Tuesday, December 13, 2016

One mystery solved, another continues

Back on July 8, 2016, I noticed

Might anyone know...
At the intersection of Mass Ave and Lowell Street in Arlington are three free-standing rocks. I thought they might have something to do with the Battle of the Foot of the Rocks, but now I am not certain.
On closer inspection today I found the left rock contains a rectangular recess which could have held a bronze plaque.
Was it never installed?
If so, what did it say?
Was it installed and stolen?
Chiseled into the center rock are the words "Foot of the Rocks 1819".
The right rock contains a bronze plaque containing narrative of the Wellington family.
I was expecting but nowhere could I find a dedication or memorial to the Battle of the Foot of the Rocks. Perhaps that is what was on the missing(?) plaque.
Substantiated information is appreciated.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Best Available Tickets for The Christmas Revels

Best Available Tickets for The Christmas Revels

Filled with beautiful music, dance, folktales, holiday carols, and audience participation, The Christmas Revels is a family celebration like no other. Each year audiences get to travel with us, without leaving Cambridge, exploring a new culture and celebrating its people. This year’s ‘Acadian-Cajun’ production is overflowing with music, dance and rituals performed by some of the best musicians in the country. Do you have your tickets yet? If not, read on!
To help you find the best seats available check out Alan’s Ticket Availability Page. You’ll find a listing of all 17 performances and the approximate number of tickets currently available at each price range. There’s also an easy link to the Harvard Box Office where you can buy tickets 24/7. Don’t delay as tickets are going fast!

Speaking of The Christmas Revels, did you catch us on WBZ-TV on Saturday? Artistic Director Patrick Swanson and Christmas Revels guest artist Josee Vachon, one of our Acadian tradition-bearers and a wonderful singer, had a great chat with news anchor Kerry Connolly on ‘4 Your Community’. Josee performed a piece from the show as well. If you missed it here it is again.

Learn More about this year’s Christmas Revels

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Plan now for Fiddle Hell Weekend, Nov. 4-6, Westford, MA

I have attended just about every Fiddle Hell Massachusetts since its inception, and I don't even play the fiddle!
If you do, you can take workshops from some of the finest fiddlers in their genres in the world.
If you do not, come Saturday for the concert and contradance.

See you in (Fiddle) Hell!

Plan now for Fiddle Hell Weekend, Nov. 4-6, Westford, MA!

Bruce Molsky and Andrea Beaton (and our 50 other workshop and jam leaders) want to remind you that our fantastic musical weekend is just six weeks away! 

We'll be back at the Westford Regency with lots of free parking. More infohere.

I just posted the details of all 270 workshops and jams here,  Click on FridaySaturday, or Sunday Schedule on the left.  This is an incredible set of workshops and jams; having to choose which ones to join is truly the "hellish" aspect of Fiddle Hell!  To see details on the leaders, click on Session Leaderson the left.

Sign up for the weekend now: You can prepay here and save a little money. Or just pay when you arrive.  We have discounts for seniors, young adults, and kids, and a few scholarships if you can't afford the fee.

Book your room now if you need one: The Westford Regency is sold out on Friday and Saturday nights (although it never hurts to check at 978-692-8200).  However, there are rooms available at the Residence Inn Boston Westford at 978-392-1407 (8 minutes walk, across the road) and at the Hampton Inn and Suites 978-392-1555 (a mile or so down the road).

Take a look at our new common tune list:  For 2016, we've created a new list of 52 common tunes in addition to the original list, based on your suggestionson the Fiddle Hell survey over the last 3 years.

Tell your friends about the Saturday night concert (Nov 5th, 7PM): Twenty fiddlers, followed by a contra dance (dance or sit in with the band). Free parking, doors open at 6:30PM.
New instructors for 2016 include Bruce Molsky (oldtime), Katie McNally(Scottish), Skip Gorman (bluegrass, cowboy), Ellery Klein (Irish), Autumn Rose Lester (New England), David Surette (mandolin), Rachel Maloney and Chris Turner (oldtime, blues, East European, harmonica, and the new Friday nightt Whomp!) and Gretchen Koehler (New England, Canadian).  Susie Burke and Emy Phelps will also help with a workshop or two.

Returning instructors Alan Kaufman, Art Schatz, Andrea Beaton, Andy Reiner, Art Bryan, Becky Tracy, Bennett Hammond, Bethany Waickman, Bob Alessio, Cathy Mason, Clayton March, Darol Anger, Dave Reiner, David Kaynor, David Moultrup, Ed Pearlman, Ellen Carlson, Eric Eid-Reiner, Eric Favreau, Frank Ferrel, George Fowler, Jason Anick, Jenna Moynihan, Jerry Wile, John Chambers, John Robinson, Joy Adams (cello), Julie Metcalf, Laurel Martin, Lissa Schneckenburger, Lorraine Hammond, Mariel Vandersteel, Mark Simos, Marshall Racowsky, Michelle Kaminsky, Oliver Scanlon, Paul Harty, Pete Anick, Pete Sutherland, Rob Flax, Shana AIsenberg, Tim Rowell, and Tom Morley will be back again to teach tunes and techniques at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, and to lead jams in various styles. Click here and then click on Session Leaders 2016 on the left to see details about our 2016 instructors, who are great players and experienced, supportive teachers.

In addition to fiddlers, mandolin players, violists and cellists are welcome. Other instrumentalists will need to check with me first.  We've added quite a few singing sessions and mandolin sessions in 2016, and there are alsooldtime banjo and guitar workshops.
Helpful Links
Fiddle Hell logistics, lodging, and leaders 
Fiddle Hell schedule (has daily schedules and details for 2016, overall grid coming in October))
New list of 52 common tunes and 2-CD set of original common tunes played fast and slow

Join the Facebook Group for Fiddle Hell Massachusetts   
Join the 2016 Fiddle Hell Facebook Event  
Follow Fiddle Hell Massachusetts (@FiddleHell) on Twitter 
Offer a ride or request one for Fiddle Hell 2016 at this 
free carpool site 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy #ArtsMatterDay!

Just do it!


Happy #ArtsMatterDay! Join hundreds of organizations and artists for an online celebration of arts & culture by sharing why arts matter to you. Let's take social media by storm and prove that arts matter in Massachusetts! 
Here’s what you can do:
Take an #ArtsMatter picture or video.

Follow MASSCreative on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram.
Share #ArtsMatter stories, pictures, and videos from your favorite arts organizations.

Check out our participating arts & cultural organizations.
While you're out at arts & cultural events, post about it with the hashtag, #ArtsMatterDay.

We're partnering with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to get candidates and voters talking about arts and culture leading up to Election Day on Nov 8. Ask the candidates via social media why #ArtsMatter to them.

Keep up the good work,
Matt Wilson, MASSCreative

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Arlo Guthrie to perform at the Somerville Theatre on November 3rd

Fresh off the heels of a hugely successful Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour, the Running Down The Road Tour comes to Somerville

Dan Smalls Presents:
Arlo Guthrie - Running Down The Road Tour
Thursday, November 3rd
The Somerville Theatre, Somerville MA

Tickets are on sale now at The Somerville Theatre box office, online at http://somervilletheatre.com/live-events/ 

Click for hi res

Folk music icon Arlo Guthrie is a legendary artist who shares timeless stories and unforgettable classic songs as he carries on the Guthrie family legacy. With his singular voice as both a singer-songwriter and social commentator, he has maintained a dedicated fan base that spans the globe.

On the heels of the sold-out Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour, Arlo Guthrie plunges into another musical trip certain to be a flashback-inducing, mind-expanding show. For the Running Down The Road Tour, Arlo will again hit the road with his band to fully embody the best of Guthrie's catalogue from the late sixties
and early seventies.

Featuring the most outstanding cuts from Arlo (1968), Running Down The Road (1969), Washington County (1970) along with many others, this tour exemplifies the sound that shaped a generation. Guthrie's upcoming tour promises to take the audience back to the most remarkable, far-out era.

Tickets for Arlo Guthrie- Running Down The Road Tour at the Somerville Theatre on Thursday, November 3rd are on sale now at the Somerville Theatre box office and online at http://somervilletheatre.com/live-events/

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Christmas Revels 2016 - An Acadian-Cajun Celebration of the Winter Solstice

notloB Music heartly recommends...
The Christmas Revels 2016 - An Acadian-Cajun Celebration of the Winter Solstice

17 Performances - Matinees & Evenings
DECEMBER 9-27, 2016
Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA
http://www.revels.org/shows-events/christmas-revels/Tickets: On Sale to the General Public October 20th at 12 Noon

A holiday tradition for more than four decades, The Christmas Revels is a joyful theatrical celebration of the winter solstice that travels the world each year showcasing cultural traditions including music, dance, folktales and rituals.

This year's Revels follows the original French immigrants who settled on the Canadian border but were later forced southward by the British to a new home along the bayous of Louisiana. Filled with toe-tapping fiddle tunes, lilting Cajun two steps, gorgeous anthems, and familiar touchstones like the Sussex Mummers Carol and Lord of the Dance, this will be a Christmas Revels to remember. See you there!"

This year's Revels will feature David Greely (notloB Music, September 10, 2015) and Lisa Ornstein.

David Greely, born in Baton Rouge of Cajun and Irish ancestry, learned Cajun fiddle on dance hall stages throughout South Louisiana, in the archives of Cajun and Creole music at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and from his apprenticeship to Cajun fiddle master and National Heritage Fellow Dewey Balfa. David has toured Folk Festivals worldwide for 28 years and has been nominated for four Grammy Awards. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance, and is an adjunct instructor of Cajun fiddle and vocals at the University of Louisiana. David is opening a new wing in his tradition, the home music of French Louisiana, taking the swampy syncopations of Cajun music and its renaissance French dialect to a new level of sophistication along with all its urgency and texture.

Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. When a member of Quebec’s internationally renowned traditional supergroup, La Bottine Souriante, Lisa spent countless hours in Quebec visiting with older musicians and playing in kitchens and dance halls. She earned a master’s degree in folklore on her study of the life and music of master fiddler Louis “Pitou” Boudreault, as well as Magdalen Island fiddler and raconteur Avila LeBlanc, and Gaspé region fiddlers such as Édouard Richard and Yvon Mimeault, and spent 17 years as director of the Acadian Archives in Fort Kent, Maine. She has recorded for both Smithsonian Folkways and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Lisa and David’s collaboration on 2016’s Christmas Revels presents a perfect opportunity to revel in musical connections that still exist between Northern Acadians and their Louisiana cousins, separated by centuries in consequence of geographic and political events beyond their control.

Artist websites
David Greely – http://davidgreely.com/

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hold on to Your Socks, the OLDTONE ROOTS MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL is Going to Blow Them Off!

Hold on to Your Socks, the OLDTONE ROOTS MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL is Going to Blow Them Off!

Oldtone Roots Music Festival: Unprecedented convergence of the best in
American traditional music.

“Participation is Preservation”

(Great Barrington, MA, and Ancramdale, NY) - Festival producer Dads “Bet the Farm” on their passion for Old Time music!  All with young families of 2 young kids each, these guys aim to further bridge gaps in the modern roots music world.

The Oldtone Roots Music and Dance Festival is a new venture founded and produced by the dynamic trio of Kip Beacco, Matt Downing, and Jim Wright, well-known Northeastern artists in American Roots music world. This is the second year of the event featuring traditional Appalachian folk, bluegrass, hot swing, old-time country, brass, Cajun and contra music. The dates are September 8, 9, 10, & 11, 2016.

“We are creating a platform for traditional music to be experienced and enjoyed without some of the trappings of larger festivals. Oldtone Roots focuses on preserving the more traditional side of American Roots music through playing, learning, dancing, and singing. The 4-day camping festival will include classes and workshops, formal and informal jams, and contests. The festival celebrates traditional acoustic music with a down-to-earth, inclusive, and welcoming vibe.”
- Jim Wright.

The informal motto of the festival is “Participation is Preservation”. The festival will include contra, square, and swing dancing, workshops, classes, and performances on three stages.  Known and respected artists of Old Time Music will be performing and teaching.

The event is an earth friendly family focused camping adventure on the stunning 150 acre Cool Whisper Working Family Farm in Hillsdale, NY. Cool Whisper is owned by Matt and Lisa Schober. Festival attendees will be able to see (from a distance) highland cattle amidst mountain views and rolling fields. Day tickets are also available.

Foghorn Stringband
Bruce Molsky's Mountain Drifters
Danny Paisley and Southern Grass
Tony Trischka
Two Man Gentleman Band
Brad Lee Folk and Bluegrass Playboys
Jese Lege and Bayou Brew
Mike Compton
Michael Daves
Raya Brass Band
Run Mountain
Tuba Skinny
Lucky Five
Mail the Horse
The Hayrollers
The Russet Trio
The Farwells
Bear Minimum
Bash Bish Bluegrass Band
Easy Ridin Papas
More to be added
Artist lineup and schedule subject to change - see website for current info.

Workshop Leaders:
Allison de Groot / Clawhammer Banjo

Bruce Molsky / Fiddle
Bradford Lee Folk / SongwritingHilary Hawke / Old-time Banjo
Jake Stargel / Guitar
Michael Daves / Guitar
Tara Linhardt / Mandolin
Stash Wyslouch / Guitar

Oldtone’s Classic Country Friday Night Revue
Featuring: Caleb Klauder, Reeb Wilms, Lauren Ambrose, Andy Bean, Brad Lee FolkPete Adams, Brian Kantor & more!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday Dance Blocks
THURSDAY Swing Dance Night and Farmer’s Wife Fish Fry!
7:30 Beginner Swing Dance Lesson w/ Jason Fenton & Elizabeth Orenstein
8:30 The Lucky Five
9:30 Tuba Skinny
FRIDAY Contra, Cajun & Square Dance Night!
3:30 Aldo Lavaggi & Friends w/ Jon Greene calling (Contra)
5:00 The Farwells with Maggie Shar and Tatiana Hargreaves!!
w/ Eric Hollman calling(Square)
6:30 Mountain Laurel w/ Paul Rosenberg calling (Contra)
8pm Dinner Break Cajun Food and Beef Brisket Night at Oldtone!
8:30 Oldtone Country Revue!
9:30 Jesse Lege & Bayou Brew (cajun)

SATURDAY Contra & Square Dance Night!
3:00 Russet Trio w/ Quena Crain calling (Contra)
4:15 Run Mountain w/ Erica Weiss calling (Square)
5:00 Mountain Laurel w/ TBA calling (Contra)
8pm Dinner Break Cool Whisper Farm Pig Roast Night at Oldtone!
10:00 Raya Brass Band 'til late!
All age activities: The Face-paint Crew, Fiber Flame Studio, Roger the Jester Fiddle Workshops: Aldo Lavaggi, Hilary Hawk and Tara Lindardt Workshop: Banjo, Mandolins and singing, Hopalong Andy,

Friday is Cajun Food night, Saturday is Cool Whisper Farm Pig Roast night at Oldtone!

Kid’s Activities: 
Hopalong Andrew, The Jester, Lead Sing-a-longs, Fiddle and Banjo workshop, face painting, and much more.

Band Contest:
Contest schedule to be announced soon!  Signup is first-come first-served and opens at 1pm on Thursday, September 8th at the main gate.
All contestants must have a camping ticket to sign up.
Each category will be limited to the first 15 instrumentalists / bands to sign up.
Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin & Band Contest.
Instrument Prizes
1st Prize: 2 Full Camping Passes for OT '17 & Oldtone Merch Prize Bag
Runner-up: Oldtone Merch Prize Bag 
Band Prizes
1st Prize: 2017 Oldtone Main Stage performance & Oldtone Merch Prize Bag 
Runner-up: Oldtone Merch Prize Bag
Contest Rules: one mic only, 2-song max


Traditional mountain fiddling, bluegrass, hot swing, classic country, brass, cajun and contra music. A family-friendly full camping festival with kids activities, dancing, hands-on instrument workshops led by world-class musicians,  instrument and band contests, Hudson Valley farm-to-table food, libations,  and exceptional national & regional acts on our main, dance, & workshop stages.
When: Thursday, Sept 8, 2016 1pm to Sunday, Sept 11, approx 4pm, 2016.
Cost: Camping or Day tickets available from $10-$100
Where: Cool Whisper Farm, 1011 Co. Rd 21, North Hillsdale, NY

More info and tickets:
Website: http://www.oldtonemusicfestival.com/

Free Ticket Contest: https://www.facebook.com/events/1752830268337945/
Instagram: @oldtonemusicfest #OldtoneRootsMusicFestival

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2015 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Mari Black Returns to Somerville 6/13

On Monday, June 13, Mari Black
2015 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion

2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion2014 Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion2013 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion
This will be notloB's and Mari's third collaboration.
While her solo shows combine selections from different genres and original pieces with diverse stylistic influences, Mari has also proven herself a master of many distinctive musical traditions in their pure form. She is the reigning Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion and Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion, the 2013 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, the 2012 Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion, the 2011 Canadian Open Novelty Champion, a 1st prize winner at the 2010 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, and a 2-time winner at the ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Alternative Styles Awards. Mari’s recent performing career includes acclaimed performances at the Austin Celtic Festival (Austin, TX), the Yachats Celtic Festival (Yachats, OR), the Saltwater Celtic Festival (Portland, ME), the San Diego Folk Heritage Society (San Diego, CA), The Burren Backroom Series with Brian O’Donovan (Boston, MA), the International Festival del Accordion (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), Club Passim (Boston, MA), and more. She has been featured as a concert soloist with many New England orchestras including the New England String Ensemble and the Boston Virtuosi. No matter how big or small the show, Mari’s passion for sharing diverse music and the stories behind it continues to inspire every audience she connects with.
– Brian O’Donovan, host of WGBH radio’s “A Celtic Sojourn”
“Particularly impressive
– The Boston Globe
“She is superb, inspiring, and unforgettable. Her magic is such that she sweeps audiences along with the sounds she and her instrument make.
– Willie Ruff, Professor of Jazz and Artistic Director of the Ellington Fellowship Series, Yale University
Arrive as early as 6pm to enjoy the cafe's offerings, which include sandwiches/wraps, salads, coffee, teas and pastries as well as beer and wine.
Free parking in the back lot, on street (mind the signage) and two satellite lots.
MBTA: Arts at the Armory is approximately a 15 minute walk from Davis Square which is on the Red Line, or take either the 88 or 90 bus from Lechmere (Green Line) or Davis Square (Red Line). Get off at the Highland Avenue and Lowell Street stop. You can also get there from Sullivan Square (Orange Line) via the 90 bus. Get off at the Highland Avenue and Benton Road stop.
Bicycle: The Armory is four blocks from the Somerville Community Path.
Handicap accessible.

will be presented in concert at the Cafe at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville.

An internationally-recognized performer, Mari is equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, including Celtic, Canadian, and American fiddling, jazz, tango, klezmer, folk, and more. She has been featured at Celtic Highland Games, Argentine tango festivals, folk festivals, jazz concert series, and world-famous classical concert venues including Carnegie Hall. Mari has appeared with such diverse artists as Irish fiddle champion Liz Carroll, Americana master Mark O’Connor, and jazzman Willie Ruff. Her music has been heard on the BBC Radio Scotland’s “Take the Floor”, Fox and CBS morning news, NPR’s “Here and Now,” and WGBH Radio’s “A Celtic Sojourn”. An enthusiastic collector of passport stamps, Mari has played concerts in Brazil, Scotland, Canada, China, Korea, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, and France, and she can’t wait for the next stop!

“One of the brightest young fiddlers around today

Supporting Mary, the World Fiddle Ensemble is...

Max Newman has been surrounded by traditional music and dance from an early age, often traveling with his dad to local contra dances, Irish music sessions, and folk festivals in his home state of Alaska, before relocating to the Northeast. His dynamic mandolin playing provides lyrical counterpoint and improvisatory punch, and his guitar playing is rich, powerful, and nuanced. He also performs in Stringrays with Rodney Miller and Stuart Kenney. Max maintains a keen interest in the future of music and dance traditions. He worked as the Youth Projects Intern at CDSS, leading workshops and developing materials for dance organizers, callers, and musicians. He serves on the committee for Youth Dance Weekend, an event dedicated to developing leadership among the next generation of contra and English participants. And like his bandmates, he enjoys teaching and encourages prospective students to get in touch.

Jesse Williams prides himself on his musical depth AND breadth! He has performed and recorded internationally, including two Grammy Nominated Albums and six W.C. Handy nominated albums. He has played with Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Duke Robillard, Jay McShann, Al Kooper, Jay Giels, John Hammond, Karin Allyson, Harry Allen, Ruth Brown, Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Maria Muldaur, Johnnie Johnson, Ronnie Earl, Henry Butler, Susan Tedeschi, Charles Neville, and others. Festivals and Venues include: North Sea Jazz, Edmonton Folk, Montreal Jazz, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, Vancouver Jazz, Byron Bay, Russian River, Boston Globe Jazz and Blues, Preakness, Beantown, Lincoln Center. Beacon Theater, Mountain Stage, Beacon Theater, Lincoln Center. He has appeared on PBS, Sesame St., AMC, National Film Archives, as well as multiple commercial spots. Mr. Williams holds a B.A.in performance from Berklee College of Music. Jesse teaches at Berklee Col of Music, Milton Academy, and Phillips Academy. He teaches jazz and contemporary ensembles, bass and guitar

Mari Black
Somerville Armory Café
191 Highland Ave., Somerville
Monday, June 13, 7:30pm


notloB Music also presents concerts in Cambridge, Arlington and Newton. See its full schedule at https://sites.google.com/site/notlobmusic (and soon notlobmusic.com). Tickets for all concerts are available at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/notlob-music-6730833315. For more information see its Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/notloBParlourConcerts/ - or email notlobreservations @ gmail.com.