Simple Gifts has long respected the playing and performances of local musician Bob Pope. With regards to this, they chose to give Bob’s trio a feature spot for others to enjoy the experience. Bob plays lead guitar and sings lead for Monadnock Bluegrass Band, a Bluegrass Band that tours New England. Peter Cram, the groups Bass Player, is a member of The Concord Chorale, and slums with the group between Chorale gigs. The third member of the group, George Kelly, sings lead, plays hot licks, and harmonizes with the likes of Neil Young, Dolly Parton, and Ricky Skaggs–in his basement. Fun, uplifting, tap your toes music!
The Lied To’s are Doug Kwartler and Susan Levine, two Massachusetts-based singer-songwriters with countless individual awards, performances, tours, song placements, and writing accolades between them. They joined musical forces in 2014, released their debut cd in February 2015, and have been playing together ever since.
Taking their name from the revered Everly Brothers song, “When Will I Be Loved,” The Lied To’s (Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler) collaborate to put the challenges of romantic relationships squarely under their musical microscope. The duo creates a formidable blend of folk, rock and country-tinged music with subject matter keenly focused on the negotiation of these relationships in the wake of difficult times and burdensome pasts.
“Susan Levine has a voice somewhere between Dolly Parton and Maria Muldaur it carries an edgy passion with a wailing want my man quality. – The Noise
“Doug Kwartler has one of those John Mellencamp-ish, longing, honky-tonk voices that make women weak in the knees.” – The Noise
Guests attending Simple Gifts Coffee House performances are invited to bring their own beer or wine to enjoy at the concerts. Coffee, tea, and a variety of baked goods are available at each show.
Susan Cattaneo is one of Bostons most respected songwriters. A powerful singer and sophisticated writer, Susan combines vivid storytelling with a modern songwriter’s spin. Respectful of tradition, but not bound by it, Susan blends rock, folk and blues with a healthy dose of country. Call it New England Americana with a twang.
Susan’s latest album, Haunted Heart was released in January 2014 to national acclaim. It was voted one of Alternate Roots Top 100 Albums of the Year, and won Album of the Year at the Limelight Music Awards.
In addition to being a solo performing artist, Susan has been teaching songwriting at the Berklee College of Music for over 10 years, and has recently joined the Western Mass trio The Boxcar Lilies.
“Ultimately it’s rare to find an artist so willing to invest her psyche so fully into her songs, but the return on Cattaneo’s commitment also makes for a compelling set of songs.” American Songwriter
“She’s able to blend gritty semi-confessional bluesy sounds with poetic conversational lyrics.” Austin Daze
“Her voice is somewhere between national treasure and weapon of mass destruction.” Daily Vault
Sisters Katryna and Nerissa Nield grew up singing folk songs in the kitchen and back seat of the family car.
“I remember I wrote my first song that I was really proud of when I was 13,” said Nerissa, “and right away I had a harmony for it, so I dragged Katryna out of her room and taught her the harmony. It was instinct – I knew that my sister should be there.”
In the 90’s the Nields was a folk-rock band, with drums and electric guitars, and toured nationally. These days it is usually two voices and one acoustic guitar.
Now well into their third decade of performing, the Nields released their 17th album in 2015. Once again they present beautifully crafted songs, delivered with passion and grace.
“Guitarist Nerissa has written the clear-eyed, literary lyrics and sister Katryna has provided a gloriously eccentric vocal delivery. Lots of backward glances and relationship foibles punctuate this quiet collection, which is ideal for harmony addicts and dreamers alike.” – Billboard Magazine.