Seeing double at the New Moon: Pair of inventive duos headed to Haverhill coffeehouse

Courtesy photoCellist Michael Ronstadt, left, and guitarist Aaron Nathans will entertain the crowd at the New Moon Coffeehouse in Haverhill on Saturday.

One day, remembering how as a kid he would roller skate to the song “Another One Bites the Dust,” guitarist Aaron Nathans suggested to his bandmate that they cover Queen’s classic rock anthem.

The second half of the duo, cellist Michael Ronstadt, cooked up a smoldering jazz number for the cover.

“I love the way his mind works,” Nathans said. “He can do anything. And I often ask him to do just that.”

Nathans’ and Ronstadt’s inventiveness — along with new folk from a second duo, Sophie Buskin and Joshua Garcia — will be on display at New Moon Coffeehouse in Haverhill this Saturday.

It’s a double-duo show. Coffeehouse booking agent Carol Allen favors the format.

“Two shows in one,” she said, likening the pleasure to a two-scoop, two-flavored ice cream.

It comes with toppings, too. Both duos have ties to famous musicians.

Ronstadt is legendary singer Linda Ronstadt’s nephew.

Linda was the big sister to Michael’s father, also named Michael and also a musician who sometimes sang with his sister. He died in 2016.

Buskin is the daughter of David Buskin, a folk-rock singer-songwriter who teamed with Grammy Award-winning composer and musician Robin Batteau.

Allen first heard Sophie sing with her father at a Berklee College of Music festival in Boston.

She’s a sought-after singer-songwriter, Allen said.

Both acts bring originality to the table.

Nathans said that he and Ronstadt explore topics that people don’t usually write songs about.

“We have a new song about an old-time-barbell-man-turned-superhero that I hope we’ll play,” Nathans said. “And we’ll probably play ‘Old Joe’s Chair,’ about the bond between a man and his barber.”

Nathans said that there’s an alchemy that occurs when he and Ronstadt play together.

There’s also an alchemy that arises from acoustic guitar (often associated with folk, country, blues or pop) and cello (often associated with classical music).

Ronstadt and Nathans met in 2010, when he opened for Ronstadt Generations, a band that included Michael and his father.

“I come from more of a straight-ahead storytelling songwriting tradition, and Michael is a little more avant-garde and musically complex,” Nathans said.

A singer-songwriter on cello is a sight to behold, and Ronstadt is a stellar and wildly creative cellist, Nathans said.

Inventiveness runs in the Ronstadt family, rooted in Arizona.

Linda Ronstadt said in her brother’s obituary that he and a friend, at 9 or 10 years old, ran a cable radio station and invented things like hang gliders.

And the siblings’ grandfather Lloyd Groff Copeman had registered 700 patents and invented the flexible ice tray, the grease gun and the first electric stove.

Saturday’s show promises electricity of its own.

It’s the latest edition in a season that presents a diverse lineup that expands the notion of folk music as much as possible, Allen said.

 

IF YOU GO

What: Double duo featuring Joshua Garcia and Sophie Buskin and Aaron Nathans and Michael Ronstadt

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: New Moon Coffeehouse, Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, 16 Ashland St.

How much: $20 for adults, $10 for ages 18 and under

More information: 978-459-5134 or www.newmooncoffeehouse.org

Upcoming shows

Feb. 15: Rev. Robert Jones, with opener Eric Kilburn

March 21: Crys Matthews, with opener Kat Everett

April 18: Suzie Vinnick and Danielle Miraglia

May 16: The Nields, with opener Ed Felker

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