John Roberts at The Cranberry Coffeehouse
September 15 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm$10
The Cranberry Coffeehouse begins its 2018-19 season with the inoperable John Roberts!
John Roberts was born and raised in Worcestershire, England, of a Welsh family, and currently lives in Schenectady, NY. He came to the USA many years ago to go to attend graduate school at Cornell, but, as they say, it didn’t take, and so he became more of a folksinger than he was already. Oh, what a folksinger he became!
As a solo performer, he often accompanies the songs with banjo or concertina, or sings them a cappella, depending on what the songs needs according to his well-honed sensibilities. He is steeped in the lore and traditions of the English folk world, and has become quite expert at the music’s interpretation. John presents the songs in completely delightful and entertaining manner, and brings his audiences right into the pub, to the deck of a 19th century sailing ship, or British farmer’s living room.
John may be best known for his work with Tony Barrand, another ex-pat Brit who arrived at Cornell at the same time as John did. So, they became the two lively Brits who sang folksongs, often wore funny hats, and went on to sing at folk festivals such as Fox Hollow, Mariposa, Philadelphia, Hudson River Revival, and Old Songs. Our Cranberry audience may remember him as part of Nowell Sing We Clear who performed many times for us over the years. For over 40 years this ‘different’ Christmas show featuring pub carols, midwinter customs, a death-and-resurrection mummers’ play, visiting customs and their songs, as well as the story of Jesus as seen through the lens of folksong, became something of a tradition among the loyal audiences in New England and beyond.
As inferred from the list above, the music of the sea is one of John’s specialties. His knowledge, and research into the maritime traditions adds an authority to his performances of the music. As well as a solo CD, Sea Fever, John has recorded sea song albums with Tony Barrand (Across the Western Ocean) and with the trio Ye Mariners All.