A Folk & Acoustic Music Series Since 1973

Concerts at The Universalist Church, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, CT*
860-770-3001•Credit/Debit Cards Accepted at the Door

*unless noted otherwise

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The Sounding Board is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1973 to present and preserve folk music in all its forms in the Greater Hartford area



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A member of

A Meeting House Presents! event in cooperation with The Sounding Board.

This concert will be held at The Unitarian Society of Hartford,
50 Bloomfield Ave., Hartford, CT

Friday, April 27, 8:00 p.m.

Mary Gauthier's voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash.

Her songs? They’re about as idiosyncratic as anything in the wide world of “popular music.” They’re intensely personal, yet they somehow infiltrate the souls of her listeners, no matter how different the paths they’ve followed through their lives.

Mary's newest album, Rifles & Rosary Beads, is a gut punch: deceptively simple and emotionally complex. Each of the 11 songs was co-written with a veteran, through the five-year-old Soldiers with Songwriters program.

$22 General
$15 High School and College Students with ID
Children under 12 free with a parent/adult

Reservations are not available for this event.

“Gauthier and her co-writers deliver an
  album of songs that momentarily
  make the burdens of these men and
  women lighter, for in these songs
  they've found the care and empathy of
  a listening stranger who sits not in
  judgment but embraces in love."

– No Depression

 "Rifles and Rosary Beads"

 "Mercy Now"



As most of you know, for more than a half century Caroline Paton, along with her late husband, Sandy, has brought music and joy to thousands through performances, special gatherings and sales of traditional and contemporary folk recordings on Folk Legacy Records.  The Patons were also instrumental in the creation of The Sounding Board, and performed at the very first Sounding Board concert in December 3, 1973.


Now Caroline, at age 85, is facing medical challenges and expenses. At this time, she is no longer able to live on her beloved Sharon Mountain hilltop home. She is healthy but has limited mobility.  We can make her present circumstances much better and bring her well-deserved comfort with our generous donations. With our financial support she will be able to have a vastly improved quality of life.   Sadly, songs will not be enough.


The Sounding Board has made a donation to help support Caroline in her time of need. Your donations will be used for care-giver relief, transportation, delivery of meals, and medical care not covered by insurance.


Please consider supporting to this campaign. Click the Donate button at right to go to the Caring For Caroline GoFundMe page.

Saturday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.

The Johnson Girls have been a force on the folk and maritime music scene for more than two decades as the leading all-woman, a cappella maritime group in the world. Believing that sea chanteys and songs of the sea were the first real “World Music”, Joy Bennett, Alison Kelley, Bonnie Milner, and Deirdre Murtha each bring a special influence to the group. The Johnson Girls remain true to their mission of keeping chantey singing and its history alive, bringing women’s voices to the fore, and encouraging everyone to join in the revelry. Widely acclaimed for their powerhouse performances of rousing work songs, sensitive renderings of haunting ballads and laments, and hair-raising harmonies, they sweep their audiences along in a tidal fervor.


$17 General
$15 Sounding Board Member
$10 Students with ID
$8 Children 12 and under with a parent/adult

“ The Johnson Girls, shanty singers
   from America, took the place by
   storm….Those who thought a shanty
   singer had to be male, bearded and
   with a beer gut, had better think

– Cornwall (UK) Guardian

 "Fire Down Below" (Recorded at 2009 Chicago Maritime Festival)

 "Mama Liza Jane"  (Recorded at a Tribute to Folk-Legacy Records)

Coming soon...

Advance Tickets available now
for April and May shows.

Porch Party Mamas (5/12/18)

Portable Folk Festival (5/19/18)

For information on other folk music events

at 100+ venues throughout the area, click here.

You can also make a reservation by clicking any of the blue buttons on this page marked "Reservations."

Please make reservations using the online form or by email. You can also make a reservation by sending a text to 860-770-3001.

If you really feel the need to make your reservation by a traditional phone call, dial 860-770-3001 and leave a voice mail with your name, the concert you wish to attend, and the number of people in your party. The Sounding Board does not confirm reservations made by phone or text.

Reservations must be made before 3:30 p.m. on the day of the concert. Reservations must be claimed at the admissions table by 7:15 on the night of the performance.

Please do not call the church for reservations or Sounding Board information. The Sounding Board is not affiliated with The Universalist Church and only rents the hall where we hold our concerts.

Advance Tickets

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