The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series ™

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

Time: 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $10 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. Children 12 and under free. All tickets are at the door. There are no advance sales or reservations.

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

NEW - watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Starting in May 2017, most concerts at the Minstrel will be webcast live on Concert Window. Click on the CW logo at right to sign in. Check out our Instruction Page if you have not yet signed up for this service.

April Verch
Sep 28, 2012

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Friday, July 28: The Minstrel's 42nd Birthday Show   A Folk Project Member Concert. Admission $12 tonight only includes refreshments.

The Minstrel's 42nd Birthday Show

The performing members of the Folk Project celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the first concert presented by what was to become the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series (July 25, 1975) in this unique concert format. Back on July 4th, about 45 FP member musicians put their names in the "hat". The names were drawn out in randomly selected duos and trios, and given the next 3-1/2 weeks to come up with one song per group. And that will be the show. Surprise and serendipity abound in this perfect example of what makes the Folk Project what it is.

Friday, August 4: The Inspire Project with Carolyn Messina

The Inspire Project

Those of you who saw the Kennedys' show back in December will undoubtedly remember The Inspire Project, who opened for them. These three powerhouse singer/songwriters have joined forces to entertain, uplift, motivate, and come together in harmony. This collaboration is long-held dream of Tanya Leah, who, along with bandmates Ilene Angel, and Lorraine Ferro, comprise the group. Each is a #1 hit songwriter and powerful vocalist in her own right. Determined to put some musical goodness in the world, they present a unique blend of songs, stories, humor, and obvious friendship that draws in the listener, and leaves one uplifted from the experience.

Carolyn Messina

Over the past 9 years, the Folk Project community has seen FP member Carolyn Messina grow as a performer. She is a classically trained pianist, a self-taught guitarist, songwriter, and storyteller. She is also a cancer survivor, which colors her writing with a positive attitude and joy that is palpable and uplifting.

Friday, August 11: 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. 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.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 18: Robinson & Rohe with Gerry & Olga

Robinson & Rohe

HungerJean Rohe has been associated with the Folk Project since she was 8 as the prodigy star of her family band. She and Liam Robinson met a decade ago through their love of participatory music-making and American folk song. Their original repertoire is inspired by the traditions they hold dear and features carefully crafted lyrics, elegant vocal harmonies, and detailed arrangements for guitar, banjo, and accordion. Liam was a cast member in the Tony Award-winning play,Warhorse" and recently music directed the hit Off-Broadway folk opera "Hadestown" by songwriter Anais Mitchell. Jean's songwriting has won accolades from the Independent Music Awards, ASCAP, and the Montreux Jazz Festival vocal contest.

Gerry Hazel & Olga Alvarez are a married couple of Folk Project members. Since joining the Project in 2013, they have become part of our organization and our family. They sing original and cover songs in English and Spanish with beautifully blending voices and a charming stage presence.

Friday, August 25: 2017 New Jersey Uke Fest
Three days of concerts, workshops, and jams. We will once again be back at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey in Whippany.

Friday, September 1: Julie Gold with Jacob Johnson

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.

Jacob Johnson

Chim Chim ChereeHailing from upstate South Carolina, Jacob Johnson is a one-of-a-kind solo acoustic performance artist. He specializes in a style of guitar playing he calls "Neo-acoustic folk/funk", characterized by virtuoso chops played at blinding speed enhanced by electronic looping. His off-the-cuff sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek sensibility provide an endearing counterbalance to his technical brilliance, leaving the listener to wonder if he isn't just making it all up as he goes. And sometimes he is.

Friday, September 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. 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.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 15: The Loving Hearts Club Boogie Band   Tickets $15 advance & door - this show only

The Loving Hearts Club Boogie Band

The Loving Hearts Club Boogie Band is excited to make its debut concert performance. The 10 piece band has performed for the Folk Project's Valentine's show for the last 13 years backing up a multitude of singers as well as band members. Admission is $15.00. Purchase advance tickets here>

Friday, September 22: Pete's Posse with Pete McDonough

Pete's Posse

Nothing but WisdomPete Sutherland is a fiddler. guitarist, pianist, songwriter, bandleader, and all-around revered elder of the New England folk community. He has gathered 'round him two brilliant young multi-instrumentalists, Oliver Scanlon and Tristan Henderson, to form Pete's Posse. Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding footwork with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jawharp and rocking keyboards adding their voices to the mix. Songs and tunes, old and new, lyrical and driving: that’s the multi-generational heart and mind of this brilliant new band.

Pete McDonough

Completing this evening's pair of Petes is Pete McDonough. This fingerstyle guitarist has been performing, studying, and writing about acoustic blues for more than 40 years. His performances present a journey through piedmont, delta and other acoustic blues styles associated with such greats as Rev. Gary Davis, Bo Carter, Mississippi John Hurt and others. His recent projects include contributing to the production of Harlem Street Singer, the award winning documentary film about the life and music of Rev. Gary Davis.

Saturday, September 23: A Folk Project Special Concert
Eric Schwartz   Special Saturday concert. Tickets $20

Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz at the Laugh FactoryHow would one best encapsulate the essence of Eric Schwartz? Think Jon Stewart with a guitar. He zeroes in on the social and political foibles of 21st Century America with the precision of a Robin Hood skewering the forces of greed, corruption, and foolishness with each unerring arrow. His humor is wickedly biting, and to the point. On top of this, he is also a superb songwriter and instrumentalist, not only on guitar, but piano as well. Well known as the bad boy of the Folk World, he is also highly regarded in the West Coast comedy club scene. Schwartz is possibly the only artist in the history of the world to get raves from both Gloria Steinem and Hustler Magazine.
PLEASE NOTE: if this concert were a movie, it would be rated R for language and sexual content.
Tickets for this concert are $20. Available soon.

Friday, September 29: Vance Gilbert with Opening Act T.B.D.

Vance Gilbert

Unfamiliar MoonThose who instantly came to their feet after Vance Gilbert's bravura performance at the Folk Project Spring Getaway will be thrilled to know he'll be back at the Minstrel. And those who missed it will get a chance to see the reason for the clamor. Vance brings an intricate guitar style, a brilliant way with words, and sophisticated vocal technique to the stage. But his personal charisma and wicked wit sing "pure entertainer" at the top of those powerful lungs. Vance is a great showman, an amazing singer, and a real swell guy.

Friday, October 6: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway

Friday, October 13: Rosie & the Riveters with Betsy Rose and the Chicago Fire   Note: No Open Stage this month.

Rosie & the Riveters

Milk 'n HoneySo who would have expected the province of Saskatchewan, Canada to be a hotbed of 1940s swing? Well get a load of Rosie & the Riveters! These three sassy ladies from Saskatoon channel the Andrews Sisters, with songs from that era, and originals in the same mold, all with that distinctive harmony, and top it off with cabaret-style choreography. A real crowd-pleaser.

Betsy Rose, better known to fellow Folk Project members as Elizabeth Lachowicz, is the Folk Project's resident Blues maven. Her clear voice and saucy style are rooted in the sights and sounds of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods and rowdiest music bars. Betsy's brand of the blues is filled with life lessons, raw emotions, heartfelt sorrows and playful innuendoes. Her backup band, The Chicago Fire, is packed with some of the Project's finest musicians. (Note: For those of you who caught Betsy's appearance at the Folk Project Fall Getaway the week before, this show will be a largely different set.)

Friday, October 20: Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette with Paul Kaplan

Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette

Live from Caffe LenaLong time Minstrel favorites, Cindy Mangsen & Steve Gillette might be considered the bellwether of the type of act that graces our stage. Relaxed, informal, and folksy, they nonetheless present a performance with great professionalism and skill. Their material ranges from traditional ballads to original songs, to covers from anybody from the Beatles to the Berrymans. They are both great singers and guitarists, and also play banjo, dulcimer, concertina and fiddle.

Paul Kaplan

Paul Kaplan is an old fashioned songwriter who writes songs with choruses that invite singers to join without need for any verbal urging. Many are clever parodies of familiar songs. He plays guitar and quattro.

Friday, October 27: Folk Project Member Concert

Details to follow.

Friday, November 3: Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine and Celestial Harmonies   Split Bill

Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine

One By OneBoston-based but New Jersey-born, Terry Kitchen has been performing on the folk scene for the past decade,. He was called "one of New England's finest songwriters" by Dirty Linen magazine, Terry's songs are portraits of ordinary people, captured with compassion, honesty and humor. Terry has joined up with the Folk Project's own Mara Levine, whose vocal harmonies (and sometimes leads) add a whole new level of enjoyment to his songs.

Celestial Harmonies

Celestial Harmonies. The name says it all. Folk Project member Mara Levine, whose voice has garnered raves from reviewers and fellow musicians alike, has gathered about her four other superb voices to form this new group. They are fiddler/guitarist Nancy Moccaldi, fluitist Barbara Novick, guitarist and banjo player, Frank Moccaldi, lead guitarist James Brennan, and her long time musical partner, guitarist and songwriter Caroline Cutroneo. But it's the blending of the voices on traditional, contemporary, classical, and original folk songs that makes this group shine.

Friday, November 10: 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.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, November 17: Joe Jencks with Katherine Rondeau & the Show

Joe Jencks

A Joe Jencks concert is an occasion for singing, a contagious rising up of voices, an act of joy and defiance. Joe's animating purpose runs deep, tapping into the latent, nearly mystical beauty that a roomful of people can unleash by singing together. His songs touch on social justice and community building. He has been favorably compared to songwriters such as John McCutcheon, Holly Near, Fred Small, Tracy Chapman, and James Keelaghan.

Katherine Rondeau and the Show is a rootsy Americana Trio featuring Katherine Rondeau on vocals and guitar, Donna Bostock on upright bass and backup vocals, and Smilin' Ed on banjo, mandolin, and dobro. Katherine is well-known to the Folk Project family for her big, bold voice and compelling songwriting. The band comes together as a powerhouse trio with a full rousing sound.

Friday, November 24: The Lords of Liechtenstein with Bill Buttner

The Lords of Liechtenstein

SundaysWhen Dan and Noah Rauchwerk (A.K.A  The Lords of Liechtenstein) opened for the Loose Canons back in March, the overwhelming response was to have them back soon. And here they are. These irrepressible brothers play surprisingly sophisticated original songs accompanied on guitar, mandola, and ukulele. They create an innovative blend of folk influenced by Americana and Celtic music, presented with charming inter-song schtick, and bedecked in the latest in millennial sartorial hipness: sweater-vests.

Bill Buttner

Opening act Bill Buttner is a singer/songwriter from Marlboro NY who has impressed us at his numerous appearances at the Minstrel's Open Stages. His unassuming and low key delivery belies the impact of beautifully written and heartfelt songs. Those songs are best described as folk/Americana with his major influences being Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan.

Friday, December 1: Chorus Song Night

Friday, December 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. 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, December 15: Holiday Benefit Concert for the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

Details to follow

Friday, December 22: Closed

Friday, December 29: Bob Malone with Opening Act T.B.D.

Bob Malone

Certain DistanceWhen Bob Malone isn't occupied as John Fogarty's (Creedence Clearwater Revival) piano player, he tours as a great solo performer. In that setting he conjures up images of Professor Longhair, or Tom Waits. He mixes literate, sardonic, gutsy songwriting with full-tilt barrelhouse piano for a powerful stage presence.

Friday, January 5: Split Bill
Pat Wictor and Reggie Harris

Pat Wictor

Tonight's show brings us two veterans of wildly successful bands in an exciting new combination.

Pat Wictor, of the late lamented "Brother Sun" is a songwriter rooted in traditional blues, but ranging much wider than that. His strong clear voice and tasty slide guitar accompaniment characterizes his performance, and have made him highly sought after in backing up innumerable other performers on recording and performance.

Reggie Harris is best known as half of the veteran duet with his wife Kim. He combines a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock, jazz, and pop music. His brilliant voice rides over his strong guitar work to deliver a powerful and emotional performance.

Together these two present a solid show of great songs, delivered with heartfelt vocals and strong guitar accompaniment.

Friday, January 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 the Open Stage page.

Friday, January 19: The Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Mari Black World Fiddle Ensemble

Castlerock RoadMultistyle violinist and champion fiddler Mari Black is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing and engaging stage presence have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari holds multiple competition blue ribbons in fiddle styles as diverse as Scottish, Canadain Maritime, and Novelty. (Watch her play behind her back a la Jimi Hendrix!) And her repertoire includes the whole gamut from Celtic to classical to jazz. Her show is as entertaining as it is diverse.

Friday, January 26: T.B.D.

Friday, February 2: Valentines Day Extravaganza

Friday, February 9: 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, February 16: T.B.D.

Friday, February 23: Butch Ross with Opening Act T.B.D.

Butch Ross

Butch Ross somehow made the retrograde transition from singer-songwriter with guitar to one of the newest most exciting Appalachian dulcimer virtuosi in the country. He performs appropriate traditional songs and tunes. But he also plays his own and other contemporary songs that ought to be totally inappropriate to the dulcimer (Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Richard Thompson), but somehow manage to fit the instrument perfectly in his hands. And he presents it all with an irresistible intelligence, charm, and gentle humor.

Friday, March 2: T.B.D.

Friday, March 9: 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, March 16: T.B.D.

Friday, March 23: A Folk Project Special Concert
To Be Announced Soon

Friday, March 30: T.B.D.

Friday, April 6: Joe Crookston with Opening Act T.B.D.

Joe Crookston

Georgia, I'm HereWhat strikes one first about Joe Crookston's performance is the intensity. There is a palpable force behind the music that makes you sit up and take notice. On top of that there is a sense of poetry and spirituality to his lyrics, and some pretty credible guitar chops and vocal power to lend support to his writing.

Friday, April 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 the Open Stage page.

Friday, April 20: A Folk Project Special Concert
To be announced soon.

Friday, April 27: T.B.D.

Friday, May 4: The Heather Pierson Trio with Opening Act T.B.D.

The Heather Pierson Trio

Still She Will FlyHeather Pierson is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. She effortlessly shifts from New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives. In addition to singing and playing piano, she also plays tenor banjo, melodica and guitar. Her trio adds strings, cornet, bass, and harmony vocals.