The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series ™

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

Time: 7:45 PM Most Fridays. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

NOTE: As of July 1, 2016, the Minstrel start time will be moved up to 7:45 PM.

Admission: $9 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.

Special Alert

NOTE: As of July 2016, all shows at the Minstrel will start at the new earlier showtime of 7:45 PM unless otherwise noted.

 

Bill Staines
Sep 7, 2012

Friday, August 5: A Folk Project Special Concert
Muriel Anderson   $20 in advance / $25 at the door

Muriel Anderson

Muriel Anderson SamplerOne of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp-guitarists, Muriel Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. Her obvious joy of music, humor and her facility across the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music is revered by guitarists worldwide.

Concert begins at 8 pm

Purchase Tickets

Friday, August 12: Open Stage.   Note: Early start time of 7:30

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, August 19: River Drivers with Sherman & Siehl

River Drivers

Botany Bay, Hot Asphalt, Billy O'SheaThe River Drivers is a multi-generational band focusing on the music of Ireland, Scotland, and Appalachia, with side trips to the realm of the Folk Revival and some contemporary and original tunes in that mode. With guitar, banjo, fiddle, whistle, bodhran, and multiple vocalists, they have a very big and rousing sound that inspires plenty of audience participation.

Sherman & Siehl

Old Dancing FoolSherman & Siehl are long time playing partners reuniting after a few years hiatus. They play what they like to call "folk 'n roll". A mix of originals and a healthy dose of rootsy Americana music to fill out the performance. High energy and strong tight harmonies are the duo's trademarks. John Siehl plays rhythm guitar and mandolin, and Dave Sherman plays tasty lead guitar.

Friday, August 26: New Jersey Uke Fest   NOT at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

New Jersey Uke Fest

Victor & Penny: 2-day ukulele extravaganza, Friday night and all day Saturday
Note new location at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey,
60C North Jefferson Rd, Whippany, NJ
Friday night concert features Jim Boggia and Victor & Penny
See folkproject.org/njukefest for performers, schedule, and advance ticket sales.

Saturday, August 27: New Jersey Uke Fest   NOT at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

New Jersey Uke Fest

James Hill - 2-day ukulele extravaganza, Friday night and all day Saturday
Note new location at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey,
60C North Jefferson Rd, Whippany, NJ
Workshops, classes, and jamming starting 10:00AM
Evening concert featuring James Hill, Manitoba Hal, and Cousin Earth
See folkproject.org/njukefest for performers, schedule, and advance ticket sales.

Friday, September 2: Tracy Grammer with Dixie Lee & Ed Rainey

Tracy Grammer

TRACY GRAMMER performs original songs and instrumentals, and pays homage to her late partner in life and song, Dave Carter, as well as other stellar contemporary songwriters. She has become one of the staples of the contemporary folk scene with her sweet voice, unassuming and yet commanding stage presence, and great collection of songs.

Dixie Lee & Ed Rainey

Flyin' ShoesDixie Lee & Ed Rainey are a charming young duo who play old time country and Appalachian music. Ed's father Rich Rainey is well known to local bluegrass enthusiasts. Their beautifully matched harmonies, and Ed's simple yet classy guitar accompaniment are a joy to listen to.

Friday, September 9: Brother Sun

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, solid guitar and piano arrangements, and a passion that is palpable into their already powerful songs.

Friday, September 16: Bill Staines with Hudson Valley Sally

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.

Hudson Valley Sally

Deportees / DeportadosHudson Valley Sally is a group that hearkens back to the early days of the Folk Revival when acts like the Weavers were in their heyday. Guitar, banjo, bass, and four voices in full throat,singing uplifting songs with great choruses for all to sing. Their material includes some traditional songs, some songs written in that era. and some of their own in the same vein.

Friday, September 23: A Folk Project Special Concert
Calan   $17 in advance / $20 at the door

Calan

Calan - Tale of Two DragonsCalan bring together the remarkable talents of 5 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, foot tapping tunes and spirited and energetic performances of Welsh step dancing.

Concert begins at 8 pm

Purchase Tickets

Friday, September 30: Open Stage.   NOTE: Not the usual 2nd Friday, & early start time of 7:30

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, October 7: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway

Friday, October 14: Open Stage   Note: Early start time of 7:30

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, October 21: Christine Lavin with David & Sophie Buskin

Christine Lavin

Comedy and CocktailsChristine 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.

David & Sophie Buskin

David Buskin is well known for his hilarious contributions to the late lamented Modern Man and for his great writing, playing and singing as half of super-duo Buskin & Batteau. In this new incarnation, he joins forces with his daughter Sophie, whose multiple talents reveal that this time the apple fell quite close indeed to the tree.

Friday, October 28: Folk Project Halloween Show

Details to follow.

Friday, November 4: John Forster with Mike Agranoff

John Forster

A Mismatch Made in HellJohn Forster obviously fell asleep one too many times as a child to the sound of his Tom Lehrer albums. This is evidenced by his twisted sense of humor, his delightfully skewed view of the human condition, and his prodigious skills as a pianist. His songs have a knack for taking the plausible but improbable, and leading that to its implausible but inevitable conclusion by way of unlikely rhymes, horrible puns, and ironic satire. John is a very funny man.

Mike Agranoff

Would You Like To Play the Guitar?Minstrel Program Chairman Mike Agranoff is also a performer well known for his hilarious songs. He occasionally performs with John Forster under the band name Coffeehouse of the Absurd. Seems only natural for Mike to open for John. Mike will join John on his set for some of their joint comedic repertoire (No, not that kind of joint!), and will use his own set to focus on more serious songs, hot fingerstyle guitar work, and other material.

Friday, November 11: Open Stage   Note: Early start time of 7:30

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 18: Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore with Fendrick & Peck   An Agranoff Imperative*

Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore

Train HomeListening to Mollie O'Brien, one would not be at all surprised to learn that she is Tim O'Brien's sister. She's got the pipes and the musical sense to belt out a country blues song or croon a ballad. One sits up straight and takes notice from the first note. And her husband Rich Moore has the guitar chops to match and embellish her voice note for note. They play their own music, as well as some country standards, which come off a whole lot better than "standard" in the hands of this pair.

* "Agranoff Imperative" This is a term I use to designate an act that may not be well known to our audience, but one that is notablyexceptional. I'll award this maybe once every year or two as an incentive for folks to take a chance on someone with whom they're not familiar. These guys are truly a cut above.
Mike Agranoff
Minstrel Program Chairman

Fendrick & Peck

The Lutefisk WaltzMadeline Fendrick & Brian Peck are a singer songwriter duo with bluegrass overtones. Those overtones spring from their close harmony singing, bright instrumental work on guitar and mandolin, and the classic single microphone setup they use on stage. Their songs, however, generally range over a broader spectrum than your typical bluegrass band. And perhaps the most delightful aspect of their performance is the charming interplay between the two onstage.

Fendrick & Peck will be returning as headliners on June 16, 2017. Mark your calendars.

Friday, November 25: Toby Walker with Opening Act T.B.D.

 Toby Walker

Martin DX-1The 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, December 2: Chorus Song Night

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

Friday, December 9: Open Stage   Note: Early start time of 7:30

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 16: Folk Project Holiday Show

Folk Project Holiday Show

Details to follow

Friday, December 23: Closed

Friday, December 30: The Kennedys with The Inspire Project

The Kennedys

A Day In The LifeWhen 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.

The Inspire Project

The Inspire Project is the result of three powerhouse singer/songwriters joining forces to entertain, uplift, motivate, and come together in harmony. This collaboration is long-held dream of Tanya Leah, who, along with bandmates Ilene Angel, and Lorraine Ferro, comprise the group. Each is a #1 hit songwriter and powerful vocalist in her own right. Determined to put some musical goodness in the world, these three talented women provide a unique blend of songs, stories, humor, and obvious friendship that draws audiences in, and leaves them feeling uplifted from the experience.

Friday, January 6: Reeds, Rhythm, And All That Brass   Make-up date from when show was cancelled due to power outage last July

Reeds, Rhythm, And All That Brass

Jumpin' At The WoodsideLaunched in 1973, Reeds, Rhythm, and All That Brass is an 18-piece band playing the classic American Songbook repertoire of the Big Band era and beyond. Comprised of professional and semi-professional players, they perform the music made famous by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Frank Sinatra, and the like. The band includes Folk Project members Jeff Rantzer and Hen3ry Nerenberg on trombone, Darrell Courtley on sax, and Jay Wilensky on vocals.

Friday, January 13: The April Verch Band with Christine DeLeon   Note: Open Stage is next week this month.

The April Verch Band

Belle ElectionApril Verch is one of those natural musicians that has it all. Immersed in the local dance music of her native Ottawa Valley in Canada, she showed head-turning talent on the fiddle since she was very young. Ever expanding, she voraciously absorbed other Canadian fiddle styles, as well as those of the US, Scotland, Ireland, and any others she encountered. On the way she picked up step dancing, singing, and a great flair for showmanship. We saw her first at the Minstrel as a teenager in 2000 as Mad Pudding's fiddler. And now she fronts her own world-touring band, drawing raves wherever she goes.

Christine DeLeon

Christine DeLeon is perfectly described in Sing Out! Magazine's review of her recent CD: "This New Jersey artist's rich soprano is eerily reminiscent of that of a young Judy Collins: Powerful, crystalline and assured. And, like a young Judy, she makes her voice the centerpiece of [her performance] by featuring sweeping legato ballads accompanied by simple strummed acoustic guitar (filled out by backing instruments). Christine's songs are uniformly upbeat in something of the Dar Williams style..."

Friday, January 20: Open Stage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday and early start time of 7:30

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, January 27: Tim Grimm & the Family Band with The Heather Pierson Trio

Tim Grimm & the Family Band

King of the Folk SingersThere's a common characteristic to all of Tim Grimm's songs. They all feel important. Whether a portrait of a farmer about to lose his land, or a story of a chance encounter at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, or a paean to folk legend Ramblin' Jack Elliot, these songs have a gravitas about them that compels your attention. Tim performs with his wife Jan Lucas-Grimm, and his two sons, Jackson and Connor on guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, and harmony vocals.

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, February 3: Valentine's Day Extravaganza

Friday, February 10: Open Stage   Note: Early start time of 7:30

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, February 17: T.B.D.

Friday, February 24: Occidental Gypsy with Addie & Olin - Unleashed!

Occidental Gypsy

David Bromberg said of Occidental Gypsy, “Great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.” They play gypsy jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt, high energy, clean, and tight. They play the standards, some originals, and apply the style to unexpected covers. They blew the socks off our Fall Getaway crowd, and they'll do the same at the Minstrel.

Addie & Olin - Unleashed!

What do you get when you mix a conservatory trained woodwind player with a Borscht-Belt influenced string player? You get Addie & Olin — Unleashed!. Some great musicianship, and wacky humor. Clever parodies, familiar songs played extremely well in completely inappropriate styles, and sight-gags. These guys are enormous fun.

Friday, March 3: T.B.D.

Friday, March 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 www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, March 17: Spuyten Duyvil with Moss Henry & the Bryophytes

Spuyten Duyvil

Hot TimeSpuyten Duyvil [SPITE-en DIVE-el] might be thought of as Big Band Folk Music. This 8-member group explodes off the stage with infectious energy. Their music is Americana roots, and some originals that sound like Americana roots. They "...roll like an old time tent show, but instead of selling worthless snake oil, they deliver a package of gems, well crafted tunes and stories that are pure fun to listen to." Ron Olesko

Moss Henry & the Bryophytes

Moss Henry & the Bryophytes is an old time country quartet playing music of the American Southwest from a time before "Country 'n Western" became a category unto itself with all the associated glitter and glam. The songs of Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, the Sons of the Pioneers, etc. are tastefully rendered with good guitar work and fine harmonies.

Friday, March 24: Folk Project Special Concert T.B.D.

Friday, March 31: T.B.D.

Friday, April 7: T.B.D.

Friday, April 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, April 21: T.B.D.

Friday, April 28: T.B.D.

Friday, May 5: T.B.D.

Friday, May 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, May 19: T.B.D.

Friday, May 26: Closed for Folk Project Spring Getaway

Friday, June 2: T.B.D.

Friday, June 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, June 16: Fendrick & Peck with Opening Act T.B.D.

Fendrick & Peck

The Lutefisk WaltzYou may remember Madeline Fendrick & Brian Peck from when they opened for Mollie O'Brien last November. They are a singer songwriter duo with bluegrass overtones. Those overtones spring from their close harmony singing, bright instrumental work on guitar and mandolin, and the classic single microphone setup they use on stage. Their songs, however, generally range over a broader spectrum than your typical bluegrass band. And perhaps the most delightful aspect of their performance is the charming interplay between the two onstage.