Claudia Nygaard – Sunday, April 3, 2016

Claudia Nygaard

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15-20 suggested artist donation

For an invitation to attend, please contact Lee
by email at
or at 312-810-3067

Claudia Nygaard’s captivating storytelling overflows from her songwriting into her live performance. With a voice like amber honey, and a twinkle in her eye that makes the entire audience feel she is sharing a secret with them alone, she takes them on an emotionally fearless journey with stories that expose a rare vulnerability and tenderness one moment, then a quick wit and an outlandish, irreverent sense of humor the next. Her songs move from heartfelt to humorous and from scrappy to sensual, and all the while the stories she tells in between them are as entertaining as the songs themselves.

“Claudia Nygaard’s music invitingly straddles the fence between country and folk with a band sound that is decidedly unplugged and artfully laid-back in support of her sensually lyrical alto. And then, there’s the matter of her songs — that rival the likes of Guy Clark or Ian Tyson in their plainspoken, memoir-like quality, rich with personalized images and a resonant point-of-view.” Sing Out Magazine

“I am continually amazed by the emotions she can evoke; heart wrenching I cry every time, to a social statement which could be a call to action or at least some inner searching, to sexy and funny that leaves everyone in the room delightfully joyfully heated. She is a pleasure to work with and gives her best every time. Always delighted to have her at Kerrville!” Dalis Allen, Producer of the Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX and Chair of SWRFA (SouthWest Regional Folk Alliance)

I met Claudia at a Folk Alliance conference long enough ago not to remember exactly when it was and she made an immediate impression. Different with more of a country/Americana flavor than most of the singer/songwriters, but with story songs that drew you in with paintings in words and characters alive with emotion. Over the years, I got to see her at a number of conferences, but only a couple songs at a time. I knew she had a sense of humor but I didn’t realize how really funny she can be until a couple years ago.

Finally in July, 2014, I got to see her do a full show at Two Way Street Coffee House and discovered she has a wonderfully impish sense of humor. Her songs and performance will have you crying at times and laughing out other times. She’s a sweetheart and a house concert is the perfect way to see her.

Ben Bedford – Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 3 p.m.

Ben Bedford

To say that Ben Bedford is a talented singer/songwriter is a significant understatement. A compelling storyteller and a painter with words, he transports the listener to historical and contemporary times and places. Ben’s songs bring these scenes to life almost like short films, tackling diverse subjects including homelessness, the plight of a Confederate soldier’s wife during the American Civil War, the aerial triumphs of Amelia Earhart, the life of Jack London, the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, John the Baptist, the poet Vachel Lindsay and even the 1973 standoff between members of The American Indian Movement and federal agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Folk music fans (including me) love hearing Ben – he’s a fine performer and guitar player with a magnificent voice he suits to sweeping historical ballads and tender love songs. Kari Bedford, Ben’s wife joins in on some songs to provide beautiful harmonies and counterpoint to Ben’s deeper voice. And Ben is a distinguished folk musician carrying on the authentic folk tradition. Rich Warren, host of WFMT-FM Folkstage, included Ben in his list of the 50 most significant singer-songwriters of folk in the last 50 years (, a rather august list of folkies.

I’ve only had a few chances to visit with Ben and Kari at various Folk Alliance conferences but I know you will enjoy meeting these lovely people and they will provide us with a musical treat.

Speaking of treats, please note that this is an afternoon show, so we are planning snacks and sweets for the potluck, rather than a full meal.

Music at 4 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 3:00 p.m. Please bring snacks or sweets and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail at or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musicians.)

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Saturday, August 20, 2011: Jan Seides

Jan Seides

Jan Seides (pronounced Sigh-deez) has won major awards in regional to national songwriting competitions. Her songs combine down-home honesty with up-town sophistication, and have been described as Nanci Griffith meets Broadway.  Jan holds a Music degree from University of Texas. Her unique musical background includes a degree from University of Texas, School of Music. There she studied piano and composition, exploring folk, classical, jazz, pop, rock and country. She is a spellbinding storyteller in both word and song.

Saturday, August 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.
Please bring potluck food and wine to share.
Please RSVP to Lee at
or by phone: 575-522-5197
Suggested artist donation $15