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.
Rhett Miller – Friday & Saturday, Nov. 9 & 10 8pm
***SOLD OUT*** 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.
Rhett’s opening date at The Word Barn represents the launch of his new solo album, The Messenger.
Caitlin Canty w/special guests Oshima Brothers – Saturday, Feb. 23 8pm
***SOLD OUT*** 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.”
“A casually devastating voice and unshakable poise” – San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle lauded Canty’s, “casually devastating voice and unshakable poise” and her “easy way with folk, blues and country motifs.”
Rachael Price & Vilray – Saturday, March 2 8pm
Exeter Town Hall Theater, Exeter, NH
Sponsored by Vino E Vivo
***SOLD OUT*** Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive) and Vilray met at the New England Conservatory of Music in the Fall of 2003 and became friends. Their duo grew from a shared reverence for the pop music of the 1930s and 40s and its wide range of emotions. With simple arrangements and only a guitar for accompaniment, they perform original works and revive forgotten gems of the jazz big bands and western swing ensembles. Their sound recalls both the warmth of radio’s golden age and the intimacy of parlor concerts in a time before recordings.
Catch the return of this intimate and unique show (please note this show sold out fast last time – lock in your spot early).
Rachael & Vilray are joined by special guest Taylor Ashton.
Chris Smither – Saturday, March 30 8pm
***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets
Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Smither is truly an American original, and quite simply, one of our favorites – and hosting him in our intimate space will be nothing short of memorable.
Reviewers and fans from around the world, including Rolling Stone and The New York Times, agree that Chris continues to be a profound songwriter, a blistering guitarist, and intense performer as he draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers. And, his brand new album, CALL ME LUCKY does just that.
Check it out. Check out Chris Smither.
Illiterate Light – Thursday, April 18 8pm
Experimental indie rock – on par with a young Dr. Dog.
Formed in the summer of 2015, Illiterate Light transcend expectations of typical rock music through their limitations as a duo.
Jeff Gorman elevates his gritty guitar melodies and honest lyricism by stomping out thunderous synth bass with his feet as Jake Cochran layers lush vocal harmony and explodes with body convulsing energy around his minimalist standing drum kit.
Their incessant writing, commanding live performance, and near constant touring promise a bright future as they finish their debut album with Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon, Chris Stapleton) and Adrian Olsen (Foxygen, Natalie Prass). Their recent EP, “Sweet Beast”, is the first taste of what’s to come from Illiterate Light.
Greg Brown – Friday, April 26 8pm
***SOLD OUT*** We generally have good luck rounding up tickets, so jump on the waiting list here if you’re looking for tickets, or catch our show with Greg Brown Thursday, April 25, just down the road at Newburyport’s Firehouse Center for the Arts.
A favorite. And an honor to present him in this intimate space.
Greg Brown was born in the Hacklebarney section of southeastern Iowa and raised by a family that made words and music a way of life. His seasoned songwriting, storytelling, and music are deeply rooted in that place. He moves audiences with warmth, humor, a thundering voice and his unpretentious musical vision.
Greg Brown appears with special guests Karen Savoca & Pete Heitzman.
Tyler Ramsey – Sunday, April 28 8pm
Praised by NPR, Sterogum, WNYC, and the Huffington Post, Tyler Ramsey is a multi-instrumentalist equally at home playing guitar, piano, keyboards, bass and percussion – but is best known as a talented fingerstyle guitarist and singer-songwriter.
In addition to having released three acclaimed solo albums, Ramsey is perhaps most immediately recognizable, until his recent departure, as the guitarist and a co-writer in Band Of Horses, having played with them since 2007, prior to the release of their breakthrough album, “Cease To Begin.”
His fourth solo album, which was recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, during tour downtime, is set for release Spring 2019. The new songs are lush and full, and realized with help from a list of friends old and new, adding gorgeous vocal harmonies, strings, and guitar counterpoints.
Rose Cousins – Friday, May 10 8pm
Rose Cousins is an award-winning songwriter/singer from Canada. Her JUNO Award winning album “We Have Made A Spark” was named to NPR’s Top 10 Americana & Folk Albums list, won 3 East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and nominated for a Polaris Music Prize.
She isn’t afraid of feelings. Her music explores the shadowy corners of a heart: sadness, pain and desire for love in all its simplicity and complication.
A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With additional roots in Boston, she values her many musical communities and is constantly fueled by collaboration.
Darlingside – Saturday, May 18 8pm
Exeter Town Hall Theater, Exeter, NH
Sponsored by Vino E Vivo
We’re excited to present Darlingside as the grand finale concert of the Exeter Arts & Music Festival this Spring.
Hope arrives in the form of Darlingside’s signature superpower harmonies, drawing frequent comparisons to late-60’s era groups like Crosby, Stills & Nash; Simon & Garfunkel; and The Byrds. And yet, their penchant for science fiction and speculative futurism counteracts any urge to pigeonhole their aesthetic as “retro”. The four close friends construct every piece of their music collaboratively, pooling musical and lyrical ideas so that each song bears the imprint of four different writing voices. NPR Music dubs the result “exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop”, and calls Extralife “perfectly crafted”.
Darlingside perform all of their music around a single vocal microphone, inviting audiences into a lush, intimate world where four voices are truly one.
Darlingside appears with special guest Lyle Brewer.
Maya de Vitry – Sunday, May 19
Maya de Vitry (formerly of The Stray Birds) heads to The Word Barn with her solo debut Adaptations album!
Maya will perform with a trio, featuring Ethan Jodziewicz on bass and Jason Burger on drums.
Rolling Stone praised her ability to balance “intensely personal, microscopic style of storytelling with a straightforward, accessible delivery, while NPR Music deemed her new album “nothing short of astonishing”.
Join us for this extra special evening.
The Young’uns – Thursday, August 22
From the British Isles, this trio are the current holders of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards coveted “Best Group” title two years running, and “Best Album”. They bring an irresistible mix of soaring a capella harmonies (occasionally enriched by accordion and guitar), a wide streak of humor and affection that shines from the stage – and a completely unpredictable selection and interpretation of English traditional folk music.
Renowned for their pitch perfect harmonies and rapid fire humor, the Young’uns live show undeniably has the human touch. Always engaging, frequently heart-warming, they have built an enviable audience rapport.
Mick Flannery – Thursday, September 5
Mick Flannery is widely regarded as one of the finest singer-songwriters to come out of Ireland in recent years.
An award winning- double platinum selling artist, Mick became the first Irish musician to ever win awards at the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, aged 19. His critically acclaimed live performances have seen him sell out shows in Ireland’s Olympia Theatre and Cork Opera House.
Mick first picked up a guitar at age of 14 under the musical influence of his mother’s family in their old farmhouse in Blarney, Co. Cork where he grew up listening to Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Jim Croce. Mick wrote songs throughout his teens, while training as a stonemason, which culminated in him signing to a major label at just 21 and releasing his first album “Evening Train”.
Mick returns to The Word Barn after having debuted the musical he wrote in Cork, Ireland.
John Gorka – Thursday, September 26
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.