CD Release: Short Time to Be Here June 14, 2019 • Last show of the season!
As REUNION ROAD, Carol Hausner and Eleanor Ellis mix and match their rich, emotive blend of voice and guitar with songs in the bluegrass and folk roots traditions. The two first met and began singing together in the musical haven of Takoma Park Maryland during the 1980s, in the early days of the Takoma Park Folk Festival. When festival founder Sammie Abbott was mayor he and his wife Ruth hosted many musical parties where members of this vibrant community met and exchanged songs and ideas. The black and white photo of Carol and Eleanor was taken at one of these parties.
Eleanor was raised around New Orleans and, entranced by the local sounds, sang and played guitar in formal and informal settings, weaving together and exploring many melodic roots and genres. As well as solo gigs on Bourbon Street and various uptown venues, she played bluegrass and country with Luke Thompson and the Green Valley Cutups and with Dr. Bill Malone and the Hill Country Ramblers, and performed as a duo with Hazel Schlueter. Upon moving to Maryland and meeting local blues legends like John Jackson and Archie Edwards, she gravitated toward blues, while always keeping in touch with the variety of music and song which brought her there. Eleanor says, “Although I’m more known now for playing blues, I’ve always been drawn to many styles of music and I love to sing these songs with Carol from my folk and bluegrass days.”
Carol’s home was filled with music. Her mother sang and her father was drawn to the folk and traditional music scene in Greenwich Village which he brought home with his guitar, records and the radio. He gave Carol her first guitar when she was seven and taught her how to play and they often played and sang together at home. She began performing while in high school when she joined a bluegrass band started by her history teacher, an accomplished bluegrass musician. In addition to performing, she has been a songwriter throughout. She had the honor of winning first place in the Bluegrass category of the annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2009 for her original song “Love Gone By,” co-written with Colin McCaffrey. Carol and Eleanor performed the winning song together there.
In this production, the two women trade high and low leads and harmonies to excellent effect on numbers well-crafted to match their distinct voices and lyrical styles. Their repertoire ranges from the bittersweet Flame in My Heart to Kate Wolf’s somber, symbolic journey Across the Great Divide, the beautifully phrased Going to the West, the Carter family’s tale of enduring friendship You’ve Been A Friend to Me and the evocative Hausner and McCaffrey original On My Mind.
This recording brings Eleanor and Carol full circle on their journey from the first Takoma Park days to this reunion in song. Eleanor and Carol say “Our name REUNION ROAD comes from the fact that, even though we don’t live in the same place anymore, we still share friends and memories, and we still continue to sing together every chance we get.”
DEEPER THAN THE SKIN is a experience of singing and listening … of experiencing a connection so deep that it makes you laugh, smile, cry and reconsider what you know about our history. It’s an invitation to open your heart and mind to a story of shared humanity that resonates with your own. Two friends … one Black, one White … one from the North … one from the South. Musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers … born three days apart! Two separate narratives forged into one powerful friendship aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same.
Deeper Than the Skin brings together a remarkable journey that started 30 years ago and is now offering hope to people all over the nation. It’s a presentation that ends with an open dialogue that moves the audience from emotion into action … that gives voice and direction to the question “What can I do?”
Deeper Than the Skin is an interactive, engaging invitation to take a step into a new reality. It’s an affirmation of the notion that a more perfect union begins …. with us!
“Greg and Reggie are two of the most engaging performers you’d want to enjoy on a concert evening. To be invited into their lives to share their deepest concerns and memories is a rare privilege in a very memorable evening.”
–Thea Hagepanos, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, NC
We invite you to enjoy delicious refreshments from the Café at Carroll Café available before the show and at the intermission. A changing choice of savories enough for a light meal, topped off with fabulous desserts and beverages, will add to the happiness of the concert experience! Always vegetarian, with some vegan and gluten-free options most months, all lovingly provided by Sandra.
Songs of Love, Lust, and the Arrival of Spring May 10, 2019
The ancient Irish festival of Beltane (May Day) signaled the end of winter and the coming of summer. Come hear Washington, D.C.’s award-winning Celtic ensemble the OCEAN Celtic Quartet in a program of traditional and original music celebrating the return of the sun and the greening of the land. OCEAN’s soaring vocals, fiery fiddle tunes, and rollicking button accordion will have your heart swelling and your toes tapping, while you sing along with songs that stretch back for centuries . . . songs of love, lust, and everything in between. In addition to seasonal music, enjoy dramatic readings of May poetry from the Middle Ages up through the 1800s . . . even a special guest appearance by the ancient Green Man, also known as Jack-in-the-Green!
OCEAN’s members are bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Cutting (a Washington Area Music Association Musician of the Year); mesmerizing vocalist Chris Noyes (formerly of the maritime music group Crab Alley); champion Scottish fiddler Andrew Dodds; and traditional singer/Ph.D. folklorist Stephen Winick.
“Nothing short of spellbinding.” —The Washington Post
Join us for this joyful celebration to mark the end of the cold and dark and the return of the light and warmth. If you don’t have spring fever when you come, you’ll definitely catch it by the time this concert is over!