Meetinghouse Café Concerts
The Meetinghouse Café series features nationally known and local artists. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m.
Hungrytown: The musical and married duo of Ken Anderson and Rebecca Hall has been making music full time since swapping their midtown New York cubicles for the hills of New England in 2004. Since then, the couple has been touring extensively, and has released two CDs, the self-titled Hungrytown(2008) and Any Forgotten Thing (2011), both of which received high critical acclaim and much airplay in North America, Europe and Australia. Before Hungrytown, Rebecca made two well-received CDs under her own name (with help from Ken behind the scenes),Rebecca Hall Sings! (2000) and Sunday Afternoon (2002). Rebecca learned to sing in church when she was five years old, and had developed into a skilled interpreter of jazz and blues standards by the time she was in her 20s. Her discovery of roots music coincided with the reissue of the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music in 1997, and inspired her to write her own material. She soon developed a reputation for creating simple, melodic and achingly beautiful songs, weaving modern themes into traditional song structures. "Hall's original compositions hark back to the earliest traditions of acoustic Americana, tracing a sepia-tinged line from the Carter Family to the contemporary lo-fi classicism of Gillian Welch," wrote Steve Bennet of Acoustic Magazine. Ken is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist as well as a talented producer and arranger. He learned to play drums and organ as a child, and has since moved on to bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonica. He also has a remarkable gift for musical harmony, and is responsible for Hungrytown's luxuriant vocal stylings. Having produced all of their recorded works, his artistry has been singled out for praise: "Anderson has a knack for crafting rich arrangements that don't clutter things up", writes Casey Rea of Seven Days (VT) magazine. When not touring with Rebecca, Ken is often upstairs in their home studio, called Song Catcher Recording, working with other songwriters and instrumentalists. Hungrytown tours both the United States and abroad. Their recent overseas travels have included the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Finland. On their home turf, Rebecca and Ken tour the country in the notorious Blue Meanie. This remarkable, fuel efficient, solar-paneled and, well, blue customized camper van was designed by Ken to serve as a fully-equipped, four-season home, office, studio and Conestoga wagon for their instruments and sound system - all in under 22 feet!
Michele Choiniere: Michele Choiniere is an award-winning Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, with a radiant, compelling voice. Her music and artistry capture a delicate sensibility, overlaying a raw authenticity. Her concerts transport audiences to another time of wistful cafe-cabaret culture, with riveting rhythmic melodies or a wistful lament, which stay with you long after the concert has ended. Born into a musical Franco-American family in northern Vermont, Michele began performing traditional Franco-American music at an early age with her father Fabio, an accomplished harmonica player. In 1995, she began writing and composing her own songs and has performed to audiences throughout New England, Quebec and France. Her lyrics and music focus on nature, romance and social issues connected to being Franco-American. She has been featured on TV5 International's 'Visions d'Amerique,' which was broadcast to francophone nations worldwide, as well as on Vermont Public Television's 'Rural Delivery' and 'Profile.' She has recorded an archival family collection of Franco-American music with her father and is featured on the Smithsonian Folkways CD 'Mademoiselle Voulez-Vous Danser: Franco-American music from the New England Borderlands' released in 1999. In 2003, Michele self-released her debut solo album, Coeur Fragile, following up with her 2010 release of La Violette to critical acclaim. Among other accolades, Michele has appeared in concert at the American Folk Festival (Bangor, Maine), the Lowell Folk Festival (Massachusetts), the Great Lakes Folk Festival (East Lansing, Michigan) and the Tadoussac Folk Festival (Quebec). She is a recognized 'master artist,' having been awarded the prestigious and competitive Governor's Heritage Award in 2007. She is a member of the Vermont Arts Council's American Masterpieces program, as well as a juried Arts Council performer and teaching Artist. Michele's performances blend traditional Franco-American and Quebec folk songs, original compositions, jazz standards, and an occasional French classic.
Chris Shaw: Adirondack stories and songs. Christopher Shaw grew up, the son of the son of a steamboat pilot in the Adirondacks, before there was an interstate that opened up that great wilderness to the throngs that enjoy it today. He learned his stories on the docks, in the hunting camps, and in the cabins of friends and relatives. He has brought those stories, in song and narrative to concert halls, coffeehouses, and audiences all over the world.
Chris has nine recordings to his credit including his 1988 debut, Adirondack, which has been entered into the Library of Congress Folk Archives. Performers who have contributed to Chris' recordings include such acoustic innovators as Artie Traum, John Sebastian, Garth Hudson (The Band), Vassar Clements, Cindy Cashdollar (Asleep at the Wheel), Tony Trischka, Jay Ungar, Steve Riley, and more. Early in 2007, Chris wrote the soundtrack and was "the voice of Seneca Ray" on the television special Seneca Ray Stoddard: An American Original seen coast to coast on PBS.
Chris' latest solo effort, Adirondack Serenade, is a celebration of the musical styles and traditions of his native Adirondack Mountains. With the exception of two traditional songs, this is a collection of Shaw penned ballads that reflect Chris' devotion to and affection for the people of the mountains. In classic self-sufficient Adirondack style, Chris wrote, played, sang, and produced nearly every track on the recording.
Chris has been featured on a number of public television documentaries and specials including Songs from the Heart of the Adirondacks, Christmas in the Adirondacks, Adirondack Storytellers, Things that Aren't there Anymore, and Seneca Ray Stoddard: An American Original, and most recently, Chris Shaw: Live in Concert! He has been the spokesperson for the I Love NY Adirondack region television commercials. His Millennium Stage performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC was simulcast over the Internet and is archived by the Kennedy Center.
Woods Tea Company: Woods Tea Company is an acoustic trio that performs fiery Celtic tunes, bluegrass, sea shanties, and American folk songs with ease and skill. All three members are fine vocalists and audiences often leave in awe of their wonderful harmonies.
Members are Howard Wooden: bass, guitar, bodhran; Tom MacKenzie: hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, ukulele, keyboard; and Patti Casey: guitar, flute, penny-whistle, and clogboard.
Claudia Schmidt: For almost four decades Claudia Schmidt has been exploring the nuances of acoustic music with her voice, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer with an exciting collection of original, traditional, and contemporary writing. From small clubs to large concert stages, her craft is at its height in live performance...She has been featured on PRI's A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, a television documentary on KTCA-TV in St. Paul called "I Sing Because I Can't Fly", and has written music for and acted in the musical "Bag Lady Tendencies" with Friends Mime Theater in Milwaukee and Frank Galati's production of "Good Person of Szechuan" at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, for which she won a Jefferson Award. All those elements of performing are brought to bear at a Schmidt performance as she mines the humor and poignancy of our lives and shapes it into a 'one-woman revitalization movement', as a journalist from Oakland, Ca. described her. The stage is her natural habitat, and every member of her audience is made to feel welcome and energized by her presentation.
Modern Grass Quintet:The Modern Grass Quintet, a Vermont group, includes: Steve Light is an award-winning banjoist and a staple of the Northeast acoustic scene. He is an administrator at SUNY-Plattsburgh and appears with The Bluegrass Gospel Project. Todd Sagar,a fiddler and dobroist, is a New York native and a versatile bluegrass, jazz and swing fiddler and dobroist. He lives with his family in Richmond, Vermont. Andy Greene is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to playing guitar with the MGQ, he provides music instruction in Northern Vermont. Stephen Waud was raised in Rochester, New York and is the band's mandolinist and recording engineer. He lives in Burlington, Vermont and performs with PossumHaw. Kirk Lord, a resident of Essex Junction, Vermont, is a respected member of the New England bluegrass community. He plays bass with the MGQ and The Bluegrass Gospel Project.
Dafé Brudäjo: Dafé Brudäjo plays a mix of originals, contemporary folk and jazz with Ferrilyn Sourdiffe on vocals and hand percussion, David Fowle on bass, mandolin and vocals, Josh Kleederman on electric guitar, Bruce Wheat on guitar, vocals and sax, and David Norman on percussion. Dafé is known for their 3 and 4 part harmonies and eclectic repertoire and has performed in the tri-state area for over ten years. A while back, Caffe Lena reported that "These folks are wonderful. Their entire sound is smooth as silk, their harmonies crisp and their rhythms richly engaging. Ferrilyn's voice is reminiscent of Billy Holiday and Tracy Chapman - a bit more accessible I'd say."
Chuck Brodsky:Chuck Brodsky's songwriting pokes fun at political corruption, road rage, mischief he made as a kid, even dumping garbage in the river; he sings about unsung heroes and forgotten but incredible people... odd characters from the game of baseball, migrant fruit pickers, the Goat Man, a clown, or "Radio", a developmentally disabled man and the love showered on him for 40 years at a high school in South Carolina (this song was used in the 2003 movie "Radio"). In addition to being fixtures on the Dr. Demento show, his songs have been recorded by Kathy Mattea, David Wilcox, Sara Hickman, Chuck Pyle, and many others, and his tune "Blow'em Away" was selected by Christine Lavin for Shanachie's 1996 "Laugh Tracks" album. He's appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs "Mountain Stage", "Acoustic Cafe", and "River City Folk", and has performed three concerts of his celebrated baseball story songs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Chuck has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Ireland for 18 years, playing at folk festivals such as Tønder in Denmark, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Kerrville, Philadelphia, Strawberry, the Lincoln Center Out of Door series in New York, and others. He has also performed in Israel, Lithuania, and the Shetland Islands. Some of the artists he's appeared in concert with include Arlo Guthrie, Janis Ian, Pete Seeger, Tim O'Brien, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, John Hartford, Greg Brown, Gillian Welch, Dick Gaughan, Tom Paxton, Ferron, Richie Havens, Patty Larkin, Steve Forbert, The Kingston Trio, and Christine Lavin. His influences include John Hartford, Mark Twain, Nic Jones, Bob Dylan, Lowell George, Jackson Browne, Steve Forbert, The Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, and David Massengill.
Wintergreen performs a mixture of traditional and contemporary music from the British Isles and America, along with their own compositions. Their programs feature instrumentals based on dance tunes, intricate three-part vocal harmonies and a wide variety of folk instruments. Alice and Larry Spatz perform throughout the Northeast, appearing on television, radio, at folk festivals, in concert and at clubs, schools and colleges. They may play as many as eight instruments during a performance, including double bass, autoharp, psaltery, guitar, mountain dulcimer, recorder, banjo, and percussion. Jared Polens plays hammer dulcimer solo and with others throughout the Northeast. He was a member of the contradance band, Southwind, and also sings with the a capella vocal quartet Northern Spy which has opened for Maura O'Connell and Tom Paxton. "...tasty arrangements for guitar, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, psaltery and bass, seasoned with some fine harmony singing..."- Sing Out! Magazine