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.

Christine Lavin
Apr 26, 2013

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Friday, October 20: Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette with Paul Kaplan

Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette

Live from Caffe LenaLong time Minstrel favorites, Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette might be considered the bellwether of the type of act that graces our stage. Relaxed, informal, and folksy, they nonetheless present a performance with great professionalism and skill. Their material ranges from traditional ballads to original songs, to covers from anybody from the Beatles to the Berrymans. They are both great singers and guitarists, and also play banjo, dulcimer, concertina and fiddle.

Paul Kaplan

The Frozen BloggerPaul Kaplan is an old fashioned songwriter who writes songs with choruses that invite singers to join without need for any verbal urging. Many are clever parodies of familiar songs. He plays guitar and quattro.

Friday, October 27: Halloween Party for Hurricane Relief   Note: Special $12 admission tonight only includes refreshments. All proceeds go towards Harvey and Irma relief.

Halloween Party for Hurricane Relief

Come prepared, in costume if you dare, to clap and stomp, sing along, and romp at the folk Project Halloween Concert Show. Sign up to take a spot in the limelight. Laugh at the funky costumes, eat yummy goodies & listen to great live music. Admission includes tricks & treats at intermission. Contact Deborah Graham at Halloween@folkproject.org to sign up to perform, volunteer, or get more details.

Friday, November 3: Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine and Celestial Harmonies   Split Bill

Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine

One By OneBoston-based but New Jersey-born, Terry Kitchen has been performing on the folk scene for the past decade,. He was called "one of New England's finest songwriters" by Dirty Linen magazine, Terry's songs are portraits of ordinary people, captured with compassion, honesty and humor. Terry has joined up with the Folk Project's own Mara Levine, whose vocal harmonies (and sometimes leads) add a whole new level of enjoyment to his songs.

Celestial Harmonies

Celestial Harmonies. The name says it all. Folk Project member Mara Levine, whose voice has garnered raves from reviewers and fellow musicians alike, has gathered about her four other superb voices to form this new group. They are fiddler/guitarist Nancy Moccaldi, fluitist Barbara Novick, guitarist and banjo player, Frank Moccaldi, lead guitarist James Brennan, and her long time musical partner, guitarist and songwriter Caroline Cutroneo. Also appearing will be guest artists Diane Perry on fiddle and Nick Russo on guitar and banjo. But it's the blending of the voices on traditional, contemporary, classical, and original folk songs that makes this group shine.

Friday, November 10: 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, November 17: Joe Jencks with Katherine Rondeau & the Show

Joe Jencks

A Joe Jencks concert is an occasion for singing, a contagious rising up of voices, an act of joy and defiance. Joe's animating purpose runs deep, tapping into the latent, nearly mystical beauty that a roomful of people can unleash by singing together. His songs touch on social justice and community building. He has been favorably compared to songwriters such as John McCutcheon, Holly Near, Fred Small, Tracy Chapman, and James Keelaghan.

Katherine Rondeau & the Show

Katherine Rondeau and the Show is a rootsy Americana Trio featuring Katherine Rondeau on vocals and guitar, Donna Bostock on upright bass and backup vocals, and Smilin' Ed on banjo, mandolin, and dobro. Katherine is well-known to the Folk Project family for her big, bold voice and compelling songwriting. The band comes together as a powerhouse trio with a full rousing sound.

Friday, November 24: The Lords of Liechtenstein with Bill Buttner

The Lords of Liechtenstein

SundaysWhen Dan and Noah Rauchwerk (A.K.A  The Lords of Liechtenstein) opened for the Loose Canons back in March, the overwhelming response was to have them back soon. And here they are. These irrepressible brothers play surprisingly sophisticated original songs accompanied on guitar, mandola, and ukulele. They create an innovative blend of folk influenced by Americana and Celtic music, presented with charming inter-song schtick, and bedecked in the latest in millennial sartorial hipness: sweater-vests.

Bill Buttner

Opening act Bill Buttner is a singer/songwriter from Marlboro NY who has impressed us at his numerous appearances at the Minstrel's Open Stages. His unassuming and low key delivery belies the impact of beautifully written and heartfelt songs. Those songs are best described as folk/Americana with his major influences being Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan.

Friday, December 1: Chorus Song Night   Note: No Concert Window webcast for tonight's show.

Our annual Chorus Song Night is an evening of songs for the audience to sing, led by a panel of four songleaders. This year, we are honored to have our panel headlined by the legendary Bill Staines, whose songs are being sung around more campfires and song circles than just about anyone in the Folk World. Rounding out our panel will be Folk Project member performers Christine DeLeon, Scotty Rovner, and Mike Agranoff

Friday, December 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, December 15: Holiday Benefit Concert for the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

Holiday Benefit Concert for the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

Join The Folk Project in celebrating the Seasonal Holiday’s. Come on by around 7:00PM to a sing-along with some favorite holiday carols. The concert starts at 7:30PM featuring, Carolyn Messina, Gordon Thomas Ward, Sharon Goldman, Kevin Coughlin & Friends, and a Frosty Morning reunion. Suggested Donation $15.00

Friday, December 22: Closed

Friday, December 29: Bob Malone with George Wurzbach

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.

George Wurzbach

HannibalGeorge Wurzbach is best known to Minstrel regulars as the keyboard player of the sadly disbanded comedic trio, Modern Man. But on his own, his material spans a much broader range of emotion. Performing Songwriter Magazine has described George as, "A welcome mix of wit, wisdom, and wonder". His songs have been recorded by Tom Paxton, The Kingston Trio, David Wilcox, Bob Malone, and many others. His recent work with Paxton was featured on the Grammy Nominated Album, Comedians and Angels.

Friday, January 5: Split Bill
Pat Wictor and Reggie Harris

Pat Wictor

Tonight's show brings us two veterans of wildly successful bands in an exciting new combination.

Pat Wictor, of the late lamented "Brother Sun" is a songwriter rooted in traditional blues, but ranging much wider than that. His strong clear voice and tasty slide guitar accompaniment characterizes his performance, and have made him highly sought after in backing up innumerable other performers on recording and performance.

Reggie Harris is best known as half of the veteran duet with his wife Kim. He combines a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock, jazz, and pop music. His brilliant voice rides over his strong guitar work to deliver a powerful and emotional performance.

Together these two present a solid show of great songs, delivered with heartfelt vocals and strong guitar accompaniment.

Friday, January 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, January 19: The Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble

Castlerock RoadMultistyle violinist and champion fiddler Mari Black is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing and engaging stage presence have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari holds multiple competition blue ribbons in fiddle styles as diverse as Scottish, Canadain Maritime, and Novelty. (Watch her play behind her back a la Jimi Hendrix!) And her repertoire includes the whole gamut from Celtic to classical to jazz. Her show is as entertaining as it is diverse.

Friday, January 26: T.B.D.

Friday, February 2: Valentines Day Extravaganza

Friday, February 9: 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 16: T.B.D.

Friday, February 23: Butch Ross with Opening Act T.B.D.

Butch Ross

Butch Ross 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.

Friday, March 2: Magpie with Opening Act T.B.D.

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.

Friday, March 9: 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 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 personna with solid guitar and strong vocals. She performs with her husband/bass player, Charlie Koch.

Friday, March 23: An evening with Jay Unger & Molly Mason   Tickets $20 advance / $25 at the door (This show only)

An evening with Jay Unger & Molly Mason

The Lover's WaltzJay Unger & 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

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 20: Doolin' - Irish music, French style   Tickets $20 advance / $25 at the door (This show only)

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 available soon $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

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 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, June 1: Toby Walker with Opening Act T.B.D.

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.

Friday, June 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, June 15: T.B.D.

Friday, June 22: T.B.D.

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.