Sunday, July 30, 4-8 pm: Common Ground’s 2nd Annual Front Porch Jamboree & Potluck Picnic

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Common Ground Concerts Presents

Second Annual
Front Porch Jamboree & Potluck Picnic

Join us on the lawn of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society for Common Ground’s 2nd Annual Front Porch Jamboree and Potluck Picnic. Featuring live music by Abbie Gardner, David Massengill, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival House Band (Radoslav Lorkovic, Eric Lee and Mark Dann), as well as Emily Mure and Letitia VanSant. Bring the kids, pack a picnic (and something to share at the potluck table), and help us celebrate a midsummer’s eve in style.

All advance ticket holders will automatically be eligible to win a pair of three-day camping passes to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, New York on August 4-6.

Although Abbie Gardner, the fiery Dobro player with an infectious smile, is best known for touring with Americana darlings Red Molly for the past eleven years, her background is as varied as the songs she writes.  Abbie has listened to the sweet sound of high lonesome harmonies since her first bluegrass festival at the age of three. Her father, Herb Gardner, is a swing jazz and stride pianist and Dixieland trombonist. Watching him laugh as he went off to “work” every day was her first introduction to the joy of being a musician. Abbie’s first full-length recording, My Craziest Dream (2004) is an album of jazz standards featuring her father on piano. Abbie studied classical flute growing up, but once she started playing Dobro in 2004 she found her main instrument. Her subsequent solo  CDs include Honey on My Grave (2006), Bad Nights/Better Days (2008, with Anthony da Costa), and Hope (2011), which features three different kinds of slide guitar (dobro, lap steel and National bottleneck).

By birth a Tennessean, David Massengill “emigrated” to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-70’s, walking the same streets and playing the same storied coffee houses as Dylan and Van Ronk. Thirty years later, he’s still walking those streets—but now he’s being recognized universally for his pivotal role in keeping the American folk music tradition alive. Called “a master of vivid lyrical imagery”(Boston Globe), David continues to create beautiful and poignant “story songs” that are intimate and relevant and tug at your emotions. Songs like “Rider On An Orphan Train“ a narrative ballad ringing with truth and anguish” (Washington Post), “Number One In America”, a riveting and ironic civil rights anthem” (Boston Globe) and the biting political statement, “The Gambler”, “a thing of beauty about all things ugly” (Barry Crimmins). His songs have been covered and recorded by Joan Baez, The Roches, Lucy Kaplansky, Tom Russell, Nanci Griffith and his mentor, Dave Van Ronk, who said David “took the dull out of dulcimer!”  Notes Music Boulevard, “That David made the lap dulcimer his instrument of choice tells us a lot about the soft-spoken native of eastern Tennessee. He accompanies his performance with an instrument indelibly Appalachian, yet conquers even the most urban of musical communities. He does it without losing that remarkable gift for true storytelling.” David has released six albums, eleven bootlegs and fourteen books to date, including “Partners in Crime”, the debut album of The FolkBrothers, David’s duo project with the late great Jack Hardy.

Drawing from a multitude of influences ranging from elegant classical and jazz styles to the rawest, most basic blues, country and soul, Radoslav Lorković has taken on an unusually broad musical spectrum and refined it into his distinctive piano style. His tenure on the R&B and folk circuits has culminated in five critically acclaimed solo recordings and numerous appearances on the recordings of and performances with artists including Odetta, Jimmy LaFave, Ribbon of Highway Woody Guthrie Tribute, Greg Brown, Richard Shindell, Ellis Paul, and many more. His thirty-year touring career has led him from the taverns of the upper Mississippi River to the castles of Italy, The Canary Islands, The Yup’ik villages of Alaska, The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.Born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1958, Lorković’s initial exposure to music can be attributed to two grandmothers. Antonija, his maternal Grandmother, sang him Croatian, Slovenian and Czech folk songs since birth. By age three he was putting on floor shows for his grandfather and friends who would respond by showering him with coins yelling “pivaj Radoslav pivaj!” After this blend of Central European musical influences, Radoslav moved to the United States at age six. He had a foothold on a classical music career when at age fourteen he was sidetracked by a blues scale that a friend had taught him. The music of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter shifted Lorković’s focus to the basics as he began to draw from the styles of Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins. In 1990 he made his solo recording debut. Six CDs later, Lorković currently tours the world regularly appearing at prestigious events such as the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, WOMAD, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa folk festivals, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Mountain Stage, Prairie Home Companion, eTown as well as a litany of Italian castles and villas.

Mark Dann is a professional recording engineer and sideman/bass player extraordinaire. For more than 30 years, he has worked with hundreds of artists at his studios in New York City and Woodstock, including engineering and playing on the legendary Fast Folk Musical Magazine recordings.

Eric Lee began studying classical violin and traditional Irish fiddle at the age of nine and was soon performing and recording with local artists. In 2007, when he was 18, Lee attended the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, where The Strangelings (featuring Pete & Maura Kennedy, Christina Thompson, Rebecca Hall, Ken Anderson, and Cheryl Prashker) invited him to join them on an informal campground performance. That Saturday night, Lee was playing on the main stage as the band’s newest member. Two years later, Eric became a member of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s House Band, and has since accompanied such iconic artists as John Gorka, Peter Rowan, Vance Gilbert, Dan Navarro, The Kennedys, Lucy Kaplansky, The Nields, Tracy Grammer, the Grand Slambovians, Tom Rush, and Eliza Gilkyson, among others. In addition to performing as a solo artist (and on some occasions with a backing band), he continues to work as a session artist and sideman.

Letitia VanSant is a singer-songwriter known for her distinctly intimate voice and sincere stage presence. Whether she is performing solo or backed up by a three-piece band, VanSant’s sound ranges from stripped-down indie folk to gritty Americana. Her lyrics ask spiritual questions about human nature and justice.

New York City native, Emily Mure has two full-length albums and a few singles, including a recently released cover of Elliott Smith’s Between The Bars, as well as a song written for her husband on their wedding day, The Wedding Song.

Please note: in case of rain, this event will be held at Common Ground Coffeehouse at The First Unitarian Society of Westchester, 25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings on Hudson NY

Eventbrite - Common Ground's Front Porch Jamboree

Sat. September 23. 7:30 pm: Pesky J. Nixon w/ special guest Kirsten Maxwell

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings on Hudson New York


Pesky J. Nixon

with special guest, Kirsten Maxwell

“These guys represent what I love about music…great playing, thoughtful lyrics, and musicians who actually enjoy playing together!” – Jay Moberg – WUMB Radio

“Kirsten Maxwell’s clear soprano rings out in a way that would make Judy Collins and Joan Baez approve. She backs that up with skillful guitar playing and a growing collection of well-crafted songs. It’s exciting to imagine what the future holds for her. — John Platt, WFUV

Bombastic yet brilliant these folks from New England exude a genuine musical authenticity and mirth on stages up and down the East Coast. Drawing influences from contemporary urban balladeers, rowdy southern bluegrass, and the sardonic yet wry wit of New England’s localized folk scenes, Pesky J. Nixon (PJN) creates an atmosphere both inviting and challenging for audiences. Compelling harmonies and narratives rein in disparate instrumentation including- zydeco style accordion, virtuosic mandolin, a variety of tribal percussion, and a myriad of string instrumentation. With rich harmonies and musical versatility PJN brings a unique brand of infectious energy and stage banter to every stage they grace. At times putting on a show that borders on brotherly bickering these boys specialize in bringing the audience into their world, songs, and stories.

Opening the evening is Kirsten Maxwell. Based on Long Island, Kirsten has made great strides since diving head first into her career. She is often compared to Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell, for her soaring vocals and retro-folk style. Kirsten gives everything to her live performances and has been described as “making love to the audience”. Although her self-taught guitar chops are minimal, she plays with such delicacy and taste that the guitar seems to be an extension of her body. Her delivery creates a level of intimacy that welcomes new audiences in like old friends. With a quick wit and commanding stage presence, Kirsten gives the impression of being more accomplished than her 24 years.

Eventbrite - Pesky J. Nixon, with special guest Kirsten Maxwell

Saturday, October 14, 8 pm: Red Molly

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Common Ground Concerts
At Irvington Town Hall Theater, 85 Main St., Irvington, NY

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8 PM



Following a two-year hiatus, Red Molly returns with the ONE FOR ALL & ALL FOR ONE tour — and Common Ground is thrilled to announce Irvington Town Hall is one of the stops! The band’s fans, who long ago dubbed themselves “RedHeads”, have been vocal about eagerly anticipating a reunion. Known for their camaraderie, Abbie, Laurie, and Molly are supporting each other’s solo work, while revisiting the magic that happens when they sing together. This very special show will feature picks from each of their 2017 solo projects, arranged in the signature Red Molly style: stunning three-part harmonies and rootsy Americana instrumentation, as well as Red Molly favorites that span their 11-year career.
Tickets go on sale through the theater box office on June 15th.

Saturday, October 28, 7:30 PM: Matt Nakoa, with Heather Aubrey Lloyd

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson New York


Matt Nakoa

with Heather Aubrey Lloyd

MATT NAKOA is an internationally touring singer/songwriter, recently appearing at The White House, throughout India, and regularly with folk icon Tom Rush. Growing up on a small goat farm in rural NY State, Matt discovered music as a means of teenage escape and trained to be a concert pianist. Matt was ultimately accepted as a vocalist to Berklee College of Music where he studied alongside soon-to-be Grammy winners St. Vincent and Esperanza Spalding among others. After school, Matt landed in NYC’s vibrant piano bar scene. There he quickly became a star performer at Manhattan’s famous Brandy’s Piano Bar, with lines waiting outside the door each Saturday night.
As if illustrating two sides of himself, Matt’s first album, Light In The Dark (2012), is a sweeping pop opus, while A Dozen Other Loves (2014) explores an intimate acoustic palette. Across the board his song craft has garnered awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious New Folk Competition. Though not easily pinned down, “In sum,” as a recent review on put it, “Matt Nakoa is a musical adept, one of those well kept secrets you just can’t help but celebrate: intimate and genuine, soulful and bittersweet, a rich poetic songbook sung in praise to a complicated, emotionally present world.”

Opening the evening is Heather Harvey Lloyd. More than a decade touring the U.S., Heather Aubrey Lloyd has brought her lush, passionate voice to every type of venue, from folk festivals and bars to bait shops and clothing-optional resorts. A recovering reporter, her songs drift from journalistic to deeply personal, each narrative offered up in her distinctive alto and layered over finger-picked guitar. Her sets are rounded out with a few pieces on ukulele and djembe, the instrument that has earned her primal reputation as co-front for the Baltimore-based band ilyAIMY. Solo and with the band, Heather wields her wit and warmth from the stage to build a relationship with every audience. She’s backed and supported Dar Williams, Ellis Paul, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Shawn Mullins and more. She performed as a 2012 Most-Wanted Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, was a Lilith Fair Talent Search finalist, and has formally showcased at both the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and the National Association for Campus Activities conferences. She has released 7 cds with ilyAIMY, and two solo discs, “Samples,” in 2010, and “A Message in the Mess” in 2017.

Eventbrite - Matt Nakoa, w/special guest Heather Aubrey Lloyd

Saturday, November 18, 7:30 PM: Anaïs Mitchell, with special guest Robert Sarazin Blake

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester

25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings on Hudson New York


Anaïs Mitchell

with special guest Robert Sarazin Blake

“Ms. Mitchell’s songs address contemporary angst with uncanny vision… a formidable songwriting talent” THE NEW YORK TIMES

“The most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American ‘folk ’music” INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“Blake, being a master of stage presence and completely at ease, he was capable of bringing the crowd to a complete silence. His ability to make a story out of a moment, a moment every audience member is a part of no less, is one of the best forms of concert entertainment I’ve ever experienced.”

Anaïs Mitchell is a Vermont and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who comes from the world of narrative folk song, poetry and balladry. She recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are six full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally-reviewed Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth; 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as ‘an epic tale of American becoming’; and 2013’s Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, which won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Traditional Track.

Mitchell has headlined shows worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown) Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. Her stage production of Hadestown, which was ten years in the making, opened Off-Broadway in May 2016 to rave reviews. The New York Times called it “inventive, beguiling and spellbinding” while Vogue announced that “Hadestown will be your new theater obsession.”  The show was extended twice as a result of critical success and sell-out performances. If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work – from her earliest acoustic records to the Hadestown show – it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. That’s perhaps why the New York Times noted that her songs “address contemporary angst with uncanny vision…. a formidable songwriting talent.”

Opening the evening is Robert Sarazin Blake. In 1997, Blake dropped out of college and hit the road. He hasn’t stopped. Eleven full-length albums into his career, he’s continued to write pulling from folk roots, his travels, his contemporaries, and the quiet spot in the back of his mind. The writing has evolved, mellowing with experience and expanding with reference, but the essence of the work has remained the same –- strong narratives solidly built on the folk foundation and fully in the immediacy of the now.

Eventbrite - Anais Mitchell, with special guest Robert Sarazin Blake

Saturday, December 9, 2017, 8 pm: Darlingside

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Common Ground Concerts
At Irvington Town Hall theater
85 Main St., Irvington NY


“Darlingside are doing something new in pop music…ground The Beach Boys, Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Prince, Phish and Radiohead didn’t cover” – Boston Herald

“exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop” – NPR Music

“locomotive folk-pop confections so richly executed it’s hard to tell if it’s one voice or 12” – Rolling Stone

Named Artist of the Year in 2015 by Folk Alliance international, Darlingside delivers a truly moving blend of subtlety, power, outstanding vocal quality and contemporary songwriting. With four distinct voices clustered around a single microphone, Darlingside effortlessly draws audiences into their lush musical world. The band’s sound, characterized by classical strings, tight vocal arrangements, bluegrass and rock instrumentation, and smart lyricism, is the product of complete collaboration among a group of like minds. Accompanied by an arsenal of classical strings, guitars, mandolin, and percussion, these four close friends swap instruments from song to song and offer a sound that defies standard genre classifications. With no frontman, the lead vocals are traded from moment to moment, and each song features a new combination of instruments and textures, pulling heavily from folk, retro-pop and chamber music.

On Birds Say, the Massachusetts-based quartet’s wide-open arrangements are marked by the skillful vocal interplay of the four singers. When bassist Dave Senft, guitarist and banjo player Don Mitchell, classical violinist and folk mandolinist Auyon Mukharji, and cellist and guitar picker Harris Paseltiner their richly-textured voices loose, they splash their melodies with a sunny melancholy that brings their lyrics to vibrant life. Subtle musical shadings take cues from 60s folk, chamber pop, bluegrass, classical music, and modern indie rock while aching harmonies are complemented by tones from the harmonium, frailing banjo, 12-string electric guitar, Wurlitzer, auto-chord organ, and grand piano. The result is a collection of quietly passionate songs that defy easy categorization.

 Tickets go on sale through the theater box office on June 15th.

Saturday, January 20, 7:30 PM: The Brother Brothers and The Sea The Sea

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings on Hudson New York


A Very Special Double Bill

The Brother Brothers and The Sea The Sea

Based out of Brooklyn New York, twin brothers Adam and David Moss are a musical duo unlike most others. As their friend Sarah Jarosz explained,“While they’re technically a new band, The Brother Brothers have been in this together for life, and their familial connection comes through in the music, harkening back to some of the greatest family harmonies ever made. They approach their poignant and often charming songs with an almost startling sense of ease, and the tight harmonies are enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Their ability to pull the listener into their quietly energetic musical journey is a joy to behold. I can’t wait to be out on the road with Adam and David and hear their heart-wrenching songs and spot on harmonies night after night!” Rich harmonies and thoughtful songs accompanied by guitar, cello, violin and banjo as only a group like the Brother Brothers can offer. Already established players and composers in a wide spectrum of genres throughout the NY musical circuit, they are finally teaming up to bring their individual experiences together.

Sharing the bill is The Sea The Sea, an Upstate New York-based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering nearly 10 million streams on Spotify. The animated video for their song “Waiting” sparked viral interest including Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and inclusion at the international TED 2015 conference. Mountain Stage host Larry Groce called Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley “ready to take their place among the best young male/female duos now performing.” Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, recently earned features by Apple Music including Best of the Week and A-List Singer/Songwriter.

Eventbrite - The Brother Brothers and The Sea The Sea