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
become a member.
FOLK CLUB FEATURES:
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
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
2. Contact Al Hobson at email@example.com 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
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
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 6 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.
Club Website, and Newsletter email:
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.
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.
Sue was introduced to folk music by the Weavers at Carnegie Hall
albums. A few years later she went to see Joan Baez, and Joan pushed
some kid from the East Village with a squeaky voice onto the stage
(they were annoyed at first, but the fellow had some catchy lyrics.)
She joined the Folk Club in 1992 to reconnect with her musical roots
after 20 years overseas with the State Department (where she is now
an HR Program Manager). As Sue says about the Folk Club, “I really
started to connect after my first camp-out. It has
become a second family.
Sue enjoys spending time with her daughter Amanda and
family and her friend Doug in White Stone by the Rappahannock and
volunteering in the community.
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
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.
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.
found the Folk Club in August '02 when he happened upon old friends
Fang and Harny (Chris and Ken Harnage) while eating dinner at the
Tortilla Factory on the night of their Showcase performance.
After visiting on Tuesday evenings for a month or so, he decided
this was a fun place to hang out, and joined The
Club. For several years, Bob served as the editor of the monthly newsletter and also maintained the website
for The Club. He is now taking a well-deserved break.
Bob performs occasionally at Tuesday night open mikes on one of his
collection of guitars. He has worked in the computer field for
the past 30 years, and is currently Director of IT for a local technology firm. When not playing his guitar at home in the evening, he
enjoys bicycling; watching movies, the Science Channel and the
Boston Red Sox; and playing the occasional round of golf.
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
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.
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.
You can see from the photo why she's so busy these
days. Grandkids Skylar and Jackson call her "Mom" and are
regulars at Folk Club. Jackson recently made his debut onstage
and is learning to play the ukelele and guitar, thanks to a few
special folk club family members. Cheryl often tells
people that "It takes a village to raise a child... and The Folk
Club is our village."
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
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
Board Member: Nancy Truax
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
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
Connee shares emcee duties with fellow board
members Bill Davis and Nancy Truax.
Board Member: Bill
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