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Join us for a special night of music as Lauren Crosby takes the stage with her friends: songwriter Clara Baker from Portland, Oregon and New England troubadour Caroline Cotter. This show is going to be terrific. We’re taking a night off from our usual Open Mic for this show. Read on for artist bios and hear some of their music to get ready!

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12.50 at the door.

Our accompanying dinner is a picnic welcome to summer with a bbq pulled pork or tofu sammie crowned with vinegary coleslaw, served with chips, and beans. $16 includes tax and gratuity. You’ll reserve your dinner with your advanced ticket purchase.

Clara Baker’s Bio

Her new album Things to Burn is out now. Listen to the album now.

Seasons change, we rise and we fall, and our goal is to learn to appreciate these fleeting moments. These thoughts spun through the mind of Portland songwriter Clara Baker as she was recording her new album, Things to Burn. Produced by avant-folk experimentalist Shane Leonard (Kalispell, Field Report), the album was recorded in Shane’s mother’s house in the tiny village of Merton, Wisconsin. Joined by two stellar roots musicians, Courtney Hartman (Della Mae) and Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Ray Lamontagne), Baker recorded the album live to tape, no isolation booths, no cutting in-and-out of vocal takes, no headphones, pushing herself and the players to experience the music in the moment. Fellow Portland songwriter Jeffrey Martin and Anna Tivel stopped in while on tour through Wisconsin and added harmonies and fiddle to a song; there was a relaxed feeling to the days, and an emphasis on collaboration amongst the players. Recording engineer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens) trucked over his studio in a U-Haul, and they all set up in the living room, taking the chance that a live performance without the cushion of a recording studio would lead to the best possible performances. “There’s an authenticity to a live performance that I wanted to recreate with this recording,” Baker says. “The experience of recording that way changes the way the music sounds. We set up this experience intentionally to have us be really focused on being in the moment. It was an emotional experience.”

As they recorded, they looked out on a large, frozen lake through bay windows as it slowly melted each day, passing from winter to spring. As a songwriter, Baker’s long looked to nature for inspiration, first through songwriting retreats in Oregon’s Burnt Woods wilderness near the coast; she sees a natural setting as key to her process of creation. “There’s a lot of imagery in the album that has to do with the natural world,” Baker explains, “a lot of questioning about birds and mountains and fires and rain. When we were recording, we kept watching the lake, the life on it, the ducks, geese, and birds. We were really intentional about that. We needed somewhere that we could go on walks and be outdoors.” Part of the reason that Baker and Leonard worked so well together on this album, is that both understand the need for stillness in music. It’s the same stillness that draws us to a sunset, or a frozen lake, and it’s the same stillness we hear here in a long echoing bass note, a shimmer of electric guitar reverb that appears and then fades away, a soft hitch in the voice with just the right amount of vibrato. What’s so masterful about Clara Baker’s Things to Burn is how she was able to pair such subtle touches with powerful songwriting and a naturalist’s ear for metaphor.

Much of Things to Burn album draws from the push and pull between certainty and doubt. Raised in a religious household, Clara Baker understood the dichotomy of faith and doubt from an early age, but now she’s learned to embrace it. The kind of vibrantly shimmering live performances she’s tracked onto tape here wouldn’t be possible without that razor’s edge between success and collapse that live recording engenders. Taking a chance and pushing into something new and unknown is a scary thought for many, but it’s also the only way to create something beautiful.

Caroline Cotter’s Bio

Listen to Caroline Cotter’s albums here.

New England based troubadour Caroline Cotter released her newest album, Home on the River, in 2018. ”Today’s folk scene has a new champion, one who encapsulates the sweetness, serenity and sophistication that has always made the genre so affecting in such a timeless manner.” (Country Standard Time)

With a captivating soprano voice and award winning songwriting, Caroline Cotter’s songs take listeners all over the world and into the depths of the human heart. Since her debut album, “Dreaming as I Do”, released and reached #5 on the Folk DJ in 2015, Caroline has played over 700 shows in 45 states and 13 countries. Currently touring to support her second major release, “Home on The River”, No Depression calls it “sweet and smooth, and downright refreshing… raising spirits with one song, calming them with another.”

Lauren Crosby’s Bio

Hear the music of Lauren Crosby here.

Hailing from an island in Maine, Lauren Crosby’s music is a pure creative expression of the north Atlantic. With hints of smoke and salt, her voice is deeply captivating, yet light with wit and life. A lobsterman’s daughter let loose in the modern world, Lauren’s old soul lends itself to the surrealism of her surroundings and everyday happenings. Her style is a unique one to categorize. As a self taught guitarist and singer, she enjoys blending classic rock, lyric-y folk, and vintage western. Since she first stepped into the bar room at the age of fourteen to perform with the likes of the old fishermen and shipyard workers, Lauren has had a keen eye for observation–which she effortlessly weaves into her songwriting.

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