Jon Brooks, with Fred Gillen, Jr.
- Common Ground Coffeehouse at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester, Hastings-on-Hudson NY
"Steve and Cindy have hit on a combination that consistently produces high quality recordings and entertaining stage shows. Their voices and their styles meld seamlessly with a gentleness and a maturity that is unmatched in the world of folk duos."
-- Matt Watroba, Sing Out Magazine
Steve and Cindy have been performing together for over 20 years, bringing together their love of traditional music and their wealth of original songs. Accompanying themselves with guitars and concertinas, their live performances are known for rich harmony, compelling songs and a good dose of humor. Their five duet albums have appeared on many folk Top Ten lists, from the WFMT Midnight Special (Chicago) to The Boston Globe.
Steve Gillette has been writing songs since the 1960's. His songs have been covered by Ian and Sylvia, John Denver, Garth Brooks, Linda Ronstadt, Tammy Wynette, and many others. But Steve's own versions are some of the best, with his warm baritone voice and his unique finger-picking guitar style (using a flat-pick and two fingers). Steve has many solo and duo (with Cindy Mangsen) recordings available. His solo album, Texas and Tennessee, was named one of the Top Ten Folk Albums of the Year by Tower Records. Steve has conducted songwriting workshops all over the US and Canada, and is on the Board of Directors of the Kerrville Folk Festival. He is author of the book Songwriting and the Creative Process, a standard text in songwriting groups.
Cindy Mangsen is "one of the finest singers in American folk music" (Come for to Sing). Accompanying herself on guitar, banjo, concertina, or mountain dulcimer, Cindy is known for her compelling interpretations of traditional ballads, as well as for her own writing and her wonderful ear for harmony. She has recorded several solo albums (Songs of Experience received the Editor's Choice Award from Crossroads), as well as collaborations with Steve Gillette, Priscilla Herdman, Anne Hills, and Michael Smith. Her latest solo album, Cat Tales, is devoted to "songs of the feline persuasion." Cindy has led singing and ballad workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia and The Woods in Ontario, Canada.
Common Ground Community Concerts is a grassroots music production and event planning organization based in Westchester County NY. For the past 13 years, Common Ground has produced its flagship Common Ground Coffeehouse series, sponsored by (and hosted by) The First Unitarian Society of Westchester, in Hastings-on-Hudson NY.