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, http://notlobmusic.googlepages.com
BLUE MOOSE AND THE UNBUTTONED ZIPPERS
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) concast.net 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.