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.

Carla Ulbrich
Jun 22, 2012

Friday, March 6: Jean Rohe and the End Of The World Show with The Lords of Liechtenstein   Rescheduled early after their truncated show last year

Jean Rohe and the End Of The World Show

National Anthem: Arise! Arise!Jean Rohe, Folk Project alumna since the age of 8, is now out in the music world, mastering and owning it in a dizzying array of its many branches. She sings and plays traditional folk, jazz, multi-lingual music of the Americas, North and South, Her own brilliant songs, and the songs of the best young writers of the folk world. The End Of The World band adds mandolin, guitar, accordion, bass, percussion, and vocal harmony. But it's Jean’s remarkable and flexible voice that is the focus of this group. And the ensemble is tight and gets audiences moving and singing.

The Lords of Liechtenstein

SundaysDan and Noah Rauchwerk masquerade as The Lords of Liechtenstein. These irrepressible brothers play surprisingly sophisticated original songs accompanied on guitar , banjo, and ukulele. They create an innovative blend of folk, roots, reggae, and pop music, presented with charming inter-song schtick, bedecked in the latest in millennial sartorial hipness: sweater-vests.

Friday, March 13: 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, March 20: Silk City with Rick Ilowite

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

Rick 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, March 27: Small Potatoes with Arlon Bennett

Small Potatoes

Small Potatoes is the duo of Rich Prezioso and Jacquie Manning. They call themselves "Eclecto-Maniacs", which is pretty apt, as their musical tastes run from Celtic to cowboy with a large dose of their own writing. What helps them pull all this off is the fact that they are monster musicians; Rich can make the guitar talk, and Jacquie is a great whistle and percussion player. They both sing and their voices blend with the smoothness of years of singing together.

Arlon Bennett

A Question for EinsteinOpener Arlon Bennett lists among his songwriting influences giants of the past, such as Harry Chapin and James Taylor, as well as modern day artists like John Gorka and Richard Shindell. He loves to tell a story in song without making it obvious, and from unique perspectives. His songs are touched with eloquence, honesty, and a wry sense of humor.

Friday, April 3: 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, April 10: Joe Crookston with Owen Danoff   Note: Open Stage on April 3.

Joe Crookston

Georgia, I'm HereWhat strikes one first about Joe Crookston's performance is the intensity. There is a palpable force behind the music that makes you sit up and take notice. On top of that there is a sense of poetry and spirituality to his lyrics, and some pretty credible guitar chops and vocal power to lend support to his writing.

Owen Danoff

Hometown HeadstoneOwen Danoff is a young singer-songwriter from Washington DC with a talent that's increasingly rare these days. He writes good songs. Songs with some meat and message to them. Artfully crafted snapshots of situations and people with some depth and thought behind the emotion. He is a talent to keep an eye on for the future.

Friday, April 17: The Kennedys with Michael Braunfeld

The Kennedys

A Day In The LifeWhen not serving as Nanci Griffith's backup band, The Kennedys are joyfully rocking the folk world with their own unique brand of high-energy performance. It's more than the powerful close-harmony singing. It's more than the hot guitar work. It's more than the driving rhythms and power chords. It's the obvious chemistry between Pete and Maura Kennedy that is so charming and so contagious that the listener can't help but grin and join in their fun.

Michael Braunfeld

Over ThereListening to Michael Braunfeld, one is reminded somewhat of Bruce Springsteen: The same full-throated gutsy vocals, the same feel for the blue-collar common man, the same vivid depiction of characters and their stories in few words. He is a singer-songwriter worth watching.

Friday, April 24: Gathering Time with Mara Levine

Gathering Time

Carry OnGathering Time is a vocal harmony-based trio from Long Island, NY that has started to make quite a stir in the Northeast. They put together an exciting program of songs from their own pens, those of their contemporaries in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre, and some classics from the 60's. Stuart Markus, Hillary Foxsong, and Gerry McKeveny have voices that blend exquisitely. They were voted "Most Wanted" at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2012.

Mara Levine

Leaves That Are GreenMara Levine has been a welcome recent addition to the Folk Project scene over the past few years. Her strong suit is her rich and vibrant voice, singing traditional and contemporary folk music. Audience members so inclined will find plenty of opportunity to add their own voices to their choruses and find harmonies of their own. She will be joined on stage by Gathering Time, and perhaps others in her circle of musical friends for a grand evening of beautiful music.

Friday, May 1: Summer Songs Beach Party   $12 admission tonight only includes special deserts.

You are the music at tonight’s Special Minstrel. It’s a party and a members concert rolled into one. Bring your guitars, your voices, your ukuleles, your bongos, your finest Hawaiian shirts, whatever. We’re welcoming summer with our first ever Beach Party Sea Shanty Luau Key West Surfin’ USA Rockin’ Sing-Along & Members Concert. All night long we’ll sing songs about summer, the ocean and the beach. We’ll be alternating group songs from the entire audience, with member performances from the stage. We’ll provide special food. You’ll provide the gusto.

Friday, May 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, May 15: Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman with Opening Act T.B.D.   World class Celtic harp and guitar

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman

Stroll OnTo say that Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Moira Nee-KA-ha-see) & Chris Newman play the Celtic Harp and guitar is like saying Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe pick out tunes on the banjo and mandolin. These two are past masters of their craft, and their craft is virtuoso performance on their chosen instruments. "Awesome" is a word overused these days, but I was drop-dead awe-struck by their performance. Their forte is the Irish and Scots repertoire, but they take detours into old-time American tunes and swing (!!) This is a must-see show even for people who are not into harp music. They are jaw-dropping mind-bending out-freaking-standing.

Friday, May 22: CLOSED for the Folk Project Acoustic Getaway

The Folk Project Acoustic Getaway is a fun-packed, affordable weekend that combines outstanding concerts, workshops and activities at a low all-inclusive price, which includes all meals and lodging. It’s a friendly three-day community limited to 160 performers and guests, infused with music and fun. This Getaway features Lucy Kaplansky, Pat Donohue, The Wiyos, Stu Fuchs, Brendan Taafe, Kate Hedman and more. Watch this space for more information.

Friday, May 29: Brother Sun with Diane Perry

Brother Sun

The 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

The 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

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

Joe 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

Can't Be SatisfiedThe 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

Toby Walker's passion for the music drove him to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books and instruments to wander around the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas tracking down some of the more obscure, but immensely talented music makers of an earlier era. In his travels, he spent time and swapped tunes with the likes of Eugene Powell, James Son Thomas, Jack Owens, Etta Baker. and many more. He has documented his journey with photos, audio and video recordings, and countless personal stories. He will deliver this personal history in a fascinating first-person account from a veteran storyteller and consummate musician, illustrated with those photos and videos, and his own renditions of the music he learned from those great players.

Friday, July 3: Reserved for Special Concerts

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.

Friday, July 31: T.B.D.

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

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: T.B.D.

Friday, August 28: Reserved for Special Concerts

Friday, September 4: Bob Malone with Opening Act T.B.D.

Bob Malone

When 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.

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

For a quarter century, Pat Donohue was the guitarist for the house band of A Prairie Home Companion, a gig 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 Yankovich or Allan Sherman.

Friday, October 23: T.B.D.

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 22: Beppe Gambetta with Opening Act T.B.D.

Beppe Gambetta

Beppe 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.