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.

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

Hotel Discount: Red Roof Inn in Parsippany is offering a discount to Minstrel performers and audience members.

Watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Most concerts at the Minstrel are 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.

NEW - Buy Minstrel tickets online: You may now purchase tickets in advance for some Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series shows by clicking on the Buy Tickets icon at right. Note that some events will still accept admissions payment only at the door, with no advance sales.

Bill Staines
Sep 7, 2012

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Friday, April 19: Del Rey with The Green Planet Band

Del Rey

Livin' in a Great Big WayThose who attended our 2018 Spring Getaway will long remember the bravura performance they saw by Del Rey.She hits the stage like a miniature tornado with blues, ragtime, jug band, and novelty numbers played on steel guitar and ukulele. Her instrumental prowess approaches, but does not quite cross the borderline of being flashy. And it's all delivered with a twinkle in the eye, and a sense of humor that's a cross between Will Rogers and Monty Python. The woman is a pistol!

The Green Planet Band

Silver Threads and Golden NeedlesThe Green Planet Band is a family band comprised of siblings Kylee (13), Tyler (11), and Anna (11), along with Mama Lisa. It started with an elementary school talent show, and has grown to be a credible semi-professional folk-rock act with strong vocals by the kids and lead guitar work from Mama. They do music by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Journey, Neil Diamond, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, and others, and have been a big hit at numerous Folk Project and other local events.

Friday, April 26: RPR with The Annie Donahue Trio

RPR

RPR SamplerThose who mourn the demise of the great Canadian band Tanglefoot will rejoice at the emergence of RPR, which might justifiably be called "Tanglefoot II". Three of T'foot's members, Rob Ritchie (keyboard), Steve Ritchie (guitar), and Al Parrish (bass) form the core of the band, and are joined by Beaker Granger (percussion & guitar). The full-throated folk sound is still there, along with some of the old band's repertoire. But the focus is broader and the musical palette more varied. The vocal harmonies are powerfully evident as ever, as is the energy, the finely-honed songwriting, the penchant for humour and the twinkling eyes.

The Annie Donahue Trio

Everybody Wants To Love SomebodyThe Annie Donahue Trio features Annie Donahue (singer/songwriter), Todd Dennison (guitar/vocals), and Craig Limey (bass/vocals). The trio formed in August of 2018, with their first performance opening for the Folk Project Getaway Concert Series to rave reviews. They combine traditional folk music and gospel with jazz influences to create unique musical arrangements with tight three part vocal harmonies. They strive to make music that touches listeners with songs that are introspective, joyful, meditative, and move them to join in singing.

Friday, May 3: The Kennedys with Jaclyn Fraser

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.

Jaclyn Fraser

Jaclyn Fraser is a 18 year old singer we've discovered via our OpenStage. She’s been playing the guitar for four years and singing ever since she could talk. Jaclyn has performed as a soloist at Madison Square Garden, Prudential Center, and has toured with the “Paper Mill Playhouse’s Children All Stars on Tour" Company. She loves all genres of music especially pop and folk, and writes her own original music as well. She will be accompanied on guitar and vocals by her guitar teacher, Jeff Bourlier.

Friday, May 10: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, & $5 under age 21 , OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Minstrel OpenStage 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. ( For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, May 17: Closed for the Folk Project Spring Getaway

Friday, May 24: Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys with The Rough & Tumble

Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys

We Used To Be BirdsJonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become Americana favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.” Multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken and drummer Austin McCall comprise The Pickup Cowboys, a pair of musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. And together, they put on a whirlwind show of great songs and theatrical antics that brought the attendees of last October’s Folk Project Getaway to their feet demanding more.

The Rough & Tumble

Tiny MosesThe Rough & Tumble is a close-harmony, folk duo consisting of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler.  They left Nashville 4 years ago, for life on the road in a 16 foot camper with their two dogs. Heartfelt, intimate, candid, and warm, The Rough & Tumble’s tight-knit songs feature the accompaniment of acoustic guitars, accordion, banjulele, a toy piano, and a box full of noisemakers, and reflect the life of a couple of lovers on a great adventure across America.

Friday, May 31: Silk City with Hillary-Marie's Sole Music Collective

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. For over a decade, mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff toured with Hot Tuna, and has recorded for countless prominent acts from Peter Rowan to John Gorka to Julius LaRosa. And Larry Cohen's bass playing is sought after by musicians and recording studios around the country.

Hillary-Marie's Sole Music Collective

Hillary & AmyHillary-Marie's Sole Music Collective is one of the more unusual and charming duos you're likely to see on our stage. It features singer-songwriter and ukulele player Ami Madeleine, accompanied by Hillary Marie on foot, hand, and body percussion (an extended form of tap dance) and occasionally backup vocals. The result is a treat for the eye as well as the ear.

Friday, June 7: Cancelled

Due to construction at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, the show featuring Small Potatoes and Jean Scully & Friends is cancelled. They will be rescheduled.

Friday, June 14: OpenStage Cancelled

Due to construction at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, the OpenStage scheduled on this date will be cancelled. Regular 2nd Friday OpenStages will be resumed starting July 12.

Friday, June 21: David Roth with The Sandie Reilly Band

David Roth

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.

Sandie Reilly is a longtime performing member of the Folk Project, and active on its Board of Directors. She plays guitar, and sings in a clear soprano. She is joined by fellow Folk Projectile and utility sideman Todd Dennison on bass and guitar, and Max Cohen on guitar and backup vocals. Together, they perform mostly Sandie's material along with a few well-chosen covers.

Friday, June 28: Summer Songs   A Folk Project Member Concert

More information to come.

Friday, July 5: Closed

Friday, July 12: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, & $5 under age 21 , OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Minstrel OpenStage 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. ( For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, July 19: T.B.D.

Friday, July 26: The Minstrel's 44th Birthday Show   Tonight: $$12 admission includes birthday cake & refreshments.

Friday, August 2: Happy Traum with Pete McDonough   An evening of fingerstyle guitar

Happy Traum

Church Street BluesHappy Traum, together with his late brother Artie, raised and set the standard of finger-style guitar playing in the great heyday of the Folk Revival in the 60's and 70's. He has performed in virtually every major folk festival in the US and abroad, taught in every guitar camp from Swannanoa to Merlefest to the Fur Piece Ranch, and played with virtually every legendary acoustic guitarist in the world over the past 40 years, and released many instructional books and videos on the subject. He still plays great, and has some wonderful stories to tell about the era of the Great Folk Scare.

Pete McDonough

Hesitation BluesCompleting this evening's pair of fingerstyle guitarists is Pete McDonough. Pete has been performing, studying, and writing about acoustic blues for more than 40 years. His performances present a journey through piedmont, delta and other acoustic blues styles associated with such greats as Rev. Gary Davis, Bo Carter, Mississippi John Hurt and others. His recent projects include contributing to the production of Harlem Street Singer, the award winning documentary film about the life and music of Rev. Gary Davis.

Friday, August 9: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, & $5 under age 21 , OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Minstrel OpenStage 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. ( For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 16: Richard Shindell with Andrew Dunn   Note: No Concert Window broadcast of this show.

Richard Shindell

ArrowheadOne of the most respected singer-songwriters of the folk community comes to the Folk Project. Attending a concert with Richard Shindell is kind of like reading a book of very engrossing short stories. He has an intensity to his performance that brings the characters to sharp focus, including some characters you wouldn't expect to find at a folk event.

Andrew Dunn

This Is My Husband's CarAnd who better to open for Richard Shindell than one of the most respected singer-songwriters in the Folk Project community, Andrew Dunn? Andrew'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, August 23: NJUF - Gerald Ross w/ Rachel Manke and Saturday, August 24: NJUF - Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward w/ Christopher Davis-Shannon

NJUF - Gerald Ross w/ Rachel Manke

Gerald Ross - Sweet Georgia Brown Concert at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey - Gerald Ross blends the sounds of jazz blues and swing, creating a ukulele style uniquely his own. Whether he is playing jazz standards, popular favorites, delta and urban blues, Tin Pan Alley melodies, New Orleans rhythms or boogie woogie, it’s bound to be a delightful surprise to any listener. Rachel Manke has been called one of the brightest stars in the ukulele universe, and loves sharing her astounding technique and beautiful singing with audiences young and old.

Saturday, August 24: NJUF - Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward w/ Christopher Davis-Shannon

Swedberg & Ward - Simple GiftsConcert at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey - Heidi says: Folks often ask us, “What type of music do you play?” Our answer is, “Whatever we want!” From jazz to Latin styles, classical to folk—we tackle tunes that get people engaged and fire up their desire to participate in music. Christopher Davis-Shannon's music is the essence of honest simplicity. He creates an atmosphere that will instantly transport you back to jazz clubs and speakeasies of the early 20th century.

Friday, August 30: T.B.D.

Friday, September 6: David Stoddard with Sharon Goldman

David Stoddard

My TownThe capacity crowd who saw David Stoddard's opening set for Cheryl Wheeler overwhelmingly endorsed him for this followup headline set. He's a Minnesota-based singer-songwriter who has won the Kerrville New Folk award, as well as songwriting awards at the South Florida Folk Festival, the Tucson Folk Festival, the Minnesota Folk Festival, and others. His music gets compared to that of Randy Newman and Loudon Wainwright III. John McCutcheon said of him, “It’s not often I hear a songwriter that can write funny and write serious. David Stoddard is one of the rare ones. I love his stuff.”

Jerusalem (Yerushalayim)Sharon Goldmanis a Folk Project member, and a very fine singer-songwriter. Her songs are plain, but not simple, sophisticated, but not impenetrable. She sings of family, of relationships, and of stories worth hearing.

Friday, September 13: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, & $5 under age 21 , OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Minstrel OpenStage 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. ( For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 20: Garnet Rogers with Scott Cook

Garnet Rogers

Sailor's RestWith his smooth, dark baritone, his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet Rogers is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. He became a touring musician right out of high school as a member of his brother Stan's band. His music is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humor and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.

Scott Cook

Pass It AlongScott Cook has been living out of a van or a backpack for the last eleven years, touring almost incessantly across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere, and releasing six albums along the way.  All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world. "He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own... Truly one of Woody Guthrie's children." -RnR Magazine

Friday, September 27: Patrick Ball --   A one-man musical play

Patrick Ball --

The Soul Agony / The Twisting of the RopeIrish harper and storyteller Patrick Ball returns to the Minstrel with another of his musical/dramatic 1-man productions. "Come Dance With Me in Ireland" recounts the life and music of the great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, as seen through the eyes of an elderly Irish-American couple returning to the "Auld Ground". In his enchanting brogue, and accompanying himself on the traditional wire-strung Celtic harp, Patrick spins a heartwarming tale and enchants the listener with his impeccable artistry on this rare instrument.

Friday, October 4: An evening with:
Tom Paxton & the DonJuans   A Folk Project Special Concert

Tom Paxton & the DonJuans

More details to follow.

Friday, October 11: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway   Admission: $10 general, $5 for age 21 & under, OpenStage only.

Details to follow. Registration opens July 4.

Friday, October 18: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas with The Free Reeds

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

‘t Ey BelseleFrom his teenage years in Scotland, Alasdair Fraser displayed an abiding love and precocious talent for the fiddle music of Scotland. Now 4 decades later, he is recognized around the world as one of greatest carriers of that flame. Not only does he embrace the music of the tradition, he has enlarged it with dozens of widely known compositions of his own. With his longtime musical partner, cellist Natalie Haas he has graced just about every festival and concert hall in the world with his virtuosity. From fiery reels to enchanting airs to sprightly strathspeys, the pair embody the essence of Scotland.

The Free Reeds

Paris NightsThe Free Reeds is comprised of Corey Purcell (button accordion) and Rob Curto (piano accordion). They explode all the accordion jokes, and prove that the instrument in the right hands can produce great and exciting music. Their repertoire covers the full range from Argentinian tangos to Irish reels, to French gigues, with a little song accompaniment thrown in for good measure.

Friday, October 25: Folk Project Halloween Show

Details T.B.D.

Friday, November 1: Zoe Mulford with Opening act T.B.D.

Zoe Mulford

The President Sang Amazing GraceThose who saw Zoe Mulford's bravura opening set for Susan Werner in January voted overwhelmingly to give her a feature set of her own. Zoe plants one foot on either shore of the Atlantic, with homes in Pennsylvania and Manchester England. She tackles the big eternal themes - love, death, food, laundry, etc. - with wit and honesty. Backing her clear vocals with guitar or clawhammer banjo, she serves up well-told stories seasoned with everything from old-time picking to Irish ballad, plus a dash of the blues. Her song, "The President Sang Amazing Grace" has been recently recorded by Joan Baez.

Friday, November 8: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, $5 for age 21 & under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Minstrel OpenStage 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 regular scheduled 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 15: JP Cormier with Opening act T.B.D.   An Agranoff Imperative!*

JP Cormier

Dixie BreakdownJP Cormier is the worst-kept secret of the multi-instrumental virtuoso world. Based in Nova Scotia, he has been a member of the world's top touring bluegrass and string bands since the age of 13. After two decades of that, he stepped out of the bands, and began his solo career. His guitar work, both flatpicking and fingerstyle is lightning fast, and yet smooth as butter. So is his fiddling. His songs are brilliantly written, and delivered in a clear and soulful tenor. And the stories between songs is delightful and often hilarious.

* It's been a long time since we've had an "Agranoff Imperative" at the Minstrel. I will apply that rating once every few years to an artist appearing at the Minstrel for the first time who, though their name may not be familiar, merits my MUST SEE recommendation based on sheer virtuosity, and performance excellence. JP Cormier is one such without doubt. Put this one on your calendar now!

Mike Agranoff
Minstrel Program Chairman

Friday, November 22: T.B.D.

Friday, November 29: Reserved for a Folk Project Special Concert

Details to follow

Friday, December 6: Chorus Song Night

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

Friday, December 13: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general, & $5 under age 21 , OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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 20: Folk Project Holiday Benefit Show

Details to follow

Friday, December 27: Gathering Time with Opening act T.B.D.

Gathering Time

If I Had My WayIt's 4-1/2 years since Gathering Time last graced our stage. This vocal harmony-based trio from Long Island, NY has become a local favorite here 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.