Rob Siegel is well known in Boston folk music circles as an innovative songwriter who draws from his idyllic yet stressed-out middle-class suburban existence and produces memorable, intelligent, well-crafted songs. Rob has opened for Bill Staines, Vance Gilbert, Catie Curtis, Jack Hardy, Geoff Muldaur, and others. His 2000 debut CD Shaker Chair received airplay on the WUMB radio network, and his 2004 CD Voices from the Right Brain charted on FolkDJ.
Rob took his foot off the gigging pedal in the mid-2000s in order to send his three kids to college, but now that they’re grown, he’s back. His first new CD in 14 years, A Landscape of Ghosts, was released in April 2019 at a sold-out show at Club Passim in Cambridge, and received national airplay.
Rob’s music has been described as fearless, truthful, and deeply personal yet universal. He’s been compared to John Prine, Bob Franke, and Richard Shindell, with a delivery that is engaging and intimate, wry and tender, funny and unflinchingly honest. Rob says: “Some folks who live and breathe traditional folk music think I’m too wordy and too metaphor- and reference-heavy. What I try to be is challenging – somewhere between William Faulkner and Robin Williams. I don’t like songs that aren’t memorable, and I try not to write them myself.”
For years, Carl Cacho has been one of the most supportive members of the competitive singer/songwriter scene, writing stellar songs and offering solid vocal and instrumental backing for friends such as Kevin So, Ellis Paul, and a bevy of talented frontmen and women. Now Cacho is relying on a little help from his folk-pop friends.
ERIN ASH SULLIVAN
Music was always a central part of Erin’s life, with piano and voice lessons from her grandmother, herself an accomplished musician and performer. Erin didn’t start playing guitar or writing music until she graduated from Amherst College and was living in New York City, where a miniscule elementary school teacher’s salary and an even more miniscule 9×12’ apartment made guitar playing suddenly seem like an appealing pastime. In New York, Erin reconnected with college friend Amy Speace, and together they founded the band Edith O. They performed regularly at New York City venues including the Bitter End and CBGB’s Gallery and released an album, Tattooed Queen, which garnered critical raves. It is possible that the band broke up when Erin—who was at the time a sleep-deprived mother of a six-week-old—forgot to show up at the Bitter End for the band’s record release show.
In subsequent years, marriage, children, and a career as a teacher, school administrator, and published author took center stage, but in 2018, Erin returned to songwriting and performing. In May 2021, she released her first solo album, We Can Hear Each Other, which reached #10 on the Folk Alliance International DJ Chart, with her single, “Fireflies,” charting at #8.