Sunday, April 23, 2017

Letter From IBMA to President Trump and Our Legislators in Support of the NEA and NEH

Excerpt: "...An important principle of our nation has been to protect and promote our rich artistic and cultural heritage. Bluegrass music, as a core genre of American roots music, was created on American soil as an extension of our country’s working class communities. It is this cultural history, along with exceptional musicianship, that makes this music loved throughout our country today. This is not simply entertainment; it is a vital part of our nation’s identity. Our plea to maintain funding for these public endowments is not based in any political agenda. It is about the music and the professionals and audiences who span the entire political spectrum..."

April 20, 2017
Letter to President Trump and Our Legislators in Support of the NEA and NEH
IBMA executive director Paul Schiminger has sent a letter on behalf of the entire bluegrass industry to President Trump and to key legislators in support of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last month, the President  proposed a budget that would cut funding entirely to both endowments. This cut would be extremely small within the overall Federal Budget, but it would create a major loss of funding for the arts, adversely affecting many bluegrass professionalsincluding event producers and artists.
You will find the full letter below:
An Open Letter to President Trump and Our Legislators:
On behalf of the International Bluegrass Music Association (“IBMA”) members, the entire bluegrass music community, and countless other professionals and fans of American roots music, I am writing in response to the President’s 2018 Federal Budget proposal.  The United States of America cannot afford to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (“NEA”) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (“NEH”).  These two government agencies carry out three highly beneficial missions across our country:  preserving and promoting the arts, educating and inspiring children, and expanding commerce through the grants provided by these public endowments.
An important principle of our nation has been to protect and promote our rich artistic and cultural heritage.  Bluegrass music, as a core genre of American roots music, was created on American soil as an extension of our country’s working class communities.  It is this cultural history, along with exceptional musicianship, that makes this music loved throughout our country today.  This is not simply entertainment; it is a vital part of our nation’s identity.  Our plea to maintain funding for these public endowments is not based in any political agenda.  It is about the music and the professionals and audiences who span the entire political spectrum.
A second guiding principle is to provide educational opportunity to the children of our country living in poverty.  It has been shown that participation in the arts improves overall student learning and grades while fostering their creative skills.  NEA grants reach nearly 16,000 communities nationwide, with 40% of funds going to high-poverty neighborhoods.  Elimination of these endowments even further disadvantages these at-risk children.  
The final important principle is an economic one.  The current budget proposal would cut $148 million in funding to the NEA and the same for the NEH.  Each of these represented .004% (less than one half of one hundredth of one percent) of the $4 trillion federal budget in 2016.  This miniscule cut to the federal budget would inflict devastating and irreparable damage to so many involved in the arts and humanities.  This is specifically true within our bluegrass music community and other forms of American roots music where artists, performing arts centers and venues, not-for-profit festivals, and other industry professionals rely on grants from the NEA and NEH to make a modest living and contribute to the U.S. economy, in stark contrast to other musical genres featured prominently on commercial media outlets who rightfully do not benefit from such grants.
Furthermore, according to Americans for the Arts in their study entitled Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, not-for-profit arts and culture organizations and their audiences alone generated $135.2 billion of economic activity in 2010 and generate over $22 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year.  The NEA estimated the impact to be $704 billion in 2013 if considering all arts and cultural production.  This multiplier effect creates an overwhelmingly compelling return on investment of our tax dollars.     
We realize fiscal responsibility comes with difficult choices.  However, the choice to fund the NEA and NEH should not be one that is difficult.  It is vital to maintain our commitment to arts and humanities.  Otherwise, our nation suffers a meaningful loss of its cultural heritage, we turn our backs on children, and we turn our backs on talented and hard working professionals who choose their careers based on art, education, and community rather than great financial reward. 
We strongly encourage you to support the arts and humanities by maintaining the same, or even increasing, the financial commitment to the NEA and NEH as this country has done for more than 50 years.
Paul Schiminger
Executive Director,

International Bluegrass Music Association

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Tannahill Weavers w/ Elizabeth and Ben Anderson 4/27 is SOLD OUT!

Tannahill Weavers
with Elizabeth and Ben Anderson


But here's how you may be able to get tickets.

The Tannahill Weavers w/ Elizabeth and Ben Anderson
Thursday, April 27, 7:30pm
Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
9 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA
Waitlist reservations are being accepted.

A limited number of tickets will be released on or before Wednesday, April 26.
Waitlsited patrons will be notified in the order received. Go to the notloB Music Website, click on "upcoming", then "tickets."

Parking is limited, here are your options:
The several spaces near the rear entrance.
The small lot between the church and the fire station.
In the church lot at the fellowship building down the driveway at 7 Elm St.
In the Hildreth House parking lot, located at 13 Ayer Road (top of the hill, behind the fire station.
Near the town hall.
Along the Common side of Elm Street.

Parking is NOT allowed:
Around the fire station.
Blocking any driveways.
On both sides of Elm Street.

A special offer to loyal notloB Music patrons.

MAHLER Symphony No. 6
Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Symphony Hall
Sunday, April 23, 2017,
Conductor's talk 1:45pm
Concert 3:00pm
More at More at

notloB Music has 4-5 or orchestra tickets (rows J, K, & L) with value of $50ea. If you can be at Symphony Hall by 1:30pm, send an email to Include your name and phone/text number. Winners will be drawn at random and notified by Saturday night. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Songs of Separation" wins Best Album at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Congratulations to Hannah Read - notloB Music concert #34, Folk Arts Quartet, April 11, 2009 - on winning the Best Album of 2017 for Songs of Separation at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017!! 

In her own words, "Songs of Separation" won Best Album at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in London on Wednesday night! What an incredible honour. Thank you to everyone who voted and supported us over the last year - so happy! X"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Arts Matter Advocacy Day 2017

"March up the steps of the capitol
Hold them accountable..."
~Jack Hardy

Arts Matter Advocacy Day 2017

On March 28, MASSCreative will bring together the creative community for Arts Matter Advocacy Day to show our state political leaders that the arts are crucial in Massachusetts.

Join us in the march to the State House and add your voice to the chorus of support for the arts!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Folk Fights Back Boston: For Immigrants and Refugees

Folk Fights Back Boston: 
For Immigrants and Refugees
Hosted by Folk Fights Back
Sunday, March 19 at 6:30 PM
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
Folk Fights Back is a musician led organization that seeks to raise money and awareness for critical issues during the Trump presidency. Our second event, Folk Fights Back for Immigrants and Refugees will raise money for local organizations that are doing litigation or other support work for refugees and immigrants. All proceeds of this Folk Fights Back Boston event will go to the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR).
For over 25 years, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR) has been a nationally recognized pro bono model that provides free legal services to asylum-seekers and to promote the rights of detained immigrants. PAIR provides hope and a new beginning to asylum-seekers, torture survivors and immigration detainees.
Bruce Molsky
Mariel Vandersteel, Joe K. Walsh, and Eli West
Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
Twisted Pine
Corporate Punk
Lonely Heartstring Band
Billy Wylder
Stash Wyslouch
Jenna Moynihan & Mairi Chaimbeul


Thursday, March 16, 2017

drowned out by popular culture

"This and many more specials as well as the ongoing NPR airplay, put my music in the spotlight over the years and continued to do, usually drowned out by popular culture"

"The vast majority of radio stations that have broadcast my music over the last 40 years is from National Public Radio. I would go as far as saying that without NPR, PRI and the PBS, I am not sure that I would have become a nationally known solo artist because commercial radio has, for the most part, ignored violin/fiddle music almost completely. I am linking a video from one of the most prominent PBS Specials I have created – with Yo-Yo Ma. I remember the budget of this special from 2000 nearly exactly. $180,000 came from Sony Classical Records to film this at Avery Fisher Hall, and it was matched by $180,000 from Public Broadcasting, and was aired on PBS several times. Without the funding from the National Endowment, the special would not have been possible. This and many more specials as well as the ongoing NPR airplay, put my music in the spotlight over the years and continued to do, usually drowned out by popular culture. As a young boy, I am not even sure I would have gotten into arts music without PBS and NPR in our household almost daily."
-Mark O’Connor
Mark O'Connor portrait by John David Pittman
Excerpted from:
“The White House released its budget proposal on Thursday, which suggests eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts…
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney says Trump administration officials focused on areas of the budget where they felt they could not ask taxpayers to foot the bill, specifically citing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
"When you start looking at the places that will reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was 'Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?' And the answer was no,” Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a Thursday morning interview…
"We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting."
Under Trump’s proposed budget, the funding for the CPB would be eliminated, as would the funds for the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
According to Patrick Butler, President of America's Public Television Stations, around 23,000 people work in public broadcasting across the U.S., many at small town and rural radio and television stations.
"In the long run it's entirely possible that everybody would lose his or her job," Butler told NBC News, "If that funding goes away."
Remote areas will be hit hardest if CPB funding — 70 percent of which goes to local stations — is eliminated. Bill Legere, General Manager of Juneau, Alaska's KTOO, oversees a staff of 24 people that run both the public radio and television stations in the state capitol. Funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting makes up about one-third of his budget, but in some smaller towns, CPB grants account for closer to 90 percent of operation costs.
According to a statement issued Thursday by PBS, public television is "America's largest classroom," with 68 percent of all kids aged 2-8 watching and learning from shows like Sesame Street, Thomas and Friends, Arthur, and others.
Speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that cutting public broadcasting was in the best interest of rural and inner-city Americans.
Mulvaney also said Thursday that much of the budget came from policy proposals Trump outlined in speeches and interviews during his campaign.
"We went back and pulled lines from speeches, interviews and turned his words, his policies into numbers,” Mulvaney said. "So folks who voted for the president are getting exactly what they voted for. "”

Mark O'Connor's "Appalachia Waltz" (Feat. Yo-Yo Ma) Loved Composition For Strings

"Orchestral programming would nearly cease to exist as well. There is really no outlet for interesting Symphony Orchestra work, and the distribution of it without NPR and PBS. This link here is a piece of mine with the Buffalo Symphony that was the subject of a PBS Special. It featured my critically acclaimed "American Seasons" violin concerto which obviously would not have had a chance on commercial T.V. or radio, but still worthy of being promoted and supported I believe. There is really nothing in the pop culture that could make up for the loss I am afraid, not for symphony orchestra."
- Mark O'Conner

"Fall" from Mark O'Connor's "American Seasons" w. JoAnn Falletta/Buffalo Philharmonic

Monday, March 13, 2017



"I'm so happy to finally share this labor of love available June 2nd via Free Dirt Records & Service Co.. Recorded in North Carolina with Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange, "Shame" required me to put myself out there in some new and terrifying ways, and I couldn't be more proud of it. It's a protest album of sorts, my response to a wild, beautiful and often unjust world. If you'd like to hear it, pre-order now for immediate access to a sneak peak sound cloud sampler playlist. 
Rachel Baiman of 10 String Symphony (notloB Music concert #129, March 30, 2014).

Sunday, March 5, 2017

TODAY! From Dublin to Portland, ME to Seattle and LA!
Find a sanctuary session in your neighborhood.

Background from Sanctuary Sessions: Trad Music for Civil Rights

"We decided to organize this benefit concert because of a shared feeling of dismay among Boston Irish musicians at this administration's complete disregard for social dignity, collective responsibility, women's rights, immigrants' rights, a working wage, blatant federal funding abuse, and much more.

We decided to mobilize Irish musicians across the country to organize musical events on the same day (March 5) in a show of solidarity, believing in the equality of all members of society, and believing too that targeting or scapegoating certain peoples for political and economic gain is abhorrent.

We decided to donate all proceeds to the ACLU who strive to protect the rights of all."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

notloB Music Returns to the Roost, Tannahill Weavers to perform in Harvard April 27

Tannahill Weavers to perform at Harvard UU
notloB Music Returns to the Roost

Harvard – Since 2007, notloB Music has been presenting “old-time, bluegrass, progressive string band, world, and Celtic concerts in unique listening room environments throughout the greater Boston area”, but actually got its start in 2006 at Harvard and Berlin coffeehouses when its principle, Jeff Boudreau, facilitated the featured artists. Then a resident of Bolton, Boudreau recently has returned to Harvard.

“In the subsequent years living just outside of Boston, I missed the woodlands and open spaces, guess you could say I was ‘pining’ to return.” Monty Python fans will get the “pining” and “notloB” references.

The initial Tannahill Weavers concert at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church sanctuary, the Scottish band’s first stop on their two-month US tour and its only Boston-area appearance, “will be the first of many”, said Boudreau optimistically. “It’s a great opportunity to present here. Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville are musically saturated. On any given night, patrons have the option of choosing between many concerts. It is also filled with world-class musicians teaching at Berklee and NEC or just passing through. Berklee and NEC are my deep wells, I am fortunate to have made many artist friends who will be presented over the coming months in Harvard.” Berklee faculty and staff who have been presented by notloB include John McGann, Darol Anger, Brittany Haas, Natalie Haas, Maeve Gilchrist, and Mark Simos.

Both the Tannahill Weavers and the Andersons, who are siblings from Westborough, are in the notloB “quiver” of past artist offerings. The Weavers will initiate their two-month US tour with the Harvard concert.

Tickets for the concert are available through, with an “early bird” discount available until March 8. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the HUUC General Fund.

About the artists.

Tannahill Weavers
Website -
Listen and watch -

In the late 18th and early 19th century Scotland was in a turmoil of change. Highlanders were being driven from their lands and into the burgeoning Lowland factory systems. This brought two quite distinct cultures together, the mystic Celtic culture of the North and the old Anglo/Scots culture of the Lowlands. They were married by the double barreled shotgun of necessity and the Industrial Revolution. But this forced union brought forth a cultural heritage which, thanks to people like Robert Burns and Robert Tannahill, outlasted the worst of the Industrial Revolution. It married the mystic beauty of the Celtic music to the coarse, brawling, but vitally human music, poetry and ballads of the Lowlands. It is precisely this strangely moving yet lustily stirring quality that the Tannahill Weavers have captured in their arrangements of the traditional music and songs of Scotland. All of their material is traditional, but as good musicians should, they have transformed it and brought it into the modern world, vitally alive and kicking.

The Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant performances and outstanding recording efforts that seemingly can't get better...yet continue to do just that.

The Tannahills have turned their acoustic excitement loose on audiences with an electrifying effect. They have that unique combination of traditional melodies, driving rhythmic accompaniment, and rich vocals that make their performances unforgettable. As the Winnipeg Free Press noted, "The Tannahill Weavers - properly harnessed - could probably power an entire city for a year on the strength of last night's concert alone. The music may be old time Celtic, but the drive and enthusiasm are akin to straight ahead rock and roll."

Born of a session in Paisley, Scotland and named for the town's historic weaving industry and local poet laureate Robert Tannahill, the group has made an international name for its special brand of Scottish music, blending the beauty of traditional melodies with the power of modern rhythms. The Tannahill Weavers began to attract attention when founding members Roy Gullane and Phil Smillie added the full-sized highland bagpipes to the on-stage presentations, the first professional Scottish folk group to successfully do so. The combination of the powerful pipe solos, Roy's driving guitar backing and lead vocals, and Phil's ethereal flute playing breathed new life into Scotland's vast repertoire of traditional melodies and songs.

Three years and a dozen countries later, the Tannahills were the toast of Europe, having won the Scotstar Award for Folk Record of the Year with their third album, The Tannahill Weavers. Canada came the next summer, with thousands at the national festivals in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto screaming an approval that echoed throughout the Canadian media. The Regina Leader-Post wrote, "The Tannahill Weavers personify Celtic music, and if you are given to superlatives, you have to call their talent 'awesome'."

Since their first visit to the United States in 1981, the Tannahills' unique combination of traditional melodies on pipes, flute and fiddle, driving rhythms on guitar and bouzouki, and powerful three and four part vocal harmonies have taken the musical community by storm. As Garrison Keillor, the host of "Prairie Home Companion", remarked, "These guys are a bunch of heroes every time they go on tour in the States".

Over the years the Tannies have been trailblazers for Scottish music, and their tight harmonies and powerful, inventive arrangements have won them fans from beyond the folk and Celtic music scenes.  In 2011 the band was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, and in 2014 they are joined by innovative piper Lorne MacDougall. Lorne comes with a high pedigree, having arranged and performed pipes for the Disney Pixar movie “Brave”, along with a long list of other accomplishments.

With the release of the Tannahill's 17th recording, Live and In Session, on award-winning label Compass Records, they are firmly established as one of the premier groups on the concert stage. From reflective ballads to footstomping reels and jigs, the variety and range of the material they perform is matched only by their enthusiasm and lively Celtic spirits.

Elizabeth and Ben Anderson
Website -
Videos -

Elizabeth and Ben Anderson, a Celtic fiddle and cello duo, has been gaining an enthusiastic following in the Boston area and throughout New England. Blending Scottish tunes with lively rhythms and innovative harmonies, they create a sound rooted in tradition, inspired by the contemporary, and completely original. On stage, they captivate audiences with their ability to effortlessly communicate musical nuances as only siblings can.

The duo has opened for Scottish bands The Battlefield Band and Dàimh at the Burren in Somerville MA, in concerts produced by Brian O’Donovan, host of “A Celtic Sojourn” on WGBH Public Radio. They have performed at the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the Ossipee Music Festival, the notloB concert series, and in solo concerts all along the East Coast. They made their international debut in 2016 with performances in Scotland and France.

Elizabeth is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and is the 2016 winner of the Perth All Scotland Fiddle Championship and a three-time New England Scottish Fiddle Junior Champion. She has been named a Top 12 Violin Teacher in Boston by Expertise.  Ben currently studies computer science at WPI in Worcester, MA, and is the 2015 third-place holder in the National Scottish Fiddle Junior Championship.

notloB Music Since 2007, notloB Music has presented close to 200 folk, old-time, bluegrass, progressive string band, world, and Celtic concerts in unique listening room environments throughout the greater Boston area. Tickets for all concerts are available at For more information see its website – – or Facebook page - - or email

What: Tannahill Weavers with Elizabeth and Ben Anderson
Genre: Scots Celtic
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:30pm
Where: Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, 9 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA  01451

Admission:  $20 in advance / $25 general admission.
Tickets through and, if not sold out, at the door the evening of the performance.
Artist’s website, feature:
Artist’s website, opener:
notloB website:
notloB Facebook:
More info: (please do not contact the venue).

johnny cope + atholl highlanders

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

notloB Music is Awakening from Hibernation

Since our presentation of Andrea Beaton, Wendy MacIssac & Eric MacDonald on June 1, notloB Music has been hibernating. But that will be ending soon!
We are returning to the land of notloB, where it all began. On Thursday, April 27 we will present one of the finest Scottish bands in the world in the 150 seat sanctuary of the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church (HUUC).

The announcement will be made on or about February 17 first to our mailing list then to our Facebook page and our new website (now under construction, due February 21)! Mailing list subscribers will be able to access tickets first, so if you are not already subscribed, now is a good time to do so.

We will also be presenting in listening rooms in the Greater Boston area.

The hibernation is over, notloB is back!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fare thee well, Katy Daley

"Today is Katy Daley's last morning show on WAMU's Bluegrass Country. Please join her this morning 7-10a for music & memories."
WAMU's Bluegrass Country

Fare thee well, Katy Daley.

Tune in at
(do not tune in to the WAMU stream, you'll get NPR's "Boring Edition").

Thursday, January 19, 2017

notloB is awakening from hibernation

Since our presentation of Andrea Beaton, Wendy MacIssac & Eric MacDonald on June 1, 2016, notloB Music has been hibernating. But that will be ending soon!

We have relocated to the land of notloB, where it all began, and hope to present locally in a 100-seat listening room.But we will also be presenting in Somerville where we have one firm date, Thursday, April 27, so mark your calendars for the return of one of the finest Scottish bands in the world! The full Spring series will soon be announced.
To be among the first to know what we have planned, please "like" (and share with friends, particularly those who live near 495 & 2, our Facebook page with friends and subscribe to our mailing list
And stand by for the new website!