The Folksoul Band


Fred and Leslie

The Folksoul Duo

“You guys were the heroes!”

Ken Kesey, at the Field Trip in Veneta, OR, opening and
closing for the Grateful Dead in 1982


Taj Mahal (upon hearing Tattoo’s “(Ooh My Baby She’s a) Wino”, 1983)



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.

   And finally there is the FOLKSOUL DUO. This is just yours truly, Fred Simmons and Leslie Vogel, exploring many different styles of music that don’t necessarily fit the dance band format, on trombone, guitar, keyboard and accordion. Sometimes we get a little help from our friends, like Dan Wheeler on stand-up bass. In this way we can squeeze into the smallest venues, and do things like play for a Sunday Brunch.

   We have a distinctive style 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.

New Tattoo Album


Announcing Tattoo’s first new CD in ten years! Six original songs, some great Cajun tunes, plus songs by Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. (You can hear cuts on our Recordings page)

New Family Album

CDfront_300dpiThe Gap in the Fence front cover

The Gap in the Fence is Leslie Vogel’s second solo album. Her enchanting, original songs take us on various rhythmic adventures – from an early morning gallop to picking blueberries under the sun, from a cheerful song about breakfast in the frying pan, to a lyrical ballad of a child growing up. Some songs and tunes inspire random singing and dancing in the kitchen, while the lullaby brings us full circle to a love of nature and the planet Earth on which we live.

Leslie is assisted by several excellent musicians who add their special talents to the soundscape. Each song is dedicated to a person or group in a wide embrace of her family and community.

Leslie is the founder and director of the Youth and Community Fiddle Orchestra, which has played at many local festivals and events, and brings live music to Youth Circus performances in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.