Maybe it is partly because I cannot play guitar – I like to say that it’s taken me many years to become semi-proficient at playing air guitar – but I just love listening to people who can really pick, play, and/or shred.

What seems almost as elusive to me as guitar skill? Seeing and taking a picture of an owl. Those creatures just fascinate me.

Putting the two notions together, I was very excited to learn that Brooks Williams released a new album in early September. The theme of the music is…the Barn Owl. Just after the COVID pandemic hit and canceled his planned retrospective tour, Brooks was recruited by nature filmmaker/photographer Simon Hurwitz to write music for a couple of his films on the Barn Owl. Brooks later recruited violin player Aaron Catlow for the project. The result is ten instrumental tunes for guitar and violin inspired by the Barn Owl (the album wraps with a new rendition of “Johnny’s Farewell,” which is on Williams’ 2008 album The Time I Spend With You). The title of the album dips just a little into the lore of this creature, Ghost Owl.

Ahh, more marvelous music to go strolling in the woods by!

SAMW instructors Cosy Sheridan and Sloan Wainwright were part of a recent edition of the weekly streaming concert series Music My Mother Would Not Like. They were joined in this episode by Boston singer/songwriter Susan Cattaneo. For more information on this series, visit

Some new local projects I hope to integrate into the SAMW Café this month include:

A new single from Worcester’s Rick McCarthy that features Kathleen Parks of Twisted Pine on vocals & fiddle and Grain Thief bass man Michael Harmon on drums and bass.

Thomas Robertson and his project of revolving musicians called The Remittance Men. I am leaning towards a single that features Eilen Jewell. The forthcoming album, Scoundrels, Dreamers, & Second Sons, offers some compelling stories in song, replete with some amazing musicians from the Boston area music scene. Late October is a target for its release.

Jimmy Ryan & Wooden Leg have a new single.

And somewhere in there I’ll have to feature some of that new Brooks Williams album. Even though he lives in Old England, not New England (I’m checking out the album as I write, and loving it).

~ Perry