Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic Blues singer, guitarist, historian and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange. He is a powerful musician, a fine singer, and a masterful storyteller.
As a traditional musician with expertise in both the Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo tradition, and Piedmont and Delta Blues, Ainslie has specialized in performing and presenting programs on the African roots of American music and culture in community and educational settings.
Scott Ainslie’s performances present a wonderful palette of sounds and stories to delight the ear, awaken the mind and satisfy the heart. Give him your attention. You won’t regret it.
Folk singer/songwriter Lui Collins has been performing, writing and recording for over 40 years, earning international acclaim for her music. Her music ranges from original and traditional folk songs to bossa nova in the original Brazilian Portuguese. She’s made 16 recordings of her own and has sung and played guitar or banjo on others’ projects as well. She’s shared the stage with such folk-world notables as Tom Rush, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Van Ronk, Stan Rogers, John Gorka, and Anais Mitchell, and has recorded with Johnny Cunningham, David Darling, and Rani Arbo, among others.
Lui has been hailed by the Boston Herald as a “folksinger for our times” and by the Boston Globe as “one of New England’s first and brightest stars.” She was voted third most popular performer at the Champlain Valley Festival in 1992, along with Pete Seeger and French Canadian band La Bottine Souriante. Renowned guitarist Dave van Ronk called her “one of the best guitarist-arrangers I have heard in years.” And Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers quipped, “Lui sings my songs better than I do.”
Besides her concerts, Collins is involved in teaching and early elementary music curriculum development. In 2003 she founded “Lui Collins’ Upside-Up Music” for families with young children.
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.
Bob Halperin is best known for his intricate acoustic blues and slide guitar work. He started playing guitar at the age of eight. Initially inspired by the dream of becoming the fifth Beatle, his aims changed after hearing “Alice’s Restaurant” and then being exposed to older country blues by a counselor at his summer camp, Roy Book Binder. Thus inspired, he took a couple of lessons from blues/gospel legend, the Reb. Gary Davis.
Over the years, Bob has played solo, as a support musician, and with various acoustic and electric blues, rock, folk and zydeco bands. He ran his own skiffle band, Homeless Bob and the Living Room Gypsies and toured as lead guitarist for six years with the Northeast zydeco, Li’l Anne and Hot Cayenne.
Aside from his own recordings, most notably 1997’s All Kinds Of Blues, Bob has recorded with various musicians, including Bob Holmes, Kim Wallach, Jerry Short, John Perrault, The Dady Brothers, Karl Conrad, and former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich.
The roots/Americana band that he is a member of, Wooden Eye, is currently recording its third CD and he is in the process of preparing a new solo CD for release.
Bob gives guitar lessons at Gary’s Guitars in his town of Portsmouth, NH and at The Music Emporium in Lexington, MA.
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. Lorraines 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".
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.
Bennett's classes focus on developing students' individual skill and style, helping you to play like yourself, only more so.
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.
Hailed by Nashville’s Music Row Magazine for his “lickety-split mandolin work” and by Vintage Guitar Magazine as “brilliant”, Portland, Maine-based Joe Walsh is emerging as one of the best mandolinists of his generation.
Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his collaborations with acoustic music luminaries including legendary fiddler Darol Anger, flatpick guitar hero Scott Nygaard, bluegrass super group the Gibson Brothers, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow have taken him all over the map, both musically and literally. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris, and performed everywhere from bluegrass festivals to laundromats to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Walsh has two solo albums to his credit, and teaches mandolin at the Berklee College of Music.