A Folk & Acoustic Music Coffeehouse Since 1973

Concerts at The Universalist Church, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, CT*
860-770-3001•Credit/Debit Cards Accepted at the Door

*unless noted otherwise

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The Sounding Board is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1973 to present and preserve folk music in all its forms in the Greater Hartford area



A member of

Thank You!


 for Sounding Board performers are provided by
Hampton Inn & Suites of Manchester, CT

“Heather Pierson's trio is really impressive, with each member showing great skill with multiple instruments and playing songs that get the audience into a reverie one minute, and heartily singing along the next."  Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena

Saturday, Jan 28, 7:30 p.m.

One of our finds from the 2016 NERFA
Conference, Heather Pierson looks like the
girl next door – youthful, friendly, a little bit shy –
but she is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer.


From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s memorable live performances feature her virtuosity on piano, her bell-tone vocals, and her commanding yet playful stage presence while wielding a tenor banjo, melodica, or acoustic guitar. The trio also features Davy Sturtevant on strings and cornet and Shawn Nadeau on upright bass.


The music moves seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly divergent CD releases reflects Heather’s boundless creativity..


$17 general, $15 members,
$10 students with ID, $8 children 12 & under

 "Singin'" – Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio


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at 860-770-3001

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Saturday, Feb 11, 7:30 p.m.

Ever wonder what might happen if traditional
New England fiddle music got married to African, Caribbean, Funk, Reggae, and Latin grooves?. When The Gaslight Tinkers are in the house, It's the genre-bending future of the music of the past.


The Gaslight Tinkers' blend of global rhythms creates a joyously danceable sound around a core of traditional New England old time and Celtic fiddle music, merging boundless positive energy with melody and song. Since its formation in 2012 the band has lit up the East Coast, the West Coast, and the Caribbean, headlining clubs, dances, and major festivals.


The Gaslight Tinkers’ shows are packed with delightful surprises, elated crowds, and exuberant musicianship.


We saw them at Old Songs last summer and at NERFA in November and knew they would be an outstanding addition to The Sounding Board's 44th season. Be here on February 11 and discover the magic for yourself.


And, if you've ever wondered what Woody Guthrie would have been singing if he had been born in Trinidad instead of Oklahoma and met a shipwrecked New England whaler, click on the video at right and find out.


$17 general, $15 members,
$10 students with ID, $8 children 12 & under

“Music that consistently fizzes and pops with unexpected textures
and turns." 
The Valley Advocate

 "I Ain't Got No Home/High Drive" – The Gaslight Tinkers

Saturday, Feb 25, 7:30 p.m.

Vermont based trio Pete’s Posse is composed of acclaimed musician Pete Sutherland (fiddle, piano, banjo, melodica and vocals), his talented protégé Oliver Scanlon (fiddle, viola, mandolin, foot percussion and vocals) and the uber-dynamic Tristan Henderson (guitars, mandolin, jaw harp, foot percussion and vocals).


Pete’s Posse is three generations of musicians who have come together to create their own electrifying sound they call “multi-generational roots music.” In 2013 Pete and Oliver, building on a long-time mentor/mentee partnership, asked Tristan to join them to play a contradance, and a match was struck! Gig by gig their chemistry grew, and the Posse quickly developed a reputation for being an innovative, driving, sought-after, can’t-keep-your-feet-still power trio.


The sound of Pete's Posse features twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding footwork with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jawharp and rocking keyboards adding their voices to the mix. Songs and tunes, old and new, lyrical and driving: that’s the multi-generational heart and mind of Pete's Posse, at work and at play.


$17 general, $15 members,
$10 students with ID, $8 children 12 & under

“ If you ever wondered what happiness sounds like, you should come listen to Pete’s Posse play.”

 Mary Wesley, dance caller

 "Morpeth Rant" – Pete's Posse

Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.

Occidental Gypsy is pioneering the sound of world gypsy music. Their mélange of uptempo, high-energy rhythms of gypsy swing, melded with catchy melodic hooks and complex structures of jazz delivers a thrilling auditory experience to listeners. The Occidental Gypsy experience is an exhilarating blend of gypsy folk, jazz and world music that delivers a lightning-fast, complex acoustic sound, with sultry vocals just like the first era of swing.


The band has found a unique, artful beat and plays a dynamic mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces –  as well as a few memorable standards – in fun, exhilarating performances. Occidental Gypsy's music cannot be easily classified; a bit of jazz, a catchy strain of pop, and "a whole lotta’ gypsified swing…"


Occidental Gypsy features award-winning violin prodigy

Eli Bishop who has performed with Wynton Marsalis and

Bill Evans of the Miles Davis Group, as well as performing

regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center.


Click the Soundcloud link below to listen to  their concert at last summer's Rhythm & Roots Festival in Rhode Island., as well as tracks from their CDs.


$17 general, $15 members,
$10 students with ID, $8 children 12 & under

“ These guys have great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, and high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy.  An awesome band.”

 David Bromberg

 "Minor Swing" – Occidental Gypsy


Featuring legendary old-timey musician
Bruce Molsky, banjo picker Allison de Groot

of The Goodbye Girls, and guitarist

Stash Wyslouch of The Deadly Gentleman.

Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.

Bruce Molsky is a self-described “street kid” from the Bronx who bailed on college and big city life for a cold-water cabin in Virginia in the 1970s. His mission?  To soak up the passion that was dramatically upending his parent’s life plan for him – authentic Appalachian mountain music – at the feet of its legendary pioneers, old masters who are now long gone.


Fast forward 40-plus years and Molsky is doing it again, passing on the tradition and pioneering new ground on several fronts. Last summer brought the debut of  Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, the first band ever fronted the legendary fiddler. In Bruce’s words, the band “points to the future of traditional, rural music” powered by the far-ranging musical palates of two youthful bandmates: banjo virtuoso Allison de Groot of The Goodbye Girls and guitarist Stash Wyslouch, a high-energy performer who immersed himself in roots music with The Deadly Gentlemen.


It's tradition steeped with possibility and you don't want to miss this amazing collaboration. Make reservations or purchase advance tickets by clicking the links below.


$22 general, $20 members,
$10 students with ID, $8 children 12 & under

 "Breaking Up Christmas" – Molsky's Mountain Drifters


Artist's Website

Advance Tickets

  Listen to Molsky's Mountain Drifters on

“ … a mystical awareness of how to bring out the new in something that is old.”

 Mark O'Connor

Also Coming in 2017...

Mark Erelli (4/1/17)

The Hot Flashes featuring Amy Gallatin,
   Gale Wade, and Peggy Harvey

Caravan of Thieves (4/22/17)

Spuyten Duyvil (5/13/17)

Portable Folk Festival (5/20/17)

For information on other folk music events at
100+ venues throughout the area, click here

You can also make a reservation by clicking any of the blue buttons on this page marked "Reservations."

Please make reservations using the online form or by email. You can also make a reservation by sending a text to 860-770-3001.

If you really feel the need to make your reservation by a traditional phone call, dial 860-770-3001 and leave a voice mail with your name, the concert you wish to attend, and the number of people in your party. The Sounding Board does not confirm reservations made by phone or text.

Reservations must be made before 3:30 p.m. on the day of the concert. Reservations must be claimed at the admissions table by 7:15 on the night of the performance.

Please do not call the church for reservations or Sounding Board information. The Sounding Board is not affiliated with The Universalist Church and only rents the hall where we hold our concerts.