FALL FOLKSTRAVAGANZA XV, Friday, August 22nd, 7pm, in the fellowhip hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd in Carbondale

August 16th, 2014
Cousin Andy’s concerts most often occur on the first and third Fridays of each month and usually alternate between Church of The Good Shepherd’s fellowship hall in Carbondale and the Yellow Moon Cafe in downtown Cobden.  Cousin Andy’s, a not-for-profit concert series, relies upon the generosity of our audiences to pay our out-of-town performers.  We use the donations received at our FOLKSTRAVAGANZA benefit shows to allow us to make up any shortfall in the week-to-week “door” for a particular concert.  Your contributions allow Cousin Andy’s to continue to bring nationally and internationally known songwriters to our area.

Cousin Andy’s kicks off our 21st season of bringing the finest folk music to Southern Illinois with our annual Fall Folkstravaganza benefit show, featuring some of our favorite local musicians.  As usual, our benefit show will be in the fellowship hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd in Carbondale.

This year’s Fall Folkstravaganza features a nice array of styles of folk music.  Our performers will be THE DORIANS (Bryan Kelso Crow, Elana Floyd-Kennett, Mike Shanahan, and Mickey Soltys), BLACKBERRY BLOSSOM BAND (Andrea Stader, Gary Childers, RuthAnn Levinson, and others), and TRANSCENDENTAL COWBOYS (Doug Anderson and Randy Auxier).

The Dorians, offering songs and dance music from the Irish and Scottish traditions, perform throughout the midwest at festivals, conferences, colleges and other schools.  The are known throughout the region as premier performers of traditional and Irish and Celtic music.

The Blackberry Blossoms Band primarily features old timey folk, old old country, and Americana.  In addition to multi-part vocal harmonies, arrangements may include autoharp, dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, and upright bass.

When Doug Anderson and Randy Auxier perform together as the Transcendental Cowboys, they play their own songs, songs by friends, songs by enemies, and songs by people they don’t even know (but you might) — Americana, blues, folk, country, and some things that simply defy classification.

THE CANTRELLS, Friday, May 9th, 7:30pm

May 5th, 2014

We welcome Al and Emily Cantrell back to Cousin Andy’s  Concert Series this Friday.  We’ll be in the fellowship hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd for our last show of this Cousin Andy’s season. 

The Cantrells have been touring and performing their original folk and bluegrass music in concerts and festivals since 1985. Their performances feature Emily Cantrell’s songs, her strong rhythm guitar (especially her swing style), Al Cantrell’s contest-winning fiddling in traditional, swing and Irish styles, their duet harmonies, “fiddlesticks” (“playing the straws”) and a wide variety of songs from bluegrass to Broadway musicals. 

Al and Emily are on the ever-growing list of Cousin Andy’s favorites.  A few years ago, Marlene Shepherd, then a regular entertainment writer for The Southern Illinoisan wrote:    

Ask Al Cantrell what makes his acoustic duo so popular, and he’ll point to his wife, Emily.  “It’s because she writes songs which have popular themes, love songs in a lot of respects,” he says. “Also, they have an imagery that allows you to use your imagination. Sometimes it takes you out to a scene in the Rocky Mountains on some river. Sometimes it’s a scene where an owl is flying toward you.”  Ask Emily Cantrell the same question, and she’ll point to Al’s fine fiddling. As you may have guessed, it’s the combination of Emily’s and Al’s gifts that have earned The Cantrells critical acclaim.  Emily’s impressive vocal range and imaginative lyrics plays beautifully with the flick of Al’s fiddle and mandolin. Or as the Nashville Tennessean put it: “She sings like an angel, he plays like the devil.”

For more info about The Cantrells CLICK HERE

Photo by Tim Piazza

TRACY GRAMMER Friday, May 2nd, 8pm @ The Yellow Moon Cafe in Cobden, a Cousin Andy’s event

April 21st, 2014

Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the “postmodern, mythic American folk” duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer.  Determined to honor the duo’s journey and bring Carter’s songs, and those of other favorite writers, to broader audiences, Grammer kept to the road after Carter’s death in 2002 and now tours internationally, releasing solo albums as well as selections from the Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer archives.

Grammer has become one of folk music’s most beloved performers. 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.  Grammer has begun down the songwriter’s path as part of a song-a-week challenge called Real Women Real Songs, and is sharing her fresh, fledgling efforts–and the stories and struggles behind them–on her current tour, to the delight of her longtime fans.

We at Cousin Andy’s have been chasing Tracy Grammer for years and are excited to finally have caught her to welcome her back to the Cousin Andy’s stage after a long absence.  This special show is an advance $15 ticket show.  Call Sandi at The Yellow Moon to reserve your seat.  618-893-2233

For more info about Tracy, CLICK HERE 

For more info about The Yellow Moon Cafe, CLICK HERE

BILL PASSALACQUA Friday, April 18th, 8pm @ The Yellow Moon Cafe in Cobden, a Cousin Andy’s event

April 13th, 2014

Bill Passalacqua is no stranger to the Cousin Andy’s and Yellow Moon stages, but it’s been a while!  We are excited to welcome Bill back this coming Friday, April 18th, 8pm.  This week’s show will be at The Yellow Moon Cafe in Cobden.

Bill “Poss,” a native of Effingham, was born with music in his soul.  He and his entire family have always been involved in music.  After getting his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1994, he moved to Austin, Texas, to pursue a career in the music business.  Finding that there was lots of music and very little business, Passalacqua decided he liked it better that way.  He’s lived mostly in Texas and on the road since 1994.

Anything can become a song in Bill Passalacqua hands.  No, really, anything.  You’re standing in line at the porta-potty?  That’s a song.  You’re watching kids draw with sidewalk chalk?  That’s a song.  You’re missing your dead pet?  That’s a song.  You’re wondering what the director of FEMA was doing during Hurricane Katrina?  That’s a song.  You’re driving in winter weather?  That’s a song.  Bill has been known to write new songs DURING his shows.  Maybe he’ll write a song about you!  Come find out.

For more info about Bill, CLICK HERE 

For more info about The Yellow Moon Cafe, CLICK HERE

LAURIE MCCLAIN Friday, April 4th, 7:30pm – Fellowship Hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd

March 24th, 2014

Donna Stjerna of Still on Hill says Laurie is, “…my favorite songwriter in the whole world.”   Cousin Andy’s welcomes back one of our all-time favorites, Laurie McClain, on April 4th.  We’ll be back in the Fellowship Hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd for this show.

Of Laurie’s most recent CD, singer/songwriter Devon Sproule says, “Laurie McClain has got to be from another planet. I’ve never met anyone — except maybe Richie Havens — who is so open-hearted & full of love for humanity, yet who appears to experience life on a different plane than everybody else. The world is a harsh place for souls like these, and music seems to be their tool for making sense of it. Laurie’s music is as innocent as it is informed by experience, as playful as it is rooted, and as detail-oriented as it is grand in scope. Lucky for the rest of us, she’s translated her Earthly experience onto record, and called it Ascend.”

For more info about Laurie, CLICK HERE

DANA & SUSAN ROBINSON Friday, March 21st, 8pm at The Yellow Moon Cafe in Cobden

March 13th, 2014

We welcome Dana and Susan Robinson back to the Cousin Andy’s stage on Friday, March 21st.  We always are anxious to hear some of our favorite Dana and Sue songs, as well as anticipating new songs that are sure to be added to our favorites list.

Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of Americas musical heritage.

The genius their performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit.

For more info about Dana & Sue 21 CLICK HERE

For more info about The Yellow Moon Cafe at CLICK HERE

THE GORDONS this Friday 3/7, 7:30pm, Fellowship Hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd

March 3rd, 2014

For those who live in or are from the Southern Illinois area, The Gordons really need no introduction.

We are looking forward to having them back to Cousin Andy’s Coffeehouse this Friday night.

Influenced by the great music of their era, Gary and Roberta were baptized by bluegrass music and have made wonderful folk music ever since. Accompanied by Gary’s tasteful Gallagher guitar and dobro, Roberta plays the American born Appalachian autoharp. With many recordings to their credit since 1976, harmony singing is their signature.

Robert Oerman of Nashville’s music industry publication Music Row says, “The Gordons sing with such open-hearted honesty and pick with such crystalline purity that you’d have to be made of steel to resist them.”

For more information, CLICK HERE

Friday, February 28th, 8pm, KRISTA DETOR at The Yellow Moon Cafe in Cobden

February 11th, 2014

Of Songwriter Krista Detor’s work, Rolling Stone says, “A Small Miracle….”  MusicDish magazine states:  “Call [Mudshow] a novel like Richard Wright’s “Manchild in the Promised Land” or the musical equivalent of Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams”:  a collection of short pieces – stories or short films of dreams – that taken together, form a whole, more than the sum of its parts.”  The Boston Herald says, simply, “All songwriters shouldbe this good….”

Of Krista’s brand new CD, Flat Earth Diary, The Stereobox writes, “”What genre classification can we place her in?  The answer is ‘who cares?’  When an artist produces music of this caliber, what does it matter the genre?  Krista truly produces great music…this album is mesmerizing.”

If you have seen and heard Krista when she’s performed in our area, you know what a gift you receive if you are lucky enough to be in the audience — and you want that experience again.

For more info about Krista CLICK HERE 

For more info about The Yellow Moon CLICK HERE

BUDDY MONDLOCK Friday, February 7th, 7:30pm

February 1st, 2014

Note:  Ronny Cox is unable to appear at Cousin Andy’s this coming Friday, due to a scheduling conflict.  We hope to reschedule Ronny in the not too distant future.

We are quite fortunate to have Buddy Mondlock return to Cousin Andy’s on short notice!  We’ll be in the fellowship hall of The Church of The Good Shepherd.

Buddy Mondlock writes songs.  He does it so well that some great songwriters have recorded his songs on their own albums.  Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, and Janis Ian, to name just a few.  You might have heard his song “The Kid” (recorded by David Wilcox, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Cry, Cry, Cry) and maybe even sung it yourself around a campfire.  Buddy draws you into his world — where a single snowflake follows the trajectory of a relationship, where you get your pocket picked by a Roman cat, where you might swim over the edge of the world if you’re not careful, and where dreams that don’t come true still count.

Buddy’s most recent CD, “The Memory Wall,” includes a few songs dating back to his early years in Nashville, including a collaboration with Garth Brooks called “A Canary’s Song,” about a coal miner transplanted to a city slum, waking each morning to the song of the bird he brought with him from home.

“Buddy Mondlock is one of our country’s best songwriters.  His approach is gentle and Zen-like, the songs unfurl like little movies and the listener is transported to some distant better place — and isn’t that waht music should be about?”  — Ellis Paul 

For more information about Buddy, CLICK HERE

WINTER FOLKSTRAVAGANZA! Friday, January 24th, 7pm

January 21st, 2014

Join us at Cousin Andy’s this Friday night for our semi-annual benefit concert feature some of our area’s favorite musicians.

The lineup includes Doug E. Rees, SeeSee Sisters, and County Graves.

Doug E. Rees, a songwriter from Jackson, MO, is no stranger to the Cousin Andy’s stage.  Since his last Cousin Andy’s appearance, Doug has released a new CD, NATURE BOY.  We always are happy to have Doug venture over from the other side of the river to share his music with us.  Doug says, “My songs are about REAL LIFE and real people. You will know these people for they have been a part of your life too. They may have different names but the relationship will be somewhat the same.”

The SeeSee Sisters are Christine Bauer and Candy Davis, with Marty Merrill.  Canadian original folk, with a dash of American seasoning.

Brett Haynes writes in NIGHTLIFE Entertainment Guide, “Self-described as a Southern Illinois Americana band, County Graves employ a strong hold on an old sound with an able and young grip and a slight twist. Spinning goosebump-worthy tales about whiskey, murder, coal-mining, ghosts, the devil, and debauchery, laced with knowledge about local folklore and musical flavors, and delivered with urgency and honesty, County Graves are an old-soul powered band for a new generation.”