Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - Thursday, November 30, 2017 all-day

Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell and Dave Van Ronk - Photos by Bob Morey


November 1st – 30th, 2017

Each November, The Harvard Square Business Association, in partnership with FOLK New England and Passim, celebrates Folk Music month in Harvard Square. The Square has long been an epicenter of critical thinking and social and political reform and nowhere was it more rampant than in the folk music scene that had its inception in the late 1950s at Club 47.

Located at 47 Mount Auburn Street, and later at 47 Palmer Street, Club 47 was a coffeehouse where students and residents first heard important socially conscious folk stars such as Joan Baez, Tom Rush, and Bob Dylan. In 1970, the 47 Palmer Street coffeehouse, now called Passim, was lauded as the most important venue in the post-revival folk world. Today, in addition to holding over 400 concerts a year, Passim also operates a thriving school of music, teaching classes and workshops in everything from songwriting to voice to numerous acoustic instruments.

Bob Dylan and Betsy Siggins, photo by Dick Waterman


On Display at the Charles Hotel
Forever Young: Photographs from the Collection of Folk New England
Now through 11/30

Folk New England presents photographs and graphics memorabilia from the folk revival of the 1960s to the mid-2000s, crossing the generations. These photographs bear witness to some of New England folk music’s most important cultural moments. This exhibition features the works of photographic artists of the folk scene, including Dick Waterman’s pictures of blues musicians; Bob Morey’s mostly unseen work from 1967; John Byrne Cooke’s dramatic photographs of 1960s musical luminaries, more contemporary work from Barry Schneier, Melissa Bugg is also included.
Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett Street,, (617) 864-1200

On Display at Club Passim
Photographs from the Collection of Folk New England
November 11th – 30th
The musicians represented in this exhibit are some of the great American folk and blues masters who were either based in the Boston area or who played regularly at clubs in and around Harvard Square. While some may not be known as New England musicians, they made their mark on the development of New England folk music, and on the many musicians who followed in their footsteps, by performing regularly in this region and by hanging out with each other here in our community.
Passim, 47 Palmer Street,, (617) 492-5300


November 7th - Blitzen Trapper 9pm
Over the course of 15 years and seven full-length albums, Blitzen Trapper has crafted one of the more compelling and varied catalogs in contemporary rock and roll. Indeed, singer and guitarist Eric Earley, who is also the Portland, Oregon-based band's primary songwriter, is possessed of a musical and lyrical sensibility that is remarkably deep and wide; big ideas and universal emotions are wrung from the seemingly plainspoken details of small-screen and often highly personal stories, and set to music that reaches way, way back to old-timey folk and bluegrass, travels through everything from country, psychedelia and soul to prog, garage and metal, indulges gloriously in the classic rock of the 70s and 80s, and makes occasional side trips into hip-hop, skewed pop and noisey freakouts.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

November 9th – Mipso 8pm
Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartets Mipso are influenced by the contradiction of their progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes. Currently celebrating the release of their new album Coming Down The Mountain (April 7, 2017), Mipso ventures further than ever from their string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition. Adding drums and electric instruments to their intimate four-part harmonies and powerful acoustic meld, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with words that sear and salve in turn. Hailed as “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular.” (Acoustic Guitar), and recently recognized by Rolling Stone as a favorite 2016 festival performance, Mipso brings a distinctly unique sound - full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

November 10th Bill Staines 8pm
Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat. For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer", Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.
Passim, 47 Church Street, 492-7679

November 11th – Josh Abbott Band 9pm
As Josh Abbott Band moved into the final stages of work on Until My Voice Goes Out, lead singer Josh Abbott’s personal life took a couple significant twists that underscored where JAB finds itself professionally. Abbott’s father suffered a stroke while the album was being recorded, and Josh split his time between the studio and the hospital bedside, finishing all the lead vocals shortly before his dad passed away. Two months later, Josh welcomed his first child into the world.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

November 12th THE SINGING SESSIONS: American Songster Guitar, Banjo and Bones Workshop with Dom Flemons 1pm
The Passim School of Music is pleased to announce The Singing Sessions – a brand new educational series that partners with Passim performing artists.

The Singing Sessions was created to reflect the immense and diverse talent that passes through the Club’s doors by inviting performing artists to conduct a workshop on songwriting or singing. The Singing Sessions allows the Passim Community to get a deeper sense of what goes on behind the scenes by exploring an artist’s musical practice and exercises they perform to advance their own skills in a small group setting. Join us for the first Sessions starting this fall!

American Songster Guitar, Banjo and Bones Workshop with Dom Flemons
Dom Flemons will be presenting a showcase of guitar and banjo styles that he has learned in his travels around the United States. The first half of the workshop will be focusing on guitar and banjo tunings and techniques unique to the Songster tradition. The second half will focus on the rhythm bones, an ancient folk instrument that uses two cow rib bones to produce a magnificent display of rhythm and sound.

Throughout the performance Dom will be engaging with the audience through story-telling and sharing the history of early songsters. Open to all ages!
Passim, 47 Church Street,, (617) 492-7679

Jack "Jackie Washington" Landron at Club 47, photo by Stephen Fenerjian

November 12th Dom Flemons – 8 pm
Dom Flemons is a Grammy Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music. He began his career as a performer in the Arizona music scene, where he produced 25 albums for singer-songwriters and slam poets in Pheonix. In 2005, Flemons co-found the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally as “The American Songster. In February 2016, Dom performed at Carnegie Hall for a Tribute to LeadBelly. In September 2016, Dom performed at the opening ceremonies for the National Musuem of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Dom has been touring internationally and has released his latest album called “Ever Popular Favourites” with British Guitar player, Martin Simpson.
Passim, 47 Church Street,, (617) 492-7679

November 15th – Alex Care 8pm
London-born singer, songwriter and producer Alex Clare is one of those lucky people who will never be short of something startling to tell when the lights dim and true conversation really begins.
“Where do you even start with a story like mine?” he laughs, down the line from his home in Jerusalem - and he makes a good point. Alex signed a major label deal with Island in 2010, released a single and an album then got unceremoniously dropped. When, in 2012, a song called ‘Too Close’ was pulled from the album and placed on an Internet Explorer 9 advert it prompted millions of sales and, lo and behold, he got re-signed. Eighteen months later he made a new album that the label failed to get behind and, as you might expect, it sold, in his own words, “nothing.” He got married, toured the US, Russia and Europe and started a family.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

November 18th – Carbon Leaf 8pm
Through 24 years, 16 albums and 2300 live shows, Carbon Leaf’s independent spirit and vibrant music continues to resonate with their fans.
Blending folk, Celtic, bluegrass, Americana and rock traditions into what the group calls Ether-Electrified Porch Music, the Virginia quintet’s songs of life, love, heartbreak and landscape are independently written, recorded and produced from their own studio in Richmond.
After 5 years of intense touring, Carbon Leaf reduced their 2016 road schedule to focus on some lingering projects, including the release of Nothing Rhymes With Woman, the third and final re-recorded album originally released through their formal record label. Along with the completing new versions of Indian summer (2004) and Love Loss Hope Repeat (2006), the band’s goal of regaining 100% ownership of their music catalogue was achieved.
The band will be performing in 2017 behind a U.S. tour and a collection of new songs inspired by acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmonies.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

November 18th Alastair Moock's Pastures of Plenty with Sean Staples, Anand Nayak, & Eric and Hazel Royer - 8pm
When Alastair Moock began his Pastures of Plenty series in Boston in 2000, the idea was to bridge some of the gaps he saw in the local music scene — between the folk and roots rock crowds, between the contemporary and traditional scenes, and between younger and older players. But what it really came down to was just bringing together some of the region's best songwriters and musicians to swap tunes on a stage. Nearly fifteen years later, the series is still "the hippest hootenanny in town" (The Boston Globe).
Passim, 47 Church Street,, (617) 492-7679

11/21 Live Music and Storytelling from “The New American Songbook”: presented by WGBH – 7pm
The songs of immigrants have always told the story of our nation, and its times. “The New American Songbook” — a series of audio documentaries that comprise the new season of the GroundTruth podcast — explores how immigration continues to define our musical culture, and invites listeners into the daily lives of immigrant communities. The evening will include performances by Haitian rapper Masterbrain, who works as a security guard in Back Bay while his songs go viral in Port-au-Prince; Cambodian-American musician Sovann Kahn, who escaped his country’s genocide because of his drumming skills; and other artists featured on the podcast. We’ll hear their songs and their stories, told in conversation with the show’s producers.

The GroundTruth podcast is a coproduction of The GroundTruth Project and WGBH News. Support for “The New American Songbook” comes from Mass Humanities. Hear GroundTruth on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Passim, 47 Church Street,, (617) 492-7679

November 29 - The Barr Brothers 9pm
Over the last several years, The Barr Brothers have increasingly become one of the western world’s most distinguished purveyors of eclectic modern-Americana. Fronted by the poly-rhythmic, jocular drumming of Andrew Barr, the songs and guitar playing of Brother Brad Barr, and the innovative harp wizardry of Sarah Pagé–who has single-handedly redefined the instrument and its context. The group has been expanding and contracting its sound and its size from their home base in Montreal, QC. Bass, pedal steel, keyboards, and horns come in and out of the mix freely. Equally at home in solemn Arcadian ballads, swampy North African improvs, or classic rock and roll revelry, The Barr Brothers continue to embrace and enchant audiences with their methodical-yet-whimsical approach to music making.
The Sinclair, 52 Church Street,, (617) 547-5200

 Joan Baez performing at Club 47


(617) 491-3434
Harvard Square Business Association
Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138