A Folk Alliance Member Organization


Schedule - 2015/2016 Season

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015 — Mark Dvorak with special guest Lara Herscovitch . Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior

"Funny, passionate, intimate and unforgettable", Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago IL. At ease, on guitar and five string banjo. It was through the mentorship of old-time string musician Don Buedel, that Dvorak was first able to master the claw hammer stroke. In 2005, Dvorak went into the studio to record "Every Step of the Way," a personal breakthrough project which featured ten original songs. Released by Waterbug, "Every Step of the Way" was well-received and established Dvorak as a song writer. 2008's "What a Wonderful World," also released by Waterbug, was a fifty-seven minute compilation of material from Dvorak's earlier CDs. The project was aimed for family audiences and also included a newly recorded, four song collaboration with Chicago's Sons of the Never Wrong. Also in 2008, Dvorak received the Woodstock Folk Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a performer, song writer, teacher and folk historian. In the spring of 2010, Dvorak began planning his next recording with producer John Abbey of King Size Sound Lab. The next year, Waterbug released "Time Ain't Got Nothin' on Me," to date Dvorak's most successful recording project. "Time" received steady airplay and rose to number fourteen on the Folk DJ chart. The disc featured twelve Dvorak originals and a Chicago all-star cast of singers and instrumentalists.

"Pure musical poetry" (The Courier), Lara's award-winning music is contemporary folk with shades of blues, jazz, and pop. With her voice "clear and smooth like expensive liquor", she stands "above and beyond the pack" (Northeast Performer). "Herscovitch is "a remarkable performer" (WSHU Public Radio), "a rising talent who is truly someone to watch for" (Acoustic Live in NYC). "It's rare to come across poets able to inject such an achingly human and knowing warmth into their work... It's obvious that this musician-composer has hit her stride, that her star's still rising" (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange). Lara also has extensive experience as a policy social worker, and has worked in the US, Latin America and Asia on behalf of disadvantaged individuals, focusing on education, community development, and juvenile justice. These themes are woven throughout her music. As Acoustic Live in New York City wrote, "She possesses not only a huge reservoir of musical talent and a voice with a bell-like clarity, but a keen sense of global concern and a fierce intellect"

Saturday, November 14, 2015 — Garnet Rogers.

Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior "When it comes to Canadian folk music, the Rogers family name is one known well throughout this country of ours. Having gotten his start playing music in front of audiences with his brother Stan, Garnet Rogers has carved out a formidable career of his own, entertaining his own audiences throughout North America..." Ken Kelly. Garnet Rogers has established himself as "One of the major talents of our time". Hailed by the Boston Globe as a "charismatic performer and singer", Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence - close to six and a half feet tall - with a voice to match.

With his "smooth, dark baritone" (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere. His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs "give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart" (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 — Lee Murdock's Christmas Ship Concert.

Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior The concert will feature the song of the Christmas Ship that brought Christmas trees to Chicago for many years. Noted as a fluent instrumentalist on six and twelve string guitars, Murdock combines ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with this flair for storytelling in songs. His musical influences span fifteen generations, and combine original compositions with traditional music. There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard word, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in. The music is grounded in the work song tradition, from the rugged days of lumberjacks and wooden sailing schooners. Murdock comes alongside with ballads of contemporary commerce and revelry in the grand folk style. Lee's fans have discovered a sweetwater treasure in his songs about the Great Lakes, finding drama and inspiration in the lives of sailors and fishermen, lighthouse keepers, ghosts, shipwrecks, outlaws and everyday heroes.

In 2014, Lee Murdock formed a new band, with a sound unlike anything he's offered in the past. It all started with Joel Simpson, a friend who has been a Lee Murdock fan since the age of seven, or younger. Joel is a graduate of Elmhurst College School of Music, and is a multi-instrumentalist, playing dobro, mandolin, guitar, and other stringed instruments. They came to know each other better while working, each was teaching private lessons at Tobias Music Store in Downers Grove. Bassist Mike Bradburn has toured the USA and Europe with the popular Chicago-based band, Dolly Varden. Percussionist Greg Smith soon joined the band, and the foursome has formed the backbone of Murdock's nineteenth CD, "What About The Water", released in September, 2014. Greg had a long and busy career working with another popular Chicago and touring band, The Dooleys. This show is going to be a delight.

Saturday, January 9, 2016 — Gina Forsyth and Mustard's Retreat.

Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior New Orleans-based Gina Forsyth is an award-winning singer/songwriter, who is known for her wizardry on fiddle and guitar. With an alto as unique as it is soulful, unpretentious songs that cut straight to the heart, and a wicked sense of humor, her live performances are legend. Considered one of the best Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana (no small feat), Gina is in demand from other great Louisiana musicians to play club gigs and festivals, some of the same talent that backs her up when she plays as Gina Forsyth and Friends. Rheta Grimsley Johnson of Daily Journal probably sums up Gina best, "If you've ever wondered what happened to the gutsy folk singers who used to roam the earth with their instrument and protest, check out Gina Forsyth. In the tradition of Guthrie, Dylan and Prine she is writing and singing, not just fiddling while America burns." In 2001, cult folk label Waterbug released her debut CD, "You Are Here", which was quickly heralded as "an eclectic, beautifully played testament to choosing the right personnel and crafting a great song"ť On Gina's latest CD, Promised Land (2012), the title song reached #1 on the Folk DJ list in January 2012 and the CD ended the month at #3.

"Mustard's Retreat - come see them. They put words together beautifully" - Utah Philips "A pleasure to see and hear. Music to cure what ails you" - Michigan Times "When I listen to Mustard's Retreat, I get speeding tickets. I get so lost in the songs that space/time cease to exist, and the next thing I know, it's the flashing red lights and the warning - Don't listen and drive!" - Bridgett Ellis, Folk Director, WCNI, 91.1 New London, CT "David Tamulevich and Michael Hough's engaging stage presence, myriad of subject matter, and the sheer joy that they take in playing has made Mustard's Retreat one of the most revered bands in folk music today." - Madison Folk Music Society. "Mustard's Retreat puts the fun in folk! Whether a fresh take on an old classic or one of their own new classics, like 'Simple Faith', the songs of David Tamulevich and Michael Hough were spun with an infectious joy that was impossible to resist! Before you knew it, everyone was tapping a toe or lifting a voice to join in the fine musicianship that David and Michael were sharing from the stage." - Catherine Kasmer, Lake County Folk Club, IL

Saturday, February 6, 2016 — Lou and Peter Berryman .
Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior
Lou and Peter Berryman began their musical partnership in high school in Appleton, Wisconsin, way back in the sixties. By the late seventies, 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 programs as Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion and NPR's Weekend Edition. Regular appearances at festivals and folk music clubs all across the country now serve as venues for the songs contained in their sixteen recordings and three songbooks, which have been performed by everyone from Garrison Keillor to Peggy Seeger. The popularity of Lou and Peter Berryman -- whose friendship survived a brief marriage in the seventies -- is a testament to their intelligent and wickedly funny material which is never bawdy or risque but is rich with wordplay and witty images. This duo is not to be missed.

Saturday, March 5, 2016 — Cosy Sheridan and Sloan Wainwright.
Tickets: $18 adults/$16 student/senior
Cosy Sheridan has been called "one of the era's finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters." She first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival. "Frank, feisty, sublimely and devilishly funny. She fuses myth with modern culture, Persephone with Botox." - Cornell Folksong Society. She is the director of The Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah. "Her user-friendly musical philosophy sets her happily apart from the myopic, self-involved songwriters...She is a wonderfully lively, very funny and enormously amiable entertainer with a keen and wicked eye for the excesses of our fast-food, tv-happy and noisome culture." - The Boston Globe

Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright, consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles -- pop, folk, jazz and blues -- held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto voice. Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who's who of contemporary folk music. Sloan's incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but also her dramatically voiced rendition of original songs. She's folk influenced, but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense." -Boston Globe

SUNDAY, April 10, 2016 — John McCutcheon.
Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior
John McCutcheon has written hundreds of songs and garnered more than his share of accolades. His eclectic catalog of ballads, historical songs, children’s songs, love songs, topical satire, fiddle and hammer dulcimer instruments, and even symphonic works are among the broadest in American folk music. His thirty-six albums have earned 6 Grammy nominations. His songwriting has been hailed by critics around the world; his song Christmas in the Trenches is considered a classic and was recently named one of the 100 Essential Folk Songs. "What sets McCutcheon's songs apart is that he's actually writing about something!" observed well-known folk music DJ Bob Blackman.

Whether it's a musical snapshot of a day in the life of an Alaskan salmon fisherman, a child's pondering the loss of her first tooth, remembering a moment that was omitted from our history books, lampooning the latest foibles on the national political scene, or celebrating the joy of old love McCutcheon's songs are always about something small and, at the same time, something much bigger. "All big things start with little things," he observed, "the way in which a song is able to open up the universal from the personal is one of the great joys of writing." In addition to his own writing, John has collaborated with some of the major songwriting talents in the folk music world including Tom Paxton, Si Kahn, Holly Near, Steve Seskin, and Tom Chapin. In 2006 he released an album of collaborations entitled "Mightier than the Sword", in which he co-wrote songs with some of his favorite authors, including Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, Rita Dove, Lee Smith, and Carmen Agra Deedy. He has worked in the Woody Guthrie Archives completing some of Guthrie's unfinished songs and has composed musical settings of poetry by Pablo Neruda and Jose MartĂ.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 — Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore .
Tickets: $20 adults/$18 student/senior
Grammy Award winner Mollie O'Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer's singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar Hill Records (Take Me Back, Remember Me and Away Out On The Mountain). Eventually, Mollie recorded five equally well-received solo albums (Tell It True, Big Red Sun and Things I Gave Away for Sugar Hill Records, and I Never Move Too Soon and Everynight In The Week for Resounding Records). Additionally, she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion" from 2001 through 2005. She's long been known as a singer who doesn't recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles.

O'Brien has primarily focused her efforts on the fading art of interpretation and the end result is a singer at the very top of her game who is not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses. Husband Rich Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie & Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he's also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O'Brien's twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.

Saturday October 10 2015, 8pm - Mark Dvorak special guest Lara Herscovitch $18/$16

Saturday November 14 2015, 8pm - Garnet Rogers $20/$18

Saturday November 28 2015, 8pm - Lee Murdock's Christmas Ship Concert (featuring Blue Horizon) $20/$18

Saturday January 9 2016, 8pm - Gina Forsyth AND Mustard's Retreat $18/$16

Saturday February 6 2016, 8pm - Lou and Peter Berryman $18/$16

Saturday March 5 2016, 8pm - Cosy Sheridan AND Sloan Wainwright $18/$16

SUNDAY April 10 2016, 4pm - John McCutcheon $20/$18

Saturday May 7 2016, 8pm - Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore $20/$18

Season tickets at $134/$120 (seniors)

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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