Connecticut River Byway Waypoint Center Opening

Join us on September 7th from 1 to 4pm to celebrate the opening of a new Connecticut River Byway Waypoint Center at PPH! Visitors will view a new exhibit which shows key features of the National Connecticut River Byway. Visitors will also receive free refreshments, maps of the bicycling route along the byway, a guide to farmstands along the byway, and a brochure describing all seven scenic byways in western Massachusetts. Please come help us celebrate this exciting new feature to PPH!

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with The Pioneer Valley Symphony Chamber Choir

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, August 27th with musical guests Pioneer Valley Symphony Chamber Choir

The Museum is excited to welcome the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chamber Choir, a vocal ensemble auditioned from the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus. Under the direction of Jonathan Harvey, the PVS Chamber Choir performs a cappella music of all styles, periods, and genres separate from the Symphony and throughout the Connecticut River Valley. Their repertoire consists of spirituals, madrigals, partsongs, motets, and other unaccompanied vocal music all the way from the 15th to the 21st century. The group recently celebrated 75 years of performance. 

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with The West County Jazz Trio

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, August 20th with musical guests The West County Jazz Trio.

The West County Jazz Trio plays mostly mainstream jazz music including some originals and with an occasional foray into standards and jazz Latin tunes. The group includes Judith Williams who comes from Greenfield, plays keyboards and sings on occasion; Tony Rice, who focuses the beat with his drums, and lives in Conway; and Tom Ulrich who plays double bass and comes from Ashfield.  The trio has been together for five or six years as part of a quintet and other formats, and play here and there around Franklin County and beyond in a variety of settings and functions.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

THE PORTER-PHELPS-HUNTINGTON MUSEUM PRESENTS: -“A LIFE IN LETTERS: ELIZABETH PORTER HUNTINGTON FISHER” by KRISTIN MALIN A MIXED MEDIA VISUAL ART INSTALLATION

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley will host “A Life in Letters: Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher,” a mixed media installation by Kristin Malin. This exhibition will be housed in the Museum’s Corn Barn from August through October.

Seven years ago, a leather bound volume of letters, with dates from 1813 to 1855, was found in a packing box. The letters were from Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher to her mother, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington. The letters serve as a poignant, sweet and detailed glimpse into their lives, amidst the social fabric of the time. Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington began collecting her daughter’s letters from her daughter’s first visit away from home, a tradition that continued throughout their lives.  This abiding practice, nurtured and passed along by the women in the Huntington family, is as relevant today, as it will transcend for generations to come.

Kristin Malin and Elizabeth Hunting Wheeler, a descendent of Elizabeth Porter Huntington, spent five summers transcribing the collection letters.  Elizabeth typed into her computer while Kristin deciphered the old fashioned cursive writing in ink on the delicate pages. For A Life In Letters” Malin transcribed onto long scrolls of paper in ink sections of the letters to impart a sense of Elizabeth Porter Huntington Sessions and what her life was like in the mid-1800’s. The letters, and Kristin’s scrolls, broach many topics including courtship, marriage, family, illness, death, God, religion, travel, education, and love.

Malin, whose husband and daughters are also decedents of the family, created a physical link between herself and Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher by transcribing her letters. In addition to the scrolls, the exhibit also includes portraits of Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher’s descendants, Olivia Birdsall, Katherine Birdsall, and Elizabeth Wheeler.

After receiving a BFA in painting from Louisiana State University, Malin attended the New York Studio School and received an MFA in painting from Columbia University. She participated in an artist residency on Governors Island in New York City and at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. Malin recently successfully raised funds to print a reproduction of a painting from her residency on Governors Island, a 19 panel folding panorama of New York from Governors Island, which is in the library at Printed Matter in New York. Last year, she co-organized The Piano Roll Project: Shared Sensibilities at Museum LA in Lewiston, Me, in which thirty artists altered player piano rolls.  Malin is currently represented by Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, Maine.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with Bella Voce

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, August 13th with musical guests Bella Voce

Bella Voce features Lisa Woods as Mezzo-Soprano and Teri LaFleur as Soprano with Jerry Noble as the accompanying pianist. Both Woods and LaFleur are accomplished musical performers in the Pioneer Valley, while Noble is a distinguished composer, commissioned by various choral groups in the area. Together, the group performs a wide variety of pieces—from Opera to Broadway.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with West & Jackson

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, August 6th with musical guests West & Jackson

West & Jackson will return to the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with another wonderful performance of instrumental jazz, pop, and original songs. Peter West has been performing at “A Perfect Spot of Tea” for over a decade, and has been playing guitar professionally since 1980. At his side is Bert Jackson, another highly skilled guitarist with over 25 years of playing experience in blues, jazz, and other styles.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with Show of Cards

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, July 30th with musical guests Show of Cards

The group Show of Cards was originally formed as an alternative folk-rock trio of siblings Karen, Joe, and Mike Cardozo. Currently singer-songwriter Karen, lead guitarist Mike, bassist Garrett Sawyer (of the Gaslight Tinkers), and drummer Joe Fitzpatrick (of Trailer Park) perform throughout Western Massachusetts, promoting their newest release, Something Better (2013).  This year Karen, Mike, and Joe will perform an acoustic show on the veranda.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with Same Old Blues: Dennis Shapson, Alan Kurtz, and Phil Craft

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, July 23rd with musical guests Same Old Blues: Dennis Shapson, Alan Kurtz, and Phil Craft

Guitarist Dennis Shapson, Alan Kurtz on washboard and bones, and Phil Craft on harmonica perform ragtime country blues. Their repertoire consists of 1920’s and 30’s Piedmont and East Coast blues, and features reinterpretations of compositions by Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, and Mance Lipscomb.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

Wednesday Folk Traditions Concludes Its 2016 Season featuring Evelyn Harris with Dionne McClain-Freeney

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum concludes its 35th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on July 20, 2016, with Evelyn Harris and Dionne McClain-Freeney in our 7th annual Horace Clarence Boyer Memorial Concert.  A powerhouse vocalist and former member of “Sweet Honey In the Rock,” Evelyn Harris is a Grammy nominated composer who creates stirring interpretations of the traditional African-American song canon. Her performance encompasses spirituals, freedom songs, jazz, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, and the blues. She will be accompanied by New York City pianist and composer Dionne McClai-Freeney. 

Evelyn Harris hails from Richmond, Virginia, where her experiences singing in church led her to develop a love of music. Harris’s musical style and her later ensemble collaborations reflect the gospel genre that originally inspired her. Harris went on to major in Voice at Howard University in Washington, D.C., a Historically Black Institution. After her graduation, she joined the then newly-formed black women’s a cappella ensemble group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, performing with them for the first time in 1974. In 1988, one of Harris’ original compositions for the group, “State of Emergency,” from the album Live at Carnegie Hall, was nominated for a Grammy. The powerful song speaks to the urgency of ending the apartheid in South Africa, a system of racial segregation that ultimately ended in 1994. 

Over the course of her eighteen-years as a member of internationally-acclaimed Sweet Honey in the Rock, Harris’s experiences informed her own growth as a composer and arranger. As a solo performer, she draws on a variety of different styles including jazz, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, African-American song styles and gospel, never forgetting her roots but always building upon them. “It’s very different from being in a group,” says Harris, “You have to balance your time between craft and business.” Harris’ multiple roles in Sweet Honey and the Rock have contributed to her success as a solo performer.

Harris now performs throughout the Pioneer Valley. She also devotes much of her time to coaching others, currently acting as the Director of the Ku’umba Women’s Choir through the Northampton Community Music Center. The word “ku’umba” is a Swahili word that means “to create.” Harris’ view of her music is that of wonder and discovery, and notes her commitment to giving back: “Singing is my giving back with thanks and praise,” she notes.  

For her Wednesday Folk Tradition’s performance on July 20th, Evelyn Harris will be joined by pianist, composer, singer, choral director, and teaching artist, Dionne McClain-Freeney. McClain-Freeney is the composer and lyricist of the acclaimed musical, and winner of Best Ensemble Performance at the New York Musical Theater Festival, This One Girl’s Story. She is also a frequent artist in France’s Absolute Gospel Festival, and at some of New York’s most loved venues and churches.

This annual memorial performance commemorates the life and work of the late Horace Clarence Boyer, a beloved and internationally acclaimed musician and scholar of Gospel Music. Dr. Boyer, who for 25 years presented an annual gospel performance at the museum, was a pivotal member of the Pioneer Valley musical community, a long-time professor at UMass, and minister of music at the Goodwin Memorial African Methodist Episcopalian Church. Boyer often performed with the groups he introduced, and he cited as part of his mission nurturing Gospel here in the Valley and throughout the world. The museum aims to further that goal with this memorial series, continuing the tradition he supported and preserving his legacy.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with 56 String Duo with Bob Markey and Andrew Jenkins

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A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, July 16th featuring musical guests 56 String Duo with Bob Markey and Andrew Jenkins.

Robert Markey studied classical and blues guitar and then sitar in Boston and in India. His music is based in the North Indian (Hindustani) music tradition. Robert plays a mix of ragas from North and South India and raga-like improvisations from Persia, Japan, Hungary and Indonesia. Andrew Jenkins is a twelve-string guitarist who studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and has been playing music for 38 years. 

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

Wednesday Folk Traditions Continues Its 2016 Season with Afro-Semitic Experience

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will continue its 35th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on July 13, 2016 with Afro-Semitic Experience. Afro-Semitic Experience is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and expanding the cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diaspora. Co-founded by African-American jazz pianist Warren Byrd, and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan in 1998, Afro-Semitic Experience draws from many genres of music, including spiritual, world-beat, funk, jazz, cantorial, gospel, salsa, swing, and soul. Their music has been heard around the United States—at festivals, in churches, synagogues, and colleges. Afro-Semitic Experience uses their eclectic array of styles to share their guiding message: Unity in the Community.

With their unique instrumentation and message of love and respect,Afro-Semitic Experience is redefining the jazz concert. Pianist and Composer Warren Byrd is a Hartford, Connecticut native with many years of experience playing Jazz throughout Southern New England and New York. Bassist and composer David Chevan grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. His passion for music has led him to explore a wide range of musical realms from singing in synagogue, to playing in Gospel groups, Polka bands, Klezmer bands, and Italian wedding bands, and finally to Jazz and contemporary composition and improvisation. In 1998, Chevan and Byrd created Afro-Semitic Experience as an expansion of their duo work. In addition to Byrd and Chevan, the band is made up of critically acclaimed musicians: Alvin Benjamin Carter, Jr. on drum set and percussion, Alvin Benjamin Carter, Sr. on congas and percussion, Will Bartlett on saxophone, clarinet, flute, and percussion, Stacy Phillips on dobro, lap steel, and violin, and Saskia Laroo on trumpet and electronics. Together, Afro-Semitic Experience works to preserve, promote, and expand the cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diaspora. 

 Afro-Semitic Experience’s albums have garnered critical acclaim and made numerous best-of lists. Their newest work, Jazz Souls on Fire, pays tribute to some of the their favorite composers whose creativity inspired Afro-Semitic Experience. On Jazz Souls on Fire, the band visits pieces by Leon Thomas, Duke Ellington, Hank Mobley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and others. Jazz Souls on Fire honors not only these musicians’ music, but also the struggles from which they emerged to light the way for Afro-Semitic Experience’s own work.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with Honest Harmony

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series continues Saturday, July 9th with musical guests Honest Harmony

Honest Harmony has been performing together for over a decade. The group’s a cappella performances explore a repertoire of small-ensemble singing from the 12th-20th centuries, often highlighting historical pieces and masterfully juxtaposing works of a single style, era, or composer. Their music brings audiences on “a musical journey through the last millennium.” The ensemble is comprised of soprano Barbara Matthews, alto Cindy Naughton, baritone Ijod Schroeder, and tenor John Vance.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

"A Perfect Spot of Tea" with The Pikeys

A centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea endures at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with “A Perfect Spot of Tea” summer series beginning Saturday, July 2nd with musical guests The Pikeys

The Pikeys have many musical talents to their name, as well as a shared propensity to travel. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, England, and the United States, the group performs a wide repertoire of songs, mixing traditional Irish and Scottish music. Their set ranges from instrumentals to ballads, ensuring a rich and diverse musical experience. The group consists of Patrick Fyfe on guitar and Celtic mandolin, Fred Higgins on fiddle, guitar, and vocals, Rose Higgins on concertina, and Phil Grant on mandolin.

“A Perfect Spot of Tea” also features delicious pastries donated by local businesses, attentive service, and, of course, plenty of Earl Grey tea. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.

Happy Anniversary Wayne and Mary Petrin!

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum would like to wish Wayne and Mary Petrin a very happy anniversary! These long-time attendees of Wednesday Folk Traditions concerts are celebrating their 60th year together. Here's to many more years of happiness and dancing!

Wayne and Mary Petrin dancing to Viva Quetzal's Wednesday Folk Traditions concert on June 22, 2016

Wayne and Mary Petrin dancing to Viva Quetzal's Wednesday Folk Traditions concert on June 22, 2016

Community Day for Hadley, South Hadley and Sunderland

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington-Museum invites residents of Hadley, South Hadley, and Sunderland to a Community Day on the 4th of July from 9:30am to 3:30pm.  Free tours will run every half hour. Afterwards, guests will be able to relax on the back veranda with complimentary lemonade and cookies. Visitors are encouraged to explore the homestead and grounds of one of the founding families of Hadley, and learn about the history of the Connecticut River Valley.

WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS CONTINUES ITS 2016 SEASON WITH DAVE MALLETT

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues the 35th season of its Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series with a performance from Dave Mallett on June 29th, 2016. Dave Mallett’s career began quietly in the late 1960’s, in a duo with his older brother, but a serendipitous friendship with Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary, soon brought his music to a national audience. Mallett’s great American Folk classic “Garden Song” has been recorded hundreds of times and covered by the likes of Pete Seeger, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, Hal Ketchum, and even the Muppets. These days, Mallett appears frequently on radio programs, including NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and in venues across the world.

Mallett hails from a rural town in Northern Maine, and many of his songs are grounded in place, in small-town American life, its close-by wilderness and untold stories. His latest album, Greenin Up, is a celebration of rural life and was released in conjunction with the Maine Farmland Trust. It includes three new songs — “Fat of the Land”, “Dogs & Horses,” and “Beautiful Rose” — along with re-recordings of his better known tunes like “Garden Song,” “Summer of My Dreams,” “I Knew This Place”, “Good Times” and “April.”

Perhaps best known for his deft, poetic portraits of small-town American life, Mallett’s songs are passionate and evocative, filled with natural imagery and a palpable sense of the inevitable passage of time. The Boston Globe writes: “Always compelling, always musical…there is something about Mallett’s phrasing that lends an urgency and boldness to his songs. His deep clear voice has a storyteller’s naturalness to it, a poet’s intelligence.” But Mallett is not merely a master writer, his performances, in clubs, concert halls, and festivals across the US, Canada, and Europe, are renowned for their intimacy and sincerity. “I like to keep reaching out to touch the past,” Mallet says, “to connect it with what’s going on now. To me, music is one of the few things that is timeless…human emotion is one continual chain.”         

Wednesday Folk Traditions Continues Its 2016 Season with Viva Quetzal

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues the 35th season of its Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series with a performance from Viva Quetzal on June 22nd, 2016Viva Quetzal’s unique blending of musical styles and use of over thirty instruments not only deliver a range of melodious rhythms but also represent a coming together of different perspectives. Viva Quetzal’s members—who hail from Latin America and New England—feel that merging musical traditions may help reconcile political, cultural, and linguistic divides throughout the Americas.

Born in Chile, Roberto Clavijo is a former member of renowned folkloric group Guamary, and has toured much of Central and South America. As part of Viva Quetzal, Clavijo plays quenaszampoñascharango, Venezuelan cuatro, and vocals. Viva Quetzalalso includes Joe Belmont, who has performed with the group since 1992. Belmont’s classical and electric guitar chops are given added dimension by the Colombian tiple. Jon Weeks plays flute, saxophone, wind synth, and percussion and has performed with many jazz, rock, and Latin bands on the East Coast. Abe “Oscar” Sanchez provides the group with vocals and keyboard. He brings a wealth of musical experience from his native Venezuela, where he was director of a music school and accompanied national and international touring musicians. Viva Quetzal also includes William Rodriquez on congas and vocal, Rudi Weeks on bass, and Eliezer Martinez on drums.

Michael Caito of the Providence Phoenix writes that Viva Quetzal’s “jazz-rock fusion keeps a contemporary ear tuned, and the swing is undeniable.” He calls their sound “spot-on summertime listening.” In addition to performing throughout New England, Viva Quetzal has recorded three albums, most recently Hijos del Sol. They are also featured on the World Music record label Putamayo’s album “Music of the Andes.” At Viva Quetzal’s June 22 performance you will hear the sweet, melancholic sound of the quena—an Andean bamboo flute—mingling with the high-pitched strumming of the charango, and punctuated by the percussive rattling of the cajón peruano. Come experience Viva Quetzal’s infectious rhythms and lively melodies!

Community Days for Amherst and Northampton

Residents of Amherst and Northampton are invited to Community Day events this weekend, the 18th and 19th, at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. Amherst Community Day will be on the 18th and Northampton Community Day will be on the 19th. All residents are welcome to the Museum for free tours every half hour beginning at 9:30 and ending at 3:30. Afterwards, guests can relax on the back veranda with complimentary lemonade and cookies. Members of the community are encouraged to explore the homestead and grounds of one of the founding families of Hadley, and learn about the history of the Connecticut River Valley

WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS CONTINUES its 2016 SEASON with YOUSSOUPHA SIDIBE AND CHARLES NEVILLE JUNE 15, 2016

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues its 35th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series with a performance from Youssoupha Sidibe and Charles Neville on June 15, 2016. Neville, the legendary Grammy-winning saxophone virtuoso known as “The Horn Man,” joins Sidibe, the Grammy-nominated Senegalese Master Kora player, weaving jazz, reggae, and blues together with musical styles from New Orleans and West Africa. This and all other performances are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley, MA 01035. General admission is $12, or $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5:00 pm. The Museum and its grounds are a smoke free site.

Youssoupha Sidibe, an accomplished Kora player who blends aspects of western music with reggae and West African harp styles, will perform together with Neville at Wednesday Folk Traditions on June 15. Sidibe’s musical career began 25 years ago in Senegal, where he trained as a Kora player at the National Music Conservatory of Senegal. The Kora is a traditional African instrument fashioned from a large gourd cut in half and covered with cow skin for resonance; it resembles a guitar in appearance, but sounds similar to a harp. Since his initial training as a Kora player, Sidibe’s music has developed into a fusion of traditional West African sounds and the Sufi devotional chanting of the Senegalese Bay Faal community. His musical expression springs from his desire for the full realization of divine love in this world. His sacred and celebratory sound incorporates devotional lyrics sung in Wolof (the most widely-spoken language in Senegal), Arabic, French, and English. An inspirational and prolific presence with thousands of fans across the globe, Sidibe has collaborated, performed and recorded with a plethora of extraordinary artists, including not only Charles Neville, but also India Arie, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Chris Berry Trio, Shimshai, and others.

Influenced by his time living in New Orleans, New York, Memphis and Oregon, Charles Neville’s expert saxophone repertoire includes rhythm and blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, and popular music. Since the age of 15, Charles has showcased his musical skills in a diverse range of professional venues—from a traveling variety show to the house band of the renowned Dew Drop Inn. He has collaborated with his brothers Aaron, Art, and Cyril in many different iterations: performing in New York as the Soul Machine, playing Mardi Gras American Indian songs as the Wild Tchoupitoulas, and finally becoming “New Orleans’ First Family of Funk” as the Neville Brothers. Neville has played with some of the biggest musical names from New Orleans and beyond, including Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Huey “Piano” Smith, Ernie K. Doe, and B.B. King. His saxophone won him a Grammy in 1989 for his haunting rendition of “Healing Chant” on the Neville Brothers’ album Yellow Moon. Neville’s more recent albums include Safe in Buddha’s Palm (2001), a reflective, spiritual collection that pays homage to eastern philosophy; and Tree of Life (2010), Neville’s collaboration with Youssoupha Sidibe that echoes Black culture from ancient times through the present.

 

WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS kicks of its 35th Season with THE TIM ERIKSEN TRIO on JUNE 8, 2016

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum kicks off its 35th season of Wednesday Folk Traditions on June 8, 2016 with the Tim Eriksen Trioa hardcore Americana group focused on transforming American folk music tradition with modern interpretations of old ballads, love songs, and dance tunes. Ethnomusicologist, experimentalist, and leader of the “shape-note” tradition, Tim Eriksen performs modern interpretations of traditional folk songs from the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Eriksen combines chilling vocals with instrumental accompaniment on electric guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bajo sexto - a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass.

The resulting hardcore Americana sound is influenced by ballads, love songs, gospel, and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. Eriksen's musical journey has included work in many genres, including punk rock, shape-note gospel, South Indian classical music, Bosnian pop, world jazz, and contemporary symphonic music. He has performed on Prairie Home Companion and the Academy Awards, and he has contributed to the soundtrack of films such as Behold the EarthChrystal, and Cold Mountain. Kit Bailey for BBC Radio refers to Eriksen as “the best traditional American ballad singer of his generation.”

For his June 8 performance at Wednesday Folk Traditions, Eriksen will be joined by Zoë Darrow and Peter Irvine. Eriksen, Darrow, and Irvine previously worked together on the album "Josh Billings Voyage," under the name Trio de Pumpkintown. Much of the music that Eriksen, Darrow, and Irvine perform together comes from eighteenth and nineteenth century love songs, murder ballads, songs of travel on the high seas, and Afro-Celtic sing-alongs. Stirrings Magazine writes that Eriksen has "the technique, the feel, to make these songs live for us as vividly as they live for him."