The Word Barn serves as a unique and intimate glorified house concert setting and concert experience unlike any other. With impeccable acoustics, welcoming environment, unique interaction with performers, and a combination of seats, stools, and balcony, it provides a superb community gathering centered around good music.

The Word Barn frequently plays host to Bright & Lyon Productions – a passion project of music fanatics who are dedicated to bringing and sharing the best offerings of the music scene today.

All concerts have limited seating, require tickets (first come, first serve) via links below. Concerts usually sell out – advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.


Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response

This is a challenging time for everyone, and our precious arts community is taking a hit.

We’re facing negative revenue with ticket refunds, concert and Word Barn rental cancellations.

But, we’re turning our lemons into lemonade!

The result is our creation of WORD BARN SESSIONS: AN ARTISTIC RESPONSE.

We’ve created a way you can support both The Word Barn AND our arts community, and hopefully a means to keep us all positive, share music, writing and fellowship.

This ongoing video compilation features songs, poems and more from musicians and writers that we all love and have enjoyed.

Join our Patreon account, and you’ll enjoy access to all volumes of the Word Barn Sessions videos, as well as lots of other great perks like:

  • curated monthly music playlist
  • curated monthly collection of poems
  • $5 concert tickets (we WILL gather again!)
  • jar of Word Barn honey, and more
Best yet, we’ll share revenue generated with all the artists who participated in the Sessions that month, having your support reach both The Word Barn and the artists & writers you love.
Be well, stay safe, and we can’t wait to see you all again soon.

Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response
Vol. 1 features: Jeffrey Foucault, Mark Erelli, Liz Beebe (Dustbowl Revival),
Sherrie Flick, & Sarah Anderson


Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response
Vol. 2 features: Greg Brown, Peter Mulvey, Zachariah Hickman, Jake Davis,
Adrian Shirk Sweeney, & Sarah Anderson


Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response
Vol. 3 features: featuring Carsie Blanton, Green Heron, Dean Harlem, Guy Capecelatro III, Laura Foley, Rebecca Hennessy, Debbie Kane, & Sarah Anderson


Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response
Vol. 4 features: Anna Tivel, Martin England, Dan Blakeslee, Kate Hanson Foster, Bill Stratton, & Sarah Anderson


Word Barn Sessions: An Artistic Response
Vol. 5 features: Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Sean Rowe, Noah Burton, & Sarah Anderson


Haley Heynderickx w/special guest Tre Burt
Friday, December 13

***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets.

When NPR gives you the “Must Hear This” and “Favorite New Artist” label, and the NY Times puts you on their “Most Notable New Songs” list, you know you’re doing something right.

The dynamic of her live performance offers a formidable combination of guitar and vocal – her voice is sweet as wildflower honey, but also powerful enough to leave you slack-jawed and covered with goosebumps.

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Lula Wiles – Sunday, December 15

***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets.

Lula Wiles — a band consisting of Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland and Mali Obomsawin, who share in common their backgrounds in both fiddle camps and the elite conservatory setting of Berklee College of Music — is newer to the national stage, but developing rapidly, thanks to their impeccable second album, What Will We Do (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings).

This powerhouse trio offers music that bridges contemporary and traditional in perfect three-part harmony.

Drawing from the deep wells of traditional old-time and bluegrass, classic country, and contemporary indie-folk-rock, Lula Wiles melds diverse influences to create a harmony-driven sound all their own, and well worth a listen.

Jeffrey Foucault – Friday, January 10

***SOLD OUT*** Jump on the waiting list here and we’ll let you know if we’re able to round up any extra tickets – OR book our AirBnB and stay at The Word Barn with free tickets.

In two decades on the road Jeffrey Foucault has become one of the most distinctive voices in American music, refining a sound instantly recognizable for its simplicity and emotional power, a decidedly Midwestern amalgam of blues, country, rock’n’roll, and folk.

He’s built a brick-and-mortar international touring career on multiple studio albums, countless miles, and general critical acclaim, being lauded for “Stark, literate songs that are as wide open as the landscape of his native Midwest” (The New Yorker), and described as “Quietly brilliant” (The Irish Times), while catching the ear of everyone from Van Dyke Parks to Greil Marcus, to Don Henley, who regularly covers Foucault in his live set

Ryan Montbleau
Friday, Jan. 31 – SOLD OUT
Saturday, Feb. 1 – SOLD OUT

***SOLD OUT*** Jump on the waiting list here and we’ll let you know if we’re able to round up any extra tickets.

As a part of his Winter Solo Tour, Vermont (via Massachusetts) folk singer-songwriter-guitarist, Ryan Montbleau, delivers new music from his newest album, Woodstock Sessions.

Montbleau’s been pouring his heart out in song since the early 2000’s, when he first began performing around his native Massachusetts. He’d go on to collaborate with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic among others, and share bills and stages with artists as diverse as Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ani DiFranco, The Wood Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Mavis Staples, but it was Montbleau’s ecstatic headline shows—often more than 200 of them a year—that solidified his reputation as a live powerhouse and an inexorable road warrior.

Taylor Ashton – Friday, February 28

Taylor’s songs are inspired by the primeval crookedness of traditional old-time music, the humor and heartbreak of Randy Newman, the cosmic emotionality of mid-career Joni Mitchell, and the sage vulnerability of Bill Withers. Somehow, he finds a way to make this all work on the clawhammer banjo.

Having spent most of his teens and 20s as frontman of Vancouver-based five-piece Fish & Bird, his most recent finds him swapping songs with Grammy-nominated songwriter and guitarist Courtney Hartman, on the pair’s 2018 duo album Been On Your Side that Rolling Stone described “packs a punch in today’s mainstream”.

Taylor is excited to release and tour his debut solo recording coming out on Signature Sounds.

Caitlin Canty – Saturday, February 29

***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets.

Caitlin Canty delivers her songs with a 1930s Recording King guitar and a dusky alto. Her breakout record, Reckless Skyline, produced by Jeffrey Foucault, garnered glowing praise from NPR, The Telegraph, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. The lead track, “Get Up” was nominated for Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards and was one of NPR’s “Favorite Songs of the Year.”

Her latest record features an all-star band on twelve songs that veer nimbly between country ballads and straight-up rockers, dark blues and sparsely arranged folk.

Dreamy and daring – Rolling Stone

Seamus Egan Project (Solas) – Sunday, March 1

For over twenty years, Philadelphias Seamus Egan blazed a new trail for Irish music in America. At the head of the supergroup Solas, he toured the world and pushed the music in new directions, incorporating complex arrangements, stunning virtuosity, and elements of global and Americana music.

Its hard to think of an artist in traditional Irish music more influential than Seamus Egan who has inspired multiple generations of musicians and helped define the sound of Irish music today. As a multi-instrumentalist, hes put his mark on the sound of the Irish flute, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, and low whistle, among others.

As a composer, Egan put his stamp on film soundtracks, symphonic collaborations, and, most famously, co-wrote Sarah McLachlans smash hit, I Will Remember You.

Music comes as naturally to Seamus Egan as breath, but his mastery of the tradition is only one facet of his plans to move the music forward.

Pieta Brown – Thursday, March 5

The daughter of two preacher’s kids, Pieta Brown’s early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace, running water, or TV.  There, she was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, Greg Brown, the now beloved Midwestern folk singer.  Later, while living with her mother in Birmingham, Alabama during her formative years, Pieta drew on and expanded these influences and began writing poems and composing instrumental songs on piano.

Continually revealing new layers as both a songwriter and performer, Pieta is being recognized as one of modern Americana’s true gems.  In just the last 4 years Pieta has released two critically acclaimed albums, with much attention being paid not only to her distinct sound and style, but also the power of her singing and songwriting.

Pieta has toured North America with Mark Knopfler, and toured various regions of the U.S., Australia and Canada with John PrineAmos LeeBrandi CarlisleJJ CaleAni DifrancoMavis Staples, and Calexico among others.

Session Americana – Friday, March 6

***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets.

A Word Barn favorite and always a good time.

Session Americana is a rock band in a tea cup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle. This band/collective of some of the best musicians out of the Boston craft a musical experience unlike any other.

On stage is a collapsible bar table wired with microphones, a vintage suitcase recast as a kick drum, an old Estey field organ, a pre-war parlor guitar, a mandocello and all of its smaller siblings, a harmonica case, and an assortment of other instruments that get passed around in this freewheelin’ modern hootenanny.

The anything-could-happen feel of a Session show is an experience unlike any other, packed solid with impeccable talent that will leave you wanting more.

Tim O’Brien & Jan Fabricius – Friday, March 13

Grammy Award winner and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien hits the Word Barn with Jan Fabricius in support of his new recording.

Born in West Virginia, O’Brien grew up singing in church and in school, and after seeing Doc Watson on TV, became a lifelong devotee of old time and bluegrass music. Tim first toured nationally with Colorado bluegrass band Hot Rize, who last year marked 40 years as a band.

Kathy Mattea scored a country hit with his song Walk The Way The Wind Blows in 1986, and soon more artists like Nickel Creek and Garth Brooks covered his songs. Over the years, Tim has collaborated with his sister Mollie O’Brien, songwriter Darrell Scott, and noted old time musician Dirk Powell, as well as with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Bill Frisell, and Steve Martin.

“A master of American folk music, Irish music, Scottish music – it doesn’t matter; a fine songwriter and one of my favorite singers.” –Mark Knopfler.

The Green Sisters w/Todd Hearon  – Saturday, March 28

Sprouting from a small farm in rural Massachusetts, the Green Sisters have had a deep love of music from birth. They’ve been playing venues in Massachusetts and New Hampshire regularly for three years and have garnered quite the following – and for very good reason.

It’s hard not to smile when treated with their tight harmonies and high energy tunes; they bounce their jovial banter around the stage as only siblings can.

The four gals get together to play as often as they can. They revel in each other’s company, and jump easily from bluegrass to barbershop to blues to Celtic to originals of all styles.

Todd Hearon performs w/ special guests Joe Kenny & Dan Beller-McKenna.

Birds of Chicago w/Rachel Sumner – Sunday, March 29
The Stone Church, Newmarket, NH

***Rescheduled / Date TBD*** Following their incendiary set at Third Man Records, NPR Music named Birds of Chicago one of the Best of Americanafest 2018. The band continues to ride a swell of good mojo that they’ve enjoyed in the Americana world since their inception, with live shows that alternate between moments of hushed attention and wild, rock and soul abandon.

Their brand of rock and roll poetry can be a little hard to categorize, for people that insist on categorizing… their voices are undoubtedly the centerpiece – Nero’s fractured country soul croon is wrapped in Russell’s silver and gold tones for a harmony blend that is like nothing else in music today. Fired by the band it’s a full tilt revival – streamlined poems, deep grooves, sharp hooks and joyful singing straight from the gut.

Special guest Rachel Sumner (formerly of Twisted Pine) will open.

The Story of the Song – Saturday, April 4
2nd Annual Exeter LitFest

As part of the 2nd Annual Exeter LitFest, we’re proud to present The Story of the Song.

Come enjoy an evening of powerful songwriters who, on stage together, will talk about the songwriting process, and what’s behind the song – before playing it.

Songwriters include Dean Harlem, Todd Hearon, Craig Werth, Chad Verbeck, and Andrea Szirbik Croft.

Tickets are limited. This event sold out last year – advance tickets are highlight recommended.

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Kris Delmhorst – Friday, April 10

Kris Delmhorst is a top-notch American songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist.

She has released six full length records on the respected indie label Signature Sounds, as well as a panoply of EPs, side projects, and collaborations.

A wide-ranging, eclectic artist, her recordings have included intimate acoustic sets, rock band renderings, home-recording landscapes collaged from found and unexpected sounds, and works of classic poetry refigured and set to music – not to mention an all-acoustic collection of covers of songs by new-wave masters The Cars.

Her latest album, THE WILD, was co-produced with her husband, songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, and features a band drawn from players they share long history with as bandmates and friends. It merges her sophisticated melodies and hauntingly open voice with Foucault’s lean aesthetic to deliver a darkly hopeful, fiercely wise new collection of songs.

Glenn Miller Orchestra – Tuesday, April 21
Exeter Town Hall Theatre, Exeter, NH
Proudly sponsored by RiverWoods Exeter.

Join us for an evening with the most popular and sought-after big band in the world today!

With its unique jazz sound loved by almost anybody that cares for dance music, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the great bands of all time.

Come celebrate the big band and swing dance music sounds of the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra!

Horse Feathers w/Guy Capecelatro III – Wednesday, April 22

Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don’t really want to share.  Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts.

One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle’s distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.

 

Eliza Gilkyson – Thursday, April 30

Eliza Gilkyson at The Word Barn in celebration of her brand new release.

A twice Grammy-nominated (2006/2014) singer-songwriter, Eliza has announced her new release, 2020, due out in April on the Red House/Compass label. The record is a collection of politically charged anthems designed to motivate, reflect and inspire…

“This might be the album that America needs to hear now more than any other…meditative, moving, uplifting – and deeply unifying. Hold it close. Let it enter your heart. It’s that good.” – UK Americana

Eliza Gilkyson’s songs have been covered by Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash and have appeared in films, PBS specials and on prime-time TV.  A member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, and a recent inductee into the Austin Songwriter Hall of Fame, she has won countless Folk Alliance and Austin Music awards, including 2014’s Songwriter of the Year.

Anna Tivel & Maya de Vitry (The Stray Birds) – Sunday, May 10

Two powerhouse songwriters performing their own sets as part of this double-bill concert, and undoubtably sharing harmonies throughout the show.

Tivel is touring behind her release The Question, which NPR called “one of the most ambitious folk albums of 2019” and WUMB just selected as #2 on their Best Albums of 2019 list. To no surprise, she was the winner at this year’s Kerrville Songwriting Contest.

Earlier this year, Maya de Vitry released her debut solo album Adaptations. Rolling Stone Country lauded the effort by saying, “de Vitry’s songwriting balances her intensely personal, microscopic style of storytelling with a straightforward, accessible delivery.” As a member of The Stray Birds, Maya de Vitry and her impeccable talent is anything but a stranger to The Word Barn.

Mark Erelli – Friday, May 15

Mark Erelli hits The Word Barn in celebration of his brand new release, Blindsided.

Mark Erelli has toured internationally as a solo artist for the past eighteen years, appearing onstage everywhere from coffeehouses and major folk festival stages to Fenway Park. He has won music awards ranging from the Kerrville Folk Festival Best New Folk Award to Grand Prize in the International Song Contest.

In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman and producer, accompanying Grammy-winning artists such as Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry to London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Mark is no stranger to The Word Barn having played here solo, with Barnstar!, and as part of the now infamous Zachariah Hickman’s Power Outage Party.

Reserve a Spot

Slaid Cleaves – Saturday, May 16

For over 20 years, Slaid Cleaves, has spun stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart.

Originally hailing from just across the river in Maine, this now Austin songwriter might as well have been born in the lone star state.

He’s got the Austin style songwriting reminiscent of Joe Ely or Townes Van Zandt, but a style and sound all his own.

He sits permanently and high on top of the Bright & Lyon favorite songwriters list – and will be hitting The Word Barn in support of his most recent release, Ghost on the Car Radio.

Reserve a Spot

The Duke Robillard Band – Friday, May 22

What do Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Jay McShann, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Hammond, the late Jimmy Witherspoon, Dr. John, Maria Muldaur, Roomful of Blues, and the Canadian band The Rockin’ Highliners all have in common?

Answer: Duke Robillard

Guitarist. Bandleader. Songwriter. Singer. Producer. Session musician. And a one-man cheering section for the blues, in all its forms and permutations. And every one of those names has shared recording studio space or stage time with a man who is a legend in the blues community.

The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C.Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” four years out of five (2000,2001,2003,2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award! He was also nominated in that category in 2005, 2007 and again this year of 2008.

BB King himself has called Duke “One of the great players,” The Houston Post called him “one of God’s guitarists. And the New York Times says “Robillard is a soloist of stunning force and originality.

Reserve a Spot

Carsie Blanton – Thursday, May 28

Carsie Blanton writes anthems for a world worth saving. Inspired by artists including Nina Simone and Randy Newman, her songs encompass a wide range of genres, from sultry pop to punk-tinged Americana.

Whether alone with her electric guitar or fronting her four-piece “handsome band,” Carsie delivers every song with an equal dose of moxie and mischief, bringing her audience together in joyful celebration of everything worth fighting for.

“”Buck Up” is shaping up to be one of my favorite albums of the year.” – Ken Tucker, NPR’s Fresh Air on Buck Up

Special thanks to Trevor & Gabriella Hughes for underwriting support of this show.

Reserve a Spot

Rhett Miller – Sunday, May 31

Rhett Miller is the front man and main songwriter of the hard-charging rock ‘n’ roll quartet the Old 97’s, as well as an accomplished solo artist. His most recent album, The Traveler, features the instrumentation of Black Prairie (members of The Decemberists), Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (members of REM) and is Rhett’s seventh solo effort.

In addition to his music being featured in countless films and television shows, Rhett has appeared in an episode of the NBC hit series 30 Rock and the Old 97’s were prominently featured in the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy, The Break Up. Primarily known for his songwriting and awe-inspiring live performances, Rhett is also a critically-acclaimed author whose work has appeared in several books and such well-known periodicals as Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s, and The Atlantic.

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Lucy Kaplansky – Friday, June 5

She started out singing in Chicago folk music clubs as a teenager. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for New York City.

There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers—Suzanne Vega, Steve Forbert, The Roches, and others. With a beautiful flair for harmony, Lucy was everyone’s favorite singing partner, but most often she found herself singing as a duo with Shawn Colvin. People envisioned big things for them; in fact, The New York Times said it was “easy to predict stardom for her.”

Her brand new album, “Everyday Street,” which will be released in September, is a dramatic departure for Lucy: it’s stripped down, just Lucy on guitar, mandolin and piano along with long-time accompanist and multi-instrumentalist Duke Levine, recorded live in a Boston studio over four days. The result is a stunning, intimate performance, reminiscent of Lucy’s powerful live shows. The new songs, written with Richard Litvin, are gorgeous, evocative and powerful. There are also three stunning covers that Lucy has been performing live, along with a re-imagined version of the title song from her first album “The Tide.”

Reserve a Spot

John Gorka – Thursday, August 13

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania.

Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura OConnell.

John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN.

Reserve a Spot

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David Wax Museum (Duo) – Sunday, August 23

It’s been nearly a dozen years since David Wax and Suz Slezak played their first show together, kicking off a partnership that’s led to seven records, multiple Top 20 chart placements, performances alongside contemporaries like The Avett Brothers and heroes like Los Lobos, and — most importantly — a family of four.

As that family has grown, so has the band’s sound. Filled with husband-and-wife vocal harmonies, Mexican stringed instruments, melodic hooks, and blasts of brass, David Wax Museum’s albums fly the worldly flag for a brand of Americana that reaches far beyond American borders.

Join us for this joyous folk band that performs American roots music infused with Mexican instrumentation and rhythms.

Livingston Taylor – Thursday, September 10

Livingston Taylor picked up his first guitar at the age of 13, which began a 50-year career that has encompassed performance, songwriting, and teaching. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Livingston is the fourth child in a very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate, and Hugh. Livingston recorded his first record at the age of 18 and has continued to create well crafted, introspective, and original songs that have earned him listeners worldwide.

He is a natural performer, peppering his shows with personal stories, anecdotes and ineffable warmth that connect him to his fans. His relaxed on-stage presence belies the depth of his musical knowledge, and fans might just as often be treated to a classic Gershwin or something from the best of Broadway.

Livingston’s 50th year of making music was celebrated by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, both declaring January 18, 2017 “Livingston Taylor Day”. A documentary film entitled “Livingston Taylor: Life is Good” was released in 2018 at national and international film festivals.

Reserve a Spot

Dinty Child & The Lucky Ones – Saturday, Sept 19

Dinty is a long time friend of the Word Barn, mostly as a member of Session Americana, but also as a multi instrumental participant in Zack Hickman’s memorable Power Outage Party.

Any fan of Session Americana knows that Dinty writes some of their most iconic songs and has more fun playing those songs than should be legal. He has even done an impromptu sermon on the gospel of beer from our balcony.

Now, for the first time ever, this linchpin of the Boston roots/folk scene has released an album under his own name and is bringing a crack band featuring Isa Burke of Lula Wiles to the Word Barn to play it for you.

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Ana Egge – Friday, October 23

What’s most immediately striking about Ana Egge’s latest, Is It the Kiss, is its rich sonic coherence. Ana’s at the center, but the term singer/songwriter doesn’t cover it. This is much more than words and tunes — the whole is informed by her deeply-rooted musical intelligence. It’s only because she defies category that she usually winds up in the folk bin, but from the beginning she’s been inspired by the raunchy warmth and laid-back intensity of singers such as Etta James and Ann Peebles, while emulating the strangely sturdy crystalline quality, real and true, of Dolly Parton.

As a guitarist, early on, Ana dug into the picking patterns and driving right hand of Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, and Elizabeth Cotten, while also absorbing the swinging, behind-the-beat phrasing of Django Reinhardt.

Steve Earle has said, “’Ana Egge plays on a guitar she built with her own two hands and sings like she’s telling us her deepest, darkest secrets.” If soul is bearing up with gentle grace in the face of harsh realities, if soul can be possessed by a blond-haired, white-skinned, six-foot tall lesbian of Norweigian extraction — Ana’s got it.

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