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.

Special Alert

To help "flatten the curve" of the COVID-19 virus, we have cancelled all public activities through the end of April. We will assess our plans for May as things progress.

Meanwhile, please watch our online Stayaway events linked from our home page and our Youtube channels Horses Sing None of It and Folk Project Video.

Stay tuned, stay healthy and keep washing your hands!

 

Bucky Pizzarelli
Mar 4, 2011

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Friday, May 1: Open Stage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday! Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

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

Friday, May 8: Deeper Than The Skin   A Folk Project Special Concert. Tickets: $25.00 (Open Stage on May 1 this month)

Deeper Than The Skin

Hickory HillDeeper Than The Skin is a very special event presented by The Folk Project. This is not just a concert of songs that entertain. This is an examination in song and story of the issue of race in America by two of our favorite artists who have lived that issue, and come to grips with it. This is an evening of singing and listening; of experiencing a connection so deep that it moves us to laugh, cry, and reconsider what we know about our history.

Deeper Than the Skin is presented by two friends well known to the Folk Project community, Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway. This pair, born 3 days apart, one Black and one White, one from the North and one from the South, are both musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers. Their two separate narratives are forged into one powerful presentation aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same. This will be an event not to be missed, and long remembered by those who experience it.

Click here for tickets: Buy tickets icon

Friday, May 15: T.B.D.

Friday, May 22: Jesse Ruben with Oakes & Smith

Jesse  Ruben

This is Why I Need YouThose of you who saw Jesse Ruben's bravura opening set for the Loose Canons back in February will certainly remember him. And you'll be glad to hear the the immediate and wildly enthusiastic reaction to his performance won him a follow-up headline set this evening. Jesse is a young Brooklyn-based songwriter, who can bounce between frenetic, wordy, cleverly written, almost manic ditties to incredibly tender and specific love songs in the blink of an eye. He is at once spontaneous and beautifully crafted in his delivery, and a real charmer to boot.

Oakes & Smith

The Holy MomentOur openers this week areRobert Oakes & Katherine Smith. This Massachusetts duo puts their beautifully matched voices to their own songs as well as some familiar ones. At the heart of this partnership in life ans well as in music are a strong bond of love and a passion to pursue the creative calling. Oakes and Smith hope to inspire listeners and remind them that peace, sincerity and beauty are still very much alive in the world.

Friday, May 29: Dead to the Core   An acoustic celebration of the Grateful Dead

Dead to the Core

Dead To The Core TrailerDead to the Core is a collective of singer-songwriters and acoustic musicians, who pay tribute to the Grateful Dead, illuminating the masterful song craft of one of America’s most original bands. Interspersed with the music are clips from Rodgers’ own interviews with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, in which they reflect on the roots and evolution of the music. This will be an experience unlike any other Grateful Dead tribute: a night of deeply personal performances that illuminate the masterful song craft and storytelling of one of America's most original bands. The participants are:

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers (acoustic guitar & cajon) Songwriter, member of Pepper & Sassafras, founding editor of Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and author of a Homespun Video series teaching his arrangements of classic Dead songs
Wendy Ramsay, (flute, clarinet, & accordion) Songwriter and member of Pepper & Sassafras
Erin McKeown (acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards) Songwriter for film, television, and theater. Her first musical, Miss You Like Hell, was named the best musical of 2018 by The Wall Street Journal.
Natalia Zukerman (acoustic guitar, lap steel), Songwriter who has accompanied and opened for acoustic music greats such as Janis Ian, Susan Werner, Shawn Colvin, Ani DiFranco, Richard Thompson, and Tom Paxton.
Anand Nayak (acoustic guitar) is a Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Guitarist for Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem.

All five provide brilliant harmony vocals.

Friday, June 5: Mike Agranoff with The Annie Donahue Trio   The Troubadour returns with two of the Folk Project's own.

Mike Agranoff

The Mary Ellen CarterAs the Troubadour's Program Chairman, Mike Agranoff has been its public face for decades. Many regular attendees have heard snippets of music from him at an Open Stage or in informal music sessions offstage. But he's also a regularly touring seasoned performer, and a full set from him can be pretty impressive. His prodigious skills on guitar and concertina support a wide variety of music. Expect anything from irreverent parodies to traditional ballads; from blazing dance tunes to Bach concerti; from great chorus songs to his signature spoken-word recitations. In addition to some old favorites, expect brand new and long-abandoned songs from his vast repertoire along with musical help from some of the Folk Project's best musicians.

The Annie Donahue Trio features Folk Project members Annie Donahue (singer/songwriter) and Todd Dennison (guitar/vocals), plus 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, June 12: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

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

Friday, June 19: The GrooveBarbers with The Levins

The GrooveBarbers

Doo-WoperaAn a cappella supergroup? Sounds paradoxical, absurd, perhaps even dangerous. Indeed, The GrooveBarbers are all these things. Each member of this all-vocal powerhouse quartet is a bona fide star in his own right: Sean Altman, Charlie Evett and Steve Keyes are alumni of the pioneering contemporary a cappella group Rockapella, and Kevin Weist is a renowned bald vocal guru. Collectively they have established themselves as the "go to" vocal group for rock, doo-wop, (and occasionaly doo-wopera!), jazz and even (no way!) barbershop! And the vocal pyrotechnics are enhanced with brilliant clowning, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable show.

The Levins

Dropping KeysThe Levins (pronounced The L'Vins), Ira and Julia Levin, combine harmony-driven acoustic folk rock with wistful overtones of the 1930s. Their original songs sound like The Mamas and The Papas having coffee with Cole Porter. They were the 2011 Winners of the Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Competition.

Friday, June 26: Summer Songs

The Folk Project welcomes every summer with a salute to the music of our youth – classic rock, folk rock, Asbury Park rock, Woodstock rock - and those naughty nights of summer our parents never found out about. And though we bring drums, electric guitars, and a wah-wah peddle to the sacred acoustic grounds of The Troubadour, it’s all done in classic Folk Project fashion.

Bring your instruments. Summer Songs is an audience sing-along/play-along. The entire audience gets lyrics and chords. Folk Project Members will lead songs from the stage, mic in hand, and move like Jagger, scream like Janis, and croon sweet beach ballads like Mike Love. The backup band this year is The Funky Muffin, the rockin’est bunch of Project pros that ever barred an F on the twelfth fret.

Note: Refreshments are free tonight.

Friday, July 3: T.B.D.

Friday, July 10: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

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 17: T.B.D.

Friday, July 24: The Troubadour's 45th Birthday Show

Details to follow

Friday, July 31: Reserved for a Folk Project Special Concert TBA

Friday, August 7: T.B.D.

Friday, August 14: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

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 21: Bill Staines with The Greystone Singers   Provisionally rescheduled from April 24th

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 40 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.

The Greystone Singers consists of Hal Lindsay (guitar), Adam Siegler (bass), and Joe Seider (banjo), who have discovered and adopted the music of the Folk Revival of the '40s through the '60s. The band's name, of course, refers to the Morris County institution where Woodie Guthrie spent his final years. And it's Woodie's music, along with that of Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, and others that surprisingly and refreshingly comes from this trio of 20-somethings.

Friday, August 28: Closed for UkeFest

Details to follow

Friday, September 4: Open Stage   NOTE: NOT THE USUAL 2ND FRIDAY! Admission: $5, OpenStage only.

Open Stage

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

Friday, September 11: John Gorka with Opening Act T.B.D.   Note: Open Stage, usually the 2nd Friday, rescheduled to September 4.

John Gorka

I Saw a StrangerJohn Gorka is perhaps the quintessential iconic singer-songwriter of the 80's folk scene. Hailing from New Jersey, but forged in the Geenwich Village Fast Folk scene, he honed his craft and persona into an unmistakable image. The shy, wry, insightful, and yes, sensitive singer-songwriter has been copied, mocked, and parodied. But the old coat he wove still fits, and still suits him well. The old songs ring as true as they ever did, and the new ones are just as good.

Friday, September 18: A Folk Project Special Concert TBA

Details to follow

Friday, September 25: Best of the Open Stage

Details to Follow.

Friday, October 2: Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman with Opening act T.B.D.

Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman

Stroll OnTo say that Máire Ní Chathasaigh & 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, October 9: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Acoustic Getaway

Details to follow.

Friday, October 16: Trout Fishing In America with Carla Ulbrich   Rescheduled from cancelled April 17 date

Trout Fishing In America

You Show Up at the Strangest TimeTrout Fishing in America is the long-standing, and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and ezra Idlet. As individuals, they are about as different as one could imagine. But together, they blend seemlessly in a way that has captured audiences of all ages for over three decades. A willingness to at once make fun of our most annoying daily habits, and then to touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life is what makes the connection between the Trouts and their audiences so compelling and poignant.

Carla Ulbrich

If I Had the Copyright (The F-Word Song)Carla Ulbrich is a comical singer-songwriter and guitarist with a rapier wit and a keen observational eye for the absurdities of everyday living. With a love of wordplay and some pretty fancy guitar chops, she creates songs on topics as diverse as wedgies, Waffle House, Klingons, and how rich she would be if she had the copyright on the 'F' Word. She is a longtime favorite on the Dr. Demento show, and puts on an utterly hilarious live show.

Friday, October 23: T.B.D.

Friday, October 30: Folk Project Halloween Show

Details to follow

Friday, November 6: Robert Jones & Matt Watroba with Opening act T.B.D.

Robert Jones & Matt Watroba

Robert Jones & Matt Watroba, sharing common chords for over 30 years; a black man and a white man, obviously great friends, on stage singing and talking about the roots music that tells our story. A music we all have in common, that reflects history, social change, hopes and dreams. Music that is rich, diverse, direct, and powerful. All of this makes for an evening that is not just a powerhouse of entertainment, but a deeply impressive message that resonates to the soul.

Friday, November 13: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

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

Friday, November 20: Don White with Opening act T.B.D.

Don White

The Accordion Door StorySome of you may remember Don White from his split-bill appearance with Christine Lavin in 2014. Don is a blue collar intellectual and a true old-school troubadour. He is a comedian-author-singer-songwriter-raconteur, whose introductions to his songs are wonderfully crafted tales that are as hilarious as the songs themselves. He is such a beloved character in his hometown of Lynn, MA that last year the mayor proclaimed an official Don White Day and gave him the key to the city.

Friday, November 27: Matt Nakoa with Opening act T.B.D.

Matt Nakoa

Touch and GoMatt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America, and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “Between his piano chops and heartfelt originals on guitar, he drops jaws.” His stage presence is electrifying, bringing audiences to their feet at concerts and festivals throughout the country. If you've not seen him, this will be an unforgettable show.