Monday, December 14, 2015

notloB Music and Villa Giuliana-Atelier Present THE MIRASI COLLECTIVE in Concert

notloB Music and Villa Giuliana-Atelier


Happy Holidays from notloB Music!

Our concert season was to have ended last week but SURPRISE, just like Rushad Eggleston once did, calling on a Thursday proposing we do a concert the following Tuesday, notloB Music will be presenting a bonus season of at least one and possibly two additional new concerts! As we send out a mailing at most once per month watch our website and/or Facebook page for information about additional concerts.
As has been our tradition since 2008, presenting unique artists in unique spaces, these concerts will be in a beautiful artist studio near Porter Square. An added dimension will be the fact that they will be in the presence of fine art.
After 30 years living in this country, multi-media artist Alessandra Mariano is returning to her native Italy to take care of her mother. For this reason, she is selling from her studio an abundance of magnificent fine art, designer clothing, jewelry and collectables. This conjunction of art and music will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Sunday, December 20, 2015
Private studio show for concert guests – 6pm
Concert – 7pm
Suggested donation $5-10, cash.
The Mirasi Collective is a Boston-base group that swings hard- exploring the boundaries of South Asian music while preserving its beautiful traditions.
Sonny Lalchandani 
Is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory and performs both Sitar and Sarod in his band SkiM and in solo formats.
Sarvesh Varma
Is a Tabla player, trained under his guru Pandit Kiran Deshpande, and Ustad Zakir Hussain, and has performed in India, Canada and USA.
Michael Dwan Singh
Is a multifaceted artist, audio engineer and a producer who excels at playing Sarangi; learning under the lineage of the late Ustad Sultan Khan.Is a multifaceted artist, audio engineer and a producer who excels at playing Sarangi; learning under the lineage of the late Ustad Sultan Khan.

Miller Street Artist Studios
11 Miller Street, Somerville (near Porter Square).
By foot – From Porter Square T, walk down Somerville Ave to Beacon Street. Miller Street will be on your left.
By wheeled transport – Miller Street is off Beacon. As both concerts are on Sundays, park in any legal space on Miller or Beacon, but please avoid the nearby Star Market lot and the caterer’s lot.

·       Admission is by free-will donation. Cash at the door. 100% of the donations go to the musicians.
·       As everything in the studio, including furniture, is for sale, there is no guarantee there will be sofas or chairs, so please bring seating / floor pillows / yoga mats. On the other side of the coin, this means there will be more space for dancing on the beautiful wood floors.
·       BYO food and beverages.

·       Due to limited space, reservations via Eventbrite are being taken until Sunday 5pm. Anyone arriving at the studio without a reservation will be seated only if in the mind of the studio owner there is sufficient space.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ROB FLAX studio concert, 12/13, Somerville

notloB Music presents...ROB FLAX

Sunday, December 13
Private studio viewing 3pm
Concert 4pm
Miller Street Artist Studios
11 Miller Street, Somerville
Suggested donation $15-25.
100% of the donations go to Rob.

In collaboration with Villa Giuliana - Atelier, notloB Music is proud to present Rob Flax, Multi-instrumentalist, Composer, Educator.

After 31 years that shaped, enriched and colored her life in the US, Alessandra M will be returning to Italy. For this purpose she will be opening her studio to show and sell fine art (oil paintings, ceramics), art and literature books, jewlery and clothing. 
After the closing to the public of Sunday's sale, Alessandra's studio will be opened at 3pm for a private showing to all attending Rob's studio concert - but feel free to also come Saturday or earlier Sunday.
For more information, click here.

"Rob's unique blend of ancient and modern brings the violin into the 21st century with a dazzling array of digital technology seamlessly mated to the traditional world of wood, gut, and bone." —Stuart Rosenberg, WFMT Chicago

Rob Flax is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator with a playful heart and an open mind. He has shared the stage with many bands in many styles, including opening for B.B. King and Tower of Power, collaborations with dancers and filmmakers, and several projects as a bandleader. Rob is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory (M.M. 2012 – Contemporary Improvisation, Music In Education).

Arrive at 3pm for the private art showing.
The concert will begin at 4pm and last over one hour.
As everything in the studio, including furniture and fixtures, is being offered for sale, we cannot guarantee a chair, so if you are able and willing please bring a floor pillow or yoga mat.
On the flip side, that means there will be more space for dancing on the wood floor.
Suggested donation is $15-25 CASH, sliding scale.
You are welcome to bring food and beverages. Coffee and Panettone will be provided.

notloB MUSIC
Mail Chimp (mailing list) -


Since 2007, notloB Music has presented close to 200 folk, old-time, bluegrass, progressive string band and Celtic concerts in unique venues throughout the greater Boston area.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wrong is Right and Morgan Weidinger and Friends, 12/9, Somerville

notloB Music Presents...

Wrong is Right and Morgan Weidinger and Friends 

Wednesday, December 9, 7:30pm (cafe opens at 6)
Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
Suggested donation $5-15.
notloB Music's Fall music series continues at the intimate (50 seat) cafe at the Somerville Armory, presenting in a return engagement of Wrong is Right, and newcomer Morgan Weidinger 

Wrong Is Right is the blend of mandolin, fiddle and upright bass, played by Jake Howard, Sumaia Jackson and Mike Gaisbacher respectively. These three vibrant players and tune-writers met through a love of roots music at Berklee College of Music. Bringing backgrounds in many American roots music styles with combined skill and finesse on their instruments, Wrong Is Right is carving a path through the contemporary acoustic scene. With driving groove and elegant melodic interpretation, they explore the converging aspects of Bluegrass, Jazz and other roots music. Their poise and witty personalities bring their music to life.

Born and raised in the great bluegrass state of Ohio and currently residing in Boston, Jake attends school at the Berklee College of Music. With a background in Bluegrass music, he now studies Jazz and other roots music since beginning his studies at Berklee. Most of Jake’s free time is spent tuning his mandolin, and also is sometimes seen playing the mandolin.

Sumaia began studying classical music in California at the tiny age of 5. About eight years into her studies she was captivated by Irish and Scottish fiddle music. In 2012, she began studying at Berklee College of Music where she has since branched out into Old Time fiddle music, Bluegrass and Jazz. She plays all this, sometimes on a fiddle with five strangs, also on one of them ones with four strangs.

Sometimes known as “MAN WITH CELLO”, Mike plays the bass and also lives in Boston having graduated from Berklee College of Music. Since arriving in Boston in 2013, he has broadened his playing to include The Jazz, The Bluegrass, and Old-time roots music. Mike enjoys long walks on the beach and sunsets.

Morgan Weidinger is a St. Louis-born violinist who also plays piano, guitar, and sings. Although Morgan's initial training emphasized classical music, she now performs her own songs and creative covers. In 2015 she hopes to incorporate wireless sound and Ableton in her live performance. Morgan sings while she plays her violin, sometimes looping the guitar underneath. 

Morgan made her Carnegie Hall debut on the violin at age 14 as a member of her high school Symphonic Orchestra and performed at Alice Tully Hall in 2012. Over the last three years, she has studied with rock violinist Adam DeGraff, revolutionary 6-string violinist Tracy Silverman, and Berklee fiddle Professor Darol Anger.

In 2013, Morgan was accepted to Berklee College of Music with a full-tuition scholarship to study Performance and begin the next stage of her career. She performs year-round as a solo and featured musician in Boston and St. Louis. 
And friends? You'll have to come to find out!

Reservations are strongly suggested, our cafe artists have been performing to full houses.

Since 2007, notloB Music has presented close to 200 folk, old-time, bluegrass, progressive string band and Celtic concerts in unique venues throughout the greater Boston area.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Freewheel Trio & Bronwyn Keith-Hynes and Matt Witler, 12/7 @ Arts at the Armory

notloB Music Presents...

The Freewheel Trio & Bronwyn Keith-Hynes and Matt Witler 

Monday, December 7, 7:30pm (cafe opens at 6)
Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
Suggested donation $5-15.

notloB Music's Fall music series continues at the intimate (50 seat) cafe at the Somerville Armory, presenting in a return engagement several notloB veterans.

The Freewheel Trio is a contemporary string band based out of Denver, Colorado. Through shared experiences in the bluegrass, old-time, classical, and American jazz traditions, the Freewheel Trio approaches both original and traditional music with the weight of this varied musical background behind their creative process. The trio is committed to versatility, both in their approaches to the performance of their instruments, and with the musical traditions they explore as a group. This versatility fosters a close connection with audiences and a unique style from a familiar instrumentation.

Joe D'Esposito is a violinist and composer from Long Island, NY, and is currently based out of Denver, CO. Playing and performing violin from a young age brought him to Ithaca, NY to study with Susan Waterbury as well as to complete a degree in music education. Joe has performed in both the contemporary string band setting and the classical setting across the U.S. Through his involvement in music, Joe hopes to foster a more equitable music education system, and a personal connection with his audiences.

Mike Robinson is a guitarist, composer and singer based in Brooklyn, NY. Although often referred to as a bluegrass musician, Mike comes from a very diverse background of jazz and various styles of the American music canon. In addition to the Freewheel Trio, he is currently a member of the Brooklyn folk group, The Leeway, and Colorado based progressive acoustic group Taarka. 

Andrew Ryan is a bassist and composer who makes his home in Denver, CO, where he contributes to the thriving jazz, classical, and acoustic music scenes. A gripping performer and sensitive collaborator, his playing stresses the versatility and personality of the double bass. 


Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes is a Boston-based musician originally from Charlottesville, Virginia. Accepted on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music at age 16, she graduated in 2013 with a Professional Diploma in Violin Performance. Bronwyn is fast gaining recognition for her fiddling across bluegrass and acoustic music circles. Her playing, improvising, and writing are informed by her past five years of intense immersion in the Boston acoustic music scene and time spent studying traditional Irish and Cape Breton music before moving to Boston. Bronwyn has performed with Peter Rowan, The Milk Carton Kids, Anais Mitchell, Joe Pug and Tony Trischka. In 2014 Bronwyn won first place in the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship in Winfield, KS. In 2014, Bronwyn also was selected to attend the prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah GA, where she was one of sixteen students to participate in a groundbreaking new program of intense study with such notable acoustic musicians as Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Casey Driessen and more. 

Matt Witler grew up in Los Angeles, California. Starting on the fiddle at the age of nine, Matt fell in love with old time and bluegrass music. At the age of 14 he picked up the mandolin and began to study music in earnest. Under the guidance of teacher Evan Marshall, he learned the fundamentals of mandolin playing, improvisation, and musical interpretation. While Matt is rooted in the bluegrass tradition, he has explored and been influenced by Jazz, classical, and pop music. In 2010, he moved to Boston and began studying at the Berklee College of Music. While there he had the opportunity to study with many great musicians including John McGann, Darol Anger, Julian Lage, Andy Statman, Mike Compton, and Tim O'Brien. In 2012 Matt won first place in both the mandolin, and flatpick guitar contests at Rockygrass bluegrass festival. Matt is currently based in Boston and is a founding member of The Lonely Heartstring Band, a progressive bluegrass group that has been performing around North America for the past two years.

Reservations are strongly suggested, our cafe artists have been performing to full houses.

Since 2007, notloB Music has presented close to 200 folk, old-time, bluegrass, progressive string band and Celtic concerts in unique venues throughout the greater Boston area.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flynn Cohen, accompanied by Dylan Foley, 12/3, Newton

Flynn Cohen, accompanied by Dylan Foley

Thursday, December 3
Carriage House of Violins
1039 Chestnut Street, Newton Upper Falls

Join us for an intimate evening of music with multi-time notloB alumnus Flynn Cohen, accompanied by 4-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Dylan Foley, who will be playing original and traditional music from Flynn's solo albums.

Acoustic Guitarist Flynn Cohen has performed all over the world with many notable acts in traditional and contemporary acoustic music. He can be seen in concert with the American folk band LOW LILY (formerly known as Annalivia), and legendary Irish Accordion player John Whelan, as well as solo and duo shows playing music from his four solo albums. 

Flynn has also performed with Ruth Moody, Halali, The Sevens, Aoife Clancy, Cathie Ryan, Lawrence Nugent, Skip Healy, Joe Derrane and Frank Ferrel, John McGann, Matt Glaser, Brian Wicklund, Tony Watt and Southeast Expressway, Adrienne Young, Jake & Taylor Armerding, Gail Davies, Jilly Martin, Malibu Storm, Bruce MacGregor, Lissa Schneckenburger, Laura Cortese, Mark Simos, Women of Ireland, The Vancouver Symphony, the Orchestra of Indian Hill, Revels, and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, among others.

He studied Music at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England and at Mills College in Oakland, California and now teaches in the Music Deptment at Keene State College in New Hampshire, as well as The Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts.

A 4-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Dylan was a student of the great Rose Flanagan (the original fiddler in Cherish the Ladies) and counts Joanie Madden, Brian Conway, Mike McHale, and Monsignor Charlie Coen among his primary influences. He is a vibrant stylist whose playing has been called “impeccable and spirited.” Dylan has performed at Lincoln Center, Joanie Madden’s Folk N’ Irish Cruise, Austin Celtic Festival, at Gracie Mansion for NYC Mayor Bloomberg, on Jay Unger’s Dancing On the Air show on WAMC, also Foley has been featured on Irish Television channels RTE and TG4’s fleadh programme. At age 12, Dylan made an appearance on the HBO special “The Music In Me”. Wiithe the help of Irish Aid, In january 2013, Foley travelled with Dr. Mick Moloney (NYU Ethnomusicologist and Folklorist) to Vietnam in order to bring Irish music, song, dance and culture to those who were effected by Agent Orange and other Vietnam War atrocities. Dylan also performed with Mick Moloney, Joanie Madden, Bobby Hicks, Matt Molloy and Sharon Shannon.

He has also taught and performed at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, CCE MAD week and Elkins Irish Week. In March 2012, Foley released his debut solo album, “Hup!” featuring Brendan Dolan (piano) and Josh Dukes. Dylan, in March 2013 recorded an album with a stunning quartet, “The Yanks” made up of Isaac Alderson, Dan Gurney and Sean Earnest. Their album has been called “Outrageously good… This new Yanks album is a brilliant debut that features some of the best young trad players you’ll find anywhere.”- The Irish Echo. They are now touring frequently around the US. Now, at the age of 22, Foley teaches privately, plays concerts, sessions and celli’s around the greater NY area. “One the finest Irish fiddlers of his generation.” – Brian Conway

Tickets ($20 first two rows; $15 general admission, $10 early bird seniors and students (qty limited). 

Neighbor Girl, Deadstring Ensemble

DYLAN FOLEY Senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion in 2014. Tunes: Billy McComiskey/The Abbeyleix Reel.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Darol Anger and The Furies: On A Winter's Night

Darol Anger and The Furies
w/ The Red Rat Quartet:

On A Winter's Night

Friday, December 4, 8:00pm

Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, Massachusetts
(5 blocks north of Davis Square)

Darol Anger (5-string fiddle and mandocello) | Emy Phelps (guitar and vocals) | Mairi Chaimbeul (harp and vocals) | Ethan Jodziewicz (bass)

notloB Music's Fall music series continues with a return to a familiar and well-loved space, Unity Somerville, where we presented two dozen concerts between 2009 and 2013. We will celebrate our return with one our favorite ensembles, Darol Anger and The Furies, who we have presented twice, not to mention having worked with Darol on at least five other occasions involving star artists from his galaxy such as Rushad Eggleston, Joe Walsh, Sharon Gilchrist, Maeve Gilchrist and Grant Gordy. We're really looking forward to this one!

Acoustic Music legend Darol Anger joins rising singer-songwriter Emy Phelps in organizing some of the country's best young string musicians in a multigenerational musical experience focusing on the spirit of Midwinter and the turning of the year.
Darol's experience with holiday shows from Windham Hill through Newgrange to Yulegrass, his quirky humor, and his genius for organizing exciting bands will be utilized at full bore. Living in the Boston area, Darol has been a mentor to some of the most exciting and phenomenal young musicians in the world. In the Furies, these powerful presences are brought into synchronization and orbit around Anger’s vision and that unmistakable violin voice. The result is mythical, magical, musical mayhem. Special guests, family and friends will undoubtedly make appearances.

Darol Anger is a legendary and influential fiddle guru, who has spent over four decades reinventing American string music to encompass his explorations of bluegrass, jazz, and all other music. The groups that he founded or co-founded include the David Grisman Quintet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, Psychograss, Montreux, and the Republic of Strings ensemble. His playing and composition overflow with passion, prodigious technique, and generous humor. He has spent his career enlightening and inspiring his fellow musicians, and vice-versa.

Emy Phelps is a standout artist in a large field, a prolific songwriter with a riveting voice which plumbs the deepest emotions. A muscian of note in the Pacific Northwest, she has made a 30 year music career while raising 3 sons and one daughter, achieving degrees in Theatre Arts and Special Education.

Màiri Chaimbeul is a young harpist/composer, born and brought up as a Gaelic speaker on the Isle of Skye in the North-West of Scotland. She has toured throughout the UK and in Europe as well as the USA, including the Celtic Connections Festival, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and Zakir Hussain's Pulse of the World Festival, London 2012. She participated in the prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia, in 2013 & 2014, working with Julian Lage, Mike Marshall, David Grisman, Bela Fleck and Darol Anger. She currently studies at Berklee.

The Furies have added, for these shows, the spectacular young bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, who completed study at Curtis Institute with Edgar Meyer. Ethan is one of the most virtuosic and versatile bassists anywhere, and is now helping to revolutionize the bass' role in American String Music, appearing all over the US with Sierra Hull and the band Mr Sun.

The Red Rat Quartet...
Claire Gohst: violin
James Guy: violin
Choeun Kim: viola
Keizo Yoshioka: cello ...will open!
Be social, share the Facebook event 

Tickets  Premium (first three rows) $20; General admission $15; Early bird seniors and students $10 (qty limited).

Friday, November 6, 2015


"Fiddle Hell Massachusetts is a yearly gathering of fiddlers to meet, jam, learn, and have fun. It's both friendly and diverse, crossing all ages and including many traditional fiddle styles. Typically, there are about 1/3 beginners, 1/3 intermediates, and 1/3 advanced players, with many workshop and jam session choices at each level.
The invention of the late, great fiddler Dale Hopkins from Missouri, Fiddle Hell occurs periodically in fun locations worldwide. Prior Fiddle Hells have occurred in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. Dale used the term "Fiddle Hell" to refer to the unique sound of many fiddlers playing a tune together. While Dale's two Fiddle Hell gatherings involved performances for the public as well as some informal sharing of tunes and techniques, Dave Reiner extended the concept to make Fiddle Hell Massachusetts more of a fiddle camp for all ages, with scheduled workshops and jam sessions led by a wonderful group of experienced and supportive instructors.
Last year (2014), we had 300+ musicians, mostly fiddlers, at the tenth Massachusetts Fiddle Hell. There is very limited space for musicians other than fiddlers. However, mandolin players, violists, and cellists are welcome! Other instrumentalists, please contact Dave first to ask. We request that any accompanying instruments only play styles and tunes they are familiar with, and ask the fiddlers before joining jam sessions...."
If you are not a fiddler, come for the Saturday night concert and contra dance.

Be sure to drop by the merch room and register for a chance to win a pair of tickets to "Darol Anger and The Furies: On A Winter's Night", Saturday, December 4 at Unity Somerville -

Monday, November 2, 2015

Julian Pinelli, Ethan Setiawan and Noah Harrington @ Somerville Armory, 11/25

Julian Pinelli, Ethan Setiawan and Noah Harrington 
Wednesday, November 25, 7:30pm  (cafe opens at 6:00pm)
Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
Suggested donation $5-10 (cash)

Don't be a turkey, bring visiting out-of-town family, friends and fiends to Arts at the Armory's cafe and show them some rising Berklee talent!

On Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30pm the notloB Music concert series will team up once again with Arts at the Armory to present a special performance, this time by rising Berklee Colllege of Music students Julian Pinelli, Ethan Setiawan, and Noah Harrington.

Julian Pinelli - first began playing violin at age 4, and soon after began playing bluegrass and fiddle tunes with his father. As a young teenager, Julian became serious about music as a career. Since then, discoveries and pursuits have ranged from intense classical studies, to the expressive world of jazz and improvising, as well as many fiddle and folk traditions. The Appalachian music surrounding Julian’s home in Asheville NC has been central to his musical upbringing. In addition to gigging and playing in various bluegrass and folk bands, the most developmental experiences have been the countless hours of jamming and learning from fellow musicians. Julian is currently a 3rd semester student at Berklee College of Music where he studies jazz violin among other styles and skillsets. 

Julian’s passion for music is rooted in its emotional impact, and the power it has to transcend reality and unify people. Overall, Julian strives to be at the forefront of musical innovation and create down-to-earth music that respects existing musical traditions while staying fresh at the cutting edge. 

Ethan Setiawan is a mandolinist from Goshen, Indiana. Before turning 18, he managed to participate in Savannah Music Festival’s Acoustic Music Seminar, was awarded a full ride scholarship to Berklee School of Music, performed on NPR syndicate Prairie Home Companion and won the 2014 National Mandolin Championship. While he started on cello in third grade, he was drawn to the mandolin after getting bored learning ukulele. Soon after, Ethan was traveling around the country going to mandolin and music instructional events such as the Mandolin Symposium, the Swannanoa Gathering and the Berklee 5-Week Summer Performance Program. Though Ethan is currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, he took lessons from jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg through high school. Other artists he’s studied with include Clarice Assad, Bela Fleck, Julian Lage, Daniel Hope, and Mike Marshall. He’s performed with such diverse artists as the Steel Wheels, the Don Stiernberg Trio and Andy Hatfield (2011 International Guitar Champion, 2013 National Mandolin Champion), as well as having taught mandolin at TG School of Music in Goshen, Indiana. 

Noah Harrington is an award-winning acoustic and electric bassist originally from Lexington, MA, currently studying at The Berklee College of Music. He plays a wide range of styles, but fell in love with jazz soon after picking up the bass at the age of 10. He has studied with such luminaries as Julian Lage, Mike Marshall, Dave Holland and (currently) John Lockwood. An experienced bandleader, Noah founded the Scarlett//Harrington big band with fellow Berklee student Dean Scarlett, and frequently performs with a range of small ensembles at dances, weddings, house parties, festivals, and musicals. His musical repertoire encompasses Jazz, Rock, Brazilian, and Acoustic Roots music. 
Noah was named Outstanding Unamplified Bassist at the 2015 “Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition,” leading the competition’s “Overall Most Outstanding Rhythm Section.” He was twice named outstanding soloist at the Charles Mingus High School Jazz competition, and was one of 16 musicians nationwide invited to participate in the 2015 Savannah Acoustic Music Festival workshop. 
His musical influences include Ray Brown, Charlie Haden, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. He’s known for creating meaningful and energetic music, while staying in the pocket and focused on the groove. 

This is the sixth concert of the notloB Music’s current season presented at this venue. As we did at our long-running Loring-Greenough concert series, admission is by free-will donation. General admission $5-10+ cash.

Friday, October 30, 2015

notloB Music Presents...

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons 

w/ Elijah Wald & Sandrine Sheon 

Tuesday, November 3, 7:30pm  (cafe opens at 6:00pm)
Arts at the Armory Cafe
191 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
Suggested donation $10-20

notloB Music's Fall music series continues at the intimate (50 seat) cafe at the Somerville Armory.

The history of American roots music in the early 20th century could never fit into an encyclopedia. it’s too ramshackle, too rambunctious, too radical. Fiddlers, guitarists, banjo players, and all kinds of folks rambled those early roads, learning from each other, inspiring each other, and pushing the music in new directions. Music constantly switched back and forth across the racial divide, beholden only to the beat and the dance. It’s this fevered period of musical exchange that inspires Northwest roots music duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons. The songs on their new album, Take Yo Time, tap into everything from the hokum jug bands of Gus Cannon and the Memphis Sheiks, to country blues masters Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and Blind Willie McTell. They also touch on ancient English ballads like House Carpenter, Appalachian murder ballads like the classic Tom Dooley, and the early jazz compositions of Shelton Brooks and Duke Ellington. All of these traditions are tied together in the swirling musical whirlpool of pre-war American music. With a well-rosined fiddle and an old banjo, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are tracing these backroads, bringing the songs back to life.

Ben and Joe have been playing together for almost 5 years, the last 3 of which sent them to the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, learning at the feet of the elders of the acoustic blues tradition. They found an affinity in the many branches that tied into the blues and created this duo as a way to explore these branches. Their musical kinship and sense of joy in interpreting this music is evident and was the basis of an invitation Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) to form his band when he went solo. Ben and Joe joined Dom on his recent album, Prospect Hill, and toured the US with him, furthering their knowledge of Anglo and African American music traditions. Rather than thinking of their music as blues, it’s best to situate Ben and Joe (and Dom) as American songsters. A songster traditionally refers to an African-American artist whose repertoire is much broader than the old blues, and spans many of the genres that Ben and Joe Inhabit. Big Bill Broonzy and Mississippi John Hurt are classic examples of songsters. Whatever you want to call it, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons make American music. They make music that hews to the rough-and-tumble collisions of musical inspirations from the early 20th century; music that paved the way for everything we enjoy today.

Elijah Wald & Sandrine Sheon 
Elijah Wald is a guitarist and singer whose repertoire ranges from old blues and folk songs to ragtime, swing, and classic Swahili pop. After an apprenticeship studying guitar and drinking till dawn with Dave Van Ronk, he has played all over the US, as well as Europe, India, and the Congo. He worked as an accompanist to Eric Von Schmidt, played for five years with the legendary African-American fiddler and mandolinist Howard Armstrong, studied with the Congolese masters Jean-Bosco Mwenda and Edward Masengo, and has recorded an instructional DVD on the music of the Bahamian virtuoso Joseph Spence. He has also written a dozen books on blues, folk, pop, and Mexican music, and there's plenty more info about all of this at In recent years he has been performing with Sandrine Sheon on clarinet, combining their repertoires and underlining the close links between blues, country, ragtime, folk, and jazz.

As we did at our Loring-Greenough concert series, admission is by free-will donation, $10-20 suggested.

are strongly suggested, our cafe artists have been performing to full houses.