Marti Rogers
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Marti Rogers

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Duo Americana Folk

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"Really Traditional"

I like my traditional music traditional, and when I read the liner notes for the first song, I knew I was going to like this album. It said: "In most recent versions Shady Grove becomes a girl, but in this one, it's still a place." You go, girl! "Plain and Fancy" is folk music with the emphasis on the folk. Marti Rogers has a fine voice but it is not one of those impossibly beautiful ethereal ones that, while thrilling to hear, are far removed from what the "folk" were usually exposed to. Rogers' lyrics to "Johnny, I Hardly Knew You" are new to me and more touching than even the standard words. - CD Baby Review of "Plain and Fancy" by Harry Eagar


"Plain and Fancy"

Marti Rogers, Plain & Fancy (Museme, 2004)

Jean Ritchie's influence is all over Marti Rogers' music. Of course it's hard to match Ritchie's singing, which is incomparable, or her interpretations of traditional ballads, or her terrific writing. Or, not incidentally, her authentic Kentucky roots and rich family musical heritage.

Put that aside -- if you know who Jean Ritchie is, it'll be the first thing you think of when the disc starts spinning -- as you listen to Marti Rogers, and Plain & Fancy's pleasures will find their way to you. Rogers is not young. From the photograph on the cover, I suspect that, like me, she's been around long enough to have been there when the 1960s folk revival was in full flower. Her approach is the mostly unadorned one that you may remember from records on Sandy and Caroline Paton's Folk-Legacy label: spare, entirely acoustic, sweet-voiced, deeply experiment-averse.

You don't hear that sort of thing much these days. This collection of folk and folk-based songs and ballads reminds me that people other than authentic, direct tradition-carriers have made perfectly decent and honorable music that way. Rogers (guitar, autoharp, dulcimer), a Pennsylvanian, has gathered up some standards -- chestnuts to the uncharitable -- such as "Barbara Allen," "Shady Grove," "Johnny, I Hardly Knew You," "Fair & Tender Maidens" and the like, then scattered them amid a few of her own compositions (notably the striking "Lucid, the Rambler") and Richard Farina's "Birmingham Sunday" (set to the melody of the old Scots "I Loved a Lass" and quoting its riddle about ships in the forest). Her husband Tom Levy accompanies her on bass, joined here and there by multi-instrumentalists Tom and Marianne Tucker and dobroist Tom Wade, for this Tom-heavy project.

The resulting sound is living-room ambient, coming at one -- one has the impression -- from never more than five or 10 paces away. Homey and intimate, in other words, comfortable as an old, faded flannel shirt, a much-occupied couch or a beloved book you return to every few years. No reasonable listener will find anything to grouse about, except perhaps to grumble that maybe it's time to let "The Cuckoo" rest after about a zillion recorded flights.

by Jerome Clark
Rambles.NET
2 December 2006
- Jerome Clark, Rambles.net


"New Life to Old Songs"

MARTI ROGERS, Plain and Fancy, (Museme). Marti Rogers, who hails from the Philadelphia area, has been performing traditional music for over 30 years. In this collection of ballads and songs, she plays mountain dulcimer, Autoharp, zither and guitar; and is accompanied by husband Ted [sic] Levy on bass. Rogers gives new life to old standards like "Barbara Allen," "Shady Grove," as well as adding four of her own compositions.

Mary DesRosiers - Sing Out!


"Featured Artist"

Our featured artist this week is our good friend and Abington (Pa.) resident Marti Rogers, a dynamic performer who sings in the style and tradition of Maybelle Carter and the famed Carter Family. Marti is an accomplished musician and plays the autoharp as well as a number of other instruments. She is a recording star of considerable merit and her new CD "Plain And Fancy" displays her melodic singing voice, and her song writing ability....[A] personable and talented lady....

Bill Melody Host of WBCB's "Country Music Hall" member, Country Music Association, The Circle Club of the Grand Old Opry. - Bill Melody,Down Melody Lane


"At the Doylestown Arts Festival"

Some very special surprizes at Main and Court on Sunday.
Marti Rogers was superbe through all her instruments and vocals a melodic
journey that lent itself to listening or great background if you were just
passing through. Although unrehearsed, un-prepared and unplanned Wes, Tom &
Marti
unpacked "Rusty Old Truck*" to fill a missing slot and were extremely tight!
The vocals were outstanding.!!

Will See

Will,
...once I got the sound right, Rusty Old Truck was nothing short of Rusty
- they sparkled!
Joanne [Adler]

* The correct name of the band is “Ole Rusty Pickup.”
- Post Event Web Thread


Discography

Marti Rogers, Plain, 2002
Marti Rogers, Plain and Fancy, 2004
Old Songs for Young Folks, 2008

Clips are available through a link to CDBaby on our website or directly at www.CDBaby.com/cd/MartiRogers or MartiRogers2

Autoharp tracks are often heard on Autoharp Radio at Live 365; Multiple tracks were played regularly on the Acoustic Stage although it no longer web casts. Also have received air time on many folk show broadcasts.

Photos

Bio

In her strong, clear voice, Marti Rogers weaves a spell taking us back to simpler times when people sat on the back porch or around the hearth making their own music. Husband Tom Levy’s rhythmic bass blends with Marti’s skillful flat picking on the guitar or her virtuoso autoharp. Marti’s fine mountain dulcimer is augmented by Tom’s Bodhran (Irish hand drum). They make music that might be called folk, country or country folk, Americana, traditional / historic, old-time or old, a bit of something for everyone.

Since her first appearance at a college hootenanny in 1963, Marti has performed her eclectic brand of acoustic folk-style music throughout the Northeast United States on stage, radio, TV, and on pioneer internet radio show, Mudcat Cafe, long before the current profusion of web casts.

While living and singing in New York City, Marti studied performance technique with countertenor Richard Dyer Bennett, and ethnomusicology with Henrietta Yurchenko at The New School for Social Research. Later as she continued her studies at the University of Pennsylvania she appeared at local coffee shops and clubs, solo or with the folk band Cuttywren. Eventually earning a Master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, she took time off from music to work in the healthcare field. When she joined the Bucks County (PA) Folk Song Society in 1994, Marti began performing once again. She also served as president of the society from 2000 thru 2003.

Tom Levy leaned to play bass fiddle in high school, but put it aside to pursue photography and a career in public service. After many years of listening, about a decade ago Tom began backing up Marti’s music, filling in with a steady beat, and those low bass tones that blend in so well to augment Marti’s Autoharp and guitar. Long a fan of drums, Tom added the Irish Bodhran to his rhythmic skills. It goes exceptionally well with the lap dulcimer.

A three-time winner of the Folk Factory People’s Choice Concert competition, Marti (with or without Tom) performs regularly in the Pennsylvania / New Jersey region.

Although not a prolific song-writer, Marti has been published in Broadside magazine, and her song "Lucid, The Rambler" was recorded by Kevin Roth.

Note: The Calendar lists only public performances since 2006, and private performances since January 2007. There have been many more! Please visit our web site for more information about previous venues.

Band Members