Branford Folk Music Society
The Branford Folk Music Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Service Code section 501(c)(3). The Society sponsors the Branford Folk Coffeehouse, a monthly folk music concert series, September through May, at the First Congregational Church, on the green in Branford, Connecticut.
The group also holds monthly "House Hoots" at members' homes, open to all for informal singing and playing, and produces a monthly newsletter with schedules and information on concerts and folk performers in Connecticut and the region. Branford Folk Music Society members receive a copy of the newsletter in the mail, as well as discounts in admission to our coffeehouse concerts. Become a member of the Branford Folk Music Society. Facebook members: Look us up on Facebook.
The Branford Folk Coffeehouse is in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main Street, Branford, CT. Wheelchair accessible. Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Admission prices are listed for each concert. Please pay at the door – there are no advance sales.
Directions: Take I-95 Cedar Street exit #54, go south on Cedar
Street to the end (crossing Route 1), turn left on Main Street. The
Congregational Church is the brick church on the green (on the right).
For more information, call 203-488-7715.
If parking immediately next to the Church and the Green is full, there is additional parking nearby.
Please contact us if you are interested in helping the coffeehouse as a volunteer. In particular, refreshment donations will be welcomed.
If you are wondering if a concert will be held on an evening when the weather is bad, please call 203-488-7715. (There is no one at the church who can give out concert information.) Also, cancellations will be posted on WTNH Channel 8.
March 11, 2017: Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem
With a deep repertoire that spans 200 years of American music, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem will offer listeners sublime lead singing, great harmonies, wicked grooves and sparkling original songs when they return to Branford Folk on March 11. Now in its 15th year, the ensemble has played from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival and beyond, dishing out a steadfast brew of wit, camaraderie, and musicality and leaving audiences humming and hopeful, spirits renewed.
This will be a one-of-a-kind performance of the band as a trio featuring Rani on fiddle and guitar, Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars and Scott Kessel on percussion. Unfortunately, longtime band member Andrew Kinsey, who plays bass, banjo and ukulele, cannot make the gig because of a family commitment.
At the band's helm is Rani "blessed with an unmistakable voice, both light and sultry, with a hint of tremolo and smoke" (Acoustic Guitar) and a fiddle that is sweet and sinewy. Anand's guitar stretches across genre lines while Scott's homemade percussion kit – always a favorite – is a truly funky collection of cardboard boxes, tin cans, caulk tubes, packing-tape tambourines, bottle-cap rattles, Mongolian jaw harps, and a vinyl suitcase.
In the lineage of string bands who blur the boundaries of American roots music, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem have always been standard-bearers, with as one Boston Globe music reviewer aptly put it, "a grand knack for pumping new blood into old music".
Imagine, for example, a pre-Civil War song from the Georgia Sea Islands sung over a New Orleans-style groove. Or, an old Irish fiddle tune with new lyrics, capped with a solo on a South American box drum. An original Unitarian funk gospel song? You begin to get the idea of what Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is all about. And their original songs fit seamlessly aside artful re-workings of artists such as Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen – just a few of the many places this band is willing to go.
The band has released six albums on Signature Sounds Records, their latest being the holiday release of "Wintersong", a baker's dozen of works that skip over the holiday canon and dig up the power, beauty and the celebration of the roots of Christmas and the turning of the year.
Admission: $25 non-members, $20 members, $5 children 12 and under.
April 8, 2017: Lou and Peter Berryman
There will be a bit of musical mayhem when Lou and Peter Berryman, two of the most humorous and creative songwriters in today's world of folk and acoustic music, invade Branford Folk this spring. Frequent comparisons to Tom Lehrer, Flanders and Swann, and Gilbert and Sullivan notwithstanding, Lou and Peter are originals, blending Midwestern culture with intelligent observation in a whimsical and wonderfully accessible performance.
Hailing from Wisconsin, Lou and Peter – whose friendship survived a brief marriage – have delighted audiences across the country for more than 35 years post-marriage. They have produced 18 albums and four songbooks of their original and hilarious yet oddly profound songs. Berryman songs are being sung around the world, by a legion of professional musicians from Peggy Seeger to Garrison Keillor to a recent "all Berryman" album by Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, as well as shower singers everywhere.
Their songwriting takes life's mundane moments and turns them into musical magic. Subject matter ranges from the Thanksgiving grace of a politically-correct uncle to a service industry for older people that specializes in forgetting things. The late Pete Seeger characterized their hit song, "A Chat With Your Mother" (a.k.a. "The F-Word Song") as "one of the great American folksongs of the 20th century."
Lou and Peter began their musical partnership in high school in Appleton, Wisconsin, in the 1960s. By the late '70s they had established themselves as a prominent feature of the songwriting subculture of Wisconsin's capital, playing their original material every week for almost ten years in the run-down but trendy music room of Madison's Club de Wash. Gradually expanding their circuit, they began crisscrossing the continent and gaining national attention with appearances on such programs as Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" and NPR's "Weekend Edition".
Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under.
May 20, 2017 (third Saturday): Tom Lewis
Tom is a 24-year veteran of the Her Majesty's Royal Naval diesel submarines, although now he's comfortably located on dry land and we're all better off for it musically. For many years a favorite at Branford Folk, Tom is one of North America's foremost exponents of contemporary sea songs.
His repertoire – from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background – recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Born in Northern Ireland, Tom's Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty "to be heard above the gales."
With songs that have become folk standards; known and sung wherever great choruses ring out; Tom accompanies himself on button accordion and ukulele – but it's his powerful vocal style and infectious humor – that quality of entertaining – which keeps audiences coming back again ... and again.
As winner of the inaugural "Trophée Stan Hugill", French fans dub Tom "The Springsteen of Sea Chanteys". The Old Songs Festival in New York declares "This man knows the sea ... from the bottom up!", whilst Living Tradition magazine in the (UK) says "Although I always knew he was good, I was not quite prepared for HOW good." Because of his naval background, he brings a rare authenticity to the realm of nautical song.
Admission: $25 non-members, $20 members, $5 children 12 and under.
The March House Hoot will be at 7:30 on Friday, March 10th at Bennet Lovett-Graff's house. The theme (for the first round only, and not enforced, merely encouraged) is Money; mentioned explicitly; a song about clams or green doesn't count unless it means money, cash, simoleons; after that, it's every man and woman for themselves. Bennet lives at 352 West Rock Avenue, New Haven. Located at the corner of West Rock Avenue and Whalley Avenue. Best to Google for directions. Local restaurants within walking distance. Also bring a snack or drink(s) to share.
The House Hoot, loosely associated with the Branford Folk Music Society, has been going since the 1950s. It's an opportunity to get together and Sing Good Songs, mostly folk but occasionally wandering into other musical realms. All acoustic instruments and voices are welcome.
Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse
Branford Folk Photo Gallery
Restaurants in Branford
Lodging in Branford
BRANFORD FOLK NEEDS VOLUNTEERS!
Branford Folk Coffeehouse performers are often provided overnight accommodations by volunteers in their homes. However, some performers are very sensitive to furry critters, so if you can provide overnight accommodations in a pet-free environment, please let us know, either at a concert or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hosts receive complimentary admission to the show! Thank you!
Wanna be on our Board?
The all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Branford Folk Music Society is looking for new members with a passion for traditional and tradition-based folk music and the skills to help us bring the joy of that music to wider audiences. We are seeking interested people with the time and willingness to take an active role in creating awareness of Branford Folk Music Society events in Connecticut, particularly in the broader shoreline community, and with skills to complement those of members of the current Board. These could include experience in public relations, arts or events coordination (not necessarily in music), outreach or fundraising; or connections with media, historical and cultural organizations in the New Haven area and towns along the shoreline. Anyone interested should contact us at 203-488-7715 or email@example.com.
The Branford Folk Music Society is a member of the
Folk Alliance International,
the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.
|The Branford Folk Music Society primarily books "traditional" and/or "traditions based" acoustic music, rooted in the Anglo-Celtic and/or American folk genres, and other traditional forms, such as Cajun, French Canadian, Klezmer, etc. We are also open to booking "traditions based" performers who write their own material provided their music demonstrates a knowledge and respect for these long established traditions.|
The Branford Folk Music Society posts monthly concert listings on the following web sites and blogs:
americantowns.com at http://www.branford.americantowns.com/
Nonprofit Bulletin at http://www.nhbulletin.blogspot.com/
Please send event listings to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405