Frank’s Picks: November

Recommendations of where to go and what to hear in November:


Julia Bullock, soprano with John Arida, piano

Sunday, November 4, 2018, 3pm

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, New York

If you love music, but classical is not on your usual concert list, try to open up and attend a few concerts a year outside of your genre comfort. Often these shows will open your life to unexpected, new and surprising excitement and wonder. This gig is a chance to see a rising star, one of many brilliant women of color who took their rightful place in the classical realm today. Julia Bullock is a captivating soprano, an Artist in Residence of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was a winner at the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition. The New York Times has called her an “impressive fast-rising soprano.” She displays her versatility singing a program of German, English, and French songs, as well as a remarkable set of pieces written and inspired by composers rooted in blues and jazz.  Seasoned classical fans will know the diverse program for the afternoon performance, which features the spectrum of old and new, including Schubert’s Suleika I, D. 720 (Op. 14/1); two pieces by Simone – Revolution and Four Women (both arranged by J. Siskind).Others include Barber – Hermit Songs, Op. 29; Fauré – Selections from La chanson d’Ève, Op. 95; Williams – “Driftin’ Tide” (arr. J. Siskind) Hunter, Pinkard –You Can’t Tell the Difference After Dark (arr. J. Siskind); Hunter, Austin – Downhearted Blues (arr. J. Siskind); Siskind – Frog Tongue Stomp: A Lovie Austin Tribute. If you missed their performance at Carnegie Hall, see them in your own backyard at the Caramoor.

Singer Songwriter/Acoustic/Folk/Bluegrass

I’m With Her with Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 8pm

Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, New York

Special Guest: The Brother Brothers

I’m With Her is a virtual super-group of multi-Grammy-Award-winners, and this performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall is a gig not to miss. If you have someone moping around the house wailing that the times of superb folk singers are over, and that good music has ended, this will revive even the biggest skeptics. This trio combined some of the best young women singer-songwriters of our time, each individually highly successful. They deliver timeless American roots music with exceptionally powerful collaborative songwriting prowess, beautiful harmonies and intelligent lyrics that will grab you by the heart. Aoife O’Donovanis an Irish-American singer, guitarist and songwriter, best known as the lead singer for the progressive bluegrass/string band Crooked Still. The golden-voiced Sarah Jarosz is a mandolin virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist and an amazing singer-songwriter. Fiddler and ukulele player Sara Watkins was a member of Nickel Creek with her brother Sean Watkins. The trio is getting well-deserved recognition and exuberant accolades, including on NPR and the New York Times. Check out their NPR Tiny Desk Concert on YouTube and their superb new album See You Around, before you go to this show.

Appalachian fiddling/American Roots/Acoustic

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters

Saturday, November 17, 8pm

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, New York

Roots Music in the Music Room

Bruce Molsky, a Beacon, NY resident, carries on the Appalachian fiddle and banjo music that is rooted in 19th Century musical traditions brought by Scottish, Irish and German immigrants who settled the mountain regions, often as miners or farmers. Sometimes this old-time music is called bluegrass, but it’s actually the older precedent of that genre. For people unfamiliar with it, it’s the same music that has often been derided as “hillbilly music”, but it is an important building block of American folk and roots music, as significant to our string music culture as blues. Not only that, it is as beautiful, haunting, and emotive as it gets. Internationally renowned, Molsky is also a superb singer. His trio, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, features guitarist Stash Wyslouch and banjo player Allison de Groot. Molsky is a traditional music preservationist and teacher, who is also on the Board of Directors of the new American Center for Folk Music based in Beacon. Expect super instrumentation and heartfelt fun.



Fred Gillen

Saturday, November 24, 2018, 7pm

The Greenheart at Good Choice Kitchen 

147 Main Street, Ossining, New York 

Sometimes the best things are right here under our noses, but we don’t know it. The talented Westchester singer-songwriter Fred Gillen is one to know. He puts on a fine show and is perhaps the region’s best kept musical secret. To see him in this intimate setting of a small venue vegetarian restaurant makes for a relatively inexpensive, healthy night out, coupled with excellent and memorable music. Gillen is an old-fashioned, real-deal folk singer with a social conscience, from the Woody Guthrie school of thinking. Expect intelligent, well-crafted songs delivered passionately by a local musician who is so much more. Hear him once and you will wonder why the big-time has so far eluded him and you will surely look forward to seeing him again (and again)

 Great shows not far away:

  • Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY: Singer/songwriter Todd Snider with Kevin Gordon – Sunday, November 11, 7:30pm.
  • Town Crier Café in Beacon, NY: Irish fiddler Kevin Burke – Thursday, November 8, 7pm.

Frank Matheis is an award-winning music journalist, author and radio producer with an eclectic musical taste that covers the gamut of music from Americana to Zydeco, from Jazz to World Music. He is a regular contributor to Living Blues magazine and other music publications, and the publisher of His radio documentaries have been heard on three continents in three languages.

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