Bigfoot Research Organization featuring Rob Laurens, Lloyd Thayer, Joel Ninesling, Dave Dersham
Fact: The Bigfoot Research Organization (or BRO, for short) is a unique and as-yet-unclassified musical group. Hard to describe accurately, yet strangely mesmerizing to hear, you kind of have to experience the BRO first-hand to believe it. A BRO show offers an ideal opportunity to encounter this cryptomusicological phenomenon in its natural, nocturnal state. myspace.com/bigfootresearchorganization
Bob Franke (it rhymes with “Yankee”) is at the peak of his considerable craft; brimming with the wise and spiritually generous songs for which he is best known, along with wrenchingly convincing topical songs and sugared with the hilarious. His are the kind of songs that really do have the power to change the world by being taken into the lives of people. bobfranke.com
Some people just know how to make friends. With stories in her soul, a dash of courage, and a smile that melts walls, Grace Pettis is busy doing what she was born to do. Of course, the life of an independent touring artist is tons of hard work. Somehow she makes it look easy. Grace’s recent successes include a win at the 2011 Kerrville New Folk Contest, an Official Show Case at the 2012 New Music Seminar and a hugely successful fundraising campaign in which her fans contributed $32k toward the making of her new album, currently in production at Blue Rock Studio.
What is a story slam? Based on a poetry slam format and similar to American Idol, a story slam is a contest of words by known and undiscovered talent. massmouth posts a theme on it's website (www.massmouth.ning.com) and story slammers will sign up on the night to tell a 5-minute short story on the evening's theme and a lucky eight to ten names will be drawn at random from a box. Other audience members may feel moved to join in on a judging team.
Putnam Smith, who hails from Portland, Maine, could be an old-world troubadour fresh from the 19th Century. After all, he lives in a log cabin, plays his Grandfather's banjo, and prints up the jackets to his CDs on an antique letterpress. Yet this rootsy multi-instrumentalist songwriter (he also writes and performs on guitar, mandolin, fretless banjo, and piano), steeped as he is in Appalachian traditions, is very much a storyteller for the modern age. putnamsmith.com
The fun side of folk music was explored by the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. During the five years they were together, they successfully transformed the sounds of pre-World War II rural music into a springboard for their good-humored performances. A communal-like musical ensemble, the Kweskin Jug Band were formed by Jim Kweskin, who had been inspired by a folk group, the Hoppers, featuring washtub bass player John "Fritz" Richmond. The Kwesin Jug Band continued to bring their unique style of folk music to a national audience, appearing on The Roger Miller Show and The Al Hirt Show.
A singer-songwriter native of the Boston area who now calls Providence home, Kayla Ringelheim is a young woman with impressive piano chops, ancient tales to tell, and a voice of honey to tell them with. She grew up surrounded by the vibrant musical culture of Club Passim, where she played her first open mic at age 13. With the immense power of connection and expression in music being instilled in her at a young age, Kayla conjures memories of Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega with a modern edge of pop and jazz.
Sweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode may not be blood relations, but their precise, family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the Everlys to The Judds, as well as the spirited rockabilly energy of Wanda Jackson, one of the band’s role models. Like the artists they admire, the Sweetbacks are concerned with the traditional subjects of heartbreak, revenge, remorse and staying strong in the face of relationships gone wrong, albeit with a contemporary sensibility. thesweetbacksisters.com