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Roaring Brook Announces Fall Concerts

September 28, 2016 Arts and Entertainment, Community No Comments

Submitted Release 

Roaring Brook Nature Center has announced its 37th concert series. Unless otherwise noted, concerts start a 7:30 p.m. and doors open a half hour earlier. For more information and to purchase tickets call 860-693-0263. For updates, visit http://www.roaringbrook.org/concerts/concerts.html.

The following concerts are scheduled.

Saturday October 8, 2016 

Donna Martin with special guest Dave Fry

7:30PM $18 Adv / $20 Door

Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Popular acoustic singer-songwriter-guitarist, Donna Martin headlines the first show of our 37th Concert season.  Always arriving with fresh songs, beloved audience favorites and   a cheerful, positive stage presence, she entertains with heartfelt vocals and resounding inventive guitar arrangements.  Tonight she will favor us with songs from her cd releases Big Country, Seed & History and Ghost among her six recordings. These recordings have earned her glowing reviews from Performing Songwriter and other magazines plus national radio airplay.  They also secured a spot for her singing with Sarah McLachlan and Bonnie Raitt at Lillith Fair!  Dave Fry was last seen at RBNC opening for John Gorka. He features both traditional and contemporary folk music, spliced together with guitar, mandolin, banjo and wry spontaneous commentary on American family life. His ability to entertain all ages with plenty of participation on everyone’s part creates a sense of community wherever he performs.  He’s been a feature performer at The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival and even played at The White House!  Enjoy selections from his Pearls cd and his dramatic join-in rendition of Kent Aldrich’s song “Giants.”

Saturday October 22, 2016

Four Songwriter Reunion with Bruce Pratt, John Merino, Jim Mercik and Stan Sullivan 


7:30 PM $20 Advance/ $22 Door

Reuniting on stage are four movers and shakers of the 80’s and 90’s CT Folk music scene.  Their combined appreciation of acoustic roots, blues and contemporary folk brought them together as founders of The Cellar Door Coffeehouse in West Hartford.  This turning point made each better performers and changed the face and impact of folk music in CT and beyond.  Among them, they went on to book and promote some of the most inspiring talent to ever grace a stage including Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, Randy Newman, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Bill Morrissey. The venues included The Hartland Family Folk Festival, The Thomaston Opera House, The Full Moon Folk Festival, Art Park in NY and Roaring Brook Concerts.  In a four-on-stage format these performing artists will relate “who they were back then” to “who they are right now” with songs, poetry, spoken word and anecdotal and instrumental statements.  Among them, these artists have released several albums and have several cuts on WWUH-fm 91.3 radio’s Folk Next Door compilations and on Fast Folk/ Smithsonian Folkways recordings.  Those songs earned them spots on shows with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Richard Thompson, Eric Andersen, Rory Block, Cheryl Wheeler, Paul Geremia and many more.  It’s always a treat to hear Bruce Pratt sing his cinematic song, “Drivin’ Through the Delta.”  We hope to hear readings from prize-winning poetry and the acclaimed novel, The Serpents of Blissful authored by this Maine Resident.  Returning from western New York, John Merino recorded with 10,000 Maniacs and created the cd The Amazing Dr. Zarcon’s Breathing Machine Jug Band Music at Levon Helm’s Studios, Woodstock NY.  Signature songs are his “Ask A Gypsy” and Sleepy John Estes cover “Drop Down Mama.” Hartford’s Jim Mercik augmented great guitar skills studying one-on-one with Dave Van Ronk.  Hearing his Smithsonian archived song, “Is This Enough For You?” and his cover of Dylan’s  “Buckets of Rain” is worth the price of admission itself.  Hartford’s Stan Sullivan, a multiple songwriting showcase finalist, sings his originals, “The Passing Lane” and “The Next Folk Scare” and offers Fingerstyle guitar instrumentals he’s competed with in six states and Canada.

Saturday November 5, 2016

Dave Mallett 

7:30 PM $20 Advance/ $25 Door

This night the center offers a welcome to Maine’s famed songwriter-guitarist Dave Mallett and his many fans who will be rewarded with stellar live songs from his 17th release Celebration.  In a review of the album for Country Standard Time, Lee Zimmerman placed Mallett within a troubadour’s hierarchy that includes Gordon Lightfoot, David Olney and the late John Stewart.  Lee wrote: “His gruff-sounding vocals and unerring sense of gravitas convey a rugged sense of resilience…a sonorous sense of impending urgency that compels even a casual listener to lean in closer. Indeed, Mallett doesn’t waste time getting to the point!  The title song rattles off a litany of society’s shortcomings with a sound that leaves no doubt as to his authoritative stance. Yet even when the subject turns to love and longing – as conveyed through “Girl With the Golden Hair,” “Ring For You” and “You Deserve the Best” he’s no less determined and certainly every bit as inspired. These are songs instilled with eloquence and endurance, and they resonate accordingly. As a result, Celebration qualifies as an instant classic, the kind of album that can be cherished and appreciated with every successive listen.  Also,you will enjoy Mike Burd’s magnificent bass playing as Dave tries his best to honor your requests from his first 16 albums.

Saturday November 12, 2016

Steve Gillette with Cindy Mangsen 

7:30 PM $18 Advance/ $20 Door

“With gentle humor, years of accumulated stories and an effortless ability to deliver perfect harmonies and playing, they are masters of folk music.  Their brand of entertainment is the product of decades of performance.  There is no shortcut to what they have.”- Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena. Come for to Sing says “Cindy Mangsen is one of the finest singers in American folk music.” Accompanying herself and Steve on guitar, banjo, concertina and mountain dulcimer, her repertoire ranges from haunting traditional ballads to originals and writers diverse as Jack Hardy and Nancy White.  Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen merged their talents when they married in 1989.  Since Ian and Sylvia recorded “Darcy Farrow” in 1965, Steve Gillette has become a major songwriter.  Garth Brooks, Nanci Griffith, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Tom Russell and dozens of other artists recorded his songs.  Linda Ronstadt recorded 5 Gillette songs!  Steve is the rare “go to” songwriter who sings his work better than the hit makers.  He also employs a highly effective flatpick and fingers hybrid guitar style that supports fine lyrics in a beautiful way.  Highlights of their show include “Home By Dark,” “The River,” “October Roses,” “Darcy Farrow,” “Corinna” and “Shake Sugaree.”

Saturday November 19, 2016

Happy Traum 

“Coming of Age in the Folk Revival”

7:30 PM $18 Advance/ $20 Door

Bronx, NY born, Happy Traum is a marvelous guitarist and singer who grew up experiencing the vibes of Washington Square and Greenwich Village music scene during the folk revival. Coming in from Woodstock NY where he has lived for 48 years, he will perform songs from his 2015 album Just For the Fun Of It, which features guests John Sebastian, David Amram and Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.  Happy will also present his updated multi-media program, Coming of Age in the Folk Revival.  In song and first person narrative, he’ll give an overview of his 40 year musical relationship with Bob Dylan, which included recording and performing with the legend himself.  He’ll take you from Washington Square through many Village clubs and out to Woodstock, relating the cultural, political and social climates of each musical environment.  A frequent source for books and documentaries, Happy worked, befriended or rubbed shoulders with The Band, Van Morrison, Brownie McGee, George Harrison, John Herald, Dave Van Ronk, Ian Buchanan, Paul Butterfield and more.  Happy was most Impressive when we witnessed him trading fine lead and backing vocals and guitar breaks while performing with Richard Thompson at Levon Helm Studios in July.  Listen for song highlights tonight, “Things are Coming My Way,” “Church Street Blues” and “Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood.)”

Saturday December 3, 2016

Stephen Bennett

7:30 PM $20 Advance/ $25 Door

 The Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association referred to Stephen Bennett as “The Jedi Master of Fingerstyle Guitar.”  We say he’s the most complete acoustic steel-string guitarist we have heard or hosted.  His artistry is informed by an extensive musical background with formal studies of piano, clarinet and classical guitar. A guitar festival unto himself, he plays the majestic harp guitar plus 6-string, 12-string, National Steel and baritone guitars.  A champion of fine melodies, great grooves and confident improvisation, he has shared the stage and toured with Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, Harvey Reid, Tim Thompson, Pat Donohue and Pete Huttlinger.  Stephen’s impressive 30 album discography showcases his repertoire of stellar originals, Celtic, folk and roots gems, classical and jazz anthems, movie soundtrack themes and hot acoustic renditions of rock and pop hits.  Stephen’s shows are a joy to attend as he masterfully interprets tunes such as The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes, The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” Dvorak’s “Going Home” and the traditional “Star Of The County Down.”  His own compositions, “Balcony Boogie,” “The Eye of God,” “Atlanta Blues,” and “Perestroika” raise the bar on contemporary guitar playing.

Saturday January 21, 2017

Bill Staines

7:30 PM $18 Advance/ $20 Door

Roaring Brook favorite Bill Staines is a left-handed neo-traditional troubadour who, on a right- handed guitar played upside down, creates perfectly crafted songs that everyone wants to sing along with or turn into a book!  Bill’s song, “A Place In The Choir” which became an illustrated book resonates with all age groups.  The Irish group Celtic Thunder performed Staines’ song in a PBS concert.  To date, the videos from that single song have registered over five million views on YouTube.  Bill’s catalog of 300+ songs has earned cover spots on albums by Nanci Griffith, Peter Paul and Mary, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy and hundreds of other artists.  Bill has released 26 albums and played 50 states over the past 5 decades.  He has traveled over a million miles before coming to play for you tonight.  Join with Bill on the Great choruses to “River,” “Roseville Fair,” “Child of Mine” and “Wild, Wild Heart.”

Other upcoming concerts include: 

  • February 25- Ed Gerhard
  • April 1- Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo
  • May 6- Garnet Rogers



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