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.

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

Hotel Discount: Red Roof Inn in Parsippany is offering a discount to Minstrel performers and audience members.

Watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Most concerts at the Minstrel are 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.

NEW - Buy Minstrel tickets online: You may now purchase tickets in advance for some Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series shows by clicking on the Buy Tickets icon at right. Note that some events will still accept admissions payment only at the door, with no advance sales.

Castlebay
Jan 18, 2008

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Friday, February 21: Small Potatoes with Rod Abernethy

Small Potatoes

Simple TruthsSmall Potatoes is rescheduled, after construction at the Unitarian Fellowship forced the cancellation of their show last June. This 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 both 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.

Rod Abernethy

Oxford TownIn 2014, Rod Abernethy, after a long career as an award-winning composer of music for film, TV, and video games, returned to his early roots writing both songs and instrumentals that harken back to his early folk artist days in his native North Carolina. His songs that revolve around family, friends and places across his home state. And his guitar instrumentals evoke the style of Leo Kottke. Just this year, he was awarded First Place in the American Songwriter's Bob Dylan Song Contest for his treatment of the lesser known Dylan composition, Oxford Town.

Friday, February 28: Poor Man's Gambit with Sam Edelston

Poor Man's Gambit

Land of SunshinePoor Man's Gambit is a trio of traditional artists comprised of Corey Purcell* (button accordion, cittern, vocals, bodhran, dance), Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle), and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals, dance). They stand out by not only offering a varied array of instrumental combinations, but also by including the visual (and audial) element of dance. Building on their roots as traditional Irish musicians, the trio's repertoire is also influenced by traditional music of other cultures including France, Scotland, England, and the US.

* We saw Corey last October playing accordions as one half of The Free Reeds, opening for Alisdair Fraser.

Sam Edelston

Whole Lotta Love"You can't do that on a dulcimer!" Well, maybe you can't but Sam Edelston can. Sam has taken the mountain dulcimer from its backwoods Appalachian origins to places most players never dreamed of. From Sousa to Sinatra to Led Zeppelin. (Check out his video!) Instruments ranging from the traditional 3-string diatonic fretting to fully chromatic electric with wah-wah pedal. He is being featured in dulcimer festivals across the country. Sam is a brilliant and innovative player, and no slouch on the guitar either.

Friday, March 6: Beppe Gambetta with Moss Henry & the Bryophytes

Beppe Gambetta

Notes from the RoadWe are happy to welcome back one of the Troubadour's favorites, Beppe Gambetta, the Italian bluegrass flatpicking champion. Sounds like an ethnic joke, but Beppe is no joke. Early in life he was captured by the music of such greats as Doc Watson and Tony Rice, and soon got to the point where he was sharing festival stages as an equal with his heroes. Equally adroit on mandolin, he can blaze through a hot bluegrass tune or croon a lovely Italian traditional ballad. And all with an elegant continental charm that is a joy to experience.

Moss Henry & the Bryophytes

Moss Henry & the Bryophytes is an amalgam of musicians with diverse musical backgrounds who have converged around the axis of country roots. No contemporary country/pop here. They harken back to the days of cowboy movies, honky tonks and the Grand Old Opry.

Friday, March 13: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, March 20: The David Bromberg Quintet with Frank & Hank

The David Bromberg Quintet

Please note: This Folk Project Special Concert is SOLD OUT.
There are no tickets available.

David Bromberg is an icon of the American guitar, an extraordinary artist whose incredible journey spans five-and-a-half decades. We are honored and thrilled that this enormously talented world-class artist will grace our home stage with his acoustic and electric blues quintet.

This historic Special Concert at The Troubadour is made possible through donations made in memory of Folk Project member Steven Wexler by his family and friends.

Frank & Hank

Folk Project guitarist wizards "Frank & Hank" will be opening this show. Henry Nerenberg and Frank Sole are two gifted and talented guitarists who have explored the breadth and depth of American and world music for decades.

Friday, March 27: Low Lily with Rupert Wates

Low Lily

False Sir JohnChosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Most Wanted Band” of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary. The players are Lissa Schneckenburger (Solas, Long Time Courting) on fiddle, Flynn Cohen (John Whelan Band) on mandolin and guitar, and Liz Simmons (backing Livingston Taylor & Tom Chapin) on guitar. All three sing as well in harmonies that have drawn raves from dozens of reviewers and thousands of fans.

Rupert Wates

I'm AmazedRupert Wates is a transplanted Englishman who writes, sings, and plays witty wordy and quirky songs on unlikely subjects. A writer who makes you think while he entertains.

Friday, April 3: Michael P. Smith with Kora Feder

Michael P. Smith

ZippyMichael P. Smith is the singer-songwriter most well known as the author of "Margaret and the Dutchman" . But that song cannot be called representative of Michael's writing any more than can any of his other songs. Michael reinvents himself with every new song, and the only common bond between them is the excellence and craftsmanship of his work. His latest release is 15 songs from Moby Dick. He can be irreverent, tender, wordy, hilarious, and sentimental in turn. And in all modes, he is hugely entertaining.

Kora Feder

Automatic TimesKora Feder (rhymes with cedar) is a rising voice in the new generation of songwriters up to the task of confronting the times we live in. "The most talented new singer-songwriter I've heard in the past decade,” says Rich Warren, host of Chicago’s Folkstage. With a lovely voice, and a simple and unaffected style, eschewing vocal pyrotechnics for pure unadorned beauty, she presents her songs straight to the heart of the listener.

Friday, April 10: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, April 17: Trout Fishing In America with Carla Ulbrich

Trout Fishing In America

You Show Up at the Strangest TimeTrout Fishing in America is the long-standing, and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet. As individuals, they are about as different as one could imagine. But together, they blend seemlessly in a way that has captured audiences of all ages for over three decades. A willingness to at once make fun of our most annoying daily habits, and then to touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life is what makes the connection between the Trouts and their audiences so compelling and poignant.

Carla Ulbrich

If I Had the Copyright (The F-Word Song)Carla Ulbrich is a comical singer-songwriter and guitarist with a rapier wit and a keen observational eye for the absurdities of everyday living. With a love of wordplay and some pretty fancy guitar chops, she creates songs on topics as diverse as wedgies, Waffle House, Klingons, and how rich she would be if she had the copyright on the 'F' Word. She is a longtime favorite on the Dr. Demento show, and puts on an utterly hilarious live show.

Friday, April 24: Bill Staines with The Greystone Singers

Bill Staines

RiverFor 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 40 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.

The Greystone Singers

The Greystone Singers consists of Hal Lindsay (guitar), Adam Siegler (bass), and Joe Seider (banjo), who have discovered and adopted the music of the Folk Revival of the '40s through the '60s. The band's name, of course, refers to the Morris County institution where Woodie Guthrie spent his final years. And it's Woodie's music, along with that of Pete Seeger, Peter Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, and others that surprisingly and refreshingly comes from this trio of 20-somethings.

Friday, May 1: Open Stage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday! Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, May 8: Deeper Than The Skin   A Folk Project Special Concert. Tickets: $25.00 (Open Stage on May 1 this month)

Deeper Than The Skin

Hickory HillDeeper Than The Skin is a very special event presented by The Folk Project. Its inclusion in our schedule was inspired by the very factors that influenced the change last year of the name of our concert series from "The Minstrel" to "The Troubadour".

This is not just a concert of songs that entertain. This is an examination in song and story of the issue of race in America by two of our favorite artists who have lived that issue, and come to grips with it. This is an evening of singing and listening; of experiencing a connection so deep that it moves us to laugh, cry, and reconsider what we know about our history.

It is presented by two friends well known to the Folk Project community, Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway. This pair, born 3 days apart, one Black and one White, one from the North and one from the South, are both musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers. Their two separate narratives are forged into one powerful presentation aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same. This will be an event not to be missed, and long remembered by those who experience it.

Click here for tickets: Buy tickets icon

Friday, May 15: Closed for the Folk Project Spring Acoustic Getaway

Friday, May 22: Jesse Ruben with Oakes & Smith

Jesse  Ruben

This is Why I Need YouThose of you who saw Jesse Ruben's bravura opening set for the Loose Canons back in February will certainly remember him. And you'll be glad to hear the the immediate and wildly enthusiastic reaction to his performance won him a follow-up headline set this evening. Jesse is a young Brooklyn-based songwriter, who can bounce between frenetic, wordy, cleverly written, almost manic ditties to incredibly tender and specific love songs in the blink of an eye. He is at once spontaneous and beautifully crafted in his delivery, and a real charmer to boot.

Oakes & Smith

The Holy MomentOur openers this week areRobert Oakes & Katherine Smith. This Massachusetts duo puts their beautifully matched voices to their own songs as well as some familiar ones. At the heart of this partnership in life ans well as in music are a strong bond of love and a passion to pursue the creative calling. Oakes and Smith hope to inspire listeners and remind them that peace, sincerity and beauty are still very much alive in the world.

Friday, May 29: Dead to the Core   An acoustic celebration of the Grateful Dead

Dead to the Core

Dead To The Core TrailerDead to the Core is a collective of singer-songwriters and acoustic musicians, who pay tribute to the Grateful Dead, illuminating the masterful song craft of one of America’s most original bands. Interspersed with the music are clips from Rodgers’ own interviews with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, in which they reflect on the roots and evolution of the music. This will be an experience unlike any other Grateful Dead tribute: a night of deeply personal performances that illuminate the masterful song craft and storytelling of one of America's most original bands. The participants are:

Jeffrey Pepper Rogers (acoustic guitar & cajon) Songwriter, member of Pepper & Sassafras, founding editor of Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and author of a Homespun Video series teaching his arrangements of classic Dead songs
Wendy Ramsay, (flute, clarinet, & accordion) Songwriter and member of Pepper & Sassafras
Erin McKeown (acoustic guitar) Songwriter for film, television, and theater. Her first musical, Miss You Like Hell, was named the best musical of 2018 by The Wall Street Journal.
Natalia Zukerman (acoustic guitar), Songwriter who has accompanied and opened for acoustic music greats such as Janis Ian, Susan Werner, Shawn Colvin, Ani DiFranco, Richard Thompson, and Tom Paxton.

All four provide brilliant harmony vocals.

Friday, June 5: T.B.D.

Friday, June 12: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, June 19: The GrooveBarbers with Opening act T.B.D.

The GrooveBarbers

An a cappella supergroup? Sounds paradoxical, absurd, perhaps even dangerous. Indeed, The GrooveBarbers are all these things. Each member of this all-vocal powerhouse quartet is a bona fide star in his own right: Sean Altman, Charlie Evett and Steve Keyes are alumni of the pioneering contemporary a cappella group Rockapella, and Kevin Weist is a renowned bald vocal guru. Collectively they have established themselves as the "go to" vocal group for rock, doo-wop, (and occasionaly doo-wopera!), jazz and even (no way!) barbershop! And the vocal pyrotechnics are enhanced with brilliant clowning, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable show.

Friday, June 26: Summer Songs

A Folk Project salute to Summer. Details to follow.

Friday, July 3: T.B.D.

Friday, July 10: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, July 24: The Troubadour's 45th Birthday Show

Details to follow

Friday, July 31: Reserved for a Folk Project Special Concert TBA

Friday, August 7: T.B.D.

Friday, August 14: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 21: T.B.D.

Friday, August 28: Closed for UkeFest

Details to follow

Friday, September 4: Open Stage   NOTE: NOT THE USUAL 2ND FRIDAY! Admission: $5, OpenStage only.

Open Stage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 11: John Gorka with Opening Act T.B.D.   Note: Open Stage, usually the 2nd Friday, rescheduled to September 4.

John Gorka

I Saw a StrangerJohn Gorka is perhaps the quintessential iconic singer-songwriter of the 80's folk scene. Hailing from New Jersey, but forged in the Geenwich Village Fast Folk scene, he honed his craft and persona into an unmistakable image. The shy, wry, insightful, and yes, sensitive singer-songwriter has been copied, mocked, and parodied. But the old coat he wove still fits, and still suits him well. The old songs ring as true as they ever did, and the new ones are just as good.

Friday, September 18: A Folk Project Special Concert TBA

Details to follow

Friday, September 25: Best of the Open Stage

Details to Follow.

Friday, October 2: T.B.D.

Friday, October 9: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Acoustic Getaway

Details to follow.

Friday, October 16: T.B.D.

Friday, October 23: T.B.D.

Friday, October 30: Folk Project Halloween Show

Details to follow

Friday, November 6: T.B.D.

Friday, November 13: Open Stage   Admission: $5, Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, November 20: T.B.D.

Friday, November 27: Matt Nakoa with Opening act T.B.D.

Matt Nakoa

Touch and GoMatt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America, and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “Between his piano chops and heartfelt originals on guitar, he drops jaws.” His stage presence is electrifying, bringing audiences to their feet at concerts and festivals throughout the country. If you've not seen him, this will be an unforgettable show.