A Folk Alliance Member Organization


Schedule - 2016/2017 Season

All shows begins at 8:00 pm. Doors open 45 minutes before performance time.

Saturday, January 7, 2017 — Beth Wood and Johnsmith.

Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior Beth Wood is a modern-day troubadour and believer in the power of song. Her exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and commanding stage presence have been winning over American audiences for eighteen years. Beth's music is soulful, organic, intelligent, barefoot, high-energy communication of joy. Picture a home-body with an ever-present wanderlust, creative free-spirit with enough discipline to rework her dream year after year, calloused little hands and a big pile of curly hair and you've got Beth Wood.

Darn you, Johnsmith! I'm driving on a gorgeous day, and put your new CD in to listen. "Family Artifacts," reduced me to tears and made me pull off the road. As you have done in the past, you have written another song that brings to the surface so many emotions. And you do it again and again throughout "The Longing Road". If it is even possible, you do it more powerfully than ever before. Your gift of writing deceptively simple songs that spring from a deep place in the soul is a rare one. And with the likes of Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott and Tom Prasada-Rao, the musical settings are exquisite. - Bob McWilliams, KPR Radio.

Saturday, February 4, 2017 — Ellis Paul with special guest Heather Styka
Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior
Ellis Paul is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. Born in Aroostook County, Maine, Ellis Paul is a key figure in what has become known as the Boston school of songwriting, a literate, provocative and urbanely romantic folk-pop style that helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990s. His pop music songs have appeared in movies and on television, bridging the gap between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Every show Ellis Paul puts on is a treat!
Chicago songwriter Heather Styka is not afraid to go where others fear to tread. Beneath "sweet, soulful vocals" (Portland Press Herald) and "nimble fingerpicked guitar" (Dispatch Magazine) lie narratives of vulnerability, strength, and wanderlust. A Kerrville New Folk Finalist and award-winning writer with a #3 album on the FOLK-DJ charts, this young troubadour has performed for over a decade, released four full-length albums, and toured from coast to coast.

Saturday, March 4, 2017 — Debra Cowan and John Roberts
Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior
For over 45 years, British expatriate John Roberts 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 one hundred 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.

It all started with a question in 2009: "How are you getting to Chicago?" And with that, folk musicians John Roberts and Debra Cowan decided to team up for a series of small concerts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois before arriving as separately booked artists at the Fox Valley Folklore Society annual festival. The combination of car-pool and mini-tour was successful enough that John and Debra continue to do more performing together both in the USA and in 2011, with a successful tour in the United Kingdom. "Wonderful! I could do an entire two hour show with just John and Debra" -- David Guzzetti, host Woody and Friends KZFR 90.1 Chico, CA "Two of the finest voices in folk music" -- Ron Olesko, Sing Out! Magazine

A show of traditional and original songs by either John or Debra is wonderful. Put them together and it's truly magical.

Saturday, April 1, 2017 — John Gorka. with special guest Scott Cook
Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Folk meccas like Texas. Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him -- Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin -- had become his peers. Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura O'Connell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, eTown and has appeared on CNN. His new song "Where No Monuments Stand" is featured in the upcoming documentary "Every War Has Two Losers", about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993). John Gorka lives in Minnesota and when not on the road, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children. We are thrilled that we could get him to play for us in Hinsdale, as he tours the world.

A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada's Scott Cook has managed to distill the stories collected over a decade of near-incessant touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious finger style guitar and claw hammer banjo arrangements. His release "One More Time Around" was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track "Pass It Along" won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 — Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers
Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior
More than 4 decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded nineteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing. There is no doubt in any concert goer's mind that Sally Rogers can sing. "Boy, can she sing!" But not all singers are also gifted songwriters: Sally Rogers also has that gift. Several of her songs have been mistaken for traditional material, with memorable tunes that follow you wherever you go. Claudia and Sally celebrate 35 years of singing together on their powerful, fun, high energy new CD entitled: "We are Welcomed".


Saturday October 8 2016, 8pm - Michael Smith! (Roy Zimmerman was forced to cancel) $18/$16

Saturday November 12 2016, 8pm - Joel Mabus with special guests Ask Your Folks $18/$16

Saturday January 7 2017, 8pm - Beth Wood AND Johnsmith $18/$16

Saturday February 4 2017, 8pm - Ellis Paul with special guest Heather Styka $20/$18

Saturday March 4 2017, 8pm - Debra Cowan AND John Roberts $18/$16

Saturday April 1 2017, 8pm - John Gorka with special guest Scott Cook $20/$18

Saturday May 6 2017, 8pm - Claudia Schmidt AND Sally Rogers $18/$16

Season tickets at $112/$100 (seniors)

Dinner before the show? Vistro Restaurant .
Check out our friends at:

112 S. Washington Street
Hinsdale, IL

Mention Acoustic Renaissance Concerts (or ARC) for a 10% discount on your meal!

Printable ticket order form, just click and print

Our Sponsors
WDCB logo This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency
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