Featured Artists of the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show

These are just some of the many fine artists featured on the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show. Hear the show here.

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Mike (Psychosongs) WardMike (Psychosongs) Ward — June 17, 2024

Detroit singer-songwriter Mike Ward is known for his lyrically-centric, vocally-charged folk songs. While growing up in Port Huron, Michigan, he listened to the Irish music of his heritage and sang in several choirs before digesting the influential sounds of Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan, Springsteen and John Prine. These days, he finds inspiration in the works of Jason Isbell, Sarah Jarosz and John Paul White. His intimate songwriting echoes through empty city streets, back country roads and family portraits. It also resides in the hidden spaces between joy and tragedy, love and loss. Ward brings a unique perspective to his songwriting after having spent 40 years working in the advertising industry while continuing a lifelong passion for hockey, which resulted in his infamous nickname “PsychoWard.” His debut album, We Wonder, released in 2018, was named “Best Folk Album of 2019” by Phil Maq of 89.3-FM (WHFR). In 2019, Ward immersed himself into the songwriting community in Detroit as well as Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) and several online groups. This led to an association with David Roof of Rooftop Recording as well as collaborations with some of Michigan’s finest songwriters and musicians who would contribute mightily on his future projects. Ward released his second album in 2021, "The Darkness and The Light", as a thoughtful way to highlight past struggles, including regret and loss, and champion the need for hope in a changing world. The album landed at #33 on the Folk Alliance International (FAI) folk charts in March 2021 and has been played on the radio internationally. A year later, Ward dropped "Particles to Pearls", which explores the love of family and the passage of time. In addition to multiple Detroit Music Award recognitions, he received an honorable mention in the Great River Folk Fest Songwriting Contest for the song “Letting Go.” That same year also brought Ward’s sociopolitical EP "Troubled Times" as a bold reminder to raise your voice and chase your freedom. The EP’s three contemplative tracks emphasize protecting individual rights, upholding free speech, and supporting immigration.   This spring, Mike released his fourth album Love Never Rests, which features 11 introspective tracks that examine observations about life, love and loss along with relationships of the past, present and future. All stories are told through his emotive viewpoints of wisdom and gratitude. Mike’s song “Currency of Forgiveness” is a finalist for the Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest in Red Lodge, Montana. He was an honorable mention in the 2023 Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Competition plus multiple Detroit Music Award finalists.   Outside of his releases, Ward performs regularly at small venues, clubs and house shows throughout Michigan, the Midwest, and the East Coast. He’s been on stage at Trinity House Theatre, Wiltsie’s, The Lager House, Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn, NY, Folknet,Cleveland, Ohio ,Wesley's Place, LaGrange, IL, Music at The Gazebo House Concert Series, Farmhouse Folk, Fitzgerald's Side Bar, Berwyn, IL. tate Fair.   Mike also performs at notable festivals, including the Wheatland Folk Festival, Blissfest 2024 FARM DJ Showcase, Thumbfest, HollerFest, Thunder Bay Folk Fest, Trinity House Theatre, Wiltsie's, Michigan State Fair, FolkNet and Look About Lodge (Cleveland MetroParks) Cleveland OH, On The Tracks Series-Chelsea Depot, Coffee House Milwaukee, Pete's Candy Store, Brooklyn, NY, Over Yonder House Concerts, Wesley's Place, LaGrange, IL, Music at The Gazebo House Concert Series, Farmhouse Folk, PJ's Lager House, North Star Lounge, Ann Arbor, MI, The Clover Room, Kalamazoo, MI, The Starlight Room, Muskegon, MI, Fitzgerald's Side Bar, Berwyn, IL, Two Way Street, Downers Grove, IL and WFMT FolkStage, Chicago, IL

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Bill BachmannBill Bachmann — June 9, 2024

Musician and songwriter Bill Bachmann began his professional career while in college, opening for folk legends such as Dave Van Ronk and Steve Goodman in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. He had learned the ukulele from his dad at age five, and then followed a natural progression to guitar and piano throughout his teenage years. After a move to New York City’s Greenwich Village in his early twenties, Bill was soon called upon by luminaries Matt Glaser, Kenny Kosek, Jon Sholle, Stacy Phillips, Paula Lockheart and Peter Ecklund, among others, to play guitar on their highly acclaimed albums. Simultaneously, Bill had been wreaking havoc as a lead guitarist with Paul Siebel, Rod MacDonald, Andy Statman, The Song Project, David Massengill, and George Gerdes, to name but a few, while studying jazz piano, as well as the oud with virtuoso George Mgrdichian.

Bill also continued to pursue his songwriting endeavors. Singers Shawn Colvin, Lucy Kaplansky, and Christine Lavin, along with other Village artists, recorded his song “Vacation” on a “Live at The Bottom Line” CD. This track was chosen to appear on a Smithsonian Folkways Recordings CD, “Fast Folk,” which included other songwriters such as Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, Richard Shindell and Steve Forbert.

In 2009, Bill released his first solo CD, “Big World Out There,” writing the music and lyrics and playing all the instruments himself. Wildy’s World called it “a master class in marrying storytelling to song craft” and wrote “there are few in the Folk world or out of it who can tell a story with quite the same zest, wit and intelligence without compromising the inherent musicality of a song.” Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange asserted, “I dare ya to find a release quite the equal of this. And you'll have to do so on your own, 'cause I ain't lettin' loose of my copy.”

“Folk-n-Roller,” released in 2011, was again lyrically driven, romping through a multitude of styles. MuzikReviews.com claimed, “Bill Bachmann has delivered a near-perfect album that never disappoints.” Folkwords called it, “another guitar and lyrics masterclass.” Wildy’s World noted, “As songwriting goes, this is a ‘WOW’ moment… As a guitar player, there are few more accomplished than Bill Bachmann.” Muse’s Muse Reviews wrote, “He’s infectious - & this CD will suck you in like a drug.” And in a review by Matt Warnock: “Is there anything Bachmann can’t do as a singer-songwriter?” Bill continued to write more songs and record instrumentals, and in 2019 began publishing a number of videos on YouTube, showcasing his musical talents.

IN 2023, BILL PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS WITH HIS THIRD SOLO CD, “Flight of the BumBillB.” Layered with humor, pathos, and satire, he again has written, arranged, recorded and mixed the songs himself, while playing acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, drums, piano and synthesizer. Puns, double entendres, parodies, overstatements, understatements, juxtapositions, and innuendos abound, and his guitar work and vocals have continued to rise to new heights!

Bill currently resides in New York’s Westchester County, performing in and around the New York metropolitan area.

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In-Studio Guest: Miranda HardyIn-Studio Guest: Miranda Hardy — June 2, 2024

Miranda Hardy is a NYC-based singer songwriter where she runs a monthly songwriter night, encouraging others to share their music and hone their craft. She grew up playing music alongside her father, the late singer songwriter, Jack Hardy, on cross country road trips and in small pubs in Ireland. But Hardy herself didn’t start songwriting until 2020; after a decade-long career in advertising, she left her corporate life behind and started watering her roots as a musician. Her sophomore album, The Price of Happiness, is an exploration of the tradeoffs we face when seeking happiness - like maintaining boundaries vs. fostering relationships. Or what we want vs. what we need. Or meeting expectations vs. remaining authentic to ourselves. From toxic workplaces, to bad habits, to complicated relationships–the choice is never as easy as it sounds. And sometimes, the only way to find true happiness is to admit when we’ve been causing our own downfalls. The album will be released May 31st.

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James GordonJames Gordon — May 27, 2024

James Gordon has been there. He’s done that. He has had a remarkably diverse and resilient career in the Canadian entertainment business. As a solo singer-songwriter and with the ground-breaking trio Tamarack, he’s recorded at least 40 albums, (he’s lost track), and toured relentlessly around the world. He’s written for symphony orchestras, musical theatre and dance works, scored films, and for more than ten years was heard on CBC radio as songwriter-in-residence for the ’Basic Black’ and ‘Ontario Morning’ programs. Between tours, James is a record producer, playwright, author, community activist, theatre director and just-retired Guelph City Councillor. His new ‘musical’ novel “The Ark Of The Oven Mitt” was a finalist for last year’s Stephen Leacock Humour Award, and also last year he had his first viral hit with 300,000 views for his satirical song “Crybabies Caravan”. He was 2023’s Artist-in-residence in his hometown of Guelph ON. His new album is “Wrinkles and Scars”.

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In-Studio with George MallasIn-Studio with George Mallas — May 20, 2024

George Mallas is a piano based singer/songwriter with 3 full length albums to date. George has been writing since his teenage years getting the writing bug from listening to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and Elton John and others. He is classically trained in both piano and voice. George has been writing since the age of 14. Constantly in the search for the next song, George spends most days in his music room writing. George also hosts house concerts in support of of other muscians. He is also the co- host of Sandro, George and the OG, an online performance based music show. After a hiatus from writing and performing while his two sons were young, George dove head first back into his music. Though he was never one to co-write George began writing with Lyricist Melanie Berti on his past two albums, 'unscathed' and 'Let the Day Decide.' The combination of Melanie's lyrics and George's melodies added different ideas and a new vibe. George is also part of a musical quartet, 'The Four Horsemen Songwriters'. Established songwriters David Ray, Mike Latini and Dave Goldenberg have been an inspiration and pushed George to write better songs. George has appeared on the stages of The Towne Crier, Daryl's House Club, Cafe 9, Cafe Lena and others.

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Amy and AdamsAmy and Adams — May 12, 2024

After years writing and gigging in their own separate worlds, the spark that became Amy & Adams was ignited before their first date. In 1993 Amy Westin played at an Open Mic that Mark Adams ran in Stillwater, MN. Mark loved her voice and songs and knew he had found “the voice” for one of his own tunes. The first date happened a year later, and soon they began performing as Amy & Adams. 10 months, a wedding, and a hyphen later they shared a career and the last name Adams-Westin. Since then, Amy & Adams has made a thriving career performing live at concerts, wineries, pubs, and churches, as well as finding a niche entertaining for Elder Care facilities. They have appeared live on both radio and TV and have produced 7 critically praised, and internationally streamed albums of original songs and 1 live album of old favorite cover songs. While Covid evaporated the live gigs, two Amy & Adams tunes found their way to the top 10 on the CDX Southern Gospel & Positive Country radio chart, along with Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Luke Combs, and Dolly Parton. Several more Amy & Adams songs will appear in the stunning, soon to be released, film JEAN SEBERG Actor – Activist – Icon. Jean and Mark are from Marshalltown, IA. In the late 1950s, at age 17, Jean became an overnight international sensation when she entered (along with 18,000 other new faces) and won Otto Preminger’s contest to find the new Joan of Arc. Jean went on to star in several Hollywood blockbusters, and, along with Jean-Luc Goodard’s 1961 genre bending film BREATHLESS. Mark and Jean became friends when Mark sang at a Seberg family funeral in 1970. Amy & Adams performs an engaging combination of original and cover tunes, with just the right stylistic mix of the new and the recognizable that they call Eclectic/FolkRock/TinPanAlley/CountryBluesgGrass. On stage or on their critically acclaimed CDs, Amy & Mark weave a sumptuous tapestry of guitars, vocals, keyboards, mandolin, ukulele and flutes. Amy & Mark have been blessed to record with a superb band of world class musicians, including renowned stringed multi-instrumentalist Tim Crouch (Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Allison Krauss …), and trombonist Nick Lane (Rod Stewart, Chicago, Maynard Ferguson, Tower of Power, Tom Petty …) also from Marshalltown. Amy knows, ‘these amazing singers and players take our music beyond even our wildest dreams.” “It’s fun to imagine where they will take a new tune. It’s even more fun to listen when the tune is done,” agrees Mark. In 2023 Amy & Adams signed an exclusive music distribution contract with CDX Records of Nashville who distribute through Sony Orchard. They also received an artists’ grant to produce 2 films. 1 is a music video of the beloved hymn IN THE GARDEN. Mark said, “We are filming several audiences in churches, and elder and memory care facilities singing with us, and will fade from one to another group as the song progresses.” “We’ve dreamed of sharing the power this hymn, or any loved song, has to lift hearts and turn lights in darkened eyes back on,” Amy adds. Film 2 will be a 30 minute “making of” journey into the rejuvenating power of music. The hope is to have both films done by the end of 2024. Almost 30 years on Amy & Mark are still deeply in love with each other and the music we make together and with others. People ask, “Will you ever retire?” The answer? “Perhaps, in another 30 years, but we’d sure love a roadie or two!” Audiences of all ages and tastes love Amy & Adams. Perhaps that’s why Roots Music Report declared them, “as fresh and entertaining as folk music has ever been.”

And the theme that Amy and Adams chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: RISING UP

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Annie BaconAnnie Bacon — May 5, 2024

Folk-rock Americana singer-songwriter Annie Bacon & her Oshen’s fourth LP Storm (out June 14) is a meditation on grief. Bacon lays her soul bare as she confronts broken hearts, death and the loss of her own identity, all while utilizing the strengths of folk music’s sincerity in storytelling and rock n roll’s engagement with our primal emotions. It’s an album that starts with a scream ("Secret Broken Heart") and ends with a whisper (“Worry”). It’s a journey through the most difficult time in one woman’s life; a mature album of heart-on-your-sleeve intimacy and powerfully vivid honesty.

The album kicks off with the soft-rocker "Secret Broken Heart," with its big guitars that give way to Bacon’s luscious voice and gorgeous harmonies. Stylistically, it lands somewhere within the “Dreams” of Fleetwood Mac, The Cranberries and Brandi Carlile. "Walk A Little Farther" is a dark meditation for a broken heart. It confronts wallowing in darkness while holding back crying out in desperation.

“I would go for long walks,” says Bacon, “I knew that if I stopped, my grief was going to overwhelm me. I musically wanted to capture that feeling. I got into this habit of: walk, home, shower (let it burn), say a prayer, write a song. We shot the video near the Huron River in Ann Arbor, where I’d take my walks. My walk felt neverending, like I just had to keep going.”

“Mist” has the emotional depth and mesmerizingly ethereal vocal quality of Stevie Nicks or Carly Simon. Bacon’s shifting inward/outward lyrical perspective urges us to be present in our emotions, even if it feels bad. “Alone with Grief” was written about her deceased father. It’s a song of solidarity to soothe broken hearts and bring solace when grief is fresh and at its most painful. This song is a healing salve with its relaxing bossa nova percussion and Bacon’s breezy, beautiful vocals.

Bacon went through a series of tragic events that created the songs of Storm. “It was a shit show,” says Bacon. “I’m not sure I would have made it through if I didn't have a kid, to be completely honest. My song ‘It's Okay’ is about those worst days. It’s a bouncy song, but I had to stop over and over while we were recording, because I’d just start sobbing. No one had heard the song before I brought it into the studio. It felt like a very selfish song. It’s the one that’s really for me, but I hope it speaks to others too. It’s there to remind me how important it is to speak kindly to myself when the world inside and out is burning. Because no one else will do that if I don’t.”

But as a friend once said of her, Bacon “turns her broken hearts into raw, imperfect art.” She emerges from these years with a forthcoming novel on themes of motherhood, betrayal, war and forgiveness; a feature-length folk-musical (co-created with collaborator Kyle Rasche) called The Keeper that's a love letter to Michigan; and a mountain of new music, including Storm.

Though it was made in an emotional hurricane, Storm is an album for those who need solace in their grief; for those who need to feel less alone and lost. She lets us know that it’s okay to not be okay while we’re navigating our way through the storm, and that we’ll all make it through hard times with as much presence as we can muster, a little patience, a little fire, and most of all kindness to ourselves and others.

“There were moments in the thick of the grief,” says Bacon, “where even the people who knew me best couldn’t touch me. But I’ve learned, you're not the only one who's alone. There’s this strange sort of togetherness in these kinds of experiences. You could be a 15-year-old who suddenly lost a parent, an adult whose husband died, or a 30-year-old getting divorced. It’s about accepting these moments of your life when you’re going through this grief, and recognizing that this is not only who you are. That there’s another world on the other side, and you’re not alone.”

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Annual Pete Seeger Birthday ShowAnnual Pete Seeger Birthday Show — April 28, 2024

The Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show is, once again, proud and excited to present our annual PETE SEEGER BIRTHDAY SHOW. Joining me once again, after a few years off, is TINYA SEEGER, Pete's daughter. She'll be sharing some of her favorites - from the early years onward, as well as some stories. Don't miss this important show of remembrance!! Pete will always, and forever be, a guiding light in our hearts and minds! May 3 will always be a special day for me as, not only is it Pete's birthday, but it is also my mother's birthday, and mine!!!

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Hank WojiHank Woji — April 21, 2024

A self-described “Jersey Shore Ex-Pat turned West Texas Desert Rat”, Hank cut his musical teeth as a bassist in the vibrant Asbury Park, NJ music scene of the 1980s & 90s, playing in some of the Garden State’s most dynamic and innovative bands, while performing at festivals and in clubs and concert halls from Virginia to Ontario, in styles ranging from Blues and R&B to Reggae and Rock & Roll to County Rock and Afrobeat!

In the Spring of 2001 Hank moved to Houston, TX, fell in with a community of great Texas songwriters, and found his new musical voice as a Singer Songwriter. But, destiny turned a page and it was his chance move, in 2009, to the far West Texas desert town of Terlingua that has most reshaped his life and his music.

Critics have described Hank’s music as “acoustic-wielding, sharply observed, Americana all the way” and being “in the best tradition of the Texas troubadours like Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt and Butch Hancock” and that “His troubadour style also comes very close to the style of Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, or as we heard on ‘Nebraska’ from Bruce Springsteen.”

Hank has released six self-produced CDs: Medallion in 2005; American Dreams in 2008; There Was A Time in 2010; Holy Ghost Town in 2013; The Working Life in 2014 and most recently Highways, Gamblers, Devils and Dreams in 2023.

Of his recently released 6th CD, Tony Award winning songwriter, Anaïs Mitchell says: “Highways, Gamblers, Devils and Dreams is a sprawling meditation on mythic American themes. Hank is a warm-hearted and precise troubadour of the old school.” The album debuted in September 2023 at #5 on the EuroAmericana chart and #3 on the FAI Folk Music chart.

Over his 40+ year music career, Hank has performed with such notable artists as: Jonathan Byrd, Joe Jencks, David Amram, Spook Handy, Jaimee Harris, Susan Herndon, Bob Livingston, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger.

A proud union member of AFM Local 1000, he’s still based in Terlingua, TX and tours nationally, performing regularly at festivals, coffeehouses, theaters, clubs and house concerts as a solo singer songwriter, in various duo and trio configurations, and with his full band The Hank Woji Conspiracy.

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Jessican SmuckerJessican Smucker — April 14, 2024

Jessica Smucker believes that the best way to change the world is to channel our pain into connection. Her songs have a way of reaching deeply into people’s souls and inviting the kind of reflection that feels both reassuring and unsettling. Wrapped in catchy melodies, her lyrics appear simple on the surface, but each listen will uncover more hidden pockets of nuance. She’s the kind of writer and performer who can lull a noisy room into a hush with a single line.

Based in Lancaster, PA, Jessica was raised in the Mennonite faith tradition by a family full of storytellers, activists, adventurers, and pranksters. She performs regularly throughout the U.S and has won national songwriting contests like SolarFest’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase Competition and the Connecticut Folk Festival Song Competition. In her life beyond music, Jessica is a published poet, a social justice warrior, a freakishly good Scrabble player, and mother to two of the smartest people she’s ever met in real life!

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Sarah Segal-LazarSarah Segal-Lazar — April 7, 2024

Sarah Segal-Lazar has been making music since before she could talk. Folks say she took her first steps in ¾ time. By the time she was nine, she was sending songs into the local radio station.

At nineteen, she moved to the City That Never Sleeps. She started playing in dive bars in the Lower East Side and jazz bars in Greenwich Village. She would have stayed forever if Uncle Sam hadn’t come knocking when her visa expired. Not wanting to be an actual outlaw, she packed her bags and headed north.

Since crossing back over the 49th parallel, Sarah's gone onto release her own music, as well as compose for others. Dancing at the crossroads where folk and country meet, reviewers have called her music “simply mesmerizing” and “so gorgeous, they made the air go still.“

These days, the Femme Fatale of Folk splits her time between the busy streets of Montreal and the red shores of PEI—and sharing her tunes wherever the wind may take her. Her latest album VALLEYS, produced by Canadian folk luminary Matthew Barber, is out now.

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Carole WiseCarole Wise — April 1, 2024

Carole Wise is a Maine singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, harmonica). Her playing is intricate and straight forward; her lyrics are nuanced, lyrical and both personal and universal. Carole's music is not afraid. She sings about love, loss, society's issues, finding self, courage and perseverance~ always with a silver lining - a belief that every experience is an opportunity for growth and awareness, and seeing the world with all its beauty, with all its wonder and its fragility. Carole released her full length album "North Star" in February 2024. It's spinning at folk radio now and already charting regionally at Top 10. "North Star" features Brad Terry (Dizzy Gillespie), Mark Abraham (Enter the Haggis), Taylor Mesplé (James Taylor), and Tina Ross (FocusMusic Heyman Rising Artist Winner). Wise's previous album, "The Long Way Home," charted in the Top 20 on folk radio. Wise won first place in the Rose Garden Songwriter Competition in 2022, then co-billing with Cold Chocolate at the venue. She was a finalist for Emerging Artist and Best Video for ISSA in 2023. She was a finalist for RAWA's Music for Social Change in 2023. In 2023 Wise opened for Vance Gilbert at The Troubadour. She's now headlining the Troubadour this coming March 2024. Wise has played Club Passim, The Back Room, and has several yearly sold-out shows at Cadenza.

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Kyle HancharickKyle Hancharick — March 24, 2024

It’s always been about the music for Kyle Hancharick, a singer/songwriter from Warwick, NY. His passionate performances are punctuated by a crisp acoustic guitar and soaring tenor vocals. This is best shown in his EP “Breathe,” a four song project consisting only of acoustic guitar, bass and vocals. And that’s all that’s needed for this artist whose roots are planted in contemporary folk music. Kyle began his musical journey young. His earliest influences were from the songs of John Denver and Bob Dylan. When he was 8, Kyle played live for the first time. It was at a Bob Dylan Festival at a local winery. With his 3/4-size guitar slung around his small torso and a harmonica holder around his neck, he took to the stage with about 100 people gathered. No one expected what they would hear. This sweet, shy little boy blew them away with his version of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He gave the most memorable performance of the day. As he grew up, Kyle’s influences diversified. He discovered Richard Shindell, David Wilcox and Ellis Paul, master storytellers who would have tremendous impacts on his work. He identified with the working class anthems of Bruce Springsteen. He reveres their musicianship, their poetry and their stories. Throughout all of this, Kyle has begun to make a name for himself in the folk music circle. He has performed on the Emerging Artists Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and he has opened shows for Ellis Paul, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Lucy Kaplansky and Red Molly. His upbeat love song, “How You Say Goodbye,” was covered by Ellis Paul for his 2019 album “The Storyteller’s Suitcase.” Most recently, Kyle has begun work on his second full-length studio album, which is set to be released in 2024. Kyle takes in the world, processes it and turns it into song with his own special touch. He has a unique take on things, a view of the world others may not necessarily notice. He continues to grow as an artist, sharing his story and messages of love and peace. Above all, though, it’s still about the music.

Kyle will be in the studio for an interview.

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Carl CorcoranCarl Corcoran — March 17, 2024

Carl Corcoran is a fifty-year veteran of the music industry. In the 70's, under the name Jamie Stone, he recorded 3 albums for EMI featuring original material, collaborations with various co-writers. In 1978 he moved to New York, where for twenty years he pursued a career in songwriting, publishing, radio, and performance. He developed a passion for radio on WTBQ Warwick/Florida which he continued on his return to Ireland in 1999. He joined the National Broadcaster RTE as presenter until 2017 when he was invited to be the Course Director for the inaugural year of the MA in Songwriting at the University of Limerick, a role he maintained for 5 years. For this Hootenanny Café Mini Concert, Carl shares recordings spanning his 50 years in the music business. Included in this collection are tracks from three albums on EMI under the name Jamie Stone, selections from his Rego Records CD ‘Dancing The Dublin Reel’ and recent recordings featured on his 2022 EP release ‘Three of A Kind’.

And the theme that Carl chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: SONGS OF THE SEA

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Simone KeaneSimone Keane — March 10, 2024

Simone Keane is a singer songwriter from the deep south coast of Western Australia, a sacred place of tall trees, winding rivers and pristine beaches. She came to this place after escaping intimate partner violence, to start a new life. Soon after she arrived, she began her songwriting journey, released an album, then suddenly found herself in the WA Music scene spotlight after two of her songs won WAM Song of the Year. After five nominations of songs from her album Burning she was awarded WAMSOTY for ‘Most Outstanding Regional’ and ‘Mentally Healthy’ (now Act Belong Commit) categories. It was a first for a regional artist. Keane soon realised she had become a figurehead to discuss issues of mental health, on radio and at events. “People would approach me and tell me how much my song Rag Doll meant to them, that someone understood, which meant a lot to me. However, as time went on, Keane felt she was not coping well with the pressure to perform and be a spokesperson for mental health. She realised she had not given herself time to heal from the trauma of domestic violence. In 2016, after a poet contacted her asking if she would like to collaborate, Keane released an album called Whale Breathing with Giles Watson. Then in 2018, Keane released her album Wild thingz. She was still however, very much a hermit, more of a recording artist, making music in the safety of a studio with producer Mick Crannage. Fast forward to 2023, Keane has done some intense internal work on her mental and physical health. “I know myself better now. I know what is good for me, what energies are healthy to be around, what I want. I am feeling confident in my own abilities and I have learnt so much about performance technique and production by working on mu new album with Producer Lee Buddle at CRANK (Kelly Clarkson, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Jutin Bieber, Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse). Graced by Leaves is Keane’s new 11 track album. It took three years to produce and was released on October 27, 2023.

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Mike BermanMike Berman — March 3, 2024

Mike Berman writes and performs original songs rooted in the folk and California folk rock traditions.  Mike’s first album Where I’m From, released in January 2023, received excellent reviews and was featured on dozens of folk radio programs across the USA and beyond. He has performed concerts and showcases at venues across Southern California, such as The Coffee Gallery, The Lost Chord, Jeweled Universe, Universal Bar & Grill, Mission Tile Music, Stardust Concerts, and many other venues, both solo and with his three-piece combo TIMBR. He has appeared at legendary venues McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Los Angeles, the Towne Crier in Beacon, New York, and Club Passim in Boston. He’s also been a regular performer at on-line showcases including Bruce Swan’s Music My Mother Wouldn’t Like, Jan Seides “Any Sunday Songwriters” series, and his own Social Distance Café. He recently was awarded “Best Performance” at the Songwriters at Play competition in Solvang, California. Mike’s album Where I’m From was in the top thirty on the NACC charts in January 2023. Produced by Ed Tree, the album featured performances from top musicians including pedal steel legend Jay Dee Maness, 2-time Grammy nominee Guy Davis, and LA blues diva Teresa James. Dave Franklin of Dancing About Architecture wrote that “Where I’m From is a great album… the sound of a modern-day James Taylor… country cool for the modern age.” Legendary songwriter Steve Gillette commented that Mike’s songs “uphold the tradition and are evidence that the California sound is in good hands.” Songwriter Rob Waller, founder of “I See Hawks in LA”, says that “Mike’s songs carry a depth and humanity that stick with you.”

Mike is a veteran musician, having performed in the 80’s with the Hudson River Sloop Singers as well as in his duo The Rusty Lock String Band, including festival gigs at the New Jersey Folk Festival and the Raritan River Festival. After a long layoff to raise a family and build a career as a university administrator and information technology expert, he has dived head-first in songwriting in the last few years. His songwriting his developed through workshops and master classes with the likes of Richard Thompson, Tom Paxton, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Guy Davis, Ellis Paul, Laurie McAllister, Gretchen Peters, and many other accomplished songwriters and performers. He is currently recording new material for release in 2024.

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Lilli LewisLilli Lewis — February 25, 2024

Free from genre, Folk Alliance International “Spirit of Folk” award recipient Lilli Lewis is a skillful Americana polyglot for whom folk, country, gospel and jazz are all the same thing. Whether she plays at the Kennedy Center, opens for The Indigo Girls, performs at New Orleans Jazzfest or in a sweaty New Orleans club, Lewis imbues her performances with grace, wit, immense talent, and musical authenticity. Her latest release is "All Is Forgiven" on Righteous Babe Records. “She stake(s) out her place in the scene—on the authority of mastery…“” – NPR's All Songs Considered

And the theme that Lilli chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Birds and / or Taking Flight

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Kate McDonnellKate McDonnell — February 18, 2024

Kate McDonnell comes from generations of symphonic musicians. Her father sang in operettas in his younger years, and her mother continues to play anything she can hear in F#on the piano, just as her own mother did. All three of Kate’s siblings have the musical gift, so at any given night around the dinner table they were bound to break into song.Throughout high-school and college, Kate and her identical twin sister and flutist Anne played as a duo in talent shows, dingy clubs, and on porches. She discovered guitarists Carlos Montoya, Mason Williams, Leo Kottke, Steve Howe and others and began to take the guitar more seriously. Fast forward, to the mid-80s, Kate moved to New England and began to write her own songs, performing them as half of a popular New Haven, CT, duo McDonnell-Tane. Over a few years’ time, Kate and guitarist Freddie Tane, formerly of Bill Haley’s Comets, opened for musical giants like Dylan, Willie Nelson, Kathy Mattea, Suzanne Vega, and others. She even found time to perform in an all-female trio Colossal Olive in and around New Haven throughout the decade that she lived there. Kate then broke out as a solo act in the early 90s and released four critically acclaimed recordings on Waterbug Records, Appleseed Records, and Brambus Recordings. For the next decade, Kate’s career began to blossom.By 1992, Kate began to tour the US regularly, while her first of many European tours came in 1998, coinciding with the release of her second album NEXT.As a result of her recordings and accelerating acclaim with her 3rdDon’t Get Me Started (Waterbug Records, 2001) and 4th Where the Mangoes Are (Appleseed Records, 2005), Kate became a staple on American folk radio charts. Fellow musicians and radio helped spread her name: Jonathan Edwards called her“one of the premier female solo acoustic acts around,”and the late Bill Staines dubbed her “one of the finest writers and performers I’ve heard in a long time.”In 1999, Kate appeared on the internationally syndicated "World Café" radio show and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Another career high point followed in 2001 after the release of her third CD, "Don’t Get Me Started," on Dog-Eared Discs, when Kate played at the folk world’s premier event, the legendary Newport Folk Festival. The Village Voice predicted in its review of the CD that "you get the feeling you may see others covering her tunes in the future, as she is a gifted writer...." The Swiss label Brambus Records picked up "Don’t Get Me Started" for overseas release and it was soon on the top five list for U.S. and international folk airplay. 2005 marked a shift in Kate’s material as a result of joining with Anne Lindley to try their hands at co-writing, and it was a complete success.Kate Kate McDonnell 4000 char-bio 2023.doc released “Where The Mangoes Are”, a collection of 12 songs, seven of which were co-written by Lindley. They continue to write together to this day. Kate took a break from her solo career to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work at Smith College and began to work at day-treatment centers andwith special education students in schools (2006-2020). She learned quickly that a musician can't turn her back on musical together, lest it pester her during quiet moments. So, Kate decided to make music full-time,again, producing a 5th recording Ballad of a Bad Girl(Dog-Eared Discs 2021), 7of its 11 songs co-written by Anne Lindley. The album earned her the distinction as being the #6 and #5 most played album on the US Folk DJ charts for the two months following its release,as well the #17 slot for the year of 2021. Ballad of a Bad Girl features legendary musicians Jerry Marotta (drums) and Tony Levin (bass), with Kate on vocals, guitar, and banjo. She is currently recording her 6thalbum,yet to be titled.

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Paula Boggs BandPaula Boggs Band — February 12, 2024

Since age 10, Paula Boggs has been a songwriter. Her life winded through the military, law and business before in 2005 returning to music through a University of Washington songwriter’s certificate program followed by forming genre-defying nation-touring Paula Boggs Band, soon recording it’s fifth studio album.

Besides music creation and performance, Boggs touches music and the arts in myriad ways. An active member of the Recording Academy since 2011, Boggs sat on President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, is a former board member of School of Rock LLC, Seattle Symphony, Avid Technology (ProTools, Sibelius, et al) and public radio KEXP where she co-chaired its New Home Campaign. Currently she sits on the boards of Newport Festivals Foundation (overseeing Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals) and Peabody Conservatory.

In 2018 she received the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and is known globally for her work in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Soon after being elected PNW Chapter board governor in 2020 Paula was appointed her chapter’s first ambassador to the Recording Academy’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. Paula Boggs Band will play its first Folk Alliance Official Showcase in February 2024 and is sponsored by Deering Banjos, Breedlove Guitars and Radial Engineering, Inc.

And the theme Paula chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: ANCESTORS

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Ash and EricAsh and Eric — February 4, 2024

The married couple’s latest album “Sure”is “a tale of love… [with] some heartaches and a pinch of disputation along the way” (Americana UK). Hailing from the gritty heart of New England (Worcester, MA), the two are experts in discovering beauty in the challenges of life. Their musings reflect the hope and pain we all experience, sung in voices as vulnerable and honest as their lyrics. Their songs feel like a warm welcome, a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold at the end of a long day. No Depression says their writing will leave listeners “...coming away from many of these [songs] cleansed,”.

Their warm harmonies, swirling acoustic guitars, and easy stage presence have earned them a dedicated following in the emerging US folk scene, performing with folk legends like Livingston Taylor, Vance Gilbert, Heather Maloney, and Mark Erelli. Their independent 9-song release, “Sure”, was recorded, mixed and produced by Eric at a boarding school in Western Massachusetts, and will be accompanied by a feature-length film, releasing June 2024.

Ash & Eric played together for the first time in 2012. The intense connection was immediate. They both describe a feeling that they knew each other before they knew each other. They began playing together frequently and fell in love quickly. Their first project as a duo, The Promise is Hope, was born March 1, 2014 in Worcester, MA -- their beloved home city. At the end of the house concert, with many friends gathered, Eric proposed and Ash said “yes.”

The journey that has unfolded since that first concert has been defined by these two dreamers’ daily choice to continually pursue their vision. The vision, which began as two people sharing their hearts through the artistry of songwriting and performance, has grown and expanded to envelop a beautiful and growing community of faithful followers.

Under the moniker The Promise is Hope, Ash & Eric released two full-length albums, “Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going” (2015) and “Every Seed Must Die” (2018) before changing their band name to Ash & Eric in 2021.

They have performed countless shows in a myriad of venues from house and living room concerts to legendary rooms like Club Passim (Cambridge, MA), Southern Vermont Arts Center (Manchester, VT), and Godfrey Daniels (Bethlehem, PA). They have performed on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Stage (Hillsdale, PA), won the CT Folks Grassyhill Songwriter Competition, and performed at the CT Folk and Black Bear Americana Festivals. Ash & Eric have been nominated for New England Music Awards, won many Worcester Music Awards, and was offered a Semi-Formal Showcase at the 2019 NERFA Conference in Stamford, CT. Their vision has been tested and tried through long hours on the road, playing their best shows for whoever showed up in a room.

Ash & Eric are two dreamers forever committed to making music for their listeners that is honest, intentional, and beautiful. The pair continues to say “YES” to the power of vulnerability, simplicity, and new starts.

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Caroline CotterCaroline Cotter — January 28, 2024

“There’s just this opening of doors that happens that totally shifts things. It’s a complete game-changer,” notes Cotter, a Rhode Island native now living just outside Acadia National Park in Maine. “When I’ve shared myself in this way, then people are really excited to share what they’ve got around them.” But what’s a globetrotter, who has played more than 1000 shows in 45 states and 14 countries, to do when a worldwide pandemic makes travel nearly impossible? “I became very close to nature and just hugged a lot of trees and rocks,” says Cotter with a chuckle. She nannied, worked on a goat farm, gardened, revitalized an arts non-profit, and taught music and songwriting. “In a way, I had to reinvent myself. I had to find a deeper sense of belonging and meaning in things that weren’t what I knew of myself for the prior 15 years. I identified as a traveler, a singer-songwriter, and a performer, and all of a sudden, I had nobody to sing to and nowhere to go.” As Gently as I Go concludes with “Morning Mantra,” a musical warm hug of a reminder to keep going in a world that often feels dark, sad, and full of troubles that are out of our control, it serves to calm Caroline as well. She was diagnosed with ADD as a child and both songwriting and travel are key parts of how she manages to stay sane. Caroline released her debut album in 2015 and a second album in 2018, and is both a 2018 Freshgrass/No Depression Songwriter of the Year award finalist and a 2019 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase finalist. “Songwriting for me is a cathartic expression of my life experience. It’s creative expression that just completely shifts me and gets out the ickiness,” shares Cotter, recounting a recent moment when sitting down and writing a song wiped away the anxious feeling she had been dealing with all day. “Seeing new things and connecting with people helps also, because I can get so deep into my own head, and the second I start a conversation with somebody else, it’s not about me anymore.”

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Elizabeth LeeElizabeth Lee — January 21, 2024

Elizabeth Lee, a singer-songwriter rooted in the Midwest collaborates and performs with her dad, Bobby Pugh. Elizabeth's exposure to her dad’s songwriting while growing up laid the foundation for her own musical pursuits, which unfolded post-college. Bobby's long-held dream of sharing his songs found renewed motivation when they started writing together after Elizabeth graduated. They recorded their first studio album in 2016 and began performing part-time. In 2023, they took the plunge into a full-time music career, releasing 5 singles. They evolved from a duo to a full-fledged band, their dynamic characterized by Elizabeth's soothing, crystalline vocals and Bobby's seamless harmonies. Their musical footprint extends beyond the studio, with features on Indianapolis podcast ‘Voices of Indy’ and ‘The 94twenty Podcast’ from Nashville, TN. Their compositions have found unexpected homes, including a placement in the Lifetime movie 'Sabotaging the Squad.' Their genre-defying sound ranges from acoustic-pop vibes to folk-rock, always anchored by a commitment to captivating vocals and storytelling. The group hopes to inspire listeners to pursue their dreams, and stands as a reminder that it’s never too late to start something new.

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Mark WahlMark Wahl — January 14, 2024

Mark Wahl is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and luthier. Hiss songs are often poignant vignettes with strong use of metaphor, simple melodies, and compelling lyrics. He is fond of alternate tunings on guitar and baritone ukulele, and his animated and often foot stomping delivery is engaging. “I try to write with detail and emotion and to connect on a personal level with the listener." Currently recording his third album, his solo 2018 CD Circadia was nominated best Americana of the SAMMY’s (Syracuse Area Music Awards), and his popular 2013 CD Everything Returns featured his trio Canvas Moon. Mark was chosen for the 2019 Syracuse Acoustic Guitar Songwriting Project, the 2022 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Grassy Hill Emerging Artist Showcase, and he was the Black Bear Festival Curator’s Pick at the 2023 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference. After 13 years as director of the Ontario Center for Performing Arts, Mark now focuses on performing and making fine acoustic instruments.

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Ben GageBen Gage — January 7, 2024

Ben Gage is an Americana musician from Akron, OH. Ben Gage grew up in the rust belt of Northeast Ohio, spread out in the countryside along the great Lake Erie. His roots run deep alongside the hard working blue collars that Ohio has to boast. That tenacity, love of family, and respect for a long day can be seen in his music. In Fall of 2021 Ben quit his job in the tech-sector to pursue music full time. Now he travels the US sharing stories and songs and always collecting more. Folk and Blues music gives us a way to hand along a story, and it’s what fuels Ben’s songwriting and the reason he includes the listener. The best story sets aside the complexities and focuses on honesty. You will find yourself feeling as though you’ve heard his songs before even if it’s your first time.

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Special Three Set Singer Songwriter ShowcaseSpecial Three Set Singer Songwriter Showcase — December 31, 2023

Come join the Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show on New Year's Eve (12-31-23) for a Special Three Set Singer Songwriter Showcase. The theme for this special night: NEW SONGS FOR THE NEW YEAR (Songs that were written , and, or, recorded in 2023.) - a great way to wind down the old year and ring in the new.

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Kristen Grainger and True NorthKristen Grainger and True North — December 17, 2023

Kristen Grainger & True North is an Americana string band comprised of three champion instrumentalists (Dan Wetzel, guitar, octave mandolin, mountain banjo), Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, and fiddle), and Josh Adkins (upright bass), and led by the enchanting vocals of songwriter Kristen Grainger. With gorgeous original songs that nestle in the ear on the way to the heart, the band delivers an unexpectedly intimate, live-from-your-living-room experience, the lush alchemy of their combined talents captivating audiences wherever they go. Kristen's songwriting has been recognized nationally, winning top honors at MerleFest, Wildfower, Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the USA Songwriting Contest. She was named, alongside Dolly Parton and Brandi Carlile, one of the "Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack" by The Bluegrass Situation. Three of the band's albums have hit #1 on folk radio charts, and they had their first #1 single in 2021. Their newest project, Fear of Falling Stars, released Nov. 10th, is now available for streaming or download.

And the theme that Kristen chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Near Misses and Close Calls

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Kristen Grainger and True NorthKristen Grainger and True North — December 17, 2023

Kristen Grainger & True North is an Americana string band comprised of three champion instrumentalists (Dan Wetzel, guitar, octave mandolin, mountain banjo), Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, and fiddle), and Josh Adkins (upright bass), and led by the enchanting vocals of songwriter Kristen Grainger. With gorgeous original songs that nestle in the ear on the way to the heart, the band delivers an unexpectedly intimate, live-from-your-living-room experience, the lush alchemy of their combined talents captivating audiences wherever they go. Kristen's songwriting has been recognized nationally, winning top honors at MerleFest, Wildfower, Kerrville New Folk, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the USA Songwriting Contest. She was named, alongside Dolly Parton and Brandi Carlile, one of the "Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack" by The Bluegrass Situation. Three of the band's albums have hit #1 on folk radio charts, and they had their first #1 single in 2021. Their newest project, Fear of Falling Stars, released Nov. 10th, is now available for streaming or download.

The theme that Kristen chose for the Singer Songwriter Showcase: Near Misses and Close Calls

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Chris HaddoxChris Haddox — December 10, 2023

Hi folks...Chris Haddox, here, coming to you from the great state of West Virginia. I am a product of the state through and through, and many of my songs and stories Chrisdraw upon the wondrously beautiful landscape, the the rich musical traditions, and the “never met a stranger” mentality of her people.

I’ve been writing songs since the second grade. The first song I recall writing started with a line from a poem a classmate had written. He had titled his poem “What’s On The Other Side.” So, naturally, like any good thief posing as a songwriter, I used that line and title to craft a one verse song and never looked back. Since then I’ve written piles of songs that cover piles of topics. As do most songwriters, I’m often trying to find new ways to tell old tales, and often writing about things other folks with better judgement might leave alone.

Inspired by the music of the Delmore Brothers, I dropped out of college in my senior year in order to pursue a songwriting career in Nashville. Multiple stints in/out of Music City left me more knowledgeable about the music business, but no closer to making a career out of songwriting than when I started. While I had no ambitions about being a performer, I can to the realization that if anyone was ever going to hear my songs, they were going to have to hear them from me as no one else seemed very interested in performing them. So, one night while playing to an overly distracted crowd in a local bar I decided to drop in one song, didn’t say anything about it being mine, just to gauge the audience reaction. When after the show several folks commented about that one song they had never heard before—the one that stood out to them as their favorite of the evening—I decided to drop in original material more often, eventually migrating to where my sets were mostly originals. This went on for many years...just writing/playing/assessing audience reactions.

One the eve of my 40th high school reunion I stopped to play at a songwriter’s night in a town along the drive. That particular writer’s night was frequented by a fellow named Ron Sowell—a well-known figure in the West Virginia music scene and the bandleader of the long-running Mountain Stage. Following the show Ron invited me to a participate in a show—a best of the WV songwriters event—that would kick off the 2018 Woody Hawley Concert Series. A few weeks after that performance, Ron approached me about producing an album of my original material, and shortly after that I was invited by Mountain Stage host, Larry Groce, to perform on the show in February of 2020. As everyone knows, the world pretty much fell apart in January of 2020, so the Mountain Stage appearance was delayed indefinitely. I was finally rescheduled to play the show in January of 2022, but Larry called me to see if I’d mind being moved to the March 2022 show as he had just confirmed that Janis Ian would be headlining the show, and he felt I’d be a good fit for that bill. Heck yeah!!!

Since then, I’ve been beating the bushes to get my music out to the world. My debut album climbed to #11 on the FAI chart, and every song from the album has received airplay on over 60 mostly domestic stations. I continue to write and perform and am currently working on new, or sifting through old, material for the next album or five. My favorite shows are small listening venues and house concerts, but I’m equally at home on large stages, and seem to be able to connect heart-to-heart with the audience members where there are two or hundreds.

When not playing music, I am an Associate Professor of Sustainable Design at West Virginia University, and am active in a variety of community-based initiatives in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Becca AndersonBecca Anderson — December 3, 2023

A lively and fun performer on guitar, piano, and rhythm instruments, Becca Anderson’s straight-ahead voice soars in a fearless variety of song styles from light reggae, country to folk to jazz. Her first album, “Amazed,” features her early work—original tunes with simple folk to complex reggae arrangements—was produced in 2001. “Love, Love,” her second CD, recorded at Metronome Studios in New Hampshire, followed in 2012. Comments on her work: “rich collection of songs and life insights,” “feel-good material that will uplift you and slow you down,” “rich depth of voice and range,” “powerful, meaningful songwriting,” “a creamy top register that spoke of serious voice training” (Opera News), and “timeless and enduring music” (WPKN radio, Bridgeport, CT).  For two years, Becca toured New England with the Rags to Riches duo, singing a full concert of Gershwin/Porter tunes. She has performed internationally on concert stages, at galleries, festivals and benefits, healing-arts seminars, and on the New England folk circuit singing her own songs for over fifteen years. Her latest concerts showcase the collection of original tunes from her second CD, “Love, Love,” designed to lift the viewpoint and satisfy the discerning ear.

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Julia RoomeJulia Roome — November 26, 2023

Julia may be the youngest in the competition, but she has already accomplished so much in her life. Her recent chair turn on “The Voice” Season 24, and currently airing, has her on Team Niall Horan. She’s also gigging several times a month, singing the national anthem, and has performed in both an off Broadway play and many regional ones as well. Julia only lives a little over an hour from New York City, so she’s had an opportunity to sing at the Friars Club, as well as amateur night at The World Famous Apollo Theatre (where she’s won twice!). Keegan Ferrell, a “Voice” Season 20 Voice contestant, noticed her on social media when her original EP reached number 9 on the the iTunes charts, prompting him to work with Julia to continue building a portfolio of original music. Their first song together “Childhood” garnered a massive amount of attention and has the most streams to date. When Julia isn’t gigging or recording, she’s writing new original music, and exploring future dance and Ariel acrobatics show possibilities. Julia is extremely competitive and played travel Softball and Soccer as well as being an Olympic Downhill ski racing hopeful, before deciding to focus more on music.

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Tret FureTret Fure — November 19, 2023

Tret Fure started her career in 1970 as the guitarist/vocalist for Spencer Davis. In 1973, she released her first solo album on MCA/UNI Records, produced by Lowell George of Little Feat. A prolific artist in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Tret Fure has released 18 albums and CDs over the course of her 53 year career. She has also engineered and produced countless recordings by a variety of artists, including her own work.

This year she won the 2023 Phil Ochs award in recognition of her music and activism for social and political justice. Other highlights include winning the South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2 of 3 categories, Best Overall and Best Up-Tempo Song, winning the Women in the Arts “Jane Schliessman Award” for Outstanding Contributions to Women's Music and the “A Still Small Voice 4U” songwriting competition with her song “Monuments”.

Tret teaches guitar and songwriter, has a cookbook, paints pet portraits and also served as president for Local 1000, the Traveling Musicians Union for 6 years.

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Barry AdelmanBarry Adelman — November 12, 2023

Music Connects Us “For the Future of Humanity Support Music Education”. For over 18 years MusicForHumanity.org has done that with scholarships & new instruments for school districts. MFH has also spread more music via a free monthly concert series for over 13 years, given an annual Honorarium to support professional musicians (over 6 years). Last year MFH presented the First Annual Music Teacher Appreciation Award, a $1000 Grant. They will do that again on November 18th. And this year they began the First Annual Songwriting Contest with a $1000 1st Prize and $500 2nd Prize. The winners will be announced at the 158th Music for Humanity Free Performance Night on Saturday December 16 at Noble Coffee Roasters in Campbell Hall NY; deadline to apply is Sunday November 19th at midnight. You can enter at this link: https://musicforhumanity.org/song-writing-contest/ In today’s world we need more “music ambassadors”. We don’t need more businesspeople, more politicians, more scientists, engineers, or sports heroes. We need more people who can bring us together. We need more “music ambassadors” who can build the invisible roads and bridges to connect our hearts & souls. Music can effectively communicate that what we have in common, as human beings, is far greater than any differences. Music for Humanity has a special event on Sunday December 3rd 2PM at City Winery in Montgomery NY. It features two of the greatest “music ambassadors” who have ever performed for us over the last 18 years: Slam Allen and Reggie Harris on a co-bill. Slam was the lead guitarist and singer for the James Cotton Blues Band for 10 years. After James passed, Slam went out on his own. Reggie, follows Pete Seeger in the folk tradition. Both Slam & Reggie know instinctively hao to bring people together via their music. They’ve both traveled the world, sharing their music, and bringing people together. They are true “music ambassadors”. This will be more than a concert. Please join us. Most Music for Humanity events are free, but this one is a fund raiser. Tickets are available at this link: https://musicforhumanity.org/event/music-for-humanity-presents-music-connects-us-featuring-the-slam-allen-band-and-reggie-harris/ We guarantee you’ll walk out saying “that was fantastic”. This Hootenanny Café Radio show will feature a few MFH scholarship winners plus some of the performers who have donated sets to help support the mission. MFH has given $167,000 in scholarships, $10,000 for new instruments for Hudson Valley school districts and about $4000 in Honorariums to professional musicians. We’ll also share some of the entries into the songwriting contest by artists throughout the country. Music builds the invisible roads & bridges that connect our hearts & souls. More Music means more connections. More Music means a better world for all of us. “For the future of Humanity, Support Music Education.” Please consider a tax-deductible donation here: https://musicforhumanity.org/donate/ or send a check to Music for Humanity, PO Box 359, Chester, NY 10918. MFH is a volunteer organization. There are no salaries. Together we are and will continue to make a difference. Thank you for your support!

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Johnny EatonJohnny Eaton — November 5, 2023

Long Blurb For Johhny Eaton

When you’re an artist that hasn’t released new music in 18 years, it stands to reason you’re going to have a lot to say when the right moment comes around again. For Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Johnny Eaton, that moment is now. Eaton’s new album, here’s the thing, offers 12 songs that display his full musical range, from traditional country to plaintive, confessional folk, as well as a couple of side trips into neo-soul and post-punk. With a weathered, campfire-coal baritone voice, Eaton spins tales of life in different parts of Canada reminding us of harder times and sweeter times in turn. Eaton began working on here’s the thing in 2022, recording with producer Gareth Auden-Hole at his La La Studio in Gatineau, Quebec, and a host of contributors—18 to be precise, an eerie coincidence with the gap in Eaton’s output. Among them were guitar maestros Noah Zacharin and Jimmy Bowskill, along with other notable names from the roots and soul/jazz music scenes. Eaton explains, “These are songs I wrote while living in Montreal and playing in an old-time country band, while living in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, and while living in Ottawa and working as a cartographer while hosting a livestream show called ‘Tunesdays with Johnny’ throughout the pandemic. Because choosing songs for an album is my least favourite part of the process, I let my livestream audience vote on YouTube for which songs they wanted on the album. Essentially, each song is a democratically elected representative, with the exception of the title track, which was an execution of my darling love’s power of veto.” Not a bad system, really, to gauge what listeners are into after so many years, but that’s hardly to say Eaton hasn’t been doing interesting things in the meantime. After graduating from Mount Allison University (paying his way by working as a tree planter in B.C. and northern Ontario), he set his sights on Whitehorse, Yukon in 2005 where his music career fully got underway. Eaton toured Canada several times in the mid-00s, while also landing acting jobs on opposite ends of the country in Victoria and Halifax. But when the need for more steady employment arose, he went back to school to study cartography and is currently employed by the City of Ottawa, making maps and analyzing geographic data. Eaton’s creative urge has never waned. Actually, he says that having a relatively stable life now has made him a better songwriter. “I think I’ve just become more comfortable in my own skin, more accepting of my skills and limitations, and that’s resulted in my new songs feeling more authentic and more earnest, while leaning less on artifice and performative cliches.” Indeed, songs on here’s the thing such as “Nova Scotia’s Shores,” “Lost In Manitoba” and the epic, 10-minute “Resolution” are steeped in detail, drawn from memory, and delivered with an unapologetic nod to Canada’s great troubadours. “I love all the songs on the album," says Eaton, "but if I had to choose my favourites, they’d be the ones with a deeper personal meaning for me. I wrote ‘Nova Scotia’s Shores’ after moving back home to Ottawa and feeling the ache to return east. Everything in the song is autobiographical, and all the places mentioned are real. ‘Resolution’ was written just after New Year’s 2018 during a massive snowstorm. I stared out the window at the snow coming down, strumming the guitar slowly in what felt like with the rhythm of the snow, and it all just started flowing out of me. The song ‘Here’s The Thing’ ended up tying everything together. I wrote it when I knew I was falling in love for the first time in almost 20 years, and I wanted her to know it without being too gushy or over-the-top about it.” It’s easy to describe Johnny Eaton as what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy, but one listen to here’s the thing reveals so much more. Having been down the road and back many times, he’s now ready to share it all.

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Brittainy JeanBrittainy Jean — October 29, 2023

Originally from West Chicago, IL, Brittany Jean is a folk singer/songwriter based in the Pacific Northwest, currently living in a little, apple town on the Columbia River. Brittany’s style is rooted in the folk and Americana music she has loved all her life, and in one way or another, every song she sings is a love song.

Brittany’s music has taken her across the country many times—opening for Three Dog Night’s sold out concert at the City Winery in New York City, playing the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival in North Carolina, the Fishstock Concert Series in Wisconsin, the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado, The Pearl Theatre in Idaho, opening for Kalimba in Seattle, touring Vancouver Island, British Columbia… to name a few of her adventures!

Brittany has released five full-length albums and one EP— all recorded in Nashville, Tennessee: Whispered Stories, Leavin’ Home, Wander With Me, All The Love, Wintertide, and Lightfoot.

Whispered Stories was released in September 2013, and it was completed with the help of fans — making her debut album even more special.

Brittany Jean’s sophomore album (Leavin’ Home) was released in March 2016. Leavin’ Home includes Brittany’s song “Wildfire,” which was written in response to first-hand experience during the Carlton Complex Wildfires of 2014 (the largest wildfires in Washington State history at the time—a record broken the following year). This song was a centerpiece for the fundraising effort of the Carlton Complex Longterm Recovery Group, whose purpose is to rebuild the 300+ homes that were lost that summer of 2014

Brittany’s third album (Wander With Me) was released in January 2018. With songs about being brave and standing tall to songs about learning to dance again, this album is an invitation — “Won’t you wander with me?”

Released in April 2020, All The Love is a collection of love songs and love stories, featuring eight original songs and four covers of favorite songs by Stevie Nicks, Dave Loggins, Don McLean, and one from “The Greatest Showman.” (From this album, “The Mirror Go Machine” was a finalist in the 2020 International Acoustic Music Awards for best Bluegrass/Country Song of the year!)

Early 2020, after learning of and then dealing with the loss of her performance schedule for the rest of that year, Brittany turned her focus to creating her first-ever Christmas Album. Comprised of personal favorites and brand new, wintry originals, Wintertide was released before Christmas 2021. From songs about home and a cabin up north to songs about crystal trees and a Christmas ghost ship, this album is a sweet new addition to the Christmas Music catalogue. (Wintertide charted #2 on the Folk Alliance International Radio Chart in December 2022, and “Call Me North” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for Best Folk Song for 2023!)

Brittany’s Lightfoot EP was released Summer 2023, and this project is her “thank you” to an all-time favorite songwriter; and Brittany’s sixth album (Colors & Covers) will be released Fall 2023, a collection of songs that reflect a handful of the different shades and seasons in this colorful life. (From Colors & Covers, “Golden Hour” was a finalist for the International Acoustic Music Awards’ Song of the Year, and Brittany was also a Finalist for Best Female Artist for 2023!)

Thankful for where music has taken her so far, Brittany Jean is looking forward to where the road will take her next, the new songs yet to be written, the fellow wanderers to meet, and the adventures to be had along the way…

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Sail CassadySail Cassady — October 22, 2023

Music is healing and can help soothe the soul. It can also help to find, unearth and bring out our INNER TRUTHS. Music can also shine light on such conditions as: Sexuality. Mental Health. Consciousness, etc

These are some of the meta themes that run through the music of flamboyant LGBTQ2A indie-rocker 'Sail Cassady' who hails from Victoria, BC.

Like The National with a dash of Lou Reed, their debut album ‘Juniper’ documents the torture and delights of the artists own grueling process of self-discovery, and gives you a glimpse into the subterranean realms of the Sail Cassady consciousness. “Lusting you, You’re lusting me, Lusting you, Against the tree..” Leather Shoe Lovers‘Juniper’ was self produced along with Bob Gronotte (JP Maurice, Stel, Towers and Trees, and Hawk and Steele L, Tal Bachman) and dropped on all platforms Aug 25th, 2023 on Surkeus Records. And the theme that Sail Cassady chose for The Singer Songwriter Showcase: INNER TRUTH

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