Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Geoff Bartley (Newton, 3/7); Andy Cohen (Grafton, 3/10)

Two stellar folk/blues artists are on the horizon,
Geoff Bartley in Newton, Sunday & Andy Cohen in Grafton, Wednesday

notloB Folk Concerts


Geoff's THIRD notloB appearance!

August 18, 2007 (with Eliza Blue) @ the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain

November 15, 2008 (CD release party), co-feature with Mary McCaslain @ the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, Somerville


Sunday, March 7, 2010

@ Jackson Homestead

527 Washington Street, Newton, MA

Doors 5pm, Concert 5:15pm

(arrive early, the museum is open free of charge to Newton residents noon-5pm)

Minimum suggested donation $15, 25% less for museum members.

All donations go to the museum and artist.

Reservations recommended - notlobreservations @


Geoff writes, “My music is a mix of blues, folk and roots jazz. I play fingerstyle acoustic guitar and harmonica to support my bluesy baritone "singing". I’m also getting better...slowly... with traditional bluegrass and old-time flatpicking styles. Of the songs I’ve written, people seem to like most Who Should Know, Death is the Robber, One Kind Word, Welcome to the Spiral Dance, Noah’s Ark, Natural Law, the instrumental Blues Beneath the Surface, and the co-writes, Cut by Wire and We’re All Alike. My influences are probably as numerous as yours, but my principal ones are early Bob Dylan, Lightnin' Hopkins and Dave Van Ronk. I’ve also listened to a lot of jazz, primitive and modern. I've opened for or shared festival workshop stages with Doc Watson, Richard Thompson, Tom Rush, Jorma Kaukonen, Dr. John, Odetta, Leo Kottke, The Persuasions, Leon Redbone, and others. In my younger days I played up-down-and-sideways across the US but wasn't able to make a sustainable living at it. Now I play almost exclusively in southern New England and actively support local music.

The folk press has called me "folk music at its best" (Music Reviews Quarterly, Arden, NC), "a brilliant songwriter and a world-class guitarist" (The Boston Globe), a "local legend" (All Music Guide, now Allmusic... see and "the prophet" (WBUR 90.9 fm, Boston) and "spiritual godfather" (Dirty Linen magazine, Baltimore, MD) of the Boston folk scene. As a consequence, my head is now too big to fit through the door. But seriously, I certainly try to send people home from a show feeling better than when they walked in. I also try to keep growing as a person, which is more difficult.

Some of my songs have been recorded by other artists in the US, Nashville, Canada and Ireland, and some are included in the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine collection in Washington, DC. In the 1980s, I won four guitars at the National Fingerpicking Championships hosted by the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, and that was a thrill. As a consequence of these and other factors, I'm occasionally called to record and produce for other artists.

In addition to my own (usually) solo shows in southern New England, I play guitar and sing harmony for topical songwriter and veteran folk entertainer Tom Paxton I was also instrumental in bringing the Tom Paxton signature model Martin guitar into production in 2004.

I play many of the church coffeehouses in southern New England plus a few festivals, at Passim in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, roughly every eighteen months and at Johnny D's in Davis Square, Somerville, MA, occasionally. I currently have a steady gig playing acoustic pre-war country blues and Delta blues every Sunday night at Smoken' Joe's BBQ in Brighton Center, MA ( 617 254-5227). A guest soloist joins me each week on reeds, trumpet, harmonica, mandolin, fiddle, electric guitar, accordion, keyboard, upright bass, or percussion. Some of these players are reed master Billy Novick; jazz violinist Matt Glaser, Chairman of the String Department at the Berklee College of Music, Boston; upright bassist Eric Levenson; John McGann, bluegrass / newgrass / jazz guitarist / mandolinist who won the National Mandolin Championship at Winfield, Kansas in the 1980s and Berklee faculty; Jeff Stout, jazz trumpeter and Berklee faculty; and harmonica master Mike Turk. I present two nights of acoustic music each week at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA. Both nights have been voted Best of Boston.

In recognition of my career as an independent music professional and for my support of local acoustic music, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mayor’s Office in conjunction with the Boston Bluegrass Union proclaimed February 13, 2004 as Geoff Bartley Day. The award was presented to me that night at the Joe Val Memorial Bluegrass Festival in Framingham, MA. On September 13, 2009 at the Boston Folk Festival, the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association (BACHA) awarded me its Jerry Christen Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous award-winners include Boston Globe folk music correspondent Scott Alarik (2003); New England radio professional and acoustic music promoter Dick Pleasants (2004); WUMB 91.9 fm founder and principal organizer of the Boston Folk Festival Pat Monteith (2005); Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton-Levy, the founders of Rounder Records (2006); New England songwriter, singer and guitarist Bill Staines (2007); and traditional music supporter and radio host Sandy Sheehan (2008). Geoff’s Hollywood debut: My song 'A Letter from Prison' (recorded by The Infamous Stringdusters on Sugarhill Records / Welk Music Group) in which Nelson Mandela speaks to his wife, Winnie, from his jail cell on Robben Island, South Africa, appeared briefly in the independent Lionsgate film “The Lucky Ones” that opened in US theatres on September 26, 2008 starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, and Michael Pena. Thirteen is now my lucky number (26 divided by 2 = ?).

Acoustic guitar instrumentals and songs I've written have been used on the History Channel, Animal Planet, A&E, the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NOVA and Nature on PBS and in other commercial and non-commercial television programs on other stations in the US and other countries, in documentary and commercial films and in private and commercial advertising in the US and other countries. These recordings are licensed to the Sonoton Music Library in Munich, Germany and are distributed internationally by APM Music.

My latest CD is called “Put the Big Stone Down” and was released January, 2010.

I play Martin guitars and National Reso-Phonic guitars and string 'em all with Elixir strings

notfarG House concerts presents

Andy Cohen

Wednesday, March 10

Doors/pot luck @ 6pm
Concert @ 7pm

Andy Cohen grew up in a house with a piano and a lot of Dixieland Jazz records, amplified after a while by a cornet that his dad got him. At about fifteen, he got bitten by the Folk Music bug, and soon got to hear records by Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, both of which reminded him of the music he grew up to. At sixteen, he saw Rev. Gary Davis, and his course was set. He knew he had it in him to follow, study, perform and promote the music of the southeast quadrant, America¹s great musical fountainhead. Although he's done other things- a certain amount of writing, and physical labor from dishwashing and railroading to archaeology, playing the old tunes is what he does best.

What I do mostly any more, is a sort of Country Blues 101. It¹s broader than that, of course, covering material from before the twenties to about the fifties, and ranging over the several states to which Memphis is adjacent. I grew up during the Sixties Revival in Massachusetts, but I¹m a Southern boy at heart. I made a point of acquainting myself with all the blues players I could, on record and in person. In my shows, I do material by Rev. Davis, John Hurt, Big Bill, Gus Cannon, Frank Stokes, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White, Barbecue Bob, Charlie Patton, Ted Bogan, Henry Spaulding, or any of a hundred other blues people.


Suggested minimum donation $10

Andy's website ~
More information at ~

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