May 3, 2008




Most Wanted Performers

Every year, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival showcases dozens of emerging artists, and the audience votes on the performers they’d most want to see return the next year. We had the honor to showcase last Summer's four winners that will be featured at this year’s Festival.


The four talented singer/songwriters have four, very distinctive styles — with their own unique dynamic, and the show featured an in-the-round format in addition to solo performance specialties, which allowed us to experience the music of Anthony da Costa, Lindsay Mac, Joe Crookston and Randall Williams in a wonderfully intimate way.

JOHN PLATTJohn Platt, host of the Sunday Breakfast program on WFUV-FM, introduced the performers — extolling their virtues and his admiration for each of them. The first half of the concert featured two songs from each of the young'uns. After the break, they performed as an ensemble, backing each other up as each did a specialty number, — and closing with a rousing group rave.

This was a thrilling concert, and the energy of these four young performers mesh well with each other. Our audience was spirited and energized in turn by these terrific emerging talents.

Watch two videos from this concert, compliments of Gordon Nash:

  Anthony da Costa vs. the cross

  Joe Crookston leads the group in Bob Dylan's She Belongs to Me



At age 17, already a prolific songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Anthony draws from a deep well of rich musical influences and is preparing for his European debut in Denmark this August.

In January alone, he released his sixth record Typical American Tragedy; opened for Livingston Taylor and Susan Werner; was nominated as Folk Alliance Emerging Artist of the Year; and recorded his seventh record Bad Nights, Better Days, a project with his duo partner, Abbie Gardner of Red Molly, in three days. 2007 wasn’t half-bad either. Anthony was the youngest winner ever of the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk and Falcon Ridge’s Emerging Artist Competitions. He also showcased at the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival in Nashville and was a Mountain Stage New Song Contest Finalist. Anthony’s writing and performing draw from a deep well of rich musical influences—from Bob Dylan and Dan Bern, to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, to Ryan Adams and Johnny Cash.

Anthony’s upcoming performances range from the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York, where he’ll open for Dan Bern, to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, where he’ll play the main stage, to Tonder, Denmark, where he’ll make his European debut at the Tonder Festival.


There's a little bit of gypsy JOE CROOKSTON - Photography © Robert Berkowitz / RSBImageWorks@aol.comin this guy ... goodhearted, artful and intense, his music is imaginative, extremely engaging, and draws deeply from his rural roots and his many urban adventures.

Now living in Ithaca, NY, Joe Crookston was born in rural Ohio in a family of Hungarians ... polkas, accordions and eastern European food are in his blood.

Joe was recently awarded a year-long songwriting grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to travel throughout New York State, interview local residents, gather stories and write songs based on his experiences. Many of these songs have just been released on his new 2008 CD, Able Baker Charlie & Dog. His 2004 release, Fall Down as the Rain was chosen by Performing Songwriter Magazine as a "TOP-12-Do-It-Yourself" independent recording, and was featured on National Public Radio's “All Songs Considered.” Rodger Nichols of The Dalles Oregon Chronicle wrote, “This is not just reviewer's hype ... This guy is flat out good.” For more about Joe:


In February 2006, singer and cellist Lindsay Mac LINDSAY MAC - Photography © Robert Berkowitz / RSBImageWorks@aol.comwas featured on the cover of Strings magazine, rightfully taking her place as a true original in transforming a traditional instrument and raising it to new heights.

Classically trained at the Royal College of Music in London, The San Francisco Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music, Mac is characterized by her combination of plucking the cello and standing while performing. She holds the cello like a guitar and sings original songs in the folk/jazz tradition. In her pioneering ways she succeeds in creating a sound that is groundbreaking and compelling.

2007 saw Mac as a Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist and a subsequent winner of Most Wanted To Return for 2008. In 2007, Mac was also a New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival and performed at NXNE, Folkwest’s Independent Music Festival, Club Passim’s Cutting Edge of the Campfire Festival, the Connecticut Folk Festival and more. She has opened for KD Lang at Boston's Bank of America Pavilion, Catie Curtis, Glen Phillips, and Girlyman among others.

Mac is revolutionizing the way we think about the cello while expanding the definition of the folk/singer-songwriter. More on Lindsay Mac can be found at her website:


Known for his poignant storytelling and captivating guitar work — which can be heard on his January 2008 CD release Praying For Land — Randall Williams has performed in more than 35 countries and is as much at home in a Senegalese village as he is at the Kennedy Center or an intimate house concert in New Jersey.

After graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium, Williams realized that he yearned to bridge the divide between performer and audience that he often felt in formal stage settings. Armed with his guitar, he has been a traveling troubadour ever since.

Randall has been a finalist in the Founder's Title and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests, a regional finalist at Kerrville Folk Festival, a showcase artist at the Northeast and Midwest Folk Alliance, and at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, and an Audience Favorite at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

As the Partial Capo Guy, Randall has written two books for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products and given workshops at some of the biggest music festivals in United States.



In the afternoon prior to the concert, The Folk Music Society of Huntington hosted a Partial Capo Techniques Workshop for local guitarists with Randall Williams, which was well attended. Randall Williams is partial to the use of partial capos in alternate and standard tunings, indeed, he wrote the book on them for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products, and has given workshops at some of the biggest festivals and music conferences in the U.S. The workshop covered the use of standard, Drop-D, and Short-Cut capos, separately and together in more than a dozen different positions in standard tuning.

  Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Ira Perlman IRA PERLMAN

  • Keni Fine Keni Fine

  • Mark Virgilio Mark Virgilio

  • Ali Appel Ali AppelAli Appel - Photography © Robert Berkowitz /

  • Paul Helou Paul Helou

  • Hank Stone Hank Stone

  • Lois Morton Lois MortonLois Morton - Photography © Robert Berkowitz /

  • Ed Mocko Ed Mocko

  • Hillary Foxsong Hillary Foxsong

  • Steve Sariego Steve Sariego

  • Patricia Shih & Steven Fricker Patricia Shih & Steven Fricker

  •   Our host tonight was Ira Perlman.

    If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...

    Link to additional photos taken by Robert Berkowitz at the concert