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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

Presents

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
Presents
At Irvington Town Hall Theater, 85 Main St., Irvington, NY

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8 PM

RED MOLLY

ONE FOR ALL & ALL FOR ONE

 

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.
Note: Tickets for this concert are only available through Irvington Town Hall’s box office. For more information please click below.
RED MOLLY ORDER BAR

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

Presents

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 CoverLayDown.com 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

Presents

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.”  
Sunsetintherearview.com

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
Presents
At Irvington Town Hall theater
85 Main St., Irvington NY

Darlingside

“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.

Note: Tickets for this concert are only available through Irvington Town Hall’s box office. For more information please click below.
RED MOLLY ORDER BAR

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

Presents

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

Saturday, February 24, 8 PM: The Ana Egge Trio

Posted on Updated on

Common Ground Coffeehouse
at The First Unitarian Society of Westchester

Presents

The Ana Egge Trio

with special guest Steve Addabbo

“We were always the outsiders,” says folk songwriter ANA EGGE of her early roots in a small North Dakota town of 50 people. “I was taught how to shoot a gun and how to enjoy alfalfa sprouts and tofu, raised by two back-to-the-land hippies. My folks loved the outdoors and eccentric people; I ran around barefoot and learned to ride a motorcycle when I was 5. I grew up with all the time and space in the world.” Egge has since traded the openness of the American Plains for the untamable wilderness of New York City, recorded eight albums, and worked with musical legends such as Ron Sexsmith and Steve Earle. She’s been around the horn of life’s experiences, having gotten married and become a mother, but that childhood spirit of freedom has matured on her latest album, Say That Now.

For the first time in a career with many highlights (including recordings with Steve Earle and Ron Sexsmith), Egge gave herself over to a co-writing/collaborative process, working with Danish indie band The Sentimentals to write and record the songs on “Say That Now” in Copenhagen. Egge’s signature blend of American prairie folk mixed with clarion-call country shines through. On “Promises to Break,” their combined voices rise in glorious church-steeple harmony. It’s a song Egge and Hansen wrote together that speaks to the universality of forbidden love: “On my shoulder’s my hometown I’m trying to escape / On my hand is the number for calling your name / It’s a matter of leaving before my lies come true / Before my hometown finds out about you.” Hansen’s subsequent song “He’s a Killer Now” is a heart-rending meditation on the kind of terrorism currently gripping Europe, looking at the tragic deaths in a 2015 Danish shooting from a mother’s perspective. “Away We Go Again” is Egge’s attempt to grapple with the shock of Michael Brown’s tragic death and the Ferguson protests. With good friends and loving family around her, Ana found the space to create an album that looks both inward to the human journey and outward to the communities we build to survive this trip.

Opening the evening will be Steve Addabbo, a Grammy-nominated producer, musician, songwriter and audio engineer who helped launch the careers of Suzanne Vega and Shawn Colvin. He had a vital hand in Vega’s hit single, “Luka” and Colvin’s Grammy-winning Steady On. He has produced and/or engineered for artists including Bobby McFerrin, Eric Andersen, Loudon Wainwright III, Jeff Buckley, Richard Barone, The Bongos, Richard Shindell, Ana Egge and The Stray Birds, Jane Olivor, Olivia Newton-John, The Manhattans and Dar Williams. Addabbo is also an acclaimed mix engineer who has, among other projects, mixed the Bob Dylan Bootleg 10 “Another Self Portrait”and the Grammy-winning Bob Dylan Bootleg 12 “The Cutting Edge.” He owns Shelter Island Sound Studios located in Manhattan. Addabbo released his first full-length album Out of Nothing in 2016, 14 songs written or co-written by him.

Eventbrite - The Ana Egge Trio, w/special guest Steve Addabbo