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Ellis Paul & The New England Songwriters Retreat Instructor Concert!
The White Barn @ The Guest House
Chester, CT
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Ellis Paul & The New England Songwriters Retreat Instructor Concert!
A rare performance!

Ellis Paul and his the instructors of the 2017 New England Songwriters Retreat will be performing on Friday, September 1 at 8:00pm.

Ellis Paul, Dan Bern, Abbie Gardner, Vance Gilbert, Laurie MacAllister, and George Wurzbach

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Doors open at 7:30pm

Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. Its a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan. Bruce Springsteen certainly as well. Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences.
Ellis is one of those gifted singer/songwriters who can tell their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define our times and shared history. Traveling in the footsteps of Guthrie, Dylan and Springsteen, Ellis relates his own experiences to those with whom he shares a common bond. Some may refer to him as a folksinger, but he is also singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing.

A remarkably prolific songsmith, Dan has released some two dozen studio albums, EPs, and live recordings since his first acclaimed Sony-distributed CD in 1997. Either fronting the prodigiously talented band Common Rotation or as a solo performer, he is comfortable and convincing, funny and topical, with an unassuming tip of the hat to the spirits Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and young Bob Dylanall while sounding thoroughly original and 21st-century.
Whether writing about stepping back and appreciating the world around us (Breathe) or celebrating the venerable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers (The Golden Voice of Vin Scully), Dans songs are always literary, sometimes funny, and often cinematic. And its not uncommon at a Dan Bern concert to see and hear fans unabashedly singing along to one song after another with no prompting from the stage.

Abbie Gardner, the fiery Dobro player with an infectious smile has been touring with Americana darlings Red Molly for the past eleven years. After gracing stages from Denver to Denmark and Australia to Austin, the band decided to take an indefinite hiatus in 2015, so Abbie is striking out on her own! No stranger to solo performing, she has three CDs to draw from, each with award-winning songs. Tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, ride the back of her by-now familiar, formidable slide guitar licks. She channels Lucinda and Bonnie, but remains purely herself. As a songwriter, shes won several awards, such as; 2008 Lennon Award Winner (folk) for The Mind of a Soldier and 2008 American Songwriter Magazine Grand Prize Lyric Winner for Id Rather Be. Her song Honey on My Grave was published in Sing Out! Magazine in 2008. In 2016 she headlined the Virginia Arts Fringe Festival, Rhode Island Folk Festival and co-billed with Brooks Williams, Jesse Terry and Jim Henry. She has taught at Swannanoa Gathering and SummerSongs, as well as many private lessons and one-day workshops. Her first songbook was published in December 2016 and shes looking forward to releasing a new solo CD in 2017.

Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking 'em dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert's stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently hes the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes. Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert's approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated childrens album.

Laurie MacAllister held a quiet dream of being a singer since she was a young girl. Her voice finally came alive years later when, on a dare,  she was convinced to sing spontaneously for a crowd in New York City, in Washington Square Park. A career was born in that moment and led to a steady stream of nights at open mic stages around NYC. Laurie released her first album of original songs, "These Old Clothes" soon afterward. In 2000, she discovered a passion for harmony singing while touring the country with folk luminary Cliff Eberhardt. Eberhardt produced Laurie's next album, "The Things I Choose To Do" released by Barnes & Noble in 2002. In 2004, at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Laurie began making music with campmates Abbie Gardner and Carolann Solebello. In that shared moment, the Americana trio Red Molly was born. With a focus on beautiful songs, soaring harmonies, and a deep relationship with their fans, the band quickly became the darlings of the folk/Americana scene.  Red Molly shared their voices around the world for eleven years, singing everywhere from Australia to America, playing 100 shows annually in front of thousands of fans. Along the way, in 2010, Laurie's voice graced a national television commercial for Folger's Coffee. Currently, shes thrilled to be working on a new solo album, a collection of some her most beloved songs, all sung with the voice that a young girl dreamed of, to be released in 2017.

George Wurzbach is a multi-award winning songwriter from Brooklyn. He's a native; born, raised and residing in. Perhaps this is why his music has a sort of 'attitude'. A uniqueness that is reflected in the number of artist songwriters who have recorded them including, Tom Paxton, The Kingston Trio, David Wilcox, Bob Malone, Kevin Briody, David Ippolito, John McNally, Hot Soup, Seamus Kennedy, and many others. His recent work with Paxton was featured on the 2009 Grammy nominated album, Comedians and Angels.
After his selection as a Kerrville New Folk Award winner in 1995 George formed the music comedy trio Modern Man with David Buskin and Rob Carlson earning a BackStage Magazine Bistro Award and several MAC Award nominations while frightening many innocent people.
And as a musician, George works in NY as a sideman and session player, and occasionally as pianist on stage with Melanie. When not not performing, George serves as a full time Professor at Monmouth University where he teaches music theory & composition.


The White Barn @ The Guest House (View)
318 West Main Street
Chester, CT 06412
United States


Arts > Performance
Music > All Ages
Music > Americana
Music > Folk
Music > Singer/Songwriter
Other > Family-Friendly

Minimum Age: 0
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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