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.
The Ruth Moody Band
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Australian-born, two-time Juno Award winning singer-songwriter Ruth Moody is from Winnipeg, Canada. Founding and current member of the internationally renowned, Billboard-charting trio The Wailing’ Jenny’s, she has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically-acclaimed albums, and has appeared more than a dozen times on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Although best known for her work with the Wailing’ Jenny’s, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism, and insightful songwriting. Written with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal and exquisitely crafted, all sun with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakable hers. In June, 2010, Ruth released her first solo album, The Garden. These Wilder Things, the highly anticipated follow-up album, features guest appearances by Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, and the Wailin’ Jennys. Ruth continues to tour worldwide with her all-star band in support of These Wilder Things. The Ruth Moody Band consists of Adrian Dolan on fiddle, mandolin, viola, mandola and vocals; Adam Dobres on guitars, ukulele and vocals; and Sam Howard on upright bass and vocals.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 pm. Menu: Apricot Dijon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, stuffed with aged Gouda, roasted butternut squash, mushrooms and scallions. Spinach salad with pears, toasted walnuts, blue cheese and warm bacon dressing. Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake.
**The Special Consensus
Wednesday, December 6,2017
Thursday, December 7, 2017
We are happy to welcome back the Special Consensus, a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein but with more than enough modern sensibilities to attract every ear in this now pleasantly fractionating genre. The vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass… Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step in boots and bare feet. Founded in 1975 by banjo player Greg Cahill, the band also includes Rick Faris, guitar and vocals, Dan Eubanks, bass and vocals and Nick Dumas, mandolin and vocals. The Wednesday night concert is nearly sold out, prompting us to schedule a second performance the following night, December 7.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner Wednesday night, served at 6 pm. Menu: Chicken Enchilada Verdes, Mexican rice, black bean tomato salsa, guacamole and tortilla strips. Green salad with romaine, jicama, citrus, mango and cumin lime dressing, flan. $22.95
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner Thursday night, served at 6 pm. Menu: Pappardelle Bolognese topped with shaved parmesan and served with French bread, Caesar salad, cranberry pie. $22.95
Robinson & Rohe
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Ask Robinson & Rohe how the duo was formed and they’ll look at each other as if to say, Which beginning should we begin with? The two have known each other for over a decade, developing a friendship as they pursued their separate careers—spanning everything from playing Brazilian jazz gigs to composing orchestral scores. Over those years, the two grew into powerhouse performers. Liam Robinson honed his wide-ranging skills as an original cast member of the Tony Award winning play “Warhorse,” as musical director of Anaïs Mitchell’s Off-Broadway folk opera “Hadestown,” as a composer in the Red Light New Music collective, and as a member of the Becca Stevens Band. Meanwhile, Jean Rohe began touring and recording with her band, Jean Rohe & the End of the World Show, honing a honeyed, far-ranging voice and collecting accolades along the way (“a sure-footed young singer-songwriter,” says the New York Times.) Rohe also garnered attention for her unfinching alternative anthem for the United States, “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!” which continues to be performed and recorded by choirs and bands across the country, and was published in the Rise Up Singing songbook sequel. Despite long days and separately fourishing careers, the two found themselves with a musical itch they hadn’t yet scratched. One afternoon, they sat at Robinson’s kitchen table, swapping harmonies as they sang some of the old folk songs both of them had grown up with. At the end of one song, says Rohe, “we just both sat there in silence.” Stripped down to their two voices, they could hear the potential for something big: Robinson & Rohe Hunger. “It’s a magical thing to phrase with someone like that,” says Robinson, “to breathe together and land language in time, in tune, even pushing and pulling tempo together.” They started exchanging lyrics and music—Robinson taking a fragment of writing from Rohe and delivering it back to her married to a melody. The collaborative process was the start of what would become their debut record, Hunger. The duo has garnered rave reviews in their current tour in support of the album.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 pm. Menu: Red wine braised beef short ribs, herbed root vegetable mash and balsamic citrus Brussels sprouts. Mixed greens salad with dried cranberries, brie, honey-glazed pecans and champagne vinaigrette. Apple cake. $22.95
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
These purveyors of Americana infused Gypsy Jazz just celebrated their 30th Anniversary and are continuing to take their listeners on a ride ranging from the music of the Hot Club sounds of Paris to the deepest blues of the Memphis Delta to the folk scenes across “every town” America into their 4th decade of existence. The Wail are sublime entertainers, great educators and they’ve mastered the art of lifting spirits.
Harmonious Wail is Sims Delaney-Potthoff, a mandolin virtuoso, bandleader, vocalist and master of all things behind the curtain, Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, vocalist extraordinaire whose percussive instrument of choice is a cardboard box, but who also has a knack for exploring the musicality of almost any household object, and Jeffo Weiss, master bassist who dazzles and mesmerizes on both upright and electric bass.
The Wail celebrates 10 recordings to date, the three most recent having been submitted for Grammy nomination consideration.
Not only a touring band the ever-reaching Harmonious Wail has enriched their lives working with National Public Radio. They are honored to be recognized as “favorite house band” for the program “Says You” where they’ve matched their wits with the panelists. Their songs have graced the program “All Things Considered” and they have gifted their composition “The Money Song” to NPR stations across the country for annual fundraising programs. Their songs, “People Stuff and “ I Like to Feel My Bones” both received International Songwriters Award, and four of their Gypsy Jazz compositions were cleverly woven into the film score of the internationally acclaimed independent film, ”I Really Hate My Job”.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 pm. Menu: Beef Bourguignon served over mashed Yukon gold potatoes, served with French bread. Kale salad with roasted delicata squash, apples, pomegranate seeds and maple citrus dressing. Flourless chocolate cake. $22.95
The Claire Lynch Band
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass genre. Her career has been decorated with many accolades including three GRAMMY nominations, six International Bluegrass Music Association awards and the prestigious United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Dolly Parton credits Claire with "one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today." Her harmonies have graced the recordings of many stellar musicians. Equally gifted as a writer, her songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others.
Blazing her own trail in the mid 70's when there were few role models for young women in the genre, Claire Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band which evolved in the 80’s and 90’s into “one of the sharpest and most exciting post-modern bluegrass bands on the circuit.” She formed her own Claire Lynch Band in 2005 and has since consistently been a top pick of prestigious publications, critics and audiences across the U.S. and beyond.
In September 2016, Claire released North By South – a tribute to America’s northern neighbor which resulted in her third GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Produced by Compass Records’ co-founder Alison Brown, the recording pays homage to some of her favorite Canadian songwriters, interpreting tracks from greats above the Great Lakes like Gordon Lightfoot and Ron Sexsmith. Backed by the CLB alumni and some of the world’s finest acoustic heavyweights (Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, David Grier), Lynch infuses the collection with her signature Bluegrass treatment producing an elegant blend of foreign songs and domestic artistry.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 pm. Menu: Meatloaf with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, caramelized onions served with gravy, Yukon gold mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables. Wedge salad topped with Buttermilk Blue cheese dressing. Chocolate Mint Cake a la mode. $22.95
Freddy & Francine
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Freddy & Francine is an Americana-Soul duo comprised of Bianca Caruso & Lee Ferris. With voices reminiscent of Aretha Franklin & Van Morrison, their songs blend Soul, R&B, Folk, and Americana with a modern, yet timeless appeal to all ages. Based in Los Angeles, Ferris and Caruso met in the 40th Anniversary of a musical production of HAiR in LA in 2007. As individuals, Caruso developed a comedy television show with ABC and Ferris racked up 500 performances as Carl Perkins in the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. Freddy & Francine have released 2 EPs & 3 full length records since 2008. Their latest, “Gung Ho” was produced by renowned producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell) and featured members of Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, and Andrew Bird’s touring bands.
Optional Pre-concert fixed price dinner served at 6 pm. Menu: Hunter’s Style chicken with mushrooms, tomato, and bacon, parsley buttered potatoes, caramelized carrots, parsnips and shallots. Mixed green salad with peashoots, sunflower sprouts, peas, black pepper Bellavitano and sherry shallot vinaigrette. Key Lime Pie. $22.95
The White Gull Concert Series Turns 34
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 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 34 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, Heartwood, 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, Molly O'Brien and Rich Moore, Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line, Rita Hosking, Red Molly, Jake Armerding, Tim Grimm, Mipso, 10 String Symphony, Robbie Fulks, The String Ties, Molly Tuttle Band, Scott Cook.
The concerts are held approximately once a month, November through April, beginning at 8 pm, after an optional dinner served at 6 pm.