Mark Cosgrove continues to be a busy performer, teacher, and session player. The past year has brought solo appearances as well as dates as a regular member of The David Bromberg Quartet and Big Band, his own band Good Medicine, performances with the DePue Bros Band, Roberto Dalla Vecchia, and fiddle and dance team John Kirk and Trish Miller. His recent recordings include a CD with three time national guitar champion Steve Kaufman and his fourth solo CD entitled Unencumbered which features some of acoustic music's most notable players as well as some rising young stars. Mark is known for his hard-driving and versatile guitar styles, showing equal abilities in bluegrass, jazz, rock, and as a tasteful sideman. He continues to teach and perform at guitar camps and workshops around the country.
Rich DelGrosso’s performances at clubs and festivals, and the airplay of his recordings, have garnered him seven Blues Music Award nominations. This writer/teacher/performer is widely regarded as the leading exponent of mandolin blues. For over thirty years DelGrosso has written articles for Blues Revue, Living Blues, Mandolin Magazine, Frets, Sing Out! and Il Blues and he has published mandolin and guitar instruction books for Hal Leonard Pub. with worldwide distribution. He has presented countless workshops across the Americas and Europe, earning him a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis.
“...he lets his fingers do the talking, and his beautiful, clear tone and fluid technique are a delight...” Living Blues
Look for a new release this summer that will bring DelGrosso together with Mary Flower and Martin Grosswendt!
John Doerschuk has been in the sound business for over 25 years. He was attracted to waves and electrons while playing in bands in the seventies, and somehow continues to make a living as an "audio guy." He lives with his artist wife Bessie and daughter Sophie in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John plays piano and guitar and is trying to tame a Dobro.
“Lorraine Hammond is the most versatile dulcimer player I know,” observes North Carolina dulcimer wizard Don Pedi. Lorraine’s numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher and instrumentalist include her groundbreaking Shanachie release with fiddler Gerry Milnes, Hell Up Coal Holler, a Homespun dulcimer instruction series, and two elegant Appalachian dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press. Lorraine also plays, performs on and teaches five string banjo, mandolin and harp. Lorraine’s new CD, The Opal Ring, on the Snowy Egret label, combines the traditional New England ballads of her childhood with her own songs drawn from that childhood in the Connecticut Berkshires. Reviewer Mark Flanagan observes: “Lorraine Lee Hammond opens her latest CD with some of the sweetest notes ever produced on the mountain dulcimer.” Lorraine is Music Director of the WUMBfm SAMW programs, and a lecturer in American Folk Music and World Music at Lasell College in Newton, MA. She and her husband, guitarist Bennett Hammond, have been touring, teaching and performing and recording together for the past thirty years.
“Bennett is the sort of finger-picking guitar player you can listen to all day” – The Shetland Times.
He started playing in 1957 and began teaching in 1960, debuted as a virtuoso soloist in 1980 – on the In-Bound platform, Harvard Square Station – and has played above ground, at home and abroad ever since. Early influences include an EP side of folk and cowboy songs with guitar accompaniment his sister Lucy made in 1951, recordings of Etta Baker, Mike Seeger and Duane Eddy, and of course the Three B's - Bach, Bluegrass, and Bo Diddly. More recently he has capitulated to the pleasures of playing the 5-string banjo, which he celebrates on his Rock-A-Folky Banjo CD on the Snowy Egret label.
Bennett's classes focus on developing students' individual skills and styles, helping you to play like yourself, only more so.
Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music. Born and raised in Brooklyn he delved into his Southern roots, following the thread of African American history that wove itself through country blues, ragtime, fiddle and banjo, and traditional jazz. After years of busking and performing at many venues around NYC, Hubby began touring with Carolina Chocolate Drops. As an integral part of the band he has been nominated for both a Grammy and Americana award, performed on Letterman and Jools Holland Show, as well as toured around the states and Europe.
Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is an inspirational storyteller and musician celebrating the history, humor and power of American Roots music. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle. His deep love for traditional African American and American traditional music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs.
For more than twenty-five years Robert has entertained and educated audiences of all ages in schools, colleges, libraries, union halls, prisons, churches and civil rights organizations. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate. Acclaimed photographer James Fraher writes about Robert: “Perhaps the world’s most highly educated blues musician, an ordained minister, a longtime DJ, and a living encyclopedia of blues history, the Reverend Robert Jones is comfortable among juke joint loud talkers, fancy-hatted church ladies, and PhDs alike."
Pete Kennedy's main gig is songwriting duo The Kennedys, with his wife Maura. His broad experiences in the folk world include two decades of working closely with Nanci Griffith as lead guitarist and record producer, and prior to that touring nationally with Mary-Chapin Carpenter and Kate Wolf. As a freelance guitar slinger, he's gigged with Doctor John, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, and sat in with The National Symphony. His own mentors include Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, rockabilly legend Danny Gatton, and jazz greats Charlie Byrd and Joe Pass. Pete loves teaching just as much as playing, and he loves to impart traditional techniques in a way that helps each student find their own unique guitar voice.
Maura Kennedy has been touring, writing and recording for two decades with WUMB favorites The Kennedys. Along with husband Pete, she has also spent the last two years touring the US and the British Isles with legendary songstress Nanci Griffith. Maura co-produced Griffith's latest CD, and they have written a number of songs together. A vocal graduate of Ithaca College's School of Music, Maura combines her knowledge of singing and live performing with a unique songwriting technique based on dream imagery, and she is an enthusiastic and energetic teacher who loves to see and hear her students tap deep into their own creativity.
Pete and Maura Kennedy, both East Coast natives, met in Austin, Texas, joined forces with Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra for a couple of years, and set out on a road that, for two decades, has led them not only west but all over the US and the UK many times. This year, they celebrate their twentieth anniversary both as a band and a married couple. Rather than indulge in a nostalgic look backward, they’ve taken Dylan’s dictum “don’t look back” to heart; writing and recording forty new songs.
2015 sees a Maura solo CD, a Pete solo CD, and the release of West, an instant classic Kennedys duo set that seamlessly weaves their influences over the last two decades; Buddy Holly style roots, the tuneful cadences of the Everly Brothers, and the ringing 12-string jangle of the early Byrds, interspersed with darker moments that recall British folk rock a la Fairport Convention.
Ultimately, Pete and Maura knit these disparate threads into a coat of many colors that sounds like a “best of The Kennedys,” but is in reality an all-new collection of songs. The road west is central to the American mythos; it’s the search for musical roots and the fulfillment of a personal American dream that takes shape in songs. Two decades on, The Kennedys are hitting a songwriting high point, and from that point they follow the well-worn American path West.
John Kirk is from upstate NY, near Saratoga Springs. His lyric voice, good sense of humor and versatile instrumental skills, have earned him widespread recognition in folk and traditional music circles. On fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, keyboard and ukulele, John demonstrates a vast knowledge of musical traditions. He is also a dance caller, dancer and composer. John has several recordings, and he has contributed to over one hundred more. In addition to performing, John teaches music at Bennington College, VT, and at Skidmore College, NY. He has always made his living as a musician and songwriter. In addition to his work with his wife, Trish Miller and neighbor, Ed Lowman, he’s part of the band, Mountain Quickstep, the Susquehanna Stringband, and the Dawnland Singers. The Dixie Chicks recorded John’s song, “Long Roads,” and he has numerous theater, television and soundtrack credits.
“Joel Mabus is a free-ranging fretboard genius and funny, deep songwriter whose warm voice, sly humor, and musicianship sweep audiences along for the ride.“
Cornell Folk Song Society 2014
An award-winning songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist, Joel has played the seminal folk clubs from Cambridge to Berkeley, and the big folk festivals from Philly to Kerrville to Vancouver. He has taught songwriting, guitar and more at music camps on both coasts and his native Midwest. Joel was featured on A Prairie Home Companion’s broadcast from Detroit’s Fox Theater not long ago, where Garrison Keillor bragged onstage that one of Mabus’s songs got the longest applause of any in the history of the show.
His latest album, last year’s A Bird In This World, is a collection of original songs with a root-based blues bent, and has been getting rave reviews from folk and roots deejays around the country. In his 24-album career, each of Joel’s CDs is a unique project, reflecting his varied interests and talents.
Joel has taught songwriting and other classes many times in the past at SAMW, and has also taught songwriting at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, Summersongs at Ashokan, Folk College in Pennsylvania, Lamb’s Retreat For Songwriters in Michigan, and Augusta Heritage in Elkins, West Virginia.
Craig Harris of Allmusic.com writes, “Joel Mabus is one of contemporary folk music's most eclectic performers.”
Trish Miller plays guitar, banjo, dances and sings in the band, Quickstep. She teaches banjo at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and with her husband, John Kirk, she has been a touring artist, performing throughout North America and internationally. Trish teaches, calls and choreographs country dances. She has an encouraging repertoire of circle, square, contra and couple dances. Her stepping style is rooted in the southern mountains with a mix of traditional clogging and more modern percussive steps. Performance highlights include SAMW in New Hampshire, Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks, the Flurry Festival in Saratoga, Old Songs Festival near Albany, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and several more. She and John have focused their careers on music and dance in educational settings.
Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters.
Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who's who of contemporary folk music. Sloan's incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs.
"She's folk-influenced, obviously (you can't grow up in the First Family of Folk and not be, one imagines), but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense."
Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles -- pop, folk, jazz and blues -- held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a unique and soulful hybrid.
With a solid and impressive discography of 8 original CD releases to her credit, Sloan continues to write, sing and perform live.