Mustard's Retreat

Mustard's Retreat


Entertaining,uplifting & engaging,.."Music to cure what ails you", original and traditional songs and stories. Multi-instrumentalist. Available for children's/family shows as well as adult ones.


Thirty years may not seem like such a long time in the life of a human being, a tree or a folk song. But in the fickle world of modern music, where pop stars shy of their 21st birthdays often see their careers dumped into oldies bins, 30 years is a very long time. So as David Tamulevich and Michael Hough celebrate their 30th Anniversary as Mustard's Retreat, the same question seemed to burn among aspiring young performers and road-weary old folkies - why you guys?

In searching for the answer, one word comes up again and again, the simple word "audience." Everything Mustard's Retreat does on a stage is aimed at pleasing, moving and engaging their audience. Whether singing their own gentle love songs and vivid ballads, telling tall tales or offering treasures from America's vast traditional song bag, a Mustard's Retreat show always feels like it's designed for the people who have come to see them that day, in that coffeehouse, school, concert hall or festival. Audiences sense this from the moment David and Michael hit the stage, are drawn to it like hungry kids to Sunday supper and reward it the best way they know how. They come to see Mustard's Retreat again and again. And again.

Spike Barkin, who produces the prestigious Roots of American music Festival at New York City's Lincoln Center, wrote to thank them for their "folk from the heart," going on to say it seemed like David and Michael "take your living room on the road with you and invite people in as friends." David Siglin, of Ann Arbor's legendary Ark Coffeehouse, where Mustard's Retreat played their first songs together, said, "In order to last there has to be more than just talent - you have to enjoy playing, enjoy audiences and enjoy being in front of them. Audiences go to your shows because they know they will be entertained." Margie Rosenkranz, manager of the stalwart Eighth Step Coffeehouse in Albany, NY, said a Mustard's Retreat show "reminds us why we're doing this, pulls people together," adding that the duo transcends the vagaries of passing trends because they remain so "in tune with the audience."

"As much as we aim to entertain, we also look to educate," David Tamulevich said of the way Mustard's Retreat approaches audiences, "and hopefully enlighten and open some doors they maybe hadn't seen before. And ideally, to create a moment of community where everybody is sharing the same experience, the same idea, the same song. I mean, that's the only reason for me to be up there' we really want that connection to people."

In a folk world so peopled by somber, confessional songwriters, Mustard's Retreat are wonderfully unafraid to get silly with their audience, spinning out smartly goofy parodies, too-tall tales of wily rabbits and stupid frogs, hard-traveling cadavers and marauding techno-nerds. Whether performing for large festivals, tiny coffeehouses, at special shows for children or families, it clearly pleases them to please their audiences.

In their serious songwriting, that desire to connect with listeners is as evident as it is in their robust sing-along and witty ditties. The moments upon which they hang their songs are moments all of us have felt: hands held in the kitchen during a quiet moment of rekindled love, the careless remark that reveals too much about a relationship withering from inattention, the hectic symphony of a busy city street, the timeless pleasure of gathering in shared song. And leave it to these guys to pen a glowing ode to the coffeehouse volunteers whose enthusiasm keeps the folk embers glowing. "I work with them several times a year and always wish it was more." Said Canadian songwriter Garnet Rogers, among the most popular performers on the folk circuit. "The thing that always impresses me is the incredible openness they have with the audience. They stand up there and just radiate friendliness; the audience is included in the whole process, encouraged to sing along and talk back. I've learned a lot from them in that sense."

"They are so warm and friendly and giving on stage, completely in touch with the audience," said Tom Paxton, a folk music star for nearly 40 years. "There are no barriers at all, and you just love to watch that and be part of it. But the thing that strikes me about them from Jump Street - and that makes it all work so well - is that their time is so tight. Michael is such a wonderful, simple bass player; his time is just flawless. And that's why two guys can move you musically the way they do - they have a gorgeous sense of time and tempo, a real musicality to what they do. They're nice guys on stage and entertaining as hell, but there's also music in them."

When considering why Mustard's Retreat has survived so long, it cannot be overlooked that they have benefited from very good management. David is one of the owners of The Roots Agency, the most influential and respected folk music talent agency in the country. He has represented both Paxton and Rogers, along


( Ours is a) Simple Faith

Written By: David Tamulevich

Ours is a simple faith. Life is a short embrace.
Heaven is in this place, everyday.
Hope is the ground we till. Make each day what you will.
Thankful for dreams fulfilled, everyday.

There is no Hell to fear. No judgment day drawing near.
Trust that inner voice you hear, everyday.
Life’s not a goal or race. It’s about heart and faith,
And living a life of grace. Everyday.

Trust is an open hand, making an honest stand.
Rooted here, in the land…everyday.
Live in the mystery, seeking the harmony
Here, between you and me…everyday.


Mustard's Retreat- 1979
Home by the Morning- 1984
Midwinter's Night- 1987
Five Miles of 50,000 Years/ 1998
The Wind and the Crickets...- 1997
A Resolution of Something- 2002
A Gathering of Moments-2005
MR7- 2005
The First Album Plus- 2005 ( re-release of 1979 Album, with additions)

Set List

Set list can be provided, but varies show by show.