Saturday, January 10, 2015 -- John McCutcheon
One of our most respected and loved folksingers, John McCutcheon is also a virtuoso fiddler, and guitarist and master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammered dulcimer.
His songwriting has been hailed globally by critics and singers alike, and his 35 recordings have garnered every imaginable honor, including six Grammy nominations.
Much of his work, continues to focus on writing politically and socially conscious songs for adult audiences. In his performances, McCutcheon often introduces his music with a story, and has become known as a storyteller. McCutcheon's music has, since the 1990s, increasingly evolved into heartland-influenced ballads, while he still occasionally performs purer folk music, particularly when playing the dulcimer.
“John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.” – Pete Seeger
Suggested donation: $25. ($5 for children 6-15, under 6 free -- cash or check only at the door. No one turned away for lack of ability to pay.)
Friday, March 20, 2015 -- Ernest Troost and Carl Johnson (CEJ)
“If the Carter Family, Robbie Robertson and Alfred Hitchcock had written songs together, they might sound like this.” That is singer-songwriter Ernest Troost’s self-introduction when he takes the stage. It’s a clever statement that hints at the spirit of his folk-blues tunes — and Troost himself. When audiences hear his beautiful melodies and deftly detailed lyrics, they’re curious to learn more about him. Based in Hollywood, he’s earned numerous Emmy Award nominations and one Emmy composing scores for TV and films, including the cult classic Tremors, HBO’s A Lesson Before Dying, many Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. “It’s storytelling that really excites me,” says Troost. “I call my songwriting style cinematic folk--I try to create a vivid world of images and music that envelops the listener.”
Carl Johnson (Cej)
Cej is a California based singer-songwriter-guitarist in the Americana genre. Blending the finger picking traditions of Merle Travis and Mance Lipscomb with the lyrical sensibilities of Woody Guthrie, James Taylor and John Prine; his music is deeply rooted in the folk tradition. His songs embrace strains of blues, jazz and country while reflecting on a wide range of everyday human stories, with heart, humor and the occasional stab at perennial wisdom.
Each artist will perform a solo set, followed by an in-the-round format where they will trade songs with host Laura Zucker.
Suggested donation: $15. ($5 for children 6-15, under 6 free -- cash or check only at the door. No one turned away for lack of ability to pay.)