Indy Folk Series 

David Mallett
Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, 615 W. 43rd St.
Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m., $15, all-ages
www.indyfolkseries.org

The Indy Folk Series started in September 2001, when regional performer Banjer Dan and local acts Brett Terrell and Juliette Nehring performed a show at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (UUI) at a time when healing was most needed.

“It started right after Sept. 11,” says co-organizer Dan Henkel. “[Prior to then] we got an e-mail from an itinerant banjo player, Banjer Dan, looking for someplace to play, so we booked him. After Sept. 11, we thought, ‘Can we go ahead with a concert after this tragedy?’ And we felt the healing power of music, its ability to bring people together.”

Ever since, the series has brought a wide array of acts to Indianapolis several times a year, changing form and genre almost every time. The series has even resulted in two live albums, by Bittersweet and Briars and Hogeye Navvy. Henkel (of Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship) and Janet McCabe (of UUI) organize the ongoing events.

“Artists love the room; they feel people giving back to them,” Henkel says. “It’s a circular flow. It feels like a coffeehouse in the old days. We’re really trying to be a forum for local and regional acts, and we bring in some national acts that haven’t played here. We almost never repeat acts. We want to introduce people to new and different acts.”

Next up is storyteller/musical poet David Mallett, best known for “The Garden Song,” performing April 21.

“He has such powerful songs of time and place,” Henkel says. “He chronicles life. They’re just deeply evocative songs.”

The next show will feature Central Indiana’s Blackberry Jam on Saturday, May 19.

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