White Gull Inn folk concerts feature contemporary and traditional folk artists from all over the country, who perform in an intimate and acoustic setting in the White Gull dining room. The concerts are held approximately once a month in winter, usually on Wednesday nights. Each 8 PM concert is preceded by an optional 6 PM dinner, featuring a special selection by the chef, which varies each month.
Red Molly featured in last White Gull concert of the Winter Season
Wednesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 10, 2014.
Since 2004, Americana trio Red Molly has been bringing audiences to their feet with gorgeous three-part harmonies, crisp musicianship, and their warm, engaging stage presence.
The band consists of Laurie MacAllister (bass, banjo), Abbie Gardner (dobro, banjo) and Molly Venter (guitar). This past year, the ladies were invited to open multiple shows for music legend Willie Nelson and they performed at the venerable RockyGrass festival in CO.
Their new CD "Light in the Sky" spent 20 weeks on the Americana Music Association's Top 40 radio chart and charted as Folk DJ's #3 Top Album of 2012. In 2013, the band spent March touring throughout Australia, and in August will headed to Europe for the first time, for Denmark's Tonder Festival. They were also invited to appear for the third time at North Carolina's legendary music gathering, MerleFest. Also scheduled is a fourth appearance at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, where in September 2012 the Bristol Herald Courier dubbed Red Molly "The Twin City's sweethearts", saying the band "lit up the stage, as a massive crowd of adoring fans sat mesmerized by their silky smooth harmonies and superb musicianship.”
"Make room, Roches and Wailin' Jennys,” wrote John Platt, of New York’s WFUV radio station. “ Red Molly has earned a place among the elite female trios." Opening for Red Molly both nights is singer-violinist-songwriter Jake Amerding. $20/ticket
Optional pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 PM. Wednesday: Lasagna – served with a salad of spring greens and herbed vinaigreete, crusty Italian bread. Tiramisu. $19.95; Thursday: Coq au Vin – served with mashed horseradish scented potatoes, spinach salad with pears, walnuts and a warm cider bacon vinaigrette. Crusty French Bread. Carrot cake for dessert. $19.95
Joel Mabus opened the 30th Season of Winter Folk concerts at the White Gull on November 13, 2013
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013
Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Joel Mabus defies any easy pigeonhole. By turns, he picks a mountain banjo to accompany an ancient ballad, sings a witty song about modern life, plays a sweet Irish melody on guitar, swings a hot jazz number and then reaches deep for soulful expression of values in a troubled world. He tops it all with a fiddle tune or old Carter family song – all skillfully blended into a seamless flow. As one fan says, “it’s music from the heart that hits you right between the eyes.”
A mainstay on the folk circuit the last 30 years, Mabus has performed in concert with John Prine, Joan Baez and Tom Paxton, and he has been featured at the Philadelphia folk Festival and Vancouver Folk Festival.
“It’s not just a wealth of musical styles or his smooth and expressive voice that have made Mabus such a fine artist,” wrote Jeff Garrity in the (Madison) Capital Times. “His songs, which range from thoughtful to silly to poetic, show that he knows his way around the English language and American culture just as well as he knows his way around a fret board.” $16/ticket
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served at 6 PM. Pork and Pumpkin stew served over mashed root vegetables. Kale salad with apples, cranberries, pecans and apple cider vinaigrette. Crusty French bread. Wisconsin Apple Cake. $19.95
Wed., Dec. 11, 2013
Sometimes the story is just about the ordinary. No big bang, no big gig, no big promoter or writer hearing the band and telling the rest of the world. Sometimes the story is just about doing what you do and keeping at it. In the case of Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore it means 30 years of marriage, two kids, numerous day jobs, and making music together and apart.
They met in 1981 at the Denver Folklore Center on April Fool’s Day and married a few years later. At the time they were involved in their own bands and working solidly all over Colorado - Mollie was singing with Prosperity Jazz Band, a vintage swing band which featured local luminary Washboard Chaz among others; Rich was playing bass with the rock-steady blues band, The Late Show. Within a year Mollie joined The Late
Show, and they attracted notice outside the bar band scene and began playing Colorado blues festivals and concerts. A few years of marriage and two daughters later, things began to change. O’Brien quit the blues band and Moore got a day job that he held until both of their daughters graduated from college. Now, here’s how things turned out.
Grammy Award winner Mollie O'Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer's singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar Hill Records (Take Me Back, Remember Me and Away Out On The Mountain). Eventually, Mollie recorded five equally wellreceived solo albums (Tell It True, Big Red Sun and Things I Gave Away for Sugar Hill Records, and I Never Move Too Soon and Everynight In The Week for Resounding Records). Additionally, she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion” from 2001 through 2005. She's long been known as a singer who doesn't recognize a lot of musical boundaries and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. O’Brien has primarily focused her efforts on the fading art of interpretation and the end result is a singer at the very top of her game who is not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses.
Husband Rich Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie & Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he's also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O'Brien's twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll O’Brien and Moore’s first duet CD, a live recording titled 900 Baseline (Remington Road Records) was released in 2006. Their first studio project, Saints & Sinners (Remington Road Records), was released to nationwide acclaim in 2010. In January 2014 they'll release their followup, Love Runner (Remington Road Records). $16/ticket
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served at 6 PM. Red wine braised short ribs served over herbed Spaetzle. Green salad with roasted beets, Chèvre. Crusty French bread. Caramelized pear upside-down Gingerbread and Brandied whipped cream. $19.95
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Johnsmith is a gifted singer-songwriter, performer and roaming troubadour, but above all else, he considers himself a Bard. “The role of the Bard in every society is to hold up a mirror to that society, to convey and reveal –through the mysterious alchemy of music and words and performance – the secret inner language of the heart – delivered with that ineffable feeling called ‘Soul’, he explains. Critics describe his song lyrics as finely shaped and powerfully moving…voiced with a spirit and soulfulness.” Johnsmith will be accompanied by his long time musical collaborator Dan Sebranek. Tickets: $16/person.
An optional pre-concert fixed price dinner will be served at 6 PM. Pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce. Arugula, grape and toasted almond salad with balsamic vinaigrette and shaved Pecorino. Crusty Italian bread. Pecan Chocolate tart with whipped cream . $19.95
Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line
Wed., February 19, 2014
Virginia-born Struthers made her 2010 solo recording debut Nora Jane Struthers with such Nashville masters as multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien and fiddler Stuart Duncan. The album was received with ecstatic reviews: Bluegrass Unlimited praised it as “a marvel that combines brilliant songcraft, a sultry yet honey-hued voice, and an inspired sense of personal musical style,” while Dave Higgs of Bluegrass Breakdown called it “one of the most mesmerizing, haunting and hard-hitting projects I’ve ever heard.”
Shortly after taking first place at Telluride in June 2010, she and bassist P.J. George teamed with Bearfoot and released an album, American Story on Compass Records. Struthers then began work on her latest recording, Carnival, with her own band, the Party Line,
Struthers has a distinctive sound and on-stage style – her personal collection of vintage dresses makes her one of the most visually striking of modern country artists.
“Over the past three years, as I’ve been touring and performing, I realized that primarily I’m a storyteller,” Nora Jane says. “I’ve been working to hone my skills so I can do that better.” $16/ticket
Optional pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 PM:Coq au Vin – served with mashed horseradish scented potatoes, spinach salad with pears, walnuts and a warm cider bacon vinaigrette. Crusty French Bread. Carrot cake for dessert. $19.95
Wed., March 12, 2014
Rita’s style of country-folk has been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances
praised for capturing the audience. Honors include winner of the '08 Dave Carter Memorial
Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the '09 Telluride Troubadour Contest,
Rita began recording and publishing in 2005 with Are You Ready? and followed in 2007 with
Silver Stream. Come Sunrise, Rita's 2009 record, won Best Country Album Vox Pop in the 2010
Independent Music Awards. Burn, from 2011, was placed in the top 10 "Young Female Artist
releases for 2011" by No Depression magazine, and listed as a "Hidden Gem of 2011" by the
UK's Observer. Rita's latest 2013
release, Little Boat was released in 2013.
Rita will perform at the White Gull as a duo with her husband Sean Feder on dobro and banjo. $16/ticket
Optional pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 PM: Casssoulet, arugula, fennel and orange salad with a citrus vinaigrette. Coconut cream pie. $19.95
The White Gull Concert Series Turns 30
In 1983, on a cold November evening, a small group of Door County visitors and residents gathered at a local inn, enjoying the first of what has become a popular tradition: monthly winter folk concerts. During this time, more than 100 talented folk singers and songwriters from all over the country have performed at the White Gull Inn.
The concerts were conceived by the Innkeeper Andy Coulson, a banjo player himself and lover of traditional and contemporary folk music. Coulson was frustrated by the lack of live entertainment during the long quiet Door County winters. The first concerts were loosely based on the "house concert" concept, in which traveling folk musicians, often on tight budgets and in need of work, are invited into the homes of fans along the route of their travels. The fans provide the musician with food and lodging in return for a concert to a small group of friends, often right in their living rooms. A collection at the door goes to the artist to help defray expenses.
The house concert circuit has provided work and travel expenses for generations of singers and brought folk music to many rural areas that are too small to otherwise provide such entertainment. "I wasn't sure who would come to a concert on a weekday in winter in Fish Creek," Coulson recalls thinking in the beginning. "But we had plenty of room and board , and figured that we had nothing to lose. At the very least, we'd have some quality folk music in Fish Creek."
In the beginning, it was not easy finding artists willing to come so far for such a small turnout. However, as word got around, more and more musicians decided that a "working holiday" in the quiet beauty of the Door Peninsula was worth the trek to the north country. The series has gradually been able to attract in more and more well known performers, such as Anne Hills, Chris Smither, Tom Paxton and Cheryl Wheeler, many of whom normally play in much larger halls.
The pre-concert dinners, now almost as popular as the concerts, were added in recent years at the request of local residents. White Gull chefs responded by offering an optional fixed price dinner, served at 6 pm for each concert.
Concert tickets are $16.00-$20.00 and can be purchased at the door, although most concerts are sold out, so advance ticket purchase and reservations for the pre-concert dinners are recommended. You may purchase tickets at the White Gull front desk, or you can do it by phone, using a credit card.
Folk Musicians Previously Featured at the White Gull
Musicians who have appeared in the White Gull folk concert series in the 29 seasons since its inception in 1983: Tom Paxton, Cheryl Wheeler, John McCuen, Bob Gibson, John McCutcheon, Chris Smither, Michael Smith, Bill Miller, Fred Alley, Vance Gilbert, Neal & Leandra, Lou and Peter Berryman, Michael Johnson, Garnet Rogers, Pat Donohue, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Joel Mabus, David Mallett, Suzzy and Maggie Roche, Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, Bill Staines, Buddy Mondlock, Bryan Bowers, Peter Keane, Mark Dvorak, Anne Hills, Willy Porter, Michael Miles, Bob Bovee and Gail Heil, Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, Dave Moore, Cathie Ryan, Small Potatoes, Matt Watroba, Peter Mayer, Kenny White, Natalia Zukerman, Eric Lewis, Tommy Burroughs, Andy Ratliff, Hans Christian, David Roth, Brooks Williams, Steppin In It with Rachel Davis, James Keelaghan, Chuck Pyle, L. J. Booth, Johnsmith, Clay Riness, Tom Pease, Louise Taylor, Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball, Mark Dvorak, Priscilla Herdman, Claudia Schmidt, Moe Dixon, Susan Smentek, Cosy Sheridan, Becky Schlegel, Don Stiernberg, Victoria Vox, Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin, Michael Johnathon, May Erlewine and Seth Bernard, Peter Mulvey, Jonathan Byrd, Jerry Rau, The Special Consensus, Phil Passen and Highland Road, Antje Duvekot, the Waymores, the Honey Dewdrops, David Wilcox, The Steel Wheels, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Paul Cebar, Dayna Kurtz, Kelly Joe Phelps, Count This Penny, Carolyn Martin, the Stray Birds.
The concerts are held approximately once a month, November through April, beginning at 8 pm, after an optional dinner served at 6 pm.