Fanna-Fi-Allah holds the flame of traditional Sufi Qawwali music from India and Pakistan. Music of the mystics bursting with ecstatic energy, Sufi Qawwali uses religious and romantic texts drawn from the poetry of Sufiism.
Learn about the past and prepare for the future through music that embodies the universal message of devotion and tolerance - critical for our times. This is music felt with the heart.
Jon Dee Graham
"Jon Dee Graham is the Titan of American songwriters." - Jason Isbell (Drive-By Truckers)
John Fullbright, the brilliant young Oklahoma songwriter whose debut studio recording, “From the Ground Up,” was nominated for a Grammy, says this about Graham: “Jon Dee Graham is the silver lining, reluctant as he may be about it. He's humor in heartbreak and tears at a wedding. He'll break the fifth (and sixth) wall and pull you with him to a world of darkest nights and brightest days. In two words: sucker punch.”
Ben de la Cour
Ben de la Cour was raised in Brooklyn, where he was playing dive bars with his brother a full decade before he could legally drink. A high-school dropout and former amateur boxer, Ben received his education by listening to his parent’s record collection – full of everything from Bob Dylan and The Everly Brothers to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Ben spent a year in Havana training with members of the Cuban national team before moving to London In 2003 with his brother and their metal band, Dead Man’s Root. They lived in a van and toured around Europe for several years until the band fell apart under the twin attack of drunken brawls and burnout. In 2008 de la Cour to returned to the states with a head full of softer, bruised, but no less intense acoustic songs.
Tickets $10. In advance $15. at the door
MUSICIAN, SINGER/SONGWRITER, POET, FREEDOM FIGHTER, HUMANITARIAN.
This is Taj Weekes through the eyes of those who have been fortunate enough to experience his music and receive his message of love, peace, truth, triumph and hope. Many write of his deft skills as a songwriter, the uniqueness of his hauntingly beautiful falsetto, and the vibrant diversity of his musical arrangements. However when speaking with the man behind the music, one will find a simple man, dedicated to presenting pure, honest music with a simple message that transcends race, class, gender, age, and nationality. The seeds of his values and sense of his place in the world were all sown on a quiet Caribbean island many years ago.
Adowa, a disciplined team of talented musicians from differing cultures and with broad musical influences backs Taj Weekes live and on recordings. The name salutes the battle of Adowa in 1896, which ensured sovereignty for Ethiopia and proved crucial in the advancement of African independence and pride. Adowa’s specific line-up alternates from time to time, but at a typical gig you might see a bassist from Dominica steeped in soca, a classically trained keyboardist with roots in Barbados, a Jamaican reggae stalwart on drums, a Trinidadian guitarist, and backup singers from yet another island. What’s consistent is that the eclectic styles and tastes of its members ensure a freshness and inventiveness to Adowa’s arrangements. The faces may change, but the excellent musicianship, and the vibe, remain.
Tickets $10. In advance $15. at the door.
Vocalist, singer/songwriter, and guitarist Syd Straw first made a name for herself as part of the Golden Palominos, a band led by Anton Fier that enjoyed a cult following in the 1980s. Her Capricorn Records debut, War and Peace, was released in 1996, and since then, her unique blend of folk-rock and blues-rock has found a home with Triple A (adult album alternative) radio stations and their audiences around the country. Straw released Surprise in 1990 to good reviews. That recording chronicled Straw's emergence as a songwriter; she had thought of herself primarily as a song interpreter before that. OnSurprise, Straw was joined by Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), John Doe (X), Ry Cooder, Daniel Lanois, Don Was, Richard Thompson, and Marshall Crenshaw.
STEVE BARTON ( of Translator)
"Tall Tales and Alibis" is the seventh solo album from Steve Barton, founding member of the band called Translator. A sprawling tour de force, this release is a triple album filled with Steve’s brand new songs. As he puts it: “I moved to Portland, Oregon about two years ago. It is an incredibly good place for me to live - as soon as I got settled in, songs just started to pour out of me. Originally, I wanted to release three separate records on the same day. That idea morphed into one triple set. Translator - a band which continues to this day with all four original members, began in Los Angeles in 1979. They relocated to San Francisco in 1980 and released 4 albums on the 415/Columbia label between 1982 and 1986. The group is best-known for Barton’s song “Everywhere That I’m Not”. Their latest album, “Carriage Of Days” was released in 2017.
Tickets $15. In advance $20. DOS
The Lydia Brittan experience is like a vivid flashback to the sixties, one that transports you straight onto the set of Shindig, but with modern sounds reminiscent to Vintage Trouble and Amy Winehouse piercing through.
Lydia Brittan was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Raised in the old ways, living in a log cabin, the cultural impact of music was always present. The sounds of 50's, 60's and 70's folk and gospel resonated in her home, having a great influence on her. Growing up in a musical family, her Father purchased an old upright piano when she was only seven and fanned the flame of passion within her. Music was in her blood and she was hooked. Lydia made the move TN not long after Winning the prestigious ISC (International Songwriting Competition). Jim Morgan-ISC- says, "Lydia captures you with her hook and draws you in with creative melody from verse to chorus."
She toured with her band nationally as Lydia and The Amorous. As Lydia and The Amorous she opened on the national tour DecembeRadio "Live" and "Be Strong Tour." In these young stages of experimenting, Lydia found herself coming back to her original love of that retro sound and decided to record her new EP. Lydia is currently working on her EP with GRAMMY Nominated Brian Bunn. The upcoming release is to feature a 50's and 60's R&B inspired song list with soaring vocals, captivating keys and organ, rhythmic horns, and overall a soulful blend of melody. Lydia currently resides in Nashville, TN and performing live all over the US with her complete band including a three piece brass horn section.
$10. Advance $15. at the door
Christine Lavin is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/recording artist who has been based in New York City since 1984. She has just released her 23rd solo album, SPAGHETTIFICATION, which was #5 for the month of September according to the International FolkDJ chart.. Her 22nd album, CHRISTINE LAVIN & FRIENDS LIVE AT McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP was produced by Hillary Rollins, and includes five LA performers (Gary Stockdale, Pat Whiteman, Cynthia Carle, David Lucky, and MaryJo Mundy), and one revered British singer/songwriter, Daniel Cainer. Christine sings seven songs on this album, too.
Christine performs concerts all over the US, Canada, and points beyond (Australia, Germany, Israel), and hosts knitting circles backstage prior to each show. Songs of hers have been performed by artists as diverse as Broadway stars Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster, and David Burnham, cabaret divas Andrea Marcovicci. Barbara Brussell, and Colleen McHugh, the college a cappella Dartmouth Decibelles, and The Accidentals, winners of the National Harmony Sweepstakes championship.
+ MILES & MAFALE
The husband and wife team of Catherine Miles and Jay Mafale are well-known on the Folk circuit as two-thirds of The YaYas, and half of No Fuss and Feathers. They’ve spent the last few years focusing their efforts on touring with No Fuss and Feathers in support of the group’s album, Traveling Circus. Now, they’re on their next journey together as Miles & Mafale.2018 brings a year of creative growth for Miles & Mafale. With the upcoming release of their new duo album, they venture in a bit of a new direction by introducing a number of socio-political themed songs, something they’ve not done before, while still keeping to their signature style. With expertly crafted songs and reminiscent narratives woven throughout, listening to their music is very much like hearing a story from a dear friend; illustrated with such detail that the lyrics are almost tangible, so deeply personal and yet, universal. Catherine is a vocal powerhouse; soulful, intimate, emotional and raw. Jay’s guitar is alternately percussive and melodic, propelling the narrative.
Tickets $20. Adv. $25. At the door
Progress? Bah who needs it?
Thats certainly the feeling of the working class folks who populate Slaid Cleaves songs, and is likely shared by the singer-songwriter too. While he might not be laboring in a dead end job, Cleaves clearly understands the isolation of those that do, singing about their frustrations, futilities and disappointments in a smooth, easygoing voice that nevertheless captures the hopeless feelings of so many Americans.
Tickets $25. Adv. $30. Door
Tia Brazda's sassy jazz-pop gems and vintage style have established her as a sparkling presence on the jazz scene at home and abroad, paying homage to the golden era while adding a modern twist. Having honed her cutting-edge sound in the clubs of Toronto, she burst onto the scene in 2012, hitting #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart as well as receiving play on BBC Radio 6, CBC Radio, Jazz FM 91.1 in Toronto and college radio stations across Canada. This debut brought her to Paris and Amsterdam as well as cities around the UK in support, in addition to performing at major festivals at home across Canada.
In 2017 Tia performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival as well as the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest (rated "Best of the Fest") as part of her European and North American touring. She is currently working on a new album scheduled for release in the spring of 2018
Tickets $18. Adv. $22. At the Door
If You Like: Sarah McLachlan, Loreena McKennitt, Joni Mitchell. The October Project. “Sounding like no other singer of her generation” (Allmusic.com), Mary Fahl is an expressive, emotional singer/songwriter who first achieved fame as lead singer and co-founder of the mid-1990s NYC-based chamber-pop group OCTOBER PROJECT. The hallmark of their sound was Mary Fahl's awe-inspiring power vocals over gorgeous melodies played with passion and sophistication. Mary returns with her album “Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House”, a collection of twenty-three tracks recorded live at one of America's oldest vaudeville theaters and winner of the Indie Acoustic Award for multi-genre “Album of the Year”. The show was filmed for PBS and is currently airing around the country. Her upcoming performance will include “Exiles”, a song written for Anne Rice’s new audiobook “The Wolves of Midwinter”, a stunning cover of the Joni Mitchell classic “Both Sides Now”, and many October Project favorites.
+ KATE CALLAHAN
From the spring of 2016 through June 2018, Kate served Connecticut as its 16th State Troubadour. A staple in the Connecticut music scene, she has been named Woman of Character from the Hartford Courant, Best Songwriter in Connecticut at the CT Music Awards 2013, Artist of the Year from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, 2014, and Best Singer-Songwriter from the CT Now Readers Poll 2017. Kate recently celebrated the release of her 4th studio album, “Triumph,” a collection of soulful, optimistic & uplifting songs. She has entered the self-improvement movement as well, by creating a companion CD of affirmations and a deck of affirmations cards - both inspired by the lyrics of her songs. Kate also serves as an advocate for the disempowered, developing a pilot program called Miracle of Melody to help women inmates learn to use their voices for positive change in their lives.
Tickets $25. Adv. $30. DOS
Seafoam Green Leader Follows…His Muse
Dave O'Grady - the singer & songwriter of the group 'Seafoam Green' - believes in following his muse. That muse led him as a young Dublin lad to root around his father’s LP collection when his dad was at work or away to discover gems like Neil Young, CCR, Paul Brady & others.
That muse led him to leave his Dublin home at age 18 and move to Liverpool 10 years ago to chase his music. 6 months later, Dave found himself singing “With A Little Help From My Friends” on stage with Ringo Starr in Liverpool in a happenstance occurrence.
It’s the same muse that led to a chance meeting at a studio in Nashville with The Black Crowes' guitarist Rich Robinson. Rich was producing a session that included Dave’s singing & The Rolling Stones’ sax man Bobby Keys. After hearing some of Dave's original material, Rich insisted on producing Seafoam Green's 2016 debut album titled "Topanga Mansion." The album ranges from Dave's influences including the American roots music he loves so well in groups like The Band as well as his singer / songwriter heroes in guys like Foy Vance & John Martyn.“I remember getting to see John Martyn in a small arts centre when I was 13 or 14, this burly one legged Scottish man (that I'd never really heard of) was helped to the stage and quickly blew my little head clean off. That's one of the moments when it became about making music and not necessarily about just “songs.” John was giving and drawing emotion to and from everyone in the room, it was an experience.”
And while there are vintage aspects to "Topanga Mansion," it's largely Dave's voice & lyrical approach that brings a fresh angle to Seafoam Green's work.
Dave & his musical singing partner Muireann McDermot Long joins him in July 2018 & he wants to bring Seafoam Green’s muse to you.
Tickets adv. $15. $20. At the door
JONATHAN BYRD & THE PICKUP COWBOY
..a folk singer with the heart of a rock 'n' roll band. K. Oliver, Free TimesJonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and heart-lifting sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show.
Byrd is a preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, NC, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years."
Joined by vocal powerhouse Kyshona Armstrong on bass, and musical renaissance man Johnny Waken on guitar, saw and mandolin, Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make the world such a big place.
"...one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years." -- Chicago Tribune
Tickets $15. Adv. $20. at the Door
Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesota-born, Boston-based songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival. Married in her early twenties, Kilgour devoted her young adulthood to parenting her stepchild and building family and community. Her work from that time (Self-Titled 2008, Will You Marry Me? 2011, Whistleblower’s Manifesto 2013) chronicled her life as a young parent in a same-sex partnership and addressed sociopolitical issues from government corruption to income inequality and religious hypocrisy.
Crys Matthews is nothing if not ambitious. In August 2017, she simultaneously released both a new full-length album, The Imagineers and an EP, Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers. These collections showcase two sides of Matthews’ dynamic songwriting; The Imagineers is a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life while Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers tackles social justice themes. Songs from both projects have already won her recognition and awards. She was one of ten finalists (from a pool of 5,000) in this year’s NewSong Music Competition and, after performing at Lincoln Center on November 30th, she was named grand-prize winner. Matthews also won the People Music Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the 2017 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.
$15. Adv. $20. At the door
XVII, the Nields’ seventeenth album, is both their most personal and their most community-minded. Well into their third decade as a musical partners and—judging by this sublime album––at the very top of their game, the Nields turn to meditations on time, and turning points, their roots and community – both musical and personal – but they also express joy in the present, faith in the future, and a whole lot of hope and promise.
The songs on XVII are about the lessons we hope to learn by midlife: accepting the passage of time and the choices we’ve made, and being thankful for the moments of grace. They are about knowing where we’re supposed to be, and recognizing that there are many things we may never understand. They’re about having faith in something bigger, be it God, humanity, love, or all of the above.
Tickets $17. In advance, $22 at door.
Tom Paxton and The Don Juans
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and folk icon, Tom Paxton, teams up with the Grammy winning singer/songwriter duo The Don Juans - Don Henry & Jon Vezner. Collectively, their songs have been covered by: Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Miranda Lambert, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Faith Hill, B.J. Thomas, Blake Shelton, Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan... just to name a few! Within days of writing and playing together, they knew they were onto something. Now they’re taking it on the road!
Tom on guitar/vocals/stories
Don on guitar/vocals/uke/banjo/grins
Jon on piano/vocals/guitar/uke/kitchen sink
TOM PAXTON, After 56 years of performing around the world and writing and recording innumerable songs and recordings, Tom Paxton has found yet another outlet for his creativity; he has joined his friends and song-writing colleagues Jon Vezner and Don Henry––known collectively as The Don Juans––in a writing and performing experience calculated to keep them too busy to get into trouble.
Grammy award-winning songwriter, Nashville-based Jon Vezner is a tunesmith of rare sensitivity and dry wit. His catalogue of recorded songs, topped by the poignant “Where’ve You Been,” reflects his straight-to-the-heart sensibility and emotional awareness. Vezner weaves the particulars of his own feelings with the lives of people he has known into universal themes that deeply touch listeners’ emotions. Vezner was honored with a Grammy for “Best Country Song” and the Nashville Songwriters Association “Song of the Year” in 1990, for “Where’ve You Been” — the true story of Vezner’s grandparents — co-written with Don Henry, and recorded by Kathy Mattea.
In Morgan Hill, California in the early 70's, records like "The Band" by The Band and "Honky Chateau" by Elton John prompted Don Henry to begin writing his own lyrics to Jim Croce melodies. Then he learned to play guitar with a Paul Simon songbook. After that it was an education in The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Harry Nilsson, Carole King, Cat Stevens, and Joni Mitchell. Then Randy Newman's 'Good Old Boys' and 'Old Number One' by Guy Clark changed his life.
"The crowd was won over by this guy and his guitar. Long may he write." - Dirty Linen
So come step into the minds and the music of Tom Paxton, Don Henry, and Jon Vezner!
Tickets $40. Adv. $50. At the door
Brooks Williams hails from Statesboro, Georgia, the town made famous by country-blues legend Blind Willie McTell. Ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists, he’s a mean finger-picker and a stunning slide guitarist. Plus, “he has a beautiful voice,” says AmericanaUK, “that you just melt into.” Not one easy to pigeon-hole, Brooks' music is the love-child of country-blues and Americana. fRoots says, "Soulful Americana, full-on blues and tasty rootsy grooves. He really rocks!”
Williams got his start in the clubs and bars around Boston, the same music scene that years earlier sparked the careers of Bonnie Raitt and Chris Smither. There, playing 5-6 nights a week, he developed his signature sound: laid-back low-country vocals floating over Resonator riffs, Piedmont picking, and cigar box slide. No wonder friend and fellow guitar wizard Martin Simpson calls Brooks the Real Thing!
His massive repertoire reads like a roots music Hall Of Fame. Classic blues ranging from Bessie Smith to Memphis Slim. Compelling covers from the likes of Dave Alvin, Buddy Miller and Mose Allison. On top of all this, writes American Roots UK, is his songwriting which stands comparison with virtually any of his peers. Rooted in tradition his songs are timeless. Utterly contemporary they are wryly observed and relevant.
With twenty-two albums to his name, including Brooks Blues (2017), My Turn Now (2016) and Shreveport Sessions (2014), and a vigorous touring schedule, Williams is one of acoustic roots musics guiding lights. From festival stages to listening rooms, from Newport to Philly, Boston to Glasgow, Cambridge to Belfast, London to Detroit, Brooks Williams is, says the San Antonio Light, a fret monster who has to be seen to be believed!
$20.00 In advance
$25.00 at the door.