Saturday, February 26, 7:30 PM: ANNIE SUMI

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“If you’d like to hear the future of contemporary Canadian folk music, take a listen to the sophomore release from Annie Sumi.” – Penguin Eggs

Annie Sumi is a mixed-race, ethereal-folk artist from Canada. Her music is intimate and expansive, inviting the listener into a familiar otherworld. Inspired by the mirrored relationship between physical and emotional landscapes, Sumi’s music speaks of human experience through the language of the senses.

“In recent years, I have let myself lean into that space between things as a practice of listening, and it feels like I become an animal led by my ear, or my tongue, or my hands, toward a song.”

Since 2015, the Ontario-based songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums and toured her music across Canada, parts of the U.S. and Europe. Both Reflections and In the Unknown have been awarded with a number of nominations as ‘Emerging Artist’, ‘Female Vocalist’, and ‘Songwriter of the Year’, and received support from national and international radio. 

Sumi’s third album, Solastalgia, was written at the foot of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain on Stoney Nakoda and Blackfoot territory at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The album digests terminology found in Dr. Glenn Albrecht’s Earth Emotions in hopes of creating conversation about the ongoing climate emergency.

“Solastalgia is the ‘homesickness you have when you are still at home’. In a lot of ways, this word shattered me: to be a human and feel a deep connection to the Earth as ‘Home’ and simultaneously participate in the structures we have created to destroy it. Now, it seems like we are slowly remembering to listen to the land and follow the lead of people that have been living traditions of connection and conservation. That space of humility, gratitude, and deep listening is where these songs have come from.”

Solastalgia explores the feeling of homesickness in our environment, in our relationships, and in ourselves. Through song, the artist dares to dream about how community and cooperation could restore the symbiotic relationships on our planet. Solastalgia will be released in October, 2021.

PLEASE NOTE: Because the health of our audiences, artists and volunteers is our first concern, without exception, proof of vaccination will be required to attend any concerts at Common Ground Coffeehouse. All attendees will also be required to wear masks inside the venue, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS.. To view all Common Ground COVID protocols, CLICK HERE

Tickets: FRONT ROW: $25 in advance; $30 at the door; GENERAL ADMISSION: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Saturday, March 26, 7:30 pm: JOHN ELLIOTT

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A legend among songwriters…bold and brave…incredible poet and performer…his shows are not to be missed. -The Austin Chronicle

John Elliott has been called “the Andy Kaufman of folk music,” while his music has variously been described as “post-Seinfeld, post-9/11 eyebrow rock” and “well-crafted and artful songs by a potentially disturbed individual.”

Good Times Santa Cruz says, “Plaintive, soft-spoken and with vulnerability front and center, John Elliott’s music rides a diagonal which crosses the early work of Ben Gibbard [of Death Cab for Cutie]. For those who wish the Death Cab singer’s work had stayed bedroom-sized instead of distending into stadium rock, Elliott’s gentle Rhodes and reverby guitar may have what you’ve been missing.” Chuck Schiele of The San Diego Troubadour says “John Elliott’s lyrics get in, make their statement, kick you in the teeth, and get out before they start talking too much…And this lends to the urge of rolling any track to its beginning for another spin.”

Corey Frye of The Corvallis Gazette-Times adds, “I appreciate Elliott’s singular way with words. He has an affection for the malleability of language, the clever twists of phrase, an appreciation for the liquid kinship between rhythm and sounds — how they collide in beautiful violence, how they stand as ideas and images — even if they ordinarily wouldn’t deign to dance together or be seen in the same room.

Born and raised in Minnesota and now living in California, John Elliott has been releasing albums and performing in every type of venue you can imagine since 2006. His songs have been prominently heard on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Californication.” He has been featured in PASTE Magazine, on NPR, and on Neil Young’s “Living With War” website. His music has a cult-like international following and artists worldwide cover his songs. You can hear his music anywhere and everywhere if you’re in the right place at the right time: on the radio, TV, and internet; in cars and around campfires. John remains an independent, unsigned, and unaffiliated artist and he is proud of that fact. He continues to make a living and build a dedicated following the old-fashioned way: one new believer at a time.

Tickets: FRONT ROW: $25 in advance; $30 at the door; GENERAL ADMISSION: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

PLEASE NOTE: Because the health of our audiences, artists and volunteers is our first concern, without exception, proof of vaccination will be required to attend any concerts at Common Ground Coffeehouse. All attendees will also be required to wear masks inside the venue, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS.. To view all Common Ground COVID protocols, CLICK HERE

Saturday, April 23, 7:30 pm: MARK ERELLI, with ABBIE GARDNER

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“For Erelli, music is a way to appreciate the world and the people in his life. And perhaps most acutely, the practice of music has taught Erelli the beauty of sublimation and reinforced the joy of helping others achieve their dreams, which, in turn, helps Erelli also achieve his.” –American Songwriter

“You know those artists who release a great first record and then have enormous trouble following it up with anything as interesting? Yeah, that’s not Mark Erelli. Mark has consistently expanded his sound while also not chasing whatever wave seems to be cresting at any given moment. The result is a catalogue of depth and heart.” –Red Line Roots

Mark Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of “being everywhere all the time” seem effortless. It’s hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like 2019’s “By Degrees,” on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow, and nominated for Song of the Year at the Americana Honors and Awards. His 2020 album Blindsided found Mark “nodding to another icon, heartland hero Tom Petty,” emphasizing “12-string guitar jangle and straightforward vocal hooks.” (Rolling Stone). An album in “the sweet spot” (Associated Press), Blindsided combines the exuberance of Erelli’s signature sound with the wisdom that comes with over 20 years of songwriting, capturing an artist at a point in his career where he is clearly digging deep and swinging for the fences.

Not only a first-rate Dobro player but a songwriter to be reckoned with.” —John Platt, WFUV

Opening the evening will be Abbie Gardner, a fiery dobro player with an infectious smile. Whether performing solo or with Americana darlings Red Molly, her acclaimed tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, are propelled by her impeccable slide guitar chops. Her live show is truly unique – as an award-winning songwriter, captivating vocalist, and a world-class lap-style dobro player, she has an unmistakable sound all her own. This sound of vocals and dobro unaccompanied is masterfully captured on her upcoming CD. It’s a raw intimate recording full of blues, heartfelt ballads, and the ache of the unknown. It’s quite a contrast to her previous CD, Wishes on a Neon Sign (2018) which featured a co-write with Chris Stapleton and leaned on full band production. Though she has traveled around the world with Red Molly, Abbie stands strong as a solo act and has opened for Lori McKenna, Hot Rize, and Martina McBride.

Tickets: FRONT ROW: $25 in advance; $30 at the door; GENERAL ADMISSION: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

PLEASE NOTE: Because the health of our audiences, artists, and volunteers is our first concern, without exception, proof of vaccination will be required to attend any concerts at Common Ground Coffeehouse. All attendees will also be required to wear masks inside the venue, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS. To view all Common Ground COVID protocols, CLICK HERE

Saturday, May 14, 7:30 PM: JAKE BLOUNT AND NORA BROWN

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“Ever since I met him years ago, Jake Blount has been aiming to tell the whole story of fiddle and banjo music – black, white, and native. His latest album… is an incredible example of historically informed, beautifully played old-time music. — Rhiannon Giddens

Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer, and ethnomusicologist based in Providence, RI.  He is half of the internationally touring duo Tui, a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a board member of Bluegrass Pride. He is a two-time winner and many-time finalist of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop). Blount specializes in the music of Black communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of the Finger Lakes. A versatile performer, Blount interpolates blues, bluegrass, and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition he belongs to. He foregrounds the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work. His teachers include Rhiannon Giddens, Bruce Molsky, and Judy Hyman. Blount has shared his music and research at the Newport Folk Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, and Yale University, among other venues and institutions. He has also appeared on Radiolab, Soundcheck and NPR’s Weekend Edition. He regularly teaches fiddle and banjo at festivals and camps like the Augusta Heritage Center, the Ashokan Center, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Blount tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band The Moose Whisperers. He has performed and recorded solo, and in ensembles of up to six people. His first full-length solo album, Spider Tales, is out now on Free Dirt Records & Service Co.  It debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, received positive coverage from NPR, Rolling Stone, and Billboard among others, and earned five out of five stars as The Guardian’s Folk Album of the Month.  Spider Tales later appeared on “Best of 2020” lists from NPR, Bandcamp, The New Yorker, the Guardian, and elsewhere. the blues of Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson.”

“[In her playing,] an intense involvement is revealed as the music appears to wash over her. She sings of experiences way beyond her years, old songs from Appalachian sources, stories that reflect a more difficult way of life.”– John Cohen, Musicologist, photographer, filmmaker, and founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers

Nora Brown started learning music at the age of 6 from the late Shlomo Pestcoe.  From his studio apartment in Brooklyn, Pestcoe instilled in her the belief that music is meant to be shared. Nora plays old-time traditional music with a particular interest in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee banjo playing. Along with the banjo she’s interested in techniques of unaccompanied ballads form the Southeast region of the United States.

She has played at numerous venues and festivals on the East Coast including TED salon in NYC, Joe’s Pub, the Floyd Radio Show, Washington Square Park Folk Festival, Brooklyn Folk Festival, Brooklyn Americana Festival, Oldtone Roots Music Festival,  Irvington Folk Festival, Summer & Winter Hoots at the Ashokan Center, and has had multiple month long residencies at famed Barbès in Brooklyn NY. Nora has taught both beginning and advanced banjo classes at the Ashokan Center’s long standing old-time camp known as Southern Week in Olivebridge, NY.  Nora continues to travel and learn from old masters and has taken regular trips to eastern Kentucky to visit with 90 year old master banjo player and former coal miner Lee Sexton and master banjo player and historian George Gibson. In October 2019 Jalopy Records released Nora’s first album of 11 traditional songs and tunes called Cinnamon Tree.  It was produced by the legendary Alice Gerrard and pressed by Third Man Pressing in Detroit.

In September 2021 Jalopy Records released Nora’s EP of 7 traditional songs and tunes called Sidetrack My Engine. It was recorded in mono in an underground brick arched space in Brooklyn NY, using an Ampex tape machine and vintage RCA ribbon mics from BigTone Records. 10” vinyl Pressed by United Record Pressing in Nashville.

PLEASE NOTE: Because the health of our audiences, artists and volunteers is our first concern, without exception, proof of vaccination will be required to attend any concerts at Common Ground Coffeehouse. All attendees will also be required to wear masks inside the venue, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS.. To view all Common Ground COVID protocols, CLICK HERE