Meeting House Presents

concerts, music, fun, entertainment

Meeting House Presents 2021-22 Season

Concerts are the third Friday of the month at 7:30 pm. at the

Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Avenue  Hartford, CT 06105

Hello friends and music lovers. We are very excited that Abbie Gardner is coming to the Meeting House live and in person to kick off the new season of live music!

  • We continue to follow CDC guidance; right now, that guidance is for everyone to wear a mask indoors.
  • Please bring proof of vaccination.
  • Bring and wear your mask; if you forget, we have a supply and will give you one. The sanctuary is large enough to comfortably accommodate all who are likely to come. We can spread out, maintaining reasonable distance from each other.
  • Seating is every-other pew to facilitate separation.

Six-concerts are included in 2021-22 $100 Season Tickets

Sept. 17, 2021              Abbie Gardner

Oct. 15, 2021                Scott Cook

Nov. 19, 2021              Vance Gilbert

Dec. 17, 2021               Reggie Harris and Pat Wictor

Apr. 22, 2022               Mad Agnes (4th Friday)

May 20 , 2022              Seán Heely and Beth Patterson

 


Ticket prices for most shows:

  • $20 general admission
  • $14 for students with ID

Susan Werner concert Saturday, April 30, 2022 – $25 tickets

This special Saturday concert is not included with season tickets, but season ticket holders get a $5 discount.


Abbie Gardner – Friday, September 17, 2021    you-belong-to-me sung by Abbie Gardner

50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: https://abbiegardner.brownpapertickets.com

www.abbiegardner.com
@abbiegmusic instagram
www.facebook.com/abbiegardnermusic

Abbie Gardner is a fiery dobro player with an infectious smile. Whether performing solo or with Americana darlings Red Molly, her tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, are propelled by her impeccable slide guitar chops. Her solo live show is truly unique – as an award-winning songwriter, captivating vocalist, & world-class dobro player.

Solo performances feature truly unique use of the dobro as a solo instrument, bouncing between a solid rhythmic backbone and ripping lead lines all in support of her voice and songs.

No Depression says she displays “uncommon versatility” on her 2018 CD Wishes on a Neon Sign. The recording is a fully-produced collection of 12 original songs featuring one co-written with Chris Stapleton. After his first listen, WFUV’s John Platt raves, “she’s not only a first-rate Dobro player, but a songwriter to be reckoned with.”

With the help of patrons, Abbie has spent the last year making the record she’s always wanted to make. It’s intimate, real and raw – her dobro and voice recorded at home, without a band or any studio tricks to hide behind. The result is stunning – you can hear every breath, every chuckle, as if you are in the room with her. The opening track, Down the Mountain starts with a powerful bluesy stomp, but later begs, “send my prayers down the river in little paper boats, they’re too heavy for heaven so I hope they float.” The song See You Again encapsulates the loneliness and sense of restless waiting we’ve all been feeling in the line “even time holds her breath.” In the space since her previous record, Abbie’s vocals and dobro playing have both matured to share the spotlight equally. Though, in this case, the stage is a tiny recording studio and the spotlight a candle.


Scott Cook – October 15, 2021    50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

tickets: https://scottcook.bpt.me

Scott  Cook distills the stories collected over twelve years touring across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements.

Prairie balladeer Scott Cook is an Edmonton-based, world-traveling songwriter with heart forever on sleeve. 

His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track “Pass It Along” won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him “one of Canada’s most inspiring and imaginative storytellers”.

 In 2015 he put together a seven-piece honky-tonk band for his fifth studio album, Scott Cook and the Long Weekends Go Long.

In 2017 he released his sixth album Further Down the Line, earning his second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination, for English Songwriter of the Year. The album is packaged in a 132-page softcover book offering a look back, in words and pictures, on his last decade of near-incessant rambling.

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival has announced Scott Cook won the 2019 Emerging Artists Showcase and will perform as one of 2020’s Most Wanted Artists. Cook was one of 24 contestants and won “with an amazing 49% of voters in his corner,” according to Anne Saunders, the festival’s artistic director.

Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year since 2007. All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.


Vance Gilbert – November 19, 2021      50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: https://vancegilbert.bpt.me

Vance Gilbert’s website 

“If Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens had a love child, with Rodney Dangerfield as the midwife, the results might have been something close to the great Vance Gilbert.” As the above quote from Richmond magazine suggests, Vance Gilbert defies stereotypes. It’s little wonder then that he also exceeds expectations. In this case, those two qualities go hand in hand. “I’m black, I sing, I play an acoustic guitar, and I don’t play the blues,” Gilbert insists. That may be a broad statement, but it rings with truth.

His remarkable rapport with his audiences and his free spirited performances inspired one critic to hail him as “a folkie trapped in a vaudevillian body,” with “a voice that could have been on the opera stage, a wit that could have been on a comedy stage and a songwriting talent that’s thrust him on the folk stage for decades.”

Those descriptive phrases come to full fruition on Gilbert’s current album, the appropriately named Good, Good Man. Recorded with an A-list support cast that includes bluesman and singer/songwriter Chris Smither, Al Green’s organist Stacey Wade, Tommy Malone of the Subdudes on guitars, Mike Posner on backing vocals, and Celtic harpist and vocalist Aine Minough, it sums up the strengths that Gilbert’s always had at his command — that is, a gift for compelling melodies, insightful lyrics, a witty and whimsical point of view, and the ability to maintain an inherent humanity that translates to his connection with his audiences.

As always, the music is as varied as it is vibrant, from the philosophic musings of “Pie and Whiskey” and the rollicking R&B-flavored title track, to the swinging sound of “Zombie Pattycake,” the tender trappings of “Hitman” and the bare-bones remake of the 1972 hit “Wildflower,” a seminal song given Gilbert’s intimate and essential additives.

In short, it’s Gilbert at his very best, a set of songs that deserves to bring Gilbert the wider recognition that’s eluded him for far too long.

Over the course of his career, he’s carved out a singular niche with songs that have resonated with his fans and drawn in new listeners. His classic compositions — “Old White Men,” “Charlene” and “Unfamiliar Moon,” “Goodbye Pluto,” and “Waiting for Gilligan” — are emotive and profound, offering certain truths in ways that make a meaningful impact in the most enduring and evocative ways.

Indeed, Gilbert possesses a wide palette and perspective, from a co-write with Grammy Winner Lori McKenna, “House of Prayer,” to a song on a Grammy-nominated children’s record by the duo Trout Fishing in America. Likewise, after alt-rock star Mike Posner heard Gilbert perform on a podcast, he invited him to take part in co-writing sessions and subsequently to sing on his recent single, “Noah’s Ark.” Posner reciprocated with a haunting background vocal on “Flyby,” a song featured on Gilbert’s forthcoming album.

“How rounded is that?”, Gilbert may quip. Truth is, ultimately, it’s the impact that he has on his audiences that matters to him the most. “People take away from these songs what they decide they’re going to take away,” he reflects. “I would hope they walk away thinking. If that’s the case, then I’ve done my job successfully.”

 


Reggie Harris and Pat Wictor – December 17, 2021 

50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

Websites: https://reggieharrismusic.com/

https://www.patwictor.com/

Tickets: https://reggieharris.bpt.me

Reggie Harris has been dubbed an “Ambassador of Joy, Hope, and Freedom,” and his new album, On Solid Ground, captures all of those qualities.

The lead track, “It’s Who We Are,” introduced as a single for Black History Month, in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, sets the tone.  It’s a hard-charging call-to-action, featuring Pat Wictor on slide guitar. With civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis as his inspirations, Reggie dares to address the divisions we face. When people ask, “How did we get here,” he responds, “It’s who we are,” but it doesn’t have to be that way:

It’s in our hearts | It’s in our hands|
It’s in our minds | But we can change!

Reggie Harris is an innovative guitarist, a fearlessly creative vocalist, and an engaging storyteller whose concert performances are infused with joy. It’s clear to all that he deeply loves singing and that it is more than his work. But that’s not all.

Uniquely committed to “music as a community building vehicle,” Reggie’s music shares insightful perspectives on issues of  life, history, education and human rights. In the spirit of his mentors, Pete Seeger and Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, (founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Reggie is a master songleader who loves to help people discover that they can make a difference at any age, wherever they may live.

Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs.  Since then he has made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that honor – and subvert – rural blues and gospel traditions. For seven years he toured as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim, two #1 CDs on the Folk DJ charts, and a continent-spanning tour schedule.  Wictor’s newest recording is a duo album titled Counterpoise,  a collaboration with jazz vocalist Deborah Latz.   The two first sang together at a vocal improvisation workshop led by Bobby McFerrin.  His most recent solo release, This is Absolutely Real:  Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and was nominated for Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards.

An American by birth, Pat’s early years were spent in Venezuela, the Netherlands, Norway, England, and East Texas. His time abroad gave him an outsider’s wide perspective, and set him on a journey to understanding America – and his own American-ness – through music.  His early experiences made him accustomed to charting his own course and being ready for the unexpected.


Mad Agnes – April 22, 2022    50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

website: https://madagnes.com/

Mad Agnes is Margo Hennebach, Adrienne Jones and Mark Saunders. Each member arrived at the trio from a staggering list of solo accomplishments, including songwriting competitions, recordings, and the ability to sleep on any surface.

One Wild Dove video

Multi-instrumentalists all, Hennebach is classically trained in piano, Jones is self-taught on guitar and bass, and Saunders adds color with a vintage mandolin and subtle electronic processing on his guitar. The sound can be full as a concert hall or delicate as three voices singing a cappella.

Harmony-driven performance of contemporary singer-songwriter material influenced by classical, Celtic, folk/rock, PDQ Bach, and a touch of street theater. Their lyrics, vocal intricacies and instrument prowess are unforgettable.


Susan Werner – Saturday, April 30, 2022   50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for this show, or $20 for season ticket holders.

Celebrated performing songwriter Susan Werner has made a name for herself coast to coast. From her 1995 major label folk/rock debut “Last of the Good Straight Girls” to her2007 collection of agnostic gospel hymns “The Gospel Truth” to her 2017 travelogue “An American In Havana,” Werner writes ambitious concept albums with subject matter and sounds to match.

Werner spills out trademark jazzy vocal stylings, pleasant acoustic ballads, a few Bangles-esque rockers, and plenty of word-riffing. “Always an impressive songwriter, Werner continues to compose sharp, funny, compassionate lyrics, a gift rare enough to set her apart…” — The Washington Post


Seán Heely duo with bouzouki player Beth Patterson– May 20, 2022   

50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

website https://www.seanheely.com/

Magic and Myth: Music from the Old World and the New

Experience the magic music of Scotland and Ireland with Seán Heely and Beth Patterson. U.S National Scottish Fiddle champion Seán Heely and bouzouki player Beth Patterson perform fiery dance tunes and ancient, soaring melodies from Scotland and Ireland. Original compositions abound and they have rich vocal harmonies in their solid song repertoire that features ballads, sea shanties, and songs in Irish and Scottish folk tradition. Seán plays fiddle, mandocello, shruti box, and sings in English, Irish, and Scots Gaelic.

Multi-Genre violinist/fiddler Seán Heely is one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. He is a U.S National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award-winning Irish Fiddler and singer in the folk traditions of Scotland and Ireland. Seán holds a degree from University of South Carolina in Classical Violin Performance and was a 2019 Artist in Residence at Strathmore Music Center in Maryland.An educator in demand, Seán is an Adjunct Instructor at American University, he has also been on the faculty at several summer camps such as Acadia Traditional School of Music and ArtsUpper Potomac Fiddle Retreat, and Fiddle Hell Festival. He was selected to compete in the prestigious Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann All-Ireland Senior Fiddle competition in Aug 2017. He has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and at venues in the U.S such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Seán has performed with traditional music icons such as Liz Carroll, Bonnie Rideout, Natalie Haas, Cathy Jordan, Eamon O’Leary, Zan McLeod, and Paddy Keenan.

Along with his accolades in Traditional Music, Seán made his Classical solo debut with the Virginia Symphony in 2012 performing Mozart’s 5th Violin Concerto. A composer and arranger, Seán has won national awards including the 2016 Scottish Fiddling Revival’s Tune writing competition. Seán was a featured soloist with the Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk, VA in April 2017 and 2019. Recently, Sean was named the recipient of the first annual Claude Martin Memorial Life Membership Award from the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, an honor granted in recognition of his significant contributions to the local folk scene while still under age 30.


Waiting to reschedule

   Maine Fiddle Camp comes to Connecticut

For the first time, Maine Fiddle Camp is bringing a road show to Connecticut so we can enjoy the unique blend of traditional Maine music with a variety show twist. Music will be performed by some of the very talented professional musicians who spend part of their summer teaching at Maine Fiddle Camp, to raise money for their Scholarship Fund. After intermission we might even have a barn dance in Fellowship Hall.

Archive list of 2017-20 Meeting House Presents performers


We don’t take reservations, but advance tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Information about Brown Paper Tickets.

Contact information:

  • Buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door if the show is not sold out
  • Email us at MeetingHousePresents@gmail.com
  • Phone the Unitarian Meeting House at (860) 233-9897, Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00-3:00
  • Phone Laura and Paul Cipriano at (860)298-9984
  • Check this web page or subscribe to our email list for notification if shows are sold out or rescheduled

Our email includes concert announcements, updates, and info about folk music events in the area. Subscribe to Meeting House Presents Email  send a message to MeetingHousePresents@gmail.com. Put “subscribe” in the subject line. We send one or two emails each month. 50 Bloomfield Ave. at 7:30 p.m.

 



Special Post-Season Concert – Meeting House Presents the Maine Fiddle Camp Road Show

Rescheduling this concert at the Unitarian Society of Hartford when we are  able to gather for live concerts again.

Lunch JamMaine Fiddle Camp is about playing music and learning tunes, and being able to play and enjoy those tunes with other people whatever your level of experience or ability.

The emphasis at camp is on learning tunes the traditional way—by ear.

Maine Fiddle Camp is an outdoor Maine summer camp experience. Campers stay in basic rustic cabins without electricity or in their own tents. Youths stay in cabins but may stay in tents with their families if they wish. We have separate, centrally located, men’s and women’s bath houses with hot water showers, multiple wash basins and flush toilets as well as convenient “potra-potties” throughout camp. Eating is outdoors under a tent, and classes are mostly outdoors under canopies.

Summer days in Maine can be hot or cool, and nights might be hot but are more generally cool or sometimes even cold. Come prepared for anything. And yes – there are mosquitoes. But there are loons, too, and when we’re lucky they make their own beautiful music at night.

Good music and good food are elegantly combined at camp, with meals and snacks planned and prepared by our head chef, Tim Johnson, and a cadre of volunteers who take time out from music to help in the kitchen. Fiddle Camp is like that – many things happen because someone pitches in and helps out.

For the first time, Maine Fiddle Camp is bringing a road show to Connecticut so we can enjoy the unique blend of traditional Maine music with a variety show twist. Music will be performed by some of the very talented professional musicians who spend part of their summer teaching at Maine Fiddle Camp. After intermission we might even have a barn dance in Fellowship Hall.

Doug Protsik

Doug Protsik

Doug likes to play the “old-time piano” for dances, melodramas, honky tonk saloons, and silent movies. He learned his style from Otto Soper, Geneva Walton, and Danny Patt among many others. He plays with Old Grey Goose and produced all three of their recordings, including the group’s first recording in 1978 for Folkways, “Old Time Country Dance Tunes and Songs from Maine”, now available again on CD. Doug also plays piano, accordion, and fiddle. He is the Camp Director again this year.

 

Owen Marshall

Vogue magazine calls musician Owen Marshall “A guitar/mandolin/banjo player rivaled in character only by the occasional three-pronged carrot” (Vogue 2009). Owen has accompanied and collaborated with many of traditional music’s top performers including Aoife Clancy, Liz Carroll, Darol Anger, John Doyle, Andrea Beaton, Jerry Holland, Ari & Mia Friedman and his own traditional Irish trio “The Press Gang”. His music has appeared on NPR “the Thistle and Shamrock,” BBC television, and the back of his left elbow has appeared on MTV. In addition to being a respected performer, Owen is in demand at music camps throughout New England and the U.S., where he shares his approach to accompanying traditional music.

Neil Pearlman

Neil Pearlman is emerging as one of the traditional music scene’s most innovative young artists. Legendary Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland said that “watching Neil’s hands on the piano is like watching two spiders on crack!” His piano style is rooted in Cape Breton traditions while drawing on latin, jazz and funk influences. The result is a exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots. An accomplished Cape Breton step dancer and mandolinist as well, Neil grew up in the family band Highland Soles and has performed with many of the best musicians on the traditional music scene today, including Natalie MacMaster, Alasdair Fraser, Seamus Connolly, Kimberley Fraser, Abby Newton, Frank Ferrel, Maeve Gilchrist, Mike Vass, Ed Pearlman and Greg Boardman.
Visit Neil’s website at www.neilpearlman.com.

 


Meeting House Presents uses Brown Paper Tickets for advance ticketing services until noon the day of the show.

To purchase tickets to a Meeting House Presents concert, click on “buy tickets” to the event you want to attend. You will be taken to the Brown Paper Tickets website where you can complete your purchase.

When your ticket purchase is complete, you may print paper tickets on your own printer. You can also show the confirmation email received from Brown Paper Tickets on your mobile device at the door. Your ticket purchase will appear on your credit card statement as Brown Paper Tickets.

Ticket purchases are non-refundable. A small service charge in addition to the ticket price applies to every purchase. A portion of the service charge is used to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the United States. Tickets can also be purchased at the door with cash or check.

Contact information:

  • Buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door if the show is not sold out
  • Email us at MeetingHousePresents@gmail.com
  • Phone the Unitarian Meeting House at (860) 233-9897, Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00-3:00
  • Phone Laura and Paul Cipriano at (860)298-9984
  • Check this web page or subscribe to our email list for notification if shows are sold out or rescheduled

WWUH Folk Calendar Upcoming Folk Events in the WWUH Listening Area

Folknotes.orgis a comprehensive web site maintained by Brent Hall  featuring folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England.

Archive 2017-18  Meeting House Presents Shows

  • May 2017      Jack Williams
  • Oct. 27          Sam Moffett Quartet
  • Nov. 24         David Massengill
  • Jan. 19          Jacques Lamarre
  • Jan. 26          New World Trio
  • Feb. 23          Dennis McCorkle with Idalberto Perdomo, Edilio Bermudex, Desiree Negron-Carrero and Adèle Paxton.
  • March 23       JP Cormier
  • March 30       Susie Burke and David Surette
  • Apr. 27           An Evening with Mary Gauthier

Archive 2018-19  Meeting House Presents Shows

  • Sept. 14, 2018          Jill Friedman, Tang, Self-Suffice, David Giardina, and friends
  • Sept. 29, 2018         Peter Mayer
  • October 26, 2018   Charlie King
  • Nov. 30, 2018         Lula Wiles
  • Dec. 28, 2018          Sarah Harmon McKenzie and Ellen Iovino
  • Jan. 18, 2019           Hubby Jenkins (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops)
  • Feb. 22, 2019          Citizen U
  • March 22, 2019      Belle of the Fall
  • April 5, 2019           Mackie and Me
  • Saturday, May 4, 2019 Pete Seeger Birthday Party Sing-Along Gathering with Annie Patterson & Peter Blood, Sally Rogers, Magpie, and Charlie King

Archive 2019-20  Meeting House Presents Shows

  • Friday, Sept. 27, 2019      Moonfruits
  • Friday, Oct. 4, 2019         Mad Agnes
  • Friday, Nov. 1, 2019         Annie Sumi
  • Friday, Nov. 22, 2019        Louise Mosrie
  • Friday, Dec. 27, 2019        Hartford Hot Several Brass Band
  • Friday, Jan. 24, 2020         Reggie Harris
  • Friday, Feb 28, 2020          Belle of the Fall

Closed from April 2020 through May 2021 due to Covid-19 precautions.


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