The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series

Location: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ, a smoke & alcohol free environment

Time: 8 PM Almost every Friday. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $9 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. All tickets are at the door. There are no advance sales or reservations.

Notice: Starting July 2014, basic admission will be $9.00. Still the best bargain in live acoustic music in NJ.

For More Information: Email email icon or call 973-335-9489.

Castlebay
Jan 18, 2008

Friday, July 25: The Minstrel's 39th Birthday Show   Special $10 admission covers refreshments including birthday cake.

The Minstrel's 39th Birthday Show

Our Birthday Show actually falls on our birthday this year. Our opening night was July 25, 1975. We celebrate this occasion with a potpourri of about 20 duos and trios randomly combined from amongst the Folk Project's member-musicians. Each group will perform one song. We keep to our roots as being musicians as well as music-lovers.

Friday, August 1: Reeds, Rhythm, And All That Brass with The Bon Temps Brass Band   Tonight on our stage: Two (Count 'em, two!) big bands!

Reeds, Rhythm, And All That Brass

Jumpin' At The WoodsideLaunched in 1973, Reeds, Rhythm, and All That Brass is an 18-piece band playing the classic American Songbook repertoire of the Big Band era and beyond. Comprised of professional and semi-professional players, they perform the music made famous by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Frank Sinatra, and the like. The band includes Folk Project members Jeff Rantzer and Hen3ry Nerenberg on trombone, Darrell Courtley on sax, and Jay Wilensky on vocals.

The Bon Temps Brass Band

Our opener is another flavor of Big Band. While RRATB plays carefully arranged and charted American Songbook material, The Bon Temps Brass Band plays a less structured, more freewheeling New Orleans style jazz, with lots of improvised solos. Adding their 8 members to RRATB's 18, we will surely break the record for the most musicians on our stage in one night. (Not counting our annual Valentines and Birthday shows.)

Friday, August 8: Open Stage

Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. Weve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit the Open Stage page.

Friday, August 15: Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche with Josh Joffen   Note change in opening act

Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche

Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche spring from a well respected pedegree in the NYC Folk scene. Suzzy is one of the Roches, three sisters whose songs and harmonies dominated the Greenwich Village milieu in the 70's and 80's. And Lucy's dad is the legendary Louden Wainwright III. Together the mother and daughter's harmonies are absolutely gorgeous, and their songs just sparkle.

A veteran of the Greenwich Village "Speakeasy" songwriters' scene of the 80's, Josh Joffen offers highly crafted songs well sung and well played with spirit and emotion. His song most familiar to local listeners is "The Girl From The Great Divide" as recorded by Mike Agranoff

Friday, August 22: Christine DeLeon with Mike Del Vecchio   All in the family tonight. Wife headliner, husband opener, and both Folk Project members.

Christine DeLeon

Christine DeLeon is perfectly described in Sing Out! Magazine's review of her \ debut CD: "This New Jersey artist's rich soprano is eerily reminiscent of that of a young Judy Collins: Powerful, crystalline and assured. And, like a young Judy, she makes her voice the centerpiece of [her performance] by featuring sweeping legato ballads accompanied by simple strummed acoustic guitar (filled out by backing instruments). Christine's songs are uniformly upbeat in something of the Dar Williams style..."

Most Folk Projectiles know of Mike Del Vecchio either as sound tech extraordinaire or as the man (and husband) behind our headliner, Christine DeLeon. But he is a fine guitarist and singer from way back, and is well worth a set of his own. He is also a railroad enthusiast, and some of his repertoire delves into the rich heritage of train songs in American folk music.

Friday, August 29: A Folk Project Special Event
Uke New Jersey Too!   Friday evening edition

Uke New Jersey Too!

It's official. After the smash success of last year's first Uke New Jersey ukulele festival, we're doing it again, but expanding it to 3 days. Friday evening the 29th and Saturday all day the 30th will be concerts and workshops at our usual Minstrel location, and a free Uke Jam in a public park (Details T.B.D.) in the Morristown area. Performers will include Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, The Stringbusters (Pete and Maura Kennedy), Jim and Liz Beloff, Stuart Fuchs, Honor Finnegan, and Uncle Zac. Tickets for the entire event, or for single days, are available HERE. We recommend advance purchase, as this event is expected to sell out.

Saturday, August 30: A Folk Project Special Event
Uke New Jersey Too!   Saturday all day!

Uke New Jersey Too!

Continuing from Friday's concert, Saturday the 30th, all day, will be devoted to concerts and workshops at our usual Minstrel location. Performers will include Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, The Stringbusters (Pete and Maura Kennedy), Jim and Liz Beloff, Stuart Fuchs, Honor Finnegan, and Uncle Zac. Tickets for the entire event, or for single days, are available HERE. We recommend advance purchase, as this event is expected to sell out.

Friday, September 5: Open Stage   NOTE: Not the usual 2nd Friday

Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit the Open Stage page.

Friday, September 12: Finest Kind with Sharlys Dugan

Finest Kind

No More FishFinest Kind is the vocal harmony trio of Ian Robb, Shelly Posen, and Anne Downey. These three singers, each a powerhouse in their own right, combine to produce some of the most beautiful and intricate harmonies in the folk world. Much of their material stems from the traditional repertoire of their respective native countries, England, Canada, and the US. But they also glean from genres from Western Swing to Sacred Harp to Tin Pan Alley to their own formidable pens.

Sharlys Dugan

Rectory Reel Our opener is a spin-off of the late lamented Dugan's Hooligans family band that gave its farewell performance on our stage in December 2011. Sharlys Dugan is a gifted young harper / whistle-player / singer / stepdancer. She'll be playing with accompaniment from her friends, undoubtedly including some former Hooligans.

Friday, September 19: Modern Man with Bob Cannon

Modern Man

Assisted LivingRevived from several years' cryogenic hibernation, Modern Man is alive and kicking. David Buskin, George Wurzbach and Rob Carlson are each in their own right superb musicians and singers. On top of that they have a keen vision of the absurdities of modern life, and the wit to reductio those absurdities ad absurdum, leaving audiences helplessly rolling on the floor in laughter. They have a great sense of parody, and the musical chops to pull those parodies off with renditions of the original songs that are absolutely perfect and absolutely wrong .

Bob Cannon

One More ThrillOur opener, Bob Cannon is known locally in the Montclair area as the go-to guy when you want a lead guitarist with great chops and taste. But on his own, he shines as well, using those guitar skills to complement his outstanding songwriting. His songs are full of wit and skillfuly written.

Friday, September 26: Cosy Sheridan with Dave Nachmanoff

Cosy Sheridan

The First SongThe first thing that grabs you about songwriter Cosy Sheridan is her sharp, bubbly, almost manic stage presence. You're whisked along on a joyful madcap ride from the myths of ancient Greece to an insightful approach to long term financial planning. Her wryly insightful songs have been showcased everywhere from Carnegie Hall to The Dr Demento Show. She supports this charismatic persona with solid guitar and strong vocals.

Dave Nachmanoff

Kindred SpiritsThe tools in Dave Nachmanoff's musical toolbox are many and diverse. He writes wonderful songs in an accessible folk-rock style that move the feet, and yet are not lacking in substance. His guitar chops have made him a sought-after studio musician and Al Stewart's accompanist on the road. And with his diminutive stature and boyish good looks, he is a real charmer onstage.

Note: Dave's appearance as an opener here serves as a preview to his headline set upcoming on October 24.

Friday, October 3: Sloan Wainwright with The Wag

Sloan Wainwright

Live Out the Best of Your LifeDefying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles pop, folk, jazz and blues held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a unique and soulful hybrid. Part of a large folk dynasty, including Loudon Wainwright, Kate McGarrigle, and Suzzy Roche, Sloan's destiny in the folk world might have been easily predicted.

The Wag

Your EyesThe Wag is a 4-piece pop rock band features great harmonies behind any of 3 lead singers that elicit echoes of Crosby Stills & Nash, the Beatles, or Simon & Garfunkel. They perform original songs sprinkled with occasional covers from the era of their inspiration

Friday, October 10: CLOSED for the Folk Project Acoustic Getaway (A.K.A. "Fall Festival")

Friday, October 17: Woody Mann with Ted Yoder   Two instrumental virtuosi

Woody Mann

Kindhearted WomanThe London Times said of Woody Mann, Dont miss a chance to see him; you are unlikely to hear anything or anyone better in the fields that Mann has chosen to master. That field is fingerstyle guitar. His playing is artful, musical, and so effortless that you almost forget the impossible difficulty of what he is doing. His music runs from ragtime & blues to the American Songbook to jazz standards to his own well-crafted originals. He's a wonderful singer, a charming entertainer, and a legend in the guitar world.

Ted Yoder

Introducing Ted YoderTo open for a guitar virtuoso, we have a master of another stringed instrument. Ted Yoder won the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship at Winfield in 2010. He uses this uncommon instrument for uncommonly fine renditions of traditional tunes, familiar songs, and his own songs and instrumentals.

Friday, October 24: Dave Nachmanoff with Mandeville & Richards

Dave Nachmanoff

Kindred SpiritsSome of us first saw Dave Nachmanoff last month when he opened for Cozy Sheridan. The tools in Dave's musical toolbox are many and diverse. He writes wonderful songs in an accessible folk-rock style that move the feet, and yet are not lacking in substance. His guitar chops have made him a sought-after studio musician and Al Stewart's accompanist on the road. And with his diminutive stature and boyish good looks, he is a real charmer onstage.

Mandeville & Richards

Ted Kaczynski BluesMark Mandeville & Raianne Richards are a folk duo from Massachusetts. Although most of their material is original, their songs resonate with the tradition of Americana and old country music. Their performance is solid and spirited, backing up their strong harmonies with guitar, banjo, ukulele, bass, and occasionally clarinet.

Friday, October 31: Reserved for Folk Project Special Concerts

Friday, November 7: Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt

Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt

Claudia Schmidt: Longing / AlreadyTwo of the premier singer-songwriters of the past quarter century have joined forces. Sally Rogers, one of the most well known figures on the circuit from the mid '70's onward was well known for her sparkling voice and equally sparkling stage presence. Her songs made their way into the repertoires of folkies on stage and around campfires, including "Circle 'Round the Sun" and "Lovely Agnes". Claudia Schmidt also known for her expressive voice, paralleled Sally's career. Combining heart and intellect, she interleaves poetry within her songs. The two together are a powerhouse act not to be missed.

Friday, November 14: Split Bill
Jim Kweskin and Happy Traum   A historic collaboration of two guitar legends from the era of the Folk Revival

Lazy BonesIn the 60's Jim Kweskin, with his famous Jug Band, was instrumental (if you'll forgive the pun) in resurrecting the long forgotten jug band music of the 20's and 30's and adding it to the repertoire of the Folk Revival. A brilliant guitarist and band leader, he renders the tricky guitar style to perfection, while still maintaining the looseness and improvisational character of that style of music. On top of that, he is a consummate entertainer and showman.

Sittin' On Top of the WorldHappy Traum, together with his late brother Artie, raised and set the standard of finger-style guitar playing in the great heyday of the Folk Revival in the 60's and 70's. He has performed in virtually every major folk festival in the US and abroad, taught in every guitar camp from Swannanoa to Merlefest and beyond, played with virtually every legendary acoustic guitarist in the world over the past 40 years, and released dozens of instructional books and videos on the subject.

Friday, November 21: A Folk Project Special Concert
Jonathan Edwards and Lucy Kaplansky

Details to follow.

Friday, November 28: Mike Agranoff with Opening Act T.B.D.

Mike Agranoff

Would You Like To Play the Guitar?As the Minstrel's Program Chairman, Mike Agranoff has been its public face for decades. But he's also a regularly touring seasoned performer, and will be taking this opportunity to celebrate the release of his 4th CD, Straight Lines. His prodigious skills on guitar and concertina, and piano accompany to a wide variety of music. Expect anything from irreverent parodies to traditional ballads; from blazing dance tunes to contemplative songs; from rousing chorus songs to his signature spoken-word recitations. He will be featuring the tunes on his new release along with some of the musicians who sang and played on the album.

Friday, December 5: Chorus Song Night

Chorus Song Night

The first Friday of December is our Chorus Song Night. This is an evening for you, the audience to sing. We invite a panel of 4 singers with a repertoire of participatory songs to go round-robin in leading songs with choruses, familiar songs, or otherwise suitable for audience participation for an evening of group singing. This year's panel will be:
Jean Rohe: Who has been singing with the Folk Project since she was 8 years old.
Zoe Mulford: Purveyor of songs from both sides of the Atlantic
FiL Wisneski: The Ukulele World's ambassador to the Folk Project
Mike Agranoff: The Minstrel's Program Chair with a thousand songs.

Friday, December 12: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.FolkProject.org/Minstrel/OpenStage.

Friday, December 19: CLOSED

Friday, December 26: Split Bill
Christine Lavin and Don White   Note: Open Stage is next week. Not the usual 2nd Friday.

Christine Lavin

Comedy and CocktailsChristine Lavin is the Folk World's long-reigning Queen of the Intelligently Absurd. The title of one of her earlier albums, "I Don't Make This Stuff Up, I Just Make It Rhyme" says it all. She has an eye for the ironic and the absurd in the news and everyday life, and puts it into song. And dresses it all up in skillful guitar work, electronic loops, and wonderful gimmicks like baton twirling. She's irrepressible, and ya gotta love her.

The Accordion Door StoryDon White is a blue collar intellectual and a true old-school troubadour. He is a comedian-author-singer-songwriter-raconteur, whose introductions to his songs are wonderfully crafted tales that are as hilarious as the songs themselves. He is such a beloved character in his hometown of Lynn, MA that last year the mayor proclaimed an official Don White Day and gave him the key to the city. A perfect match for his co-bill, Christine.

Friday, January 2: Open Stage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. Weve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit the Open Stage page.

Friday, January 9: The April Verch Band with Opening Act T.B.D.

The April Verch Band

Live From the Evening MuseApril Verch is one of those natural musicians that has it all. Immersed in the local dance music of her native Ottawa Valley in Canada, she showed head-turning talent on the fiddle since she was very young. Ever expanding, she voraciously absorbed other Canadian fiddle styles as well as those of the US, Scotland, Ireland, and anything else she heard. On the way she picked up step dancing, singing, and a great talent in showmanship. We saw her first at the Minstrel as a teenager in 2000 as Mad Pudding's fiddler. And now she fronts her own world-touring band, drawing raves wherever she goes.

Friday, January 16: Julie Gold with Opening Act T.B.D.

Julie Gold

From a DistanceJulie Gold is best known for the Grammy-winning song "From a Distance", recorded by Nanci Griffith, Bette Midler, and countless more. But she is no one-hit wonder. Her canon is chock full of songs of equal quality, which she delivers with passion, wit, and humor, interspersed with fascinating anecdotes about the songs and their inspiration. Her musical chops, both vocal and piano, are more than worthy of the songs themselves. And the warmth of her delivery makes you feel you've known her all your life. This will be a very special night.

Friday, January 23: Vance Gilbert with Water Street

Vance Gilbert

It's been 3 years since Vance Gilbert has visited us. Vance's jazz roots are showing in his intricate guitar style and sophisticated vocal technique. But his stage charisma and wicked wit sing "folk" at the top of those powerful lungs. Vance is a great showman, an amazing singer, and a real swell guy.

SamplerWater Street is a 2-family band consisting of 3 teenagers, Dave & Milly Paulson and Claire McNulty, plus Claire's dad Dave McNulty. Together they present high-energy pop-oriented originals and covers with 3-part vocal harmony and guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and bass accompaniment.

Friday, January 30: Bill Staines with Opening Act T.B.D.

Bill Staines

For just about as long as anyone currently involved in folk music can remember, BILL STAINES is the archetypical contemporary folk singer. People have been singing his songs on stage, in recording studios, and around campfires for over 30 years. He is responsible for such classics as "Roseville Fair", "All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir", and "River", all with choruses that beg to be sung with. Come and see a true living legend.

Friday, February 6: Valentines Day Extravaganza   Note: A week earlier than in past years

Friday, February 13: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.FolkProject.org/Minstrel/OpenStage.

Friday, February 20: The Loose Canons with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Loose Canons

Musical comments on Financial Planning (401K) When The Loose Canons came to the Minstrel last year, they packed the joint to the point where we had to turn people away. Perhaps their very name will give you some insight to their approach to music. This 11-member choral group sings intricate vocal arrangements of folk songs, do wop, classical favorites as well as participatory pieces. But they specialize in parodies, satire, novelty songs, and other bits of musical humor.

Friday, February 27: Cricket Tell The Weather with Opening Act T.B.D.

Cricket Tell The Weather

Rocky Mountain SkiesCricket Tell The Weather is a young indie singer-songwriter band with deep bluegrass roots. Both the writing and the roots are very strong, with great songs, great instrumental chops (fiddle, guitar, banjo, & bass) and great bluegrass harmonies. This band is exploding on the folk and bluegrass scenes, with appearances at the Falcon Ridge and Joe Val Bluegrass Festivals, and numerous prestigious folk venues in the Northeast. Catch 'em now before they get too big for the Minstrel.

Friday, March 6: Jean Rohe and the End Of The World Show with The Lords of Liechtenstein   Rescheduled early after their truncated show last year

Jean Rohe and the End Of The World Show

National Anthem: Arise! Arise!Jean Rohe, Folk Project alumna since the age of 8, is now out in the music world, mastering and owning it in a dizzying array of its many branches. She sings and plays traditional folk, jazz, multi-lingual music of the Americas, North and South, Her own brilliant songs, and the songs of the best young writers of the folk world. The End Of The World band adds mandolin, guitar, accordion, bass, percussion, and vocal harmony. But it's Jeans remarkable and flexible voice that is the focus of this group. And the ensemble is tight and gets audiences moving and singing.

The Lords of Liechtenstein

SundaysDan and Noah Rauchwerk masquerade as The Lords of Liechtenstein. These irrepressible brothers play surprisingly sophisticated original songs accompanied on guitar , banjo, and ukulele. They create an innovative blend of folk, roots, reggae, and pop music, presented with charming inter-song schtick, bedecked in the latest in millennial sartorial hipness: sweater-vests.

Friday, March 13: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.FolkProject.org/Minstrel/OpenStage.

Friday, March 20: Silk City with Opening Act T.B.D.

Silk City

You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You GoSilk City is the high powered combination of three of the most accomplished musicians in the East. Danny Weiss' blazing guitar and soaring tenor voice have led bluegrass-oriented bands from Bottle Hill to Skyline. Barry Mitterhoff is currently also playing his mandolin on tour with Hot Tuna. And Larry Cohen's bass playing is sought after by musicians and recording studios around the country.

Friday, March 27: Small Potatoes with Opening Act T.B.D.

Small Potatoes

Small Potatoes is the duo of Rich Prezioso and Jacquie Manning. They call themselves "Eclecto-Maniacs", which is pretty apt, as their musical tastes run from Celtic to cowboy with a large dose of their own writing. What helps them pull all this off is the fact that they are monster musicians; Rich can make the guitar talk, and Jacquie is a great whistle and percussion player. They both sing and their voices blend with the smoothness of years of singing together.

Friday, April 3: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. We�ve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.FolkProject.org/Minstrel/OpenStage.

Friday, April 10: T.B.D.   Note: Open Stage on April 3.

Friday, April 17: The Kennedys with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Kennedys

A Day In The LifeWhen not serving as Nanci Griffith's backup band, The Kennedys are joyfully rocking the folk world with their own unique brand of high-energy performance. It's more than the powerful close-harmony singing. It's more than the hot guitar work. It's more than the driving rhythms and power chords. It's the obvious chemistry between Pete and Maura Kennedy that is so charming and so contagious that the listener can't help but grin and join in their fun.

Friday, April 24: T.B.D.

Friday, May 1: Reserved for a Folk Project Special Concert

Friday, May 8: Open Stage

This is an opportunity for all acoustic musicians to perform a 15-minute set on our stage, and for the audience to be treated to a diverse collection of acoustic musicians. Weve often seen previews of our regular scheduled acts for the first time at Open Stage. For information on how to secure a performance slot, call 973-335-9489, or visit www.FolkProject.org/Minstrel/OpenStage.

Friday, May 15: T.B.D.

Friday, May 22: CLOSED for the Folk Project Acoustic Getaway

Friday, May 29: Brother Sun with Opening Act T.B.D.

Brother Sun

The whole of Brother Sun is greater than the sum of its already substantial parts. Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, and Joe Jencks each all well known as strong and successful singers, songwriters, and performers. But together, they blossom and explode, putting terrific vocal harmonies and solid guitar and piano arrangements to their already powerful songs. Think of them as a male counterpart to Red Molly. This group merits the "Agranoff Imperative" rating. Not to be missed.