[SOLD OUT] Boston Stands: A Benefit for the ACLU

SOLD OUT

[SOLD OUT] Boston Stands: A Benefit for the ACLU

Chris Smither, Lori McKenna, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Jesse Dee, Stephen Kellogg, Sarah Borges, Merrie Amsterburg, Sean Staples, Eric Royer, Paul Kochanski, Alastair Moock

Wed, April 5, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm (event ends at 12:30 am)

$25 - $30

Off Sale

This event is 18 and over

SOLD OUT!

An amazing night of mostly acoustic music. Some of the area's best talent lend their skills to benefit the ACLU (all proceeds go the ACLU).

With: Chris Smither, Lori McKenna, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Jesse Dee, Stephen Kellogg, Sarah Borges, Merrie Amsterburg, Sean Staples, Eric Royer, Paul Kochanski, Alastair Moock, AND MANY MORE

This is the third of the Boston Stands series. See http://bostonstands.org/ for more info.

18+ / All ages admitted with adult

$25 Advance, $30 at the door

Tickets are available for purchase online until 5pm day of show / Walk up tickets are available for purchase at the door day of show after 7pm (if not sold out)

[SOLD OUT] Boston Stands: A Benefit for the ACLU
[SOLD OUT] Boston Stands: A Benefit for the ACLU
An amazing night of mostly acoustic music. Some of the area's best talent lend their skills to benefit the ACLU (all proceeds go the ACLU).

With: Chris Smither, Lori McKenna, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Jesse Dee, Stephen Kellogg, Sarah Borges, Merrie Amsterburg, Sean Staples, Eric Royer, Paul Kochanski, Alastair Moock, AND MANY MORE

This is the third of the Boston Stands series. See http://bostonstands.org/ for more info.

$25 Advance, $30 at the door
Chris Smither
Chris Smither
A profound songwriter, Chris Smither draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. “Smither is an American original – a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world.”—Associated Press.
Born in Miami, during World War II, Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans where he first started playing music as a child. The son of a Tulane University professor, he was taught the rudiments of instrumentation by his uncle on his mother’s ukulele. “Uncle Howard,” Smither says, “showed me that if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio. And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.” With that bit of knowledge under his belt, he was hooked. “I’d loved acoustic music – specifically the blues – ever since I first heard Lightnin’ Hopkins’ Blues In My Bottle album. I couldn’t believe the sound Hopkins got. At first I thought it was two guys playing guitar. My style, to a degree, came out of trying to imitate that sound I heard.”
In his early twenties, Smither turned his back on his anthropology studies and headed to Boston at the urging of legendary folk singer Eric von Schmidt. It was the mid-’60s and acoustic music thrived in the streets and coffeehouses there. Smither forged lifelong friendships with many musicians, including Bonnie Raitt who went on to record his songs, “Love You Like A Man” and “I Feel the Same. (Their friendship has endured with Bonnie guest-appearing on Smither’s record Train Home. Over the years she has invited Chris to join her as support on concert dates, and most recently, lent her take on Chris’ “Love You Like A Man” for LINK OF CHAIN, a Chris Smither tribute CD.) What quickly evolved from his New Orleans and Cambridge musical experiences is his enduring, singular guitar sound – a beat-driven finger-picking, strongly influenced by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, layered over the ever-present backbeat of his rhythmic, tapping feet (always mic’d in performance).
Smither’s first albums, I’m A Stranger, Too! (1971) and Don’t It Drag On (1972) were released on Poppy Records, home of kindred spirit Townes Van Zandt. By the time Smither recorded his third album, Honeysuckle Dog with Lowell George and Dr. John helping out, United Artists had absorbed Poppy and ultimately dropped much of their roster, including Smither. Smither made his next record in 1985, when the spare It Ain’t Easy on Adelphi Records marked his return to the studio.
By the early ’90s, Smither’s steady nationwide touring and regular release of consistently acclaimed albums cemented his reputation as one of the finest acoustic musicians in the country. His 1991 album, Another Way to Find You, was recorded live in front of an in-studio audience with no overdubs or second takes. This would be the first of two albums with Flying Fish Records. His next recording, Happier Blue, was embraced by Triple A radio and received the NAIRD (now AFIM) award as Best Folk Recording of 1993. Up On The Lowdown (1995) marked the first of a trio of albums to be recorded with producer Stephen Bruton at The Hit Shack in Austin and his first of five albums with roots label HighTone Records. Up On the Lowdown rode the crest of the newly formed Americana radio format wave and sparked considerable interest abroad. A tour of Australia with Dave Alvin and extensive solo touring in Europe led to an expanding global interest in Smither. His song, “I Am The Ride,” from this album inspired the independent film, The Ride, for which Smither also composed the original score.
In early 1997 Smither released Small Revelations. It climbed the Americana and Triple A radio charts and led to concert dates with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, and the hugely successful, original Monsters of Folk’ tour with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin and Tom Russell. Small Revelations also generated several film projects for Smither. Emmylou Harris recorded his song, “Slow Surprise,” for the The Horse Whisperer soundtrack on MCA. And his recording of “Hold On” was used in the indie feature film Love From Ground Zero. Smither also shared insight into his guitar style and technique on two instructional DVDs, available from Homespun Video.
His CD, Drive You Home Again (1999), garnered four-stars from Rolling Stone. And with it, Smither continued to tour world-wide. Shortly after, in 2000, Smither released his one-man-tour-de-force, Live As I’ll Ever Be. Recorded in-concert at various clubs and concert halls in California, Dublin, Galway, Boston, and Washington DC, it has proven to be a fan favorite, capturing Smither at what he loves to do: performing in front of an audience.
Train Home (2003) was Smither’s last record for HighTone and his first with producer David Goodrich. Over a six-week period, basic tracks for Train Home were recorded in the relaxed environment of Smither’s home near Boston. Working with new session musicians, the record is simultaneously sparse and assured. Lifelong friend and special guest, Bonnie Raitt, provided backing vocals and slide guitar on Smither’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.” And Smither’s “Seems So Real” from the CD earned a Folk Alliance Award as “Song of the Year.”
In 2005, jazz great Diana Krall covered “Love Me Like A Man,” introducing what is now a blues standard to a whole world of jazz fans. Shortly after, Smither’s song “Slow Surprise” was included in the independent film, Brother’s Shadow. In addition, Smither narrated a two-CD audio book recording of “Will Rogers’ Greatest Hits.” Continuing to expand his creative horizon, Smither was invited to contribute an essay to Sixty Things to Do When You Turn Sixty, a 2006 collection of essays by American luminaries on reaching that milestone. In 2009, Melville House published Amplified, a book featuring 16 short stories by notable American performing songwriters. Smither’s story Leroy Purcell about a touring musician’s encounter with a Texas State Patrolman leads off the collection.
With the release of his 12th recording Leave The Light On (2006) on his own imprint, Mighty Albert, Smither began a new label relationship with the renowned acoustic and modern folk label, Signature Sounds. For the recording, Smither reunited with producer David Goodrich and session musicians Mike Piehl, Lou Ulrich and Anita Suhanin. As an added treat, Smither invited good friend and Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Tim O’Brien, along with rising American roots stars, Ollabelle, to add their distinctive talents on several tracks. Smither followed this with Time Stands Still (2009), his most stripped down recording in some time, working with just two accompanists after the same trio had played a rare band performance – a non-solo setup required in order to play a Netherlands festival.
About the recording Smither says, “We’re the only three guys on this record, and most of the songs only have three parts going on. We had a freewheeling feeling at that festival gig, and we managed to make a lot of that same feeling happen in this record.” And always wanting to treat his fans well, in 2011 Smither put out two fan projects: a collection of live tracks from newly discovered concert recordings from the 1980s-1990s titled Lost and Found and the rollicking EP, What I Learned in School, on which Smither covered six classic rock and roll songs.
Smither followed these fan-projects with Hundred Dollar Valentine (2012), a  (MOJO) studio record of all Smither-penned songs. With longtime producer David “Goody” Goodrich at the helm, this collection sported the unmistakable sound Smither has made his trademark: fingerpicked acoustic guitar and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice.
The most recent recording project is Still On the Levee (2014) – a double-CD retrospective. Recorded in New Orleans at the Music Shed, this career-spanning project features fresh new takes on 24 iconic songs from his vast career – including Devil Got Your Man, the first song he penned, on up to several of his most recent originals.
Coming out at the same time as Still On the Levee, the book Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012 features his complete set of lyrics complemented by select images of Chris and performance memorabilia from his decades-long career. To commemorate his career to-date, Signature Sounds is releasing an all-star tribute record including a stellar list of artists offering their takes on some Smither favorites including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien, Patty Larkin, and many others.
Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. As Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote, Smither sings about “the big things – life, love, loss – in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way.”
Lori McKenna
Lori McKenna
Lori McKenna has become one of Nashville’s most in-demand country songwriters. Her songs have been cut by artists such as Alison Krauss, Reba, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, with chart hits like Hunter Hayes’ “I Want Crazy,” Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” “Your Side of the Bed” and “Sober.” Her credits have landed her five Boston Music Awards, BMI awards and featured performances at the Sundance Film Festival and the Newport Folk Festival. Along with her successes as a songwriter, McKenna has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums: Paper Wings and Halo, Pieces of Me, The Kitchen Tapes, Bittertown, Unglamourous, Lorraine and Massachusetts. Her latest album, Numbered Doors was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 Best Country Albums of 2014.
Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey
Over the past 20 years, Mulvey has pursued a restless, eclectic path as a writer and musician – immersing himself in Tin PanAlley jazz, modern acoustic, poetry, narrative, and Americana stylings. Relentlessly touring as a headliner – his attitude is, “When you love what you do, you can work all the time,” – he has also shared the stage with luminaries such as Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani diFranco, Indigo Girls, and Greg Brown, and has attracted an audience that stretches from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

Peter Mulvey began as a self-described “city kid” from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He played, wrote, and sang in bands while studying theatre there, and then traveled to Dublin, Ireland, in 1989, where he learned the trade of the street singer. Returning to the States, he relocated to Boston with two self-released CDs in hand: Brother Rabbit Speaks (1992) and Rain (1994). In Boston he took to playing in the subways as a full-time occupation. The seven hour sessions playing to passers-by and commuters not only strengthened his accomplished guitar playing but also sharpened his innate gifts as a communicator. In a few short years he had made the transition to touring songwriter. He signed with indie upstart Eastern Front Records, released Rapture (1995) and Deep Blue (1997), and threw himself into a life on the road. He quickly released Glencree (1998), a recorded live in Ireland.

The road years further seasoned his abilities as a performer. Whether playing solo or with a band in tow, Mulvey has a rare ability to hold an audience’s attention and transport them, using wit, humor, and a subtle but sophisticated melodic and harmonic sensibility to gracefully introduce complex and provocative concepts and characters.

Having since resettled back in Milwaukee, Peter has continued his touring life while making seven solo records with Signature Sounds, the venerable singer/songwriter label in western Massachusetts’ fertile musical Pioneer Valley. His sixth release, The Trouble With Poets (2000), features the title track which remains among his best-known songs. 2002 brought Ten Thousand Mornings, a CD of cover songs recorded live on Boston’s Davis Square subway platform. The name refers to the collective number of commuters’ mornings Peter hoped he was entertaining, or touching, in some way. His albums have always maintained the spontaneity and edge of his live performances, including his 2004 Kitchen Radio and 2006 CD, The Knuckleball Suite, both of which were recorded in just a few days with a band of sympathetic co-conspirators. He followed the ensemble vibe of these records with Notes from Elsewhere (2007), which consists of solo acoustic recordings of some of his most popular songs.

Collaboration is another source for Peter’s continued growth. In 2003, he released the trio album, Redbird, with fellow songwriters Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault. The album’s 17 songs range from jazz standards to old country tunes to contemporary covers, all recorded in three days around one microphone. Peter’s annual hometown holiday in-the-round gigs have become an institution over nearly a decade. He can sit in with nearly any musician or ensemble and improvise in the common language of music.

As a complement to his touring and recording, Peter has also kept a hand in education; teaching guitar and songwriting workshops across the country. His songs and deep baritone voice have been heard in documentary films, major television shows, and by dance and theater companies. In 2004 Peter released a full-length DVD, On the Way, featuring interview and concert footage.

For the past several years Peter has done an annual Fall tour entirely by bicycle, partly for environmental reasons and partly for the sheer fun of continuing his creative, unorthodox approach to a long and fruitful career as an artist.

In every aspect of his career, Mulvey draws on an extremely broad swath of influence; he is always reading, listening, and eager to hear new poetry, modern minimalist composers, old-time fiddle tunes, Argentinean trip-hop, or top-shelf bar bands. Said The Irish Times: “Peter Mulvey is consistently the most original and dynamic of the US singer-songwriters to tour these shores. A phenomenal performer with huge energy, a quick fire, quirky take on life, and an extraordinary guitar style. A joy to see.”

Still, it is the live performance that defines that work. Night after night, whether performing solo, duo (with David “Goody” Goodrich), or sometimes even with a band, Mulvey attempts to be the sum of his parts, to draw on all the musical legacies he has studied, to make a fresh, vital moment out of everything he and the audience have brought to the table that night. “People need this. I need this. To come together in a room, to try to make music come alive, for real, for right now, and then to let it go…that is the whole deal for me."
for me.”
Vance Gilbert
Vance Gilbert
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking 'em dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert's stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.

Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert's approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
Jesse Dee
Jesse Dee
Boston's Jesse Dee is a singing, songwriting, guitar-playing soul man-a modern day trailblazer inspired by the old school. Dee's passion is exploring and updating soul music for contemporary audiences. With his warm and honest sound, his instantly memorable melodies and positive, slice-of-life lyrics (evoking the heyday of the Brill Building songwriters), he accomplishes just that. His inventive, hook-filled songs are delivered with buoyant, youthful exuberance. Live, he always brings down the house, and keeps his ever-growing fan base coming back for more. His band lays down driving, infectious grooves while Dee's expressive vocals put him in a class by himself. On the strength of his fervent live shows, Dee plays to packed clubs in New England and has toured across Europe, earning new fans at every gig. The Boston Herald declares, "Dee has an explosive voice. He possesses a powerful, raspy tenor and an uncanny phrasing ability that can't be taught."

Dee won the 2010 Boston Phoenix Music Poll Award for Best R&B Act, both for the strength of his live show and the aftershocks of his 2008 debut CD, Bittersweet Batch (7Not Records/Munich Records). With his new album, ON MY MIND / IN MY HEART, his first for Alligator Records, Dee is now poised to break into the minds and hearts of music lovers across the country and around the world. The album, eleven original songs produced by Dee and Jack Younger, is a sweet soul masterpiece full of good vibes and funky, joyful music. Like Sam Cooke, Dee writes about real life with true emotional poetry. His lyrics are set to toe-tapping melodies with horn charts channeling The Memphis Horns and 1970s-era Van Morrison.

Much like an artist painting on canvas (another of his talents), Dee crafts his songs in layers, oftentimes starting with a melody and lyrics, then carefully adding guitar riffs, horn blasts, vocal inflections, or any number of other colors from his musical palette. He fills his songs with a wide variety of textures, allowing listeners to visualize the images he paints with his words. "I'm a music fan first," Dee says, "so it's important to me to seek out and create with original ideas. That's why songwriting is so important, and why I mean every word I write and sing."

Born in 1980 in Boston, MA, Dee grew up in nearby Arlington. He got his first taste of soul music from local oldies radio station WODS when he was eight years old. As a child, he was drawn to the sounds of The Drifters, The Shirelles, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke and other doo wop, Motown and R&B greats. He always loved singing, and would often record made-up tunes into his tape recorder. He sang in school theatre productions and church choir, and was writing songs by his mid-teens. Dee began fronting a band soon after, but didn't pick up his first guitar until he was 18. With help from his musically inclined father and The Bob Dylan Six-Chord Songbook, he taught himself the instrument well enough to start performing as a solo artist a year later. During this period, Jesse immersed himself in the music of Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Solomon Burke, Etta James, James Brown and all the deep soul masters, listening, learning, writing and continuing to hone his craft by playing live every chance he could get.

Dee attended Massachusetts College Of Art And Design, studying illustration, performance, production, mixed-media and composition. He sang with the ten-piece ensemble Decifunk, and toured up and down the East Coast. In the early 2000's he even lent his voice to rock 'n' roll band The Dirty Whites before starting his own group. He released his first album, Bittersweet Batch, in 2008, and heads immediately began turning. The New York Daily News awarded the CD a rare four-star review, saying, "I am blown away by what's coming out of my speakers...remarkable...there isn't a bad song to be found...upbeat and soulful."

The success of the CD allowed Dee and his band to travel beyond Boston, making new converts in Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville, and Chicago. He first toured the Netherlands, the UK and Italy in 2009 before heading back again the following two years, this time adding Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France and Spain to his itinerary. Dee has opened for soul greats Al Green, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Bettye LaVette, and blues rockers Los Lobos and the J. Geils Band, and has shared stages many times with fellow soul singer James Hunter.

Dee is ready to set the world on fire. He will tour widely, bringing his modern, fun and timeless music to clubs, concert halls and festivals all over the world. Dee is proud of the songs on ON MY MIND / IN MY HEART, saying the music is a perfect representation of where he is as an artist. "Soul music is capable of touching the greatest and most diverse group of people," Dee says. "All the best soul music is based on shared experience. Songs have the ability to affect people, shine a light, lift them up, and push them forward. There's hope in these songs," he continues, "and people need that now more than ever."
Stephen Kellogg
Stephen Kellogg
My name is Stephen Kellogg.

I’m thirty-six years old. I say that I’m from Northampton, MA because that’s where I got my start, though now I live in Southern Connecticut. I’ve spent the better part of the last ten years on the road or in the studio, but I have four daughters and a beautiful wife too. I asked if I could write my own biography, partially because it saves money, and I figured if someone wanted to learn about me, I’d just as soon tell them myself.

My music has been described as Americana, Country-Rock, Folk, Singer/Songwriter, and, somehow, pop. I have always thought of it as American-rock n’ roll. It’s a product of my father’s record collection, from Jim Croce and Cat Stevens to Eagles and The Band. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with showmanship and acts that put on great concerts. Sometimes that meant Van Halen, other times it meant the Grateful Dead, and most recently it’s probably more to do with John Prine. For what it’s worth, Tom Petty is my favorite artist. Although it’s been pointed out to me by one quite popular publication that I’m “no Bruce Springsteen”, I’ve decided to continue making music anyway (I’m laughing as I write this in case that’s not clear).

The thing is…I fell into this job. I like people. I like sharing a world-view. I don’t mind singing and playing guitar, but I never expected that I’d do it for a living. Like a lot of folks, I think I just figured I wasn’t good enough or that maybe it wasn’t possible. The fact remained though that I needed a way to provide for my family, presumably just like those of you reading this biography (or for the younger generations, the same way your parents have). Ultimately writing songs and playing them for people has become that living. There are many occupations for which I have immense admiration - doctors, soldiers and teachers topping the list. But there isn’t another job I think I’d necessarily be suited for, so this is what I do.

In November of 2012, my band of the last ten years decided to take a hiatus. We performed our final show at Webster Hall in New York City for three hours and said goodbye for now. 2012 also took with it my mother-in-law and my grandmother. Most of this happened in late Spring, when my house was under renovation; the foundation was still there, but the house was literally ripped apart. Some metaphor, huh? 2012 was a year of change if nothing else. The musical result of this tumultuous period is Blunderstone Rookery. The title comes from the boyhood home of my favorite character in my favorite book, “David Copperfield”.

I produced Blunderstone Rookery in conjunction with my long-time musical collaborator, Kit Karlson. Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) mixed the album. We chose to make the record in Bridgeport, Connecticut because, after making the last few in Los Angeles and New York, I really wanted to work on home turf. The music was played by a number of friends of mine, some of them play in bands you may have heard of (Travis McNabb and Annie Clements from Sugarland, Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek, Jerry DePizzo from OAR), and many of them, including me, you may not have heard of. I loved working on Blunderstone Rookery more than any album I’ve ever made and it’s my ninth studio effort. It was a fresh process. One that began with the exciting notion, “what if I say exactly what I want to say” and ended with me handing my father a vinyl copy to add to his record collection.

That, after all, is why I do this.

Using words and intention in the hopes of a positive legacy for my family.

Stephen Kellogg

February 2013
Sarah Borges
Sarah Borges
Change is something that takes a little getting used to. If you need proof of this, ask the soulful Sarah Borges. After a long and successful stint with her band, The Broken Singles, 2011marked the band's breakup – and Sarah embarking on a solo career. She admits it took some time to adjust. "One of the things I didn't expect is when you're on stage and you're doing a show, there's certain things you have to do. You have to tune your guitar. You have to take a sip of your drink. It's just inevitable. I guess I had my band mates fill in that space – whether it be telling jokes or on-stage banter. You can't have that when it's just you. That's a change. You have to be ok with it being quiet for a second. Also, you play out with your bandmates so much – especially when you've been together for a long time, and you operate as a unit. You have to dig deep and think about how you're going to make the show exciting by yourself instead of relying on others."

However, "digging deep" has never been a problem for the Massachutess native. Whether it be through performances or her writing, Borges has learned to dazzle – and do it well. That ability can be heard all over her 2014 Radio Sweetheart disc, as well as her upcoming follow-up, Good and Dirty, due in early 2016. She attributes that ability to a very eclectic sound, which she comes by naturally, she says.

"I would say that my sound is straight up rock and roll, but it's the sum total of what my record collection looks like. The new record that I am working on is certainly more Americana than the last record was. It's also more rock than the last record. I would say that it's a version of the live shows – a lot of loud guitars and loud singing. You can certainly dance to it."

Just what was Borges listening to during those formative musical years? "When I started playing in a band, I listened to X and its' offshoots, like the Knitters and other bands that its members were in. I also listened to a lot of old country from my dad's record collection, and a lot of classic rock. I grew up in Boston, which in the 1990s was such a hotbed for indie rock. You could go and see all your favorite bands in the clubs every Saturday night. There's a lot of musicians and bands that came from here, and were so accessible when I started playing. That helped me out a lot in terms of me thinking it was possible to be in a band."

Though the creative side of her loves to record, Sarah says that it's being on stage night after night that is truly her greatest passion. "That's my favorite part of music. Every night is different, and determined by the people in the audience. Sometimes, the crowd is so ready to go, and sometimes you might have to work things a little more. I like to do it night after night, because it's a living and breathing thing – and it evolves."

When it comes to creating music, Sarah explains that she feels a little more free these days to let the listener inside her soul. It didn't used to be that way. "I was so wary of getting too personal in songs, or I would think about things a lot before I wrote. But, I think after a long time of touring and playing, and having lived a little bit and having a child, I realized that the only way you're going to have a serious connection with people is when you're honest. Nobody can ever fault you for being that. With the new record, I have just gotten divorced, and I have a child. So, I'm not afraid to lay it out there anymore. What's the worst thing that can happen? Nobody is going to die," she says with a laugh.

For Good and Dirty, Borges received some all-star help in the producer's chair. "I got to work with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel who has such a great track record – Steve Earle, Bottle Rockets, Joan Jett. I had met him through some mutual friends. He's producing and playing guitar on it."

To record the disc, Borges ventured outside of her Boston comfort zone. "I went to his studio in New York, and we worked on the songs a little bit. I'm using his guys that he plays with on the record. I'm excited about it, because I feel that it's the most honest record I've made to date. The first single is called 'Caught By The Rain."

As the release date of the album beckons, look for Sarah Borges to be in her natural habitat. "We're going to be on the road a lot. I was on tour with the Broken Singles for about eight years, then I stopped to have my son. The music business has changed so much since then, but one thing that hasn't changed is people still go out and hear live music. I'm going to continue to do that, because that's what I know how to do."

Other songs from Good and Dirty that Sarah is ready to share with her fans include the autobiographical "Tendency To Riot," of which she says is about "finding yourself at loose ends, and trying to figure out how to go out and have fun." On the other end of the spectrum, there's the emotional wallop of "Lucky Us," which in the writer's words is "a sad story about a relationship ending and how it wasn't the greatest relationship to begin with. That's the country weeper, I guess you could say." One of the most beautiful cuts from the album is the evocative "All The Things That You've Been Missing," which shedescribes as "a love song to New York City, which I thought was fitting since that's where we're making the record. It's about looking at the city from across the bridge and wanting to make it big and do your thing, but you just can't get there, It's both metaphorical and autobiographical too."

Telling her story – and being a musical bad ass in the process. That's Sarah Borges. Take a listen. You'll be glad you did. - Chuck Dauphin - See more at: http://www.sarahborges.com/bio/#sthash.SJQ3N0m6.dpuf
Merrie Amsterburg
Merrie Amsterburg is a singer-songwriter born in Ludington, Michigan.[1] Her music has folk, rock, and pop influences. She has been compared to Beth Orton, Tori Amos, Aimee Mann, and others. She has won two Boston Music Awards, a Boston Phoenix Award, and a Jam Magazine Award.[2]

She uses several instruments in her songs, including the guitar, the trumpet, the mandolin, the Indian banjo, the bouzouki, the harmonium, and even a 1970s Kenmore washing machine.

Prior to her solo career, she was the guitarist and singer for The Natives and Miss Understood.
Alastair Moock
Boston-based singer/songwriter Alastair Moock began to make a name for himself on the folk and Americana circuit back in 1995, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, playing major festivals including Newport and Norway’s Bergen Music Fest. He won songwriter contests at the Falcon Ridge, Sisters, and Great Waters folk festivals, was a finalist in Kerrville and South Florida and was nominated for a 2007 Boston Music Award for Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year. He opened for renowned folk and blues artists like Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Greg Brown, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and many more.

Still, critical success did not translate into commercial success. Clubs remained half-filled, CDs sat on the shelves. When his twin daughters were born in 2006, Moock concluded it was time to move on. As his swan song, he decided to make one more album: a tribute both to his own newborn daughters and to a generation of musical heroes – Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten – who wrote and played, proudly and undiscriminatingly, for both adults and kids.

The album, A Cow Says Moock, became Moock’s most successful project to date. It led to three more family albums which, together, garnered most of the top awards in American children’s music: two Parents’ Choice gold medals, the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award, and first prize in the International Songwriting Competition. In 2013 Moock received a GRAMMY Nomination for an album he made with his daughter, Clio, after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Clio is now a healthy, thriving ten-year-old, and Moock continues to send their album out to hospitals and patients around the country.

This time, critical success was accompanied by greater commercial success: “Enough to keep me in the game, anyway,” says Moock. “And I love playing for kids – it’s something I plan to do for the rest of my life.”

But Moock clearly also missed writing for adults. “I had a very, very long dry spell,” he says. “I kept waiting on the kinds of songs I wrote in my 20s and 30s, but they wouldn’t come. It finally dawned on me: ‘that’s not who I am anymore.’ To get past the BS and write something honest, I needed to include all those parts of me I was leaving out: the husband, the father, the guy with some grey in his beard, the guy who’s been through some stuff. Once I realized that, everything started to flow again.”

Moock brought his new material to his old friend, the multi-talented songwriter and instrumentalist Mark Erelli (Lori McKenna, Josh Ritter) who agreed to sign on as producer. “I was really taken with the honesty and simple wisdom in Moock's new songs,” says Erelli. “Having known him for nearly his entire career, I was excited to help him push further into new terrain and make a record I don't know if he could have made until now.”

Erelli brought in some of the top talent in the area, including Marco Giovino on drums (Robert Plant, Buddy Miller) and Marty Ballou on bass (Peter Wolf, John Hammond Jr.). The end result is ten shimmering new tunes, plus a cover of an Erelli song, that evoke a wide breadth of American musical textures: early Nashville, country blues, Western swing, a tinge of gospel. But most of all, the album is infused with the kind of intimate storyteller’s approach that Moock excels at.

The songs touch on death and love, politics, marriage and family, big universal questions and minute everyday observations. It’s a hard album to pin down, but then Moock has always been a hard songwriter to pin down. “I don’t care who I’m singing to,” he says, “I just want to tell stories.”

The self-titled album, Alastair Moock, will be released later this spring.
Venue Information:
ONCE Ballroom
156 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA, 02143