The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series

Location: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ, a smoke & alcohol free environment

Time: 8 PM Almost every Friday. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $9 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. All tickets are at the door. There are no advance sales or reservations.

For More Information: Email email icon or call 973-335-9489.

Beppe Gambetta
Jun 1, 2012

Friday, May 29: Brother Sun with Diane Perry

Brother Sun

The House That Jack BuiltThe whole of Brother Sun is greater than the sum of its already substantial parts. Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, and Joe Jencks each all well known as strong and successful singers, songwriters, and performers. But together, they blossom and explode, putting terrific vocal harmonies and solid guitar and piano arrangements to their already powerful songs. Think of them as a male counterpart to Red Molly. This group merits the "Agranoff Imperative" rating. Not to be missed.

Diane Perry

Someone to Watch Over MeDiane Perry is a natural. One of those performers who, from their very first note, you just know was born to her instrument. Diane's instruments are the violin and her voice. And she spans genres from swing standards to folk to her own compositions. She does not let her classical training at Julliard get in the way of improvisational brilliance. And her vocal interpretations are unique and perfect for the material.

This opening set will serve as a preview to Diane's upcoming headline appearance at the Minstrel on a date T.B.D. later this year.

Friday, June 5: The EastRiver Chinese Ensemble

The EastRiver Chinese Ensemble

EastRiver Ensemble SamplerThe music of EastRiver Ensemble may be unfamiliar, but their virtuosity is unmistakable. These guys cook! These alumni of state-run orchestras of north China, resettled in NYC. They perform a mixed repertoire of classical, folk era-pop and quizzical fusion, interspersed with a narrative to lend history and drama to the music. The players are: Xiao Xiannian (the stone-faced lead) on yangqin (Chinese dulcimer),Julie Tay (the chatty group marshal) on percussion, Guo Zhaoshun (the earnest silent one) on pipa and ruan (lutes) Eddie Zhang (the cocky highbrow) on dizi and xun (flutes), Feifei Yang on banhu and erhu (fiddles), and Jiaju Shen on pipa.

Friday, June 12: Open Stage

Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, June 19: Carla Ulbrich with Joe Giacoio

Carla Ulbrich

The F-Word SongA fan favorite on the long-running, nationally syndicated Dr. Demento show, award-winning songwriter and general smarty-pants Carla Ulbrich has been compared to the likes of Ray Stevens, Christine Lavin, Jerry Seinfeld, Chet Atkins and Jewel. The guy who said "Jewel" had been drinking heavily.

Joe Giacoio

God KnowsJoe Giacoio has an unconventional outlook to music. It manifests itself in quirky, funny, and sometimes absurd songs accompanied by an unusual 2-hands-on-the-fretboard guitar technique. Joe and headliner Carla Ulbrich are husband and wife, so I imagine we may see some collaborative effort on some of his songs.

Friday, June 26: Toby Walker and A Personal History of the Blues

Toby Walker

Meat Shaking WomanThe Blues Revue summed it up neatly. Toby Walker is "...a brilliant remarkable guitarist. A pinch of Piedmont, a dash of Delta, a solid Chicago undercurrent minus the amplification, but not the electricity." At home with both wooden and steel guitars, Toby plays the classics as well as his own songs with an open style and a dash of humor. And as an extra bonus for us, this internationally celebrated master of the acoustic guitar is a Morris county resident and a Folk Project member.

A Personal History of the Blues

Through humorous stories, soul stirring songs and a visual slide show, Toby Walker will take you on a tour of the deep south, where he personally learned the Blues from the old time musicians who lived, breathed and played this music. You'll see Etta Baker, who at 80 years of age not only was still a master of fingerpicking guitar but had just finished shingling the roof of her house!! The 68 year old Blues musician James 'Son' Thomas, who despite having a recent gunshot wound in his side was still managing to entertain two girlfriends less then half his age! These are but two of the many musicians who taught Toby the songs that he will play for you during this show. Additionally, Toby will be using numerous instruments such as a one string diddley bow, National Steel guitars, harmonicas and even a cigar box guitar.

Friday, July 3: A Folk Project Special Concert
Calan   $12 in advance or $15 at door

Tale of Two Dragons / Chwedl y Ddwy DdraigCalan brings together the remarkable talents of 5 incredible young musicians, giving a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With a contemporary and lively approach, they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies, rhythmic tunes and spirited, energetic performances of Welsh step-dancing. With their unique instrumental blend of accordion, fiddle, guitar, Welsh pipes, Welsh harp and the percussive sound of Welsh clogs, Calan has certainly found it's musical niche and continues to delight audiences far and wide! Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door and are available via the link above or any Friday night at The Minstrel.

Friday, July 10: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We’ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit the Open Stage page.

Friday, July 17: Huxtable, Christensen, & Hood with Gordon Ward

Huxtable, Christensen, & Hood

Huxtable, Christensen, & Hood (Terri, Carol, & Liz, respectively) might be considered the Red Molly of the 80's. This powerful female harmony trio pretty much tore up the Folk World in their day, singing traditional and contemporary songs, plus a few great originals, and a little doo-wop thrown in for good measure. Life and family took them in separate directions , but they've re-formed for a revival tour.

Gordon Ward

For EmilyGordon Ward, is an author as well as a singer-songwriter. Thus, in his music, he is a storyteller, and many of his songs are musical portraits of people, places, and events that make them come alive and touch the hearts his listeners. He finds inspiration from history, life experiences, observation of the world around him, and the research he's done for his books.

Friday, July 24: The Minstrel's 40th Birthday Show

The Minstrel's 40th Birthday Show

40 years of presenting a concert a week year round. That's a remarkable achievement rarely matched in folk music. And we will celebrate it, as has been our custom, with the music of our own members. About 3 weeks prior, we mixed and matched about 40 of our member-musicians into randomly assembled duos and trios. We've all had the intervening time to work up one song per group. And that's the show. Come celebrate this event with us.

Saturday, July 25: SOLD OUT! A concert to celebrate the Minstrel's 40th Anniversary!
Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton

Last Thing On My MindThis concert is SOLD OUT. If you'd like to be placed on our waiting list click here.

NOTE: THIS CONCERT WILL BE HELD AT A SPECIAL LARGER VENUE: The Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ.
Note early 7:30 show time for this show only.

Who could be better to celebrate the Minstrel's 40th anniversary than Tom Paxton, who has been the quintessential folk singer-songwriter for the entire span of our existence. From his earliest days in the heady Greenwich Village scene of the 60s to the present, Paxton has been at the forefront of his genre. Songs such as "Last Thing On My Mind", "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound", and "Ramblin' Boy" have become classics in the folk lexicon. His songs have been recorded by hundreds of other performers, and are considered standards at festivals, coffeehouses, and campfires wherever folk music is sung. They range from gentle ballads, to humorous flights of fancy, to biting political satire. Most have choruses begging to be sung along with. Not being content to rest on his laurels, Tom has been writing new songs continuously throughout his career, songs of a quality on par with his early hits.

Friday, July 31: Silk City with Rick Ilowite   Rescheduled from snowed-out date in March.

Silk City

You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You GoSilk City is the high powered combination of three of the most accomplished musicians in the East. Danny Weiss' blazing guitar and soaring tenor voice have led bluegrass-oriented bands from Bottle Hill to Skyline. Barry Mitterhoff is currently also playing his mandolin on tour with Hot Tuna. And Larry Cohen's bass playing is sought after by musicians and recording studios around the country.

Rick Ilowite

Blind Arthur's BreakdownRick Ilowite is a fingerstyle blues guitarist who has been called "traditional without puritanical blinders". He's at home with the Piedmont style of his mentor Jorma Kaukonen (of Jefferson Airplane). But, like Jorma he can strap on a Strat and wail as well. Rick is a past president of the Folk Project.

Friday, August 7: David Massengill with Opening Act T.B.D.

David Massengill

Riders On an Orphan TrainSongwriter David Massengill's rural Tennessee roots are still evident in his speech even after four decades of living in the heart of the Greenwich Village NYC folk scene. Both of these environments shape his performances. They show up in the gritty and touching reality of his classic "My Name Joe" and "Great American Dream", and in the homespun stories of his country upbringing. David plays guitar and dulcimer as well as your heartstrings.

Friday, August 14: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 21: Craig Bickhardt. with Brandon Broderick

Craig Bickhardt.

Go RoundThe artists who have recorded Craig Bickhardt's songs reads like a who's who of folk and country stars. Johnny Cash, BB King, Ray Charles, Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, David Wilcox, Janis Ian, and Jonathan Edwards, top the list of 100 or so. But no one can perform them with the panache and feeling better than Craig himself. His singing is heartfelt, and his guitar chops are outstanding. He's a brilliant performer.

Blame It On YouthBrandon Broderick is a young singer-songwriter who came to our attention at one of our Open Stages. His songs focus on lyrical content and song structure. His goal is to write captivating songs that make people think, evoke emotional response, or to share a story or personal experience.

Friday, August 28: Uke New Jersey 3

A 3-day festival for players and lovers of the ukulele featuring Li’l Rev, Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel, Jim & Liz Beloff, Steve Boisen, Christine DeLeon, and more. As in years past, we will start the festivities with a concert on Friday night and continue on Saturday with workshops, jams, vendors and friendship, culminating with the second concert on Saturday night. Sunday is a freeform Jam on the Green in downtown Morristown, hosted by our local Meetup Group “Morristown Uke Jam”. More details to follow. Any questions, please call 908-229-1214

Saturday, August 29: Uke New Jersey 3 (continued)   All day

Workshops, jamming, and concerts continue all day Saturday. Details to follow.

Friday, September 4: Bob Malone with Mike Miz

Bob Malone

Certain DistanceWhen Bob Malone isn't occupied as John Fogarty's (Creedence Clearwater Revival) piano player, he tours as a great solo performer. In that setting he conjures up images of Professor Longhair, or Tom Waits. He mixes literate, sardonic, gutsy songwriting with full-tilt barrelhouse piano for a powerful stage presence.

Was a TimeMike Miz (the Guitar Wiz) is a songwriter with some particularly spectacular guitar chops. His flatpick work ramps up the energy level of his songs into overdrive. His songs are influenced the Pennsylvania coal country of his upbringing, and evoke the rustic and down-to-earth atmosphere of that region.

Friday, September 11: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 18: Geoff Muldaur with Opening Act T.B.D.

Geoff Muldaur

Geoff Muldaur is one of the great voices and musical forces to emerge from the "Great Folk Scare" of the 1960's and '70's. Back then, Geoff made a series of highly influential recordings with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, his then-wife Maria and other notables (Bonnie Raitt, Eric Von Schmidt, Jerry Garcia, etc.). With great guitar chops and his singular voice, Geoff brings the music of rural and urban America in the first half of the 20th Century to life, interspersing the songs with wonderful stories of people and events of that exciting music scene of the 60's and 70's.

Friday, September 25: Tom Chapin with Opening Act T.B.D.

Tom Chapin

Tom Chapin's music spans generations in more ways than one: from the heady Greenwich Village days when he performed with his brothers Harry, Jim, and Steve through today, and from his children's concerts to the boomers who saw him in Greenwich Village, Tom's music is entertaining, welcoming, and relevant. With an agile fingerstyle guitar, gentle humor, audience inclusiveness, and a concern for the Earth and its resources, Tom puts on a memorable show.

Friday, October 2: No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow with Opening Act T.B.D.

No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow

No Fuss and Feathers RoadshowNo Fuss and Feathers Roadshow is the “heck-of-a-good-time” collaboration hatched by award winning songwriters Carolann Solebello, Karyn Oliver, and The YaYas It’s like getting three bands for the price of one when these friends share the stage: a dynamic, cohesive cocktail of delicious harmonies, infectious rhythm, and spontaneous hilarity. Individually, the four are nationally touring performers that have appeared on stage at some of the most respected festivals and venues. Collectively, they are an incorrigible bunch of musical co-conspirators bent on giving their audience an unforgettable show.

Friday, October 9: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway

Friday, October 16: Pat Donohue with Opening Act T.B.D.

Pat Donohue

Would You Like To Play The Guitar?For two decades, Pat Donohue was the guitarist for the house band of A Prairie Home Companion, a band that demanded nothing short of the best. Now free to tour on his own, we are blessed with more opportunities to see him solo in person, where he can really shine. An outstanding guitarist in all genres, he specializes in fingerstyle blues and ragtime. He is also a great songwriter with a wonderful sense of humor. He has written some of the best parodies this side of Wierd Al Yankovic or Allan Sherman.

Friday, October 23: Split Bill
Peter Fischman & Deb O'Hanlon and Andrew Dunn   A pair of hidden gems: two brilliant, but little known songwriters.

Peter Fischman's songs of home and friends and family capture a moment or depict a place or event with the visual acuity of an Ansel Adams photograph. His wife DEB O'HANLON adds her clear soprano voice to the mix. They also sing some of Peter's well-written parodies as well as some traditional songs.

Andrew Dunn's thoughtful and measured view of life is translated into beautiful and powerful song, simply and effectively delivered. He presents a sympathetic and endearing stage persona that is more than a persona. It is Andy himself, out there for the world to enjoy and love.

Friday, October 30: Folk Project Halloween Concert

Details T.B.D.

Friday, November 6: Reserved for Special Concerts

Friday, November 13: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, November 20: Frostwater with Opening Act T.B.D.

Frostwater

In the early '70s, Frostwater was Morris County's local "super-group". Consisting of Laurie Riley (Founding Mother of the Folk Project), Bill Hall, Ron Heacock, and Scott Nelson, they toured the country and played major festivals of the era, such as the Middletown Folk Festival and The Clearwater Revival. Their repertoire comprised mostly of their own songs, sung in gorgeous 4-part harmony, with a few traditional songs and tunes sprinkled in for good measure. They are reconvening from their scattered locations across the country for this first concert in 4 decades.

Friday, November 27: Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo with Opening Act T.B.D.

Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo

Meet Frank and VinnyFrank Vignola is well recognized among the world's greatest gypsy jazz guitarists. Frank's playing is brilliant, innovative, tasty, and unbelievable in its virtuosity. His fellow guitarist Vinny Raniolo gathers no dust either, and is in perfect synch with him. In addition to being brilliant musicians, they are wonderful entertainers as well, hamming it up without detracting from the music. Frank draws his influence from the likes of Django Reinhardt and Bucky Pizzarelli, to such non-jazz icons as Frank Zappa, Les Paul, and Eddie Van Halen. He's played with everyone from David Grisman and Donald Fagan to Madonna and Ringo Starr. And tonight he comes to the Minstrel. Don't miss him.

Friday, December 4: Chorus Song Night

Chorus Song Night

An evening of songs for the audience to sing. Details to follow.

Friday, December 11: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, December 18: T.B.D.

Friday, December 25: Closed

Friday, January 1: Closed

Friday, January 8: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, January 15: T.B.D.

Friday, January 22: Beppe Gambetta with Opening Act T.B.D.

Beppe Gambetta

Valzer per un AmoreBeppe Gambetta, the Italian bluegrass flatpicking champion. Sounds like an ethnic joke, but Beppe is no joke. Early in life he was captured by the music of such greats as Doc Watson and Tony Rice, and soon got to the point where he was sharing festival stages as an equal with his heroes. Equally adroit on mandolin, he can blaze through a hot bluegrass tune or croon a lovely Italian traditional ballad. And all with an elegant continental charm that is a joy to witness.

Friday, January 29: David Roth with Opening Act T.B.D.

Practice Makes ProgressIn describing David Roth, Peter Yarrow (Of Peter, Paul, & Mary) writes, "With voices like his still singing, there's a certainty that the candle will remain lit, the hope reasserted, and the dream still sung," David has sung everywhere from headlining the Kerrville Folk Festival to presenting the National Anthem at a Chicago Bulls NBA game. He has great vocal chops, an engaging stage presence, and the ability to inspire a belief in a brighter future with his songs.

Friday, February 5: Valentines Day Extravaganza

Friday, February 12: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, February 19: T.B.D.

Friday, February 26: Diane Perry with Opening Act T.B.D.

Diane Perry

Someone to Watch Over MeWe got a glimpse of Diane Perry last Spring when she opened for Brother Sun. And the local musicians know her well. Diane is a natural. One of those performers who, from their very first note, you just know was born to her instrument. Diane's instruments are the violin and her voice. And she spans genres from swing standards to folk to her own compositions. She does not let her classical training at Julliard get in the way of improvisational brilliance. And her vocal interpretations are unique and perfect for the material.

Friday, March 4: T.B.D.

Friday, March 11: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We've often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, March 18: T.B.D.

Friday, March 25: Phil Ochs Song Night

Phil Ochs Song Night

When I'm Gone (From the 2012 performance at the Minstrel)An all-star cast consisting so far of Brother Sun (Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway & Pat Wictor) and Magpie, with more to be added, will perform THE SONGS OF PHIL OCHS. Phil was one of the seminal figures of the 60's Folk movement and penned dozens of classics that live today in the hearts of fans and performers alike. The evening will be hosted by Phil's sister, Sonny Ochs, who is still an active figure in the folk community. The performers will also include some of their own songs, and Sonny will add historical and biographical notes to put these songs in the context of the era and the times.