Click on the link to print a copy of our Labyrinth Cafe schedule to put on your refrigerator (this will print full size)... or help spread the word about our great concerts by printing off a few copies to hand out to friends or post on bulletin boards. Thanks for supporting live, original music!
Labyrinth Cafe 2016-17 Season
Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 7:30 p.m. $5
Help us kick off our 2016-2017 season with this fun, lively and interactive event! Local performers will host, emcee and lead the evening's festivities, refreshments are available for sale and plenty of free parking is provided. “There is no pressure to sing out really loudly, or to sing incredibly well. The only common bond is that everyone in the group loves to sing. That's it. Sharing songs and creating magical sound is really way too much fun.”
We will be singing from the “Rise Up Singing” songbook (a wonderful guide compiled by SingOut Magazine with lyrics to over 1200 classic songs) as well as from our own memory – selections will include a great mix of folk, gospel, bluegrass, jazz, contemporary, rounds, old-time. If you have a copy of “Rise Up Singing", please bring it. We will also have copies for sale for at the event.
Everyone is welcome. Without you, there is no sound!
Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
SFFF Songwriter Winners: Kirsten Maxwell, John John Brown, Larry Mangum
In the winter of 2013, right after his twin boys were born, John John Brown started writing songs that would turn into his debut album "The Road", and Brown's live acoustic performances of the album have garnered much critical acclaim. In May of last year, he was chosen as a 2015 Kerrville Folk Finalist for the legendary "New Folk" competition, and in January of 2016 he went home a winner of the prestigious South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. Seeped in good storytelling and fingerpicking melodies, John John Brown seems to have discovered part of the mystery that surrounds the great singer/songwriter tradition. "The Road" is was just released in the Spring of 2016.
Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot had a love child, raised with the help of godmothers Judy Collins and Maria Muldaur. Surely this is how singer/songwriter Kirsten Maxwell got her start. A listen to her voice and turn-of-phrase/lyrics, and these luminaries will be brought to mind. A prolific songwriter, Kirsten was awarded first place in a contest sponsored by the Rhode Island Songwriters Association. (RISA) and opened for Michael Johnson in concert in November. She was selected for a coveted slot in the Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase at the 2015 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. Kirsten was also named a winner of the 2016 South Florida Folk Festival Singer Songwriter Competition, and will return in January 2017 to perform on the festival's main stage. Kirsten released her debut album this year. A compilation of eleven original songs on love and longing, Crimson is the kind of album you embrace when it's time to let go.
Jacksonville, FL singer/songwriter Larry Mangum has nearly 3000 performances over 4 decades as a folk, rock, country and Americana artist. A Floridian since 1970, known for his butter smooth voice, Larry has released 10 albums of original music and 2 live albums since 1980. An award winning songwriter, Larry writes from a keen sense of observation and experience capturing the moments that reveal the human truths that bind us all together. An evening of Larry’s songs is an emotional roller coaster touching the heart, the mind and the soul that stays with the listener long after the performance. Larry makes regular appearances at the Florida Folk Festival (featured performer in 2010), the Will McLean Festival (featured performer 2010), the South Florida Folk Festival, the Sarasota Folk Festival, the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, Barberville, the Lake County Folk Festival, Riverhawk and many more.
Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the "postmodern, mythic American folk" duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, folk chart-topping albums featuring Carter's mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez's band members. Called “the new voice of modern folk music,” the duo was clearly in its ascendancy when in July 2002, Carter suffered a fatal heart attack while the duo was on tour. He was 49; Grammer, 34.
Grammer has become one of folk music's most beloved artists. Renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin, and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer is also a masterful storyteller with an ease and charisma on stage -- not to mention a riotous sense of humor -- that hardly belie her modest beginnings as Carter's reclusive accompanist. Stories about the duo's first meeting, Carter's quirks and fancies, or Grammer's own misadventures and missteps are woven thoughtfully into the set list to create a uniquely personal evening that connects audiences to performer, to the Carter/Grammer legacy, and most importantly, to one another. Additionally, Grammer has begun down the songwriter's path as part of RealWomenRealSongs, and is sharing her fresh, fledgling efforts -- and the stories behind them -- on her current tour, to the delight of her longtime fans. As one fan put it, "With Tracy, it's never just about the music. It's a soul journey."
[NOTE: This concert will be a words+music show combining beloved songs with readings from Tracy’s memoir drafts… as well as showcasing some of Tracy’s recent stunning originals.]
Saturday, November 12, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
Rod MacDonald and Ralston Bowles
A pivotal force in the 80’s Greenwich Village folk revival, New York’s Village Voice wrote of Rod MacDonald, “politics, passion and a sense of humor”, which accurately describes Rod’s passion for music, and his personal commitment to communicating events that have affected and shaped our world’s societies. Rod seamlessly weaves romantic ballads in between his trademark tongue-in-cheek socio-political commentaries. With lyrics and music that are infectious and inspiring, often humorous, sometimes reckless, frequently evocative, usually thought provoking – and – always compelling, Rod’s songs will stay in your heart and mind long after the music has ended. “An extraordinarily gifted songwriter who does the topical, humorous and touching folk songs equally well – think Phil Ochs, Loudon Wainwright and Bob Dylan all wrapped in one.” (Dans Distractions)
Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
Eric Schwartz (Sunday Blue)
Award-winning singer/songwriter, performer, satirist multi-instrumentalist and entertainer Eric Schwartz (aka Eric “Red” Schwartz) tours the U.S. and Europe bringing his music to every audience he can find. He’s been playing music and comedy venues nationally for fifteen years (the Improv, The Bluebird, The Comedy Store, The Bottom Line…). He has composed for and performed in various Satiristas shows spearheaded by Paul Provenza, as well as “The Bad Boys of Comedy” with Bobby Slayton, Jim Norton et. al. His songs have been sung by Ronny Cox, Holly Near and Van Dyke Parks. Schwartz is possibly the only artist in the history of the world to get raves from Gloria Steinem and Hustler Magazine, Eric’s songs go from the political to the profane, sometimes both (see the International Songwriting Competition’s best comedy song of the year, “Clinton Got a Blowjob”.) Eric’s latest CD release The Aristocrat, which Paul Zollo (Songwriters on Songwriting) calls “a comic treasure” and the U.K.’s Rock’n’Reel magazine calls “beautifully produced and perfectly executed,” contains “There’s a Picture…”, currently in rotation on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom show. Schwartz has also garnered radio play on stations as diverse as Howard Stern’s 100, Raw Dog Radio, the Ed Schultz Show and NPR’s All Things Considered. Schwartz’ latest release is The Better Man which Brian Keathley of KALX Berkeley calls “by far his best work yet. A great collection of tunes with humor, and social commentary – some of which is damn profound. Be listening for it this week and beyond on my radio shows!”
[Note: This will be more of an Eric the Blue (as opposed to Red) concert, showcasing the low-key ballads (like on his Sunday Blue CD) that don’t often see the light of day. Don’t worry, though! Eric is also scheduling a show in the area to include his much-loved R- and X-rated tunes… ]
Saturday, January 7, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
Four Shillings Short
Four Shillings Short perform traditional and original music from the Celtic Lands, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, India and the Americas on over 30 World instruments including Hammered & Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Mandola, Bouzouki, Tinwhistles, Recorders, Medieval and Renaissance Woodwinds, Native American Flutes, North Indian Sitar, Charango, Bowed Psaltery, Banjo, Bodhran, Guitar, Ukelele, Doumbek, Percussion, vocals and even a Krumhorn.
The husband/wife duo of Aodh Og O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland and Christy Martin from California, have been performing together since 1995, tour in the US and Ireland, are independent folk-artists with 12 recordings, perform 150 concerts a year and live as the Troubadours of old traveling from town to town playing at music festivals, theatres & performing arts centers, folk & historic societies, libraries, museums and schools.
Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
Jennings & Keller and Friction Farm
Jennings & Keller is Laurie Jennings Oudin and Dana Keller, an acoustic duo based out of Miami, Florida. They bring a wealth of experience to their collaboration, from the Broadway musicals of New York to the honky-tonks of West Texas. Their music is called "Fusion Folk Americana' - a blend of many different elements that comes from their vast and wide-ranging musical backgrounds Laurie Jennings Oudin is well-known as the former proprietress of The Main Street Cafe, which was viewed across the country as the premier acoustic music venue in Florida. A former Shakespearean actress, Laurie has been a singer and songwriter for many years. Since the cafe's close in June 2006, she has been devoting her time to her musical career with Dana Keller, a veteran pedal steel, dobro, and guitar player who has spent years performing on stage or in the studio with such luminaries as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Stevie Wonder, Larry Graham, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Johnny Rodriguez and The Allen Brothers, to name a few. The synergy created from these two diverse talents is not easy to define, but will leave a lasting impression on all who listen.
Modern folk duo Friction Farm (guitarist/vocalist Aidan Quinn and bassist/vocalist Christine Stay) combines storytelling, social commentary and humor to create songs of everyday life, local heroes and quirky observations. Blending country, folk and pop into a seamless package, they bring a rare freshness and spontaneity to the stage. Their new CD "I Read Your Book" features songs each inspired by a different book. Friction Farm's previous recordings earned them a spot as Kerrville New Folk Finalists and Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists in 2011. From ballads to anthems, each song is filled with harmony and hope. Miami New Times describes them as "melodious and infectious folk nuggets that couple pretty harmonies with a contemplative simplicity."
Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
Nick Annis and Nels Andrews (a.k.a. the NA Squared Tour… )
Drilling for oil in the Midwest. Selling ice cream from a truck. Running a bakery. Starting points for just a few stories Nick Annis deftly weaves between and through song and performance banter. One man medicine show? Itinerant philosopher? Nick Annis is an award-winning songwriter, but he is also admired by folk fans for the storytelling talent that makes his performances so memorable. Audiences return to hear him deliver spoken word pieces in the style of brilliant songwriter/storytellers like Gamble Rogers, John McCutcheon and Dave Carter. Drawing on his diverse background and Greek roots, Nick crafts “true” stories and timeless accounts of humanity.
Nels Andrews has spent the last decade wandering, gathering songs, and singing them all over the globe, sharing them around campfires, coffeeshops, clubs, festivals, and living room floors. Critically, he struck a nerve, earning songwriting awards from prestigious US festivals such as Kerrville, Telluride, and Mountain Stage. Nels released Scrimshaw, his third studio album, in 2012. The record was recorded overlooking the Naval Yards in Red Hook Brooklyn, and tells stories culled from a time off the road, working as a chauffeur in Manhattan and watching his infant son grow into a toddler in his Brooklyn apartment. “The rhythm of the ocean... and light and shade dynamics reminiscent of Astral Weeks. As great singers do, Andrews has the gift of making the La-La-La coda sound as profound as ancient philosophy.” Rock ‘n Reel Magazine, UK
Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
Catie Curtis is a veteran on the singer/songwriter folk scene, crisscrossing the US for 20 years – and counting – performing shows, recording and releasing 13 CDs, with devoted fans following her every move. She’s performed at the White House several times, at two Presidential Inaugural Balls, with Lilith Fair, and at Carnegie Hall. The winner of more than her share of Boston Music Awards, she also took the Grand Prize in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries). Catie recorded a duet with Kris Kristofferson for his CD "The Austin Sessions” and there’s a good chance you’ve heard a song of hers in a movie or on a TV show. The New Yorker called Catie a "folk-rock goddess."
When Maine-native Catie Curtis is not writing, recording, touring or producing concerts, she also officiates and performs at fans’ weddings (having received her ordination online in 2011), teaches at song schools around the country, leads high school songwriting workshops, speaks on diversity, and runs a songwriter retreat in Maine every summer called "Catie at the Cove." “My goal is not just to reflect my own personal life, but to reflect back to people what happens in life, in their lives, in our world,” she says. “As we all know, sh#t happens.” Wise words from a truly intrepid songwriter.
Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.
Amy Carol Webb and TBA
“Amy Carol Webb” defined, is "beloved song weaver." She is passionate, powerful, and poignant. She's the girl next door and no ordinary woman. Born and reared in Oklahoma, Amy traces her heritage back to Native Americans through her Great-Grandmothers who settled Oklahoma when it was still a Territory. Amy's music reflects the same pioneering spirit, tenacity, integrity and never-quit grit. She is "beauty and vulnerability, genuine, sympathetic and electrifying." (Gables Gazette) Her joy is infectious, her courage inspiring, her songs gifts of literate, humorous, often profound poems of one woman's remarkable journey from precious child, to woman to mother... to "Songweaver". Amy was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 2011 and is currently Consulting Minister to the River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Davie, Florida. Amy says: “I believe that both ministry and music are, at depth, a continuing conversation among our authentic, imperfect selves as we spiral toward what really matters most in our lives - that we may be transformed and transform our world.”
Ralston Bowles, a musician and songwriter who often is called the Ambassador of West Michigan's acoustic music scene, has been making music since he was a child growing up in Gary, Indiana. "The stories are out there," he says. "It's about finding the stories and telling them. That's what Woody Guthrie did. That's what Bob Dylan does." Ralston's first professional job was at the age of 16 when he was asked to make up one of his story songs for a neighborhood party. After graduation he found himself playing in clubs and coffeehouses throughout the Midwest, making up songs about the people and places he visited. His songs have been performed and recorded by Caroline Aiken, Peter Mulvey, Amy Speace, Betty Soo and Rachael Davis. He has received awards from American Songwriter Magazine, NSAI/CMT, Unisong and the International Song Competition, among many others. As a Kerrville New Folk finalist, he found himself opening for such artists as Shawn Colvin, T-Bone Burnett and Arlo Guthrie. He has become a bi-annual favorite at Boston's Club Passim.