Geoff Bartley
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Geoff Bartley

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Blues Americana


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1) Blues Beneath the Surface (1984 private label) re-issued 1994 on CD by Swallowtail Records, Minneapolis MN
2) Interstates (1986 private label) re-issued 1988 on CD
3) I Am the Heart (1987 private label)
4) Red Stripe tape (1990 private label)
5) Blue Stripe tape (1992 private label)
6) Hear That Wind Howl (1994 Waterbug Records)
7) One Kind Word (1998 Waterbug)
8) Bones & Breath w/ poet Timothy Mason (2003 private label)
9) Blackbirds in the Pie (2008 private label)
10) Put the Big Stone Down (2009 private label)
11) Mercy for the Dispossessed (due for release early 2012 private label)



Geoff Bartley (1948 - ?) is a nationally respected acoustic guitarist, singer, songwriter, and harmonica player. His blues-based music is a gumbo of pre-war country blues and Delta blues, contemporary and traditional folk music, pre-war jazz, traditional southern mountain music, gospel, old-timey, bluegrass, and songs and instrumentals he writes. Call him a roots musician.
Some of Mr. Bartley's songs have been recorded by other artists in the US, Canada, and Nashville. His ninth and most recent CD "Put the Big Stone Down" went to No.1 (got the most airplay) on the international FolkDJ Radio chart in January 2011.
In September 2011, Mr. Bartley played a ten-day-ten-gig mini tour in the Canadian maritimes starting with the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick. But most of his shows are at coffeehouses and festivals in southern New England. In the 1980s he won four guitars at the National Fingerpicking Championships in Winfield, Kansas.
Since 1994, Mr. Bartley has been an accompanist for topical songwriter and folk icon, Tom Paxton. Mr. Bartley was also instrumental in bringing the Tom Paxton signature model Martin guitar into production in 2004.
Mr. Bartley's music is used on cable and network television and in private and commercial films. He presents two nights of acoustic music each week at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both nights have been voted Best of Boston.

Of the songs Mr. Bartley has written, his audiences most request "One Kind Word", "The Song of Imaginary Gifts", "Let Falling Stars", "Welcome to the Spiral Dance", "Noah’s Ark", "Natural Law", the instrumental "Blues Beneath the Surface", and "The Cat Song". His earliest influences are Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Lightnin' Hopkins, Dave Van Ronk, and Bruce Cockburn. He's also listened to a lot of jazz, primitive and modern. In recent years, Mr. Bartley's music has included traditional southern mountain music, bluegrass, old-time, and gospel influences.

In the course of a career that began in 1972, Mr. Bartley has opened for or shared festival workshop stages with Doc Watson, Richard Thompson, Tom Rush, Jorma Kaukonen, Dr. John, Odetta, Leo Kottke, The Persuasions, Leon Redbone, Martin Mull, John Hammond, Jonathan Edwards, John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie and others.

The folk press has called Mr. Bartley "folk music at its best" (Music Reviews Quarterly, Arden, NC), "a brilliant songwriter and a world-class guitarist" (The Boston Globe), a "local legend" (All Music Guide, now Allmusic... see and "the prophet" (WBUR 90.9 fm, Boston) and "spiritual godfather" (Dirty Linen magazine, Baltimore, MD) of the Boston folk scene.

Mr. Bartley is available for concerts and festivals as a solo and as a duet with noted mandolinist & singer Howie Tarnower. The five-piece bluegrass band in which he sings and plays flatpicked guitar, the Wabash Cannibals, is also available for concerts and festivals.

For bookings please contact:
Jean Schwartz
Jean Schwartz Entertainment
home office phone 508 620-0736


Geoff Bartley
home office phone 508 875-8313

What others have said...

“Legendary songwriter/guitarist Geoff Bartley is a musical medicine man. On his new disc, "Blackbirds in the Pie", Bartley's amalgam of folk and blues music, contemporary songwriting and familiar humor is greater than the sum of its parts. He manages, with every note he offers, to show us the sun.” ~ Andrew Calhoun, songwriter and founder of Waterbug Records, Chicago (January 2009)

"Geoff Bartley’s music combines great guitar playing with brilliant imagery... I think Geoff has been very successful on a human and artistic level in what he’s done with his music. What he’s given goes beyond anything you could put a price tag on." ~ NewFolk songwriter John Gorka (1992)

"Geoff Bartley is the juju master of the guitar." ~ songwriter / guitarist David Wilcox (1990)

“What a great evening. You connected with the audience right from the beginning and they were really with you, which of course makes it a bit easier to play and sing well, which you did, in spades. I got compliments on the sound at the time and was happy that it served you well, but what's really been pouring in are the rave reviews of you and your set. I went to town meeting today and all sorts of people came up to me to say what a fine evening they had and what a terrific musician and entertainer you are. I know all this is tough to take, but it really was you they were talking about, and I'm compelled by all the evidence to agree.” ~ Brad Meyer, musician and mastering engineer, commenting on a performance I gave at the Public Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts in March 2009. We expected an audience of fifty but one hundred and fifty showed up.

“(Geoff Bart