On Monday, September 10th, Nashville-based singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist Mean Mary James will be performing for SJARMS.

Mary is somewhat of a musical prodigy—she could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. By age seven she was proficient on the guitar, banjo, & violin, and entertained audiences across the US with her vocal and instrumental skills. Her life has been one long road show interspersed with TV, radio, and film. She has recorded 12 CDs and performed on more than 500 live TV shows and over 4,000 road shows—including national festivals, fairs, cruises, colleges, theatres, clubs and house concerts.

Here is a clip from a recent radio show Mary did:

Mary will be performing her unique blend of original and traditional music in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

World-renowned guitarist, composer and performer Beppe Gambetta will be appearing in special concert on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 8pm at the Medford Friends Meetinghouse (14 Union Street, Medford, NJ). This concert will be SJARMS’ marquee event for 2011.

Beppe has taken his music all over the world as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians such as Patty Larkin, Doc Watson, David Grisman, Darrell Scott, Dan Crary and Tony McManus, among many others. Beppe is presently performing in his 11th annual Acoustic Nights festival in Genoa, Italy (Beppe divides his time between Italy and the United States).

Technically he is a flatpicker; artistically he transcends stylistic and technical boundaries. Beppe’s music is informed by his European classical heritage as well as American roots and bluegrass music, and his live performances blend these multiple influences. On any given night, you’ll hear Beppe transition seamlessly from an original piece evoking shooting stars over an Italian village to a medley of fiddle tunes, each one played flawlessly and authentically.

Although Beppe is a wonderful singer, here is a clip of some of his instrumental work:

Beppe typically plays at large venues such as concert halls, theaters or bluegrass festival stages. The SJARMS community will have a unique opportunity to see a world class performer play in the rustic and intimate setting of the Medford Friends Meetinghouse. Tickets are on sale now here or by calling or emailing us.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, August 8th, and will feature a presentation by Delaware-based master luthier, Dana Sutcliffe.

Because many of our members own very beautiful and often VERY expensive acoustic instruments, we are bringing Dana in to discuss how to properly care for and maintain these prized possessions so that they will continue to sound amazing and remain playable for many generations to come (such as those old Martin guitars Owen O’Malley and Joe Jones demonstrated at their presentation back in June!). Dana specializes in the restoration of Martin, Gibson and Collings guitars and regularly works on banjos, mandolins and many other types and brands of instruments. One of the primer luthiers around, Dana has worked on instruments owned by legends such as George Thorogood, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Allman Brothers, among others.

Following Dana’s presentation, we will have our normal open mic and acoustic jam (see our website for more information on our open mic and jam formats). Be sure to sign up for the open mic at the beginning of our meeting. First come, first served. As always, coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served.

The Medford Arts Center is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. Our meetings are free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

On Monday, July 11th, David Falcone will be performing for SJARMS. Falcone is one of the finest fingerstyle acoustic guitarists and vocalists around, whose original compositions reflect a unique synthesis of folk, celtic and traditional influences.

Falcone, a regular performer at premier venues such as World Cafe Live, WXPN’s Music Festival, the Painted Bride and the Tin Angel, has shared billings with notable musicians such as Pierre Bensusan, Leon Redbone, John Renbourn, Erik Taylor and Francis Dunnery. Falcone’s first album, “Secrets of Sherwood,” was recorded at Longview Studios in Philadelphia and released in 1997. His second album, “Behind Your Eyes,” was mixed by Emmy Award winning producer Tim Craven at Gen-X studios. Both recordings evoke the intensity and passion that fuel Falcone’s downright captivating live performances.

The SJARMS community will have a very special opportunity at our July meeting to witness whom critics hail as a “guitar virtuoso” play his “hauntingly beautiful” music in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam (downstairs) and song circle (upstairs) will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, June 13th from 7 – 10pm. SJARMS members Owen O’Malley and Joe Jones will be giving a brief presentation on dreadnaught guitars made by C.F. Martin & Company.

Owen and Joe, both avid guitar collectors, will discuss why Martin dreadnaughts made during the 1930s — the Pre War period largely considered by many to be the Golden Age of guitar making — are so special and highly sought after. They will then discuss how Martin guitars, and particularly the dreadnaught models, have evolved and changed over the years (for better and for worse).

Even if you don’t own a Martin dreadnaught, this presentation will provide a fascinating historical perspective on what is arguably the most iconic guitar model in modern times.

As an aside, here is a beautiful clip of Tony Rice and his 1935 Herringbone D-28:

And here is some footage from 1939 of the old Martin guitar factory where these gems were made:

Following this presentation, we will have our normal open mic and acoustic jam (see above tabs for more information on our open mic and jam formats). If you would like to participate in the open mic, please email us at southjerseyarms@gmail.com to reserve a spot. All playing levels are welcome to participate in the jam, so be sure to bring your acoustic instruments.

McDermott’s Handy, one of the most noted traditional Irish music groups in the region, will be performing at our May Meeting (5/9). Doors open at 7:30. The concert is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors and is $10 for returning non-members.

McDermott’s Handy, a duo consisting of Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormely, has a stage presence honed by more than 25 years of experience performing in a wide variety of impressive venues including the New Jersey Folk Festival, Appel Farm, The Painted Bride, Penns Landing, Wheaton Village, Rutgers University, Lasalle University and countless other arts centers and coffeehouses. Kathy plays the Irish harp, fiddle and banjo (and occassionally the bodhran and mandolin). She has a commanding and expressive voice that belies her diminutive statute. Although she started playing guitar and folk music as a teenager, it was her meeting legendary Irish fiddler, Ed McDermott, in 1971 that sparked a lifelong passion for traditional Irish music. Kathy has been actively entrenched in the New Jersey folk music scene since the early 1970s, and is well known in folk harp circles as a performer and teacher. Kathy’s husband and performing partner Dennis had a long-standing performing career on the Philadelphia folk scene prior to meeting Kathy and taking up Irish music in the late 1970s. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Dennis is a wonderful guitarist and flute and whistle player.

Following their performance at SJARMS, Kathy and Dennis will hang around for our monthly acoustic jam and demonstrate how a traditional Irish jam session works. Although there are many similarities between traditional bluegrass and Irish music, the respective jams for each style of music carry their own unique format and culture. Kathy and Dennis will be playing three traditional Irish tunes that are frequently heard at Irish Sessions: The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Swinging On A Gate and The Merry Blacksmith. There are many versions of these tunes available on the internet — we will be posting links to some verions on our Facebook page. We encourage members to familiarize themselves with these tunes in advance and then participate in the jam.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, April 11th from 7 – 10pm. SJARMS member Dave Field will be giving a presentation on the Appalachian Dulcimer. Dave has been custom building dulcimers since 1964 and his craftmanship is second to none! Dave will discuss various topics relating to the dulcimer, including its construction, tuning(s) and historical relevance in roots music.

Following Dave’s presentation, we will have an open mic and acoustic jam. All playing levels are welcome to participate in the jam, so be sure to bring your acoustic instruments.

How’s this for some March Madness: Virtuoso bluegrass guitarist Mark Cosgrove will be the featured performer at our March 14th meeting!

Mark is a nationally known musician who previously won the U.S. National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS and has shared the stage with many bluegrass legends, including Jerry Douglas (of Allison Krauss and Union Station fame), among others. Mark will be playing in a trio with rhythm guitarist Peter Lorch (of Stone Mountain Road — our November featured performer) and bassist Larry Cohen. Mark is a phenominal musician who typically plays at large venues such as bluegrass festivals and concert theaters. This will be a very rare opportunity for SJARMS members and visitors to see Mark perform in the MAC’s intimate and acoustically pure setting! Following the performance, Mark will hang around and join in on our monthly jam! This will surely be a night to remember.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

Welcome to the official website of the South Jersey Acoustic Roots Music Society!   This site will be updated frequently with the latest information about upcoming SJARMS meetings, performances, workshops and other events.  Check out our calander for the many events that are already scheduled this year.  We will also be adding a media archive that features photos and video from past and future meetings and performances.

Our next meeting will be on February 14th (yes, Valentine’s day) from 7:00 to 9:30 pm at the Medford Arts Center.  The meeting will feature our Open Mic (in which both musicians and non-musicians are encouraged to participate — see the Open Mic tab above for more info) and our Acoustic Jam.   As always, coffee and light refreshments will be served.

Since our first meeting last September, we have been overwhelmed by the level of interest and support we have seen.  We look forward to watching SJARMS continue to grow into an important gathering place for acoustic musicians and music lovers alike.  If this sounds good to you, please consider becomming a member and then come on out to hear some great pickin’!

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