Summer 2015 Schedule

Saturday, June 27, 2015

7:30 pm

Neptune’s Car

Friday, July 3, 2015

7:30 pm

David Massengill

Saturday, July 11, 2015

7:30 pm


Saturday, July 25, 2015

7:30 pm

The String Doctors

Saturday, August 1, 2015

7:30 pm

Jennie DeVoe

Saturday, August 8, 2015

7:30 pm

Moors & McCumber

Saturday, August 15, 2015

7:30 pm

Trina Hamlin

Saturday, August 22, 2015

7:30 pm

Ellis Paul

The String Doctors is  a new group with a few very familiar faces.

   Joel Mabus leads the group in so many ways.  His superb songwriting and savvy stage presence bring  unexpected banter and newborn songs to centerstage.  And the Doctors’ rhythms bring out the guitar and mandolin abilities of this great virtuoso.

    Ray Kamalay is the crooner and jokester. His “city mouse” lets the boys stretch on old swing material, both sweet and hot.  His sparkling guitar lends both hot solos and luscious chords.  As such,  they’ve ranged to Canada and Europe to play some of the most prestigious festivals, including Edinburgh, Vancouver and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Of that last appearance the Village Voice said,


  Now they are joined by two talented fellows who have gathered  kudos of their own.

   Peter Knupfer, on fiddle, has been a popular freelance and session fiddler wherever he has lived.  In the past  he worked extensively with  Grass Food and Lodging and  Beats Workin’ with Don Stiernberg.  He has won fiddle championships in Wisconsin (1976) and Kansas (1995) and recorded 8 folk and bluegrass album projects, appearing onstage with Byron Berline, Tony Trischka, Tim O’Brien, Peter Ostroushko and Howard Levy. His swinging, bluesy fiddle style will have you leavin’  your seat and tappin’ your feet.   Aten Place patrons wioll recognize him as the fiddler in Detour Bluegrass.

     Dave Rosin brings up the bottom on bass.  A long-time associate of Ray’s, Dave is an accomplished jazz bassist and teacher of all stringed instruments.   His luscious low tones frame this music with beauty and grace.

     Together these four are The String Doctors, who bring a new kind of country swing to your lives,  for your dancing and listening pleasure.  And their “Michigan” humor will kill you.

Mix together a singer-songwriter from Massachusetts (Holly Hanson) with a guitarist-songwriter from New Hampshire (Steve Hayes), blend in a dollop of Contemporary Folk with a dash of Alt-Country, a shared  and historical biographies, and you’ll have the nautically named duo Neptune’s Car.

A beautiful blend of country and folk . . . Holly’s vocals are tender, warm and quite evocative with each song taking the form of a story or tale. Steve’s guitar playing complements Holly’s vocals perfectly giving each of the songs depth and character . . . it is worth taking time to listen to the lyrics as they hold the key to this feast of musical delights . . . there are hints of Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss but Neptune’s Car do not need to be compared to any other artists. This is a strong musical duo whose music can stand on its own two feet. The songs are beautiful and the overall atmosphere created is perfect.

“These two musicians have a comfortable and friendly stage presence that has the audience relaxed and captivated. Holly’s confident, sweet voice caresses her lyrics as Steve’s tasteful guitar licks and back-up vocals add the gilding that puts a shine on their well-polished tunes.” — Steve T., The Living Room Coffeehouse, Mason, NH

By birth a Tennessean, David Massengill “emigrated” to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-70’s, walking the same streets and playing the same storied coffee houses as Dylan and Van Ronk.

Thirty years later, he’s still walking those streets—but now he’s being recognized universally for his pivotal role in keeping the American folk music tradition alive. Called “a master of vivid lyrical imagery”(Boston Globe), David continues to create beautiful and poignant “story songs” that are intimate and relevant and tug at your emotions. Songs like "Rider On An Orphan Train“ a narrative ballad ringing with truth and anguish” (Washington Post), "Number One In America", a riveting and ironic civil rights anthem” (Boston Globe) and the biting political statement, "The Gambler", a thing of beauty about all things ugly” (Barry Crimmins).

His songs have been covered and recorded by Joan Baez, The Roches, Lucy Kaplansky, Tom Russell, Nanci Griffith and his mentor, Dave Van Ronk, who said David “took the dull out of dulcimer!”  Notes Music Boulevard, “That David made the lap dulcimer his instrument of choice tells us a lot about the soft-spoken native of eastern Tennessee. He accompanies his performance with an instrument indelibly Appalachian, yet conquers even the most urban of musical communities. He does it without losing that remarkable gift for true storytelling.”

David has released six albums, eleven bootlegs and fourteen books to date, including “Partners in Crime”, the debut album of The FolkBrothers, David’s duo project with the late great Jack Hardy.

Mulebone is a partnership comprised of multi-instrumentalist, John Ragusa and roots music specialist, Hugh Pool. The launching pad for their musical expression is traditional blues.

Together they have recorded a CD which spent 15 weeks in the Top 100 Albums in America. Along with playing live and TV appearances, they won blues artist of the year at radio stations from Seattle, Washington to Red Bank, New Jersey. Any given week, you may find them playing clubs in NYC or entertaining at private parties thrown by David Rockefeller, Bruce Wasserstein and list of other East Coast residents who are enthusiastic about bringing these boys in for a party by road, sea or air.

In Mulebone, John plays, conch shell, Jews harp, cornet, all manner of flutes, tin whistle, and chimes in on the harmony vocals.

Hugh plays guitars, harmonica, boot board and sings, all with a mouth full of whiskey and a giant heart.

Together in Mulebone, Hugh and John play slide guitar boogies, 1 chord trance riffs a la Howlin Wolf the uptempo rags of Reverend Gary Davis and country blues of all shapes and colors. Sometimes they play close to the source, almost as if tracing the image, and at other moments, they re-examine the source, float above it, take a new look as one understanding their home from a distant land.

Jennie DeVoe is  an independent singer/songwriter with a soulful-blues-americana vibe whom Bonnie Raitt calls, "A great songwriter," and, "One of the most talented and hardest working musicians I know." DeVoe is a performer who connects with her audience like no other. Says Melissa Mayer of the Boone County Sun, "DeVoe's voice is a delicious mix of scratchy blues and sweet low notes. Her music is born of a unique marriage of folk and funk. She sprinkles in rhythm and blues sounds and a few well-chosen covers to create a great live show. She also manages to draw the audience in with her anecdotes and personal stories between each song. It's hard to attend one of DeVoe's shows and not feel like she's your personal friend by the end of the night." Fiercely independent, DeVoe has declined numerous major label offers, and produced four studio albums, two live cds, a Christmas album and a dvd on her own label, Rubin the Cat Records. SonyRED was so impressed with her last effort, the critically-acclaimed Strange Sunshine, that they offered her a distribution deal, bringing her to many new ears, while still allowing her to retain her artistic freedom. DeVoe is a prolific writer, with songs stuffed in drawers and often filling up her own voicemail with ideas.

    James Moors and Kort McCumber are independently successful solo artists who discovered that together they have a unique blend of harmonies and instrumentation.  The duet met at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival in 2005 and have been performing and writing together ever since. Embracing a bigger sound than most duos, they switch up instruments on almost every song (playing guitar, mandolin, piano, bouzouki, fiddle, harmonica, cello, 12-string guitar and Dobro), creating catchy melodies that are big, bright and electrifying to watch live.    

     Based in Superior, Wisconsin, James Moors has been heralded for his warm-hearted spirit that makes you want to hear more. An official recipient of the prestigious McKnight Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, his songwriting has been recognized three years in a row by the Big Top Chautauqua competition.

     Colorado artist Kort McCumber plays a variety of instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, piano) in his own brand of Americana that is one part rock and blues and two parts country bluegrass.  His songwriting abilities have made him a Colorado favorite and garnered him national and international recognition. He won last year’s Flat Rock Festival Songwriting Competition in North Carolina and was a finalist in this year’s International Songwriting Competition.

    Trina Hamlin combines gentle understanding with raw emotion in a way that is, quite simply captivating from the first note.

    With a rich, powerful voice, Hamlin reveals a rare confluence of Midwestern innocence, contemplative focus, and raw passion while adding a disarmingly sharp wit in her stage banter. She seamlessly moves from guitar to piano with self accompaniment on harmonica leaving many who have seen her performance wondering what she can’t do.

    Regarded as one of the best harmonica players around she presents a driving, sensuous rhythm in her performance that immediately draws audiences in.

    In the current climate of “sounds like” artists and “heard it before” lyrics Trina offers an intelligent and refreshing musical experience. Her unique combination of ballads, folk rock and blues has earned her a steady national following. Trina tours full time through out the US and Europe. Additionally she is a much sought after harmonica player and percussionist, accompanying numerous nationally recognized singer songwriters in the studio and live on stage.

    Having earned a degree in professional music from Berklee College in Boston she graduated to the club scene in New York City with the band Blue Leaves and has gone on to write and co produce six albums of her own. Trina was chosen as one of the “most wanted new artists” at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and has performed to a sold out crowd at the Newport Folk Festival in the company of Ani Di Franco, Dar Williams and the Indigo Girls. She’s performed on The Late Show with Conan O’Brian, has had her music chosen as a backdrop for the CBS TV Movie “Friend’s at Last” as well as WB’s series, Dawson’s Creek. Her songs have also been featured on Bravo’s “Tale Light’s” Lifetime’s “The Things We Do for Love”, MTV’s “Real World”, as well as ABC’s (FAM) “Beautiful People”. In addition, Trina has performed concerts with Paula Cole, Ricki Lee Jones and John Hiatt, to name a few.

    With unapologetic emotional freedom Trina’s songs have the unique power to mirror and evoke the obvious and unspoken realities of life and being in love.

    Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.

    Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters. Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road.  A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear.  The sharing of love..., intimate, passionate and enduring.

    Happily, his music has been shared with a wider audience through commercials, documentaries, TV shows and in the soundtracks of several blockbuster films, among them three by the Farrelly Brothers -- “Hall Pass” (starring Owen Wilson and Alyssa Milano), “Me, Myself, & Irene” (starring Jim Carrey) and “Shallow Hal” (starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow). Peter Farrelly summed up the sentiments of all those who have come to know and appreciate Paul’s music by referring to him as “a national treasure.”

    Not surprisingly, Paul’s consistently been heralded by others as well. One writer noted “that it reminds you how much we need storytellers back in pop music -- storytellers with empathy, fine eyes and an understanding that even though we live in a soulless, indifferent would, out music doesn’t have to reflect our culture." Another reviewer was even more pointed. “Ellis Paul is one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation,” she commented. “And for many of us he is the face of contemporary folk music. Few are as smart, as literate, as poetic as Paul. I cannot think of another artist on the acoustic music scene is better loved by fans, or more respected by his contemporaries.”

Saturday, July 18, 2015

7:30 pm

Moxie Strings

   The Moxie Strings is the electrifying combination of fiddler, Diana Ladio, and cellist, Alison Lynn. With their feel-good melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms, this duo has put a fresh, enticing spin on Celtic and Americana music. Diana and Alison often join forces with dynamic drummer and world percussionist, Fritz McGirr, who lends his spirited expertise of traditional music’s percussion component and an engaging rhythmic energy to the show. Though rooted in tradition, The Moxie Strings offer listeners the unique opportunity to experience some of the world’s best known instruments and oldest genres through a young, progressive lens.

    Diana, Alison and Fritz hold Bachelor of Music degrees in music performance and music education, which have given each the technical foundation to explore the limits of his/her instrument, and helped the group build a reputation for musical excellence. Both Diana and Alison use a variety of audio effects pedals. Alison performs on a newly invented, electric instrument and Fritz on a variety of world percussion instruments in celebration of their generation’s redefinition of folk music. The Moxie Strings write the majority of their pieces, and also arrange traditional tunes from many countries.

    Soon after forming in 2007, The Moxie Strings were inspired to not only perform, but also to teach. Having made the exploratory journey from classical music to a world of eclecticism and musical creativity, the three have now dedicated their careers to helping young musicians make this life-changing and inspiring transition.

    The Moxie Strings have taught enrichment clinics in over 40 schools throughout the US and have also presented on their research and methodologies to many teachers at music education professional development conferences. During most clinics, the group performs for students on electric instruments, teaches music by ear, and introduces non-classical playing styles. The Moxie Strings have researched and created an innovative sequence of activities designed to teach improvisation to classically trained musicians, which they employ at every clinic. They have written several orchestral accompaniments for their pieces and often perform with students on community concerts. The Moxie Strings deliver their message in a fun, accessible way, and stand before students as an illustration of the many opportunities that music holds.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Children’s Matinee

Lost in Storyland

The Village Puppeteers

In a raucous comic romp, our internationally acclaimed puppeteers riff on classic fairy tale characters.  Packed with silly antics and featuring a cavalcade of colorful puppets, Puss'N Boots, the Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty,  Little miss Muffet and Rumpelstiltskin are joined by a host of others, including a handsome prince, a maiden in distress and a dazzling dragon. Fun for the whole family.

The Village Puppeteers has been performing out of Michigan for ten years.  The puppeteers are world class performers who have been performing artists for over 30 years.  During the 1980's and 1990's, As Artistic and Producing Directors for Hystopolis Productions, of Chicago, Michael Schwabe and Lawrence Basgall built many popular productions for children and adults alike. Schwabe and Basgall have also worked with Spiffy Pictures, a television production company, as puppet designers, builders and performers in Jack's Big Music Show on Nick, Jr., a Nickelodeon Station. The two worked several months in London as part of the Spiffy Pictures team filming Walt Disney's Bunnytown currently playing on Playhouse Disney.  More recently they worked with Spiffy Pictures on the Warner Bros.  Scooby-Doo! Adventures The Mystery Map Original Puppet Movie now available on DVD exclusively at Walmart.