The December show with Cindy Haight, Blue Magoo, and Bess Raynor was remarkable in lots of ways. This show displayed local blues and rockabilly at its best. The night featured a blend of originals and covers, showcasing fine musicianship and culminating with everyone doing the enduring classic, Mystery Train. You can find the show podcast on www.wrfalp.com.
On the January show we have the good fortune to have critically acclaimed recording artist, singer, songwriter, violin/violist – Mary Ramsey! With her is her band The Healers. Their press release follows:
“Mary is amoung the rare breed of musicians whose talent knows no boundries. From jazz standards to folk songs, through pop tunes and the classical music repertoire, Mary can travel a vast musical territory and still make it all sound fresh and totally original. Ms.Ramsey is a classically trained violinist/violist, who has been playing since age five. She has worked with numerous symphony and philharmonic orchestras and is currently a member of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. John and Mary, her folk-rock duo with John Lombardo, a former member of 10,000 Maniacs, was formed in 1989. The pair made two recordings for Rykodisc,( Victory Gardens and The Weed Killers Daughter), one independent release, (Pinwheel Galaxy), and another with their band The Valkyries, (Peace Bridge). During the early 1990’s, she played violin and viola for 10,000 Maniacs and performed on the 1993 album MTV Unplugged. Along with John Lombardo, she returned to 10,000 Maniacs in 1995 after Natalie Merchants departure. Her lead vocals, violin/viola and songwriting skills were featured on the bands CDs Love Amoung The Ruins(Geffen) and The Earth Pressed Flat (Bar None). Their cover of Brain Ferry’s More Than This became a top 40 hit. Mary toured with 10,000 Maniacs throughout the United States, Europe, South America and as part of USO Shows in Kuwait. She was most recently featured during 10,000 Maniacs 2011 30th Anniversary Tour. Ms. Ramsey has worked as a performer and music director for The Irish Classical Theatre in Buffalo,N.Y. She teaches private lessons in violin, viola, piano and voice. One of Mary’s many musical projects, her band The Healers, dates to the summer of 2005, when her chiropractor, Dr. Marc Rosen and the husband of her massage therapist, Craig Gordon, provided guitar accompaniment for Mary and two of her violin students at the Kidsfest portion of Buffalo’s annual Elmwood Ave. Festival of The Arts. They were invited back the following year and had such a good time rehearsing and performing that they decided to expand the repertoire and perform on one of the festivals main stages. The group became Mary Ramsey and Friends when Craig’s wife, massage therapist Sandra Williams-Gordon, was added to the line-up on vocals and percussion. The group has continued to be a popular feature at the annual Elmwood Festival, in addition to performing at house concerts, benefits, private functions and other concert events. At one such event, when Mary noticed her optometrist sitting in the audience, she remarked “I’m surrounded by my healers.” Hence the current name and a very cool one at that! In another recent project! Mary is joined by fellow Buffaloian’s Theresa Quinn, Susan Rozler and Alison Pipitone in a group called Girls Gone Mild. Check out Mary Ramsey and The Healers, Mary’s videos with 10,000 Maniacs and John and Mary and The Valktyries on Youtube.”
I must mention here that the response to the Woodsongs Coffeehouse Radio Hour has become almost overwhelming in some ways. I think it has surpassed our expectations, in particular the attendance at the taping of the shows. We have a wonderful group of Woodsongs friends who rarely miss a live show. In addition to that, the taping of the show has become an entertainment destination for a growing number of people. An hour before the commencement of taping the December show, there were no seats left. A wonderful problem to have, and we are working on ways to address it. In the meantime, I can only suggest the earlier the better for making sure you have a good seat. We do ask that the audience be seated by 6:45pm.
The remainder of the Woodsongs season looks like this:
February 23: Steve Piper and David Allen Coester
March 29: Howie Feldman/Rhonda Harp and Kev Rowe
April 26: Chris Passamonte and Claire Stuczinski
May – An Event to Remember for the finale of this Woodsongs season. Exact date and location TBA.
Thank you all for your incredible support.