Two of contemporary folk’s brightest stars, Antje Duvekot and Meg Hutchinson, share the stage at Manchester by the Sea’s historic Crowell Chapel for one unforgettable night of song and poetry.
About Antje Duvekot:
Antje Duvekot has solidified her reputation as one of Boston’s top singer songwriters with “Big Dream Boulevard” her debut studio release and “the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer” her follow-up CD. The debut CD was produced by Seamus Egan, founder of the Irish super group, SOLAS. The project was released on acclaimed songwriter Ellis Paul’s label, Black Wolf Records and quickly attracted international attention for Antje. It was voted “#1 Folk Release of 2006″ by the Boston Globe and was named to the “Top10 Releases of the Year” by National Public Radio’s, Folk Alley. Her follow up album “the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer” was produced by Richard Shindell and along side with Richard features other “folk royalty” such as John Gorka, Lucy Kaplancky and Mark Erelli. It was voted #1 album of the year 2009 by WUMB 91.9 fm in Boston.
“What a blessing to have worked with someone as talented as Antje. With a voice like hers, and songs as good as these, a producer (especially a first-time producer!) just tries to get out of the way, to do no harm, and to let the artist speak for herself.” – Richard Shindell
former Rolling Stone music editor Dave Marsh says (about Antje’d debut ‘Big Dream Boulevard’): “This is a brilliant, brilliant album. I have had this reaction once in the last 10 years and that was the first time I heard Patty Griffin.”
“Duvekot has gotten hotter, faster than any local songwriter in recent memory. Her songs feel at once fresh faced and firmly rooted, driven by the whispery sensuality of her voice. She believes in the redemptive power of the shared secret; and is utterly unafraid to mine the darkest corners of her life for songs that turn fear into resilience and isolation into community”. The Boston Globe
Antje has won some of the top songwriting awards including the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the prestigious, Kerrville (TX) “Best New Folk Award” and in one of the nation’s top music markets, she won the Boston Music Award for “Outstanding Folk Act”, three of the top prizes in the singer songwriter world.
Antje has extensive touring experience, criss-crossing the US and Europe several times. She is a compelling live performer and has been invited to play some of the top festivals including The Newport Folk Festival as well as the Mountain Stage, Philadelphia and Kerrville Festivals. Internationally, she’s headlined the The Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and the Tonder Festival in Denmark.
In December of 2007, The Bank of America featured Antje’s song “Merry Go Round” in a national TV advertising campaign seen by millions, including a Super Bowl audience. Antje’s fast growing fan base, the viral spreading of her music and a track record of sold-out shows are a testament to her growing popularity. Neil Dorfsman, the producer of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sting says, “When I first heard Antje I knew I was witnessing something very special. She creates an entire, detailed world in verse, and takes you there with beautiful and understated melody. Her songs are stunning paintings of color and shade and always generate the heat and light that real art should. In an unpoetic and ‘in your face’ world, she is lyrical and subtle”
About Meg Hutchinson:
Meg Hutchinson is an award-winning songwriter who artfully documents the human condition. With a poet’s ease, she makes the personal universal, allowing people’s stories to come alive through her unique vocals and haunting melodies. Since the release of her Red House Records debut COME UP FULL in 2008, she has won high praise for her songwriting and has been featured nationally on NPR Music, XM/Sirius Radio and several times on the syndicated show Mountain Stage. Publications like The Winnipeg Free Press have compared her songwriting with that of veterans Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joni Mitchell.
Growing up in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, the woods and rivers were her childhood muses, as were songwriters like Greg Brown and Joni Mitchell, and poets like Mary Oliver, William Stafford, and Robert Frost. When Hutchinson inherited her grandmother’s 1957 Martin guitar at age eleven, her love of words found an inspiring instrument, and there was no turning back. “Songwriting is not something I chose, I’ve just somehow always known that this is what I love to do. This is what I can’t help but do,” she says.
After graduating from college with a degree in creative writing, Hutchinson quit her longtime job on an organic farm and settled in Boston. In between gigs at pubs, coffeehouses and train stations, she won a Kerrville New Folk Award (2000) and was nominated for a Boston Music Award for her first studio album AGAINST THE GREY.
She went on to win awards at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, the Telluride Troubadour Songwriter’s Showcase in Colorado and The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in North Carolina, all in the course of a year, causing national publications like Performing Songwriter to take notice. They called Hutchinson “A master of introspective ballads filled with understated yearning and an exquisite sense of metaphor.”
She quickly became an integral part of the vibrant Boston songwriting community. Like every great performer who has come out of the Boston scene, Hutchinson took to the subway, performing in Park Street, Downtown Crossing and Harvard Square honing her chops in the same method of predecessors like Martin Sexton, John Mayer, and Tracy Chapman.
After recording her live CD ANY GIVEN DAY in 2001, and continuing to build a fan base throughout the Northeast, she went into the studio with esteemed producer Crit Harmon (Lori McKenna, Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier) to record THE CROSSING. Released in 2004, this album caught the attention of renowned folk/roots label Red House Records. Label president Eric Peltoniemi knew there was something special in the young singer-songwriter, “Meg won me over with the profound yet easy depth of her lyrics rich words married to melodies I just can’t get out of my head.” Knowing her songs could stand alongside those by Red House heavyweights Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka, Peltoniemi signed Hutchinson to the label in 2007.
Teaming up again with Crit Harmon, Hutchinson recorded her Red House debut COME UP FULL over the course of more than a year in Boston. An instant folk hit, the album was one of the most played on folk and college radio and landed her on many “best of the year” lists. Hutchinson spent 2008 touring heavily in the U.S as well as Ireland and the UK, easily winning over new fans on both sides of the Atlantic. She was a favorite at South By Southwest (SXSW) and the International Folk Alliance Conference, showing that this was a young talent to be reckoned with.
In fall the of 2009, Meg Hutchinson joined fellow songwriters Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton and Natalia Zukerman to record the holiday EP WINTERBLOOM: TRADITIONS REARRANGED. A collection of eclectic holiday and wintertime tunes, the CD features original and traditional songs from a variety of backgrounds from a German hymn to a Yiddish folksong to a midwinter Greg Brown ballad.
Window prtglmIMG_9969Touring in support of the album, the four women performed concerts and radio interviews in 12 cities that December, and formed a deep musical bond and camaraderie which continues to the present day. They have toured Germany and the Netherlands, sang alongside Sarah McLachlan at Lilith Fair, performed for a week on the Cayamo cruise with the likes of John Prine and Lucinda Williams, and brought laughter and reverence to stages each holiday season since.
In 2010 Hutchinson released her second album on Red House Records, THE LIVING SIDE, showing that she was a songwriter who had fully arrived. With this album the lens grew larger as Hutchinson tackled some of the big issues of the time, all while maintaining that intimate and relatable voice which makes her songs resonate deeply.
In her newest album, BEYOND THAT (releases September 24th 2013 on Red House Records) Hutchinson teams up once again with veteran Boston producer Crit Harmon for what is her most modern and intricate production to date.
She says “Crit and I have worked together for a decade now. I wanted to build on that trust and that shared musical language and really encourage each other to find new sounds. I felt that I had reached a new landscape in myself and I wanted the album to reflect that.”
Hutchinson has been busy in the three years since we last heard from her. She has relearned the piano and established a home studio, giving her greater flexibility to explore new territory.
In addition to mastering these skills Hutchinson has clearly spent much of the last three years finding a deep peace. These songs are at once ecstatic and meditative. They are about coming home, about transforming desire, about how human love can open the heart for some greater purpose.
These are celebratory hymns from a woman who has made it out the other side of some difficult years and who is inviting us to go “Beyond That” with her now.