New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) Showcase
Presented by notloB Music at Unity Somerville
March 23, 2012
Although the New England Folk Festival has been around since 1944 and in April will present its 68th annual edition in Mansfield, “NEFFA” (the “a” stands for “association”) is not, to the general populace, necessarily a household word. To increase public awareness, and to entice new patrons to the festival, the non-profit educational and cultural organization, whose mission is “to encourage, sponsor, and preserve high standards of performance of the folk arts and traditions in New England and elsewhere” will present in Somerville a pre-festival “showcase” concert featuring a representative sample of four distinct music genres that are typically found at the festival.
Featured artists Lynn Noel, Corvus, Wear My Letter and Marylou Ferrante
Friday, March 23 – 8:00pm
$15 general public, $10 NEFFA members (Become a NEFFA member now online or at the concert)
Biography: Corvus is a trio of Boston-area musicians who play traditional Irish tunes and songs on a somewhat unlikely but quite pleasing combination of instruments. Emily Peterson (concertina, flute) has been a self-taught concertina player since 1996, learning Irish tunes in sessions while moving around the US for school and her day job in optical physics. Steve Levy (tenor banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, lead vocals) fell in love with Irish music during the 1970s and went on to study with eminent Boston-area musicians such as Peter Maguire, John McGann, Matt Heaton, and the late Tony Cuffe. Sean Smith (guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, lead vocals) began playing traditional Irish, Scottish and English music as a teenager, and since then has appeared, solo or in various collaborations, at various coffeehouses, festivals and other venues around Massachusetts and New England.
Genre: Solo voice/group sing
Biography: Noel celebrates a sense of place in song and story through bluewater and whitewater music. She captures the spirit and joie de vivre of the voyageurs, the raw energy of working chanteys from the days of sail, the exploits of adventurous women from Vikings and pirates to industrial mill girls, and the magic of the seasonal round in ritual dance and drama.
Genre: Pre-war blues
Biography: Ferrante was described by music critic and writer, Daniel Gewertz, in the Boston Herald, as the Bay State's finest female acoustic blues interpreter. Performing pre-war blues from the 1920's & 30's, she covers major artists from the delta to east coast Piedmont style players such as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Blind Boy Fuller and Memphis Minnie along with mandolin players such as Yank Rachell. Her passionate expression of these old songs comes from a love of the music and the arrangements themselves, as well as what she says is an appreciation for "the history of these folks and the difficult circumstances they endured." Marylou has honed her craft listening to the old recordings and learning from some of the great blues players today such as Paul Rishell, Guy Davis, Robert Jones and mandolin great Rich Del Grosso. Marylou has taught at The Cellar Studio, Salem MA.
"Marylou is a killer. I have watched her grow, and now she's taking over. Blues lovers look out!" ~GUY DAVIS
"Marylou has the soul of a blues woman." ~Detroit's Blues Man ROBERT JONES
WEAR MY LETTER
Biography: Wear My Letter is comprised of musicians Justin Nawn and Bronwyn Bird. Natives of Doylestown PA, they are now Boston based, adding their unique sound to the city's diverse music scene. As multi-instrumentalists they hit the stage with an arsenal of instruments, including the nyckleharpa (swedish keyed-fiddle), mandolin, accordion and guitar. Justin's background in Rock/Pop music is combined with Bronwyn's love of early Jazz and traditional folk from Scandinavia and Appalachia, creating a fresh and original style that all audiences can enjoy!