November 11, 2023
The Institute for the Musical Arts presents an evening with British folk legend Bridget St John. Norma Dream opens.
Saturday, November 11
7PM ET, Doors open at 6:30
Tickets $20 advance/$25 door
The Institute for the Musical Arts
165 Cape St, Goshen MA
BRIDGET ST JOHN is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist who credits John Martyn and Michael Chapman as her “musical brothers” and mentors. She toured regularly on the British college and festival circuit along with other folk and pop luminaries of the time, such as Nick Drake and David Bowie, among others. In 1974, she was voted fifth most popular female singer in that year’s Melody Maker readers’ poll. Following three classic albums on John Peel’s Dandelion label in the late 1960s/early 1970s – Ask Me No Questions, Songs for the Gentle Man, and Thank You for… – Bridget found herself seeking new outlets and a new path when that label ceased operations in 1972. The album Jumblequeen followed on Chrysalis, and, after finding herself drawn towards New York City, Bridget relocated there in 1976 and began to move within the city’s underground folk music and singer-songwriter circuit.
What followed was a wealth of new material that fed her trademark sound into the melting pot of New York’s musical landscape, pulling in different influences and sounds, different musicians, and different approaches to songs. The rediscovery of Bridget’s tape archive has unearthed numerous recordings captured during that very fertile period in her career for the recent Cherry Red box set, From There / To Here, including Jumblequeen, 1995’s Take The 5ifth, and 17 previously unheard tracks, presented alongside her own contextual sleeve notes. Bridget continues to write, record, and explore collaborations with various contemporary artists including Steve Gunn, Arandel, and David Nagler, and she is the inspiration behind Scottish singer-songwriter Hamish Hawk’s 2023 song, “Bridget St. John”
NORMA DREAM is the songwriting project of Norma Jean Haynes. Growing up as a five-string banjo player, Norma Jean writes songs that are steeped in the Appalachian and British ballad traditions, and influenced by the dreamy, nature-infused imagery of the 1960’s folk revival. The result is unclassifiable and stirring folk music for the modern era.
An avid traveler, Norma Dream has honed her songwriting craft while studying traditional music in Bosnia, Corsica, South Africa, England, and throughout Appalachia. A published author in music education, she regularly teaches singing, songwriting, improvisation and other musical skills around the country.
With a feather-light voice and a backbone of New England grit, Norma Dream is where Emily Dickinson meets Pete Seeger, where Robert Frost meets Anne Briggs, and where Edith Piaf meets the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.
Her debut album, Mothers & Daughters, was recorded at the IMA and is available through Bandcamp