A Folk Alliance Member Organization

Acoustic Renaissance Concerts
11 West Maple Street
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
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Schedule - 2022/2023 Season

All in person shows begin at 7pm.
Masks required at all times.

Call 630/941-7797 for all tickets.

Saturday, October 8, 2022 — Ellis Delaney with special guest Emily White .

Tickets: $20

Spreading joy is what singer/songwriter Ellis Delaney (formerly known as "Ellis") does best, and it permeates throughout her new album Ordinary Love. Released worldwide on June 4, 2020, Ordinary Love debuted in the #2 spot the FolkDJ Chart and landed #6 on NACC's Top 30 Folk Album Charts!

Celebrating the beauty in everyday living, the album couldn't come at a better time. Even amidst illness, loss, climate change and gun violence, Ellis finds joy and meaning from family, community connection and ordinary life. Says Ellis, "My hope for this record is that it both inspires a lighter heart while also expressing and connecting to the gravity of this moment in our human history. Can we greet our lives, each other, and even the news every day with ordinary love?"

"If ever there was a feel-good folk musician, this is the woman who really does send you off feeling better about the world."
- John Davy, No Depression

Independent folk-rock touring singer/songwriter Emily White has been described as standing out "conspicuously from the pack with her hushed, preternaturally haunting vocal delivery and bewitching sense of indie-rock-informed melody" (Connect Savannah). She has released four albums to date, the most recent being the Kai Welch-produced LP "Staking Flags in the Valley." In creating her show, she "adds an infusion of humor, audibly diverse musical influences and a truly singular sound that may leave even the most severe folk cynics entertained." (Asheville Citizen-Times) She is based out of Chicago, but travels regularly throughout the US, captivating crowds with her unique voice and favorite Martin guitar, bringing her Southern roots and Midwestern charm to each city she visits.

Saturday, November 19, 2022 — Windborne .

Tickets: $20

NPR RAVES: "The best musical discovery of the year...stunningly powerful Windborne sets a new bar for harmony singing today!"

Windborne's captivating show draws on the singers' deep roots in traditions of vocal harmony, while the absolute uniqueness of their artistic approach brings old songs into the present. Known for the innovation of their arrangements, their harmonies are bold and anything but predictable. With a 20-year background studying polyphonic music around the world, Lauren Breunig, Jeremy Carter-Gordon, Lynn Rowan, and Will Rowan share a vibrant energy onstage with a blending of voices that can only come from decades of friendship alongside dedicated practice.

The ensemble shifts effortlessly between drastically different styles of music, drawing their audience along on a journey that spans continents and centuries, illuminating and expanding on the profound power and variation of the human voice. The singers educate as they entertain, sharing stories about their songs and explaining the context and characteristics of the styles in which they sing.

BBC Traveling Folk describes Windborne as "subverting expectations and redefining the genre... just absolutely phenomenal!" Audiences and critics lavish praise upon the singers not only for their technical mastery, but for the passion, engagement, and connection with each other and the audience that imbues each performance with a rare power. But there's another, crucial dimension to Windborne that guides and roots their artistry. They are adherents to folk music's longtime alliance with social activism, labor and civil rights, and other movements that champion the oppressed, the poor, and the disenfranchised.

Their latest project, "Of Hard Times & Harmony", explores themes of social consciousness, singing in four languages and showcasing the depth of emotion their voices can evoke, as well as moments of true hilarity and wit.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 — Jennifer Cutting's OCEAN Celtic Quartet .

Tickets: $20

The OCEAN Celtic Quartet play music packed with pure pan-Celtic pizzazz, putting their unique spin on traditional songs and Cutting's original compositions, from soaring ballads and stirring sea chanteys to blazing fiddle and accordion tunes. The group has won over 25 Washington Area Music Awards, a #3 spot on the national Folk DJ Charts, and a triumphant appearance on NPR's "Mountain Stage." They have a history of sold-out concerts at such venues as The Birchmere and The Kennedy Center. In concert, they're sure to win your heart as well!

Fairport Convention's Simon Nicol says they "get right inside the spirit of the folk music of the British Isles," Steeleye Span's Maddy Prior calls their songwriting "stunning," and the Washington Post calls them "Nothing short of spellbinding."

The OCEAN Celtic Quartet is led by composer and ethnomusicologist Jennifer Cutting (accordion and keyboards), a Washington Area Music Association "Musician of the Year" and "Songwriter of the Year." OCEAN features the stunning vocalist Christine Noyes (formerly of the maritime music group Crab Alley), folklorist/vocalist/percussionist Stephen Winick, and U.S. National Scottish Fiddle champion Sean Heely.

OCEAN is known for getting audiences up on their feet to dance to their electrifying Jigs and Reels; and, in the next moment, raising goosebumps with their soaring vocals and otherworldly Celtic beauty. Add a penchant for deep research and scholarship, and a great sense of humor, and you have a band that will captivate all ages.

There's nothing else like it...OCEAN is Celtic Music for Ancient Moderns!

Saturday, January 7, 2023 — Peter Mulvey .

Tickets: $20

Nineteen records, an illustrated book, thousands of live performances, a TEDx talk, a decades-long association with the National Youth Science Camp, opening for luminaries such as Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, and Chuck Prophet, appearances on NPR, an annual autumn tour by bicycle, emceeing festivals, hosting his own boutique festival (the Lamplighter Sessions, in Boston and Wisconsin)...

Mulvey never stops. He has built his life's work on collaboration and an instinct for the eclectic and the vital. He folds everything he encounters into his work: poetry, social justice, scientific literacy, & a deeply abiding humanism are all on plain display in his art.

In late January 2019, Mulvey and his band, SistaStrings (Chauntee & Monique Ross) with Nathan Kilen on drums, decamped to their home turf, the Cafe Carpe, in Fort Atkinson, WI where they spent just five days making two records in the tiny back room. The live record, "Peter Mulvey with SistaStrings Live at the Cafe Carpe" is out now on Righteous Babe Records. It's a celebration of a world that is temporarily on hold: a small folk club, packed with listeners, and a band shoulder-to-shoulder, playing and singing with intimacy and abandon.

The other shoe, "Shenandoah" a studio album about love and family in the midst of a dying empire, was released in early 2021.

Saturday, February 18, 2023 — Mark Dvorak and Mean Mary .

Tickets: $20

"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. He has also recorded "Let Love Go On" and "Back Home".

Mean Mary (James) produces music, produces videos (her YouTube videos have received over 15 million visits), tours extensively across the US and overseas, is co-writing a novel trilogy about the music world, and is an endorsing artist for Deering Banjos. The Deerings have named her their Goodtime Ambassador.

Mary plays 11 instruments and has recorded 16 albums, her newest being "Cold". There is not room here to tell the whole life story of Mean Mary, but if you would like to hear more of it, listen to her music-it is all readily available.

Mary James (born March 22, 1980), known by the stage name Mean Mary, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, novelist, producer and YouTube personality. She has been described as having "the unique ability to mix together a variety of musical styles, which can appeal to a wide audience" and her childhood has been described as "a nomadic life that could have been plucked from an adventure novel." (Wikipedia)

Saturday, March 4, 2023 — Gina Forsyth and Heather Styka .

Tickets: $20

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."

She's an Entertainer: As noted by Dan Willging in Offbeat Magazine, "She's hilarious commenting on her native, beloved South ("Sweet & Sunny South") when she sings, 'We love our musicians and our fascist politicians,' then questions the South's provincial view on gay rights."

Just some of her festival and club gigs: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Folk Alliance International, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Tipitina's, The Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall.

The Press Loves Her: Glowing reviews include "Promised Land" is an album no folk music lover should pass up."

Well-written tunes, crisp production and instrumentation framing a message of reminiscences form a performer who does it as well as it can be done.
- John McClure of Victory Music

She's an Award-winner Emerging Songwriter Winner - Napa Valley Music Festival; People's Choice Winner Folk - Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans; Best Singer/Songwriter - Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans; New Folk Finalist - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival; Emerging Artist - Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (2015).

Chicago songwriter Heather Styka cuts to the truth with gutsy vulnerability. With a heartfelt croon that brings to mind Billie Holiday or Patsy Cline, Styka combines the lyrical intricacy of folk with a catchy melodic pop sensibility and the grit of classic country in songs that are smart and disarming.

After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Styka moved to the city to studying creative writing, meanwhile honing her song craft among Chicago's long-standing folk community. "Chicago has such a rich musical history, especially with places like the Old Town School of Folk Music," Styka explains. "I was definitely steeped in that tradition." Her 2011 release "Lifeboats for Atlantis" brought her to national attention, hitting #3 on the FOLK-DJ charts. Styka's honest, image-heavy songs have garnered her a number of awards, including being a New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival (2015, 2017) and official showcases at Folk Alliance International, NERFA, SWRFA, and FARM.

Live, Heather Styka comes off as something like Leonard Cohen crossed with Patsy Cline. Armed with a guileless, unvarnished delivery, she's equal parts wordsmith and entertainer. Styka's energetic shows feel as intimate and candid as late night conversation, peppered with a quirky sense of humor and confessional storytelling.

Heather Styka was the first place winner in the Big Top Chautauqua Songwriting Competition, and then second place in the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest. A two-time finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, she continues to earn accolades...and most recently, an advanced degree! She wins admirers by rendering the beauty and hardship in life into song, somehow making us all feel like we're in it together.

2022 2023 Season at a Glance: (All shows $20 per ticket)

September 17 2022: Jonas Friddle Trio

October 8 2022: Ellis Delaney with special guest Emily White

November 19 2022: Windborne

December 17 2022: Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Celtic Quartet

January 7 2023: Peter Mulvey

February 18 2023: Mark Dvorak and Mean Mary co-bill

March 4 2023: Gina Forsyth and Heather Styka co-bill

April 1 2023: Anne Hills

May 6 2023: Dan Weber and Shawna Caspi co-bill

Details on these shows are all below:

Season tickets at $160

Printable ticket order form, just click and print!

Season brochure, click and print!

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