The Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse
All About Special Presentations
During the fall of 2013 Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse introduced a new kind of concert:
From time to time we have found it possible to hornswaggle, cajole or otherwise seduce famous named performers to come play at our little coffeehouse. And when that happens our landscape changes at least a little bit
First - Here's what remains the same
Our mission, to encourage and foster professional and amateur musicians in a family style listening room environment remains unchanged. One musician has commented "Playing a bar feeds my family, but this feeds my soul." We still pass the hat for our regular concerts and for the open mikes and no one gets turned away for lack of coin. But when the light of heaven shines down upon us or when perhaps by sheer luck a performer who is really much too prominent for our little coffeehouse descends to get his soul fed we want to sweeten the pot a little and perhaps attract a few more of these creatures.
Now - Here's what's different
For these concerts we will have a suggested donation. After all it's a great big name and it seems only fair. And the donation is collected at the door and we don't pass the hat. With that said we still do not send anybody away or call their mom, spouse or relevent clergy. Please bear in mind that the donation is still the only remuneration that the performer will get and this is a big performer. So imagine being able to hear a nationally known name in our small coffeehouse. Imagine being able to shake hands and chat during the break. Such is the stuff that our coffehouse dreams are made of.
Here are some samples from the recent past
Bill Staines - 9/19/2014
Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat. For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer", Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer. Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, "He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic." Bill's music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers that make up this land.
Burke and Surette - 5/1/2015
Susie Burke and David Surette have made a name for themselves as one of the finest acts on the lively New England folk scene. Together since 1988, Susie and David have built a steady following for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music. Burke's vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is matched by Surette's fluid fretwork. Both are well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that they have appeared as backing musicians on numerous recordings. Many of these have come out of the New Hampshire Seacoast area, where Susie and David are based, and which has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for folk and acoustic music. Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway showtunes and classic ballads. "She posesses one of the finest, purest ballad sopranos heard in folk music today" writes Scott Alarik in the Boston Globe, noting that "her phrasing is unerringly devoted
to the lyric" and that "Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords - all too rare in these clever and cynical times." Before devoting her energies to music full-time, Burke worked as a day-care teacher, and her love of kids is evident in her wonderful participatory children's concerts. David Surette has been performing in the Seacoast area since the mid-80s, both with Susie and with a number of other groups and musicians. He is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England's contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician. As a multi-instrumentalist, David brings a variety of stringed sounds to the duo; Folk Roots magazine notes that his "bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary." In addition to performing and recording, Surette maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. He was awarded an NEA travel grant in 1994 to study the traditional music of Brittany, France, and has written a book of Celtic guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Music. Recipients of Individual Artist Fellowship awards from the NH State Council on the Arts in 1993, Susie and David are also on the Council's Touring Arts roster. They have released five albums since 1990 on the Madrina Music label, to positive response from both critics and audiences. Their latest recording, a duo effort titled Sometimes in the Evening, was released in early 2000. Together, they bring skill, taste, feeling, and pure enjoyment to their music, and are bringing their music to an ever-widening circle of listeners.