NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 14, 2014

Singer Songwriter Festival brings big talent to Portsmouth

What with all the snow flying around, April may seem far away. And yet, it’s smart to grab up tickets now for the third annual Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival.

Tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow and are bound to go fast now that headliners Natalie Merchant and Feist have been announced for the event that runs Thursday, April 10, through Saturday, April 12, in conjunction with Restaurant Week in the seaside New Hampshire city.

Merchant, formerly of 10,000 Maniacs and a solo success for more than 20 years, has been collecting awards for her performances for decades. Feist is a popular Canadian singer-songwriter who works as a solo artist and member of Broken Social Scene.

“The festival is in its third year, and it’s really starting to mature,” said Monte Bohanan, director of marketing at The Music Hall of Portsmouth, organizer of the festival. “Every year, it gets a little better and a little bigger, but it’s always fun. I think it’s going to be one of the best weekends to be in Portsmouth and be at The Music Hall.”

In addition to the headliners, the festival brings up-and-coming acts, including Johnnyswim, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and more, to venues across the city.

A memorial concert in honor of the late Jay Smith, who was the owner of The Press Room and co-founder of The Music Hall, will be held at The Press Room on Thursday, April 10. Guitarist Julian Lage, known for his Americana-tinged jazz, will perform with Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers. The duo will play a unique fusion of jazz, bluegrass and Americana.

On Friday evening, April 11, headliner Feist will play at The Music Hall. She will perform solo acoustic tracks from her most recent album, “Metals.” The show will be opened by folk-pop band Johnnyswim, which consists of Amanda Sudano, daughter of Donna Summer, and Abner Ramirez, a guitarist and vocalist. Also on Friday evening, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper will bring her energetic music to The Music Hall Loft.

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