Entertainment Scene in Fitchburg MA

Bounder Coffeehouse

Lower level, Dillon Room,

First Parish UU, 923 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA

2nd Saturday each month, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

 I went to the Boulder Coffeehouse on January 13. Approximately 26 people attended the event. It was like taking a journey back in time. I was pleasantly surprised because I was able to relate to some of the music. I saw glimpses of myself when I was young girl in Greenwich Village, New York City, at 19 years of age. I lived in the city in the 1960s. On weekends I would take the subway to 4th Street and walk over to the Village.

There were several coffeehouses that I frequented. It was cheap to go out then.  I loved the cobblestone streets, 1800s buildings, merging crowded streets, and being entertained and educated by musicians. Often, I would go Gaslight Cafe and listen to many different types of music, mostly folk. One of my roommates worked the coffeehouse scene part time, and we met lots of people. I never paid cover charge at Gaslight Café, because we knew the chef.

Richard Prior performed there. I thought he was the funniest person I ever heard. I loved the music of  Babatundi Olatunji, West Africa percussion, and his dancers. This was World Music before the term even existed. He gave all his gifts that benefited younger impoverished musicians, while  he walked the Earth. I am saddened he walked on in 2003. I used to live in Big Sur and knew the former Hot Springs, now Esalen Institute, where Olatunji left this world. Here is a link for those interested in looking up his important international music history at http://africanmusic.org/artists/olatunji.html

Buffy Saint Marie, as well as Bob Dylan performed at Gaslight Café.  Anyway, that was then…….

And this is now.

 THE PROGRAM – Boulder Coffeehouse:

 Nate Smith, host of Boulder Coffeehouse, opened up the first set. This is the time when open mike performers introduce themselves and their music, prior to the main performance. Nate has perfect pitch and a deep, rich voice. I look forward to hearing him again next month.  He performed This Demise I’m In, The Purgatory Express and   Somewhere Down the Road. You can learn more about Nate at greystone@net1plus.com You can also follow him on facebook at facebook.com/xongsmith His Website is http://xongsmith.webs.com/nate.html

Several musicians came to the stage that evening.  I was impressed by the talented voice of Jenny Backstrom. Jenny plays mandolin and is self taught. She is working on her 1st CD. Her voice was fluid and she has a thrill in her voice. Jenny has a way of putting emotion in her music that resonates with pure sound. Jenny performed 3 originals. You can contact her at jenniferbackstrom@gmail.com

Ken Hasselbrack sang and played four Irish/traditional pieces. Check him out on facebook.com/ken.hasselbrack I love Irish music and it was a pleasure to hear Ken’s music.

Vinny Jamison played and sang Wachusett Ale song (his own) and a few Beatles medley. He has been playing guitar and singing for years. It is wonderful to see people so comfortable with their music.

Paul Beck and Leslie Bryant played.

Paul Beck and Leslie Bryant

Paul Beck and Leslie Bryant

Leslie has a clear soft voice. She played flute and Paul played guitar. They performed 2 original and 2 cover songs. Visit them on facebook at facebook.com/ergocanto You can learn more about Ergo Canto on their Website at ergocanto.org

The main attraction was: Eric Blackmer.

Eric Blackmer

Eric Blackmer

All his work was original, except one song. Eric played one song with a bottleneck technique on his guitar. I haven’t heard this style since back in the 60s. I love it. You can learn more about him on the following Websites:


You can also follow him on


Mark your calendars. If you are in Fitchburg, Second Saturday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m., you owe it to yourself to come to Boulder Coffeehouse. A donation of $5.00 is suggested. Enjoy tea, coffee and refreshments, while you sit at a candle lit table, with new friends and old, and listen to the night’s offerings.