Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seeds of Peace ~ Partnering for Peace, Person to Person

Partnering for Peace, Person to Person — Mendilow’s Border-Busting Mission Sets Stage for May 27th Concert at Johnny D’s

Johnny D’s presents the Guy Mendilow Band’s inventive blend of Israeli, Sephardi, Bahian street beats and blues in a concert promoting the work of Seeds of Peace, an organization revolutionizing the Mid-East peace process by bringing together Arab and Israeli youth. The evening features a concert and info session, including video, about the groundbreaking peace effort. Doors open at 8:30pm at 17 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville MA. Tickets are $12. Advance reservations are recommended, and can be made at Learn more at

Blurring boundaries and connecting sounds, syncopations, rhythms and roots is central to the mission inspiring the Guy Mendilow Band. Israeli peace songs and Sephardi canticas meet Bahian street beats and blues. Drawing from a life lived in Israel, South Africa and Brazil, where musical collaboration cuts through ancient conflict, Israeli born musician Guy Mendilow is sowing the seeds of peace with music.

“Mendilow is no dilettante…he learned the music of these countries by living and working there – so when he sings…he knows what he’s talking about” — Boston Phoenix

It’s no surprise, then, that the Guy Mendilow Band includes world class musicians from Israel, Argentina, Japan and the United States. Or to find the group now partnering with the international peacemaking organization Seeds of Peace, whose work with Palestinian and Israeli youth and adult educators helps forge the personal relationships so critical to communication and reconciliation. The band’s partnership with Seeds of Peace will be launched with the May 27th Johnny D’s concert. The event promotes the organization’s cutting-edge approach to conflict resolution and includes a brief documentary film about the project as well as information about how audience members can get involved.


Founded in 1993, Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. The organization currently focuses its efforts primarily on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, bringing together Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian youth and adult educators.

The Seeds of Peace internationally recognized program model, lauded by the U.S. State Department, begins at the International Camp in Maine and continues through programming in regions around the world through innovative initiatives in the form of conferences, regional workshops, educational and professional opportunities, and an adult educator program. This comprehensive system allows participants to develop empathy, respect, and confidence as well as leadership, communication and negotiation skills — all critical components that will facilitate peaceful coexistence for the next generation.


On a personal level, Guy Mendilow’s musical mission is to explore the connection between places he’s called home. Out in the world, he has oriented his band around the premise that music, and music making, can play a unique role in the effort to transform “the other” into a fellow human being to whom one can at least listen, if not necessarily agree.

“It was the height of Apartheid and my family, though secular and Israeli, was invited to participate in one of the only integrated church services in Johannesburg,” Mendilow recalls about the sparks of this passion. “We were sitting in my elementary school gym after-hours, a large gathering. The service was almost entirely singing: blacks and whites together, in beautiful harmonies. It lit something strong in me.” Throughout his childhood, Mendilow and his family played continental hop-scotch, with community singing in the living room as an important way of connecting with others.

“The glory of what [Mendilow] does is finding a common ground among different cultures.
And that’s what makes this music so exciting.”— Jewish Advocate

The Guy Mendilow Band challenges your concept of borders as you listen to Sala’am, an Israeli anthem used during the peace marches, that subtly introduces Brazilian elements in its arrangement and whose warm harmonies nod to Crosby, Stills & Nash. Or take the tastefully modern setting of the ancient Sephardi song Durme Durme, sung in that melting pot language of Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew, created from the wanderings of the ancient Jews from Spain to the Mediterranean and Middle East. Mendilow pushes the sonic envelope by taking ancient instruments in new directions, though the band does this whimsically, with an almost adamant refusal to take itself too seriously. For instance, in Whistler’s Brother, Mendilow’s award-winning overtone singing playfully duels with a flute. Or Blues for Dino, a tongue-in-cheek slide berimbau (musical bow and arrow) blues number — a tip of the hat to Brazilian berimbau hero Dino Nascimento. The band’s fusion stems from a life-long cultural mix infusing most aspects of Mendilow’s life.

To Guy Mendilow the music cannot be separated from the message, whether you are part of the audience at Bethlehem Musikfest, New York’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, in a master workshop with government education ministers from Palestine, Israel, Jordan or Lebanon, or swapping songs between Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the 26 diverse young people in the American Boychoir — Mendilow’s first touring experience. The Guy Mendilow Band continues to blur musical boundaries and offers its modest contributions to today’s larger peace puzzle: by creating person to person connections, one song at a time.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this world-class musical group and become part of a peace project that is making historic waves in the Middle East at this unique event at Johnny D’s on May 27th.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Preview Concert ~ Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers & Abi Tapia, 5/23

One of six stops on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival preview tour, and the only one in eastern Massachusetts, the next notloB folk concert is Saturday, May 23.

Arlington Heights – The third of three acoustic string band / folk concerts presented by notloB Folk Concerts at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road, Arlington Heights, MA 02476 (just off Mass Ave.) will be Falcon Ridge Folk Festival showcase artists voted “Most Wanted to Return” ABI TAPIA and BLUE MOOSE AND THE UNBUTTONED ZIPPERS on Saturday, May 23 at 8:00 pm (doors 7:45).

Each year some 800+ emerging folk artists and singer/songwriters apply to Falcon Ridge’s “most wanted” contest. Only 20 are invited to perform in front of the main stage audience, each act given 10 minutes. From patron ballots and input from a panel of judges, just three or four are awarded the title “most wanted to return”. The next Spring the artists tour some 20-25 Northeast USA venues and are invited back to perform as main stage artists. Due to a severe storm that closed down the 2008 festival, the festival itself is not producing the 2008 “most wanted” tour, but with the approval of Anne Saunders, festival artistic director, six venues are self-producing a limited tour by two of the four winners.

notloB Concerts are volunteer run and not for profit. Whether presented at historic and intimate museum houses like the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain or the Jackson Homestead in Newton, or at one of several church venues, or at private residences, all are run as house concerts where, after expenses, 100% of the patrons’ donations go to the artists. More information about the concert series can be found at the notloB website,


Brewing up a tasty mix of traditional music infused with startling rhythms and innovative arrangements, BMUZ is one of the most dynamic groups based in the Boston area today. True citizens of the 21st century world, BMUZ takes from the rooted traditions of many cultures and translates their essence into a unique, vibrant sound.

Starting out as a group of friends jamming and swapping tunes, BMUZ has evolved into a group which performs widely in the Boston area at local venues such as Club Passim in Cambridge and festivals such as Boston Celtic Music Festival and the International Folk Festival at Berklee’s Performance Center.

The members of BMUZ use an eclectic group of instruments. Bronwyn Bird plays the accordion and the ethereal nyckelharpa, the traditional bowed stringed instrument from Sweden, where she lived for a year. Andy Reiner, who comes from a musical family and has studied at many a fiddle camp across the country, plays the five-string fiddle, and is especially rooted in the lively music of Cape Breton. A fiddler who has studied traditional music in Ireland and Norway, Mariel Vandersteel also plays hardanger fiddle, the traditional string instrument of Norway. Stash Wyslouch, who has traveled with guitar through South America and is influenced by hip hop and funk, brings a driving sense of rhythm and groove to the group. Their many original compositions, while grounded in traditional genres, are refreshing, lively and full of verve. The evocative sound of Bronwyn' nyckelharpa as well as Mariel's hardanger fiddle is held together with the fiery tone of Andy's fiddle and the driving force of Stash's guitar.

Completely entertaining on stage, it is obvious that BMUZ is having as much fun playing together as the audience is while listening to them.


Abi Tapia smiles big when she sings. She can’t help it - she’s having so much fun.

But in the world of independent music, where it’s hip to be tortured, she sometimes feels like a Pollyanna.

Abi undoubtedly gets her optimism from her mom who was expelled from Catholic School for being pregnant with her, but called it “the best day of her life.” Abi’s first fifteen years were a blur of Southern towns and yearly uprooting as her mother chased work and higher education. But the constant moving was presented as a big adventure and instilled in Abi the idea that new places have potential for happiness, discovery and success. So she kept moving.

Following her nomadic childhood she attended college in Iowa, where she was a

Sociology major at Grinnell College, and began her professional music career while living in Portland, Maine. But Abi found herself attracted to the sweet twang and straightforward approach of country music so she migrated to Austin, Texas in 2002, where she quickly rooted herself in the city’s thriving live music scene. With its blend of country sincerity, cosmopolitan snap and plethora of skilled pickers, she continued maturing and developing her own style. Along the way she picked up awards and recognition for her songwriting from The Wildflower Music Festival, Austin Songwriters Group, the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

The inviting warmth of the South, the expansiveness of the Midwestern Plains, the pluck and determination of a New England Yankee and a Texan’s independent spirit all come together in Abi’s “wanderlusty” music (a term she proudly displays on her guitar strap).

Tapia’s 2005 release, One Foot Out The Door, a driving collection of songs about loving and leaving produced by multi-instrumentalist Chris Gage, compelled The

Austin Chronicle to comment that “the dozen confidently written songs weave tales of a woman assessing life and love with an uncompromising eye and sometimes bittersweet results.” Featuring the hot playing of Kym Warner (mandolin) and Eamon McGoughlin (fiddle) from acclaimed group The Greencards, the CD rose to the Top 40 on Americana radio.

Abi chased the music around the country, playing legendary listening rooms like Club Passim, The Bitter End, The Bluebird Café and Eddie’s Attic, while other nights she sang her heart out in crowded living rooms, libraries, or under a gazebo on a sprawling Texas ranch. Her songwriter’s sensibility allows her to appreciate the details and subtle differences of each place she visits and offers potential adventure and inspiration. That inspiration led to 12 new songs and Abi Tapia once again called on Chris Gage to produce.

2008’s The Beauty in the Ruin explores sadness and frustration, which after 8 years of the starving artist’s life Abi had plenty of, but there is a common thread of hope, redemption and joy in all of these supposedly sad songs. It is full of sing-able hooks and straddles country, folk and rock with ease, incorporating fiddle and pedal steel as well as some crunchy electric guitars and big drums. Abi and Chris got along so well that Gage and his wife and partner Christine Albert (together known as the Americana duo Albert and Gage) collaborated with Abi to release The Beauty in the Ruin on their label, MoonHouse Records. Happily, Abi is packing up and heading out across the country with her wanderlusty music in hand.

With a new album to promote, a strong community of friends and fellow artists in

Austin, the energy of and support of her partnership with MoonHouse Records and the ability to find the bright side in any situation, how could Abi not be smiling? But she won’t stop moving, because there could always be something even better just over the horizon.

SPECIAL BONUS….Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is providing at least two and up to four 4-day festival/camping passes that will be raffled away at the end of the concert.

Dinner and a show! Phone ahead for reservations ~ 781-648-8882, present either your ticket (purchased at the Music Emporium) or printed email reservation receipt and get 10% your party’s food tab at Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant, 1360 Massachusetts Ave. (down Park, just around the Mass Ave corner to the left). Details at the website, click on Restaurants near the venue.

And desert! Members of the Park Avenue Congregational Church will be baking Saturday afternoons and selling their whole wares to take home and slices to consume during these concerts (as well as coffee, tea, water, etc.). So save room for desert!

Suggested minimum donation is $15.00 at the door & $10 for seniors and students with ID. Regular patron admission is $12.50 if a reservation emailed to notlobreservations (at) is made at least 24 hours prior to the concert. Advance tickets are available at Music Emporium, located at 165 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02420.

More information about the concert series can be found at the notloB website:


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival "Most Wanted to Return" Artists' Tour Continues

Video from last weekend’s 2008 Falcon Ridge Most Wanted to Return Tour stop at the Kennedy Center is up on its website.

The 2008 tour has two more dates this weekend, Cafe Veritas, Rochester, NY (5/15) and Common Ground Coffeehouse, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY (5/16), then on to notloB Folk Concerts, Arlington, MA (5/23) and concludes at Performing Arts Center Easthampton (PACE), Easthampton, MA 5/29.

BLUE MOOSE AND THE UNBUTTONED ZIPPERS ~ Brownyn Bird, Andy Reiner, Mariel Vandersteel and Stash Wyslouch



Facebook event

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cover Lay Down Re-Covers notloB

Cover Lay Down first covered the notloB Folk Concert series March 1, 2009.

The piece below, by "BoyHowdy" (a.k.a. Joshua Farber) is dated May 12, 2009.

After a full feature on some new newgrass voices just last week, I’ve got newgrass on my mind again tonight after an absolutely incredible double feature with The Boston Boys and Joy Kills Sorrow, a pair of quintets hosted by the Boston-based, not-for-profit Notlob Folk Concerts series.

We’ve posted a cover or two from Joy Kills Sorrow here before, but I continue to be enamored of both their overall sound and their new lead singer Emma Beaton, who I first wrote about after this winter’s Boston Celtic Music Fest, and who has just dropped some new stunning originals and JKS tracks at her MySpace page. The Boston Boys have just finished recording their debut album, so watch this space next month for a cover or two from the high-energy rockgrass band — I’m especially curious to see if the Otis Redding song they covered tonight will have made the cut, and disappointed that there’s nothing to offer here, but their MySpace page offers a pair of tracks worth hearing.

While we wait for new disks from tonight’s featured artists, here’s a pair of previously-posted tracks well worth reviving: A Joy Kills Sorrow cover from their first album, before Emma Beaton came on board, and a tradfolk tune featuring Emma and three members of The Boston Boys: Sam Grisman on bass, Eric Robertson on mandolin, and Stash Wyslouch on guitar.

Monday, May 11, 2009

notloB gets small again ~ "kitchen concerts" begin May 16

notloB started at the 40-seat Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain. The concerts were intimate and without amplification. We're doing it again, but at the historic Jackson Homestead in Newton. The "kitchen" series starts this Saturday, a Cape Breton/Scottish Kitchen Ceilidh, featuring Sean Smith, Doug Lamey and Katie McNally.

If you are on Facebook, please share these links with your virtual friends.

5/16 Concert



Telephone: 617-796-1450



Newton – The Newton History Museum is proud to announce a new acoustic music series to be presented at the historic Jackson Homestead, 527 Washington St., Newton, MA 02458, located at the corner of Washington Street and Jackson Road, between Newton Corner and Newtonville. The series is produced by Jeff Boudreau, who presents similar concerts as a hobby and labor of love in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington under the name Notlob Folk Concerts ~ Having produced 27 "parlour" concerts at the historic Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain from June 2006 to June 2007, Boudreau had been searching for a similar venue since the Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club decided to terminate all indoor events except guided tours. "The Loring-Greenough House was a wonderful venue for music, but proved to be too delicate for use of up to 40 patrons. The Jackson Homestead will be a worthy successor." The Jackson Homestead performance space is actually the homestead's former kitchen, so instead of "parlor concerts" the Newton series will be dubbed "kitchen concerts". With a capacity of 30, slightly less than the Loring-Greenough House, the acoustic concerts will be intimate affairs.

Genres to be presented will include Celtic, Cape Breton/ Scottish, pre-war and country blues and traditional folk music, as well as poetry and spoken word. "There's the whole "kitchen racket" (i.e. pickin' and jammin' in the kitchen) ethos in Celtic and American roots music, so the appellation fits", explains Boudreau.

"So many wonderful musicians live in and pass through the greater Boston area, the problem, if one can call it that, is choosing ones that fit the environment." Boudreau will focus on local and rising talent, and has asked BCMFest (Boston Celtic Music Festival) board member and Newton resident Sean Smith to lead the first concert, dubbed an "Arcadian / Celtic kitchen ceilidh." (Editor's note: a céilidh (Irish pronunciation: [/ˈceË�lʲiË�/]) (in modern usage) is a traditional Gaelic social dance originating in Ireland and Scotland, but now common throughout the Celtic diaspora.) Another talent source will be nationally touring "name" musicians performing mid-week. "They need to earn an income while on the road between big gigs, so if they are flexible so will we."

Suggested donation is initially set at $10-15 at the door, $7.50-10 with advance reservation to notlobreservations (at) at least 24 hours in advance. Discounts for seniors and students with ID. Immediate family maximum $35-40. Exact prices will be determined in the near future and published to the venue and Notlob websites and mailing lists.

Due to the small performance space, advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

Patrons can subscribe to the Notlob mailing list at, and the Newton History Museum's mailing list through its website,

"notloB concerts are run on the house concert model. All door donations are used for expenses and to pay the musicians. This keeps cost of admission low so more members of the community can attend," explains Boudreau.

Volunteers and service organization partners are needed. Contact Boudreau through the reservations email address.

Patrons can stay informed of the concert schedule in one of three ways:

  1. Visit the The Newton History Museum website -, register to receive its newsletter.
  2. Subscribe to the Notlob Folk Concerts mailing list -
  3. Bookmark the Notlob Folk Concerts website -

The season

The first four concerts will serve as a trial. With community support the series will continue into the Fall and beyond, at a rate of approximately one or more concert per month.

Saturday, May 16
Cape Breton/ Scottish Kitchen Ceilidh

Sean Smith, Doug Lamey and Katie McNally

Friday, June 19
Minimalist, down-tempo blues
Brendan Hogan &Frank Morey, Dietrich Strause opens
Saturday, July 11
Pre-war & country blues

Marylou Ferrante & US Sam

Saturday, August 15
Spoken word, poetry & folk
Tim Mason & Tom Begich
The artists

Sean Smith

Whether in concert or just among friends, Sean has long enjoyed playing music and singing songs from the traditions of England, Ireland and Scotland. Sean has performed as a soloist and as a member of several bands (not necessarily all at the same time) at places like Club Passim, the Boston Celtic Music Fest, Springstep and the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival. He also tries to get out regularly to sessions around Boston, whether in pubs or parlors.

Katie McNally

18-year-old Katie McNally, runner-up Junior National Scottish Fiddle Champion, has performed with and opened up for such notable musicians as Hanneke Cassel, Brittany Haas, and Laura Risk. She has played at such venues as the Cantab Lounge; the Boston Celtic Music Festival; Brighton College in Brighton, England; the New Hampshire Highland Games; and Club Passim. An active member of the Boston Celtic music scene, Katie can be seen playing with Scottish fiddle band 5 A.M., local contra-dance band, Oh CONTRAire!, and the bluegrass group Boston Road. Throughout the year, Katie teaches Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle and in the summer, she travels across the country to fiddle camps like Valley of the Moon, Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp, and the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. Recently, Katie has become involved in the Scottish Country Dance community and often plays for dances and events in the Boston area.

Doug Lamey

Doug Lamey is twenty-three years old and is the grandson of Bill Lamey. Bill was an extraordinary Cape Breton fiddler and contributor to the Scottish and Cape Breton heritage in the Boston area for over thirty-five years.

Doug has studied and performed for several years all over North America and has a true pride and passion for the traditional style of Scottish and Cape Breton Fiddling, just like his grandfather, Bill Lamey.

One of Doug's first fiddle teachers was Sheila Falls Keohane. Sheila is one of the instructors for the Comhaltas Ceoltsirm Iireann School located in Boston.

Doug has attended The Gaelic College in St. Ann's Bay, Cape Breton and the Ceilidh Trail of Music in Inverness, Cape Breton, Boston College s Gaelic Roots Summer School in Boston Massachusetts and The Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in San Francisco, CA. These opportunities allowed Doug to study with such renowned fiddlers such as, Buddy MacMaster, John Campbell, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie, Sandy MacIntyre and Seamus Connolly and Alasdair Fraser, to name a few.

Doug has performed in many live sound environments as well as broadcasted performances, such as WGBH radio station and several local television studios in Massachusetts. He has also performed at the annual Glendale Festival in Cape Breton, the Washington Irish Festival and the N.H. Highland Games. He has had the privilege to perform in the Boston area with such artists as Andrea Beaton, Glen Graham, Sandy & Johnnie MacDonald, Cliff McGann and Mac Morin.

Brendan Hogan

Hogan was born out of the deep muck of the River Charles' banks - literally - in the old wing of Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts circa 1980. He's fourth generation, somehow, in a city where transience is all but a given; coming from a long line of police officers and butchers, undertakers and nurses.

As a teenager Brendan was an outsider and introvert, preferring the sound and mystery of music to bubble gum and gossip. Being from the Northeast and coming up in a family of type-A personalities, the blues did not come to Brendan so much as he frantically sought it out. In high school, Robert Johnson's 1930s Columbia recordings were on steady rotation in his bedroom stereo as he slept. Brendan thought it would become a part of him through osmosis, and it did. As most kids discovered Blind Melon, Brendan found Blind Lemon Jefferson. In his tastes, Lead Belly has always precluded Led Zeppelin.

Brendan has indeed made a name for himself as solo artist and as a regular member of the traveling caravan of young Cambridge and Somerville-based singer/songwriters. His initial foray into the blues, combined with good musicianship, has resulted in Brendan becoming just a damn fine songwriter. As with the finest examples of Lucinda Williams, he manages to let the blues influence good songs instead of always being the focus.

It's been said that there are innovators and there are curators. Brendan Hogan manages to be both. Not long after he was old enough to have a beer at a bar, he began hosting and producing 'Blues on WGBH', imparting a wealth of knowledge to radio listeners, introducing them to old blues classics and forgotten tunes as well as new artists from the Boston area and beyond..

"Brendan Hogan is a Zen warrior for the blues — a talented country style picker, singer, songwriter and performer...." – Ted Drozdowski, The Boston Phoenix.

With residencies at renowned Boston area venues and a consistent touring schedule, Brendan Hogan is rapidly making a name for himself as a performer locally and beyond.

This is Breandan's second Notlob concert, having performed with Danielle Miraglia and Tom Bianchi at the Loring-Greenough House on July 20, 2007.

Frank Morey

Singer-songwriter Frank Morey has never been accused of having a sweet, pretty, angelic sort of voice. The Lowell, MA, native is known for a rough, rugged, throaty style of singing, and his voice is perfect for his very earthy, blues-minded folk-rock. Morey's expressive vocals are as gritty as they are soulful.

The New Englander, who plays acoustic guitar and harmonica, brings a variety of influences to the table. He has often been compared to early Tom Waits, and his other influences range from Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen to the late Chicago blues giant Howlin' Wolf. In the northeast part of the United States, Morey has tended to fare well among fans of anti-folk. Morey isn't anti-folk per se - he has a more classic type of sound - but like the anti-folk crowd, he likes his folk-rock with a tough hard edge and a lot of guts.

Morey, whose live performances typically include both covers and original material, has been playing the Massachusetts club scene since the 90's. His first album, Father John's Medicine, was released on the Indigo Hamlet label in 2000 and was followed by the sophomore album, Cold in Hand. In 2002, Morey signed with veteran producer Bob Koester's Chicago-based Delmark label and recorded his third album, the Delmark Sessions.

- Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

Dietrich Strause

Dietrich Strause is a singer/songwriter raised in LANCASTER, PA. When he was a young impressionable boy, he played trumpet with a rock and roll/R&B/soul band where his licks were well received at biker bars throughout rural Pennsylvania. Over the years he developed an appreciation and love for a well-written song, leading him to pursue songwriting. Upon graduating from Oberlin College, Dietrich recorded a collection of tracks with friends Hassan Ali (bass/producer), Trey Alexander (Guitar Player Magazine's 2006 Guitar Hero), Aaron Walker (drummer with The Reese Project), and Rachel Kelly (violin). He currently resides in Jamaica Plain in Boston and is writing and performing more material to be polished and recorded for a debut album available in the spring of 2009. In addition to recording and performing his own music, Dietrich arranges, performs, and records horn parts for the Trey Alexander Band. He is also a professional dog-walker.

Marylou Ferrante

Marylou Ferrante was described by music critic and writer, Daniel Gewertz, in the Boston Herald, as the Bay State's finest female acoustic blues interpreter.

Marylou is an artist who performs pre-war blues from the 1920's & 30's. She covers major artists from the delta to east coast piedmont style players such as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Blind Boy Fuller and Memphis Minnie along with mandolin players such as Yank Rachell.

Her passionate expression of these old songs comes from a love of the music and the arrangements themselves, as well as what she says is an appreciation for "the history of these folks and the difficult circumstances they endured."

Marylou has honed her craft listening to the old recordings and learning from some of the great blues players today such as Paul Rishell, Guy Davis, Robert Jones and mandolin great Rich DelGrosso. Marylou has taught at The Cellar Studio, Salem MA

  • "Marylou is a killer. I have watched her grow, and now she's taking over. Blues lovers look out!"... GUY DAVIS
  • "Marylou has the soul of a blues Woman" Detroit's Blues Man... ROBERT JONES

This is Marylou's second Notlob concert, having opened for and played with Dennis Brannan at the Loring-Greenough House on October 6, 2007.


The Saga of U.S. SAM..... Wanted:Fer Rustlin' & Butcherin' Rock'n Country & Blues Songs! Along With His Faithful Guitar, "Grace", Some Harmonicas, "SAM"bourines, and A Saddle Bag Full Of Original & Older & Newer Cover Songs, They Roam Wild & Free Across The Wastelands of Samerica! Samerica? Is He Loco? Si'!

Tim Mason

Timothy Mason has been performing poetry and promoting folk music since the mid 1980s. He honed his performance style in the early poetry slams and around the campfires of the fabled Kerrville Folk Festival, giving the songwriters a run for their money.

An extensive background in human services, three years volunteering for a telephone crisis intervention hotline, training as a rape crisis counselor, four years working with developmentally disabled adults, a stint with court involved youth and eight years volunteering in a battered women's shelter have given him unique empathy with the quiet battles of daily survival.

Born in the Midwest and raised in North America, his family eventually settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, which he still calls home, although he has been a New Englander for over two decades. On the east side of the Big River, he has called Worcester, Cambridge and South Boston home and has now returned to East Cambridge. He supports himself by providing bookkeeping services, tax preparation and consultations to independent artists and arts oriented small businesses.

Over his 25 plus years presenting folk music to New England audiences his work has included reviving Club Passim, the legendary Harvard Square coffeehouse, pioneering new audiences at Capo's in Lowell MA and bringing The Old Vienna Kaffeehaus, in Westborough, MA, to national prominence.

"His insight is genuinely hip because it is accessible.
And sensible. And kind."

As an undergraduate at The University of Utah he chaired the student committee responsible for bringing The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the big screen behind "the Zion curtain quot;. Mason later attended graduate school at Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, earning a Master's degree in Organization and Management. He was voted "Most Standardly Deviated" and "Most Ambiguous". He thought it best to avoid the corporate world. Thus far he has achieved this goal.

His poetry is drawn from his diverse experiences and is written to be performed aloud. He has collaborated with musicians on a number of occasions, including recording the cassette single Saddam's Insane with prize-winning guitarist Geoff Bartley. Saddam's Insane aired on National Public Radio's HEAT show at the onset of the Gulf War.

"You reminded me of the Russian poet Yvegeny Yevtushenko in his earliest and best days."

His most recent work Feral Voices released February 2009 is a full length, 94 page collection of poetry giving a non-human voice and sensibility to the 21st century experience on our shared planet. It marks a return to the page for a poet whose emphasis is on performance and compliments his work from the late 1990s.

His first book Gently, Like Water Cracking Stone was released in 1997. The 50 page perfect bound volume included a CD of live performance and is in its second printing. This was followed by the 1998 release of Bloodlines, a 21-piece CD that features musical additions by award winning musician Geoff Bartley. 2003 saw the release of Bones and Breath a compelling collaboration of poetry and song with Geoff Bartley and produced by Frank Coakley. He is currently working on a new collaboration of song and poetry with Alaska musician Tom Begich.

Mason has demonstrated his performing versatility in several collaborations the WPI Jazz Dept. working with both the ensemble and full Big Band in pops concert presentations.

From Anchorage and Ottawa to Boston and Austin recent festival and club appearances have enabled Mason to reach a wider audience and have solidified his place among contemporary New England artists and national audiences.

Tom Begich

"It's the words that tell the story." That is Tom Begich. The bohemian son of a family steeped in Alaska politics and the product of a life of music, Tom's music resonates with stories and the conflicts of the human condition.

Part of the Alaska music scene in the early 1980's, Tom dropped out and tuned in to the world of politics and business for a decade before finding his way back to local coffee shops, street corners, and music festivals. Since returning to performing and recording, Tom has opened for recording artists Stephen Fearing, Don Morrell, Paul Geremia, and Kim Richey. Tom also hosted a monthly Songwriter's Showcase in his hometown of Anchorage for three years and has performed live on numerous radio stations and on the nationally syndicated radio show "West Coast Live" (October 1999).

Tom has released four CDs, "Such a World" in 1997, "Hotel Metropol" in 1999, and "Albuquerque Road" in 2001. His latest CD, "Cool Blue Light", was released November 20, 2004 and has already garnered favorable reviews.

Tom continues to play in Alaska and small venues throughout the country. Citing musicians as different as Taj Mahal, Harry Chapin, and Christopher Parkening as influences, Tom combines an easy picking style with blues rhythms and storytelling skill to create a musical montage that is always interesting to the ear. His music includes a wide-variety of music ranging from acoustic instrumentals to blues and folk rock. A musician with a wholly original sound, Tom Begich will keep you humming for more long after he's done.

-Notlob Music

Sunday, May 10, 2009

2008 Falcon Ridge / Grassy Hill "Most Wanted" artists tour

The FALCON RIDGE/GRASSY HILL EMERGING ARTIST SHOWCASE is open to all performers who have NOT showcased or appeared as part of a feature act at the fest in the last 2 years and who will not be appearing in any other capacity in the current year. This is a 2 song or 10 minute spot on our Mainstage on Friday afternoon. Artists new to the Northeast, not nationally touring or those with limited exposure are encouraged to apply.

Some 800+ artists apply, but only 20 or so are selected. The FRFF family and a panel of judges pick 3 or 4 winners. This year those artists are Amy Speace, Blue Moose & the Unbuttoned Zippers, Abi Tapia, and Lucy Wainwright Roche.

From the FRFF website: "FRFF is off to a late start this year due to the aftermath of last year's very severe weather that closed the festival early on Sunday. Our annual spring Preview Tour is not to be this year, but there may be a few shows here and there featuring the four top voted 2008 Showcase artists..."

BMUZ and Abi will be appearing together at:

Saturday, April 18
The Golden Apple Coffeehouse
Mt Kisco, NY

Sunday, May 10
The Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts
Washington, DC

Friday, May 15
Cafe Veritas
Rochester, NY

Saturday, May 16th
Common Ground Coffeehouse Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Saturday, May 23
Notlob Folk Concerts
Park Avenue Congregational Church, Arlington, MA

Friday, May 29
Pioneer Arts Center of
Easthampton (PACE)
Easthampton, MA

Contact the individual venues for reservations and more information.

For FRFF info go to

Thursday, May 7, 2009

notloB Alumni Perform at Pete Seeger's 90th B'day Party!

On May 3, FOUR notlob alumni artists ~ Peggy Seeger, Mike and Ruthy Merenda (with Will) and Laura Cortese ~ performed before 18,000 people at Madison Square Garden for Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration concert.

See ~80 more concert photos here and a 48-photo slide show (with artist names) here.

And Laura on YouTube!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Silvio Rodriguez was there in spirit

With all the fanfare and celebration of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday at Madison Square Garden, an interesting and sad side note is the fact that Cuban singer/songwriter Silvio Rodríguez was not allowed to enter the US to attend.

The news was first reported May 4 in Gramma Internacional


Havana. May 4, 2009

United States prevents Silvio from attending Pete Seeger's 90th birthday

THE U.S. State Department, currently under the leadership of Hilary Clinton, has prevented the famous Cuban singer/songwriter Silvio Rodríguez from attending celebrations in New York for the legendary American folk singer Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday.

The CubaDebate website yesterday published a message from Silvio, who was in Paris, saying that he had not received a visa on Friday, thus thwarting his plans to travel to the United States on an invitation from the event’s organizers.

"The blockade is still an active policy in the doings of the U.S. government," the website stated.

In a message to his sister and manager in Havana, Silvio stated: "It is 8:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1 in Paris and I have just connected to the website where the U.S. embassy in France publishes news on visa applications. Mine appears as still being processed, as it has been since I applied for it. Since today is the day that I was supposed to fly to New York and the visa hasn’t appeared, I leave for Havana tomorrow.

"I think that the State Department’s attitude is very much in contradiction with President Obama’s express desire for a rapprochement with Cuba. As a worker in, I still feel as blocked and discriminated against as by other governments. I hope that this will really change some day. Thanks for your help," the Cuban nueva trova artist wrote at the end of his note.

Peter Seeger, who gave global backing to the popularity of Guantanamera – by Joseíto Fernández, with verses from José Martí – has been a tireless critic of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, which he has visited five times.

Translated by Granma International

Today, AHORA prints a letter from Silvio Rodríguez

Letter written by Silvio Rodriguez to Pete Seeger PDF Print E-mail
By Redaction AHORA / Wednesday, 06 May 2009 /

Admired and beloved Maestro Pete Seeger:

In these moments the tribute concert that dozens of singers are justly offering you is being celebrated. Passing through my mind are some of the times that I have had the privilege of enjoying your talent, which has seduced multitudes.

I remember you in Havana, singing in solidarity along with the Sound Experimentation Group; I remember you in that tour that was dedicated to Victor Jara, through several cities in Italy; and I am also reliving that frosty night in February 1980 in which, responding to your call, we traveled from New York to Poughkeepsie and we listened to your "Snow, Snow," the masterwork of someone asking questions of a winter landscape.

I tried to come back to be with you today, but, as you well know, I was not allowed to get there by those who do not want the US and Cuba to get together, to sing to each other, to talk to each other, to understand each other. They are the ones who think that the world is divided into the powerful and the weak; the ones who only appreciate those who are rich and strong. They are the ones who do not forgive us for the fact that, even though we are small, we have decided to live standing up on our feet. Reality cries out that these brutes must be getting fewer and fewer in number, but somehow that minority still rules and gives the orders. Some of them saw danger in the idea that we would meet and that a simple act of brotherhood would symbolize two neighbor peoples who can agree in song and in affection.

But not just me, dear Pete: all my worthy and no doubt improvable people admire you, respect you, and celebrate your honorable nine decades defending social justice, peace, and culture. Here no one sees you as a danger, but as an extraordinary friend whom we are not allowed to embrace as freely as we would like. That is why not just I, but all of this Cuba that loves you, blockaded still by the abusers, is at your side now singing your prophetic ‘We Shall Overcome' and the ‘Guantanamera' of our Martí.

A kiss for Toshi and a big hug for you from

Silvio Rodriguez Dominguez

Added 5/13

La Raza Chronicles: May 5, 2009
Interview with attorney Bill Martinez on the State Department's blocking of Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez from performing with Pete Seeger in concert...

Mp3 / iTunes podcast:
La Raza Chronicles - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Added 5/15


The Obama administration hasn't yet made drastic shifts in U.S. policy toward Cuba, lifting restrictions on the ability of Cuban-Americans to travel and send money to Cuba but keeping in place the decades-old U.S. trade embargo. Still, the conciliatory tone emanating from Washington has raised hopes of a further thaw.

"We hope that the 'new day' Obama talked about will be here soon," says San Francisco-based immigration attorney Bill Martinez, who is working to secure travel visas on behalf of iconic singer/songwriter Silvio Rodríguez and other Cuban artists.

Rodríguez had hoped to perform with Pete Seeger at his 90th-birthday celebration May 3 at New York's Madison Square Garden, but he didn't obtain a visa in time for the show. State Department spokesperson Heide Bronke Fulton said she couldn't comment on individual cases.

Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Seeger's grandson (and no relation to Silvio Rodríguez), says he still hopes the Cuban singer will be able to perform at the Clearwater Festival June 20-21 in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., an annual event benefiting Seeger's nonprofit environmental organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. "It would be a shame to waste this opportunity," Rodríguez-Seeger says.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Democracy Now! coverage of Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration

May 04, 2009

Legendary Folk Singer & Activist Pete Seeger Turns 90, Thousands Turn Out for All-Star Tribute Featuring Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Dozens More


Legendary folk singer, banjo player, storyteller, and political and environmental activist Pete Seeger turned ninety on Sunday. More than 18,000 people packed New York’s Madison Square Garden Sunday for a night of music in his honor. The all-star lineup included Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Billy Bragg, Ruby Dee, Steve Earle, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, Tim Robbins, Dave Matthews, Rufus Wainwright, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, and Ritchie Havens. We speak with some of the musicians, play Seeger’s music and play excerpts from our hour-long interview with Seeger in 2004.

Legendary folk singer, banjo player, storyteller, and political and environmental activist Pete Seeger turned 90 on Sunday.

More than 18,000 people packed New York’s Madison Square Garden Sunday for a night of music in his honor. The concert was also a benefit for an environmental group Seeger founded to preserve the Hudson river, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

The all-star lineup included Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Billy Bragg, Ruby Dee, Steve Earle, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, Tim Robbins, Dave Mathews, Rufus Wainwright, John Mellencamp, Ben Harper, and Ritchie Havens.

Pete Seeger has been an icon of American dissent and creative energy for almost 70 years.

He performed with Woody Guthrie and the Weavers in the 1940s. In the 1950s he opposed Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt and was almost jailed for refusing to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

He helped popularize the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome” and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. He was also a vocal critic of the Vietnam War and inspired a generation of protest singers. Later he became an important voice within the the environmental and anti-nuclear movements.

Pete Seeger is now 90 years old and continues to perform and be politically active.

Bruce Springsteen, who sang Woody Guthrie"s original version of “This Land is Your Land” with Pete Seeger at President Obama"s inauguration this year, headlined Sunday night’s concert and began with a moving tribute to Seeger.

Highlights from Pete Seeger 90th birthday tribute,

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