Here you will find information about our various musical enterprises. We have been in the business of providing real live music for all kinds of happenings, celebrations, concerts and festivals for many years. We do so with a joyous heart, because we love playing music and sharing it with folks.
TATTOO has been around the longest; it started as a street band in California during the late seventies, wound up in Oregon and then Alaska, until we found ourselves in the Monadnock region of NH. And here we are, playing all kinds of American roots dance music, on our mostly acoustic instruments–some of our own time-tested originals and lots of oldies from the books of Soul, Motown, Cajun, Reggae, Swing, Country and Rock&Roll.
Then there’s the FOLKSOUL BAND, born from a passion for New Orleans culture which has given us the roots of our folksoul and our groove and our indomitable spirit. This band of ours explores American roots in a deep way, going all the way back to W. Africa, to when it landed here and transformed itself into American music, at Congo Square in the city of New Orleans. You’ll hear songs by Dr. John, Allen Toissaint, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and The Wild Magnolias, among others.
We also have the FOLKSOUL ENSEMBLE. This is a smaller, 4-piece band, where we feature Rebecca Simmons as a vocalist and fiddler, and Dan Wheeler on stand-up bass. This group goes drumless, where we can explore the music that doesn’t necessarily fit the dance band format. We play many different styles here as well, from old-timey to Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder.
And finally there is the FOLKSOUL DUO. This is just yours truly, Fred Simmons and Leslie Vogel, doing what we do, on trombone, guitar, keyboard and accordion, playing which ever songs we choose from our repertoire. without any help from our friends.
In this way we can squeeze into the smallest venues, and do things like play for a Sunday Brunch.
We have a distinctive style (I think) in everything we do, one that you probably haven’t heard anywhere else, and we are carrying on some of our country’s most wonderful musical traditions, as well as adding to them as best we can. We hope you enjoy our music.