Author: Carter

Next! Oct. 25, 7:30 pm: Dan Bern, with special guest Honor Finnegan

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

Dan Bern

with special guest Honor Finnegan

Dan Bern is best known for his prolific songwriting and electric live persona. He has released eighteen albums since 1997 and built a loyal following based on prodigious touring and output of songs in all forms. Since 2007, Bern has also focused his talent and sharp wit on writing songs for movies and other projects. He composed over a dozen songs for the Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow spoof-biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and composed songs included in Apatow’s Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand. Bern’s song One Dance was also included in Kasdan’s first film Zero Effect starring Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, and Ryan O’Neal. Bern wrote a number of the songs in Walk Hard and Get Him to the Greek with fellow songsmith Mike Viola. He has also written with Marshall Crenshaw, Peter Himmelman, Greg Prestopino and many others.

Bern wrote Swing Set, a duet with Emmylou Harris, for the off-Broadway production of Family Week directed by Jonathan Demme and wrote the title song for Demme’s documentary Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains.

In 2007, his album Breathe won Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter at the Sixth Annual Independent Music Awards. He has toured with Marshall Crenshaw, Ani DiFranco, and John C. Reilly’s country-infused band and in 2011 he contributed original songs for the television series Hellcats. In 2012 Dan Bern released three records: the critically acclaimed Drifter; an 18-song celebration of baseball entitled Doubleheader; and Wilderness Song, a cycle of songs adapted from the journals and letters of the legendary western wanderer Everett Ruess.

In addition to his own touring, Bern leads songwriting workshops, does shows for kids, and writes books, including the forthcoming detective series, “Ten Thousand Crappy Songs & Other Stories.

Opening the evening is Honor Finnegan. Honor’s songs are humorous then heartbreaking with melodies that soar. Based in New York City, she has been making a splash in the northeastern regional folk scene with her original songs and ukulele playing. Combining elements of musical theatre, comedy, traditional folk, and poetry, Honor is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Honor Finnegan was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and learned to appreciate a variety of people and music living in a mostly African American neighborhood and sitting in the back seat of her single mothers car listening to the radio for long periods of time. When Honor was 11 her dream of being an actress came true when she was cast in the 1st National Tour of “Annie”.

Honor eventually outgrew the Annie thing and went back to Chicago, spending her early adult life studying Improv with Del Close who created “Honor Finnegan vs. the Brain of the Galaxy” to try and help the poor waif get somewhere in life. In 1991 Honor moved to Ireland. While living in Ireland, Honor sang with jazz bands, blues bands, big bands and traditional Irish bands including DeDannan for about a day. She released a cassette, “Learning to Fly”, in 1996 and was a finalist in the Paddy Music Expo in Limerick. Her song “Better Love Water” was sung on the Gay Byrne Radio Hour twice with the all-female a Capella group, “The Cappuccinos”. Honor moved to New York in 1998. Honor is a regular attendee at the late great Jack Hardy’s songwriter’s exchange, which has nurtured the talents of Suzanne Vega, and Shawn Colvin to name but a few. She is also a proud member of Tribes Hill, a folk music collective based in the Hudson Valley. She was a finalist in the 2011 Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Competition, and she has shared the stage with John Gorka, Buskin & Batteau, Sloan Wainwright, and David Massengill, among others.

Advance Tickets: $20, At the door: $25

Eventbrite - Dan Bern, with special guest Honor Finnegan

About Common Ground

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Common Ground Community Concerts is the producer the long-standing Common Ground Coffeehouse  at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester at 25 Old Jackson Avenue, outside of Hastings-on-Hudson NY. 
On occasion, we also present concerts at historic Irvington Town Hall Theater at 85 Main Street in Irvington NY and partner with community groups and non-profits to produce concerts in other locations as well.

All Common Ground locations are wheelchair accessible.

Common Ground was founded as an effort to build community and to support regional and national musicians and other artists. Since 2005, Common Ground has used its profits to operate the Common Ground Microcredit Fund. The fund raised has raised over $25,000 for local, regional and global community groups and organizations that provide either much needed social services or work toward progressive, nonviolent social change. For more information on Common Ground’s social justice mission, and to learn more about the Common Ground Microcredit Fund, please click here.

Now preparing for our 11th year, Common Ground has hosted such beloved national and regional artists as Richard Shindell, John Hammond, Eliza GilkysonEllis Paul, Red Molly,  Chris Smither, Andy Statman, Susan Werner, and many more. For many years, Common Ground was a regular stop on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Annual Most Wanted Preview Tour. In addition to traditional and modern folk artists and singer-songwriters, we frequently feature other musical genres, such as jazz, blues, cajun-zydeco, popular song, and even the occasional evening of avant garde gamelan music!

Our 2014-15 Season at a Glance

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bannerandmike

photo by John Kramer

Saturday, Sept. 27, 7:30 pm: 
The No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow (Carolann Solebello, Karyn Oliver, The Yayas)
Saturday, Oct. 25, 7:30 pm: 
Dan Bern, with special guest Honor Finnegan
Saturday, Nov. 22, 7:30 pm: 
Matt Turk & Friends – The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way
Saturday, December 6, 7:30 pm: 
The Andy Statman Trio 
at Irvington Town Hall Theater
Saturday, January 24, 7:30 pm: 
Joe Crookston with special guests, The Levins
Saturday, February 28, 7:30:  
The Murphy Beds and FADA
Saturday, March 28, 7:30: 
The Kennedys
Saturday, April 25, 7:30: 
Eliza Gilkyson
Saturday, May 16, 7:30: 
Jon Brooks with Fred Gillen, Jr.

For information on Season Subscriptions, click below

Eventbrite - Common Ground Coffeehouse '14-'15 Subscriptions

Saturday, October 25: Dan Bern, with special guest Honor Finnegan

Posted on Updated on

Common Ground Coffeehouse
at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

Dan Bern

with special guest Honor Finnegan

Dan Bern is best known for his prolific songwriting and electric live persona. He has released eighteen albums since 1997 and built a loyal following based on prodigious touring and output of songs in all forms. Since 2007, Bern has also focused his talent and sharp wit on writing songs for movies and other projects. He composed over a dozen songs for the Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow spoof-biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and composed songs included in Apatow’s Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand. Bern’s song One Dance was also included in Kasdan’s first film Zero Effect starring Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, and Ryan O’Neal.  Bern wrote a number of the songs in Walk Hard and Get Him to the Greek with fellow songsmith Mike Viola.  He has also written with Marshall Crenshaw, Peter Himmelman, Greg Prestopino and many others.

Bern wrote Swing Set, a duet with Emmylou Harris, for the off-Broadway production of Family Week directed by Jonathan Demme and wrote the title song for Demme’s documentary Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains.

In 2007, his album Breathe won Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter at the Sixth Annual Independent Music Awards. He has toured with Marshall Crenshaw, Ani DiFranco, and John C. Reilly’s country-infused band and in 2011 he contributed original songs for the television series Hellcats.  In 2012 Dan Bern released three records: the critically acclaimed Drifter; an 18-song celebration of baseball entitled Doubleheader; and Wilderness Song, a cycle of songs adapted from the journals and letters of the legendary western wanderer Everett Ruess.

In addition to his own touring, Bern leads songwriting workshops, does shows for kids, and writes books, including the forthcoming detective series, “Ten Thousand Crappy Songs & Other Stories.

Opening the evening is Honor Finnegan. Honor’s songs are humorous then heartbreaking with melodies that soar. Based in New York City, she has been making a splash in the northeastern regional folk scene with her original songs and ukulele playing. Combining elements of musical theatre, comedy, traditional folk, and poetry, Honor is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Honor Finnegan was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and learned to appreciate a variety of people and music living in a mostly African American neighborhood and sitting in the back seat of her single mothers car listening to the radio for long periods of time. When Honor was 11 her dream of being an actress came true when she was cast in the 1st National Tour of “Annie”.

Honor eventually outgrew the Annie thing and went back to Chicago, spending her early adult life studying Improv with Del Close who created “Honor Finnegan vs. the Brain of the Galaxy” to try and help the poor waif get somewhere in life. In 1991 Honor moved to Ireland. While living in Ireland, Honor sang with jazz bands, blues bands, big bands and traditional Irish bands including DeDannan for about a day. She released a cassette, “Learning to Fly”, in 1996 and was a finalist in the Paddy Music Expo in Limerick. Her song “Better Love Water” was sung on the Gay Byrne Radio Hour twice with the all-female a Capella group, “The Cappuccinos”. Honor moved to New York in 1998. Honor is a regular attendee at the late great Jack Hardy’s songwriter’s exchange, which has nurtured the talents of Suzanne Vega, and Shawn Colvin to name but a few. She is also a proud member of Tribes Hill, a folk music collective based in the Hudson Valley. She was a finalist in the 2011 Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Competition, and she has shared the stage with John Gorka, Buskin & Batteau, Sloan Wainwright, and David Massengill, among others.

Advance Tickets: $20, At the door: $25

Eventbrite - Dan Bern, with special guest Honor Finnegan

Saturday, November 22, 7:30: Matt Turk & Friends – The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

Posted on Updated on

Common Ground Coffeehouse
at The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

Matt Turk & Friends

The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

with Matt Turk, mandolin/vocals, Deni Bonet, fiddle/vocals,
Adam Roberts, bass,  Ayodele Maakheru, banjo and Boo Reiners, guitar

Matt Turk can’t remember the circumstances of horse trading that landed him a cassette copy of Old and in the Way, the seminal record by Jerry Garcia (banjo), David Grisman (mandolin), Vassar Clements (violin), Peter Rowan (guitar), and John Kahn (bass) in his hands. It’s fitting somehow that soon after the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY reopened, with its bar auspiciously named, “Garcia’s,” that Matt would gather a group of fellow virtuoso musician friends for to celebrate the legacy of Old and in the Way and other acoustic music by Garcia with a residency at Garcia’s in August 2013. The core band is Turk mandolin/vocals, Deni Bonet on fiddle/vocals, Adam Roberts on bass, and Ayodele Maakheru on banjo. Turk, whose mandolin teacher, Hot Tuna’s Barry Mitterhoff also played with Peter Rowan. writes: “We did our best to get enough tunes together with everyone to fill a couple of long sets each night. We changed up the set lists a bit every week, covering a lot of bluegrass, pulling out some traditional stuff like Bill Monroe as well as a few classics. Add to that several tracks from the Pizza Tapes, a handful of Grateful Dead songs and it was a real fun mix. We threw in some Dylan, The Band, JJ Cale and anything we could that we knew Jerry had covered… and he did more than a lot! We honored the high lonesome sound and his love of it as best we could. The audiences were very enthusiastic and kept coming back for more.”

It is with great pleasure that Common Ground welcomes this stellar group, joined by the great Boo Reiners on guitar, to our stage for their first Rivertowns performace. Tickets are expected to go fast, so we recommend that you reserve in advance!

Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Eventbrite - Matt Turk & Friends: The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

Saturday, December 6, 8 pm: The Andy Statman Trio

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Common Ground Community Concerts
and
Irvington Town Hall Theater
85 Main St, Irvington, NY

present

The Andy Statman Trio

“Andy Statman, clarinet and mandolin virtuoso, is an American visionary” — The New Yorker

” … One of the most important Jewish creative artists of the postwar era.” — The Jerusalem Post

Bill Monroe and John Coltrane poured into one person… He plays all those just great crazy jazz kind of licks, but with the heart and fire of Bill Monroe … I don’t know anyone else that approaches the mandolin the way he does.” —Ricky Skaggs, NPR

Had there been a planetarium in 19th century Galicia, or a kosher deli in Depression-era Kentucky, Andy Statman’s music might have been playing in the background. Meandering through time, geography and culture, the man and his inimitable hybrid sound move freely among the before, the after, and the present.

Andy Statman, one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, thinks of his compositions and performances as “spontaneous American-roots music and personal, prayerful hasidic music, by way of avant-garde jazz.” This modest man takes for granted that a performer might embody several worlds in his art, and seems humbled by the fact that his music, like his story, is extraordinary.

It’s a story Andy Statman rewrites with his trio every time they perform: “We’re creating an experience between the audience and us,” with their unconstrained meditations on hasidic music and groove-driven explorations of American-roots music. Statman’s long-time collaborators are bassist Jim Whitney and percussionist Larry Eagle. “At a certain point,”says Statman, “we’re just talking, just having a three-way conversation.” This “conversation” changes each time they take the stage, with no melody sounding quite the same as it did before. A totally un-self conscious performer, Andy Statman leaves audiences elated and at times mystified, having experienced a musical performance unlike any other.

In addition to the Andy Statman Trio, Jim Whitney appears in many musical worlds as a bassist. He is an original member of the jazz-bluegrass fusion group The Wayfaring Strangers, and has performed with such acting stars as Meryl Streep, John Goodman and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a member of the group Parabola, under the direction of composer/conductor Carter Burwell. He has appeared with jazz notables Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell and Alan Dawson, and has worked with bluegrass luminaries Richard Greene, Tim O’Brien, David Grisman and Darol Anger. Also a proficient electric bass player, he appears in the country-rock group Miller’s Farm, and is a member of singer/pianist Debbie Deane’s soul and groove trio. Jim has toured extensively, having performed in Europe, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Central America, New Zealand, Canada, and much of the U.S.

Drummer and percussionist Larry Eagle keeps his musical portfolio diversified.  He’s a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s Sessions Band (which won a Grammy for traditional folk music), and played on R&B/Soul artist John Legend’s Grammy-winning second album.  He’s played on a Blues Grammy nominee (with Odetta), a Country & Western Grammy nominee (with Andy) and recorded albums with bluegrass superstar Ricky Skaggs and powerful jazz/soul singer Lizz Wright.  Larry has performed on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Good Morning America, PBS, the BBC and an ice-breaking Baltic Sea ferry out of Naantali, Finland.

Tickets:
Advance – $35 – VIP (First four rows Center Orchestra);  $25 – Rest of orchestra, balcony, boxes 3-6; $15 – Slightly obstructed viewing seats including box seats 1-2
At the Door Sales – $38 – VIP (First four rows Center Orchestra); $28 – All other seats (Rest of orchestra, balcony, box);  $18 –  Slightly obstructed seats including 1st box seats 1-2

RED MOLLY ORDER BAR

Saturday, January 24, 7:30 pm: Joe Crookston with special guests, The Levins

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
@ The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

Joe Crookston

with special guests, The Levins

Joe Crookston of Ithaca, New York, is an artist, writer, singer, guitar picker, painter, clawhammer banjo player, eco-village member and believer in all things possible. You’ll be pulled in by the magic and musical world he creates, and you’ll end up in the moment, humming and buzzing with the rest of the crowd. He’ll sing to you—you’ll sing with him. He’s plumbing for lyrical gold, like some kind of social archaeologist. Joe’s story songs are universal, masterful and his concerts are a grand celebration of all of us. Come to a show … you’ll ride along mystical, historical, and humorous roads, and twist through personal stories along the way—stories of amber eyes, Oklahoma towns, rattlesnake tails, Grandmother Moons, Galway heather, meter maids and silver crowns. At the end of the night, you’ll leave inspired, with a renewed sense of what’s possible. Joe appears tonight in a duet performance with Peter Glanville. Together as the BlueBird Jubilee, Joe and Peter have played to full houses at Festivals and Performing Arts Centers across the U.S.

Opening the evening is The Levins. ( pronounced The L’Vins ) Ira and Julia Levin combine harmony-driven acoustic folk rock with wistful overtones of the 1930s and the intention of putting a smile on your face. Original tunes, guitar, piano and voices provide a full sound with unexpected harmonies and unique arrangements. It’s Happy-Folk, Smile Pop….sounds like The Mamas and The Papas having coffee with Cole Porter. 2011 Winners of the Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Competition.

Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Eventbrite - Joe Crookston, with special guests The Levins

Saturday, February 28, 7:30 pm: The Murphy Beds and FADA

Posted on Updated on

Common Ground Coffeehouse
at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester,
25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson

presents

The Murphy Beds and FADA

“Their great feat turns out to be taking what’s best of the classic Irish folk revival without falling into any of its clichés. The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” -Huffington Post

The Murphy Beds (Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary) present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon.

Eamon started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90′s, he immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album Live at Mona’s. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programs in the US and also records and performs original music. His last solo record, Old Clump, was released in 2012.

Jefferson is a guitarist and singer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2013, in addition to The Murphy Beds, he and songwriter Anais Mitchell released Child Ballads, a collection of new adaptations of English and Scottish folk songs which won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. In the Oct. 2013 issue, Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote, “A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies… and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.”

Sharing the evening will be ‘FADA, led by French-Occitane singer and multi-flutist Eleonore Weill, who performs modern compositions and original songs by Miqueu Montanaro as well as old traditional famous and forgotten songs of resistance, peace, justice and love. Fada, French slang for “crazy”, means literally, “inhabited by fairies.” Weill will be joined by Jake Schulman-Ment, internationally known musician and modern interpreter of Klezmer and eastern European acoustic music, and guitarist Avi Fox-Rosen, an unapologetically genre defying singer songwriter whom Time Out New York declares “informed equally by power pop, roots rock and show tunes,” but they forgot to mention jazz, tin pan alley, downtown noise, funk, klezmer, and a whole host of other influences.

Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Eventbrite - The Murphy Beds and FADA

 

Saturday, March 28, 7:30 pm: The Kennedys

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
@ The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

The Kennedys

“Byrdsy jangle, boy-girl harmonies…irresistible” -Rolling Stone
“Unabashed, hook-laden pop” -Village Voice
“More hooks than Marilyn Monroe’s closet” -Chicago Sun-Times

In a career that now spans two decades, New York duo Maura and Pete Kennedy have traversed a broad musical landscape, surveying power pop, acoustic songwriting, organic rock rooted in their early days in Austin, and a Byrds-inspired jangle that drew the attention of Roger McGuinn, Steve Earle, and most notably Nanci Griffith.

On their new release, Closer Than You Know, The Kennedys strike out into new territory, this time inspired by a sojourn in Paris, where they immersed themselves in the turn of another century, the time when Debussy and Ravel were inventing the sonic palette of modern music. No strangers to reinvention, Pete and Maura came up with a cappuccino-fueled concept at a small café in Montmartre: music inspired by the Impressionist composers, married to the rock and pop sounds for which the duo have long been known. In the spirit of Paris-trained composer Burt Bacharach and his lyricist partner Hal David, Pete took on the task of creating musical landscapes that would cushion Maura’s lyrics and bell-like harmonies. The songs have a quality, inherent in Maura’s voice, that is both soothing and urgent. As writers and producers, the Kennedys continue to mature, from their early style-conscious pop to today’s burnished sheen. Always tuned to their own muse, Pete and Maura have once again come up with a unique sound that is as uplifting as it is unclassifiable.

Tickets: $18 advance, $20 at the door

Eventbrite - The Kennedys

Saturday, April 25th, 7:30 pm: Eliza Gilkyson

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
@ The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson NY
presents

Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and activist who has become one of the most respected musicians in Roots, Folk and Americana circles.   The daughter of legendary songwriter Terry Gilkyson, she entered the music world as a teenager, recording demos for her father.  Since then she has released 19 recordings of her own, and her songs have been covered by such notables as Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash.

She has appeared on NPR, Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, e-town, XM Radio, Air America Radio and has toured worldwide as a solo artist and in support of Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dan Fogelberg, as well as with the  Woody Guthrie review, Ribbon of Highway-Endless Skyway, alongside the Guthrie Family, Jimmy Lafave, Slaid Cleaves, and special guests Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne and Kris Kristofferson.  She has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame alongside such legends as Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt and Nanci Griffith and is an ongoing winner of the Austin Chronicle’s various music awards, as well as Folk Alliance awards for Best Artist, Best Songwriter and Record of the Year.

Her 2005 album Land of Milk and Honey was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.  Eliza’s meditative “Requiem,” written as a prayer for those who lost their lives in the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia, was recorded by the nationally recognized choral group Conspirare, whose version was nominated for a Grammy and won the prestigious Edison Award in Europe.  The song has become a standard in choir repertory the world over.  Two of her songs appeared on Joan Baez’ Grammy-nominated record, Day After Tomorrow.

In addition to touring in support of the highly acclaimed Roses at the End of Time, Eliza and her son, producer Cisco Ryder, are hard at work on a new album, The Nocturne Diaries, scheduled for release on March 18, 2014.

Eliza is an active member of the Austin music and political community, including the environmental organization Save Our Springs (www.sosalliance.org ), and she is a co-founder of  www.5604manor.org , an Austin-based activist resource center.

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Eventbrite - Eliza Gilkyson