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Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival

Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival will have five separate evenings of acoustic music on the dark nights of the theater run in Summer and early Fall, 2013. Each evening of music will present differing themes including Celtic tradition and original music from Steve Baughman and Teja Gerken (July 22), Contemporary Spirit-Led with the legendary voice of Pam Mark Hall (July 29), Roots and Ragtime with the inimitable Stevie Coyle (July 31), Traditional Americana flatpicking with Robin Kessinger, joined by local-favorite fingerstylist, Todd Hallawell (Ganonymous, opening, August 4), and wrapping up the season with a revisit by the Contemporary Fingerstyle great, Chris Proctor (October 11).

Robin Kessinger & Todd Hallawell
Sunday August 4 at 8:00 p.m.

at the Historic Schmeiser Barn, 35125 County Road 31, Davis (directions)
Tickets: $15 - email or call (530) 752-1958

National Flatpicking Guitar Champion, Robin Kessinger, will be joined by National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion and SoundSet Recordings artist, Todd Hallawell, for an exciting summer-evening’s taste of the Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival coming to the Historic Schmeiser Barn on Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. The Barn Concert is co-sponsored by Barnyard Theatre and the UC Davis Friends of Acoustic Music. This evening’s music is guitar mastery, singing, and entertainment suitable for everyone in the family. Beyond incredible skill and musicality, these two have an onstage presence and chemistry that simply works. Robin and Todd’s music is rich and introspective, but never once loses an underlying feeling of joy. The music on their well-received joint CD, Ear Candy, is what to expect in The Barn: touches of traditional, country swing, bluegrass, and even some mountain folk music. This rare California tour for these popular West Virginia-based artists is their first return to Davis in two years.

Robin Kessinger, the 1985 winner of the National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Since that time, Robin has made headlines as an Appalachian Music star, performing at numerous bluegrass festivals, and on PBS, NPR, and the BBC. He is an annual instructor for Steve Kaufmann’s Guitar Camps in Tennessee. He has been featured in Acoustic Guitar and Bluegrass Unlimited.

Robin grew up with a rich Appalachian heritage surrounded by generations of musicians. World-renowned fiddler and recording artist, Clark Kessinger (his uncle), and family friend Robert (Georgia Slim) Rutland both contributed to Robin’s formative years as a musician, as did his father, who was an excellent mandolin artist. The music of Appalachia is what Robin has dedicated much of his life to sharing.

Joining Robin will be another premier acoustic artist, Todd Hallawell, a classically-trained guitarist who, for many years, has produced and engineered music for the Soundset Recordings label. In 1997, he won the prestigious National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship at Winfield, Kansas. In addition to having been a clinician for Lowden Guitars, he has become a regular performer at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) in Nashville, as well as other music festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Todd’s style crosses the boundaries between contemporary fingerstyle, Celtic, jazz, world music, swing, and folk.

In recent years, Todd has performed as a member of Randy Spark’s New Cristy Minstrels. Todd’s exceptional musical range has become well known throughout the acoustic music world and his compositions have been selected for both film and theatrical presentations. His CDs "Before My Time" and "From Nashville & Back" have won critical acclaim.

Dubbed "Mr. Tone" by Tommy Emmanuel, when music critics describe Todd’s playing, their comments seem to have a common thread:

"...Hallawell attacks his steel-strings with the precision of John Williams and punch of Jerry extraordinary fingerpicker."
-- Andy Ellis / Guitar Player Magazine

"...with a seemingly effortless dexterity, he articulates notes as such, without the artifacts of effort ... In short, he makes the competition sound clumsy."
-- Steve Klingaman / Minor 7th

Robin Kessinger’s website can be visited at

Todd Hallawell’s website can be visited at

The performance will be at 8:00 p.m. at the Historic Schmeiser Barn, 35125 County Road 31 (aka "Covell Blvd.") exactly 4 miles west of Lake Blvd. Tickets ($15) for the show can be reserved by e-mail to, or by leaving a message at (530) 752-1958. These shows are popular, so it is recommended to save a spot.


Completed Events:

Steve Baughman and Teja Gerken
Monday July 22

Steve Baughman - courtesy photo

Celtic tradition, original music, and captivating musical style are the order of the night as favorite Steve Baughman comes to the Historic Schmeiser Barn on Monday July 22, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. This is the first show in the 2013 Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival, and the first return of Steve Baughman since 2011 to play the Barn’s mainstage. Opening will be fingerstyle guitarist, Teja Gerken. The event is co-sponsored by Barnyard Theatre and the UC Davis Friends of Acoustic Music.

Steve Baughman is known for his melodic fingerstyle guitar, drawing upon Celtic, Appalachian, and various ethnic and folks traditions. Preferring to make tears fall rather than jaws drop, Steve's dynamic playing ranges from gently expressive to pyrotechnic. Steve is a pioneer of the unique clawhammer guitar technique, playing old time fiddle tunes on guitar with an infectious groove and rhythm. In addition he is also a fine vocalist, composer, and a dynamite clawhammer banjo player.

Steve Baughman - courtesy photo

Steve has several CD's to his credit as well as five books with Mel Bay Publications. He appears with Pierre Bensusan, Martin Simpson, and Pat Kirtley on the Rounder Records album Rambel to Cashel. Steve is a regular teacher at guitar camps across the country, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Swannanoa Gathering, and the California Coast Music Camp. He makes his home in San Francisco and can be reached at

Teja Gerken - courtesy photo

German-born Teja Gerken moved to California in the mid '80s, and is now no stranger in the contemporary steel-string fingerstyle guitar scene, including being an editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine. Weaving together influences of folk, jazz, classical, and world music into a style that is uniquely his own, Teja's playing reflects diverse musical interests. Employing alternate tunings, two-handed tapping, percussive effects, and other extended guitar techniques, Teja has created a repertoire with broad appeal, playing Irish traditionals, the occasional jazz standard, or improvising on themes by classical composers. Teja also hosts a monthly acoustic-guitar showcase at San Francisco's Bazaar Café, which features both established and emerging players, and has shared the stage with guitar visionaries such as John Renbourn, Alex de Grassi, Peter Finger, and Henry Kaiser, as well as with his mentors, Duck Baker and Peppino D'Agostino. He has been a featured guest at the International Guitar Night, as well as on radio stations such as San Francisco's KALW and KUSF, and Berkeley's KPFA. Teja's debut album On My Way (LifeRhythm Music) has received critical acclaim since its release. He has more-recently released his second album Postcards.

Pam Mark Hall
Monday July 29

Renowned musician Pam Mark Hall brings her legendary voice to the Historic Schmeiser Barn on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. for an evening of Contemporary folk, pop, inspirational, gospel, and country music. This is the second show in the 2013 Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival, and the first time for Pam to play the Barn's mainstage. This concert will include a variety of pieces from Pam’s three-decade career, including contemporary Christian, country and original tunes, many of which have been recorded by others, such as Amy Grant, Debby Boone and Noel Paul Stookey. In addition to skillfully playing the guitar and singing, she is a talented piano/keyboard player. The event is co-sponsored by Barnyard Theatre and the UC Davis Friends of Acoustic Music.

Pam Mark Hall's music career blossomed thirty-six years ago when she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a group of artists called "Discovery Art Guild" (DAG). The group was led by her mentor — author, speaker and musician, John Fischer. Pam Mark Hall's persuasive gift of communication has been used beyond music through hosting a weekly radio show in Nashville, writing magazine articles, scripting videos, and giving seminars on songwriting and creativity. Pam currently holds monthly workshops for songs, poems, short stories and more at Mug Shots Coffeehouse in Oroville, CA.

Pam has many cd's to her credit, including: Flying; This Is Not A Dream; Never Fades Away; Good Night, Sleep Tight; Supply and Demand; Keeper; Paler Shade and Paler Shade Re-Release. Excerpts from some of her songs can be heard at

Her first album, Flying, (1975) is an acoustic folk album. Following this with, This Is Not a Dream, has included orchestral arrangements and broader influences, including pop and rock. In Never Fades Away (1980), Pam continued to grow and experiment, expanding into jazz.

Hall produced Good Night Sleep Tight (1982), a lullaby album, gathered renowned fellow artists Brown Bannister, Debby Boone, John Fischer, Marty McCall, Randy Stonehill, and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary), proving how respected she had become. Stookey sings a duet with Hall on the album. The title song was written by Hall and acclaimed guitarist Phil Keaggy.

She quickly followed with another brash move, stepping further into '80s pop-rock with the album Supply and Demand, recorded with producer Keith Thomas, a Grammy winner, who also has worked with Michael Bolton and Amy Grant. Her next album Keeper moved even deeper into pop-rock territory. After a break, Hall returned, stronger than ever, with Paler Shade (1993), one of the most remarkable singer-songwriter albums of the ‘90s, according to All Music. The combination of Hall’s maturing, thoughtful songwriting and the production of acclaimed guitarist Dave Perkins proved a provocative match and remains a favorite for many of her fans.

Now making her home in Roseville, CA, after living in Nashville for years, Pam can be reached at

Her website can be visited at

Stevie Coyle
Wednesday July 31

String-band songster and Davis favorite, Stevie Coyle, will be performing at the Barnyard Acoustic Music Festival in the Historic Schmeiser Barn on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 8:00pm. The Barn Concert is co-sponsored by Barnyard Theatre and the UC Davis Friends of Acoustic Music. This evening’s guitar mastery, singing, stage banter and entertainment is suitable for everyone in the family. Beyond incredible skill, musicality and uplifting humor, Coyle brings wonderful interplay with his audiences, which suits the Schmeiser Barn venue perfectly, making for a delightful experience. Stevie is well-known for his folk and traditional-music roots, as well as his comedic prowess, resulting in a rich performance which keeps the audience riveted. Stevie is based in the Bay Area and is popular with Davis audiences; but this is only his second time playing in The Barn.

Well-known to Davis music lovers, Stevie Coyle, famous for his whiz-bang string band group, The Waybacks, is a long-time veteran of the California music scene. Having grown up in a musical family, and neighbor to (and student of) guitar wiz, David Lindley, Stevie followed his hippie-era roots with several years within The Royal Lichtenstein Circus, and The San Jose Repertory Company. After a few more years doing acting on television, he returned to folk music, and a 25-year odyssey in The Foremen, The Back Room Boys, and The Waybacks, with Wayne "Chojo" Jacques and Glenn (Pomianek) Houston. Stevie fronted The Waybacks and toured steadily from 2000 through 2007. The band released 4 albums in that time, played major festivals like Merlefest, Grey Fox, Floydfest, Great Waters, Old Settlers, Bumbershoot and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, toured Australia, and collaborated with Lloyd Maines, Michelle Shocked, and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead.

Stevie combines his theatrical and music talents in an inimitable way, leaving the audiences hollering for joy in his wake. Since the Waybacks times, Stevie's gone "feral" nowadays, and is busily booking festivals, venues and house concerts, both nationally and internationally. He has completed and released his first solo CD, called "Ten-In-One," produced by singer/songwriter and guitar guru Walter Strauss. He also owns "Mighty Fine Guitars", a specialty music shop in Lafayette, California.

Stevie Coyle's website can be visited at