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The Christmas story is a cultural inheritance that belongs to whomever claims it. If it is the Church, then the Church will tell the story. If it is the Corporate Advertisers, the Corporate Advertisers will sell the story. But if it is the Artists, the Bards, the Rabblerousers, then it is they who will create the story anew.
Liam Robinson and Jean Rohe bring their folk music roots and contemporary sensibilities to songs new and old.For the past ten years, Robinson & Rohe have been performing “The Longest Winter: A Christmas Concert and Singalong”. Annually hosted in venues and house concerts throughout the Northeast, this event has become an audience favorite, a staple of the season. This year, they bring their midwinter music to Common Ground Coffeehouse. Robinson & Rohe go deep into the Christmas repertoire: the mystical, the melancholic, the soulful, the sublime. Expect songs you may not know: haunting melodies of old Europe, joyful singalongs of the Southern US, and modern takes on the strange and ancient Christmas tale. Please join us for this special evening.
Ask Robinson & Rohe how the duo was formed and they’ll look at each other as if to say, Which beginning should we begin with? The two have known each other for over a decade, developing a friendship as they pursued their separate careers—spanning everything from playing Brazilian jazz gigs to composing orchestral scores.
Over those years, the two grew into powerhouse performers. Liam Robinson honed his wide-ranging skills as an original cast member of the Tony Award winning play “Warhorse,” as musical director of Anaïs Mitchell’s Off-Broadway folk opera “Hadestown,” as a composer in the Red Light New Music collective, and as a member of the Becca Stevens Band.
Meanwhile, Jean Rohe began touring and recording with her band, Jean Rohe & the End of the World Show, honing a honeyed, far-ranging voice and collecting accolades along the way (“a sure-footed young singer-songwriter,” says the New York Times.) Rohe also garnered attention for her unflinching alternative anthem for the United States, “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!” which continues to be performed and recorded by choirs and bands across the country, and was published in the Rise Up Singing songbook sequel.
Despite long days and separately flourishing careers, the two found themselves with a musical itch they hadn’t yet scratched. One afternoon, they sat at Robinson’s kitchen table, swapping harmonies as they sang some of the old folk songs both of them had grown up with. At the end of one song, says Rohe, “we both sat there in silence.” Stripped down to their two voices, they could hear the potential for something big: “It’s a magical thing to phrase with someone like that,” says Robinson, “to breathe together and land language in time, in tune, even pushing and pulling tempo together.”
FRONT ROW: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
GENERAL ADMISSION: $20 in advance, $25 at the door