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POSTPONED: NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED... Ken Perlman and Janine Randall, with Jim Prendergast.
The Burren Backroom
Somerville, MA
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POSTPONED: NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED... Ken Perlman and Janine Randall, with Jim Prendergast.
Ken Perlman is a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as melodic clawhammer; he is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic, Appalachian, & Canadian fiddle tunes to the style.  Accompanied by much-in-demand pianist, Janine Randall, Ken will be celebrating the release of his latest CD, Frails and Frolics which in turn celebrates a lot of tunes picked up during his travels in Prince Edward Island many of them with Irish traditional connections. Scroll down to see a lot more info on Ken, including terrific reviews of the new CD.  

Joining Ken and Janine on the day as opener and collaborator, will be Jim Prendergast known for his Celtic music and song but also steeped in music from around New England and beyond.  After thirty years working in the recording studios and orchestra pits of Nashville TN, guitarist Jim Prendergast now resides in NH and is an active participant in New Englands thriving Celtic/Folk
music scene. Check out some of Jim's work below.

Recent reviews of Ken's newest recording: Frails & Frolics:

Bluegrass Unlimited: Ken Perlman is a master banjo player. A long time ago, he looked at the banjo and the perceived limitations of the instrument and proceeded to take clawhammer banjo to places no one else has gone with as much success. The famous bum-ditty rhythm of the most basic style is not to be found here. What we do find is a master in his long pursuit of the music of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, playing tunes once thought unplayable on the clawhammer banjo. . . a masterful performance. If you think you know clawhammer banjo and it all sounds the same, think again.

Banjo, Mandolin, & Guitar Magazine (UK). Ken Perlman plays an astonishing selection of tunes which any self-respecting clawhammer player knows are impossible to play on the banjo. That is to say, Perlman is obviously a wizard, using spells and incantations to conjure up these tunes which are too difficult for the average player to contemplate and yet he dashes them off with verve, joie de vivre and above all, great musicality.  

Here are some links that you might want to include on your event page. (You will need to cut and paste the links in your browser.)

Interview on Across the Blue Ridge show (begins at about 38:00)

Bluegrass Ireland Review.

Interview on Mainstreet Show: CBC Charlottetown

The Burren Backroom series is now well established as one of the most sought-after boutique series of trad presentation in the world.  It has already created already dozens of memorable, intimate, informal presentations held in a truly atmospheric space which was founded by well-known traditional musicians Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello in Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts.  

Hosted by Brian O'Donovan of A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH radio, these gatherings feature core performers from many aspects of traditional music as well as special guests, and conversations around the music.  As is the custom of the Burren, it is anticipated informal and dynamic post concert sessions will be a feature.

Ticket prices vary and there is a $5 discount for WGBH Members.  If you are a member, send an e-mail to and we will send you the code.

Seating is VERY limited and these events have been selling out, so get your tickets today!


The Burren Backroom (View)
247 Elm Street, Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
United States



Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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