The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series ™

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

Time: 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $10 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. Children 12 and under free. All tickets are at the door. There are no advance sales or reservations.

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

NEW - watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Starting in May 2017, most concerts at the Minstrel will be webcast live on Concert Window. Click on the CW logo at right to sign in. Check out our Instruction Page if you have not yet signed up for this service.

Bill Staines
Sep 7, 2012

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Friday, February 23: Butch Ross with Hiroya Tsukamoto   Butch Ross: Audience choice

Butch Ross

Eleanor RigbyWhen Butch Ross opened for Tom Chapin last July, the sold-out audience unanimously rose to its feet in enthusiastic applause at the end of his set. When asked if Butch should come back as a headline set, they roared their approval. And nearly 60 of them put that approval in writing in promising to note the date of his feature appearance in their calendars. Tonight's the night!

Butch somehow made the retrograde transition from singer-songwriter with guitar to one of the newest most exciting Appalachian dulcimer virtuosi in the country. He performs appropriate traditional songs and tunes. But he also plays his own and other contemporary songs that ought to be totally inappropriate to the dulcimer (Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Richard Thompson), but somehow manage to fit the instrument perfectly in his hands. And he presents it all with an irresistible intelligence, charm, and gentle humor.

Hiroya Tsukamoto

SoledadWith innovative guitar techniques and thought-provoking stories, Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us on an innovative, impressionistic journey filled with earthy, organic soundscapes that impart a mood of peace and tranquility.

Friday, March 2: Magpie with Rhonda Schuster

Magpie

I Stand Before the Morning SunPartners in life as well as music, Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino are celebrating their 45th year of performing as the duo Magpie. It only follows that their music as a duo is instinctively tight. Their vocal harmonies blend perfectly. Their instrumental work on guitar, mandolin, and harmonica is top notch. And their music ranges from '30's swing to environmentally and socially active folk music.

Rhonda Schuster

I Feel For YouRhonda Schuster is a new Folk Project member musician, whom we discovered at our November Open Stage. She sings mostly her own songs with a blues influence and a powerful voice.

Friday, March 9: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

Open Stage

Open Stage is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform on our stage, and for listeners to hear a wide variety of great musicians. In its revised format, it has generated a lot of excitement, and now provides a performance opportunity for all who come to play on one of two stages running simultaneously. Admission price is only $5.00, or free to F those under 25 years of age. (Free will donations encouraged.) Musicians wishing to perform should visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org. This month's Featured Artist will be Chrissie Roberts, who appeared at the Folk Project Fall Getaway.

Friday, March 16: Split Bill
Geoff Bartley and Cosy Sheridan   Two excellent Boston area songwriters

Geoff Bartley

Drivin' This BusGeoff Bartley was one of the brightest stars in the Minstrel's lineup in its formative years. Geoff's been hanging around his Cambridge home for the past 15 years, but we're delighted to see him touring again. He's an insightful songwriter with an expressive baritone voice, an exceptionally clean and tasty guitarist, and one of the best damn harmonica players in the country.

Cosy Sheridan

My Fence and My NeighborThe first thing that grabs you about songwriter Cosy Sheridan is her sharp, bubbly, almost manic stage presence. You're whisked along on a joyful madcap ride from the myths of ancient Greece to an insightful approach to long term financial planning. Her wryly insightful songs have been showcased everywhere from Carnegie Hall to The Dr Demento Show. She supports this charismatic persona with solid guitar and strong vocals. She performs with her husband/bass player, Charlie Koch.

Friday, March 23: A Folk Project Special Concert
An evening with Jay Ungar & Molly Mason   Tickets $20 advance / $25 at the door (This show only) No Concert Window webcast for this show.

An evening with Jay Ungar & Molly Mason

The Lover's WaltzJay Ungar & Molly Mason the heart and soul of American roots music will grace The Folk Project’s Stage at The Minstrel for a special evening of music and song. Tickets $20/$25. More>

Friday, March 30: Minstrel Closed

Our show will be preempted by a Good Friday / Passover service by the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship.

Friday, April 6: Joe Crookston with Emily Mure   Note: No Concert Window webcast for tonight's show.

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.

Emily Mure

Watch"The first time I heard Emily Mure sing was 2am in the swirling chaos of a music conference. Unfazed, delicate and fierce, she stood poised singing confidently like a wise oak tree...Her music is deeply grounded and heavenly at the same time. She is quietly confident and roaring with passion. In this uncertain chaotic world, we need voices like Emily Mure to heal us, to remind us who we are, and to give us places to rest our hearts" - Joe Crookston

Friday, April 13: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, April 20: A Folk Project Special Concert
Doolin' - Irish music, French style   Tickets $20 advance / $25 at the door (This show only). Note: No Concert Window broadcast.

Doolin' - Irish music, French style

Doolin' The A-Set live in ToulouseInspired by the purest tradition, Doolin’ combines instrumentals, vocals and original compositions in a resolutely modern style. The arrangements, at times taking their inspiration from pop-rock, folk, jazz, funk or even rap (and always in the best taste), emit great energy. That’s Doolin’ – Irish music with a French touch!

Tickets now available $20 in advance / $25 at the door

Friday, April 27: Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman with Opening Act T.B.D.   Note: No Concert Window webcast for tonight's show.

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 4: The Heather Pierson Trio with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Heather Pierson Trio

Still She Will FlyHeather Pierson is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. She effortlessly shifts from New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives. In addition to singing and playing piano, she also plays tenor banjo, melodica and guitar. Her trio adds strings, cornet, bass, and harmony vocals.

Friday, May 11: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, May 18: Jim Kweskin with Opening Act T.B.D.

Jim Kweskin

Lazy BonesIn the 60's Jim Kweskin, with his famous Jug Band, was instrumental (if you'll forgive the pun) in resurrecting the long forgotten jug band music of the 20's and 30's and adding it to the repertoire of the Folk Revival. A brilliant guitarist and band leader, he renders the tricky guitar style to perfection, while still maintaining the looseness and improvisational character of that style of music. On top of that, he is a consummate entertainer and showman.

Friday, May 25: Closed for Spring Getaway

Friday, June 1: Toby Walker with Quentin Callewaert

Toby Walker

I Know You RiderThe 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 point of pride for us, this internationally celebrated master of the acoustic guitar is a Morris county resident and a Folk Project member.

Quentin Callewaert

17 year old Quentin Callewaert is a singer-guitarist, infused with the love of the folk music of his parents' generation. Inspired by such pioneers as Doc Watson, Merle Travis and Tommy Emmanuel, he displays precocious ability to convincingly play and sing the fingerstyle guitar classics of those pioneers.

Friday, June 8: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Saturday, June 16: A special SATURDAY edition of the Minstrel
The Frank Vignola Trio with Windbourne

The Frank Vignola Trio

Tico TicoFrank Vignola was scheduled to perform for us last spring, but had to cancel after a near fatal vehicle accident. Now, fully recovered, he has chosen the Minstrel for his debut New Jersey appearance since his injury. He will be performing with Vinny Ragniolo on guitar and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, the same configuration in which he appeared in his first Minstrel performance 10 years ago.

Frank is well recognized among the world's greatest gypsy jazz guitarists. His playing is brilliant, innovative, tasty, and unbelievable in its virtuosity. He 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 such luminaries as David Grisman Donald Fagan, Madonna, and Ringo Starr in the most prestigious concert halls throughout the world. And tonight he comes to the Minstrel. Don't miss him.

Windbourne

I Can HewConjuring up echos of the Canadian group "Finest Kind", Windbourne is a harmony-driven quartet of 20-somethings who revel in the vocal traditions of the British Isles and early American folk song. To this they add vocal harmony traditions around the world from the Balkans to South Africa. They sing either acapella, or with spare accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, and percussion.

Friday, June 22: A Folk Project Member Concert
Summersongs

Details to follow.

Friday, June 29: Jacob Johnson with Opening Act T.B.D.

Jacob Johnson

Chim Chim ChereeNote: Audience members who saw Jacob Johnson's opening act for Julie Gold last summer voted overwhelmingly to bring him back for a headliner tonight.

Hailing from upstate South Carolina, Jacob Johnson is a one-of-a-kind solo acoustic performance artist. He specializes in a style of guitar playing he calls "Neo-acoustic folk/funk", characterized by virtuosic chops played at blinding speed enhanced by electronic looping. His off-the-cuff sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek sensibility provide an endearing counterbalance to his technical brilliance, leaving the listener to wonder if he isn't just making it all up as he goes. And sometimes he is.

Friday, July 6: Kirsten Maxwell with Opening Act T.B.D.

Kirsten Maxwell

PrismKirsten Maxwell's voice has been compared to Baccarat crystal, her lyrics are rich with poetry and passion, and her guitar playing is a perfectly delicate accompaniment to her craft. To top it all off, this singer/songwriter is as endearing off stage as she is in the spotlight. This up and coming artist is well recognized as one of tomorrow's luminaries of the the Folk World. You can say you saw her when she played the Minstrel.

Friday, July 13: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, July 20: Christine Lavin with Opening act T.B.D.   This is Christine Lavin's return after her cancelled January date due to the flu.

Christine Lavin

College Fight Song for SesquipedaliansChristine Lavin is the Folk World's long-reigning Queen of the Intelligently Absurd. The title of one of her earlier albums, "I Don't Make This Stuff Up, I Just Make It Rhyme"says it all. She has an eye for the ironic and the absurd in the news and everyday life, and puts it into song. And dresses it all up in skillful guitar work, electronic loops, and wonderful gimmicks like baton twirling. She's irrepressible, and ya gotta love her.

Friday, July 27: The Minstrel's 43rd Birthday Show

On July 25, 1975 the little coffeehouse that was to become the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series held its first show. The Folk Project celebrates that anniversary with a performance by 40 some Member musicians combined in randomly selected duos and trios. Always a surprise. Always fun. And always a celebration.

Friday, August 3: Cliff Eberhardt with Louise Mosrie

Cliff Eberhardt

I Want to Take You HomeCliff Eberhardt is a powerhouse of a singer-songwriter in all aspects of his craft. His voice is a high-liner freight train demanding and deserving your undivided attention. The songs that train carries are fraught with emotion and brilliant in their poetry. And his guitar work complements the package perfectly.

Louise Mosrie

Battle of Blair MountainIt's no surprise that Louise Mosrie was voted "Most Wanted" at the 2011 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist showcase. This Nashville singer-songwriter backs up some prodigious writing skills with a great voice, emotional delivery, and an engaging stage presence.

Cliff and Louise have been collaborating, both musically and personally for some time now, so it's likely that they will be joining each other onstage for some songs.

Friday, August 10: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 17: T.B.D.

Friday, August 24: Closed for Uke Fest

Details to follow.

Friday, August 31: T.B.D.

Friday, September 7: Betsy Rose and the Chicago Fire with Opening Act T.B.D.

Betsy Rose and the Chicago Fire

Betsy Rose, better known to fellow Folk Project members as Elizabeth Lachowicz, is the Folk Project's resident Blues maven. Her clear voice and saucy style are rooted in the sights and sounds of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods and rowdiest music bars. Betsy's brand of the blues is filled with life lessons, raw emotions, heartfelt sorrows and playful innuendoes. Her backup band, The Chicago Fire, is packed with some of the Project's finest musicians.

Friday, September 14: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 21: Bill Staines with Opening Act T.B.D.

Bill Staines

RiverFor just about as long as anyone currently involved in folk music can remember, Bill Staines is the archetypical contemporary folk singer. People have been singing his songs on stage, in recording studios, and around campfires for over 30 years. He is responsible for such classics as "Roseville Fair", "All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir", and "River", all with choruses that beg to be sung with. Come and see a true living legend.

Friday, September 28: 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.

Friday, October 5: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway

Friday, October 12: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, October 19: Abbie Gardner with Opening Act T.B.D.

Abbie Gardner

I'd Rather BeAbbie Gardner is best known to the Minstrel regulars as the dobro player with the infectious smile from the group Red Molly. As a solo artist she performs mostly her original songs of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, propelled by her clear and expressive vocals and impeccable slide guitar playing. There's a pure Country feel to her delivery, channeling Lucinda and Bonnie, but remaining pure Abbie.

Friday, October 26: A Folk Project Member Concert
Folk Project Halloween Party

Details to follow

Friday, November 2: T.B.D.

Friday, November 9: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, November 16: T.B.D.

Friday, November 23: T.B.D.

Friday, November 30: T.B.D.

Friday, December 7: Chorus Song Night

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

Friday, December 14: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, December 21: A Folk Project Special Concert
Folk Project Holiday Show

A concert to benefit the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. Details to follow.

Friday, December 28: The Kennedys with Pepper & Sassafras

The Kennedys

Midnight GhostWhen not serving as Nanci Griffith's backup band, The Kennedys have been 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.

Pepper & Sassafras

FlyPepper & Sassafras is the duo of Jeffrey Pepper Rogers and Wendy Ramsay. What the Kennedys do for folk rock, P&S do for straight folk. Well written songs with agile guitar accompaniment and really sweet harmonies and an old-timey feel.