Excellent singer/songwriter and
contemporary folk music in Monmouth County,
at UUCMC, 1475 W. Front St., Lincroft, NJ
Sunday 6/2/2019 7:00 PM. NOTE CHANGED DATE AND TIME.
Vance Gilbert, with Kala Farnham opening
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking 'em dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert's stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert's approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
Kala Farnham is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter hailing from the Quiet Corner of CT. Kala's signature songwriting has been described as a reinvention of the folk tradition made popular by artists such as Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez: she has been praised for her classical undertones and playful dose of Broadway theatricality onstage, and a lyricism that springs to life with creative storytelling, cultural references, and rich metaphor. Kala is an alumni of the 2017 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and the winner of the 2017 Rhode Island Songwriters Association Performing Songwriter Contest.
Saturday 9/21/2019 7:30 PM.
Gathering Time, with Mara Levine opening
Start with the 1960s folk tradition of Peter, Paul & Mary; add the vocal complexity and electric energy of Crosby, Stills & Nash, a dash of the Byrds and a jot of Joni Mitchell, and you have Gathering Time, a folk-rock/Americana harmony trio that has been turning heads for nearly a decade on the northeastern folk circuit and beyond.
Gathering Time swept the Folk DJ Chart in March, 2016, as their latest original CD Keepsake took the #1 album and #1 song slots which, with five other songs in the top 25, landed them as the #1 artist as well.
With a vocal blend oft-described as seamless, inspired guitar playing and precise percussion, Stuart, Hillary and Gerry evince deep roots in ‘60s folk-rock, with a healthy dash of traditional folk in the mix. Their stage chemistry makes clear that they take the music (if not themselves) very seriously, yet their infectious energy wins over even fans who never considered themselves folkies.
To date, Gathering Time has had a record five juried showcases at NERFA; and they were one of the three Emerging Artists at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2012 voted “Most Wanted” to return in 2013. Voted best band runner-up (and top folk band) in the 2011 Long Island Press readers' poll, Gathering Time was also recently described as "getting a whole beehive-full of buzz" on the northeast regional folk scene.
Called one of the best singers of her generation by Christine Lavin, folksinger and jewelry designer Mara Levine has been creating beautiful interpretations of fine traditional and contemporary folk songs for many years. Mara was nominated by Ron Olesko in 2009 for the Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase at the NERFA conference. She was selected for a Quad showcase at NERFA for 2014. Mara tours nationally, often sharing shows with Gathering Time. Her new CD “Facets of Folk” recently held the #1 position in the Folk DJ Chart.
Saturday 10/19/2019 7:30 PM.
Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio
Hailing from New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley, the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio are three musicians from three very different backgrounds, bringing their skills, quiet charm, and down-to-earth honesty to bear on songs that bring to life the sounds of the streets of New Orleans and the valleys of Appalachia and everywhere in between. They burst upon the national folk scene with the release of their debut EP, Still She Will Fly, whose title track was the #2 single on the Folk radio charts for the year in 2015.
The trio’s live performances feature Heather’s multi-genre songwriting, their instrumental virtuosity, and their stirring three-part vocal harmonies. With their “traveling music store” of instruments, this trio delivers heartfelt music with brilliant musicianship, stellar three-part vocals harmonies, and earthy charm. Their latest CD, 2017’s Singin’, debuted at #1 on the Folk radio charts and was the #11 album for the year. A new full-length recording is currently in the works and planned for a mid-2019 release.
With over 200 shows a year all over the US, the Acoustic Trio have performed at a variety of venues during their national tours and local appearances, including clubs, folk festivals, theaters, opera houses, performing art centers, schools, libraries, private concerts, and park concert series.
Saturday 11/2/2019 7:30 PM.
The Kennedys (with Eric Lee)
At well over a million miles of roadwork, including two stints as members of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, Pete and Maura Kennedy show no signs of slowing down either on tour or in the creative realm. The Kennedys kicked off the Earth Room Concerts series in April, 2016, and we're happy to have them return 3 1/2 years later!
Originally based in Austin, Texas, they spent a few years in the Washington DC area before moving to the East Village in New York City, where they have been based for most of the last two decades. The Kennedys are known nationwide as the hosts of the late lamented Dharma Café program on Sirius Satellite Radio, and on Broadway, they are regular cast members of Theatre Within's annual tribute to John Lennon — working in that capacity with Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper and a host of others.
Life on the road and time spent in the creative ecosystem of the Village have informed their songwriting over the course of 14 duo albums and half a dozen side projects, and Safe Until Tomorrow is true to that tradition. What sets the album apart is the inclusion of several anthemic, rocking songs of social consciousness that convey a strong message best summed up in one of the song titles: “Be Silent No More.” The Kennedys' music has been described as uplifting, empowering and encouraging. In these turbulent times, they rise to the occasion with Safe Until Tomorrow.
We’re lucky to have Eric Lee opening for The Kennedys. Eric is a long-time friend of Pete and Maura, from the days when he was a member of their Strangelings band. A Pennsylvania-born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Eric Lee shapes songs with stand-alone melodies and rich musical backdrops. From the personal to the sublime, they range from tales of honky-tonk heartache to anthems of social consciousness, and are told with a language of poetic and raw honesty. Lee draws from a well of uncommon musical depth, having worked professionally in recording studios, festival stages, and on the road with acclaimed artists in both folk and bluegrass (the Kennedys, Eric Andersen, Peter Rowan) since his late teens, and he commands the stage with the seasoned ease of a veteran performer.