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.

Branford Folk Coffeehouse

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. Email:
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.

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 classic, 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 American Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" and National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition".

Admission: $20 non-members, $17 members, $5 children 12 and under.

Lou and Peter Berryman

Tom Lewis

May 20, 2017 (third Saturday): Tom Lewis

Without doubt, Tom Lewis 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. Long a Branford Folk audience favorite, this will be Tom's sixth appearance at the coffeehouse.

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. His musical career began in 1960 when he was posted to a naval station in Scotland and began frequenting local folk clubs. He retired from the Navy in 1983.

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.

House Hoot April 21

It's coming time to Hoot again.

The April House Hoot will be at 7:30 on Friday, April 21st at Sheldon Campbell's house, 85 Heloise St., Hamden, 06517. The theme (for the first round only, and not enforced, merely encouraged) is Sin, Sinners, or Sinning; after that, it's every man and woman for themselves. Also bring a snack or drink(s) to share; if you're a beer fan, please bring your own, I don't know anything about beer and it'd be a big mistake to count on me for that.

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.

Sheldon Campbell

Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse

Branford Folk Photo Gallery

Restaurants in Branford

Lodging in Branford


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 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

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: at
Nonprofit Bulletin at

Other folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England

Please send event listings to the editor at

Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405