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About Us - Club Info

The Folk Club is an all-volunteer organization led by an elected Board of Directors.   Other members contribute to the functions of our weekly open mike nights, and our  monthly operations.


Founded in 1985, the Folk Club of Reston/Herndon has been led by exactly four presidents:  Rose Haskell, Larry Mediate, Ray Kaminsky, and Ben Hamblin -- in that sequence -- and for the first time ever, they stood together on a Tuesday night in 2015.  Thank you all for your service!




Membership in the Folk Club is open to all.  The cost is a nominal $15/year or 5 years for $55, and each member gets a $1 discount on the recommended donation for each monthly concert, up to 2 donations per show (see Concerts below).  Folk Club members are also eligible for the monthly showcase drawings (see Showcase below).  See our Treasurer Al Hobson on Tuesday night or email him at alhobson@verizon.net to become a member.




Performance and Audience Guidelines  (Click on the title to read the document)

Open Mike
Most Tuesday nights, the Folk Club is an open mike format with a sign-up board. There are 14 performer slots and each performer has 8 minutes, which includes set-up time and talking. A $1 donation is suggested to all audience members, to help defray operating costs and use of the room.


If any month contains 5 Tuesdays, the 5th Tuesday is a special, un-amplified, purely acoustic night.  It's an opportunity to get back to the roots of folk music.  Since we first tried it, it has become immensely popular, so come on out and give it a listen.

On one Tuesday of the month (except July and August), the Folk Club hosts a concert featuring a National or Internationally recognized artist.

Getting tickets to Folk Club Concert Events
1. Come to The Folk Club on Tuesday and buy them directly. OR
2. Contact Al Hobson at alhobson@verizon.net to learn if tickets are available. THEN
3. Make out a check to "The Folk Club" in the amount of the tickets you want.
4. Mail it to: Al Hobson, 810 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170
5.  If you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE), the tickets will be mailed to you.  Otherwise, they will be available at the door.

You may request that tickets be reserved in your name and a list will be maintained, however, we do not guarantee a seat unless the ticket is paid for (the concert may sell out before you arrive).


On the second Tuesday of the month (usually), we feature a “Showcase” of a Folk Club member in a 24-minute performance.  On these evenings, there is a drawing for the next month's showcase performer.  Members are eligible to put their name in the hat if it they have not performed a showcase in the past 12 months.



The Folk Club publishes a monthly newsletter and Folk Club members are encouraged to submit performance calendars, classified advertisements, articles, reviews, artwork and other music related items to Ben Hamblin (FolkClubofRestonHerndon@gmail.com). Information should be received one week before the last day of the month in which you want it published. Items will be published on the basis of music related interest, timeliness, and space available.



Monthly functions:

Publicity:  Amy Lowenstein: Publicity.TheFolkClub@yahoo.com


Info: Sue Schier: (703) 435-2402


Bookings: Steve Potter TheFolkClub@yahoo.com

Newsletter Editor: Ben Hamblin: FolkClubofRestonHerndon@gmail.com


Facebook, Folk Club Website, and Newsletter email:  Cheryl Hennessy:  cdh4rhfc@gmail.com




President: Ben Hamblin

In addition to being president for the last several years, Ben has also taken on the monthly Newsletter this past year and he is quite frequently our sound engineer on Tuesday nights.  Retired from federal service, Ben and his wife Gail have so far decided to stay in this area.  He admits that a large part of what keeps him here is his beloved Folk Club. 


Treasurer: Al Hobson

Al is a late-bloomer when it comes to playing music, having only picked up guitar as a hobby after retiring from a successful 41 year career in law enforcement.  He began attending Folk Club in 2016 and very quickly became a regular, falling in love with the music and the very open, accepting, and encouraging atmosphere of the club and its members.  Since joining the club, Al has developed a passion for sound engineering. You can usually find him running the sound board at Folk Club when Ben is not doing it, or putting on House Concerts in his barn loft.






Board Member: Bill Davis

Bill plays the guitar and is the founder of the Guys With Monosyllabic First Names Who Play The Guitar Society – which is so secret it never meets. He has been a Folk Clubber since the last night at the Red Caboose (sometime in 1986 or 1987) so he is very old – but a lot of the songs he sings are older, a lot of the songs he has written are older too. But singing with Pat Chen as Somos el Mar most of the time he is younger than the audience.

Bill writes a lot of his own songs including some that aren’t so bad and some that are so bad. How bad is that?

Bill has been a pilot and flight instructor, IT guy, radio engineer, actor, director, theatre guy.  Think of something – I’m probably interested in it.

Bill shares emcee duties with fellow board members Nancy Truax and Connee Chandler.


Board Member: Ron Goad

What can we say about Ron Goad?  Born in an elevator in Front Royal, Virginia, Ron's had his ups and downs.  Illustrious impresario, prestidigitatious percussionist, and emcee extraordinaire, Ron has been nominated for the WAMMIE award for Most Supportive of Washington Music for 4 consecutive years, winning the honor in 2008 and 2009.

Ron was introduced to the Folk Club by Todd Crowley when asked to sing The Cowardly Lion part in "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz, along with Rex Wood. The trio presented a rough rendition but got lots of applause anyway, so that kept Ron coming back for more.

Prior to The Club, Ron was more accustomed to playing professionally (i.e. - in tuxedos... for real money!).  He thanks the Folk Club and Dan Grove for increasing his appreciation of nonpaying gigs.


Board member: Jim Clark

Jim's mother decided to start Jim's musical journey at age 8 with piano lessons (though his piano teacher told his mom to save her money...).  Notwithstanding, by his mid-teens Jim had become proficient enough to join a pop/jazz septet in high school.

By age 24, after starting law school at Oxford, he decided he needed a hobby, so he bought a banjo and started learning clawhammer technique. After graduation, however, the demands of his new career moved music to the sidelines.  Then in 2001 he decided it was time to kick-start his musical hobby once again, so he took lessons on Celtic guitar, and started attending a local regular Irish session, before discovering and joining the Songwriter's Association of Washington (later serving on the board).

In 2005, having recently joined forces with Jim Johnson as the Harley String Band, he discovered and became attached to the Folk Club at our old, familiar Tortilla Factory haunt.  It was here that he penned his now (locally) famous song about the Folk Club, "They Say it Cost a Dollar", a part-homage/part-lampoon of our good-natured get-togethers, and a few of our more notable (or notorious) regulars.

In May of 2011, Jim assumed the mantle of booking agent from our long-time Folk Club friend and major music fan, Chris "Fang" Kramer-Harnage.  He handed the baton over to Steve Potter in 2016.


Board Member: Cheryl Hennessy

Cheryl was a member and frequent attendee in the late 90s, before moving out of the area.  Over the next decade she had fond memories of the music and good times, and after moving back to the Reston/Herndon area in 2010, she was happy to see that the club was not only still in existence, but thriving!  A big fan of live music, she is still so far just a listener, but hopefully one day will find the time to learn to play that guitar that's been sitting in the corner for 25 years.


Cheryl manages the Folk Club Website, www.restonherndonfolkclub.com; and the Facebook Page, "The Folk Club of Reston-Herndon.  She also mails out the newsletter notification and link each month.





Board Member: Steve Potter

Steve Potter started coming to the Folk Club around 2010.  He plays guitar and harmonica and has been performing in Northern Virginia as a soloist and with other musicians for over 30 years.  Much of the early years were spend playing electric blues & rock, but since 2008 his focus has been on acoustic music.  Steve became the Folk Club booking agent in 2016 and he is using the opportunity to introduce the members and guests to new, sometimes unheard of, acts making great music today.  His goal is to keep the spirit of the past shows alive with a wide variety of acts and genres for the monthly concerts.




Board Member: Nancy Truax

Nancy grew up in East Tennessee, living at various times in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Maryville. She joined the Coast Guard at the age of 21, and enjoyed a long and varied career.  She worked for many years as a Morse Code and voice radio operator and spent the last ten years of her career in the JAG program. She ended her Coast Guard career as a criminal defense attorney, representing Coast Guard members whose court-martial convictions were up on appeal, and continued to do that in retirement, until this past year.

Nancy first came to the Folk Club fifteen or so years ago when she was invited by her neighbor Greg Vickers to join him on a few songs in his showcase. That was the first time she had ever sung into a microphone. There were a few open slots at the end that night. She wasn’t planning on doing anything solo, but she borrowed a guitar and sang a few more songs. It was terrifying, but also the most rewarding experience, and she was hooked!   Nancy shares emcee duties with fellow board members Bill Davis and Connee Chandler.



Board Member: Connee Chandler

Connee Chandler started coming to the Folk Club every week in 2002 with her best friend Kate Hannigan. They were seen anchoring the front corner table by the window for many happy years, not performing but joyfully appreciating. Other friends joined her later, most recently Chet Hall at Amphora. Connee often says, “when I first came to the folk club, I thought this was a place where people loved music. Over time I realized that this is a place where people love musicians!”Connee found her perfect volunteer role as MC, which came naturally since she once spent seven years in Toastmasters, getting over her fear of public speaking.


Connee shares emcee duties with fellow board members Bill Davis and Nancy Truax.







Board Member: TM Hannah 


Board Member: Sue Schier


Board Member: Bill Farrar 










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© The Folk Club of Reston/Herndon, 2005
Created by Armen Karimian