Tag Archives: music

Ellis Paul at Old Sloop Coffeehouse this Friday, September 6, with Susan Cattaneo

ellis paul

Ellis Paul’s songwriting credentials are unassailable. They are as genuine as the 14 Boston Music Awards he has earned (a total second only to Aerosmith), as indelible as the tattoo of Woody Guthrie that adorns his arm, and as authentic as the musical roots he draws upon with every note he plays.  Since emerging from the Boston music scene, Ellis Paul’s music has been consistently recognized and celebrated worldwide. His 16 releases and loyal, enthusiastic audiences reinforce this acclaim and have cemented his place as one of America’s most talented songwriters.

Ellis’ songs have been featured on the soundtracks to documentaries, TV shows and big Hollywood films such as The Farrelly Brother’s “Hall Pass”, “Me, Myself & Irene”, and “Shallow Hal”. Ellis is a true American troubadour, performing over 150 tour dates a year, for over 20 years all around the world. He has shared the stage with some of the top names in the music world including: Pete Seeger, John Mayer, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, and multi platinum band Sugarland, among others.

He’s a great writer, and he’s someone who always connects with an audience. This is a guy who gets on stage and is never just phoning it in. That is what draws many people to him.

– Matt Smith, Club Passim

Susan Cattaneo has been a songwriting and voice professor at Berklee College of Music for 13 years. Her songs have been covered by numerous artists in Nashville, and her tunes helped launch the careers of Jillian Cardanelli and Erica Nicole. Susan has released three albums of mostly upbeat, catchy pop-country music: “Brave and Wild,” in 2009, “Heaven to Heartache” in 2011 and “Little Blue Sky” in 2012. You’ll hear a blend of country, rock and soul with sparkles of blues and folk – music that would slide into the comfort zone for fans of Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter or Sheryl Crow.

The performance will be in the handicap-accessible Fellowship Hall of the First Congregational Church of Rockport at 12 School Street.  Advance tickets for this concert can be purchased for $16 from the coffeehouse web site at http://oldsloopcoffeehouse.org, at Gloucester Music, at Toad Hall Bookstore, during intermission at prior coffeehouses, and during coffee hour after worship the Sunday before the concert.  The suggested donation at the door is $20 for adults, $12 for those 65 and older, $5 for those younger than 18, and $40 for families.

Mother of Grace Club Celebration

From Catherine Fontana (see her interview with Joey here):
You are cordially invited to attend our annual feast in honor of Mother of Grace, Sept. 6-8. All events will be held at 48 Washington St. unless otherwise stated.


Schedule of events:

Sept. 6th (Friday): 6:30-930PM Italian music

Sept. 7th (Saturday): 7-10PM Jim Geary and Band

Sept. 8th (Sunday):

  • 8AM High Mass at St. Ann’s Church
  • 2:30PM Benediction service at the Club (48 Washington St.) followed by the annual procession and a band concert
  • 8:45PM Closing of the feast with a candlelight procession


Matthew Green

The British are Coming!

Actually, they already came, but that was the tagline for a wonderful concert given by the Choir of St. Mary’s, Maldon (Essex, UK) at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gloucester on Monday night.  It was one of a series of events that are being held at St. John’s in honor of the church’s 150th anniversary. The choir was composed of 16 people, plus the director, Colin Baldy, and a 15-year-old organist who both accompanied the choir and played solos on the church’s Fisk organ.

_Choir overview DSC08847


_Willy the organist with Mark and the altos DSC08841

Their repertoire included pieces ranging from the 16th century to the present. I think my personal favorites were “Rejoice in the Lamb”, by Benjamin Britten, and “O Thou the Central Orb”, by Charles wood.

If you missed the concert, you can still hear them sing! The choir has videos on Youtube and CDs for sale on Google Play.

Other future musical events at St. John’s include their 150th anniversary Solemn Evensong on Sunday, October 6 at 4 pm, featuring the Parish Choir singing works of Vaughan Williams. The 25 anniversary concert of the Fisk Opus 97 at St. John’s is on Sunday, May 18 at 4 pm, featuring Thomas Baugh of Roanoke, VA, playing works of Bach, Franck and Gershwin. Both programs are open to the public and include receptions following.

Matthew Green

Rocky Neck Event of the Summer – The Beaux Arts Ball

beaux arts ball

It is coming up fast, the 2013 Rocky Neck Beaux Arts Ball.  This year the theme is recycled, repurposed, revived.  Put on your creative thinking cap and come up with a fun, unique costume (plastic bags, newspapers, empty cans or bottles, fish net, a recreated second hand outfit – like our poster model Katharine Worth created and is wearing – from Bananas, Second Glance, Madcap Style or any of our many vintage, second hand and thrift shops, etc.).  Have fun with your costume, and then come and have fun at the Beaux Arts Ball at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center on Saturday, August 3rd from 6-10:00 pm.


Mystery Train Records

Finally breaking through the half-way point on my list of second-hand stores in Gloucester, today we look at another specialized store: Mystery Train Records (21 Main St., open 10-7 daily), which sells “rare and collectible vinyl recordings from every genre of music”. They also sell used CDs and DVDs.

DSC07670As you can see from the photo, the store is located near the western end of Main Street (close to the main venues of Fiesta!) and shares the building with Cape Ann Cinema. I have been in the store a couple of times, but every time I walk in I am impressed by the size of the store and the shear volume of their inventory (pun intended)!

Apparently customers travel from miles around to come here, as stores of this sort aren’t all that common. They also sell on eBay.

Of course, to be able to use the vinyl records, you need to have a record player. If you don’t still have one in your house from before the dominance of CD’s and MP3s, but are longing for that classic sound, you are not without recourse.  Mystery Train  usually has a few in stock (new or used), and you can also buy them on-line.

DSC07678- Matthew Green

RUNA At Old Sloop Coffeehouse June 7


Have you ever heard a Celtic version of our national anthem?  Phildelphia-based contemporary Celtic ensemble RUNA recently performed their unique rendition to open a Phllies game.  You can see a video of the performance at http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=27218189&c_id=mlb.

RUNA will appear at Old Sloop Coffeehouse this Friday, June 7, at 7:30PM, with local Celtic favorites Bob and Jen Strom opening.  RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.  RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Montreal, Quebec on percussion, Dave Curley of Galway, Ireland on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Louisville, Kentucky on the fiddle. The band often performs with world-renowned guest musicians, including Isaac Alderson on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles. Members of RUNA have played with Solas, Riverdance, Slide, Clannad, Fiddlers’sBid, Moya Brennan, Eileen Ivers, Hazel O’Conner, Full Frontal Folk, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Barcó, Téada, and the Guy Mendilow Band.

Bob and Jen Strom are active session players on the North Shore and have played at the First Saturday Contra Dance in Salem, the Irish Connections Festival, New Year’s Rockport Eve, The Boston Celtic Music Festival, the Salem Maritime Festival, and the Salem Arts Festival. Bob and Jen organized a benefit concert, Shamrock for HAWC, in support of HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change) for four years running, featuring some of the North Shore’s finest Celtic musicians.

The performance will be in the handicap-accessible Fellowship Hall of the First Congregational Church of Rockport at 12 School Street.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 from the coffeehouse web site at oldsloopcoffeehouse.org, at Gloucester Music, and at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport.  The suggested donation at the door is $14 for adults, $9 for those 65 and older, $5 for those younger than 18, and $28 for a family.

Murder On Rocky Neck~ A slide show of the event on May 19, 2013

Murder on Rocky Neck

View slide show > http://www.flickr.com/photos/joey_grl/sets/72157633585148783/

I have enjoyed every show that has been put on by Henry Allen as with the cast and crew. I was told the costumes were made by hand by Costume Designers: Amy-Beth Healey and Brenda Leahy. A work well done. I was totally delighted with it all.


A few words from Henry Allen,

Murder On Rocky Neck, The Opera was an idea that came out of my Summer Stock Theatre Club that I do in July & August. The children wanted to write a murder mystery about Old Gloucester. We decided that the idea was so great that we should develop it further in the Young Playwrights Workshop, which we did. The libretto was written collaboratively by 5 kids, ages 9-13, and the music was written by 15 year old Derek Dupuis (Renee Dupuis’ cousin).

Every year I work with local kids to create a show that is inspired by where we live. The show will then become a main stage intergenerational production the following Season. We are already working on next year’s script.

Ensemble cast: Alex Becket, Scott Brown, Emma Cavaliere, Caroline Connolly, Shannon Connolly, Sadie Cook, Timothy Edwards, Olivia Francis, Genna Healey, Jay Healey, Henry Jacques, Shannon Kelly, Belle Muller, Rodney Perry, Matt Service, Peter Souza, Elizabeth Wagner, Brandon Waterman and David Wesson.

Crew: Director: Henry Allen; Music Director: John Eldridge; Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Timothy Edwards; Set Design: Fionn McWilliam and Mike Ryan; Costume Design: Amy-Beth Healey and Brenda Leahy; Lights & Sound Design: InterMediaUnlimited.
A work well done. I was totally delighted with it all.

Greasy Pole, The Musical is coming up next!

greasy pole the musical northshorefolk


World Organ Day 2013 at St. Ann’s Church

A week ago today was World Organ Day!  Althout it is an initiative of Notre Dame de Paris, it was celebrated around the world with more than 850 organ concerts.  Fr. John Kiley, pastor of Holy Family Parish, joined in with a concert here in Gloucester at St. Ann’s Church (a worship site of Holy Family Parish).

Fr Kiley on the organ

Organ concert smallAlthough St. Ann’s has a real pipe organ, it is in sore need of work, and the parish does not have the funds for the organ’s restoration.  So, Fr. Kiley gave the concert on the church’s electric organ instead. It sounds nice, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the real pipe organ.  After the concert, Fr. Kiley played one verse of a popular hymn using some of the registers on the old pipe organ that still work more or less well, and the difference was notable.

Fr. Matthew Green


Three Sheets to the Wind opened for Gordon Bok at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse

…and I got some photos!

The concert was almost two weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy to get the photos ready until now… I have wanted to see Gordon Bok in concert since I was a child, so it was great to finally have the chance! And “Three Sheets to the Wind” are a great group to hear and to sing with. It was a wonderful evening of music!

Fr. Matthew Green

Why having a pro on stage and on sound makes a real difference to your concert experience

Chelsea Berry with her Parker Fly (Joe Cardoza at left on bass, Michael Thomas Doyle at right on guitar)

A bright red Parker Fly guitar rests comfortably on its wooden stand, like a Siren luring Chelsea Berry to the rocky coast we all know is behind the stage.

Chelsea enters alone and smiles at the audience, gracefully accepting the ovation she receives before singing a note.  Then she begins … a capella.  No mic, no amp, no guitar, nothing but her gorgeous, powerful, soaring voice carried with perfect clarity to the Shalin Liu’s very last row by the concert hall’s perfect acoustics.

Chelsea’s loving, dramatic, musically brilliant performance of Dave Sudbury’s King of Rome brings the story to life, sending chills up my spine.  If the concert had ended right then, I would have felt fulfilled.  Then I wonder, when’s she gonna play that red guitar?

Migrating to piano, acoustic guitar and finally, the red Parker Fly, Chelsea Berry sings and plays her hits, accompanied by her young, enthusiastic, well-rehearsed band with grace, humor and an enchanting professionalism that endears her to her audience.  This is a show.  It has a beginning, middle and end, like a good story — an arc, you might say.

All through this show, the sound remains nearly perfect — even when the band barrels in, full force on her rocker Lonely being Lonely, which she takes just a tad slower than she did at North Shore Music Theatre last summer, giving it even more ironic power and guts.

After a wonderful encore of crowd-pleasing favorites (Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and her own You Me And Mary) Chelsea invites the entire audience upstairs for a party and gathers the band for a Broadway style bow to a standing ovation.

Chelsea Berry & Band bow on Saturday at Shalin Liu ~ photo by Louise


Bill Winn

Lots of our friends are at the after-party, including T Max, who spies sound legend, Bill Winn, having seen him only in a tiny picture from this book review T Max published in the February issue of his Noise Magazine.  T Max introduces himself to Bill and then introduces me, at which point I’m thinking, what’s Bill Winn doing here?  This guy wrote the book, literally, on live concert sound (you can get it here) and has engineered for Whitney Houston, Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock, just to name a few.

Then Chelsea comes over and gives Bill a big hug, “Thank you, Bill.  The sound was great!”

We tend to bat the word “pro” around carelessly most of the time, but I don’t use it lightly, here, when I say that choosing Bill Winn as her sound guy was one of a string of highly professional musical and business choices Chelsea Berry has made of late, proving that she has earned the position of Headliner!

Mari Martin Trio concert at Saywer Free Library

Last week, the Mari Martin Trio (Mari Martin, Ken Steiner, and Mark Retallack) gave a fantastic, free, hour-long concert at the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library. (A wonderful institution, but have they considered renaming the place to something that can be said with fewer syllables?)  Here are some photos.





Check out the matching shoes and beret!

This library and this trio are just a part of the cultural wealth of Cape Ann!

Fr. Matthew Green


Cafe Shalom at Temple Ahavat Achim

On Saturday night, Temple Ahavat Achim offered a Cafe Shalom event, with Henry Allen and the New Swingset as the opener and the Judith Murray Trio as the headliner.  It was an evening of beautiful jazz! Here are a few photos. The next Cafe Shalom is on February 9th at 7PM, with “The Blackwood Ramblers” and Daisy Nell.

David Wesson is the MC and organizer of Cafe Shalom

Henry Allen and the New Swingset

Judith Murray Trio

Judith Murray Trio

Click here for a slideshow of this and past Cafe Shalom events

- Fr. Matthew Green

Christmas Cheer from Fred Bodin

Last weekend, Fred Bodin and I were both at a great Christmas party / sing-along with a lot of other guests.  I guess I was feeling lazy, because I didn’t bring my camera.  Fred, on the contrary, was on top of things and he used his camera to grab some video of our caroling. Here is a medley I put together from his footage.  The last part is a snippet of a traditional Christmas Gregorian chant I sang with Kevin McDermott.

Thanks for the footage, Fred!

Fr. Matthew Green

Chorus North Shore’s Christmas Concert

On Saturday night, I went to Chorus North Shore’s Christmas concert at Our Lady of Hope in Ipswich (almost Cape Ann), which featured Vivaldi’s Gloria, “Christmas is Coming: a festive cantata”, and other songs of the season.

Chorus North Shore (which includes many Cape Ann residents) performed together with the Honors Youth Choir and the Festival Orchestra.

Gloucester resident Don Roby, besides singing in the choir, had a reading part and headed up The Boar’s Head carol (pun intended):

Either the boar’s head is hollow (or made of styrofoam), or maybe Don has been hitting the gym. He held that huge boar’s head aloft until the whole verse was over.

Alexander Thompson (of Ma’s Brands fame, who has an amazing voice, but does not sing in this choir) was in attendance with pencil and paper – not taking notes, but drawing:

The concert was great! Kudos to all the performers, the director, the technicians, etc.!

- Fr. Matthew Green



Café Shalom at the Temple Ahavat Achim

Kathy Chapman Video-

Klezwoods, Gloucester, MA November 2012

I made it to the Temple Ahavat Achim (just around the block from where I live) on Saturday for their “Café Shalom”.  I am so glad I did – I kept saying “wow!” to myself for about half an hour after the music was over!

The first band was “The Blueberries”, consisting of Fozzie Hill, Dave Brown, and Wolf Giandes. Great folk/blues vocals and guitar!

Then came Klezwoods, a Boston klezmer band (whose leader, Joseph Kessler, is a Gloucester local).  They play a sort of fusion of traditional klezmer with jazz and other middle-eastern music.  I had no idea what this would be like. Although I expected it to be good, I was still blown away!  They play with fantastic energy and skill.  I bought their CD without hesitation about half-way through their set.

For more photos of both bands, click on the block of thumbnail images below:

Another Café Shalom is scheduled for January 12, 2013. I don’t have the name of the band(s) that will play, but there will be an announcement on GMG before the event.

-Fr. Matthew Green

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