Music at the Ridge Jan. 8, 2023

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Sally Rogers and Howie Bursen

Since their 1981 Greenwich Village coffeehouse encounter this duo has built a folk reputation throughout the U.S.A. and Canada, even appearing on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion show. With 2 albums together on the Flying Fish label, they each have other recordings and musical adventures.

Frets magazine says Rogers’ voice is “clear as the queen’s diamonds”, and the Washington Post brands her instrumental work “sterling”. Her second album was voted “Best Folk Album of the Year” by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. Pete Seeger said she “has a beautiful voice and has written many extraordinarily good songs that are going to reach out and touch large numbers of people. They sure are great songs!” 

Rogers was official 1997 Connecticut State Troubadour, and is a Master Teaching Artist for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts as well as a K-4 music teacher and adjunct professor at Lesley University. She wrote music for 4 Mennonite folk operas. Thrushwood Kids, her recording label, houses her 5 award-winning recordings for young people. She has songs in Quaker and Unitarian Universalist hymnals and two major national music textbooks and also has had a children’s picture book published.

Bursen is known for his warm baritone voice, devilish sense of humor, red-hot banjo wizardry and inventive guitar arrangements. Chicago Magazine said of him, “stunning guitar arrangements…easily one of the finest banjo players ever heard.” Feature articles in Banjo Newsletter and Frets followed the release of Bursen’s first solo album on Folk Legacy Records. His song “Small Business Blues” is included in Seeger’s book, Carry It On. Bursen holds a Cornell Ph.D. in Philosophy. A professor-turned-grape grower, he makes wine at Sharpe Hill Vineyards in Pomfret, CT. His last album “Banjo Mannikin” highlighting his banjo pyrotechnics received national airplay.

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