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.”