Friday Night Feb. 16, 2024
Dusk Fire Show with Ohio Burn Unit
Sea Mobsters Ball
Saturday Night Feb. 17, 2024
Dusk Fire Show with Ohio Burn Unit
Frost Faerie Ball
S. J. Tucker has been the glad captain of her own independent music career since 2004, when she left the workaday world behind to travel the continent, singing songs and changing lives. Named a vanguard of the Mythpunk movement and even “the face of neo-tribal Paganism” by Witches & Pagans Magazine, Tucker is the voice of lore at the campfire and the sharp laughter of modern myth. With one hand anchored in her art and the other held out to you, she is songs and stories, community and wit.With over fourteen full-length releases to her name and several more currently in the works, Tucker has received awards for both songwriting and performance, and has traveled the United States, Canada, and Europe with her music. S. J. (called “Sooj” by fans and friends) believes that there’s more than one way to be a rock star. If you’re chasing your dreams and living your life in a way that keeps you happy and healthy, Sooj believes you’ve got it made.
You may often find her on tour with similarly hard-working artists and groups who believe in giving their fans all that they’ve got, such as Toronto’s Heather Dale Band, Seattle cellist Betsy Tinney (often with their shared project, Tricky Pixie), or Northwest Arkansas’ own Renée Janski.A dynamic live performer known for her willingness to follow an evocative ballad with a tune about sentient salad or fictional pirates, Tucker is never in danger of taking herself too seriously. She lets it be plain on stage that she loves her job, but she also shows grace and calm, courting and cajoling her audience. Reviewers compare her voice to that of Joni Mitchell or Tori Amos, her guitar work to that of Emily Saliers. Apart from writing lyrics and music, S. J. loves fire dancing with poi and hula hoop and has given fire performances & workshops across the country. Additionally, she has worked as a professional audiobook narrator, costume & makeup lead for independent music video shoots, and an indie film score composer.Spring of 2014 marked a big milestone on Sooj’s career timeline: ten solid and joyful years of touring and performing full time as an independent artist. In the years since, she has written hundreds of new songs, released her jazz-and-blues influenced Stolen Season record, participated in The Green Album‘s efforts to help Rainforest Trust conserve over 10,000 acres and counting of irreplaceable rainforest habitat, and co-created Heather Dale’s Arthurian stage musical Queens of Avalon. In 2019 she launched a rousingly successful Patreon site, produced & narrated the audiobook of Daughter of the White River by Denise Parkinson, and survived the first anniversary of having birthed her only flesh-and-blood child.
The 2020s have brought challenges to us all, but Sooj has kept the lights on and the music going, thanks to her incredible, loyal fans worldwide & their willingness to attend & get the word out about her online shows. On her plate for the near future are such treasures as a long-awaited follow-up to her spiritually focused Blessings album, a return to full-time touring when it is safe to do so, continued online concerts with varying themes & on-location filming, and a record of songs all inspired by her adventures closer to home. Sooj hopes to keep successfully dancing the line between touring, presenting online shows, and producing new musical content as all the coming chapters unfold like vibrant leaves. Her greatest wish is for us all to adapt, survive, and succeed with our whimsy intact.
And Zen Ghost, the seventh album by New York folk/postpunk/cabaret duo Frenchy and the Punk — singer, percussionist, and lyricist Samantha Stephenson and guitarist and composer Scott Helland — written and recorded during the pandemic-induced downtime of 2020-2021, finds the already shadowy sound of the hard-touring twosome taking an even darker turn. An inward spin, into the pair’s previously unexplored personal planes and interpretations of the insanity of our increasingly tumultuous age. But despite its more pronounced moodiness, Zen Ghost, like the rest of the band’s oeuvre, offers plenty of opportunities to dance in the darkness.
“The dark element’s always been there in what we do,” says Stephenson. “But [when making the album] we were just being ourselves and reacting to what was happening, so that side just came out more. It was natural for us to fall into a darker groove.”
Swathed in swirling, Siouxsie-ish Gothicism, the apocalyptic “If the World Doesn’t End First,” is one of the haunting Zen Ghost’s many instant hits. “It’s essentially a love song wrapped in a nihilistic view of the world,” Stephenson explains. “When everything feels like its unraveling, a different perspective can emerge which can help dissolve fears and bring courage to say or do what has always been in one’s heart.” Another memorable memento is “Mon Souvenir,” an unapologetically new wave-y nugget propelled by Helland’s chugging acoustic chords. With its refrain of “If I can feel / I can heal,” the song, says Stephenson, reflects the album’s central theme: “The idea of transcending those ‘mind phantoms,’ the experiences from the past that linger within all of us.” Digging deeper into the set, the misty, murky psychedelia of “Come in and Play” chronicles, according to the singer, the act of “going within. Being in touch with more esoteric realms.”
“There’s definitely more space in the songs on this album; more atmospheric, midtempo stuff [than on the group’s previous releases],” says Helland, whose effects-enhanced, electrified instrument conjures entire worlds.
Conjuring their own world is what the defiantly independent duo has done for nearly 20 years. Born in France and raised in England and America, Stephenson’s early study of piano and dance ignited her eventual rejection of corporate conformity and fueled her quest to lead a truly autonomous life through art and music. A son of jazz-loving teachers, Helland grew up in Western Massachusetts, where he was a vital player on the region’s famously fertile early hardcore punk scene as the cofounder and bassist of Deep Wound (which also included future Dinosaur Jr. founders J Mascis and Lou Barlow) and Outpatients.
“Had Scott not gone into the burgeoning speed metal scene, he would likely have been J’s choice for the bass player of Dinosaur Jr!,” says Lou Barlow. “Witnessing the passion and ingenuity he brings to Frenchy and the Punk, I still see the same fierceness he had when we were kids. He and Samantha are as DIY as it gets, and they live a life full of music and art the way that many musicians and artists only dream of.”
The dream began when the two met in 1998 in New York City, where Helland had recently started playing solo after a tenure with thrash metal outfit School of Violence. The couple’s musical collaboration started when Stephenson, who’d never performed with a band before, spontaneously jumped on stage to accompany the guitarist during a favorite song. The artistic union was immediate, powerful, and undeniable. The two took to the road with fevered zeal, turning heads with their striking Edward Gorey-esque aesthetic and steadily building phalanxes of fervent fans on the mystical-folk/steampunk festival, coffeehouse, convention, and club circuits with their boisterous, revival-like live shows.
Tapped as one of the Top 25 Duos in the US by Yahoo! Music, the freewheeling pair has released a raft of recordings that includes the acclaimed albums Happy Madness (2010), Hey Hey Cabaret (2012), Elephant Uproar (2013), Cartwheels (2014), Bonjour Batfrog (2014), and Hooray Beret (2019). And now, via the enchanting Zen Ghost, Frenchy and the Punk are casting their spell on the wider indie-folk world.
“We are so grateful to have the communities in which we play,” Helland says. “They are the reason we can do what we do, and they are very creative communities.” Stephenson adds, “There is an earthiness there that we really connect and relate to. I think when we get that connection from people who are not necessarily part of those communities, it’s because they get what we do on a visceral level; we are digging into people’s psyches and unearthing their connection to their own spirit.”
Supported by their expanding family of generous fans through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, Zen Ghost is the duo’s greatest album yet, and its makers’ dedicated drive and intensely independent work ethic are passionately palpable throughout its 10 stellar tracks.
“When a person is so imbued with the drive to play music and be creative, nothing else makes sense,” says Stephenson. “Without it, they cease to exist. It is their raison d’être to their very core because it’s always about the music and art. Period.”
… sure enough that band would sound quite like EGRESS.
Whether you know them as the “dance band to ring in the end of the world with” or by their “raise a glass and drop a beat” attitude, EGRESS will leave their mark on you. They are known to catapult the audience with their rambunctious stage show while generating enough energy to light up a small city. This electrifying M.O. has gotten to share the stage with amazing acts like The Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Dresden Dolls, World Inferno Friendship Society and their otherworldy-ness has gifted them with the ability to perform everywhere; from 2nd line parades through the French -Quarter in New Orleans, to festivals throughout the US & the UK, all the way to tiny pubs nestled in back alley’s and to sold-out crowds at prime music venues like the 9:30club in Washington D.C.
Formed in 2008, This Way to the EGRESS is a 6-piece accordion led ensemble hailing from the Tri-State area (Pennsylvania, NYC, NJ) comprised of Taylor Galassi(lead vocals, accordion, piano); Sarah Shown(vocals, piano, violin); John Wentz / Jesse Leahey(tuba); Jaclyn Kidd(guitar, banjo) and Dave Best(drums) and an ever-rotating cast of horn players. With a wide variety of musical backgrounds and a diverse array of influences, EGRESS crafts intricately arranged audible cocktails which will be sure to make you move. Together they form a tapestry of worldly influences and an alchemy of sounds modern and past, familiar and forgotten
Nathaniel Johnstone hails from Providence, Rhode Island and can be found playing violin, viola, banjo, mandolin, guitar - as well as singing his own songs of myth and mystery. His vibrant sound crosses boundaries and borders, resulting in a blend of European, Middle Eastern, and South American music with Jazz, Rock, Surf, Folk, Gothic, and Steampunk influences. He performs and tours all over - you never know where you might catch him!
Nathaniel has been joined on stage and in the studio by a talented array of musicians. He has also collaborated with a number of other ensembles: Ego Likeness, Voltaire, S.J. Tucker, Crystal Bright, Juliana Finch, Sharon Knight, Frenchy & The Punk, Betsy Tinney, Jody Ellen, Android Lust, The Last Dance, The Hellblinki Sextet, The Ghosts Project, Jill Tracy’s Malcontent Orchestra, Abney Park, and others.
Laura Tempest Zakroff (she/they) is a professional artist, author, performer, and Modern Traditional Witch based in New England. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Her work embodies myth and the esoteric through her drawings and paintings, jewelry, talismans, and other designs. Laura is the author of several bestselling Llewellyn books including Weave the Liminal, Sigil Witchery, Visual Alchemy, and Anatomy of a Witch, as well as the artist and author of the Anatomy of a Witch Oracle and The Liminal Spirit Oracle. Laura edited The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance and the Gorgon's Guide to Magical Resistance from Revelore Press. Laura is the creative force behind several community events and teaches workshops online and worldwide.
Owner of Ohio Burn Unit he is a 16 time Guinness World Record holder for all types of a fire stunts from most people on fire to the tallest fire breath. What’s he brings is a lot to the table on a regular basis he does live performance shows where he interacts with crowds and does live entertainment very well. He is also experienced with special effects and fabricating. If you need any project accomplished this is the man for your job.
Ohio Burn Unit
Ohio Burn Unit is a Licensed & Insured Company that does a mind blowing, jaw dropping, comedy-packed show full of entertainment for all ages. If you haven’t yet seen an Ohio Burn Unit show, then you are missing out! All of our shows revolve around the central theme of fire and flames, adding extra spice to every exhibition of which we are a part. Catering to the needs of all venues, our shows may include fire jugglers, special effects, fire breathers, fire eating, dancers, stilt walkers, club & ball juggling, poi spinners and much more! No show is ever the same!
We offer certified, unique presentations of ornate skill with many different combinations of routines and performances. We are sure to turn heads everywhere we perform. Our promotional videos provide a feel for the performance sets in which we specialize. Come one, come all, and don’t miss out on a good time.Ted Bachelor and Ohio Burn Unit set the Guinness World Record for “The most people performing simultaneous full body burns” in 2009 and again in 2013.
The Ohio Burn Unit is dedicated and trained in fire safety. Licensed and insured, we are the performance artists specializing in making every event the hottest in town!
Súle Greg Wilson, M.A., with over fifty years experience as a community musician, inter-cultural healer, and storyteller, consciously mines tradition for the power of Success and Spirit inherent within. This calling has led him to play and dance ceildhs, horas, bembés, shouts, jooks, batucadas, the bantaba and the hora.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, with school time in Ohio and New York City, Súle served as Director for the Smithsonian Institution’s Afro-American Index Project, as well as 2005’s historic Black Banjo Gathering, and he is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Súle has careered as an archivist (the New York Stock Exchange, the World Bank) and an educator (New York, NY and Tempe, AZ Public Schools, Arizona State University). His work as a composer, writer, and performing artist has graced stage and screen, print and the street, taking him from Antrim to Kumasi, Newport to Bahia, Juneau to Hermosillo, and he’s been blessed to share the stage and/or studio time with Babatunde Olatunji, Pura Fé, Taj Mahal, Tania Leon, Peter Rowan, Abraham Laboriel, Ruthie Foster, Ysaye Maria Barnwell, the Copasetics, Mike Seeger, the International African-American Ballet, the Phoenix Symphony, John Sebastian, Laura Love, and more. Wilson is the producer of numerous CDs, and his book, The Drummer’s Path: Moving the Spirit with Ritual and Traditional Drumming, is an inspirational standard in the field. Be on the lookout for Funky Banjo, and The Drummer’s Path Moving the Spirit Workbook!
We hold Sacred Space for you, sharing the tools and lighting the signposts to empower you to find your TRUE YOU.
"Part Peter Pan and part Pied Piper...Wilson is more than an artist and a scholar. He has the rare ability to transcend race and age barriers through the use of his festive mood and rhythm. He uses dance and drums to evoke the energy and spirit that binds and connects all mankind. Young and old, black and white, the audience as a whole was captivated by this energetic and imaginative teacher." -- Courier, Flint MI 2/1995
River Barry has been immersed in the entertainment world for over twenty years. One of the most original and in-demand acts out there, River's style of entertainment emphasizes moving beyond the present moment to help find an equal balance between self and nature, allowing the individual’s movement to be inspired by the moment.
A magician, bubble artist, and rock balancing artist, River is committed to sharing the expression of the four foundational pillars of physical, mental, spiritual and financial.
He has appeared as himself on A&E Biography's Halloween Show.
River has studied with master magicians Jeff Mcbride and Eugene Burger.
As a performing artist of bubbles, magic and dance, he is committed to the expansion of personal development and finding the power within. His love for people and uncanny ability to understand their behavior has resulted in the most unbelievable magic act and the ONLY one of its kind in the world.
H. Byron Ballard, BA, MFA (Asheville, NC) is a western NC native, teacher, folklorist, and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at several festivals and conferences, including the Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Spirit Gathering, Starwood, Hexfest and many others.
She serves as senior priestess and co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES, both in Asheville, NC. She podcasts about Appalachian folkways on "Wyrd Mountain Gals." Her essays are featured in several anthologies and she writes a regular column for SageWoman Magazine.
Find her online at www.myvillagewitch.com.