While some venues like Club Passim in Cambridge, MA have maintained a healthy schedule of folk music performing artists during the summer months, many others have not because entertainers were lured to outdoor bandstands and pavilions from which they could display their talent. And listeners wanted to enjoy good music outdoors in pleasant conditions.
Coffeehouses were not part of this scene. They took the summer off and planned for the fall. Now that it is here, they and many other small and intimate music venues are back to being alive and vibrant even if, as in some cases, it is for just one concert per month.
Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Pawtucket, RI is a good example. Its schedule this season includes Paul Geremia on Saturday October 13th. The Rose Garden in Mansfield, MA presents the Mary Maguire Band which has a definite bluegrass bent to its music. That’s on the 20th. Cliff Eberhardt performs at the Beal House in Kingston, MA on the 6th.
Common Fence Coffeehouse in Portsmouth, RI hosts rambling Jack Elliott on October 6th and Jonathan Edwards on the 27th. Ellis Paul is featured at Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead, MA on Friday the 5th, and Buskin & Batteau appear there on the 12th. Meanwhile, Antje Duvekot visits Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in Franklin, MA on Saturday the 6th, followed by Cheryl Wheeler on the 20th. Gretchen Peters is the headliner at Driftwood Folk Café in Plymouth, MA on the 13th.
The all-season clubs also benefit from the cooler weather. One Longfellow Square in Portland, ME includes Lori McKenna and Cheryl Wheeler in its October lineup. The Strand Theatre in Rockland, ME features Suzanne Vega and Ben Taylor and the latter also will appear at TCAN in Natick, MA. Maria Muldaur and her Bluesiana Band will appear at both Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA and Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, NH. The gorgeous Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA has some interesting world folk artists appearing this month and is a must see.
Other music halls to check out include the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA and Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT. Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, ME is a little hard to find but worth the trip. The Berklee Performance Center and The Red Room @ Café 939 are two good Boston venues. The Flynn Center in Burlington, VT may provide the best opportunity to find folk music in that state and the Katharine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook, CT has its share of fine concerts.
I can list many more, but the point is that if you like live folk music from top talent artists, you can find them performing throughout all of the New England states this time of year. Don’t miss out. Take in a concert near where you live or take a nice foliage trip and top it off with some music. Life is short; so enjoy.