Find more The Parlor Room Events
Fern Maddie & Mare Berger
at The Parlor Room
Friday, October 20th
Show 7:30pm / Doors 7:00pm
ADV $20 / $18 (Member Price)
DOS $25 / $23 (Member Price)
"Maddie's young, welcoming voice belies a darkly evocative lyricism creating an album that is both unsettling and thrilling" - Jude Rogers , The Guardian
Fern Maddie is a balladeer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Central Vermont (N’dakinna). Her songs -- performed with clawhammer banjo, guitar, and clear, soulful vocals -- explore themes of trauma, grief, and renewal. Fern’s modern interpretations of traditional ballads have earned national and international acclaim: her debut album, Ghost Story, was named #2 of The Guardian’s Best Folk Albums of 2022 and was listed on NPR’s Best Roots Music of the year.
Fern’s unique sound is the child of many influences: Old-Time string band music, the revivalist balladeers of the 60s and 70s, dark country, experimental folk-rock, and the modern trad renaissance(s). Her sensibilities have been compared to the music of June Tabor, Kate Rusby, Sharon Van Etten, and Joni Mitchell.
Fern's first two records were co-produced with Colin McCaffrey, a Central Vermont legend, who contributes exceptional musicianship and a traditional, pared- down aesthetic to the work.
After playing fiddle for several years, Fern picked up the banjo and started exploring the Old-Time tradition, as well as experimenting and writing her own songs. After her father’s early death, Fern felt a deeper call to pursue music and continue living out his passion for songwriting and performance. She has since expanded her musical repertoire to include guitar, harp, and greek bouzouki.
Blending this passion for music and folk culture with a deep love for the natural world and an interest in earth-based ceremony, Fern crafts one-of-a-kind live experiences merging history, geography, folklore, ritual, ecology, and, of course, music.
Album Release Party for "Dreaming Blue"
Mare started playing piano at age 3, and at age 5 was featured on Iowa City Public Television playing piano with an orchestra. Mare attended Indiana University, studying jazz piano, and went on to receive an M.A. at William Paterson in composition and jazz arranging, studying with Jim McNeely.
In 2006 Mare was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and in 2007 had music premiered at the Renee Weiler Concert Hall. In the summer of 2009 Mare opened up for Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey), playing keyboard with the singer Lilla D’Mone. Mare was a recipient of the 2011 Young Jazz Composers Awards and played piano at the Aaron Davis Hall with the Tamar-Kali Group.
In 2012, Mare played accordion and synthesizer in the pit for the Broadway musical, Evita. Mare was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Harold Arts, and ElMERGE. In the Fall of 2013, Mare went on tour in Europe for 7 weeks, playing and creating sound installations for Tara Rynders’s project: You and Me. In 2014, Mare had the opportunity to accompany Josephine Foster at the Manhattan Inn, and released a solo cd, Built on Water, of all original songs for voice and piano. Mare was a fellow in the Hemispheric Institute’s 2015 EMERGENYC program, and made a video on gentrification, entitled White Out.
In 2016, The Berger Siblings released a cd, Maybe So, featuring Mare’s original songs. In 2017, Mare’s short film, White Out, was chosen to be in the Fair Play Film Festival in Miami, Florida. Mare started and co-directed The Moon Choir, a choir featuring queer and trans people plus allies. Mare had the honor to play at the Jazz Standard in January, 2018 with Arthur Vint and the Associates. From 2014-2018 Mare curated a performance series, The Moon Show, which promoted queer, trans and other underrepresented artists. In June of 2018 Mare’s song cycle for string quartet + voices premiered at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn, and Mare played at The Bitter End with the NY Songwriters Circle in 2019.
In 2020 Mare released an album featuring original songs for voices and string quartet called “The Moon is Always Full.” Mare is releasing another album in September 2023 featuring all songs about water and embracing change. After studying extensively and playing Classical, Jazz, Brazilian, Balkan, and Experimental styles, Mare now likes to write dreamy, hopeful songs of nature and justice.
The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue. Tickets are non-refundable.
The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060
Date & Time
Fri, Oct 20, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM