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Monday, January 28

Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival 2013 Announced!


Detailed info can be found here.

7pm – Writer in the Loft: Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon, reading The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics, the Loft

4-6pm – Youth and Teen Round Robin, the Loft

5pm – Friday Festival party in the Loft – Gold and Silver Passholders Ben Baldwin Trio, featuring Kent Allyn and Jesse Williams
7pm – Pre Show Founders Lobby Access – Gold Passholders
8pm – Dirty Projectors, Historic Theater

2pm – Innovation + Leadership: REVERB Forum on Eco-Friendly Touring, the Loft
4pm – Joe Stevens rock photography digital exhibit and Q&A, the Loft
7pm – Pre Show Founders Lobby Access – Gold Passholders
7:30pm – John Prine with openers Chris Trapper and Sarah Jarosz, Historic Theater

1pm – Gold Passholders access to the Loft
2-4:30pm – Seacoast Singer Songwriter Round Robin - The Loft
5pm – Festival Bash at Martingale Wharf, All Passholders
6:30pm – Pre-show Founders Lobby access, Gold Passholders
7:30pm – Double Bill: Aimee Mann and Sharon Van Etten, Historic Theater


Gold pass: $270 (EARLY BIRD, February only: $225)
5 Day Festival Pass includes Preferred seating & tickets to all concerts and events, exclusive access to all parties, and exclusive pre-show access to lobbies

Silver pass: $235 (EARLY BIRD, February only: $199)
3 Day Pass includes Preferred seating & tickets to all concerts and events Friday-Sunday only, and exclusive access to all parties

Bronze pass: $165 (EARLY BIRD, February only: $150)
2 Day Pass includes Preferred seating and tickets to all concerts and events Saturday & Sunday only, and access to Festival Bash at Martingale Wharf

Festival Sponsor


Media Partner

92.5 river

On Sale:

Early Bird passes on sale to members 2/2; to public 2/16.
(Early bird pricing on passes good for month of Feb only)
Passes are not available online.
Individual tickets on sale to members 3/2; to public 3/9.

The Music Hall has just announced the return of the Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival to take place Wednesday through Sunday April 17-21, 2013 at its two theaters in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Expanding its focus to five days this year, the festival covers a spectrum of acts under the banner of Legends, Stars + Up-and-Comers—and adds new dimensions this year with a storied rock & roll photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock poet.  Sponsored by Martingale Wharf with media partner, 92.5 The River, a fabulous festival lineup includes round robins, parties, panels, rock poets, and raconteurs, with new events added every day. It kicks off with poet Paul Muldoon on Wednesday night, followed by a teen and youth round robin on Thursday night; the Dirty Projectors on Friday night; an Innovation + Leadership Forum on eco-touring and Joe Stevens rock photography presentation on Saturday followed by John Prine with openers Sarah Jarosz and Chris Trapper Saturday night; and finally a Seacoast singer songwriter round robin on Sunday followed by a double bill with Aimee Mann and Sharon Van Etten Sunday night!

Says Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall and PSSF lead curator and producer: “The second year of the Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival has expanded! This celebration of originality and creativity is so suited to the vibe of Portsmouth. The parties for pass holders promise to sparkle, and the mix of locals and legends makes for a rich medley. We are so enthusiastic about the promise of this festival for Portsmouth and we welcome our partners, our artists, and most especially our pass holders and audiences. Your support is critical to our shared success.”

Thérèse LaGamma, Deputy Director of Programming and Curator and co-producer of the PSSF adds, “The number of artists that wanted to be involved this year has been staggering! I am excited by the mix of emerging and established artists. The Dirty Projectors and Sharon Van Etten have been on my radar for some time. Both Aimee Mann and Sharon are fans of each others’ music so to have the chance to bring them together is a thrill. REVERB is a company based in Portland that helps artists in building tours that are sustainable. Joe Stevens has managed to capture many exciting moments in music history on camera. I’ve enjoyed this opportunity to co-produce this year’s festival!”

Kathleen Soldati, Director of Marketing, adds, “As a long-time fan of local legend Ben Baldwin, I’m particularly thrilled that Ben will be here leading his trio in the Friday night party at the Loft that leads up to his son Nat Baldwin taking the stage at the Historic Theater with his band,  Dirty Projectors – a great generational story!”


Writers in the Loft: Paul Muldoon
Wednesday, April 17, 7pm
Book: The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics
Ticket package: $37 (members $34). Includes reserved seat, book ($23, hardcover), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, professor and occasional rock guitarist has been described as “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War.” But Muldoon also has a passion for rock and roll, collaborating with the late, legendary songwriter Warren Zevon. In his new collection, The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics, he offers little or no distinction between poetry and rock songs, finding the common ground between W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Buddy Holly and Bruce Springsteen.

“The most sophisticated and original poet of his generation.”–The New York Review of Books

Writers in the Loft Series Sponsor

citizens bank

Youth and Teen Round Robin
Thursday April 18 4-6pm the Loft $5
Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time. Students from our Explore + Learn Partner of the Year, Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC) will showcase their songwriting craft in Round Robin format. Some of the PMAC students attended a songwriting workshop with the amazing Melissa Ferrick, prior to her November shows in The Loft. Hosted by PMAC Executive Director, Russ Grazier.


Friday Festival Party 
Ben Baldwin Trio, featuring Kent Allyn and Jesse Williams
Friday, April 18 5pm Loft
Gold and Silver Passholders

Dirty Projectors
Friday April 19, 8pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $44, $32
Fresh from their sold out Carnegie Hall debut, this indie-rock band with global reach (collaborations with David Byrne and Bjork) and local roots (Kittery’s Nat Baldwin) made it into Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 50 Best Albums of 2012 for Swing Lo Magellan. Here is Rolling Stone: “David Longstreth stuffs a whole lot of musical exploration into his three-minute songs: power chords set against shifting meters; psychedelic dissonances that nod to Jimi Hendrix and Béla Bartók; loads of mind-bending harmony vocals. “I boogie down gargoyle streets,” croons Longstreth. “It’s worth following him, wherever he goes.”
“undeniable party music” – Rolling Stone


Innovation + Leadership Forum: REVERB on Eco-Friendly Touring
Saturday April 20, 2013 2pm, Loft
Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time. Josh Glasheen, Manager of Tours and Sponsorship at Reverb, will discuss how the group educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future.

Rock photography digital exhibit and Q&A with Joe Stevens
Saturday April 20, 2013 4pm, Loft
Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time.
This raconteur and photojournalist will share stories and digital images from his life photographing some of the music industry’s major artists.

John Prine, with openers Sarah Jarosz and Chris Trapper
Saturday April 20, 7:30pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $70, $65
One of the most influential songwriters of his generation and one of Bob Dylan’s favorite writers, this Grammy Award winner (Best Contemporary Folk album Missing Year) is best known for penning Bonnie Raitt’s hit, Angel from Montgomery and other signature tunes:  Illegal Smile, Sam Stone, Paradise, Hello in There and his personal favorite, Far From Me. A recent tribute album of his songs featured members of the modern folk revival including The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show and Justin Townes Earle.

John Prine: “A critically acclaimed singer/songwriter who has gone from solo acoustic folk to hard country to rockabilly to soft rock, all the while maintaining his hardheaded vision of white proletarian America.”  - Rolling Stone

“One of America’s best singer/songwriters” – New York Times

Opener: Grammy nominated Sarah Jarosz has as rich a skill set as anybody in acoustic music. She plays, not just one instrument, but enough of them to be a one-woman string band; mandolin, octave mandolin, claw hammer banjo and guitar.

“One of acoustic music’s most promising young talents – a singer songwriter and mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success” – New York Times

Opener: Chris Trapper’s music can best be described as lyrically driven roots-pop with a knack for telling everyday stories filled with extraordinary characters. The New York Times calls his work “classic pop perfection.”


Seacoast Singer Songwriter Round Robin
Sunday April 21, 2013 2-4:30pm The Loft
Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time.
Featuring singer/songwriter talent from the Seacoast including Peter Squires,  Guy Capecelatro III, Mara Flynn and friends!

Festival Bash at Martingale Wharf
Sunday April 21, 2013 5-6:30pm
Festival passholders and artists are invited to our Festival Bash in one of the most glamorous waterside settings on the Seacoast - prepare to be wowed!

Aimee Mann and Sharon Van Etten
Sunday April 21, 7:30 pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $56; $49

Aimee Mann is known for the New Wave band she co-founded, Til Tuesday, with the hit, Voices Carry. This rock singer/songwriter guitarist/bassist launched her solo career in 1989 which has included scoring and taking small roles in acclaimed independent films from The Big Lebowski to Magnolia—for the latter she earned a Best Song Oscar and Grammy Award nomination for Save Me. Her latest (eighth) album, Charmer, includes a duet with James Mercer of The Shins. “[Charmer] is a sunny turn for her…evokes some untroubled, late 1970s convergence of soft rock and new wave…goes down so easily”—New York Times

Sharon Van Etten was born in New Jersey, and cultivated in Nashville. This Brooklyn based singer/songwriter has planted a bittersweet neofolk flag that has garnered her fans of both folk and country music. She has been hailed by NPR and the Nashville Scene for having one of the most original voices of late, “a remarkable, arresting voice” (Bomb Magazine). And, her songs, the best of which are featured on her third and latest album, Tramp, have received critical acclaim – Tramp is one of Rolling Stone’s favorite albums of the year .
“Beguiling…darling of indie rock…mesmerizing” – New York Times

Festival Sponsor
Martingale Wharf

Festival Media Partner
92.5 The River

Music Hall Season Sponsor
River House Restaurant

To purchase passes and tickets

The Portsmouth Singer Songwriter Festival will take place at The Music Hall Wednesday—Sunday April 17-21, 2013. Early bird passes go on sale to members at First Saturdays for Members 10am, Sat., 2/2. Early bird Passes on sale to public noon Fri., 2/16. Passes are not available online. Early bird pricing is good for the month of February only. Individual tickets on sale to members 10 am Sat., 3/2; to public noon Sat., 3/9. Individual tickets to events at the Loft are only available at the door beginning one hour before show time. Contact The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online.

First Saturdays for Members

Special ticket on-sales, early-bird box office hours, merchandise discounts, and micro-curator talks the first Saturday of every month! On Saturday February 2, the Box Office at the Historic Theater will open at 10am, with bagels, muffins and coffee in the Founders Lobby, and a micro-talk by Curator Thérèse LaGamma. Our Membership Coordinator will also be there if you’d like to sign up or renew your membership. At noon, online and phone sales begin. Tickets go on sale to non-members at noon, Saturday, February 16.

About Membership and Early Purchasing

To become a member today and enjoy early ticket purchasing, call our Membership Coordinator, Lorianne Saniuk, at 603-766-2176 or go online.

(603) 436-2400
24-hour Film Line:
(603) 436-9900
Business Office:
(603) 433-3100