Martin Grosswendt, Eric Kilburn
Musicians and critics have called him, among other things, a national treasure and a rumor in his own time. In fact, a single label cant do justice to Martin Grosswendts dynamic musical talents. An extraordinary instrumentalist and powerful singer best known as an interpreter of 1920s and 30s blues, his mastery of numerous regional styles on guitar, mandolin, five-string banjo, and fiddle make his concerts events that his audiences dont soon forget. His performances encompass the breadth and depth of Southern roots music, from classic Delta and East Coast blues to early country music to Creole and Cajun music. His love for a good song also moves him to perform material from modern songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, Bobby Charles and Richard Thompson.
Martins music runs deeper than his impressive technical skills; his performances convey a depth of feeling that seems to channel musicians and times long past. His passion for the music is reflected in his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the times and the musicians that gave it birth; his ability to communicate their stories engages listeners of all ages. Its no wonder that many informed listeners consider him one of Americas great natural musical resources.
Add to all this a wry, sometimes quirky sense of humor and a quick smile, and you have an impressive performer who both entertains and moves audiences deeply. Audience members leave his performances impressed by Martins deep love and respect for the music, the people who created it and the listeners who take the journey with him.
Martin began his musical career in the early 1970s as a session player at the original Philo Records in Vermont, recording and performing with musicians including U Utah Phillips, Jim Ringer, Mary McCaslin, and Rosalie Sorrells. At the same time, he pursued his passion for pre-war blues and created a solo career playing the music of legendary bluesmen such as Charley Patton, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell. His first recording, Dog on a Dance Floor, was released by Philo in 1979.
For more than a decade he has been on the core teaching staff at music camps including WUMBs Summer Acoustic Music Week in New Hampshire, Guitar Intensives in Maine, and Banjo Camp North and Mandolin Camp North in Massachusetts. In July, 2014 he was honored to teach at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop and Festival in Port Townsend, Washington for the first time.
In recent years Martin has released two CDs, Call and Response and Payday!, which feature country blues classics, more contemporary, roots-oriented material and original compositions. His 1979 LP, Dog on a Dance Floor, is still available on vinyl.
Eric is the owner and engineer of Wellspring Studio, Acton, MA. Many young artists and groups, including Tracy Chapman, Dar Williams, Esperanza Spauding, Martin Sexton, Catie Curtis, Angry Salad, Vance Gilbert, and others launched their careers with Wellspring. Hes been part of over 800 albums recorded by other artists at his recording studio.
Eric is now relaunching his own musical career after a 26-year sabbatical from touring and active performing, taking time to raise a family and developing his recording studio. He recently produced and recorded original songs about personal, but universal topics regarding growing up and being a parent. He was one of the 32 finalists in the 2019 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Contest!
Eric played extensively throughout the eastern U.S. in the late 1980s and 1990s, releasing four acclaimed albums. Hes played at Club Passim , Cambridge, MA over 40 times, both as a headliner and an opener for the likes of Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, and Eric Andersen.
Erics songs have been covered by Arlo Guthrie, Fred Small, Sally Rogers, Priscilla Herdman, Lucie Blue Tremblay, and many other performers. He has been performing his new originals in various local venues including the ones that won him acclaim at the Kerrville, TX Folk Festival.
John Henry's Hammer Coffeehouse / 1st U. Church of Worcester (View)
90 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|