May 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Forever Folk

Our Mission:To promote the preservation, enjoyment and continuation of the living art of folk music...

Back by popular demand, “Montana Skies” will be in Concert on May 14th. A must see and hear experience, this is a duo with the full spectrum of an orchestra crossed with the energy of a rock band. Jennifer and Jonathan Adams create a “new acoustic” sound with their pairing of cello, six-string electric cello, Spanish/classical guitar, and steel string guitar. Award winning musicians, they delve into music from Pink Floyd and Rush to Vivaldi, House of the Rising Sun, and Bach, as well as their own originals that have been featured everywhere from NPR to the Travel Channel. Using a wide range of effects, Jennifer Adams’ blazing electric cello and Jonathan Adams’ guitar wizardry combine to create a sound that is truly remarkable. Montana Skies has an extensive tour schedule which has taken them all across the US, Canada and to Asia.

Jonathan and Jennifer met while studying music at the University of Georgia. Recognizing a kindred spirit in each other’s devotion to their music, the desire to share music together was ignited immediately. The two assumed they would be performing classical recitals and great works for the cello and guitar; then, in one trip to the library to select music, their whole world of classical intentions came crashing down. The discovery: music written for cello and guitar was as rare as the combination itself — no great classical works existed. What resulted from this new musical freedom of expression between the two was the formation of Montana Skies, and a unique style of music that would garner instant recognition and praise. Jonathan explains, “The fact that ‘ready made’ repertoire is not available for our combination of instruments is really what pushes us to be more creative with our music. We love composing and arranging, and appreciate the opportunity to present old favorites, along with newer music, to our audiences.”

The Montana Skies concert will be in the gardens (under a tent) at the Ships of the Sea Museum, 41 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., on Friday, May 14th at 7:30 PM. Tickets, available at the door, are only $8 for adults and $5 for children and students, thanks to the support of a Grassroots Art Program grant from the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs. These funds are from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Georgia Council for the Arts and an appropriation of the Georgia General Assembly.

On Friday, June 4th, the Savannah Folk Music Society marks the 14th anniversary of its monthly coffeehouse-style series, “First Friday for Folk Music.” As has become tradition, the evening will feature surprises and giveaways as well as the best in folk music. Appearing will be Nashville’s Joni Bishop and Canadian Tia McGraff, also an anniversary tradition.

Joni Bishop’s introduction to the world of music began when she got her first guitar at age 9 and discovered the folk/ roots music of singers like Mississippi John Hurt and Elizabeth Cotton. Not only did the music captivate her, but the faces on the LP jackets as well. It was then that she began to develop a love for both music and art and to discover her own gifts for writing songs, singing, playing finger-style guitar, and for sketching pencil portraits of the musicians she loved to hear. Since those early days, Joni’s career as a singer-songwriter has become well established on the American folk music scene. She has toured extensively throughout the US and in Europe. Her distinctive songwriting-vocal-guitar style won her recognition in many noted song festivals here and abroad and landed her a staff-writing deal with Galleon Music Publishing Co. in Los Angeles before arriving in Nashville in 1989. She was a New Folk winner in the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, has recorded for CBS Records, BWE Records and released 5 CDs on her own independent label Polestar Records. Joni’s songs have been recorded by other artists as well, among them country singer Crystal Gayle, pop group 3T, Australian country artist Shanly Dell and numerous folk artists and bluegrass groups and her music continues to receive airplay around the country on Americana, college and public radio.

According to Randy Bachman (Bachman Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who),“Tia McGraff is a fantastic singer with her own vocal personality which reminds me of an early Linda Ronstadt. She is a very intuitive songwriter who knows what a song needs to make it tick. A joy to work with, it’s just a matter of time till that magic moment when everyone agrees it’s Tia’s time.” Port Dover, Ontario songstress Tia McGraff, is an international artist who is reaching beyond all boundaries and into the hearts of music lovers from Australia to West Yorkshire. After receiving critical acclaim and top reviews, Tia’s latest album release, “Day in My Shoes” has been nominated for “Alt Country album of the Year”, at the 2008 Hamilton Music Awards. In April of this year, Tia received word from Australia that her song, “All of Us” (Tia McGraff/Tommy Parham/Henry Priestman), was selected for use in a TV commercial campaign promoting multi-culturalism. Then to add to the honor, Tia’s version of the same song, was aired in a video presentation during the Pope’s visit to Sydney on World Youth Day and viewed by over 500,000 in attendance.

In the fall of 2008, Tia and her partner Tommy Parham, toured the UK for 3 weeks and proved once again to their live audiences why they are on their way to becoming household names. An ambitious tour that included 18 performances, 3 sold out shows, and a number of appearances with the talented UK band, The Storys. On one of the rare days off during the tour, Tia and Tommy were visiting their friend, Charlie McKenna, and it was here (at his stone farmhouse) in Hebden Bridge, that the three were inspired to write, “Christmas in Hebden Bridge.” Produced by Tommy Parham, arranged and co-produced by Nashville’s Scott Brasher (Billy the Early Years), Tia McGraff gives a stunning performance of this “soon to be holiday classic,” and proves that she is a world class singer/songwriter who can deliver a song from the heart for the heart.

The 14th Anniversary edition of First Friday for Folk Music is Friday, June 4th at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Avenue in Savannah. He program starts at 7:30 PM and a variety of beverages and fresh baked cookies are available for purchase. A $2 donation per person is recommended.

For information about SFMS, call Hank Weisman at 912-786-6953, or visit the Savannah Folk Music Society online at

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