Setser Band, Apple & Setser, and the Ozark Granny Chicks, an old-time string band quartet. Pam plays autoharp, mountain dulcimer, guitar (left-handed!), upright bass, and spoons. Pam's discography includes four albums with "The Simmons Family Band," five mountain dulcimer albums with her mom Jean Jennings, and three solo albums; At Last, Crooked Ridge (familiar tunes), and her most recent release on the Bell Buckle Records label, Now (primarily originals, an Americana mix of folk, bluegrass, gospel, 1930s swing, and country.) Brad Apple is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter with a smooth, expressive and commanding voice suited to folk, country and bluegrass. His original songs have been recorded by Auldridge, Bennett & Gaudreau, and the former members of J.D. Crowe and the New South, known as Flashback. Brad's Acoustic Music Talk podcast featuring interviews with artists and discussions about all facets of acoustic music, was nominated for Best Publication/Podcast for the 2022 Arkansas Country Music Awards. Brad played in his family band for many years and regularly performed at regional bluegrass festivals and the Ozark Folk Center State Park. His family ran The Apple Family Bluegrass Festival from 1979 to 1984. Brad was the audio mastering engineer at Raney Recording Studio in Drasco, Arkansas, for 10 years. Today, he has a recording studio where he records and masters his own projects and for other artists.
“Arielle Silver is a born communicator... exudes intelligence and humanity.” – MUSIC CONNECTION (Hot Unsigned Artists / Top Prospects)
Arielle Silver is a consummate storyteller whose rich, expressive voice and acoustic guitar frame expansive melodies that echo her tours and travels across the American heartland. The daughter of a guitar-strumming architect and a bookworm religious educator, Arielle was raised on folk festival fields and synagogue pews, in woodsy and watery places up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. She moved to Boston for college, where she studied classical and renaissance woodwinds, and moonlighted as a folksinging busker in Harvard Square.
Now based in Southern California, Arielle lives just a traffic jam away from the Pacific Ocean. After a decade break from performing music to focus on creative writing and Eastern philosophy, her fourth album, A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES (2020), is luminous, literate, and alive, with songs that crosscut exacting details of the seismic heartbreaks of ordinary life. Recognized in numerous songwriting contests, the album has been heard regularly on tastemaker station 88.5FM (KCSN Los Angeles), was a New Discovery in American Songwriter, and a 2020 Top 10 Albums in Americana Highways.
Arielle currently serves as Secretary for Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) Board of Directors. She teaches Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles and for the International Women's Writing Guild, is producer and host of the podcast Tomes & Tunes, and co-owns Bhavana Flow Yoga, where she teaches daily Zoom yoga and leads retreats with her sweetheart, the composer/songwriter Darby Orr.
She loves pie.
A pure-voiced poet and a dulcimer wizard weave their voices and instruments into a rich, harmony-driven sound that is fresh and innovative. Intricate arrangements, harmonies “so tight, they pulse” (Mary Cliff—WAMU-FM), comic repartee, a repertoire ranging from critically-acclaimed originals and contemporary songs, to finger-dancing instrumentals and unexpected covers---these are the hallmarks of every Jubilant Bridge performance. Vox Populi winner at the Independent Music Awards and two-time finalist for Best Group/Duo in the International Acoustic Music Awards, Jubilant Bridge comes from a rich aural tradition, but surprises audiences with counter melodies, changing time signatures, and well-chosen dissonance. The duo’s instruments go beyond simple accompaniment; the arrangements and the songs themselves are meshed. They use the vocabulary, but step outside of the conventions, of folk, rock, and pop---not simply stitching together genres, but folding the seams under. Every song becomes their own.
Vocalist and guitarist Carol Van Alstine provides Jubilant Bridge with most of its distinctive original songs. She comes to songwriting by way of poetry. Often inspired by dreams, and musical and lyrical phrases that take her unexpected places, her emotionally wise songs depict states of mind and heart and the conflicts between them. Her awards include the BMI Songwriter Award for her song “Power Lines,” as well as Silver in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, one of the longest-running song competitions in the nation, and several Honorable Mentions in the Billboard World Song Contest. With a voice that has been described as “striking,” “ethereal,” and “far purer than Michael Jackson’s fondness for gloves,” she is often asked after a show, “How does such a big voice come out of such a small person?” Her musical experiences range from performing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to singing soprano in Renaissance choirs.
Mountain dulcimer wizard and vocalist Willie Jaeger takes what is often thought of as a “simple” folk instrument and discovers its complexity. He strums, he fingerpicks, he flatpicks, he plays lead, and he even experiments with electric dulcimer. His unique style of playing, and his popularity as a teacher at the renowned Swallow Hill School of Music, inspired Westword, Denver’s alternative weekly, to vote him Denver’s “Best Local Folkie.” He won Silver in the national mountain dulcimer championship at Winfield, Kansas, has been a finalist twice for Best Instrumental in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, and won a Gold Medal for Best Original Instrumental Composition at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. An engaging singer with a lyrical baritone, he also plays hammered dulcimer and guitar, and composes instrumentals and the occasional song.
Carol and Willie have six recordings. Their latest , “A Bell A Bird A Star,” called “a gem of a Christmas album” by Significato Journal, achieved #7 on the Folk DJ charts. It consists of beautiful songs of the Christmas season by 20th-century composers, some based on medieval texts; traditional carols in several languages; and Latin pieces. Many of the songs are not often heard except by choral ensembles, but here, they are intricately arranged for two voices, guitar, and dulcimer. Gracing the collection are several original songs and instrumentals, including the title track, for which Carol was a finalist in both the Grassy Hill Songwriting and SongDoor competitions. The duo’s five previous recordings include “Power Lines,” in which Victory Music Review found “an amazing level of melodic richness and complex songwriting,” and the songs “musical and lyrical tapestries that can be surprisingly deep and poetic.”; “Happenstance”; “Under Shattered Skies” (which Victory Music Review proclaimed “a rich aural feast”); “Another Run At the Mountain”; and “Crazy Like The Wind.”
In a country that loves its Celtic music, it’s no surprise that Vancouver’s Pat Chessell has become known as one of the most exciting roots artists in Western Canada. Pat’s rootsy vocal style, charismatic stage presence and expert musicianship (guitar) are making for an ever-growing audience of enthusiastic fans. While his mostly original music falls solidly under the broad umbrella of ‘Celtic’, Pat’s range is prodigious and eclectic. It’s been variously described as straight-ahead “folk”, “upbeat Celtic influenced Canadian folk/pop”, and “moving mid-and-up-tempo contemporary Celtic”, among other labels. His tunes have also, on occasion, known to be tinged with Americana influences. But, to cut to the chase, it’s all Pat’s music. Its music played and performed, and often written, in Pat’s distinctive and unique voice; strongly rooted in the Celtic tradition, but with an open-hearted connection to the place he calls home and the modern world around him. His lyrics are at turns profound – or witty and high-spirited – but always dynamic and relatable.
Curtis & Loretta’s music comes straight from the heart. The husband and wife duo’s extraordinary harmonies and proficiency on a parade of stringed instruments create an alluring frame for their poignant original songs. The current menagerie includes folk harp, mandocello, guitars, clawhammer banjo, and National steel ukulele, plus a bit of kazoo, harmonica, and shakers. Based in Minneapolis, the folk singer-songwriter duo racks up countless miles each year, criss-crossing the U.S., to play for their loyal following. Curtis Teague’s down-home sense of humor and Loretta Simonet’s theater background engage the audience in an experience that runs the gamut of rolling with laughter to holding back tears, with plenty of side-trips in between. Their latest CD, When There’s Good to Be Done, is all songs Loretta wrote about real-life people who overcame great challenges in their lives. Minnesota Bluegrass said, “These are amazing stories - and each song is more powerful than the last... Instrumentally, the pair are a folkie power duo. Capable of double-digitry, they limit themselves to a half dozen instruments on When There’s Good to Be Done.” They were awarded a Creative Support for Individuals Grant in 2022, Arts Tour Minnesota Grants in 2018 and 2010, and an Artist Initiative Grant in 2015, all from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and were named Best Acoustic Performers of the Twin Cities by City Pages. Their CDs have appeared on “Top Albums of the Year” at folkradio.org, and they’ve received several nominations for “Best Acoustic Folk Artist” for the Minnesota Music Awards. They’ve released nine recordings, and shared billings with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Holly Near, Vassar Clements, Claudia Schmidt, and many more! Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet are married (to each other!), and live in Minneapolis. “Known simply as Curtis and Loretta to most folks, the husband and wife duo of Curtis Teague and Loretta Simonet has been making vital and lovely music together for some three decades. With their brilliant, self- penned odes, these two take music and give it space to hang out for you to enjoy. Accompanied by an array of instruments including but not limited to Celtic harp, mandocello, mandolin, guitars, clawhammer banjo and National steel ukulele, plus a touch of kazoo, harmonica and shakers, they blend humor and realism in a poignant performance of super-duper stuff.” ... Tom Irwin, Illinois Times Curtis and Loretta are in many ways the quintessential folk duo: finely honed vocal harmonies of multidimensional intrigue, abundant talent on an array of stringed instruments, deep traditional roots, great originals, and equally strong strains of gravity and playful irreverence. Loretta's remarkable originals are often certifiable tearjerkers, tackling, for instance, the ravages of Alzheimer's and the story of a concentration camp heroine. Loretta pulls it off by sidestepping melodrama in favor of eloquent writing and clear-eyed journalistic detail. It's both musically riveting and spiritually invigorating.” ... Rick Mason, City Pages “The duo sings beautifully.....The singing is robust and the accompaniment of mandocello and Celtic harp very lovely.” ... Tom Druckenmiller, SingOut! "Keeping the modern folk tradition alive.” ... Frank Gutch, No Depression
With her po8werful voice, captivating melodies and finely-crafted lyrics, Susan Cattaneo is one of Boston’s most respected singer/songwriters. A compelling performer and vivid storyteller, Susan’s music blends folk, rock and blues with hint of country. Call it New England Americana.
Following up on the success of her chart-topping double album. The Hammer & The Heart, Susan Cattaneo is releasing All is Quiet in April of 2022. Susan is known for her lyric and melodic craft, and for this project, she brought her mastery to a quieter place. Embracing simplicity and vulnerability, the nine songs on All is Quiet speak to the personal nature of loss, relationships and hope for the future. All is Quiet was recorded remotely during 2020 and features the beautiful guitar work of national talents, Kevin Barry and Duke Levine and was co-produced with Lorne Entress.
Critics, audiences, and fellow artists have instantly connected with the personal nature of Susan’s songs. Susan is a three-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist (2020, 2018, 2015) and a three-time nominee for Best Americana Artist at the Boston Music Awards (2020, 2019, 2018). Susan won the 2018 CT folk Festival, and has been a finalist or winner at some of the country’s most prestigious songwriting and music contests including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Philadelphia Songwriters Project, the Wildflower Festival, the IndeFollowing up on the success of her chart-topping double album. The Hammer & The Heart, Susan Cattaneo is releasing All is Quiet in April of 2022. Susan is known for her lyric and melodic craft, and for this project, she brought her mastery to a quieter place. Embracing simplicity and vulnerability, the nine songs on All is Quiet speak to the personal nature of loss, relationships and hope for the future. All is Quiet was recorded remotely during 2020 and features the beautiful guitar work of national talents, Kevin Critics, audiences, and fellow artists have instantly connected with the personal nature of Susan’s songs. Susan is a three-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist (2020, 2018, 2015) and a three-time nominee for Best Americana Artist at the Boston Music Awards (2020, 2019, 2018). Susan won the 2018 CT folk Festival, and has been a finalist or winner at some of the country’s most prestigious songwriting and music contests including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Philadelphia Songwriters Project, the Wildflower Festival, the IndeFollowing up on the success of her chart-topping double album. The Hammer & The Heart, Susan Cattaneo is releasing All is Quiet in April of 2022. Susan is known for her lyric and melodic craft, and for this project, she brought her mastery to a quieter place. Embracing simplicity and vulnerability, the nine songs on All is Quiet speak to the personal nature of loss, relationships and hope for the future. All is Quiet was recorded remotely during 2020 and features the beautiful guitar work of national talents, Kevin Barry and Duke Levine and was co-produced with Lorne Entress. pendent Music Awards, the International Acoustic Music Awards, 5 Unsigned Only, the USA Songwriting Competition, the Mountain Stage New Song Contest and the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Her last album The Hammer and The Heart charted #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and yielded a #1 song on folk radio and a top 10 album of 2017. Susan is also an in-demand educator and collaborator. As a Songwriting Professor at the Berklee College of Music for the past 20 years, Susan has helped students work on over 15,000 songs in all musical genres and styles and mentored over 2,000 artists.
Deidre McCalla doesn’t merely take the stage - she owns it. Her songs embody hope and celebration, struggle, loss, and longing - sometimes all in one song! A dreadlocked singer-songwriter-guitarist for close to five decades Deidre McCalla, Black woman, mother, lesbian, feminist, has long been in the forefront of the growing number of Black musicians reconfiguring perception of how Black folk do folk. With five independent albums to her credit, including her most recent release Endless Grace, Deidre McCalla has touched audiences from Maui to Maine, church basements and college coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall. Her music taps a variety of musical styles with Deidre’s vocal the connecting thread drawing the listener in with rich warmth and a feather-light depth. Deidre McCalla’s powerful songwriting exhibits an unyieldingly honest perspective grounded in her life and expressed with a simple and direct lyric touch that fearlessly celebrates the power and diversity of the human spirit. The Austin-American Statesmen cites Deidre as “...a highly distinctive voice in a crowded field of contemporary folk music" and Sing Out Magazine lauds her CD, Playing for Keeps, as a work of "power, conviction and grace.” Deidre McCalla's first Olivia Records album Don’t Doubt It is listed as one of 25 Classic Women’s Music Albums by Ms Magazine. In 2021 Deidre received a SERFA Award from the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance for distinguished service and exceptional contributions to folk music in the Southeast region of Folk Alliance International. Deidre McCalla came of age in the fiery blaze of NYC's folk heyday - a time when Greenwich Village clubs were filled with the likes of Dylan, Baez, and Ochs; a time when Motown ruled the top of the charts and the streets of America screamed with anger and civil unrest. Her first album, Fur Coats and Blue Jeans, was released on Roulette Records when Deidre was 19 and a student at Vassar College. With a theater degree tucked under her belt and an acoustic guitar tossed in the back of a battered Buick station wagon, Deidre McCalla hit the proverbial road and never looked back. Deidre later majored in jazz guitar at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and released three albums with the pioneering women's music label Olivia Records. A much beloved performer in both folk and women's music circles, Deidre McCalla has shared the stage with a long list of notables that includes Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Holly Near, Odetta, Cris Williamson, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. She has taught Performance at Warren Wilson College's Swannanoa Gathering, and songwriting at Common Ground on the Hill. Deidre's work has been published in Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, The Original Coming Out Stories, and Chrysalis: A Feminist Quarterly, and she is featured in The Power of Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader. Deidre is a proud member of AFM Local 1000 and the North American Folk Alliance
Rissi Palmer's gift lies in reaching across all musical boundaries. While she made her mark in Country Music, she is equally at home in R&B music, bringing the entire spectrum of popular music to bear on music she calls “Southern Soul.”
The daughter of Georgia natives, Rissi was born near Pittsburgh, PA and spent her adolescent years in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in a musical family that loved both country and R&B, Rissi was a part of a singing and dancing troupe sponsored by a local television station at age 16, and by the time she was 19 years old, she had already been offered her first publishing and label deal.
In 2007, she released her debut album Rissi Palmer, charting singles, “Country Girl,” “Hold On To Me,” and “No Air.” Since then, Rissi has independently released a Christmas single, her first children’s album, Best Day Ever and an EP titled The Back Porch Sessions. Her most recent album, Revival, was released in 2019 and has been critically hailed as her most personal and uplifting work to date.
A few highlights throughout her musical career include performances at The White House, New York's Lincoln Center and multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. She has toured extensively across the country, sharing stages with Taylor Swift, The Eagles, Chris Young, Charley Crockett and many more. Rissi has also made numerous national appearances on Oprah & Friends, CMT Insider, CNN, CBS This Morning, GMA, Entertainment Tonight, and FOX Soul's "The Book of Sean and has been featured in Associated Press, Ebony, Essence, Huffington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, NPR's "All Things Considered," PEOPLE, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, to name a few. As a passionate voice for country artists of color and those who have been marginalized in mainstream country music, Rissi launched her own radio show Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer on Apple Music Country. Since making its debut in August 2020, listeners have been treated to in-depth and riveting, often funny, yet very necessary conversations with Brittney Spencer, Cam, Chapel Hart, Crystal Shawanda, Maren Morris, Miko Marks The War and Treaty, Darius Rucker and Mickey Guyton and author/journalist Andrea Williams. Fans can tune-in live to Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer every other Sunday on Apple Music Country at 4pP/7pE. To watch previous episode on-demand, click HERE. In conjunction with her radio show, Rissi created the Color Me Country Artist Grant Fund designed to support new country artists of color who are just beginning to build their music careers. Rissi is also a Special Correspondent for CMT's Hot 20 Countdown. The weekly series airs Saturdays and Sundays on CMT at 9a/8c and features chart-topping music videos, news stories, live performances and candid interviews from country’s biggest stars.
Since meeting at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1991, Mark Viator & Susan Maxey have been on a musical journey through the clubs and venues of Austin and across Texas, through the Rocky Mountains, the American West, and Louisiana. Along the way they’ve succeeded in drawing from their divergent musical backgrounds. For Mark, it's the rhythms of his Cajun origins, country blues, singer-songwriters, and for Susan, classic country twang and Texas storytellers. Somehow, they have succeeded in developing a sound that is both roots driven and original. They incubated their approach by playing and singing with such Austin artists as Jim Stringer, Slaid Cleaves, Jane Gillman, Marce Lacouture, Steven Fromholz, Bobby Bridger, the Flying A’s, and many others, developing their craft and paying their dues. Mark and Susan’s songwriting is a poetic extension of the lives they lead. Listen closely and you can hear the questions that haunt them, the people and landscapes that inspire them. Their songs are full of emotion and heart, as they question the greater purpose of their paths. Musically and lyrically their songs are full of life and energy. Mark’s guitar playing, especially his slide work, has gotten him recognition through the years. Susan’s voice has been called “one of Austin’s unsung treasures.” Their most recent record, Where the Road Leads, was released in 2020. “Mark and Susan have a rare ability to bring the listener into their musical world. With a mix of Louisiana and Texas music, their southern soul makes the music shine.” – Mike Penard, Radio ISA, France “Mark Viator & Susan Maxey have put out a string of quality albums over the years. Their latest, “Where the Road Leads,” is full of heartfelt, homespun songs with Texas twang and Cajun spice, inviting and satisfying – like a great meal with friends.” — Slaid Cleaves, Recording Artist
Twin Kennedy is a Nashville-based identical twin country/roots duo originally from the small town of Powell River, BC in Canada. With Carli on guitar and vocals and Julie on fiddle and vocals, these sisters have been described as "Nothing Short of Awesome!" (Cashbox Magazine). Twin Kennedy’s acoustic show has been a hit across North America, and the twins were recently honored as Distinguished Alumni at the University of Victoria. 3-time CCMA nominee, VIMA winner, and Grand Prize Winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Twin Kennedy is known for their sibling harmonies, heartfelt songwriting and high energy show that blends their classical training with their country roots.
Most recently, Twin Kennedy released their album “Homebound”, which was featured by media across North America including Billboard, The Country Network, The Bluegrass Situation and CMT. Their single "Wise Woman" won the East Coast Music Award and MusicNL Award for Video of the Year. In the words of the Nashville Examiner, “Twin Kennedy is 100% made for the stage and made to entertain!”
Steve Madewell has been a working musician for more than fifty years.
He has performed throughout Ohio with destination shows in multiple states and several other countries.
He also enjoyed a career in the public sector working for regional park systems where he supervised and directed a host of park operations including land acquisition and environmental education. He has worked on the development of dozens of park facilities and been involved with the permanent protection of thousands of acres of open space.
While still actively engaged with conservation organizations he concluded a remarkable conservation career to focus on writing, recording, and performing music.
Steve’s songs have a deeply personal edge to them. He uses music as a tool to celebrate his appreciation of nature. His songs frequently feature a story set in a well described landscape or place. This gives the listener a sense that they are visiting the setting through the music.
He has three solo albums, Rivers and Trails, Arrow Creek, and Hometown Blues.
Hometown Blues was released in October 2021 and is being played on and in rotation of dozens of folk radio stations across the US, Canada, and the UK.
Sue Horowitz is a singer-songwriter with a story to tell. She currently splits her time between Ithaca, NY and York Beach, ME and loves living by the water. She grew up in New Rochelle, NY. In her past lives, she has worked as director, instructor and consultant in the field of Speech Language Pathology, been a religious school director, youth worker and song leader, worked in special education, taught guitar, and volunteered in her community. Sue is married to Rob, an oncologist and hospice physician, has 2 wonderful grown children with awesome partners, and is a serial owner of labrador retrievers. Although she was always involved in performing and leading music and singing, Sue became a late bloomer in composing, in her 40s. Sue has released 3 Jewish spiritual albums, "Eleven Doors Open" (2016-recorded in Boston), "In the Water" (2010- recorded in Nashville), and "The Power and the Blessing" (2013-recorded in Nashville). Sue has a wonderfully successful career in the Jewish worshop community, which she describes as "the best job ever". Over the last 15 year, she has been an artist in residence at communities, homes, and conferences throught the country. Her music has been published in many resources such as "Songs of Jewish Protest", "Ruach", "CCar Hagaddah", "Manginot" and "WCN Women's Voices" She was honored to be chosen as the Women Cantor's Network 2021 song commision of the year. Sue is a regular on Jewish Rock Radio, and other Jewish music radio shows. The founder and creator of the Jewish Songwriting Cooperative retreat, now in it's 5th year, Sue loves to lead songwriting workshops and retreats. Several years ago, after attending several song writing retreats herself, Sue released her first Folk/America album "Notes From The Garrison" (2016- recorded in Boston). Following that release, she was a featured performer at the DJ Choice Showcase at her first NERFA conference. Sue has just released her 2nd Folk/American album, her 5th CD of original music. "Strings, Wings and Curious Things", debuted at # 3 on the Folk Radio charts, her single "January" charted at #4, and she charted as an artist at #4. She hopes to continue touring and adding more folk concerts to her schedule. Christine Lavin said, "This is one first-rate songwriter". Stacy Beyer noted, " Sue is the songwriter that writes songs every other songwriter wishes they had written.” Her authentic, intimate, clear strong voice and guitar playing compliment her wise narrative songwriting. Sue is honored to be a featured recording artist on the Hootenanny Cafe!
The Rough & Tumble are as easy to detect as a stray dog on your doorstep-- and as difficult to send home. The dumpster-folk, thriftstore-Americana duo, consisting of Mallory Graham & Scott Tyler and their menagerie of classic folk and homemade instruments, have been hobbling around the country in their 16ft camper with their two dogs since 2015, taking their songs to the far corners of the US and to the weird little towns they pass along the way. Love Is Gross...but it looks good on you, the newest collection of songs by The Rough & Tumble is a "fun project of kinda, sorta love songs" released February 11th, just in time for Valentine's Day. This comes on the heels of We're Only Family If You Say So, the 2021 album about what it means to be family, and what it means to lose it. With singles debuting on American Songwriter, The Bluegrass Situation and Grateful Web referring to the album as "a must listen," it has been embraced by fans for its stark honesty, unique storytelling and well-crafted melodies, especially at a time when families are deeply divided. With any luck, The Rough & Tumble will be traveling to a city near you in 2022.
Joe DeFlorio is a singer-songwriter, guitarist originally from New York and currently residing in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Joe is a member of Nashville Songwriters Association, selected as "one to watch "for his song "Died and Went to Heaven". Joe has had several cuts published by major labels, Atlantic, BMG and J Records including "She's My Only Vice " “He’s Me Now” and "Mickey Mantle Days", featured and played in Yankee Stadium on Mickey Mantle Day. Joe was a founding member and co-writer for the NY Pedestrians, a popular original 5 piece band in the NY Metro area. He has spent the last few years as guitarist and vocalist in the Tried and True Trio, a popular acoustic vocal group on the Long Island circuit. Now residing in Ocean Isle Beach NC, Joe is fronting 3 Peace, an acoustic trio. Joe has recently released a new 14 song CD ,"Lets Pull Together", available on Spotify and Apple Music under stage name Joe Rio.
I can't imagine anyone in the world who doesn't know of Pete Seeger. Through song, speech and fortitude Pete Seeger inspired so many of the singer songwriters that are played on this show every week. His courage to take on the polluted Hudson River led to the creation and beauty of The Clearwater Sloop that sails up and down the Hudson River every summer to bring notice that the job of keeping the river clean for generations to come is never done. His courageous efforts and activism in the name of peace and civil rights ring true to this day and will continue to do so for years to come "...if we all stick to together".(a quote I often heard Pete say) But through it all, he couldn't have done it all without his incredible wife, Toshi Seeger, at his side. She was an awesome force to be reckoned with and so, this year the Hootenanny Cafe Radio, not only presents it's annual Pete Seeger Birthday show, but also honors Toshi Seeger and what would have been her 100th birthday (July 1). The songs for the Pete Seeger mini concert with selected by their daughter, Tinya Seeger. And the theme that Tinya chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Songs By and About Women (in honor of Toshi Seeger.
Jane Godfrey has been playing the guitar since she was eleven and singing harmonies with her sisters and brothers since further back than memory serves her. Jane was a shy middle child growing up in a household of nine siblings, where music and art were staples whether at home in St. Louis or at the family cabin in Minnesota. Although Jane didn’t realize it at the time, traditions like family sing-alongs and music jams with her siblings were the foundation on which her songwriting imagination was built. Two college degrees and three children later, Jane left her job as an educator of the hearing-impaired and deaf and began pursuing creative interests. She tried her hand at creating educational materials and greeting cards and then began dabbling in songwriting. In an auspicious twist of fate, the magazine “Girl Scout Leaders” arrived in the mail with a back-cover ad for a songwriting contest, so Jane wrote three songs and submitted them. “Thank You Ms Juliette”, a bluegrass tribute to the founder of the Girl Scouts, won the contest and Jane’s recording was included in the GSUSA’s 2000 CD, Sisters Hand in Hand. In the meantime, always the late bloomer, Jane realized she had finally found her calling. Jane’s passion for songwriting grew, prompting road-trips to Nashville where her skills were nurtured by attending songwriting workshops and performing at writers’ showcases, including the Bluebird Café. Her original intention was to write for other artists because standing on stage and performing for others was both dream and nightmare for Jane. But realizing that she needed to overcome her performance anxiety in order to get her songs heard, she hit the open mics. In order to keep herself from giving in to the critics in her head, Jane adopted the philosophy “Do it badly until it’s good!” Jane’s first solo gig coincided with her 50th birthday, and then encouraged by audience requests, she hit the studio bringing in her siblings for instrumental backup, vocal harmonies, and moral support. Jane's 2007 release Choose Beauty is a collection of songs honoring the ordinary and revealing the beauty and little truths in everyday life. It showcases strong melodies in an eclectic mix of folk, rock and a little Western swing. The CD’s final track “Finally Loving Myself” was included along with songs from Paul Williams, Mary Gauthier and Jon Vezner in Gracie Vandiver’s 2008 Prism Award winning CD Trail of Light. Within four years after her debut CD, Jane experienced the loss of her mother, her sister and a close friend. With a heightened awareness of life around her, Jane slowly but steadily worked through her grief with a renewed sense of purpose. Jane dug in and opened further her soul, writing songs around topics that matter deeply to her. The added depth and heart of Jane’s writing is striking in her 2019 release Imagine We Have Wings, where again she called on her siblings for backup instrumentals and harmonies, and produced an album that bears witness to Jane’s love and understanding of the human condition. Jane possesses both a poetic sensibility, influenced by literary songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin; and drawing inspiration from John Prine and Steve Goodman, a knack for storytelling with a subtle sense of humor. Imagine We Have Wings made the top ten in the Folk Alliance International folk chart in September 2020. In October 2020, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Gene Weingarten, posted Jane’s video of one of the album’s songs, “Breakfast” in the Washington Post in his live chat, “Chatological Humor with Gene Weingarten”. Proudly embracing the moniker “Bravest of introverted entertainers”, Jane continues to write and perform in her self-titled genre of "Urban Campfire Cabaret". She performs locally and nationally as a solo artist, as half of the duo “CatBird” with Chicago singer/songwriter Sue Fink, and occasionally with her siblings in “The Murphy Family Band”.
A baby girl was born to parents who loved music. The story goes that she started singing before she could talk.
One day her parents brought home a toy piano. She played it and played it until it grew into a big piano.
It was a special day when a neighbor stopped by, saw the piano, and started playing. The little girl was entranced.
The memory of that music stayed in her heart. When her fingers were strong enough, she began taking lessons.
She devoured the lessons.
Then a guitar came into her home and once again she fell in love.
Always there was song. She sang with the guitar, she sang with the piano. She started singing harmony one day while singing with her Dad. She sang in choruses. She sang in trios.
She wrote her first song when she was seven and kept on writing.
Along the way she picked up other instruments, enjoying the variety of sounds they made, and the songs that appeared when she played them.
When she grew up she sang in coffee houses, at festivals and colleges, and even sang at a world’s fair.
As the years went on, she recorded 6 full-length albums.
She has said “a song doesn’t seem finished to me until it’s shared with others.
She’s loved that her music has touched people’s hearts and souls, and has so enjoyed these words written about her music:
By jove, I think she’s got it! — John Lennon
I discovered your music by complete chance whilst traveling the USA recently. Flicking through the record collection of a friend of a friend and your album 'Harvest' caught our eye, we put it on and were blown away. I listened to it three times over."
Definitely my "Peace for the People Album" of the year. Peace Unending gets my vote for "Anthem of the Year" as well. Womenspirit Rising, Taking You With Me, Full Moonlight Dance and the title are written by Karen Beth. That's why this release shines. Fine, fine songs. Every track is strong (the definition of an OMAR). I hope we hear more from her soon.
"Once you have heard Karen Beth's voice, you know it. It is an indelibly distinctive sound; a sensitive, lilting and rhythmic swing from note to note. Most remarkably, it is stylistically authentic." — Gary Alexander, The Daily Freeman
“Beth is a real musician. She writes songs with melodic interest, and she plays a number of instruments very well. (We heard her on guitar, piano and accordion!) she has a quiet intensity which I found captivating. Variety was the spice of the evening —Les Gerber, The Woodstock Times
And the story continues ...
Carole Wise is a singer/songwriter from Brunswick Maine. Her music is sweet and soulful, drawing on a lifelong passion for education, the beauty of the natural world, and the adventures of finding truth through life's challenges. Her music is also organic - grown and nurtured from the seed of a feeling or a visual. "I do not chase a song," Carole says. Nature is where her spirit thrives and meditative walks are often the source of the seeds - as in the hawk she watched soaring above - that was the seed from New Frontier. Once planted in her mind and heart, Carole gifts it the time to grow.
Cadenza of Freeport, ME states, "Carole is a dedicated, talented singer/songwriter who offers provocative lyrics to encourage us to engage in the world around us. Her style is comfortable and honest. Her musical talent and experience is obvious."
Carole's most recent release "Long Way Home" charted as No. 18 on Folk Radio in November 2021, and keeps moving forward from there. The album was co-produced by Carole Wise and Jud Caswell, and was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jud Caswell of Frog Hollow Studio, Topsham, Maine. Carole’s vocal and acoustic guitar performance is accompanied by a stellar ensemble of Maine musicians: Mike Burd, Denny Breau, David Wakefield, April Reed-Cox and Jud Caswell.
Carole's belief in her creative process flows into all of her creative genres: music, writing, photography, and painting. They are all reflective of her personal relationship to the world, and speak to the universal experiences of humanity. Whether at a music venue, a gallery showing, or a poetry share, Carole's connection to her audience is the performance.
Singer-songwriter pianist Jeffery Straker grew up taking piano lessons in small-town Saskatchewan and has gone on to perform over 100 shows per year across Canada, Europe and Latin America. The rootsy-storytelling of his songs has the power to transport a listener - out onto a lake in Canada’s North or to the main street of a prairie town. A clever lyricist with an energetic approach to the piano, his song writing has drawn critical comparisons to the likes of Harry Chapin, Kris Kristofferson & Billy Joel while maintaining a style distinctly his own. He’s recorded his ROOTS/FOLK music for CBC radio’s ‘Canada Live’, has seen his songs used in film, TV and theatrical productions and in 2019 won a Western Canadian Music Award. Recently he was awarded “Roots/Folk Artist of the Year” at both the 2020 & 2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards.
A musical vagabond, he’s toured internationally as far as The Netherlands, Mexico and Nunavut with tour stops ranging from intimate house concerts to theatre shows and festivals. Never one to let ‘genre’ constrain him he’s also taken the stage in sold-out concerts performing his songs with symphony orchestras. International highlights include winning the prestigious Vina del Mar (Chile) song competition, representing Canada while performing to a festival crowd of 20,000 people and a TV audience of 100,000,000 viewers across the Spanish-speaking world. He also recently performed live on BBC Radio in the UK. Jeffery’s 2017 12-song recording, “Dirt Road Confessional” dove deep into his personal storytelling style and debuted at #5 on the iTunes Canada singer-songwriter charts. It played on CBC Radio and college/community radio across the country with listeners and critics taking note. The Chicago Free Press has written, “Rufus Wainwright, as well as k.d. lang are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list”.
Straker’s most recent full-length album “Just Before Sunrise” launched in May 2021. Produced by Russell Broom (Calgary AB) the album strikes a reflective and optimistic tone, with many of the songs written in the wake of the sudden & unexpected passing of Jeffery’s mom. Two co-writes with Royal Wood feature on the recording. Several singles were released in the lead up to the launch including the upbeat “Light a Fire” and the pensive ‘Morning Light’. ‘Ready to be Brave’ was sparked by time spent as artist-in-residence at a summer camp for LGBTQ2+ youth in Saskatchewan and speaks to finding the courage for difficult conversations. ‘Play that Song Again’ in the feel of an old-time waltz adds to the varied soundscape of the recording. The launch was celebrated with a 6-show national virtual tour and a 55 date “Pandemic-Piano-Backyard-Tour” crossing the country in the summer of 2021. The album was voted #2 in the Saskatchewan Music Awards Best Albums of 2021 rankings, by music lovers across the province. “Direct, honest and sure-handed, there's a magic to Straker's folk-based piano styling and powerful storytelling…a brand of contagion well worth catching” (The Walleye/Just Before Sunrise)
Jeffery is a classically trained pianist and swears he was born under the piano on the family grain farm. He was raised by a church-organist mother and auctioneer father which might explain his incredible ability to share songs with audiences.
“I try to write songs on a human scale, but that also highlight the small details that can lead us to think about larger issues. I often walk around for days or weeks with some question about how the world works, or why people do what they do, chewing at me, and try to find that image or phrase that creates a way in – a seed to build the song around. “
Doug Kolmar is an award-winning singer/songwriter based near Portland, ME. Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, with parents who worked in theatre, he was steeped in the music of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley from an early age, and still harbors a soft spot for their wit and romanticism. A varied musical journey followed, including jazz guitar studies, stints in rock and blues bands, and a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from NYU. Since moving to Maine 20 years ago, he has focused on writing and performing songs that connect with audiences by telling stories of everyday struggles, with warmth, empathy, and a touch of dark humor. He regularly performs around New England as a solo artist and with the Folk/Americana group, Arcadia Band. A reflection of his dedication to the craft of songwriting, Doug is also currently President of the Maine Songwriters Association. So Said Life, his fourth solo album, will be available in April 2022. His music is available on all the popular streaming platforms as well as at his website http://www.dougkolmarmusic.com, you can also follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dougkolmarmusic