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Uncle Bonsai
with special guest
Kirsten Maxwell

October 14, 2017

8 pm


Uncle Bonsai

Uncle Bonsai-Andrew Ratshin, Arni Adler and Patrice O'Neill-captivates audiences with songs that range from dark and hilarious to great insight and beauty. Seattle-based, the trio describes its performance as "what might happen if Tim Burton hijacked the Andrews Sisters en route to a Stephen Sondheim festival with the Beatles and Tom Lehrer in the sidecar."

 With just three voices and an acoustic guitar, Uncle Bonsai presents an often dizzying vocal array of intricate harmony. Their songs, dark and hilarious at times, just as often delight with moments of great insight and beauty.

Founded in 1981, Uncle Bonsai continues to perform and record material that aligns the group with the under-achiever, the dejected, the outsider, and the black sheep. Densely-packed lyrics fly by in a whirr at times, and take a skewed stance on topics such as first-world problems, the creation of the universe, the afterlife, and, of course, holidays with the family.

Uncle Bonsai's songs are almost one-act plays or short stories, resisting strict pop, folk, or singer-songwriter categories and reflecting diversity. As a result, the trio has appeared with a wide range of artists including Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Tracy Chapman, The Persuasions, The Bobs, Robyn Hitchcock, and They Might Be Giants. Their songs focus on the passing of time, the passing of genes, and the passing of pets - the truth of everything seemingly buried somewhere under the family tree.

Now in its 36th year, Uncle Bonsai is proud to present its ninth release, "The Family Feast: The Study of the Human Condition, First World Problems, and the Lasting Physiological and Psychological Effects of Eating Our Young.

Our opening act, Kirsten Maxwell began her career at age 5, when she performed at a small opera house in New York City. She continued appearing there until high school, when her focus shifted to musical theater, song-writing and learning guitar. She graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in creative writing and the passion to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter. In 2015, she released her first album, "Crimson." Often compared to Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell, she has opened for Vance Gilbert, Bill Staines, Slaid Cleaves and Michael Johnson, among others. Her commanding stage presence, quick wit and musical virtuosity create a level of intimacy that welcomes new audiences like old friends.



Contact Information

INFORMATION : 201-384-1325
Email: info@hurdygurdyfolk.org
All shows are held at
The Fair Lawn Community Center, 10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn, NJ

  Hurdy Gurdy c/o Ron Olesko 84 N. Demarest Ave. Bergenfield, NJ 07621