Friday, January 29, 2010

notloB Folk Concerts News, February, 2010

Bringing traditional American, Canadian, British, and Celtic folk, folk revival, world, blues, roots and bluegrass/newgrass music to Newton and Somerville and Grafton!

notloB Folk Concerts are volunteer run and not for profit. Patron donations go to production expenses and the artists.

In this edition

  1. Winter Season Concerts in Somerville, Newton and Grafton
  2. Mailing list – back to roots
  3. Reservation address changed
  4. Fans of Folk Radio WUMB
  5. Other traditional folk, folk revival, roots, bluegrass, blues and Celtic concert recommendations.
  6. Dinner and a show.
  7. Volunteer and needs wish list.
  8. Housekeeping.

1. Winter Season Concerts in Somerville, Newton & Grafton

Two old friends return, two performing art center-caliber artists in intimate surroundings, and a new production partnership is being formed.






Friday, January 29

Jim Infantino

Jackson Homestead, Newton

Suggested minimum donation $15, $5 children under 12, $50 immediate family max. 25% less for museum members. All donations go to the museum and artist.

Singer Songwriter,

Rockstar Geek

Friday, February 12

Sam Weiser

Unity Church of God, Somerville


A notloB production of a benefit concert for the New England Folk Music Archives

Sunday, February 21

Tony Bird

notfarG House Concerts, Grafton

$15 suggested donation

From southeast Africa, Tony Bird, a Malawi-born song man, is a complete original.

Thursday, February 25

Sarah McQuaid

notfarG House Concerts, Grafton

Suggested donation $10-15

"Sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice ... reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts…"

Sunday, March 07

Geoff Bartley

Jackson Homestead, Newton

Suggested minimum donation $15, 25% less for museum members. All donations go to the museum and artist.

Geoff's 3rd notloB appearance!

Wednesday, March 10

Andy Cohen

notfarG House Concerts, Grafton

$10 suggested donation

Country Blues 101

2. MAILING LIST. The “ReverbNation” mailing list is full, we are using again notloB Music. If you are on both you can unsubscribe from one or the other (ReverbNation is “just the facts”, once per month and once per concert; “notloB Music” is a news and discussion group that sends additional information about the local folk music community as well as the occasional free ticket contest/give-aways and other fun stuff.

3. NEW INFORMATION & RESERVATION ADDRESS. Effective immediately, send reservation and information requests to, do not use the old Comcast address.

4. “Supporters of folk and blues on WGBH” has served the community well as a grieving and venting and organizing device. We should have had something similar two years ago when “folk radio” WUMB was lost to AAA “music mix.” Such a group does now exist, but it is private. If you would like an invitation, please send an email, containing name and your feelings about “folk radio” vs. “music mix” to

5. OTHER CONCERT RECOMMENDATIONS. We believe the wider information about quality concerts is spread, the larger the folk/roots/Celtic/blues/bluegrass community will become. This is especially important as the world, national and local economies sour. Spread the word, support local live music and build the community. We wish there were one unified, uncensored music calendar for such events (for a listing and analysis of such resources, click here), but until it exists, these are notloB Folk Concerts’ recommendations.

January 30 - Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival

@ New England Youth Theater, Brattleboro, VT

Featuring the best of Irish, Scottish, English, Swedish, & French Canadian traditions.

February 6 – Fire on the Mountain

@ Harvard University, The Barker Center (Thompson Room)

Time: 10:30am - 8:30pm

Come hear some of the most renowned bluegrass musicians and scholars perform and discuss the style! Three panels (on bluegrass scholarship, instrument-making and bluegrass performance) will be followed by an evening concert featuring three Grammy Award-winning musicians.

To view the complete schedule, please visit:

Participants include:

Alison Brown ’84 – Grammy Award-winning banjoist and co-founder of Compass Records

Sam Bush – Grammy Award-winning mandolinist and co-founder of the New Grass Revival

Lynn Dudenbostel – World-renowned guitar- and mandolin-builder

Matt Glaser – Jazz/bluegrass violinist, director of the American Roots Music Program at the Berklee School of Music

Bobby Hicks – Grammy Award-winning bluegrass fiddler, former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and Ricky Skaggs’s Kentucky Thunder

Michelle Kisliuk – Associate professor of Music at the University of Virginia, recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award

Neil Rosenberg – Grammy Award-winning author and professor emeritus of Folklore at the Memorial University of Newfoundland

Jack Tottle – Mandolinist, founder of the Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program at East Tennessee State University (ETSU)

Garry West – Bassist, producer, co-founder of Compass Records

Clint Miller '11 and Forrest O'Connor '10 will also participate.

February 6 Ladysmith Black Mambazo

@ Sanders Theater

February 9 Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, Matt Glaser and The Boston Boys

@ Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant

February 11 Town Mountain: Bluegrass from Asheville, NC

@ Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant

The Johnny D's mailer describes them thusly: Imagine the band that occupies the common round between traditional bluegrass, outlaw country, and pure old time mountain music and you'll have a pretty good idea of where this NC band is coming from. Harnessing the frantic enegy of the modern punk string band, yet still respectfully rooted in the traditonal of Bill Monroe. I saw these guys a couple of times in the late night suites at IBMA and look forward to hearing them with a good sound system. They had great energy and really seemed to enjoy themselves.

February 12-14 Joe Val Bluegrass Festival

@ Sheraton Hotel, Framingham

Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (Sat) J.D. Crowe and the New South (Sat) Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Sat) Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass (Fri) Special Consensus (Sat, Sun) Josh Williams Band (Fri) The Gibson Brothers (Sun) Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out (Sun) White Mountain Bluegrass (Sat) Sierra Hull and Highway 111(Sat) Buddy Merriam and Back Roads (Fri) Bluegrass Gospel Project (Sun) Southern Rail (Sun) The Reunion Band (Sat) The Spinney Brothers (Sat, Sun) Acoustic Blue (Fri) Joe Sings Joe (Sat) Back Eddy Bluegrass (Sat) Rabbit in a Log (Sat) Berklee Bluegrass All-Stars (Fri)

February 13 - The 18th Annual Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball

@ Cranston, RI






February 14 – A Concert for Loved Ones in Haiti

@ Colonial Theater, Pittsfield

Artists from the Berkshires and surrounding cities come together to show solidarity and help bring money and more awareness to the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti!

This once-in-a-lifetime event will feature performances by Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, The Mammals, The Guthrie Family and more!

February 26 - DAVID BROMBERG with Special Guests Paul Rishell and Annie Raines

@ First Parish Church

Harvard Square, Cambridge

This information was as accurate as we could determine at the time it was transcribed from the sources. Verify with the artist/producer/venue before heading out.

Read more folk/roots concert and event notices in NEFolknRoots. If you have folk/roots events to add, please join and post.

6. DINNER AND A SHOW. Somerville concert patrons can save 10% when dining at the House of Tibet Kitchen, 235 Holland Street, 617-629-7567 (in nearby Teele Square). ...and Newton patrons can and also save 10% when dining at the Ginger Root, 136 Adams Street, 617-928-3337.

Simply make a concert reservation, print and bring your confirmation email and show it to restaurant staff. 10% excludes alcohol and taxes. Please tip at the pre-discount rate.

For both fine restaurants, before being seated please identify yourself to the staff as attending the “notloB concert”.


@ UCG ~ admission table, merchandise, hospitality & lighting.

@ all venues ~ publicity & flyer/handbill duplication and distribution.

If you are interested, please read the volunteer policy and apply via the email address listed there. Benefits await.

8. Housekeeping.

The fine print. notloB Folk Concerts are volunteer run and not for profit. We present the best local and touring roots, newgrass, traditional and contemporary folk, Celtic and blues artists at several venues around the greater Boston area. Past artists include the Spider John Koerner, the Sacred Shakers, The Folk Brothers (David Massengill and Jack Hardy), Peggy Seeger, Geoff Bartley, Mary McCaslin, Bob Franke, The Rowan Brothers, The Ungar Family Band, Aoife O’Donovan, Kristin Andraessen, Mike and Ruthy Ungar Merenda, Sometymes Why, Pat Wictor, Jud Caswell, Dennis Brennan and many others. Concerts in your home, as was done with the Bowmans in May, and Matt Brown in October can be arranged.

Reservations / information. At most concerts an incentive for making a reservation is offered. Send email to at least 24 hours prior to the concert. Information about the concert series, the venues and the artists can be found at the website or by sending an email to the reservations address.

Keeping in touch. There are several ways to stay informed of scheduled events:

Volunteering / Street team. This is a 100% volunteer-run effort. Concerts would not be possible without volunteer assistance. All interested in helping can read the Volunteer Policy. “Guerilla” publicity builds community by spreading the word to family, friends and neighbors. Posting flyers in your neighborhood music shops, book stores, coffee shops and workplace is appreciated. To register, go to, then send an email to requesting printer-ready files. Be a regular guerilla and you’ll receive a nice reward.

Admission is by donation. A suggested minimum donation (varies by concert), often with discount to those making reservations and sometimes to students and seniors, is requested. Your donations cover rent, sound system rental, sound engineer, publicity and other production expenses. 100% of the balance goes to the artists (many of whom travel many miles). Sometimes there are shortfalls, so extra donations are gladly accepted.

Photography, video recording, & sound recording. No still, video or sound recording is permitted without permission of the artist and the house. If you would like to share photos of past concerts, email the pictures and/or web link to

Keep your lamp trimmed and burning!
Jeff Boudreau

notloB Folk Concerts
Website ~

Blog ~

Folk news ~

Facebook ~

"In this era of pop-driven acoustic music, Notlob is keeping the folk tradition alive."

~ Jack Hardy

"The concerts always have a warm atmosphere and are fun to play. From a musician's perspective, I really appreciate the effort Jeff puts into his shows. Nobody on the Boston folk scene works harder to pull a concert together."

~ Alastair Moock

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jim Infantino, Newton, 1/29

notloB Folk Concerts


Falcon Ridge Folk Festival "most wanted to return artist", 2006

Jim Infantino

@ Jackson Homestead

527 Washington Street, Newton

Friday, January 29

Doors 7:45, Concert 8:00

Suggested donation $15, $5 children under 12, $50 immediate family max.

25% less for museum members.

All donations go to the museum and artist.

Singer Songwriter, Rockstar Geek

CMJ Music Report says:
"Jim Infantino wields his razor-sharp poetic flair like a weapon, offering thought-provoking commentary that can sound both humorous and poignant at the same time. Infantino mixes a down-town Lou Reed-style hipness ... that best illustrates the band's smart, imaginative approach."

The Boston Globe says:
"Jim Infantino, ground zero of the Boston trio Jim's Big Ego, is one of those rare songwriters whose wit is as sharp as his sense of melody, and whose intellect is broad and beautifully skewed as his jumble of musical influences."

Singer Songwriter, Rockstar Geek

Jackson Homestead -

Telephone: 617-796-1450

Reservations recommended - notlobreservations @

notloB Folk Concerts
Bringing traditional American, Canadian, British, and Celtic folk, folk revival, world, blues, roots and bluegrass/newgrass music to Arlington, Boston, Grafton, Newton & Somerville

"In this era of pop-driven acoustic music, notloB is keeping the folk tradition alive." ~ Jack Hardy

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010 Northeast Folk Festivals

Updated 1/24/10 from information on the websites and information circulating within the folk and roots community.

Email additions / suggestions / corrections to

Start Date v End Date Festival URL Genre City State Performers / Comments
1/8/10 1/9/10 BCMFest Celtic Cambridge & Medford MA The Makem & Spain Brothers Kimberley Fraser Tri Barbara & Robert McOwen (also with Tullochgorum) The Gobshites Tullochgorum Tina Lech & Ted Davis Bento Boxty Colm O'Brien Flynn Cohen (also with Trio 7) John McGann Sarah Blair (Trio 7) Kate Chadbourne Michael O'Leary Laura Cortese (Boston Urban Ceilidh, Travel) Cedar Stanistreet Max Newman Catherine Joyce Tess Ruderman David O'Docherty Laurel Martin David Surette Kieran Jordan Anne Hooper (also with Tullochgorum) Parcel of Rogues Susie Petrov (Parcel of Rogues) Calum Pasqua (Parcel of Rogues) Dan Houghton (Parcel of Rogues, Finale Concert Band) Kyte MacKillop Donald Gillies Jennifer Schoonover Feargal Ó Béarra Jane Gilmartin Wells Burrell Highland Dance Boston Gordon Aucoin Lloyd Carr Nancy Mulrey Regina Delaney & the New England Irish Harp Orchestra Boston Scottish Fiddle Club Sean Smith Liam Hart John Connor Sean Connor Paddy League Mark Robert (Trio 7) Nic Gareiss (Travel) Brendan Bulger (Boston Highlands Ceili Band) Susan Gedutis Lindsay (Boston Highlands Ceili Band) Roger Gamache (Boston Highlands Ceili Band) Glen Carliss (Boston Highlands Ceili Band) Hanneke Cassel Adam Cole-Mullen George Keith Doug Lamey (Tri) Cliff McGann (Tri) Matt Phelps (Tri) Bridget Fitzgerald (Bento Boxty) Cara Frankowicz (Bento Boxty) Patrick Hutchinson (Bento Boxty) John Coyne (Bento Boxty) Lisa Coyne (Bento Boxty) Pamela Campbell Christine Morrison Mary MacGillivary Judy McKenzie Terry O'Shea
1/30/10 1/30/10 NORTHERN ROOTS Traditional Music Festival Traditional American Brattleboro VT The Brattleboro Music Center's third annual Northern Roots Festival brings together local and regional musicians representing the best of various northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, English, Swedish and French Canadian.
2/12/10 2/14/10 The Flurry Traditional dance Saratoga NY A Weekend Festival For Dancers & Music Lovers Of All Ages! Dances - Performances - Singing - Instrument Workshops Concerts - Jamming - Crafts...And More! Over 600 performers in eight venues. Over 250 events for all ages! Contact:
2/12/10 2/14/10 Joe Val Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass Framingham MA Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (Sat) J.D. Crowe and the New South (Sat) Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Sat) Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass (Fri) Special Consensus (Sat, Sun) Josh Williams Band (Fri) The Gibson Brothers (Sun) Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out (Sun) White Mountain Bluegrass (Sat) Sierra Hull and Highway 111(Sat) Buddy Merriam and Back Roads (Fri) Bluegrass Gospel Project (Sun) Southern Rail (Sun) The Reunion Band (Sat) The Spinney Brothers (Sat, Sun) Acoustic Blue (Fri) Joe Sings Joe (Sat) Back Eddy Bluegrass (Sat) Rabbit in a Log (Sat) Berklee Bluegrass All-Stars (Fri)
2/25/10 2/27/10 New England Americana Festival Americana Boston MA
6/3/10 6/6/10 Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass Preston CT Dailey & Vincent (Friday) Marty Stuart (Saturday) The Greencards (Sat & Sun) Peter Rowan (Friday) The Gibson Brothers (Friday) Dry Branch Fire Squad (Sat & Sun) The Farewell Drifters (Thur & Fri) Kenny & Amanda Smith (Saturday) Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice (Thursday) The Boston Boys (Fri & Sat) Amy Gallatin (Thurs & Fri) Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa (Saturday) Rockin’ Acoustic Circus (Sunday) Darin & Brooke Aldridge (Sunday) Red Molly (Saturday)
6/10/10 6/13/10 Roots on the River Festival Roots, Americana Bellows Falls VT As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
6/17/10 6/20/10 Jennybrook Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass Tunbridge VT 2010 lineup: Gibson Brothers, Seldom Scene, Don Rigsby & Dudley Connell, Leroy Troy & The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, , Audie Blaylcock & Redline, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, Summertown Road, Acoustic Blue, Smokey Greene, Hemingway Brothers, Brenda Mathews & Friends, and your host bands, The Seth Sawyer Band and The Sawyer Brothers.
7/16/10 7/18/10 Solarfest, Roots Tinmouth VT
7/23/10 7/25/10 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Contemporary singer-songwriter Hillsdale NY As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
7/23/10 7/25/10 Lowell Folk Festival Traditional, world Lowell MA
7/30/10 8/1/10 Newport Folk Festival Traditional & revival, roots, singer-songwriter, pop. Newport RI Had gotten to be pop, last year came back to folk
8/5/10 8/8/10 Podunk Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass E. Hartford CT Hot showers & flush toilets!
8/8/10 8/8/10 Wachusett Valley Folk Festival Singer-songwriter. pop, comedy. Westminster Ma Ashbrook Haynes – Brooks Williams – Don White – Maeve – Mustard’s Retreat – Pesky J Nixon – Susan Werner – Vance Gilbert
8/28/10 8/29/10 LIMM Seafood Craft & Music Festival Sea Shanty West Sayville NY
9/3/10 9/5/10 Rhythm and Roots Festival Cajun, Zydeco, Blues Charlestown RI
9/25/10 9/26/10 Working Waterfront Festival Sea Shanty New Bedford MA
10/9?/10 10/10?/10 Taunton River Folk Festival Traditional and revival folk and blues. Taunton MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
5/?/10 5/?/10 North Shore Folk Festival tba Salem MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
6/?/10 6/?/10 Beacon Riverfest & Traditional Beacon NY As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
6/?/10 6/?/10 Clearwater Folk, blues, roots Croton-on-Hudson NY As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
6/?/10 6/?/10 RI Sustainable Living Festival Folk & contemporary singer-songwriter. W. Coventry RI Sponsored by the Apeiron Institute. As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
7/17?/10 7/18?/10 Green River Festival Americana Greenfield MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
7/3/10? 7/5/10? New Bedford Summerfest Contemporary folk, Celtic New Bedford MA 2010 is doubtful. AHA not returning phone calls. Facebook group says "canceled, but final decision due by end of January."
7/?/10 7/?/10 Champlain Valley Folk Festival "Honoring Traditional Music and Dance in the Champlain Valley" Ferrisburgh VT As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
9/6/10? 9/6/10? Bread and Roses Festival Folk Revival Lawrence MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
9/?/10 9/?/10 Joe Davies Folk Festival Contemporary folk, blues, singer-songwriter, pop. Middleborough MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.
9/?/10 9/?/10 Boston Folk Festival Contemporary folk, singer-songwriter, pop. Boston MA As of 1/24/10 the website has not been updated since the 2009 festival.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Pete Seeger's Banjo Head


Item condition:Used

Time left:9 days 12 hours (Jan 29, 201007:49:00 PST)

Bid history:9 bids

Current bid:US $2,000.00

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Item number:170434652269
Item location:Port Jervis, NY, United States
Ships to:United States

Item specifics
Condition: Used


This is a relisting of the Pete Seeger's banjo head. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You are bidding on a true, one-of-a-kind, legendary and historic piece that rarely comes to auction. This is the authentic old banjo head from Pete Seeger's long neck banjo. Sitting on a Vega Tubaphone rim for the last 30-35 years, this Vega sized, 10-15/16", banjo head bears Pete's iconic inscription, "This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender." It has played in nearly every State in the union and around the world. In many countries, many people of many politics, colors, and religions listened the notes trickling from this banjo head. From civil rights rallies, to saving rivers, to saving the planet, to the steps of the White House, Pete's big 90'th birthday celebration in Madison Square Garden, the folks of Clearwater, the Beacon Sloop Club, and the Childrens Chorus of Beacon...indeed this is a piece of history.

It should be noted that this banjo head is seen in many pictures, but especially, is the CD design logo of "Pete At 89" released by Appleseed Music,
The CD is not part of this auction, but is included in the JPEGS for reference.
A handwritten letter, from Pete Seeger, describing a little bit about where it has been, will accompany the banjo head to the winning bidder.

Please go to
This is a short clip that shows Pete talking about this auction and the plans for the money....and holding his banjo with the new crisp, white, unlettered head!

Since this has helped so many people for so long, it is Pete's hope that this auction raises money to help people once again in the form of assisting Wangari Muta Maathai to address the social and economic developmental needs of Haiti. Wangari Muta can be looked up on Wickipedia, Dr. Maathai was the first East African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and is known for empowering women, planting trees, and bringing Kenya to a more stable and self-sustaining condition.

Any serious questions should be directed to: Dr. Storm:
I will do my best to reply as soon as possible!

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UPDATE: 2/9/10

February 2, 2010

Seeger pulls banjo head from eBay auction

John W. Barry
Poughkeepsie Journal

Fishkill resident Pete Seeger has pulled his iconic banjo head from an eBay auction, after putting it up for bid to raise money for charity.

Following discussions with his family, the famous folk singer has ended the auction, plans to find other ways to funnel donations to the nonprofit Green Belt Movement organization, and plans to donate the famous banjo head — which reads "This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces It To Surrender" to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, which already has one of his banjos in its collection.

The banjo head, which is akin to a drum head, could have fetched $35,000 on eBay.

"The family decided," Seeger told the Journal Monday during a telephone interview, "we don't want to make money out of selling something like this."

And the 90-year-old member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appears in a video on YouTube to explain everything.

"Dear friends, near and far," Seeger says at the beginning of his YouTube video, "especially those who bid on my old banjo head ..."

Millions of people saw Seeger play his signature instrument, with this banjo head, during a concert in January 2009 as part of President Barack Obama's inauguration. He was joined at that performance by Bruce Springsteen and his grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

Many more have seen the famous folk singer play that banjo head at the annual Clearwater Festival in Westchester and at gatherings large and small, on a regular basis, throughout the Hudson Valley.

The writing was put on it decades ago, when Seeger's friend and mentor, Woody Guthrie, entered a hospital with Huntington's disease. Guthrie's guitar had a tiny sign on it that read, "This Machine Kills Fascists."

"That banjo head helped make music, not just all around this country, but in Latin America and Europe and Asia and Africa," Seeger told the Journal.

But time took its toll and R.J. Storm of Orange County, who has known Seeger and worked on his instruments for decades, told him it had to be replaced.

The same phrase has been placed on Seeger's new banjo head.

Storm said he asked Seeger what he wanted to do with the old banjo head. And Seeger, Storm said, told him to keep it.

The two then agreed to put it up for bid on eBay, an Internet auction site, and donate the proceeds to The Green Belt Movement's plan to plant trees in Haiti, an effort launched prior to the magnitude 7.0-earthquake that struck Jan. 12.

Storm said bids reached $6,400, and people contacted him directly with offers.

"That head would have sold in excess of $35,000," he said.


The Return of Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, 1/23

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival "most wanted to return artist", 2009

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Unity Church of God

6 William Street, Davis Square, Somerville

Doors 7:30, Concert 8:00

Suggested minimum donation $12 at the door, $10 with advance reservation*, children under 13 & students with ID $5

*email notlobreservations @ for reservations (at least 24 hours in advance & information)

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (BMUZ) is not your average folk band.

Founded in 2006 by four Berklee College of Music students, BMUZ decided to do something really different. They combined Scandinavian music and a nyckelharpa with American Old Time music, four and five string fiddles and a jazz and bluegrass guitarist. The result? A contemporary string band filled with epic triple fiddles, catchy melodies and driving rhythms full of raw energy and mashy quirk.

Although they think of themselves as a musical unit, the members of BMUZ each have their own individual sound. Bronwyn Bird grew up performing in musical theater. As a teenager, she discovered a nyckelharpa hanging on a neighbor's wall, and quickly fell in love with the instrument. While spending a year in Sweden studying Swedish music, she built the nyckelharpa she currently uses. Andy Reiner grew up in a musical family and spent his childhood attending music camps where he was exposed to a myriad of styles of folk and contemporary music. He can't choose which genre he likes playing the most, so he tends to successfully mesh them all together. Stash Wyslouch thought he was going to be an engineer until quite recently. His music has moved from heavy metal to bluegrass and jazz and draws on his Columbian and Polish background and love of reggae and funky grooves for his quirky compositions. Mariel Vandersteel grew up playing traditional Irish, Scottish and Quebecois music at contra dances as well as touring with Alasdair Fraser and the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers and with the Black Brothers. Before Berklee, she spent her summers studying music in Ireland and across the US and has spent four months studying the hardingfele in Norway.

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers has performed across the country at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), The Freight and Salvage (CA), Club Passim (MA) and the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour (KY). After playing in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, they were voted back to perform as the 2009 FRFF's Most Wanted Artists. Other festivals they have performed at are: Blissfest, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. They have had official showcases at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, TN. and at the New England Regional Folk Alliance.

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers have been called, "an extraordinary group of wonderful young musicians" (Matt Glaser, Berklee College of Music) and as, "a band you can't put a label on." (Matt Smith, Club Passim). Many have called BMUZ the next generation of roots and folk music and they have been compared to other genre-breaking bands such as Crooked Still, The Duhks, and Vasen. According to Paul Hartman, editor of Dirty Linen magazine, "the next generation…shows that folk/roots music is in good hands and will continue to be played and evolve…Just a few of the younger artists are Carolina Chocolate Drops, Crooked Still, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers…" BMUZ is a truly eclectic band that continues to skillfully and creatively push the boundaries of folk music. While combining old melodies with quirky new compositions, it will be exciting to watch BMUZ's future blossom.

They begin work on their first full-length record in early 2010, which will be produced by fiddler and songwriter, Laura Cortese.

notloB Folk Concerts are for the music and community, not for profit. For more information, go to

Other upcoming Winter Concerts

Friday, January 29: Jim Infantino @ Jackson Homestead, Newton
Sunday, February Sunday, February 7: Brendan Hogan @ Jackson Homestead, Newton
Friday, February 12: Sam Weiser - NEFMA benefit @ UCG
Thursday, February 25: Sarah McQuaid @ notfarG House concerts, Grafton
Sunday, March 7, Geoff Bartley @ Jackson Homestead, Newton
Friday, March 12, Red Hot Blacktop @ UCG Somerville
Sunday, March 14, Lucky 13 @ notfarG House concerts, Grafton

Join the notloB Folk Concert Facebook group.

Support WGBH's canceled folk and blues programs

Discussion group

Friday, January 8, 2010

May is House Concert Month

Concerts in Your Home has designed May as House Concert Month.

This is a good time for all who present or attend house concerts to become acquainted with CIYH. Hosts register for free, patrons search the database for free, there is a small charge for musicians to register.

And be sure to post NE house concerts to the NEFolknRoots message list with back-up reminders to the NEFolknRoots calendar.

I encourage all house concert presenters to reply to this message with your house concert name, town/city, the kind of music you present, contact info and upcoming concert information.

I'll start.

Venue Date Artists
Jackson Friday, January 29, 2010 Jim Infantino
Jackson Sunday, February 07, 2010 TBA
Grafton Thursday, February 25, 2010 Sarah McQuaid
Jackson Sunday, March 07, 2010 Geoff Bartley
Grafton March TBA
Andrew Cohen
Sunday, March 14, 2010 Lucky 13

Jackson = The Jackson Homestead, an historic house museum in Newton.
Mailing list

Grafton = A private residence in Grafton.
Mailing list

Reservations for both = notlobreservations @

* (may move to a larger venue in Grafton)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fewer clunkers, different darlings?

Listeners of "music mix" WUMB are familiar with the slogans "Your music, WUMB" and "Our roots are still growing." I have two new slogan suggestions:

"WUMB, we're playing fewer clunkers."
"WUMB, we have new darlings."


Clunker -"Just plain bad songs aired by WUMB that do not "serve the folk and roots communities". Or as Dick Pleaseance said 9/4/09 "once in a while we play a clunker". Boy, did he get that right!"" Clunkers definitely are not folk or roots, they could be Nashville pop, they could be the kind of pop embraced by listeners of "World Cafe, they definitely are AAA. Whatever they are, they are, plain and simple, very bad music.

Darling - A song WUMB plays over and over and over and over again. Statistical analysis of M-F daytime broadcasting reveals songs identified in the NEFolknRoots database comprise some 20-25% of all songs played.

This afternoon I had to run errands to Marlborough and Hudson, listened to WUMB three times for approximately 20-30 minutes each. During that time they played zero songs from the "darlings" list and only one artist (Ingrid Michaelson) from the "clunkers" list!

For the first few months after WUMB switched from formats from folk to AAA, Monday-Friday daytime was unlistenable, as if David Dies (sp?) had taken over as music director. After a year it (occasionally) became somewhat tolerable. But it has two continuing and nagging program traits, "clunkers" and "darlings" (there are several other traits that came in with AAA, but those are topics to be addressed at another time).

Given today's move away from clunkers and darlings, is it possible John Laurenti reading this blog and/or NEFolknRoots? Before singing Hallelujah! I am going to reserve accolades as they

  1. Played a couple of marginal songs from Joe Ely and Wilco which have attributes necessary for becoming darlings. I'll add them to the "watch" list.
  2. Played some previously un-aired tracks from "darling" artists. We know that the "darlings" cycle, WUMB could be going through a transition phase.
  3. Played "Walking on a wire" twice.

My heart goes out to Dick and Dave, whose, with 70 combined folk broadcasting years' experience, tremendous talents WUMB management is wasting doing simple voice overs to songs and artists selected by Mr. Laurneti to appeal some AAA demographic.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Matt and Shannon Heaton, "Livies" winners!

Congratulations to Matt and Shannon Heaton for their "Livies" awards.

Matt and Shannnon are notlob alumni, having performed with Lissa Schneckenburger at the Loring-Greenough House on March 15, 2008.

Shannon will be returning to notloB as a member of "Long Time Courting" on Friday, June 4. More information about the concert will be posted at the notloB website towards late Winter, or join the mailing list/news group to get information sooner.

Trad Fusion Album of the Year

Lover’s Well from Boston’s Matt and Shannon Heaton. This album blends so many forces and trends so brilliantly, it is impossible to follow them all. Shannon is a great singer and flute player, and Matt’s harmonies and intricate guitar accompaniment are perfection. Guest musicians drop by on the album, but make no mistake, Matt and Shannon are the reason for the season. They don’t come any better. This album celebrates love. These two are in love and it comes through in every tune and song. There is even one in Thai, as Shannon is a fluent speaker!! Who would have thought you could combine Irish trad and Thai and come out a winner? Well, Matt and Shannon, that’s who! This is magic.

Female Musician of the Year

Uh, that would be Shannon Heaton on Lover’s Well. Shannon has her own style on the flute. We hear a lot of Sligo and Roscommon. But, best of all, we hear a lot of Shannon. It takes such talent to combine the musical/cultural threads represented in this album into a fabric that is so strong and so vibrant. No duo has so continuously improved year by year over the course of their careers, and now Matt and Shannon take their rightful place at the top, while Shannon joins the iconic masters of the flute from Kevin Henry, Kevin Crawford and Dennis Watson through Matt Molloy and Kieran Munnelly to Shannon Heaton. She is an artist down to her socks. This woman is the bottom line in flute playing. A trad treasure.

Read about other category winners here.