Ellis Paul, Antje Duvekot, & Sam Baker
- Classic Folk
Ellis Paul doesn’t just write songs…..he’s a reporter armed with an acoustic guitar covering the human condition and documenting the hopes, dreams, loves, losses and innermost secrets of those he observes. He turns their stories into luminous and thrilling pieces of music that get under your skin and into your bloodstream. Paul’s 20th release in a career spanning 30 years is 2019’s The Storyteller’s Suitcase, named Album of the Year by the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA). Much like the artists who have influenced him, everyone from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and undoubtedly his greatest inspiration, Woody Guthrie, Paul weaves deeply personal experiences with social issues and renders them as provocative works that are as timely as they are timeless.
Over the course of the pandemic, both to stay connected and maintain his sanity, Ellis hosted a weekly livestream show that he dubbed the Traveling Medicine Show. Inviting weekly guests and incorporating weekly themes to generate song selections provided him with the opportunity to learn how to play some of his favorite songs. Those songs morphed into a pandemic project album titled Ellis Paul’s Traveling Medicine Show, Vol. 1 that included songs such as “Vincent” (Don McLean), “Boys of Summer” (Don Henley), “Over the Rainbow” (Arlen & Harburg), as well as “Angel from Montgomery” by John Prine – to whom the album is dedicated. The album also included one new original song: “California”. The album was recorded entirely in Ellis’ home recording studio. When released to radio, the album rose to #3 on the Folk Alliance International (FAI) Folk Chart in February, 2021. The success of the weekly Traveling Medicine Show culminated in the 1st Annual Traveling Medicine Show Festival held on May 23, 2021. The Festival featured 12 singer-songwriters in a 5-hour livestream show.
Ellis is excited to get back on the road, playing many of his favorite venues, and welcoming fans. He is especially thrilled to return to his Passim – his “home” venue – as the first musician to perform to a live audience in the club since the pandemic-forced closure!
Antje Duvekot has solidified her reputation as one of Boston’s top singer songwriters with “Big Dream Boulevard” her debut studio release and “the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer” and “New Siberia” her follow-up albums.
The debut CD was produced by Seamus Egan, founder of the Irish super group, SOLAS and the project was released on songwriter Ellis Paul’s label and quickly attracted international attention for Antje. It was voted “#1 Folk Release of 2006” by the Boston Globe and was named to the “Top10 Releases of the Year” by National Public Radio’s, Folk Alley. Her follow up albums “the Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer” and “New Siberia” were produced by Richard Shindell and along side with Richard feature other “folk royalty” such as John Gorka, Lucy Kaplancky and Mark Erelli.
Antje has won some of the top songwriting awards including the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the prestigious, Kerrville (TX) “Best New Folk Award” and in one of the nation’s top music markets, she won the Boston Music Award for “Outstanding Folk Act”, three of the top prizes in the singer songwriter world.
Antje has extensive touring experience, criss-crossing the US and Europe many times. She is a compelling live performer and has been invited to play some of the top festivals including The Newport Folk Festival as well as the Mountain Stage, Philadelphia and Kerrville Festivals. Internationally, she’s headlined the The Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and the Tonder Festival in Denmark.
Sam Baker makes people happy. The characters in his songs face many challenges—alcoholism, car wrecks, racism, drug addiction, a mother’s abandonment—but they persevere. Much like Sam himself.
In 1986 Sam got in the middle of someone else’s war. When a terrorist bomb exploded in the his train compartment, he went from being a young, healthy, tourist enjoying Peru with friends to a broken man surrounded by death and dying. Given his injuries, he too should have died. But through a series of miracles and coincidences he survived.
There were lots of surgeries, and the requisite pain pills. His leg was saved by a successful femoral arterial graft. When the cranial bleed in his brain healed, he had to relearn nouns, and after his right eardrum was replaced, he regained some hearing. With the top of his left hand gone, it seemed that his formerly skillful hands had been transformed into blocks of wood, but eventually those hands learned how to play an upside-down guitar.
Physically, Sam was recovering, but his life was filled with pills, booze, and rage. Then came the voices and messengers that helped him see that the greatest gift is life itself. He learned about forgiveness. He needed to tell his story. Songs started to come from that upside-down guitar. Before he knew it, there were CDs, tours around the world, an interview with Terry Gross, and awards in Rolling Stone.
Sam feels compelled to tell his story—through his music, art, or any means possible—to one person at a time, or to thousands from a festival stage.