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Mushroom Musicians Presents! Tom Smith

Mushroom Musicians Presents - Tom Smith, John McDaid and Amy Kucharik - Songwriters in the Round - 8:00PM-10:00PM
119 Chelmsford Street
Lowell, MA
Price: $6 Suggested Donation
Mushroom Musicians Presents Songwriters in the Round with Tom Smith, John McDaid, and Amy Kucharik.

Tom Smith 

Tom Smith’s songs are in turns humorous, touching, thought provoking, and inspiring. Deeply rooted in the old-school folk tradition, his timeless stories are told with a voice that is honest and sincere with melodies that you will remember forever. 

In the words of noted WUMB-FM Boston radio DJ, Dave Palmeter – “Contrary to what a lot of people think, folk music is still a living tradition. It’s a living tradition that feeds on new songs that speak of people’s wants, people’s needs, people’s struggles and people’s triumphs. Tom Smith is more out of the tradition of say Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton than Jackson Browne or Connor Oberst. He’s a man who writes songs that seem like they’ve always been there. There are very few songwriters working today that I would call folksingers, but I would call Tom Smith a true folksinger.”

Barbara Kessler writes, “Tom Smith will make you laugh and cry (maybe even in the same song) – a very captivating songwriter and performer.”

Tom grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a family where music was part of the fabric of everyday life. As a young man living at the epicenter of the folk-quake that was Cambridge, MA in the 1960’s, Tom solidified what has become a life-long love of self-made music. Now a folk veteran of over thirty-five years, Tom performs at festivals, coffeehouses, schools, and concerts throughout the Northeastern United States to audiences large and small, young and old.

In Tom’s popular monthly blog The Kitchen Musician, going strong since 2007, Tom uses his music to reflect on modern life.

John McDaid

"A mischeivious guitarist and vocalist with a gift for the inimitable phrase."
— The New York Times 

Okay, so the Times review was talking about the audiotapes included in my hypertext novel, published in 1993 by Eastgate Systems. I've been playing acoustic guitar for 40 years, and have written more than 100 songs — some of which I still perform :). Back in the 1980s in NYC, I had the opportunity to play a Sunday Songwriter feature at the legendary Folk City, and opened for Hugh Blumenfeld at the Speakeasy. In the years since, while holding down a full-time corporate job, I've played a bit at a few sf cons, and with co-conspirator Bill Bly, have recorded (and performed at academic conferences) what might be best called "media theory filk." In January, 2016, I retired early and began getting back to doing creative work...

Amy Kucharik

Amy Kucharik is a ukulele-slinging singer-songwriter based in Somerville, MA. The 2015 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner explores the full range of her instrument's capabilities as a tool to convey a complex array of subjects and moods: Whether humorous, topical or intense, she steers listeners away from the ukulele's perception as a merely twee novelty instrument. At the same time, Amy wants her audience to have a good time, and her performances are infused with Vaudevillian charm and an infectious, danceable swing. Her music draws from a range of influences including blues, ragtime jazz, folk, pop and country... as well as aesthetics garnered from film and literature. Amy's catchy, sexy, sometimes haunting songs recount tales of reluctant love, heartbreak, revenge, and grit.

Originally from Southern IL, Amy is the daughter of a trombonist and a pianist/choir director. She grew up playing classical piano and studied french horn from the 6th grade through college, playing frequently in regional honor bands. At Southern Illinois University, Amy studied art and creative writing, ultimately earning her MFA in poetry, meanwhile playing horn in the University Wind Ensemble. However, it was after moving to Boston and through a swing dancing friend that Amy first became interested in the ukulele, the instrument that ignited her songwriting. In 2011, Amy began singing and touring with local artist Greg Klyma, and soon thereafter performing her own shows.

Amy's band, Friends (With Benefits), features a revolving assortment of talented musicians who perform regularly in New England. Their 2013 EP, "Dance Crush Blues," was created as a tribute to their mutual love of the swing and blues dance community. The band was selected to perform at Montreal Bagel & Blues 2014 dance exchange and Boston's Sweet Molasses Blues exchange in 2013 and 2015.

Amy's full-length debut album, "Cunning Folk," was released in 2014. It contains 10 of Amy's originals arranged for a diversely instrumented band featuring luscious vocal harmonies and swirling New Orleans brass.  "Cunning Folk" was nominated for Red Line Roots Album of the Year in 2014.

In 2015, Amy was a winner of the Grassy Hill Kerrville Newfolk competition, an honor given to six songwriters selected from a pool of 800 applicants. She toured central Texas with the other five winners, and has been collaborating with several of the Newfolk finalists on future musical endeavors. Amy has also shared bills with Denver, CO-based YouTube ukulele sensation Danielle Ate the Sandwich, as well as Samantha Farrell and Boston Music Award Folk Artist of the Year 2014 Dan Blakeslee. Her song, "Creepy Dead Bug," co-written with Klyma, was covered by Trout Fishing in America (who NPR call "the Lennon and McCartney of kid's music") on their 2013 release, "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers." Amy also performs as a vocalist with the Dan Fox Foxtet swing band, and her own vintage blues band, Tiger Moan.

Amy has taught beginning and intermediate ukulele classes at CCAE as well as various workshop sessions, and is available for private lessons.

Earlier Event: February 10
Songwriter's Circle
Later Event: February 11
Song Sharing with Aaron Tornberg