UnCommon CoffeeHouse

The UnCommon Coffeehouse 2010 - 2011 Calendar

October 1, 2010

Ellis Paul

**This show is for all ages**

Ellis Paul Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices of the American singer- songwriter world. He was a principle leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, which helped revitalize the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk/pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990's. For years, he has been among the singer songwriter circuit's most popular and dependable headliners with fiercely loyal fans all over the globe.

Ellis' charismatic, personally authentic performance style, have influenced a generation of artists drawing from the appeal of pop blending with the authenticity of folk. Ellis is one of the most pop-friendly of today's singer-songwriters. He has bridged the gulf between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger more successfully than perhaps any of his songwriting peers.

Paul has won 14 Boston Music Awards, published a book, played thousands of shows and released 16 albums. His latest is titled The Day After Everything Changed.

“At the head of the traditional folk revival coming out of Boston is Ellis Paul, whose charismatic performances, approachable style and beautifully rendered story-songs have helped him find respect and acclaim on an international scale."
— World Cafe Interview on WXPN with David Dye

“Every artist has his or her moment in the sun. If you are lucky, you have several of these moments in your career and you feel confident that you have left something of worth behind. For Ellis Paul this is the time, and this is the moment. His life's work has been the building of a legacy, a catalog of finely tuned story songs that collectively tell the story of our generation. In The Day After Everything Changed he has done the one thing all artists yearn to accomplish. He has told our universal story, and has revealed our universal truths. And he has done so in a masterwork filled with the best music and lyrics of his career. Ellis Paul gives us hope, gives us a reason to dream and to love. His music is the soundtrack of our lives.”
— Roberta B. Schwartz, FAME

website: www.ellispaul.com

Adam EzraOpening for Ellis Paul will be Adam Ezra

"Adam Ezra writes with the heart of a troubadour and sings like a rock star. He is truely a fresh voice in singer/songwriter scene."
— Catie Curtis

"If Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, and Jack Johnson had a baby, this would be it. Lyrics are unique. A melding of sounds, all enjoyable. This must be heard!"
— ACE Music Conference

"Adam Ezra has the uncanny ability to attract and hold the attention of concertgoers of all ages. As a songwriter, his words connect with his audience on many levels. As a performer, Adam gives all of his energy, attention, and emotion to every show. It's difficult not to get caught up in what he's doing onstage, a fact proven by his quickly growing audience.
— Scott Hayward, Tupelo Music Hall

web site: www.adamezra.com

Time: 8:00 pm

Tickets:   $20 in advance
                $22 at the door
                $15 seniors and students

Novemeber 19, 2010

James KeelaghanJames Keelaghan

James 11th CD, House of cards was released on October 12 2009 by Borealis records. 10 new originals, some of them co-writes with such folk luminaries as David Francey, Karine Polwart and Rose Cousins make it one of his best yet.

Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, curiosity intent and intensity.

His masterful story telling has, over the course of nine recordings, been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan nominations and awards - including a Juno (Canada's Grammy) - and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia. Possessed of an insatiable appetite for finding the next unique story line, Keelaghan forges his pieces with brilliant craftsmanship and monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices on both the Canadian and international singer-songwriter scenes. His journey has attracted fans of literate and layered songwriting to join him on his artistic expeditions, some of which weave their way through marvelously etched historical stories with underlying universal themes, others of which mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations. His songbook has enlightened, enthralled, and been embraced, by audiences around the world.

"James Keelaghan, renowned as a songwriter, turns his supple high baritone to nine traditional, or traditional sounding, songs on this new recording, plus one powerful original coauthored with Jez Lowe. Arguably, Keelaghan sings with one of the most glorious male voices in the folk community. It is not only a treat to the ear, but it's a voice that fully illuminates the songs it transmits. Furthermore, this recording focuses on Keelaghan's voice and guitar, with tasteful and subtle production on each track from a variety of talented musicians on a number of instruments, including vocal harmony from Stephen Fearing on Paul Metsers's "Farewell To The Gold." That's a hauntingly beautiful song often mistaken for a traditional piece and is about the playing out of the gold rush in New Zealand. Keelaghan displays sublime taste in material, even if two selections have to do with horse racing. "Jackson And Jane" purportedly tells the true story of a race and "Galway Races" paints a picture of race day excitement and the song could have used a bit more pep. "Harvest Train" relates the struggles of early farmers in Western Canada. The traditional "Bonnie Light Horseman," an often-recorded song about loss in war, specifically the Napoleonic wars, receives a particularly moving interpretation. Keelaghan paints a lovely watercolor of Ewan MacColl's romantic "Sweet Thames Flow Softly." I've heard several versions of the traditional "The Boston Burglar," but none as effective in telling the story and involving the listener with the protagonist as this version by Keelaghan. He concludes the CD with a frank and perceptive view of the Irish temperament that he wrote with Lowe, "My Blood." Lowe's mandola playing and vocal definitely adds to this bittersweet, sometimes humorous piece. (Lowe is not credited, but I assume it's him, although he sounds more Irish than on his own recordings.) This is the kind of recording that keeps traditional music vital and alive for coming generations, while it remains a pleasure to contemporary ears."
— Sing Out

"Canada’s finest singer songwriter.”
— Dave Marsh / Playboy
Lev Friedman
web site: www.keelaghan.com

Opening for James Keelaghan will be Lev Friedman

In the late 1970s, Lev taught guitar and songwriting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with his band, played his original music at various venues including the Back Room at the Idler, the Springfield Street Saloon, and Club Passim. Raising a family and running a successful business took him out of the music scene, but he never stopped writing and continued to perform occasionally in small coffeehouses, synagogue and church venues. After a hiatus of 25 years, he is back on the scene. He brings years of performance experience to the stage and always lights up a room. Lev often performs with members of his family including two of his daughters, Ariel and Mia, rising stars in the Boston folk scene. Breathing Still is his first CD. A second CD due out sometime in 2011 is in the works.

web site: www.levfriedmanmusic.com

Time: 8:00 pm

Tickets:  $15 in advance
                $17 at the door
                $12 seniors and students

January 21, 2011

Catie CurtisCatie 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

Edie CareyOpening for Catie Curtis will be Edie Carey

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Edie Carey is known for her unmistakable soulful voice, her intelligent, heart-grabbing songs, but perhaps most especially for her warm, engaging presence on - and off - stage. As much a part of her show as the music itself, Edie's wry and often self-mocking humor makes audiences feel as though they have just spent an evening with a very close friend.

"With her latest album, 'Another Kind of Fire,' Edie Carey has created another completely listenable, imminently catchy album.  Released in September, this is the perfect album for autumn: reflective, a bit overcast (but not so much as to be  depressing), and, like the gorgeous dying leaves, completely enjoyable... Carey is a wonderful blend of musical styles and lyric as well as harmonic proficiency, and 'Another Kind of Fire' is no exception...As always, Carey’s lyrics shine through, though never so much as to overshadow the often-gorgeous melodies and instrumentation underneath.  The album is impressively polished, though never over-produced, with solid instrumentation supporting her beautiful voice throughout the work."
— Glide Magazine

web site: www.ediecarey.com

: 8:00 pm

:  $20 in advance
                $22 at the door
                $15 seniors and students

Saturday, February 19, 2011
- Please Note This Concert is on a Saturday -

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
                $4 for children under 14

March 11, 2011

Sweetback SistersSweetback Sisters

The rollicking country swing of the Sweetback Sisters is as infectious as it is heartbreaking. Their charismatic charm harkens back to the golden era of both the silver screen cowgirl and the ersatz cowboy stars of local UHF TV kiddie shows. That whimsical exterior is wrapped around a core of deeply felt love for traditional country music styles and a palpable joy in playing and singing together. Like their pseudo-sister role models, the Davis Sisters, the Sweetback Sisters sing country songs in close, surrogate-sister harmony and matching dresses. Their repertoire combines several of the Sisters' passions -- country music from before they were born and new interpretations of those traditions -- to create a fresh take on what it means to be country.

The Sweetback line-up features the sugar sweet vocal pairing of Zara Bode and Emily Miller joined by an all-star cast of instrumentalists including: West Virginian triple threat Jesse Milnes; Stefan Amidon on drums; Philly's stringed slayer Ross Bellenoit on electric guitar, and Peter Bitenc on upright bass.

Their debut EP Bang! was released in early 2007 and earned them a spot on A Prairie Home Companion's talent contest for twenty-somethings. Their first full-length album Chicken Ain't Chicken was released in 2009 on Signature Sounds Recordings and still creating a stir.

"Trust us... these guys are brilliant!"
— NBC.com

"... infectious tracks that feel instantly familiar. ... Those who enjoyed the vintage stylings of Gillian Welch, Eilen Jewell et al, will find the Sweetback Sisters a natural, if more upbeat and irreverent, match to these artists."
— Fish Records

"... they all appear to be musical geniuses. Their brand new debut album, Chicken Ain't Chicken, is brilliantly fun and straddles eras as well as any piece of modern Americana can. The Sweetback Sisters mines songs from long ago eras of country music but escapes ending up as a dusty, nostalgic throwback by applying real energy and modern creativity to the vintage material. The perfect blend of temporal perspectives make the record a complete delight. Highly recommended. "
— Napster.com

web site: www.thesweetbacksisters.com

Opening for the Sweatback Sisters will be Caroline Doctorow

:8:00 pm

:   $15 in advance
                $17 at the door
                $12 seniors and students

April 8, 2011

Archie Fisher and Garnet RogersArchie Fisher

Archie Fisher is Scotland’s foremost troubadour and is known throughout the country as the host of BBC Radio Scotland’s award-winning “Travelling Folk” show, which he has been presenting for over 25 years. Recognized for his contributions to Scottish folk music, he was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame and in 2006 was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire), a prestigious honor nominated by his peers and bestowed by Queen Elizabeth. Archie was born in Glasgow into a large singing family, which yielded three professional singers—Archie and his sisters Ray and Cilla Fisher. Constant music combined with his father’s appreciation of many musical styles (opera, vaudeville, traditional ballads) proved to be a heavy influence on Archie’s music while his mother, a native Gaelic speaker from the Outer Hebrides, was a strong influence on the lyrical quality of his songwriting. Archie first became interested in folk music through the Skiffle era of the late 1950’s under the influences of performers such as Lonnie Donegan and Johnny Duncan. Later, the recording of the Weavers at Carnegie Hall also had a profound effect on his approach to music and his political outlook. During the TV folk boom of the 1960’s and 70’s he appeared regularly with his younger sister Ray in magazine programs and the BBC Hootenanny series.

Archie began a partnership with Canadian songwriter Garnet Rogers. They toured throughout North America together, and Garnet produced several of his albums including his highly acclaimed album Sunsets I’ve Galloped Into, which was released on Red House Records in 1995.

Garnet RogersGarnet 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

"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."
— Sing Out

Archie Fisher myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/archiefisher

Garnet Rogers web site: www.garnetrogers.com

: 8:00 pm

:   $20 in advance
                $22 at the door
                $15 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!