Copley Street ~ October 20th

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Four years ago, uilleann piper Joey Abarta performed for our first-ever house concert and we are so excited to welcome him back along with fiddler Nathan Gourley. They’ll be here to celebrate their debut duo album, Copley Street, with its unique settings of well-known tunes and beautiful but obscure pieces and an undeniable chemistry and understanding of each other’s playing. They’ll be joined by Owen Marshall on Greek bouzouki, who is also featured on the album. 

Joey Abarta has spent the last sixteen years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes. His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In 2009, Joey won an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. In 2014, he became the first American uilleann piper to win first prize at the An tOireachtas, one of the biggest competitions for traditional music in the world. Originally from Los Angeles and now based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performing, teaching, and recording. He also performs with Nathan Gourley and has toured with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America. joeyabarta.com

A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, fiddler and guitarist Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he collaborated with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. Since moving to Boston in 2013, he released a critically acclaimed album, Life is all Checkered with Laura Feddersen, and has toured with John Blake and Mairead Hurley as The Truckley Howl. He was a finalist in the Sean O Riada fiddle competition in 2014 and winner of Boston’s Fiddler of Dooney competition in 2013. Nathan can be seen playing at concerts, ceilis, sessions and festivals in Boston and throughout the United States and Ireland. 

Owen Marshall has performed and recorded with many of traditional music’s top performers including Aoife Clancy, Liz Carroll, Darol Anger, John Doyle, Andrea Beaton, Jerry Holland, Ari & Mia Friedman, his own traditional Irish group The Press Gang, and the acoustic trio Haas, Walsh and Marshall. His music has appeared on NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock, BBC television, and the back of his left elbow has appeared on MTV. In addition to being a respected performer, Owen is in demand as a teacher at music camps throughout New England and the U.S. Owen will be back for a second SLO House Concert appearance on January 16, 2018, with The Press Gang. owenmarshallmusic.com

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here  to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.

Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

 

Additional Sights and Sounds

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Eamon McElholm & Johnny B. Connolly ~ September 18th

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As we begin our 5th season of presenting outstanding traditional music, our next several concerts return us to the Irish roots of our house concert series. What better way to start than with Solas members Eamon McElholm and Johnny B.Connolly!? While that renowned Irish-American super group takes a hiatus, Eamon and Johnny are touring as a duo. Playing side-by-side for the past three years with extensive world-wide performances, the two friends have forged a rare musical connection whether firing on reels and jigs or blending in breathtaking accompaniment to Eamon’s brilliant singing. 

Eamon McElholm‘s songs will have the opportunity to be front and center. The County Tyrone artist composes masterful works in both the Irish and American roots traditions and his songs have been covered by numerous artists, including Solas and his previous band, Stockton’s Wing. His guitar playing is first rate and along with Johnny there will be plenty of room for tunes, as well. Eamon has performed all over the world including China, Japan, Brazil, Slovenia, throughout Europe, and extensively in America. His original music has been recorded by many artists and he has written music for TV documentaries and worked as a session musician on a number of film soundtracks. He has produced albums for others and frequently appears on other artists’ albums.

Eamon McElholm is very much a distinguished artist…in addition to having a host of excellent singles as a solo artist over the years (he) has performed with many highly regarded musicians and bands. The talented artist, who excels on a wide range of instruments, has continued to impress in the field. –Tyrone Life

Johnny B. Connolly is a Dublin-born accordionist whose exquisite playing has graced artists from Kevin Burke to Martin Hayes to Nuala Kennedy, and many more, including two previous SLO House Concerts. Now living in Portland, Oregon, he shines on traditional Irish tunes as well as sparkling French musettes and even the occasional old-timey American tune.  Johnny has toured extensively nationally and internationally, performing at festivals, concerts, and schools with an impressive array of outstanding Irish traditional musicians. Most recently, Johnny toured as a member of internationally acclaimed band Solas and is featured on their new CD All These Years.

Johnny Connolly’s Bridgetown is the most exciting solo debut album from an Irish artist in years…a must-have CD for all true lovers of Irish box playing. – The Irish Herald

 

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here  to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.

Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

 

Additional Sights and Sounds

kvmrcelticfestival.org/eamon-mcelholm-johnny-b-connolly

www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ypJ9ONG-U

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrglsA7Ojbc

 

 

New World String Project ~ August 25th

Extraordinary instruments and heartwarming music rooted in Nordic and Celtic traditions.

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Science tells us that cross pollination can result in hybrid vigor that transcends the sum of its parts. In a parallel vein, the vibrant West Coast traditional music community has given birth to the New World String Project. Four highly skilled and well known multi-instrumentalists – John Weed, Aryeh Frankfurter, Lisa Lynne, and Stuart Mason – have joined forces to create an exciting weave of music rooted in the Celtic, Nordic and American folk traditions. Ancient and modern sounds mingle freely on Swedish nyckelharpa, Celtic harp, fiddle, guitar, cittern, mandola and more. Join the New World String Project for a musical ride that will shake your boots, uplift your spirit, and warm your heart.

John Weed is a traditional-style fiddler who has spent the last 20 years learning and teaching various fiddle styles. As a classically trained violinist, he expertly leverages his understanding of the instrument to coax emotion from every tune. John has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the regional styles of Clare and Donegal and has returned several times to hone his skills and collect tunes at their source. An accomplished fiddler across genres with an affinity for American fiddle styles, John explores the connections between Irish, Scottish, and old time fiddle. The result is a fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, Appalachian, swing, and Scandinavian music. John is the fiddler for Molly’s Revenge and tours with Story Road, Little Black Train, in a duo with Stuart Mason, and has performed on festival stages from Scotland to Australia to Shanghai, as well as in many of the United States.

Aryeh Frankfurter’s musical endeavors began at the age of three when he undertook classical training on the violin. His musical development led him to explore various ethnic and international musical genres, particularly Celtic folk music, and at the age of fifteen he discovered the Celtic harp which has become the focal point of his musical inspiration and expression. In addition, Aryeh taught himself to play a variety of instruments including electric violin, viola, cello, guitar, cittern, mandolin, lap and hammered dulcimers, bowed and plucked psaltry, penny whistle, baroque flute, recorder, and more recently the Swedish Nyckelharpa. He works full time as both a performer and audio engineer. He has 18 albums to his credit and two books. He tours full time as a solo artist and also with Lisa Lynne, Patrick Ball, and the Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tours.

Lisa Lynne is a multi-instrumentalist who has gained worldwide recognition for her original music featuring the Celtic Harp. She is widely acclaimed for composing memorable and heartwarming melodies on the Windham Hiill/Sony music labels that have repeatedly placed in the Top 10 and Top 20 on the Billboard New age music charts. Lisa tours year round performing at US festivals and performing art centers. Her work in therapeutic music has gained recognition from NBC, CNN, Fox News Atlanta, and numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Wall Street Journal. Lisa’s music is heard throughout the award winning PBS special “Alone in the Wilderness,” and in other television and film soundtracks. She performs regularly as a solo artist, and also with Aryeh Frankfurter, Patrick Ball, and the Windham Hill tours. She was recently named one of the 50 most inspiring women by Los Angeles Magazine.

Veteran artist Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals and nimble skills on guitar, mandola, and clawhammer banjo and has been collecting, performing, and teaching traditional music for over 40 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old-time bluegrass, and his original compositions which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association. He has also won awards for traditional singing from the Goleta Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention and mandola performance at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest. Stuart is a member of the Celtic band Molly’s Revenge and has performed at festivals in China, Scotland, Ireland, and in many of the United States. Stuart teaches at various workshops and music camps and tours with old-time bluegrass band Little Black Train, singer Colleen Raney, Celtic band Story Road, and in a duo with fiddler John Weed.

Additional Sights and Sounds

For more information about the New World String Project, please visit the group website newworldstringproject.com  and their individual websites: stuartmasonmusic.com   lisalynne.com   lionharp.com

Here is the jam that got this group started as they realized that something special was happening:  youtube.com/watch?v=Cp4Fpir-H9Q

A video showcasing Aryeh Frankfurter and Lisa Lynne and the variety of instruments they play:  youtube.com/watch?v=ojdHUOKSYhM

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here  to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

The Colleen Raney Band ~ May 31st

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an extraordinary voice in the Irish tradition

We are excited to announce that celebrated traditional singer, Colleen Raney returns to SLO House Concerts for a special evening of songs and stories on May 31, at 7pm.

Raney, who recently finished up a tour with Irish-American supergroup Solas, is playing an exclusive run of shows in California, showcasing her open-hearted singing and story-telling that has led her to be regarded as “among the best in her genre” (Irish Music Magazine) and “one of America’s best Traditional singers” (Tradconnect). Her albums Linnet (2008), Lark (2011), Cuan (2011), and Here This is Home (2013) are an unparalleled collection of traditional songs and contemporary pieces that treat new and old songs alike with enchanting reverence, innovation, and love.

Born into a family where Irish music and dance were part of the fabric of everyday life, learning songs from her older siblings was a major part of Raney’s formative years. Colleen began her musical career with her oldest brother Mark, who studied with legendary singer and song collector Joe Heaney. Colleen brings that sense of familiarity, fun, and closeness to her performances, wrapping the audience in moments of warmth and meaning. She breathes new life into the old songs, finding facets in the music that haven’t been heard before and performing in the company of gifted friends who illustrate both the most delicate and upbeat aspects of her winning style. It’s earned her a following both among longtime adherents of Celtic music and younger fans who are new to the genre.

Raney is joined for this tour by Stuart Mason and Ryan Davidson.

Veteran artist Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals and nimble skills on guitar, mandola, and banjo. He has won awards for traditional singing (Goleta Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention), mandola (Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest), and songwriting (West Coast Songwriter’s Association).   He is a member of the Celtic band Molly’s Revenge, and has performed at festivals in China, Scotland, Ireland, and many of the United States. He also tours with old time bluegrass band Little Black Train, and in a duo with fiddler John Weed.  When not gigging, he teaches, writes, and builds websites. His music blog Fiddlefreak is nine years old. stuartmasonmusic.com

Ryan Davidson is known for his powerful vocals and soulful style of folk storytelling.  Raised in Northern California, Ryan began touring the US whilst still in high school.  After a decade on the road playing rock-n-roll, he studied voice and jazz at the Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach, California. Shortly after he was accepted into the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance in Limerick, Ireland where he studied the Irish Bouzouki and received an MA in Ethnomusicology.  Since returning home after two years of living and playing traditional music in the West of Ireland, Ryan has been utilizing his extensive background to tirelessly write, play, tour and collaborate with numerous songwriters and traditional artists. ryandavidson.bandcamp.com

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here  to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

Additional Sights and Sounds

website:  colleenraney.com

Colleen with Ryan Davidson on bouzouki:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo69LzniFKc

Colleen with Stuart Mason on guitar: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXPkAP41iE4

The Greg Blake Trio ~ April 20th

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You’ll hear it in his voice immediately … the original strain of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all great modern bluegrass and country. Greg Blake grew up in the mountains of southwest West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl. The kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the “high, lonesome sound.”

Growing up in West Virginia, Greg Blake was immersed in the sounds of old country, mountain bluegrass, and gospel harmonies from a young age. Moving to Kansas City, he started playing in more and more bands, eventually recording on 12 albums for bands like the Bluegrass Missourians, Mountain Holler, The Harvest Quartet and more. He’s twice been nominated for the SPBGMA’s Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and five times won the SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year, not to mention the Kansas State Flatpicking championship. After moving to Conifer, Colorado, Greg joined all-star progressive bluegrass band Jeff Scroggins and Colorado as the lead vocalist. With both Jeff and his son Tristan breaking new ground instrumentally on the banjo and mandolin, Greg stepped up to the plate as a guitarist, and crafted the band’s sound around his signature high tenor vocals.

IsaacGreg is joined by multi-instrumentalist Isaac Callender who began his musical career as a contest fiddler winning titles all over North America. As a teen he studied and traveled with Western Swing Hall of famers Dick and Lisa Barrett and played bluegrass and country music with various local bands. Isaac joined the US Army National guard at eighteen and served for eight years during which time he performed with the 133rd Army band, formed the Lewis and Clark Period Music Ensemble, and served on a USO tour with Nashville Songwriter Jerome McComb.

After leaving the military, he joined renowned Canadian fiddle and step dancer April Verch on the guitar and mandolin. With April, Isaac toured the world, performed with some of folk music’s greatest talents, and began to develop his own songwriting and singing skills. Since leaving the AVB, Isaac has performed with many bluegrass, country, folk, Irish, and old-time groups on multiple instruments. He has produced three albums, multiple tune books for both guitar and fiddle, and continues to write, teach, and perform with some of the greatest musicians in the world. Isaac is the bass player for Jeff Scroggins and Colorado.

EllieThe trio is rounded out by Portland, Oregon native Ellie Hakansan whose background is a unique blend of classical training with years of traditional bluegrass fiddling. Her family band was a festival favorite throughout the Pacific Northwest for many years. Ellie is currently the fiddler and vocalist for Jeff Scroggins and Colorado and she also performs with various other groups as time allows. She recently won the 2016 Rockygrass Fiddle contest and has received many other accolades for her playing and singing. 

Together the three make up the Greg Blake Trio. Their music ranges from traditional bluegrass favorites to vintage country and old-time music along with a sampling of original material. Three-part harmonies, spectacular instrumental abilities, and great songs make their shows a must see for any lover of quality acoustic music.

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here to contact us to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

Additional Sights and Sounds

gregblakemusic.com

isaaccallender.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsNhACjbKJ8

Molly’s Revenge ~ March 3rd ~ 2 shows

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Molly’s Revenge is~

Stuart Mason: guitar, mandola
John Weed: fiddle
David Brewer: bagpipes, whistles, bodhran

We are delighted to have the lads back with us again for two shows, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., to help us get a jumpstart on St. Patrick’s celebrations. Molly’s Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic, Celtic band known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Molly’s Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA and prestigious events in Scotland, Australia, and China. Their arrangements of traditional Celtic jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.

They bring to the music a vital and joyous creativity that excites even the hardest of hearts.  —John Doyle, founding member of Solas.

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here to contact us to request an invitation. Please indicate which show and how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

2:00pm show: Doors open at 1:30pm. Concert starts at 2:00pm.  7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

Additional Sights and Sounds

mollysrevenge.com

youtu.be/Wy7rKW6PVbY    ~    a video we took at the KVMR Celtic Festival in Grass Valley

Spencer & Rains ~ February 10th

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For all of you old-time fiddle fans–here’s one to put on your calendar, and reserve your seats today! Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains are the real deal, having grown up surrounded by the music traditions of their families and communities. They are wonderfully talented multi-instrumentalists with authentic vocals and an endearing stage presence.

Tricia Spencer is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time music from her grandparents. At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins, and guitars. While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contests throughout the Midwest where she learned from the likes of Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is a multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor.

Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and a fourth generation fiddler (or “VY-lin,” as his grandfather would say), from a musical and artistic family, whose two obsessions are painting and playing the archaic style of fiddling of his home state. Howard plays rare, old tunes learned from friends, family, mentors, and old recordings. As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has painted many of the great old time musicians, both living and gone.

Together, Spencer & Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their regions. The husband and wife duo are known for their twin fiddle harmony, which is a product of the influence of midwestern Scandinavian fiddlers Tricia heard as a child. At the same time, Howard’s distinct repertoire reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. That same sense of harmony is in their vocals as well, which they pull from all manner of American folk music. Spencer & Rains are steeped in tradition and dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old-time music.

House Concert Details

SLO House Concerts are by invitation and reservation only. Please click here to contact us to request an invitation and indicate how many seats you would like to reserve. We will then send you an email with directions and other helpful information.

7:00pm show: Doors open at 6:30pm. Concert starts at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $20. ALL of the money goes directly to the performers.

Additional Sights and Sounds

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE-Kwy43T0c

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGkvQRGLW1c