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The Acoustic Guitar Project Concert
Acoustic Guitar Project artistsTen Syracuse-area songwriters each wrote a new song on the same guitar. Now they (and the guitar) perform their new songs one one night, one one stage.

Friday, September 26, 2014
8 p.m. / $10

Member price: $8 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

project website

“One guitar. One week. One song.” That’s the tagline of the Acoustic Guitar Project, an international songwriting project that originated in New York City and has spread around the world. Projects were launched earlier this year in 35 cities, and this summer … Syracuse. The project was created to help musicians reconnect to the original moment that inspired them to be singer-songwriters. Each songwriter was challenged to create a brand new, original song in just one week, then hand the guitar to the next participant. (The donated guitar was handmade in Maryland by Minor Bird Instruments and signed by all of the artists.)

Now the 10 Syracuse-area songwriters who participated will appear together in a unique concert, where they perform their new song (and others). For the second part of the concert, each artist will choose a second original song to be played on the project guitar. Then as a finale, all ten songwriters will perform together. Songwriters taking part in the Syracuse edition of the Acoustic Guitar Project include:

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers hosts the show. “There are musicians...and then there is Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers. With an already impressive résumé that includes a John Lennon Songwriting award, being a founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine and a regular contributor to NPR's All Things Considered, Rodgers still passionately works to move his chosen art forward.”—Amy Robbins, WCNY Connected.   Colin Aberdeen is a bluesman based in Syracuse, and frontman for the genre-defying roots rockers Los Blancos. Aberdeen has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. in his two decades of live performance and has earned a variety of awards in his career including repeat honors of favorite guitarist and vocalist in Blues Connection and Syracuse New Times.
Tim Burns is the lead singer and acoustic guitarist for the Syracuse band Two Hour Delay. “Our sound is unique to Syracuse and continues to evolve,” Burns says of the fine stew of rock, blues, folk, country and bluegrass they perform.   John Cadley, along with Cathy Cadley, are one of the area’s most entertaining and popular duos. Their repertoire draws on the traditional bluegrass of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, the tight harmonies of the Louvin Brothers, the “new acoustic” sounds of Alison Krauss and Claire Lynch, as well as John’s own originals.
Dana “Short Order” Cooke offers up quirky, often wry and occasionally unusual songs in a relaxed and unassuming manner. Cooke is a songwriter in the mold of Roger Miller, the Roches, and especially Loudon Wainwright III. For him, nothing is more important than the absurd and ironic. His songs are noted for combining soft-chuckle humor with sentimental, sometimes heart-tugging observations on everyday life.   Ashley Cox was born and raised in Syracuse. She is a diminutive powder keg who lives life like she's about to explode with positive energy. A singer, songwriter and ultra talented musician, Cox delivers passionate music that, at times, flows like a raindrop, other times like a tidal wave, but always immerses her listeners in absolute honesty and intensity. Cox, along with Shawn Sullivan, make up Professional Victims, an Alternative Indie Rock duo.
Gary Frenay is a gifted and versatile musician inspired by the songwriting of Lennon & McCartney, James Taylor, Brian Wilson and Jimmy Webb. He is a five-time SAMMY Award winner, and was inducted into the Syracuse Music Hall of Fame in 2006 along with his partner, Arty Lenin.   Of Colleen Kattau, Pete Seeger once said “Joe Hill would be proud. Great singer and organizer at the same time.” She performs original alternative acoustic music in a mix of poetry and rhythm.
Arty Lenin is the other half of the award-winning duo Frenay and Lenin. They have been entertaining Central New York fans for over 30 years in various bands and as a duo.   Wendy Ramsay started playing guitar when she was 24, wrote her first song at 26 and after a long hiatus from music has returned to the singer/songwriter scene over the past few years. Her quirky originals and covers are an eclectic mix, influenced by artists such as They Might Be Giants, the B-52s, the Carpenters, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Elvis Costello.

Like any good song — in the process of being written — there’s no way of knowing where this project will go. That’s for the music to decide. We can only sit back, listen and enjoy. Come and enjoy the results.

Acoustic Guitar Project: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

 



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Ways to Help

Volunteer for Folkus. Help staff a show. Help manage Folkus. For info, e-mail volunteer@folkus.org

  Bring Baked Goods to a Show!
The snack counter at Folkus shows features a mixture of store-bought and homemade goodies, but of course everyone prefers the homemade stuff! If you're a baker, next time you come to a show, bring a plate of cookies, brownies or such. Thanks.
  Help Get Our Posters Out There!
Join the Poster Club.. Give us your e-mail address and we'll send you Folkus show posters (as a PDF attachment). Print and post it wherever you like. To join, send an e-mail to posters@folkus.org.



Songwriter WoodshedA meeting of and for local songwriters . . . more info / Facebook page. Next Meeting: Oct. 1


Later This Season

Bob FrankeBob Franke
A songwriter's songwriter. One of the very best craftsmen of original song, and one with very deep Folkus roots.

Friday, October 10, 2014
(note special second Friday date)
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Workshop: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 11-12

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

Bob Franke's songs are considered classics, fueled by his deep faith and the real-life lessons taught him by his 30-odd years of playing everywhere from concert halls to street corners. Bob has appeared in concert at coffeehouses, colleges, festivals, bars, streets, homes and churches in 33 states, four Canadian provinces and England — including many times with the Folkus Project. We're happy to have him back.

Listen closely. His sometimes gentle-seeming compositions burst with poetry and deep, worldly, sometimes spiritual insight. They've earned him more than a few fans. Tom Paxton, for example, who said, "I always think of Bob Franke as if Emerson and Thoreau had picked up acoustic guitars and gotten into songwriting." Or Christine Lavin: "Bob Franke writes the kind of songs that will still be sung a hundred years from now."

Songwriting Workshop. While he's in town, Franke will also present his famous two-day songwriting workshop. Brainstorm on Saturday, and present a finished song on Sunday. There's no more profound way to learn the craft. For info, e-mail workshops@folkus.org.

Bob Franke: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Natalia ZukermanNatalia Zukerman
After she opened for Garnet Rogers last winter, this roots-oriented singer songwriter was an obvious choice for a headline appearance.

Friday, October 24, 2014
(note special fourth Friday date)
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

With diverse influences that include folk, jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, country, and even classical, Zuckerman has been described by public radio as “an example of the finest Americana.” She combines her unique slide guitar playing style with seductive vocals, a painter’s observing eye, unapologetic writing, and sharp wit. She'll be supporting her new album -- her seventh -- called "Come Thief, Come Fire."

No less than the New Yorker said, “Natalia’s voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth.”

Natalia Zukerman: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Boxcar LiliesThe Boxcar Lilies
The darlings of last year's Falcon Ridge new-talent showcase make their Folkus debut.

Friday, November 7, 2014
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

The Boxcar Lilies have quickly made a name for themselves with their signature mix of folk, country, and bluegrass-tinged Americana music featuring spine-tingling, innovative harmonies and top-notch songwriting. Accompanying themselves on guitar, clawhammer banjo, ukulele, electric bass, and washboard, they have brought their uniquely warm sound and energetic stage presence to venues up and down the Eastern seaboard, including The Birchmere Music Hall, Club Passim, and Philadelphia's Tin Angel, and opening for legendary performers like Bill Staines and The Seldom Scene. In 2012, they were selected to perform an official showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference and in 2013 won the audience voting in the Emerging Artist Showcase.

Based in Western Massachusetts, The Boxcar Lilies are Jenny Goodspeed, Stephanie Marshall, and Katie Clarke — three singer-songwriters that met through a local musicians’ cooperative and discovered a shared passion for three-part harmony. They joined forces and in 2011 released their debut CD Heartwood, recorded with producer Dave Chalfant (Erin McKeown, The Nields). In 2013 they released their second studio album Sugar Shack which they recorded with producer Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis). The album debuted on the Folk DJ Charts at #2 this May and it was highlighted by both CMJ.com and eMusic.com in their roundup of exciting new releases.

The Boxcar Lilies: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Karen SavocaKaren Savoca & Pete Heitzman
Our favorite Munnsville-based funk-folkers return to the Folkus Project stage.

Friday, November 21, 2014
8 p.m. / $15

Member price: $12 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Link to Facebook Event

artist's website / YouTube clip

Musical partners for more than twenty years, Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman got their start here in Central New York, performing at many a local joint as Mind's Eye. Then, thanks to a breakout appearance at Falcon Ridge, Pete and Karen became stars of the folk world, and now travel hither and yon (from their home base in Munnsville), performing for appreciative audiences. Every couple years they come home to Folkus.

Karen and Pete mix soul, r&b, roots and world rhythms, with Karen pouring her heart into a song the way a great actor throws herself into a role. Pete, a Syracuse native, was playing in clubs at the age of fifteen, carving out a reputation as an ace guitarist capable of playing many styles, touring across the country with a variety of bands. They met one night while Karen was at Syracuse University and performing locally; they jammed the night away and Pete joined Karen's group the next day.

Acoustic Guitar magazine calls Heitzman "a true virtuoso of groove, with a sly touch that, combined with Savoca's in-the-pocket drumming and spectacularly soulful vocals, gives the duo the impact of a four-piece band." Said Greg Brown (with whom they have toured extensively): "If [Karen] were a Native American, her name would be Sings Like Two Birds." The duo have released eight CDs on their own Alcove Records label, the latest of which is "Promise," recorded in their 19th century church studio.

Karen Savoca: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)

Holiday Show
Christine Lavin & Don White
Two of the funniest performers in folk music reflect on the lighter side of the holidays.

Friday, December 12, 2014
(note special second Friday date)
8 p.m. / $20

Member price: $17 (see members link below)

May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.

Lavin website / White website / YouTube clip

Christine Lavin is simply an institution within the singer-songwriter scene. Her zany wit and goofy antics have made her one of the most popular performers on the contemporary folk scene for two decades or more. She now makes frequent appearances with Don White who, like Lavin, walks the line between folk music and comedy. Audiences for their joint shows find their hearts lifted — and their guts split with giggle, snorts, and guffaws.

“As you watch Christine and Don, you tend to feel like you're making a friend, rather than admiring some distant star,” Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe wrote.

For their Folkus appearance, Lavin and White will mix some of their regular material with selections and observations especially chosen for the impending holidays.

Lavin/White: Advance Tickets thru PayPal
Please read Advance Ticket Policy to learn how it works, and for other advance options. Note: You do not have to have a PayPal account to use PayPal; charge to your credit card.

(MEMBERS ONLY: click for discount)




Sparky TownLinda Sparky Mortimer
Thanks Sparky Town
. . . great supporters of Folkus

The good folks at Sparky Town restaurant provide meals for visiting artists and lots of other little favors to Folkus. We love Sparky Town! (Their website.)


Past Shows on Facebook
Photos, videos, and recordings of some recent Folkus shows have been posted by Larry Hoyt:

Rani Arbo on YouTube
YouTube: See recent Rani Arbo appearance at Folkus
Mike PowellMike Powell / Feb. 21 . . . Video at YouTube . . . Photos on Facebook Photos on Facebook:

 


Address questions about this website to Dana Cooke, shortorder@danacooke.com

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Reminders and late-breaking news. Click here.

About Folkus
Who we are and what we do. Click here.

The Venues
May Memorial UU Society
First and third Friday of the month
All shows at 8 pm (doors open at 7:30)
3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse / website / how to get there

Westcott Community Center
Second Saturday of the month
All shows at 8 pm
Corner of Euclid Ave. and Westcott St., a half-mile east of SU / website / how to get there


Folkus Fall 14 Fall Season Poster

Do us a favor. Download the Fall '14 season poster(PDF; 380K), print and post everywhere. Thanks.



Ticket Policy
Advance sale tickets through PayPal and other methods. Click here.

(Don't have a PayPal account? You can still use PayPal to make a credit card purchase.)

Note: If you have questions about your ticket purchase for a Friday show at May, please do not telephone May Memorial or the Westcott Center. Review our advance ticket policy and, if you still have questions, try e-mailing tickets@folkus.org. Thanks.


Elsewhere in the Region

Charlie Orlando and Butternut Creek Revival, Luke Brown, Pale Green Stars • Kellish Farms • Sa 9/13 • website

Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen • Robinson Memorial Church • Sa 9/13 • website


Friends of Folkus

Bill Knowlton's Bluegrass Ramble. Bill's bluegrass radio show (and associated events) date back almost as far as Bill Monroe himself! / website

CNY Bluegrass Association. Folk music's mountain-bred second cousin / website

"Common Threads." Folk music on the radio. / website

Guitar League. Talk and workshops about your ax. Meeting monthly / website

Irish Sessions. A great, ongoing jam of Celtic and old-timey types. Every Sunday / website

Kellish Farms. This Pompey Center farm has been converted into a music center, featuring concerts and jams of folk, bluegrass, and country types / website / Syracuse Post-Standard article

Oswego Music HallOswego Music Hall. One of upstate New York's most venerable music venues, in a beautiful location to boot! / website

Syracuse Community Choir. Songs of peace and social justice / website

Syracuse Country Dancers. Contra dances and the like / website


Join the CNY Friends of Folk listserv. For info: website