Concert Window has always had strong ties to the Boston-area folk music community. The illustrious Club Passim in Cambridge was one of the first venues to join Concert Window, and continues to broadcast intimate performances from its narrow basement stage almost every night of the week. So it’s no surprise that the first event of its kind—a week of laptop concerts, several each night, by a group of musicians from a tight-knit local community—would be focused on Boston.
The “Boston Acoustic Takeover” celebrates emerging talent along with the city’s established stalwarts. So on Monday, May 24, you can watch Ellie Buckland and Isa Burke, two students at Berklee College of Music, sing honky-tonk covers and original numbers in effervescent two-part harmony. Then on Friday, May 30, you can see singer-songwriter Ry Cavanaugh, of acclaimed roots rock band Session Americana and a core member the Boston folk scene for more than a decade, make elegant work of ballads and rock songs alike. In between you might catch a double-header from married couple Mike Block, a versatile cellist, and Hanneke Cassel, a contemporary Scottish fiddler, or from another married set, Matt and Shannon Heaton, who play traditional Irish music with a modern sensibility.
The Boston Acoustic Takeover coincides with the Deadly Gentlemen’s Ball on Sunday, May 25, a bluegrass night at the Sinclair in Cambridge hosted by the Boston-based newgrass outfit the Deadly Gentlemen and featuring Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz as well as legendary bluegrass/klezmer instrumentalist Andy Statman. Concert Window will host their first ever “Backstage Access” event, broadcasting exclusive interviews and performances—and maybe an impromptu jam session or two—from behind-the-scenes during the show. If you’re lucky, you might catch Statman’s pre-performance warm-one ups, or be treated to a duet between Jarosz and one of the Deadly Gentlemen’s many singers. When the green room contains three mandolins, two guitars, two fiddles, a bass, a banjo, and a cello, anything is possible.
Though the Boston Acoustic Takeover spotlights Boston-based folk and traditional music, there are some noticeable outliers. Ben Cosgrove, a Signet artist-in-residence at Harvard University, plays modern classical piano compositions with dazzling yet emotional virtuosity. Soul-pop duo DEAN! infuse a smoky, retro flavor into original songs. Then, of course, there is Corporate Punk, an electro-jazz-funk duo from Brighton, Mass.
The true commonality among the Boston Acoustic Takeover artists may be better described by how easily they fit in living rooms and cramped backstage hallways: small, informal spaces, filled up with friends.