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.

Beppe Gambetta
Jun 1, 2012

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

OpenStage

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, December 20: Folk Project Holiday Benefit Concert   Special benefit event - suggested donation $15

Folk Project Holiday Benefit Concert

Join The Folk Project in celebrating the Seasonal Holidays. Come on by around 7:00PM to a sing some favorite holiday carols with Andrew Dunn. The concert starts at 7:30PM featuring, The Kitchen Girls (Rachel Streich, Katie Weiss, Jill Lagerstrom), Martin Swinger, The Mother Pluckers (Beth Bachmann, Tracy Roskam, Jennifer Bross) & The One Uke Wonders (Beth Bachmann, Kevin Coughlin, Danny Vento, Mike Sagurton and Bob Kammer), Dennis Mc DoNoUgh!, The Poorhouse Pickers (Bob Cole, Marvin Perkins, FiL Wisneski), and Chrissy Roberts. With our favorite Holiday elf emceeing, Bob McNally.

Friday, December 27: Gathering Time with Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine

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.

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.

Friday, January 3: Toby Walker with Matt Arons

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.

Matt Arons

Kind Hearted WomanIt's been 4 years since 17 year old Matt Arons appeared on our stage. Now at university in California, he's back for the holidays, and the perfect man to open for Toby Walker. He has studied guitar with the likes of David Bromberg, Woody Mann, and Roy Book Binder. And has learned his lessons very well. He plays and sings with a skill, subtlety, and sensitivity rare in a seasoned adult performer, let alone someone of his years. This kid will go far.

Friday, January 10: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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, January 17: Adam Agee & Jon Sousa with Wee Doggies

Adam Agee & Jon Sousa

G-Minor SetAdam Agee & Jon Sousa are a pair of young Celtic musicians from Colorado that have been tearing up the Western states with exciting performances on fiddle and guitar. Obviously taking cues from veterans Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, they tend to start out slow and dreamy, and build gradually and inexorably to a crescendo of flying fingers and explosive virtuosity that leaves the listener breathless. We are fortunate to have snagged them in the East where they're less well known before they command the big ticket prices here that they so richly deserve.

Wee Doggies

Polka On A BanjoThe Wee Doggies are Earl Karlsen on mandolin, Arnie Reisman on banjo, and Jerry Fabris upright bass. They play classic bluegrass, straight up and pretty, with great instrumental chops and sweet vocal harmonies.

Friday, January 24: The Loose Canons with Jesse Ruben

The Loose Canons

Perhaps the very name of The Loose Canons will give you some insight to their approach to music. This 11-member choral group sings intricate vocal arrangements of folk songs, do wop, classical favorites as well as audience participatory pieces. But they specialize in parodies, satire, novelty songs, and other bits of musical humor.

Jesse Ruben

This is Why I Need YouJesse Ruben 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.

Friday, January 31: Joe Jencks with Katherine Rondeau

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

Sweet KindnessOur opener tonight is another powerhouse vocalist, Katherine Rondeau. She is an up and coming singer songwriter exploding onto the Americana music scene. She is accompanied by Jim Fogarty on mandolin and dobro.

Friday, February 7: Valentines Day Extravaganza   $12 admission price for this show only includes refreshments.

Valentines Day Extravaganza

The Valentines Day Extravaganza is a perennial favorite. Talented Folk Project members perform songs, poems, [and maybe dances ?] celebrating the joys and woes of love in all its grandeur, foolishness, heartbreak, and comedy. Many singers are backed up by Project pros; either our ten-piece Valentine’s Day Loving Hearts Club Boogie Band, or Frank Sole and Todd Dennison’s sophisticated Jazz Duo.. Audience-composed "Messages from the Heart" and delicious desserts make this a terrific community evening of music and fun. Snow date: Friday February 14

Friday, February 14: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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, February 21: Small Potatoes with Rod Abernethy

Small Potatoes

Simple TruthsSmall Potatoes is rescheduled, after construction at the Unitarian Fellowship forced the cancellation of their show last June. This is the duo of Rich Prezioso and Jacquie Manning. They call themselves "Eclecto-Maniacs", which is pretty apt, as their musical tastes run from Celtic to cowboy with a large dose of their own writing. What helps them pull all this off is the fact that they are both monster musicians; Rich can make the guitar talk, and Jacquie is a great whistle and percussion player. They both sing and their voices blend with the smoothness of years of singing together.

Rod Abernethy

Oxford TownIn 2014, Rod Abernethy, after a long career as an award-winning composer of music for film, TV, and video games, returned to his early roots writing both songs and instrumentals that harken back to his early folk artist days in his native North Carolina. His songs that revolve around family, friends and places across his home state. And his guitar instrumentals evoke the style of Leo Kottke. Just this year, he was awarded First Place in the American Songwriter's Bob Dylan Song Contest for his treatment of the lesser known Dylan composition, Oxford Town.

Friday, February 28: Poor Man's Gambit with Sam Edelston

Poor Man's Gambit

Pass the BabyPoor Man's Gambit is a trio of traditional artists comprised of Corey Purcell* (button accordion, cittern, vocals, bodhran, dance), Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle), and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals, dance). They stand out by not only offering a varied array of instrumental combinations, but also by including the visual (and audial) element of dance. Building on their roots as traditional Irish musicians, the trio's repertoire is also influenced by traditional music of other cultures including France, Scotland, England, and the US.

* We saw Corey last October playing accordions as one half of The Free Reeds, opening for Alisdair Fraser.

Sam Edelston

Whole Lotta Love"You can't do that on a dulcimer!" Well, maybe you can't but Sam Edelston can. Sam has taken the mountain dulcimer from its backwoods Appalachian origins to places most players never dreamed of. From Sousa to Sinatra to Led Zeppelin. (Check out his video!) Instruments ranging from the traditional 3-string diatonic fretting to fully chromatic electric with wah-wah pedal. He is being featured in dulcimer festivals across the country. Sam is a brilliant and innovative player, and no slouch on the guitar either.

Friday, March 6: Beppe Gambetta with Opening act T.B.D.

Beppe Gambetta

Notes from the RoadWe are happy to welcome back one of the Troubadour's favorites, 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, March 13: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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, March 20: Folk Project Special Concert T.B.A.

Friday, March 27: Low Lily with Rupert Wates

Low Lily

False Sir JohnChosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Most Wanted Band” of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary. The players are Lissa Schneckenburger (Solas, Long Time Courting) on fiddle, Flynn Cohen (John Whelan Band) on mandolin and guitar, and Liz Simmons (backing Livingston Taylor & Tom Chapin) on guitar. All three sing as well in harmonies that have drawn raves from dozens of reviewers and thousands of fans.

Rupert Wates

I'm AmazedRupert Wates is a transplanted Englishman who writes, sings, and plays witty wordy and quirky songs on unlikely subjects. A writer who makes you think while he entertains.

Friday, April 3: Michael P. Smith with Kora Feder

Michael P. Smith

ZippyMichael P. Smith is the singer-songwriter most well known as the author of "Margaret and the Dutchman" . But that song cannot be called representative of Michael's writing any more than can any of his other songs. Michael reinvents himself with every new song, and the only common bond between them is the excellence and craftsmanship of his work. His latest release is 15 songs from Moby Dick. He can be irreverent, tender, wordy, hilarious, and sentimental in turn. And in all modes, he is hugely entertaining.

Kora Feder

Automatic TimesKora Feder (rhymes with cedar) is a rising voice in the new generation of songwriters up to the task of confronting the times we live in. "The most talented new singer-songwriter I've heard in the past decade,” says Rich Warren, host of Chicago’s Folkstage. With a lovely voice, and a simple and unaffected style, eschewing vocal pyrotechnics for pure unadorned beauty, she presents her songs straight to the heart of the listener.

Friday, April 10: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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, April 17: Trout Fishing In America with Carla Ulbrich

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, April 24: T.B.D.

Friday, May 1: OpenStage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday! Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

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 (OpenStage on May 1 this month)

Deeper Than The Skin

Hickory HillDeeper Than The Skin is a very special event presented by The Folk Project. Its inclusion in our schedule was inspired by the very factors that influenced the change last year of the name of our concert series from "The Minstrel" to "The Troubadour".

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.

It 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.

Friday, May 15: Closed for the Folk Project Spring Acoustic Getaway

Friday, May 22: T.B.D.

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, led by musician/author/music journalist Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, (Pepper & Sassafras) 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.

Friday, June 5: T.B.D.

Friday, June 12: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage 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 Opening act T.B.D.

The GrooveBarbers

An 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.