“The festival is well known to and attended by those already connected with folk arts, and NEFFA produces a weekly contradance series at the Scout House in Concord. But at our 2011 retreat and subsequent meetings, the board of directors decided that more could be done to bring folk music to the community,” said Jeff Boudreau, who serves on the NEFFA board.
The New England Folk Festival has many components: folk arts and crafts; folk music, including concerts, workshops, and jams; International Dance Performance in traditional costumes; Ritual Dance Performances;
“Using the roster of some 400+ artists who will be performing April 20-22 in Mansfield, we selected four distinct musical genres to present at the showcase,” The four acts, all residents of the Commonwealth, are Lynn Noel - solo voice/group sing, Marylou Ferrante - pre-war blues, Wear My Letter - old-time music and Corvus – Celtic. “With a deep talent pool, it was very difficult to select just a few performers for the showcase. We hope that this concert becomes a tradition each year, so that we can feature different performers.
The NEFFA Showcase will be presented at Unity, 6 William Street (near Davis Square), Somerville, MA. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for NEFFA members. The 68th annual New England Folk Festival will be presented April 20-22 at the Mansfield, MA Junior and Senior High Schools. Membership, showcase and festival information and tickets are available at http://neffa.org. Information is available by calling the NEFFA office, (617) 299-1590.
In addition to his duties as a NEFFA director, Boudreau also hosts a folk music program on community radio WCUW in Worcester (91.3fm, http://wcuw.org/
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)
NEFFA Showcase Concert Featuring Lynn Noel, Corvus, Wear My Letter and Marylou Ferrante
Friday, March 23 – 8:00pm
Unity Somerville, 6 William Street (corner College Ave, just north of Davis Square), Somerville
$15, $10 NEFFA members (join at neffa.org or at the concert).
Lynn Noel - Solo voice/group sing - http://homepage.mac.com/
Marylou Ferrante - Pre-war blues - https://www.facebook.com/
Wear My Letter - Old-time - http://www.wearmyletter.com/
Corvus - Celtic - http://seansmithmusic.webs.com/
NEFFA Info/tickets - http://neffa.org/
Concert website - http://concerts.neffa.org/
Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/
Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/