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The Songs of Dillon Bustin: Tossing off the Covers
First Parish of Watertown/Tremedal Concerts
Watertown, MA
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Nov 10, 2018 8:00 PM

Admission Level Price Quantity
Advance Tickets $20.00 ($21.69 w/service fee)
At Door: $25  
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The Songs of Dillon Bustin: Tossing off the Covers
Dillon Bustin is a songwriter, a playwright and a retired arts administrator. This concert, which brings together a host of his friends, folks who have recorded his songs over the years, is also a grateful tribute to the best kept secret in New England Folkdom. The sheer volume of Dillon's prolific output, all produced in the background of long a successful career as an arts administrator with various organizations in the Boston area, most recently, a 10 year run with  the Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. We are sort of bidding Dillon a bit of a farewell, as he and Martha have moved to Rockland Maine...still, we hope there will be frequent sitings!!

Invited (mostly confirmed) guests include: David Coffin, John and Rachel Nicholas, David Dodson, Dean Stevens, Daisy and Stan, Bob Lucas and Chloe Manor/Chris Westoff...the list grows.

From when Dillon was Artistic Director at Emerson Umbrella:
Dillon Bustin is a folklorist, singer, songwriter, filmmaker and a playwright who is also Executive Director of the Emerson Umbrella for the Arts, home of the Concord Poetry Center. Dillon has had a lifelong passion for both music and Ralph Waldo Emerson's work. It is this love that enabled him to combine the two seamlessly in his CD entitled Willow of the Wilderness: Emersonian Songs, released in October 2003 by Emerson Umbrella in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Emerson's birth.

In June, '05, the Concord Poetry Center will present Bustins original process of re-casting the19th century lyrical writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson and others into song in a workshop setting and, in the evening of the same day, at a concert performance of some of the results of his achievement in a concert called "Songs From Walden Pond."

from "Dillon Bustin & Emerson: Two Bards, One Voice"
Bustin's vision for integrating history, the environment, and music has uniquely served the Emerson Umbrella's Musketaquid Program. ... The selection of both published and unpublished Emerson poems included in the Willow of the Wilderness album accomplishes dual purposes. It reawakens a sense of awe with which Concord River region dwellers can behold their local environs. More significantly it makes the formidable writing and person of Emerson uniquely accessible to the listening audience.

While Bustin, unassuming and often understated in person, would rather allow Emerson the sole acclaim for the brilliance of this album, it is Bustin's earthy soothing voice and merry musical arrangements that brings true life to this collection of writing. Bustin's folkloric talents allow him, time and time again, to add a rich vibrancy through his music. A modern-day bard, Dillon Bustin gives voice to Emerson, allowing us to hear and remember his prophetic call to steward the nature around us and treasure the life within.

.....Louisa Thomason
in the Middlesex beat November 2003

Dillon's description of himself on his website:

I enjoy traditional ballads and tales. The nineteenth-century legends and folksongs I perform enliven my own lineages from Ireland and England through the Maritime Provinces to New England, and along the old National Road to the Ohio River Valley. Reflecting family heritage, Im apt to recall lumberjacks, boatmen, railroaders, miners, and farmers.

Devoted to American Romanticism as I am, Im likely to sing the verses of lyrical poems. In this way Ive interpreted poets ranging from Emily Dickinson to E. E. Cummings. Ive also transformed the prose of authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Herman Melville into song for theatrical settings.

As a playwright Ive produced beggars operas, composing ballads in the musical styles of the nineteenth century to tell the multiracial history of Marthas Vineyard and Cape Cod. Several songs from these shows have escaped the script to be recorded by other performers; they are included in the website section on plays.

Im an original songwriter as well, telling stories of my own life and times. Youthful treatments of nature, friendship, and community were in hopes of leading a humble and harmless life. My songwriting since then has been about how to sustain these lighthearted quests for wisdom into middle age and beyond.


First Parish of Watertown/Tremedal Concerts (View)
35 Church St.
Watertown, MA 02472
United States


Music > Folk

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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