Past Shows

2019 Season


John Doyle & Mick McAuley ~ December 15, 2019

John Doyle and Mick McAuley’s nearly telepathic musical connection began in the early Doyle & McAuley’90’s in the truly groundbreaking Irish-American band, Solas.  Now, both have flourishing high profile solo careers and periodically come together to brush off some Solas standards and lots of their individual material, played together, for these magical musical offerings. We have presented them both as solo acts in the past and are delighted to have them back as a duo. ‘Twill be an evening to remember!    The Silver Spear Set


Kevin Burke ~ November 7, 2019

Lyric, fluid, and precisely as tricky as he needs to be…probably the greatest Irish fiddler living. ~The Village Voice

hi res photo by Keith B

Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music for over 30 years.  Whether solo or accompanied, on record, or in concert, Burke is an immensely engaging performer. During his long musical career Kevin has earned international acclaim as a solo performer, a teacher, a story teller, and as a member of some of folk music’s foremost groups including the The Bothy Band and Patrick Street. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a National Heritage Fellowship, the USA’s highest honor for excellence in the folk and traditional arts. In Ireland he was given the prestigious Gradam Ceoil award, acknowledging him as a master of the tradition. (photo credit: Keith B)

Compton & Newberry ~ October 24, 2019

A return to the roots of bluegrass

Both masters of the bedrock instruments of old-time music, Compton & NewberryCompton & Newberry 2 collaborate with a vision that is both modern and ageless. As virtuosos of old-time mandolin, banjo, and guitar, they dig deep into early country music and blues with a seemingly limitless library of brother duets. Audiences can expect to hear their favorite tunes along with traditional instrumentals, mother ballads and award-reaping originals. And, Mike Compton and Joe Newberry are just plain FUN! We are honored to have them back–don’t miss this one! (photo credit: David Bragger)    Columbus Stockade Blues

New World String Project ~ 2 Shows ~ August 17, 2019

98 strings. Mostly true stories.

Four highly skilled and well known multi-instrumentalists – Stuart Mason,  unnamedLisa  LynneAryeh Frankfurter,  and John Weed – 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. This will be their second SLO House Concerts appearance–the last time they sold out so fast that we added a second show this time.

Andrew Finn Magill with Cary Novotny ~ April 18, 2019

A fiddler in full flight and at complete ease with the music. -Kevin Crawford (Lúnasa)

Finn Magill  grew up in an Irish musical household in Asheville, North Carolina studyinghi+res+jpg+2017+2 with many of the world’s best traditional American and Irish fiddlers at The Swannanoa Gathering music workshops. He has built his career in Irish music playing with John Doyle, Liz Carroll, the Paul McKenna Band, and Martin Hayes among other Irish luminaries. He has performed at Milwaukee Irish Fest, Celtic Connections, and other prestigious festivals and venues. Cary Novotny has been actively involved in the Irish music scene for over 20 years. His trademark sound has made him one of the most in-demand guitar players in Irish music today. With unerring rhythm, boundless energy and versatility, he varies from breakneck speed to delicate finger-style in the blink of an eye. This will be Cary’s second SLO House Concert appearance.


Richie and Rosie ~ March 29, 2019

Out of Ithaca, NY, Richie & Rosie is the project of banjo player Richie Stearns (Donna the Buffalo, The Horse Flies) and fiddler Rosie Newton (The Mammals, The Duhks). Performing mostly R&R_15_238.CR2Appalachian-styled originals and traditional tunes, they blend their signature driving, spooky-raga instrumental arrangements with sweet harmonies to create a sound all their own. In 2018, they appeared at MerleFest, RockyGrass, Philadelphia Folk, Watermelon Park Festivals, and the Los Angeles Old-Time Social last Spring, along with the Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival.

Molly’s Revenge ~ 2 shows ~ March 1, 2019 

Dynamic. Acoustic. Celtic.

The lads of Molly’s Revenge – Stuart MasonDavid Brewer, and John Weed – are known for their unique andkvmr-edit infectious enthusiasm, and are coming back for their 6th annual SLO House Concert! The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees a most memorable 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 as well as at prestigious events in Scotland, Australia, and China, and is a perennial SLO House Concert favorite.



Cillian Vallely & Kevin Crawford ~ January 13, 2019

Flute player Kevin Crawford and uilleann piper Cillian  downloadVallely are two of the most well-known musicians on the Irish music circuit. These two rarely make it out to the West coast to perform as a duo and we are thrilled to welcome them back. They were last here in 2015, and are both long-time members of Lúnasa–one of the most acclaimed and influential bands in the recent history of Irish music.


2018 Season


Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands ~ November 18, 2018

Leading Lady of West Coast Folk & Bluegrass

Grammy Award-winning musician Laurie Lewis is internationally renowned as a singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader,  IMG_E2818producer and educator. She was a founding member of the Good Ol’ Persons and the Grant Street String Band and has performed and recorded since 1986 with her musical partner, mandolinist Tom Rozum. Laurie has twice been voted IBMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year and has won the respect and admiration of her peers. Since her debut in 1986, Laurie has recorded nearly 20 albums in a number of musical formats. Her latest album with her band the Right Hands (Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, Patrick Sauber, and Haselden Ciacco), The Hazel and Alice Sessions, was nominated for Best Bluegrass Recording Grammy in 2017.


Joe Newberry & April Verch ~ October 30, 2018

Banjo. Guitar. Fiddle. Feet. Song. Tradition.

Newberry & Verch Posed_preview

Joe Newberry and April Verch are masters of their traditions. Tunes, ballads, step dancing, and original songs by way of the Ottawa Valley in Canada and the Ozarks in Missouri ring like silver and shine like gold. With beautiful harmony singing, breathtaking instrumentals, and exquisite dancing, these two hit the stage in perfect rhythm, making audiences remember why this music existed in the first place. And “while they never lose sight of their own unique traditions, their work together also serves to craft an entirely new musical aesthetic, one with its own melting pot integrity.” (Barry Poss, founder of Sugar Hill Records)



Steam Machine ~ September 25, 2018

Steam-powered tunes and songs from the transitional era between old-time and bluegrass
AJ Srubas (fiddle), Aaron Tacke (banjo, vocals), Rina Rossi (guitar, vocals),  and Steam-Machine-130 Nokosee Fields (bass) are old-time and early bluegrass fanatics who love to play and spread their excitement about this music wherever they can. Based in Minnesota,  Steam Machine likes to highlight unique and beautiful midwestern repertoire alongside tunes and songs from Appalachia.  Their music combines clean, powerful fiddling with driving three finger banjo, raw unprocessed vocals, and a rhythm section that keeps your tractor going.  In 2017, at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WVA, after a 5-way tie for first place, they took 2nd place in the string band competition!


Cajun Country Revival ~ June 28, 2018

Two Cajuns and an old time stringband walk into a bar…

Spanning generations from across the nation, the Cajun Country Revival is a veritable ccr 4 piece croppedsupergroup of American roots musicians. Comprised of Cajun musicians Jesse Lége and Joel Savoy along with Sammy Lind and Nadine Landry, of Foghorn Stringband, this group presents a music that seems to embody all of the things that make life wonderful! They’ve delighted audiences around the world by celebrating rather than “performing” the music that brought them together: Cajun music and early Country music. This will be their second SLO House Concert and we are delighted to have them back!


John Doyle ~ June 4, 2018 

Doyle on guitar has risen to a level occupied by him alone. No one in Irish traditional music is a better guitarist than he is right now. —Earle Hitchener, Wall Street Journal

safe_imagefounding member of Solas, John Doyle is impossibly in demand in the studio and on the road, immensely talented, and blessed with an acute ear, a wicked sense of rhythm, and a seemingly endless stream of magic in his playing, singing, composing, and producing.  He has solidly established himself as one of the most versatile, creative, and prolific voices in folk and traditional Irish music today. John has performed internationally to sold out audiences, been a part of the prestigious Transatlantic Sessions, and appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC’s The Today Show and A Prairie Home Companion.


Little Black Train ~ April 27, 2018

The train is back!! This SOLD OUT show was a refreshing fusion of vintage fiddle tunes, FDF12-2440-smblazing mandolin, and songs of old-time Americana with Kenny Blackwell (mandolin and guitar), John Weed (fiddle), and Stuart Mason (guitar, banjo, and mandola).  From Depression-era gospel and blues to Appalachian and Celtic dance tunes, they dig up the roots of bluegrass that traveled to America from Ireland and Scotland in the 19th century and combine new words and melodies with traditional songs and music. And, they are just plain fun to listen to and laugh along with during their upbeat entertaining performances. (Photo credit: Mike Melnyk)     Wayfaring Stranger video


Molly’s Revenge ~ 2 shows ~ March 2, 2018

dsc2543-adj smallDynamic. Acoustic. Celtic! The lads of Molly’s Revenge – Stuart MasonJohn Weed, and David Brewer – are known for their unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees a most memorable 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 as well as at prestigious events in Scotland, Australia, and China, and is a perennial SLO House Concert favorite.



Ryan McKasson & Eric McDonald ~ February 11, 2018

Ryan McKasson and Eric McDonald are masters of the Celtic music tradition who purposefully explore Untitledthe dark corners floating on its edges.  The result is an alluring complexity, full of spontaneous musicality. Pulling from parallel strands of influence, they create a swirling level of intensity that traverses darkness, light, and everywhere in between. The music this duo creates is to share, and live performance is their forte. Their mutual attitude stretches beyond the music. The two have been good friends ever since they met and this becomes apparent in their live performances, which are full of organic banter and good humor to go along with the music.



The Press Gang ~ January 16, 2018

A bold new sound has emerged in New England’s traditional music scene: The preferred photoPress Gang fuses the talents of squeezebox player Christian “Junior” Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, flute-player and vocalist Hanz Araki, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a high-octane musical partnership. The quartet blends their skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles. The joy that these musicians pour into playing music together is unmistakable and infectious. The result is a unique sound, at once energetic and sensitive, innovative and reverent.


2017 Season


December 11, 2017 Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms 

We are thrilled to be able to present Reeb Willms and Caleb Klauder — one-half of the oldcropped-time super-group Foghorn Stringband — who deliver some of the finest, most pure and emotional old-time and country music that America has to offer today. Their music sparkles with a purity of emotion that is rare in today’s world and results in a special duet that is subtle, powerful, and compelling. Join Caleb and Reeb on a journey through early American country music grounded by Reeb’s rock-solid guitar and elevated by Caleb’s lyrical mandolin and authentic old-time fiddle. They will take us from the Carter Family to the Louvin Brothers, from The Stanley Brothers to the present with Caleb’s own original songs, and include mandolin and fiddle tunes from regional traditions across America. This will be a night to remember!


November 15, 2017 ~ Mick McAuley

Mick McAuley is an Irish musician, composer, and songwriter who has recorded Mick2and toured internationally for many years. A long-time member of the Irish-American ensemble Solas, he is now touring as a solo musician with his music rooted firmly in the tradition of his homeland of County Kilkenny. A fine singer and multi-instrumentalist known for his brilliance on the button accordion, he is equally at home on guitar, melodeon, concertina, and whistles. Mick’s concerts are a perfect blending of stories and songs that engage the mind and heart and tunes that evoke the enchantment that is Ireland.


October 20, 2017 ~ Joey Abarta and Nathan Gourley

out front

Boston-based Uilleann piper Joey Abarta and fiddler Nathan Gourley are two of  America’s great young trad musicians. They were 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. Owen Marshall, who is also featured on the album playing Greek bouzouki, joined them on this tour.


Sept. 18, 2017  ~  Eamon McElholm and Johnny B. Connolly

mcelholm-connolly500Solas members Eamon McElholm (vocals and guitar) and Johnny B. Connolly  (button accordion) set out as a duo this fall as that renowned Irish-American group takes a hiatus. Playing side-by-side for the past three years with extensive world-wide touring, 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. Both from Ireland, Eamon is  from County Tyrone and Johnny was born and raised in Dublin, and lives in Portland, OR.


August 25, 2017 ~ The New World String Project

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


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 WeedAryeh FrankfurterLisa 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.



May 31, 2017 ~  The Colleen Raney Band

We are thrilled to welcome back Colleen Raney, cr 1who has been described as an extraordinary voice in the Irish tradition. After three years of touring with various groups including The Hanz Araki Trio, Story Road, and Solas, Colleen will be back on the road with her own band playing a mix of traditional and contemporary songs in the Irish tradition. Joining her for her California dates will be Ryan Davidson (upright bass, bouzouki, vocals) and Stuart Mason (guitar, mandola, vocals).


April 20, 2017 ~  The Greg Blake Trio

1405459288_planetbg_in_bkgrdWest Virginia native Greg Blake provides powerful Appalachian vocals steeped in heritage with an authentic sound developed from a lifetime of singing bluegrass, gospel, and country. Twice nominated for the SPBGMA’s Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year award, Greg has also earned nine nominations and five consecutive wins as SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year. He will be joined by Oregon native and festival favorite Ellie Hakanson on fiddle and vocals, and veteran musician and champion multi-instrumentalist Isaac Callender on bass. The house concert will include a range of bluegrass, old-time, gospel, classic Country, and original tunes.


March 3, 2017 ~ Molly’s Revenge ~ 2 Shows


Back again by popular demand to help us usher in St. Patrick’s celebration with 2 shows! Stuart Mason, John Weed, and David Brewer are known for their unique and infectious  enthusiasm. Their classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees a unique musical 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.


February 10, 2017 ~ Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains

duoTogether, Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains have performed and taught nationally and internationally, preserving and building upon the traditions of their region. This out-standing husband and wife duo is known for their twin fiddle harmony, 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. Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and teaching of old time music.  spencerandrains


January 20, 2017 ~ The Fire 

The Fire is a high energy pure-drop Scottish music band with world class fiddling in the-fire-editcombination with bagpipes, guitar, bodhran, whistle, and bouzouki. The group includes International Scottish Fiddle Champion Rebecca Lomnicky, multi-instrumentalist David Brewer of the popular Celtic band Molly’s Revenge, and Adam Hendey on guitar and bouzouki. The Fire performs captivating Scottish music which bridges the gap between the fiddle and bagpipe music of Scotland—two worlds united, into a heartfelt and rousing musical experience.

2016 Season


December 8, 2016 ~ Beverly Smith & John Grimm

794eab_bd60dcdda9f94ba894f5c6928b64af46One of the most respected guitar players in old time music today, Beverly Smith is also in demand as a singer, fiddler, and dance caller. She has been a featured guest on A Prairie Home Companion and has toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK. John Grimm is an award winning fiddler and multi-instrumentalist who has played with many old time bands such as The Georgia Mudcats, The Georgia Potlickers, and Rural Radio Company. Together they create a dynamic authentic old time music experience you’ll long remember.


November 16, 2016 ~ The Slocan Ramblers


The Slocan Ramblers are Canada’s young bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative, and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans (2015 Edmonton Folk Fest Emerging Artist Award recipients), have quickly become a leading light of Canada’s roots music scene, built on their reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and their uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan. 


October 21, 2016 ~ Jeni Hankins with Craig Eastman


Jeni Hankins lives in Nashville and is from SW Virginia. She performs original Appalachian song, story, and dance that takes you back to sitting on the front porch, watching the fire flies.  Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist and New England Fiddle Champion, Craig Eastman joins Jeni with creative, inventive, and sometimes spontaneous instumental back-up.


September 16, 2016 ~ Mason & Weed: Ireland to Appalachia in Music

Mason Weed hi res

John Weed and Stuart Mason explore the musical connections between Ireland and America, both ancient and modern. On fiddle, guitar, mandola, and banjo they bridge the Atlantic to summon toe-tapping, dancing-in-your-seat musical magic. An accomplished traditional-style fiddler, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the regional styles of Clare and Donegal. Stuart Mason was born in West Virginia, grew up in Ohio, and later returned to West Virginia where he traveled around the state learning firsthand the oldest forms of Appalachian music.


July 28, 2016 ~ Bill Evans: The Banjo in America 

Follow the banjBillEvans-and-BanjoFamilyo from its West African roots to the New World. Master musician Bill Evans performs musical selections from the 1700’s to the present day on vintage instruments. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences.



May 27, 2016 ~ One Lane Bridge with Ashley Broder

Coulter_Weed_DiSalvio1One Lane Bridge is a trio of seasoned musicians based in Santa Cruz, California. Grammy Award winning guitarist William Coulter, cellist Aria DiSalvio, and fiddler John Weed mesmerize and delight their audiences with performances of unique, artful arrangements of traditional, classical, and contemporary music. Mandolin virtuoso Ashley Broder, known for her elegant, understated playing style, is a member of the national touring contradance band The Synchopaths.


April 21, 2016  ~  Amber Cross 


“Raw, powerful, old-mountain vocal alchemy.” Amber Cross has a strong and clear voice that delivers honest, compelling lyrics. She has been compared to Nanci Griffith, Iris DeMent and Hazel Dickens, all of whom have influenced her music. Amber is accompanied by Gary Arcemont and James Moore who play a variety of instruments to support her songs: fiddle, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, and upright bass, along with offering vocal support and harmonies.

March 16, 2016  ~  Mike Compton & Joe Newberry

Compton and Newberry by Karen BlumModern masters of Bluegrass and Old Time music, Compton & Newberry collaborate with a vision that is both modern and ageless on mandolin, clawhammer banjo, guitar, and vocals. These two traditional music veterans love to play together, and it shows. Joe Newberry performs frequently  on A Prairie Home Companion and Mike Compton is a renowned mandolin player who appears on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack album.


March 4, 2016  ~  Molly’s Revenge ~ 2 Shows

Molly's GV cropped

Dynamic, acoustic, Celtic! Molly’s Revenge is 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.

January 8, 2016  ~  The Fire

Rebecca Lomnicky and David Brewer are a high energy pure-drop Scottish music duo called The Fire. They feature world class fiddling talent in combination with bagpipes, guitar, bodhran, and whistle. Rebecca and David have spent copious amounts of time delving into the traditions of their respective instruments, living and studying in both Edinburgh and the highlands of Scotland. Their music bridges the gap between fiddle and bagpipe music of Scotland—two worlds united into a heartfelt and rousing musical experience.

2015 Season

November 18, 2015 ~ Ewen Henderson and Gary Innes (Scotland)

October 23, 2015 ~ Jeni & Billy (Nashville) with Craig Eastman (Los Angeles)

September 27, 2015 ~ One Lane Bridge (Santa Cruz)

June 22, 2015 ~ Cajun Country Revival (Louisiana)

May 29, 2015 ~ Stuart Mason Trad Project (California)

May 1, 2015 ~ Bruce Molsky (New York)

April 20, 2015 ~ Story Road (Portland, OR and California)

March 6, 2015 ~ Molly’s Revenge (California)

February 10, 2015 ~Nuala Kennedy & Eamon O’Leary (Ireland)

January 23, 2015 ~ Cillian Vallely & Kevin Crawford (Ireland)

2014 Season

November 9, 2014 ~ Johnny B. Connolly, Lisa Ornstein, & Dan Compton (Portland, OR)

   October 10, 2014 ~ Hanz Araki Band (Portland, OR)

September 4, 2014 ~ David Brewer & Rebecca Lomnicky (Santa Cruz)

June 26, 2014 ~ Molly’s Revenge (Santa Cruz)

April 18, 2014 ~ Little Black Train (California Central Coast)

March 16, 2014 ~ Mick Moloney & Athena Tergis (New York)

January 9, 2014 ~ David Brewer & Rebecca Lomnicky (Santa Cruz)

2013 Season

October 24, 2013 ~ Colleen Raney Band (Portland, OR)

August 29, 2013 ~ Joey Abarta Band (Boston)