UnCommon CoffeeHouse

The UnCommon Coffeehouse 2008 - 2009 Calendar

October 24, 2008

Michael Troy

Michael Troy was born and raised in the rough-and-tumble mill town of Fall River, Mass. In many ways, his life reflects the lives of the hard-working common folk who populate this part of New England. Having spent parts of his own life as a mill worker, fisherman, laborer and carpenter, and most of his adult years as a husband and father, Michael has traveled many paths, and the experience and wisdom he's gleaned along the way echoes through his music.

A magical storyteller with a gift for melody, a deep rich voice, excellent finger-pickin' skills and the ability to compose outstanding stanzas of substance, Michael's plaintive ballads speak of the hills and mills of Fall River and of childhood dreams not quite forgotten in the adult quest to make an honest living. But Michael is honest when he says he's playing for himself, for the sheer joy of creating music to call his own. "I have no plan," he says. "I'm not trying to write in any style or sound like someone else. I write from gut feeling. I let the emotion drive the music, not the music drive the emotions.'

Michael has become afavorite on the region's widely scattered folk radio stations. Bill Morrissey once sought out Troy at a concert to announce his devotion as a fan. Michael Troy has opened for such folk luminaries as Bill Staines and Vance Gilbert.

"Michael inhabits his songs, not in an analytical sense, but rather as a form of universal connection and communion with the human spirit."
- Southcoast Tribune

"Michael Troy's songs tell the stories of people we recognize instantly. Mined from wisdom and experience hard-won, his language and poetry reveal true meaning sifted from raw fact, and, like our best songwriters, he leads us to revelations about ourselves. This is a songwriter who bears repeated listening."
- Geoff BartleyBen Styer

web site: www.folkmichaeltroy.com

Opening for Michael Troy will be Framingham native, Ben Styer. Ben is a Framingham High School senior. Over the past year he has been building a regular following playing at Firefly's and Amazing Things' open mike nights. Ben Styer performs in the genuine folk tradition of Bob Dylan, with harmonica and all. He plays covers of songs influenced by the likes of Dylan, Leadbelly, and Kurt Cobain. The UnCommon CoffeeHouse is proud to be able to introduce Ben Styer to the metrowest coffeehouse circuit.

click to view Ben's mySpace profile

Time: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $10 in advance
                $12 at the door
                $8 seniors and students

January 30, 2009

Catie Curtis

Curtis' style is rootsy and folky but with the rhythmic undercurrent of pop/rock music. Curtis is known for her compelling melodies, relaxed grooves, and subject matter ranging from philosophical to political, romantic to maternal (Curtis and her partner adopted two children who are now 3 and 5 years old.) She performed on the Lilith Fair Tour, and tours now full-time in the US and Europe to a fanbase that has been built over years of returning to the folk clubs and theaters that are the foundation of the acoustic music scene.

Her songs have appeared on TV shows from Grey's Anatomy to Alias, and in many films including the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie "Our Lips Are Sealed."

"With a clear, deceptively gentle voice, she can turn on a dime and thrill the listener with unforeseen power and emotion. Intricate acoustic picking sometimes slants its way into jazz territory, recalling Joan Armatrading, and her staunchly feminist messages further the comparison. But Curtis is very much an original, and a refreshing departure from the stale formula offered by many of today's singer- songwriters."
- Rolling Stone

"Catie Curtis displayed a gift for making simple kindness seem edgy and chic, her gorgeous falsetto leaps embellishing the simplicity of her vocals."
- Boston Globe

"Curtis's songs are beautifully and deceptively well crafted, her production tastefully understated, and her singing so heartbreakingly pure, pained, and devoid of artifice as to suggest she knows not only your secrets, but your soul."
- Alanna Nash, Amazon.com

web site: www.catiecurtis.com

: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $20 in advance
                $23 at the door
                $17 seniors and students

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shpilkes Klezmer Band

The Shpilkes Klezmer Band is formed of players from the western suburbs of Boston. Starting in 2000 as the congregational klezmer band at Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA, the band has become a mainstay of the Purim celebrations and congregational events at various synagogues. Starting in 2009, Shpilkes is available for events around the Boston area.

The name "Shpilkes" (שפּילקעס) is a Yiddish word for "nervous energy". The most commonly quoted etymology appears to be from the Polish szpilka, "pin". The word is also sufficiently like the Yiddish term "shpil", meaning play, that it can help to think of it as "playing instead of sitting still". That's where Shpilkes Klezmer Band is at, hyperactive, ready to play and certainly not to sit still.

Klezmer is the traditional folk music of a Yiddish speaking communities from Eastern Europe and America during the 19th and 20th centuries. The term Klezmer derives from the Hebrew "klei zemer" (musical instruments), and encompasses a broad repertoire ranging from the instrumental dances that would have been performed at traditional weddings, Yiddish folk songs, the bigger sound of 20th century Yiddish swing that inspired many performers and songs of the Big Band era, and the show tunes of the Yiddish theater. No one can listen to Klezmer without wanting to dance to its lively, living melodies and relating to the instrumental voices that sing of the human experience.

Click to view Shpilkes Klezmer Band's myspace page

: 8:00 pm

Tickets will be sold only at the door for this concert.

:   $7 at the door
                $20 maxium for families

March 6, 2009

Garnet Rogers

Garnet Rogers has established himself as 'One of the major talents of our time". Hailed by the Boston Globe as a "charismatic performer and singer", Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence - close to six and a half feet tall - with a voice to match. With his "smooth, dark baritone" (Washington Post) his incredible range, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere.

His music, like the man himself, is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs "give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart" (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday.

As memorable as his songs, his over-the-top humour and lightning-quick wit moves his audience from tears to laughter and back again.

"Among the most significant folk stars working today"
- Boston Globe

"A master musical storyteller, often dealing in songs of the heart Rogers digs an emotional well and invites the listener in for a long, refreshing drink."
- Dirty Linen

"Garnet Rogers may be the greatest male interpreter and vocalist
performing in the contemporary folk scene. A first rate writer ...
musical integrity and powerful performance."Chris Pahud
- Sing Out

web site: www.garnetrogers.com

Opening for Garnet will be Chris Pahud. Pahud sings what Stan Rogers liked to call, "meaty narrative folk songs." He sings songs of the sea, of love, and of life. His rich baritone voice, accompanied by tasteful and accomplished guitar, make for a satisfying mix for the ear. He has written some originals and covers songs by artists such as Bob Dylan, Fred Neil, Tom Russell, Lucinda Williams, Townes Van Zandt and Stan Rogers.

Click to view Chris' mySpace page

: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $15 in advance
                $18 at the door
                $13 seniors and students

April 17, 2009

Greg Greenway

Greg GreenwayBeneath the radar of the corporate music world there are gems to be found. Greg Greenway is a multi-faceted one. A rare combination of instrumental expertise, a soulful and moving singer, powerful poet, and sparkling entertainer, Greenway is one of those difficult-to-categorize performers who have found a home in the modern acoustic genre. Originally from Richmond, VA, he moved to Boston for its rich Folk Music tradition and has become one of its most unique and superlative emissaries. Put simply, he is one of the finest entertainers you'll ever see. Musically, he draws inspiration from all over the map -- gospel, rock, blues, jazz, and world music. But his center is in the singer / songwriter tradition that traces it roots all the way back to the social awareness of Woody Guthrie. His central appeal is that it all comes through the singular lens of Greenway's humanity and his easy affinity for the audience.

"Confessional one moment, rambunctiously disarming the next, few modern folk singers can own a coffeehouse stage as completely as Greenway ... The Cape Cod songwriter stands squarely between the wistful intimacy of folk-pop and the progressive balladry of Phil Ochs and Woody Guthrie. "
- The Boston Globe

"Greg Greenway is one of the few performers whose name alone makes me smile. He is a cheerleader and a preacher, a poet and a rabble rouser all rolled into one. His music is dynamic and uplifting, as well as thoughtful, deep and layered."
- Roberta B. Schwartz for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

Sarah Burrill
web site: www.greggreenway.com

Opening for Greg will be Sarah Burrill.
Sarah brings to her music and performance a depth and passion that is nothing short of contagious. Whether she is belting out a blues, caressing the melody of a delicate love song, encouraging social consciousness and change or singing about her pajamas, it is an experience that inspires courage, strength and hope. She does all of this while creating atmosphere of playfulness and spontaneity that is disarming and uniquely Sarah. It takes no time at all to understand she is here to have fun and brings her audience right along with her.

web site: www.sarahburrill.com

: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $15 in advance
                $18 at the door
                $13 seniors and students

May 1, 2009

Gideon Freudman

Gideon Freudmann, a cello innovator, has created his own style of music called CelloBop - a fusion of blues, jazz, folk and much more. Not only has Gideon performed at The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Prague Swing Jazz Festival and throughout the US, but his music is also frequently heard on NPR's All Things Considered. His creative workshops at schools, colleges and music camps, as well as his tunebook, New Music For Cello has inspired cello and violin students and teachers from coast to coast to perform his music by their own cello choirs and string ensembles. Gideon's original composed music has been commissioned for film, theatre and dance. His recent project has been performing live soundtracks for classic silent films. Gideon has 12 original CDs to his credit and has performed on dozens of albums by other musicians.

A classical musician by training, Freudmann earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cello Performance from the University of Connecticut. Since that time, Freudmann has distinguished himself as one of New England's finest solo cross-genre cellists, performing in literally hundreds of venues throughout the United States, including a featured performance at the New Directions Cello Festival in New York. His solo CDs featuring exclusively original songs and lyrics have received international distribution, extensive national and international airplay and glowing critical reviews.

"Taking a modern artist's approach to the four-stringed instrument, Gideon Freudmann has brought the cello to a new realm. His latest album is a dreamy, cinematic tour-de-force!"
- Boston Globe

"Freudmann sounds like nothing less than a cutting-edge, avant-garde musician, whose genre-bending exploits combine aspects of performance art, new-classical, psychedelia and comedy, a sort of cross between Kronos Quartet and Leo Kottke."
- Berkshire Eagle

"Gideon is sharp, witty, prolific, talented...a cross between Woody Allen, Frank Zappa, and a touch of Peter Schikele"
- Main Public Radio

web site: www.cellobop.com

Opening for Gideon will be Lindsey Mac. Lindsay Mac is a girl you’ll not likely forget. The obvious is that she is the girl who straps her cello to her body. Like a guitar, she strums and plucks it while singing. “A classical education gone horribly wrong” is usually the gist of the local headline. Yet what you’ll remember about this musician might not be the obvious. Beneath the headlines the single most valuable bow in Mac’s indie-music-making quiver is her songwriting. Her songs of love, bewilderment, protest and reverence are what move Lindsay’s fans to drive long distances, to pre-order CDs a year in advance and to spread the word to friends on opposite coasts and throughout the world.

web site: www.lindsaymac.com

: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $15 in advance
                $18 at the door
                $13 seniors and students

Click below to see all the amazing musicians who have performed at the UnCommon Coffeehouse:

2014 - 2015 Season

2013 - 2014 Season

2012 - 2013 Season

2011 - 2012 Season

2010 - 2011 Season

2009 - 2010 Season

2008 - 2009 Season

2007 - 2008 Season

Our past 28 years at the UnCommon Coffeehouse!