Friday, May 31st, 2002 Raymond Yates

What a huge voice! When Ray Yates sings, you just have to hold onto your chair, because he can knock you over. Ray had been through the area before, playing at the Lotus Dickey festival in Paoli, and then at Penny Lane Coffeehouse. When Ray played Penny Lane, he stayed here at the cabin and made a HUGE killer pot of vegetarian spaghetti sauce that took about a month to consume.

This time around, Ray didn’t have time to cook, because they were bouncing back and forth between Ohio and Indiana, catching gigs that didn’t quite line up the way you’d want them to. It wasn’t in the plans, but I sat in with Ray’s show, adding a little mandolin here and there. Even without knowing the songs, I could “read ahead” on where they were going, and I think it sounded nice. We got to catch Ray a week later in Paoli, and returned a music stand that was left behind.

Ray doesn’t seem to have a website, but you can learn more about him at

Friday, March 29th, 2002 Rod MacDonald

You couldn’t ask for a better inaugural show for our house concert series than Rod MacDonald. He’s a consummate professional, having written and performed songs since the 1980’s. I was first turned onto Rod when working at The Nameless Coffeehouse in Cambridge, Ma. Fred Small brought Rod up from NYC to play for our Boston crowd. That was a heck of a show, and you can imagine my surprise when 15 years later, Rod calls looking for a gig on his way up to Chicago.

Rod has an endless stream of stories from the road, some involving a case of mistaken identity with a much more famous folk singer from the ’60’s. His song, “I’m Not Bob Dylan” had us practically rolling on the floor.

Check out Rod’s website at