The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series ™

Location: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ, a smoke & alcohol free environment

Time: 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $10 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. Children 12 and under free. All tickets are at the door. There are no advance sales or reservations.

For More Information: Email email icon or call 973-335-9489.

NEW - watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Starting in May 2017, most concerts at the Minstrel will be webcast live on Concert Window. Click on the CW logo at right to sign in. Check out our Instruction Page if you have not yet signed up for this service.

Bill Staines
Sep 7, 2012

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Friday, May 25: Closed for Spring Getaway

Note: Full weekend passes to the Getaway are sold out. However, there may be single day passes available contact our Getaway Chairmanfor further information.

A full weekend of concerts, workshops, jamming, and dancing at a YMCA camp in the Hackettstown, NJ area. All events, plus food and lodging for under $200. Visit our Getaway page for full list of performers and details.

Friday, June 1: Toby Walker with Quentin Callewaert

Toby Walker

I Know You RiderThe Blues Revue summed it up neatly. Toby Walker is "...a brilliant remarkable guitarist. A pinch of Piedmont, a dash of Delta, a solid Chicago undercurrent minus the amplification, but not the electricity." At home with both wooden and steel guitars, Toby plays the classics as well as his own songs with an open style and a dash of humor. And as an extra point of pride for us, this internationally celebrated master of the acoustic guitar is a Morris county resident and a Folk Project member.

Quentin Callewaert

17 year old Quentin Callewaert is a singer-guitarist, infused with the love of the folk music of his parents' generation. Inspired by such pioneers as Doc Watson, Merle Travis and Tommy Emmanuel, he displays precocious ability to convincingly play and sing the fingerstyle guitar classics of those pioneers.

Friday, June 8: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

Open Stage

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Saturday, June 16: A special SATURDAY edition of the Minstrel
The Frank Vignola Trio with Windborne

The Frank Vignola Trio

Tico TicoFrank Vignola was scheduled to perform for us last spring, but had to cancel after a near fatal vehicle accident. Now, fully recovered, he has chosen the Minstrel for his debut New Jersey appearance since his injury. He will be performing with Vinny Raniolo on guitar and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, the same configuration in which he appeared in his first Minstrel performance 10 years ago.

Frank is well recognized among the world's greatest gypsy jazz guitarists. His playing is brilliant, innovative, tasty, and unbelievable in its virtuosity. He draws his influence from the likes of Django Reinhardt and Bucky Pizzarelli, to such non-jazz icons as Frank Zappa, Les Paul, and Eddie Van Halen. He's played with such luminaries as David Grisman Donald Fagan, Madonna, and Ringo Starr in the most prestigious concert halls throughout the world. And tonight he comes to the Minstrel. Don't miss him.

Windborne

I Can HewConjuring up echoes of the Canadian group "Finest Kind", Windborne is a harmony-driven quartet of 20-somethings who revel in the vocal traditions of the British Isles and early American folk song. To this they add vocal harmony traditions around the world from the Balkans to South Africa. They sing either acapella, or with spare accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, and percussion.

Friday, June 22: A Folk Project Member Concert
Summer Songs

Summer Songs

Summer Songs 2018 presents “Summer Of Love Edition” - A celebration of songs from the 60’s. It’s a concert and dance party featuring all Folk Project member musicians. Don't forget to wear your torn bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye, love beads, and be sure to put some flowers in your hair. Awards will be given for most creative costumes, best performances, and hottest dance moves. Joining the Folk Project is so easy and we'd love to have you. Just click here for information. Peace!

Friday, June 29: Jacob Johnson with Chris Bukata & Friends

Jacob Johnson

Chim Chim ChereeNote: Audience members who saw Jacob Johnson's opening act for Julie Gold last summer voted overwhelmingly to bring him back for a headliner tonight.

Hailing from upstate South Carolina, Jacob Johnson is a one-of-a-kind solo acoustic performance artist. He specializes in a style of guitar playing he calls "Neo-acoustic folk/funk", characterized by virtuosic chops played at blinding speed enhanced by electronic looping. His off-the-cuff sense of humor and tongue-in-cheek sensibility provide an endearing counterbalance to his technical brilliance, leaving the listener to wonder if he isn't just making it all up as he goes. And sometimes he is.

Chris Bukata is well known amongst Folk Project musicians as the go-to guy when they're looking for a hot guitarist for lead work. So tonight, we'll be featuring Chris with a bunch of his musician buddies who like nothing better than to say, "Take it, Chris!", and letting him do his stuff.

Friday, July 6: Kirsten Maxwell with Hayden Greyson

Kirsten Maxwell

PrismKirsten Maxwell's voice has been compared to Baccarat crystal, her lyrics are rich with poetry and passion, and her guitar playing is a perfectly delicate accompaniment to her craft. To top it all off, this singer/songwriter is as endearing off stage as she is in the spotlight. This up and coming artist is well recognized as one of tomorrow's luminaries of the the Folk World. You can say you saw her when she played the Minstrel.

Psalm for AmericaHayden Greyson is a young singer songwriter, newly introduced to our midst through our revised OpenStage program. He plays piano, and sings in beautiful tenor, occasionally slipping into a soaring falsetto. His songs are thoughtful and poetic, and he will occasionally slip in his distinct arrangement of a familiar cover song.

Friday, July 13: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, July 20: Christine Lavin with Hugh O'Doherty   This is Christine Lavin's return after her cancelled January date due to the flu.

Christine Lavin

College Fight Song for SesquipedaliansChristine Lavin is the Folk World's long-reigning Queen of the Intelligently Absurd. The title of one of her earlier albums, "I Don't Make This Stuff Up, I Just Make It Rhyme"says it all. She has an eye for the ironic and the absurd in the news and everyday life, and puts it into song. And dresses it all up in skillful guitar work, electronic loops, and wonderful gimmicks like baton twirling. She's irrepressible, and ya gotta love her.

Hugh O'Doherty

Two Sides to Every StorySongwriter Hugh O'Doherty takes the audience on a journey from romance to satire, and from riveting emotional issues to downright silliness. Hugh lives in and sings about the real world, and puts the frameworks of human connections into perspective with songs of: love, humor, childhood, friendship, marriage, parenthood, blended families, justice, environmental issues, and other contemporary topics.

Friday, July 27: The Minstrel's 43rd Birthday Show

On July 25, 1975 the little coffeehouse that was to become the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series held its first show. The Folk Project celebrates that anniversary with a performance by 40 some Member musicians combined in randomly selected duos and trios. Always a surprise. Always fun. And always a celebration.

Friday, August 3: Cliff Eberhardt with Louise Mosrie

Cliff Eberhardt

I Want to Take You HomeCliff Eberhardt is a powerhouse of a singer-songwriter in all aspects of his craft. His voice is a high-liner freight train demanding and deserving your undivided attention. The songs that train carries are fraught with emotion and brilliant in their poetry. And his guitar work complements the package perfectly.

Louise Mosrie

Land of the LivingIt's no surprise that Louise Mosrie was voted "Most Wanted" at the 2011 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist showcase. This Nashville singer-songwriter backs up some prodigious writing skills with a great voice, emotional delivery, and an engaging stage presence.

Cliff and Louise have been collaborating, both musically and personally for some time now, so it's likely that they will be joining each other onstage for some songs.

Friday, August 10: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, August 17: George Wurzbach with Circle Round the Sun

George Wurzbach

HannibalGeorge Wurzbach was an "Audience Choice" for a headline act, based upon his bravura performance opening for Bob Malone in December. After his selection as a Kerrville New Folk Award winner in 1995, he started the much beloved folk ‘comedy’ trio Modern Man with David Buskin and Rob Carlson earning several music industry awards. Performing Songwriter Magazine has described George as, “A welcome mix of wit, wisdom, and wonder”. The unique appeal of his songs is reflected in the number of artist songwriters who have recorded them including, Tom Paxton, The Kingston Trio, David Wilcox, and many others. His recent work with Paxton was featured on the Grammy Nominated Album, Comedians and Angels.

Circle Round the Sun

Circle Round the Sun is Folk Project members Marie Trontell and Jay Wilensky. Joined by Chris Bukata and Joe Brice on guitar and George LaVecchia on bass, CRS will bring its rich vocal harmonies to a mix of original songs and and the best work from today's crop of acoustic singer-songwriters.

Friday, August 24: Closed for Uke Fest

Details to follow.

Friday, August 31: No Fuss and Feathers with Opening Act T.B.D.

No Fuss and Feathers

How Much TimeNo Fuss and Feathers Roadshow is the “heck-of-a-good-time” collaboration hatched by award winning songwriters Carolann Solebello, Karyn Oliver, and The YaYas It’s like getting three bands for the price of one when these friends share the stage: a dynamic, cohesive cocktail of delicious harmonies, infectious rhythm, and spontaneous hilarity. Individually, the four are nationally touring performers that have appeared on stage at some of the most respected festivals and venues. Collectively, they are an incorrigible bunch of musical co-conspirators bent on giving their audience an unforgettable show.

Friday, September 7: Betsy Rose and the Chicago Fire with Rhonda Schuster

Betsy Rose and the Chicago Fire

Betsy Rose, better known to fellow Folk Project members as Elizabeth Lachowicz, is the Folk Project's resident Blues maven. Her clear voice and saucy style are rooted in the sights and sounds of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods and rowdiest music bars. Betsy's brand of the blues is filled with life lessons, raw emotions, heartfelt sorrows and playful innuendoes. Her backup band, The Chicago Fire, is packed with some of the Project's finest musicians.

Rhonda Schuster

I Feel For You(Note: This is Rhonda Schuster's rescheduled date after her show in March was cancelled due to a Nor'easter.)

Rhonda Schuster is a new Folk Project member musician, whom we discovered at our November Open Stage. She sings mostly her own songs with a blues influence and a powerful voice.

Friday, September 14: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, September 21: Bill Staines with The Asthmatics

Bill Staines

RiverFor just about as long as anyone currently involved in folk music can remember, Bill Staines is the archetypical contemporary folk singer. People have been singing his songs on stage, in recording studios, and around campfires for over 30 years. He is responsible for such classics as "Roseville Fair", "All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir", and "River", all with choruses that beg to be sung with. Come and see a true living legend.

The Asthmatics is a newly formed trio of Folk Project member musicians Todd Dennison, Carrie Cantor, & Mitch Radler. The group is blessed with three outstanding voices and two highly accomplished guitarists. And they blend these assets in wonderful renditions of the pop folk repertoire of the 60s and 70s, sometimes faithfully replicating the original arrangements, and sometimes putting their own new slant on the songs.

Friday, September 28: Beppe Gambetta with Opening Act T.B.D.

Beppe Gambetta

Beppe Gambetta, the Italian bluegrass flatpicking champion. Sounds like an ethnic joke, but Beppe is no joke. Early in life he was captured by the music of such greats as Doc Watson and Tony Rice, and soon got to the point where he was sharing festival stages as an equal with his heroes. Equally adroit on mandolin, he can blaze through a hot bluegrass tune or croon a lovely Italian traditional ballad. And all with an elegant continental charm that is a joy to witness.

Friday, October 5: Closed for the Folk Project Fall Getaway

Friday, October 12: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, October 19: Abbie Gardner with He Bird, She Bird

Abbie Gardner

I'd Rather BeAbbie Gardner is best known to the Minstrel regulars as the dobro player with the infectious smile from the group Red Molly. As a solo artist she performs mostly her original songs of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, propelled by her clear and expressive vocals and impeccable slide guitar playing. There's a pure Country feel to her delivery, channeling Lucinda and Bonnie, but remaining pure Abbie.

He Bird, She Bird

Hell or High WaterTodd Evans (resonator guitar), Terri Hall (percussion), and Christine Kellar (guitar) comprise He Bird, She Bird. Their music is a mix of original, Americana, and bluesy songs with strong 3-part harmony and a real sense of joy to the music. You can tell they're having fun on stage, and the fun is contagious.

Friday, October 26: A Folk Project Member Concert
Folk Project Halloween Party

Details to follow

Friday, November 2: T.B.D.

Friday, November 9: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, November 16: T.B.D.

Friday, November 23: T.B.D.

Friday, November 30: T.B.D.

Friday, December 7: Chorus Song Night

An evening of songs for the audience to sing. Details to follow.

Friday, December 14: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, December 21: A Folk Project Special Concert
Folk Project Holiday Show

A concert to benefit the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. Details to follow.

Friday, December 28: The Kennedys with Pepper & Sassafras

The Kennedys

Midnight GhostWhen not serving as Nanci Griffith's backup band, The Kennedys have been joyfully rocking the folk world with their own unique brand of high-energy performance. It's more than the powerful close-harmony singing. It's more than the hot guitar work. It's more than the driving rhythms and power chords. It's the obvious chemistry between Pete and Maura Kennedy that is so charming and so contagious that the listener can't help but grin and join in their fun.

Pepper & Sassafras

FlyPepper & Sassafras is the duo of Jeffrey Pepper Rogers and Wendy Ramsay. What the Kennedys do for folk rock, P&S do for straight folk. Well written songs with agile guitar accompaniment and really sweet harmonies and an old-timey feel.

Friday, January 4: T.B.D.

Friday, January 11: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, January 18: T.B.D.

Friday, January 25: T.B.D.

Friday, February 1: Folk Project Valentines Day Extravaganza

More details forthcoming.

Friday, February 8: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, February 15: T.B.D.

Friday, February 22: T.B.D.

Friday, March 1: T.B.D.

Friday, March 8: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, March 15: T.B.D.

Friday, March 22: T.B.D.

Friday, March 29: T.B.D.

Friday, April 5: T.B.D.

Friday, April 12: Open Stage   $5 admission Open Stage only.

The Minstrel Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. Admission is $5.00 at the door, but is free for Folk Project members and anyone under the age of twenty-five. (Free-will donations are encouraged.) For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, April 19: T.B.D.

Friday, April 26: RPR with Opening Act T.B.D.

RPR

Temporary SongThose who mourn the demise of the great Canadian band Tanglefoot will rejoice at the emergence of RPR, which might justifiably be called "Tanglefoot II". Three of its members, Rob Ritchie (keyboard), Steve Ritchie (guitar), and Al Parrish (bass) form the core of the band, and are joined by Beaker Granger (percussion & guitar). The full-throated folk sound is still there, along with some of the T'foot repertoire. But the focus is broader and the musical palette more varied. The vocal harmonies are powerfully evident as ever, as is the energy, the finely-honed songwriting, the penchant for humour and the twinkling eyes.