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Since , Coracree has played at contra dances, concerts and festivals throughout the American East, spreading their unique and entertaining brand of Old and New folk music to audiences of all ages. With a deep repertoire that spans years of American music, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem will offer listeners sublime lead singing, great harmonies, wicked grooves and sparkling original songs when they return to Branford Folk on March Now in its 15th year, the ensemble has played from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival and beyond, dishing out a steadfast brew of wit, camaraderie, and musicality and leaving audiences humming and hopeful, spirits renewed.

This will be a one-of-a-kind performance of the band as a trio featuring Rani on fiddle and guitar, Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars and Scott Kessel on percussion. Unfortunately, longtime band member Andrew Kinsey, who plays bass, banjo and ukulele, cannot make the gig because of a family commitment. At the band's helm is Rani "blessed with an unmistakable voice, both light and sultry, with a hint of tremolo and smoke" Acoustic Guitar and a fiddle that is sweet and sinewy. Anand's guitar stretches across genre lines while Scott's homemade percussion kit — always a favorite — is a truly funky collection of cardboard boxes, tin cans, caulk tubes, packing-tape tambourines, bottle-cap rattles, Mongolian jaw harps, and a vinyl suitcase.

In the lineage of string bands who blur the boundaries of American roots music, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem have always been standard-bearers, with as one Boston Globe music reviewer aptly put it, "a grand knack for pumping new blood into old music".

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Or, an old Irish fiddle tune with new lyrics, capped with a solo on a South American box drum. An original Unitarian funk gospel song? And their original songs fit seamlessly aside artful re-workings of artists such as Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen — just a few of the many places this band is willing to go. The band has released six albums on Signature Sounds Records, their latest being the holiday release of "Wintersong", a baker's dozen of works that skip over the holiday canon and dig up the power, beauty and the celebration of the roots of Christmas and the turning of the year.


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There will be a bit of musical mayhem when Lou and Peter Berryman, two of the most humorous and creative songwriters in today's world of folk and acoustic music, invade Branford Folk this spring. Lou and Peter are originals, blending Midwestern culture with intelligent observation in a whimsical and wonderfully accessible performance. Hailing from Wisconsin, Lou and Peter — whose friendship survived a brief marriage — have delighted audiences across the country for more than 35 years post-marriage. They have produced 18 albums and four songbooks of their original and hilarious yet oddly profound songs.

Berryman songs are being sung around the world, by a legion of professional musicians from Peggy Seeger to Garrison Keillor to a recent "all Berryman" album by Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, as well as shower singers everywhere. Their songwriting takes life's mundane moments and turns them into musical magic. Subject matter ranges from the Thanksgiving grace of a politically-correct uncle to a service industry for older people that specializes in forgetting things. Lou and Peter began their musical partnership in high school in Appleton, Wisconsin, in the s.

By the late '70s they had established themselves as a prominent feature of the songwriting subculture of Wisconsin's capital, playing their original material every week for almost ten years in the run-down but trendy music room of Madison's Club de Wash. Gradually expanding their circuit, they began crisscrossing the continent and gaining national attention with appearances on such radio programs as "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Weekend Edition".

This could be a final opportunity to see and hear Lou and Peter, as they are retiring from national touring and, sadly, they say this will be their final tour in the Northeast. Without doubt, Tom Lewis is one of North America's foremost exponents of contemporary sea songs.

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His repertoire — from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background — recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Long a Branford Folk audience favorite, this will be Tom's sixth appearance at the coffeehouse.

Tom is a year veteran of the Her Majesty's Royal Naval diesel submarines, although now he's comfortably located on dry land and we're all better off for it musically. His musical career began in when he was posted to a naval station in Scotland and began frequenting local folk clubs. He retired from the Navy in Born in Northern Ireland, Tom's Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty "to be heard above the gales.

With songs that have become folk standards; known and sung wherever great choruses ring out; Tom accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele — but it's his powerful vocal style and infectious humor — that quality of entertaining — which keeps audiences coming back again We're kicking off our 44th season of concerts in super-high gear with a return visit from North Sea Gas, one of Scotland's most popular folk bands.

Ronnie MacDonald, Grant Simpson and Dave Gilfillan comprise North Sea Gas and in concert they bring along guitars, mandolins, fiddles, bouzoukis, whistles, bodhrans, banjos and cracking senses of humor. They last visited Branford Folk in and it was standing room only! North Sea Gas is known for their energetic repertoire that incorporates lively vocals and awe-inspiring three-part harmonies.

2019 Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville, TX

The trio has been together for more than 35 years and has recorded 20 albums, the latest entitled "When We Go Rolling Home" released just this summer. In the same way as their albums, their show features traditional, contemporary and self-penned material. North Sea Gas is a hard touring band with regular swings through Scotland, America, Canada, Germany and Austria, and occasional extended tours that take them around the globe.

In , they recorded for Chinese television with an estimated audience of million! Their Branford appearance is part of a six-week tour in the U. The group has received numerous Gold and Silver disc awards from the Scottish Music Industry Association and regularly sells out shows at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe. As Irish music journalist and broadcaster John O'Regan put it " Lorraine, renowned master of the Appalachian dulcimer, also plays banjo, mandolin and Celtic harp and is an expressive singer and songwriter.

Bennett, a superb finger-style guitarist and recent convert to the five string banjo, names "the three Bs", Bach, the blues and Buddy Holly, as major influences. Together, The Hammonds are versatile musicians and engaging entertainers. Their warm stage presence is punctuated with wry humor, and their command of their instruments and musical genres is without flaw.

The Boston Globe calls them "a dazzling, witty, eclectic, delightful duo. The duo's repertoire ranges in style from classical through Celtic, blues and contemporary.


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  7. They sing both traditional and original songs and can be heard on over thirty recordings as featured artists, or enhancing the work of performers including Archie Fisher, Lui Collins and Bob Franke. Christine Lavin and Heidi Mueller are among the artists who have covered Hammond originals. They work seamlessly together, blending instruments and voices. Beloved performer Bob Zentz, who has been described as a one-man minstrel show, brings his smorgasbord of contemporary, traditional and original songs and stories to Branford Folk in November. From schools to concert halls, festivals to fairs, museums to libraries, and everywhere in between, Bob is dedicated to a life of presenting, performing and introducing traditional music and its derivatives to those who are already fans — and those unaware of its existence.

    Bob, who hails from the Tidewater region of Virginia, has been performing for more than five decades and offers up a program that is a unique testimony to his vast repertoire and varied personal interests. Concertgoers can expect to hear a concert that includes traditional Celtic tunes and ballads, science fiction songs, sea chanteys, tales of "old timers and old rhymers", and poetry set to music.

    Two of the most storied songwriters of the 20th century praised Bob's work, each in his own way. Upon hearing Bob's first recorded release, "Mirrors and Changes" on Connecticut's Folk-Legacy Records country music legend Johnny Cash was moved to send the young artist an encouraging letter, saying, "Mirrors and Changes Your songs get around! In February of this year, Bob became the first folk artist ever honored by a star in the Virginia "Legends of Music Walk of Fame" in his hometown of Norfolk.

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    What a high and joyous note on which to start the New Year! Internationally renowned and respected balladeers Debra Cowan and John Roberts make a return visit to Branford Folk with their ever-expanding sack of songs and ballads. With their eloquent voices and expert musicianship, John and Debra bring to life songs seldom heard on TV or radio these days.

    Drawn from both the folk tradition and the work of contemporary songwriters, many of these songs tell of the timeless joys and sorrows of human experience. They offer windows into where we've come from and perhaps where we're headed. Both musicians can also spin a ripping good yarn and whether illuminating, inspiring, or laugh-out-loud funny, their stories convey their love of the songs and the people who've sung them over the years, decades and, in some cases, centuries.

    From the minute she begins to sing, Debra grabs her audience and doesn't let go.

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    Her ability to communicate the story within the song is a rare art. It's agreed by music presenters and radio programmers alike that she possesses one of the best voices in folk music today. Her rich nightingale soprano conjures images of stony-grey Celtic castles, green and rolling English landscapes and humorous American scenes as she moves through a repertoire full of traditional balladry with a sprinkling of sea music, contemporary songs and outrageously comic songs.

    John is the proverbial "walking encyclopedia" of folk songs and folklore. For over 45 years, John, a British expatriate, has been singing and playing old songs, meaning that many of the songs and tunes in his extensive repertoire can be traced back at least years. He is also considered one of the foremost Anglo concertina players in the English-speaking world and uses the banjo for unique settings in many of the songs he sings.

    He can give the background of any song he performs, often telling the listener the circumstances from which it might have been written and from whom the song was collected. John and his long-time music partner, Tony Barrand, are often cited as influences and mentors to many listeners, singers and musicians when it comes to traditional folk music of the English-speaking world.

    John and Debra's musical partnership began in with a simple question: "How are you getting to Chacago? The combination of car-pool and mini-tour was successful enough that they continue to do more performing together both in the U. John and Debra firmly believe that folk music is not a spectator sport. They can turn any audience into a chorale by patiently teaching sometimes complicated and often tongue-tying choruses, along with familiar songs. Join us on Jan.

    Here's the perfect solution to fighting the wintertime blahs. Join us for a return visit to Branford Folk by Toby Walker, winner of the prestigious International Blues Challenge Award who's been hailed as a finger style guitar virtuoso. If you were with us in when he made his Branford debut you know exactly what we're talking about. Toby combines the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style. I'm blown away". His crowning achievement, however, was winning first place in the International Blues Challenge Award given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.

    At a young age, Toby's passion for blues, rags, folk, and other traditional American music forms drove him to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books and instruments for the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas where he tracked down some of the more obscure — but immensely talented — music makers of an earlier era. L Burnside, among others. Toby recently released several instructional guitar DVDs for the respected Homespun Tapes which have been garnering rave reviews and he just released a new album of traditional blues entitled "From The Ground Up" that is already receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike.

    Carnegie Hall recently acknowledged his talent and hired him to augment and teach in their "American Roots" program aimed at honor level middle school students. Bob hails from Minnesota, but he's a Nebraska native whose family sang and played the old-time songs. Many of the western and railroad songs he does were learned from his grandmother and uncle.

    He plays banjo, guitar, autoharp and harmonica and is renowned for his dry and witty stage humor spiced with stories, history and folklore. For nearly 35 years, Bob was part of a duo with Gail Heil, his wife, best friend and musical partner until her death in He's also the artistic director for the Bluff Country Gathering and the organizing force for the Lanesboro Barn Dance, both Minnesota organizations. One writer in Cowboy Magazine summed up Bob's music perfectly: "Have you heard those real old recordings of a cowboy singing a traditional song? The songs have an 'old' quality about them, and the singers' voices seem to belong to a dried up old puncher just in from off the trail.

    Well, intentional or not, that is exactly how Bob Bovee sounds. His voice isn't pretty, but it's darn sure true to the genre It seems as though he belongs to this music and it to him. Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers and storytellers, Matthew Byrne's repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage — the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody — and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the listening room.

    His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements. He's a young performer, but he holds a deep, seasoned respect and reverence for traditional music.