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Doors open at 7:00 for all shows- no advance ticket sales.
Open mic at 7:30 followed by featured performers
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Saturday February 4th
We welcome Matt Flinner and his trio to our stage (and to the Ripton community!).In 2006, three musical pals decided to get together to play a few gigs; since then, the Matt Flinner Trio has been exploring new pathways and setting new standards for the bluegrass trio sound all around the U.S. and Europe. Matt Flinner, guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin cover a wide variety of musical styles—all with the common ground of American roots music. Bluegrass, jazz and old-time music are all present here in their ways, along with a dose of classical chamber music composition and arrangement, as the members all draw from their wide array of musical loves, experiences and influences. These influences boil down into the trio’s own organic sound of New Acoustic music, or Modern String Band music, or Chamber Grass (music is getting harder and harder to label these days, isn’t it?). Whatever label you put on it, it is guaranteed to be fresh and original, and definitely something you’ve never quite heard before.
Since its inception in 2002, the Matt Flinner Trio has been performing its own brand of acoustic music around the country to rave reviews.
Mandolinist Matt Flinner, guitarist Ross Martin and bassist Eric Thorin cover a wide variety of musical styles---all with the common ground of originality. Bluegrass, jazz and Celtic music are all present here, but not necessarily overtly or in a contrived sense. Call it Americana Music, or New Acoustic, or Chamber Grass, or just call it Great Music; whatever label you put on it, it is guaranteed to be fresh and original, and definitely something you've never quite heard before. On select tours, the Trio performs music that is as fresh as it gets---music written the
day of the show. In these "Music du Jour" Tours, each member of the Trio writes music each day of the tour, and each dayʼs music is debuted on that eveningʼs show. The results are stylistically varied, unpredictable and always exciting. The Matt Flinner Trio released their fi rst CD, "Music du Jour," in April of 2009 on Compass Records. The CD features selected compositions from various "Music du Jour" tours the trio
did between 2006-8. Bluegrass, jazz and even a little bit of circus music are part of the mix; "Music du Jour" breaks new ground in acoustic string band music and is destined to be a classic new acoustic recording. Their newest CD, "Winter Harvest," was released in February 2012 on Compass.
Matt Flinner, mandolin
Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Whether it's with his own Matt Flinner Trio or with Phillips, Grier and Flinner, the Frank Vignola Quartet, Darrell Scott, Steve Martin, the Ying Quartet, Tim O'Brien, Leftover Salmon or the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Flinner's style and compositional ability have established him as one of the most accomplished and musically diverse mandolinists in the world.
Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, KS in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year. He moved to Nashville in 1999, and his musical horizons quickly broadened. His two solo albums for Compass Records, The View from Here and Latitude, both featured bluegrass stalwarts Todd Phillips, David Grier, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas and Darol Anger, and received high critical acclaim. He was also featured on Steve Martin's CD "The Crow," which won the 2009 Grammy Winner for Best Bluegrass Album.
Ross Martin, guitar
Ross Martin has established a reputation as one of the most exciting jazz and bluegrass musicians in Colorado, and his reputation is rapidly expanding around the country. After graduating form the jazz program at the University of North Texas, Ross moved to Denver and soon joined the Tony Furtado Band, with whom he toured for four years. More recently, Ross wowed bluegrass audiences during his stint with the Drew Emmitt Band from 2003-5. He also continues to tour the country actively with Mollie OʼBrien, The Theory of Everything (with Michael Kang and Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident) and jazz trumpeter Ron Miles. Rossʼ first CD, Volley, was released in 2002 and features 10 original compositions which span the wide range of Rossʼ musical scope: from jazz to Americana to bluegrass and back. His second solo CD, which was produced by Matt Flinner and features Darol Anger and trumpeter Ron Miles, among others, will be released soon. Ross currently lives in New York City.
Eric Thorin, bass
A native Coloradoan, Eric got his start on piano and trombone at an early age from the prodding of his musical parents and later studied bass at the University of Northern Colorado. He played in salsa bands such as Kizumba and Conjunto Colores, toured extensively with rock act The Thugs, made up a third of the Flamenco/Indian ensemble Curandero, and toured with the Tony Furtado Band for four years. Eric also teaches bass at the Yellowstone Jazz Festival. He currently lives in Lyons, Colo., and continues to sit in with a variety of musicians including Hamster Theater, K.C. Groves, Leftover Salmon, Manuel Molina's Combo
Caliente, and Greenwich Gulch. He also has produced a collection of songs for Japanese elementary school children who are learning English. Eric was a member of one of the most widely acclaimed young bluegrass bands in the country, Open Road, from 2002-2006.“Flinner continues his reign as perhaps the most exciting and creative mandolin player on the scene today.”—Jazz Times
“One of the best mandolin players ever…”—Downbeat
“(Flinner) blurs the lines between jazz and bluegrass, traditional and avant-garde.”—Associated Press
“Flinner provides the next logical evolutionary step to David Grisman’s unique ‘Dawg’ style, and does it with a nod to the past and a vision of the future.”—Bluegrass Now
“Matt Flinner can play the mandolin as fast as anyone, but is also one of those rare virtuosos who knows that sometimes it’s the notes you don’t play that makes the melody great.”—Associated Press
“Flinner….represents the next generation of new acoustic music.”—Acoustic Guitar Magazine
“‘The View from Here’…a phenomenal record from an amazing talent which, as far as I’m concerned, has elevated the standard by which all future instrumental recordings must be judged.”—Dave Higgs, WPLN-FM
Saturday March 4th
From humble beginnings in the folk clubs of San Francisco, to hundreds of concerts across thousands of miles, Quiles & Cloud give voice to the landscape of modern America with the timeless blend of storytelling, vocal harmony and acoustic instrumentation.
Quiles and Cloud met in 2011 at an open mic in a San Francisco cathedral, finding not only immediate musical chemistry but a shared sense that the time was right, in Quiles’ words, “to go balls-to-the-wall with music.
“Rory was out in San Francisco playing all the time, sort of living out of his car, and I was living in my uncle’s basement,” she says. “So we found each other at a time when we were ready to commit.”
Both grew up surrounded by music and art. Cloud’s mother fronted the folk-rock band Cheryl Cloud and Common Ground, performing around southern California through the ’80s and up until she passed away from cancer in 1995. Initially, Rory played mostly electric guitar in various rock, jazz, and hip-hop projects, but he eventually came back to his folk roots—and now exclusively plays his mother’s old Guild dreadnought.
“I started getting back into writing songs, inspired by people like Nick Drake and songwriters that I got exposed to later,” he recalls, “and I started messing with alternate tunings on the acoustic guitar.”
Meanwhile, up in San Francisco, Quiles’ parents were ballroom dance teachers and painters. As a kid she played classical violin, but then, she says, “The acoustic guitar came into my life. I love playing violin and I still do it, but for me, guitar is a great tool for writing. I’ve dabbled in other roles in electric music, but I really resonate with an acoustic guitar.”
Quiles and Cloud made their first album, Long Time Coming, five months after they met, and soon afterward connected with Westesson, who joins them for California gigs and sometimes on tour elsewhere. At first the group’s repertoire mostly consisted of songs written individually, but the two quickly began developing their duo voice. “The sound that we have now has very much been developed through this project,” says Cloud. “We both sounded different when we got together and had different approaches to arranging.”
Most of the duo’s songs originate with a lyrical or musical idea from Quiles. “She’ll bring a framework to me,” says Cloud. “It might be half written and she needs a second opinion or ear on lyrics, or structural things with the tune, so I’m the person who comes in and tweaks the arrangement a little bit or adds something to the chord progression. Then there’s the whole harmony process that we go through, where we sit for a while and figure out what the nice notes are to add color to the arrangement.”
Quiles and Cloud tune into music beyond the folk world but feel most connected with artists such as Punch Brothers, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sarah Jarosz. Cloud says he appreciates the open-ended way those musicians cross-pollinate genres with the directness and simplicity of acoustic folk.-Acoustic Guitar Magazine
Coming up...& more to be announced!!
Saturday April 1st
Kelly Ravin plays gritty rock and roll. Equally at home in backcountry bars & big city clubs, his skills as an instrumentalist are outshadowed only by his gifts as a songwriter. Raised in rural Maine and residing in Vermont, Ravin rose to prominence as a driving force behind Waylon Speed, an “underground outlaw dirt rock” band the Washington Post called “a cross between Metallica and the Lumineers, with an unnecessary dash of Prince showmanship.” Glide Magazine and Seven Days provided probably-better touchstones, comparing the band to My Morning Jacket, Waylon Jennings, and Motörhead. As members of Waylon Speed shifted focus to other endeavors, Ravin focused on his solo work often collaborating with Lowell Thompson. His music finds itself squarely in the rock and roll tradition, with early influence from acts like The Drive By Truckers and Steve Earle; and modern resonance with the alt-country resurgence led by Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and others.
Lowell Thompson is a musician who splits his time between Burlington, VT and Austin, TX. Dan Bolles of Seven Days calls him a “A young tunesmith transformed into a true artistic force.” Big Heavy World says Thompson is "The most genuine sort of musician out there.” Rolling Stone magazine calls his music “Inspired Alt-Country.” Any way you cut it, Thompson’s work speaks for itself and has been vetted by his fellow musicians—hand picked to share stages with the likes of Graham Parker, Justin Townes Earle, and Dawes. His latest effort entitled Stranger’s Advice was released in January 2015 and was met with critical acclaim.
Saturday May 6th
Red Tail Ring is the musical brainchild of two old-time-minded Michiganders – Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo. The collaboration blends the loving attention of revivalist fervor with the playful creativity of starting from scratch. Whether rendering a traditional tune or one of their many original compositions, the duo infuses each song with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jawharp, and plain-old foot stomping. “We love pushing the boundaries of what a traditional song can be,” says Beauchamp. “It informs how we write our original songs. There’s a real energy exchange between the old and the new.”
“The very best of the 21st century’s minimalist and highly original folk music . . . a peerless duo.”
– American Roots UK
“Red Tail Ring brings to the stage a lively and commanding fusion of string and vocal harmonies. The pair deliver both established ballads and original compositions with a clear, authentic ease that manages to transcend traditional form while honoring its legacy.”
– Rob Cole, Grand Rapids Press
“Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp share a reverance for vivid, authentic American art forms. They are both rustic and elegant, and they lift us into their sound.”
– Seth Bernard, Earthwork Music
Saturday June 3rd
The string and vocal trio Low Lily (formerly Annalivia) explores the roots and branches of American folk music with traditional influences and modern inspiration that weaves together a unique brand of acoustic music. Liz Simmons (vocals and guitar), Flynn Cohen (vocals, guitar, and mandolin), and Lissa Schneckenburger (vocals and fiddle) are masterful players with deep relationships to traditional music styles ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, New England, and Old Time Appalachian sounds. When you combine this with stellar composition skills and inventive arrangements you get music that is rooted yet contemporary.
Saturday September 2nd
A bold new sound has emerged in New England’s traditional music scene: The Press Gang fuses the talents of squeezebox player Christian “Junior” Stevens, fiddler Alden Robinson, flute-player and vocalist Hanz Araki, and guitarist Owen Marshall into a high-octane musical partnership. The quartet blends their skill and fluency in traditional Irish music with their curiosity and aptitude for other styles. The joy that these musicians pour into playing music together is unmistakable and infectious. The result is a unique sound; at once energetic and sensitive, innovative and reverent.
“An Irish music phenomenon in America”— Irish Music Magazine
“One of those rare bands that are ingenious, driving, thoughtful and yet have great respect for the tradition.”— John Doyle
“Not unlike new-grass pioneer Nickel Creek’s self-titled debut in that it takes refuge in a tradition, but uses that context to shine.”— The Portland Press Herald
Saturday October 7th
The addition of pedal steel player Brett Lanier and Dan Davine on vibes provides the perfect compliment both in sound and in musical personality to the road-seasoned trio. In addition to Chorney’s songs Hollar General plays unique renditions of works by Tennessee Williams, Sun Ra and other unlikely sources. “Magic” - Matt Bushlow, Seven Days