Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic Blues singer, guitarist, historian and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange. He is a powerful musician, a fine singer, and a masterful storyteller.
As a traditional musician with expertise in both the Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo tradition, and Piedmont and Delta Blues, Ainslie has specialized in performing and presenting programs on the African roots of American music and culture in community and educational settings.
Ainslie's sixth and latest CD, The Last Shot Got Him, follows the inclinations of a 1934 Gibson arch top guitar toward Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Fats Waller, Sippie Wallace, and Yip Harburg, among others: songs from when the guitar was young! Please visit CattailMusic.com for more information, to hear Scott's work, or see a guide to his performances and teaching activities on youtube.com.
Rik Barron is a warm and engaging artist who combines elements of Newfoundland, Canadian, American and Irish roots music into his own unique style. The warmth, richness and timelessness that Rik Barron brings to his music coupled with his smooth baritone voice and Newfoundland wit gives you an artist that moves from melancholic to mischievous with uncommon ease.
He is a three time East Coast Music award winner, a three time Canadian Folk Music award nominee and an two time Indie Nominee. The Newfoundland native has toured North America and Europe for the last 35 years appearing at everything from sidewalks to major festivals gaining fans at each stop. A genuine folk troubadour.
John Doerschuk has been in the sound business for over 25 years. He was attracted to waves and electrons while playing in bands in the seventies, and somehow continues to make a living as an "audio guy." He lives with his artist wife Bessie and daughter Sophie in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John plays piano and guitar and is trying to tame a Dobro.
Greg Greenway is a proud product of the Boston Folk Music scene. Originally from Richmond, VA, he plays internationally, both solo and with the highly successful acoustic trio, Brother Sun. Brother Sun’s most recent CD was the #1 CD of 2013 on the Folk DJ list and they’re back in the studio now making #3. Greg will be making his 8th solo CD in January. The Boston Globe wrote of Greg, “Confessional one moment, rambunctiously disarming the next, few modern folk singers can own a coffeehouse stage as completely as Greenway.” He’s played Carnegie Hall, his song “Driving in Massachusetts” has been on Car Talk. He’s taught at SAMW, WAMW, Summersongs, The Swananoa Gathering, Kerrville and Folksfest song schools, and more. His topics have ranged from guitar, to songwriting, to tech, to performance. The incorporation of Race and Social justice into his writing led him to be asked to be a part of Marching in the Arc of Justice, the UU Conference in Birmingham, AL this past March commemorating the 50th anniversary of the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
“Lorraine Hammond is the most versatile dulcimer player I know,” observes North Carolina dulcimer wizard Don Pedi. Lorraine’s numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher and instrumentalist include her groundbreaking Shanachie release with fiddler Gerry Milnes, Hell Up Coal Holler, a Homespun dulcimer instruction series, and two elegant Appalachian dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press. Lorraine also plays, performs on and teaches five string banjo, mandolin and harp. Lorraine’s new CD, The Opal Ring, on the Snowy Egret label, combines the traditional New England ballads of her childhood with her own songs drawn from that childhood in the Connecticut Berkshires. Reviewer Mark Flanagan observes: “Lorraine Lee Hammond opens her latest CD with some of the sweetest notes ever produced on the mountain dulcimer.” Lorraine is Music Director of the WUMBfm SAMW programs, and a lecturer in American Folk Music and World Music at Lasell College in Newton, MA. She and her husband, guitarist Bennett Hammond, have been touring, teaching and performing and recording together for the past thirty years.
“Bennett is the sort of finger-picking guitar player you can listen to all day” – The Shetland Times.
He started playing in 1957 and began teaching in 1960, debuted as a virtuoso soloist in 1980 – on the In-Bound platform, Harvard Square Station – and has played above ground, at home and abroad ever since. Early influences include an EP side of folk and cowboy songs with guitar accompaniment his sister Lucy made in 1951, recordings of Etta Baker, Mike Seeger and Duane Eddy, and of course the Three B's - Bach, Bluegrass, and Bo Diddly. More recently he has capitulated to the pleasures of playing the 5-string banjo, which he celebrates on his Rock-A-Folky Banjo CD on the Snowy Egret label.
Bennett's classes focus on developing students' individual skills and styles, helping you to play like yourself, only more so.
Beginning his mandolin career in the Carolinas and making his way up to New England via Washington D.C., Ben Pearce has played bluegrass mandolin all over the East Coast. Ben currently performs with Rhode Island's Pegheads and Cambridge’s Tony Watt and Southeast Expressway. He is also the sole proprietor of the Outlier Workshop, where he toils day and night to create some of the best mandolins and flattop guitars available today. Don't let his youthful appearance fool you! He knows a huge variety of tunes, songs and mandolin styles as a result of his careful study of many of the first and second-generation mandolin giants, as well as contemporary players.
Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters.
Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who's who of contemporary folk music. Sloan's incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs.
"She's folk-influenced, obviously (you can't grow up in the First Family of Folk and not be, one imagines), but the real star here is her voice. Warm and smoky and smooth, it makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense."
Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles -- pop, folk, jazz and blues -- held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a unique and soulful hybrid.
With a solid and impressive discography of 8 original CD releases to her credit, Sloan continues to write, sing and perform live.