July 27: Nancy and Spencer Reed

The second of this year’s Concerts at the Barn Series at Ramsaysburg features the renown vocalist/bassist Nancy Reed and guitarist Spencer Reed. Artistically consistent and always the consummate professional, Nancy has performed for nearly forty years in a wide variety of settings. Mr. Reed’s resumé is equally impressive. Joined by Ed Ludwig on saxophone and Eliot Sigmund on drums, four decades of jazz collaboration promise an evening full of inventive jazz vocals and instrumentals.

For more about Nancy and Spencer Reed, including complete biographies and music samples, please check their website.

Gates open at 5:00pm and music will start at 6:00. Guests are welcome to arrive early and bring a picnic with beverage of their choice. Please feel free to invite your friends and family! Indoor, outdoor and cabaret seating is available, or bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

There is a suggested donation of $10. Your generosity supports future events. Supported in part by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission under the direction of the Warren County Department of Land Preservation. Knowlton Township Historic Commission is grateful for the continued support of Warren County over the last five years.

June 29: Two String Bands

Knowlton Township Historic Commission’s 2019 Summer Music at the Barn series kicks-off with two great string bands on Saturday, June 29. Gates open at 5:00 and music will start at 6:00. Guests are welcome to arrive early and bring a picnic with beverage of their choice. Please feel free to invite your friends and family! Indoor, outdoor and cabaret seating is available, or bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

The Sycamore Banjo Band will bring a great selection of tunes from the early twentieth century (1900-1940), including jazz tunes, pop standards, and even some western swing. Check their Facebook page for more information.

Consisting of five musicians who play twenty different instruments between them, The Skylands Dulcimer String Band produces a unique dynamic sound that inspires audiences. An offshoot of the Rockaway Dulcimer Club, the group has added Celtic harp, Irish Bouzouki, bowed psaltery, bodhram, tin whistle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and electric bass to an assortment of banjammers, mountain and hammered dulcimers. With a repertoire that includes an eclectic mix of folk, Celtic, Appalachian, classical and classic rock pieces, the band’s sounds transcend and adapt to a wide range of settings. Check the band’s website for more information.

There is a suggested donation of $10. Your generosity supports future events. Supported in part by a grant from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission under the direction of the Warren County Department of Land Preservation. Knowlton Township Historic Commission is grateful for the continued support of Warren County over the last five years.

Memorial Day Community Picnic – Monday, May 27, 2019

Hosted by Knowlton Township Historic Commission (KTHC), the annual Memorial Day Community Picnic will take place on Monday, May 27th, 2019. All are welcome to attend from the community and surrounding region. The event begins at 12:00 noon, rain or shine. The event is FREE with on-site parking available. Donations are welcome – your generosity will help to support future events and endeavors. The event will be held rain or shine. Pets are welcome on a leash.

2019 Memorial Day activities will include: a flag raising ceremony, open table pot-luck picnic, self-guided scenic walks along the interpretive trail and Delaware River; and a two o’clock presentation regarding “The Timber Rafting Era on the Delaware River”.  

Ken Metcalf, member of the Knowlton Township Historic Commission, will give a slide presentation on The Timber Rafting Era on the Delaware River”.  Mr. Metcalf is a Knowlton Township resident and has been researching the Timber Rafting era for the past five years and has previously given this presentation to The Delaware River Sojourn group during their annual paddle down the Delaware River. Mr. Metcalf will cover the history of the Timber Rafting period on the Upper and Lower Delaware River as well as point out other adjacent rivers involvement in this period. The presentation will take place in the barn.  

The community is welcome to enjoy a self-guided hike through Ramsaysburg Homestead’s newly established interpretive trail through a mature forest adjacent to the Homestead. Interpretive signaae highlights the geology and hydrology indigenous to the Delaware River Valley. This trail was dedicated in October 2017 through the accomplishment of Boy Scout Alex Hicks of Belvidere Troop #141 in achieving his Eagle Scout merit.

All are invited to arrive by canoe or kayak. Take a self-guided kayak and canoe journey by floating down the Delaware River from the Columbia, NJ boat launch to the landing at the Ramsaysburg site. The distance between the two points is approximately three miles down-river. River travelers should look for the large brown sign stating “Ramsaysburg – Landing” at marker 204.0 along the left bank (NJ side).

Riverside Fall Festival, October 7, 2018

The Knowlton Township Historic Commission will host the annual “Riverside Fall Festival” at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead on SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

Named for Irish immigrants, James and Adam Ramsay, the 1795 settlement was a key location for trade along the Delaware River. Among the Ramsay brothers’ many ventures was a thriving lumber business. The river launching point where the homestead property now stands served as both a terminus for lumber rafts coming from upriver and for shipping downriver to the ports of Easton and Philadelphia. Prosperous trade continued throughout the early and mid-1800s until the development of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the early 1850s by Warren County native John I. Blair. With the advent of the more economical train transportation, river commerce faded.

The Commission hosts a series of annual events at the Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead, a twelve-acre riverfront property located on Route 46 at Ramseyburg Road. These include the Memorial Day picnic, the Riverside Fall Festival and Christmas in the Country, Plein Air Painting, as well as a series of summer Barn Concerts. An interpretive nature trail is near completion at the site, which also offers car-top launch access to the Delaware River for kayaks and canoes.

2018 Fall Festival activities will include: quilting exhibits, 15th Regiment NJ Volunteers – Company B – Reenactors, lace making, apple tasting, cider making, smokehouse demonstration with Myron Baley’s famous bacon, woodworking exhibitions, and more. Humpty Juniors will be offering tasty, seasonal refreshments. At two o’clock, Chuck Walsh, President of the North Jersey Rail Commuter Association will present a talk and slide presentation, “The Lackawanna Cut-Off and Railroads of Knowlton”. Chuck is a Knowlton Township resident and has been involved in the effort to preserve and reactivate the Cut-Off for over 30 years. He will cover the history of the Cut-Off—which is a rail line that runs from Lake Hopatcong, through Knowlton, to the Delaware Water Gap—and will also bring us up to date on the latest details on NJ Transit’s project to reactivate the line to Andover, NJ, and beyond. In addition, Chuck will touch upon the Cut-Off’s relationship to other rail lines in Knowlton, including a rail line and tunnel that was to have begun at Ramsaysburg that was never built.


July 28: The Bohemian Quartet, 2018

The popular Bohemian Quartet is making their third return to the Concerts in the Barn series. This accomplished ensemble includes violinist Agnes Kwasniewska, violinist/violaist Olga Terlitsky, cellist James Mark Pederson and pianist/harpsichordist Elena Braslavsky playing well-known and hidden gems of the contemporary and earlier classical repertoire. The Quartet will relate the historic background of their music and for this performance will embrace the acoustics of the eighteenth century Ramsaysburg barn.

In a world of fragmentation, the Bohemian Quartet, a multicultural Ensemble (as opposed to “from many cultures”), strives to integrate its audience through music using several means:

    • Playing the widest range of the repertoire (from early XVII to today’s new commission)
    • Connecting to its audience at the essence of humanity (we talk to the audience not only about the historic background of the music we play but also how it affects us)
    • Encouraging contemporary composers to write new music (we will be premiering a newly commissioned piece —an “Homage Sonata to Biber” by Bob Paoli);
    • Helping the audience to find its taste (we prepare a very diverse repertoire)
    • Playing the music we love and believe in (music can only be categorized as good and bad —-we choose to only play the good)
    • Building up the trust in our audience and creating a situation where programing the piece will be enough of a choice for people to say: “Aha, if it is programmed we should hear it (We try to learn about our audience and create the right program for its taste)

Barn doors open at 5pm and seating in the barn is on a first-come, first-served basis. Or bring your own seating.   Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own refreshments and lawn chair/blanket for a picnic in advance of the show. Picnic tables are available. Music begins at 6pm. A suggested donation of $10 helps support future events. The concert will take place rain or shine.

August 26, 2018: Bill Kirchen with Mike Esposito

The celebrated Titan of the Telecaster, Bill Kirchen, will inaugurate the Ramsaysburg Homestead Riverside Amphitheater with a solo performance on Sunday, August 26 at 3:15pm. Mike Esposito, master of the resonator guitar, will perform at 2:30.
Bill Kirchen is no stranger to Knowlton Township, having performed at Riverfest six times!

Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen first gained national recognition as a founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. His trademark guitar licks drove their Hot Rod Lincoln cut into the Top Ten in 1972. He has released ten CDs on his own, and recorded and/or played guitar live with a who’s who of Americana and Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, among them Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.

Bill is an architect of what is now known as Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll and Americana, and still continues to be one of its most active proponents, playing, writing and performing throughout the world. Named a “Titan of the Telecaster” by Guitar Player Magazine, he celebrates a musical tradition that embraces rock ‘n’ roll, blues and bluegrass, Texas Western swing and California honky-tonk.

Bill received his Grammy nomination in 2001. A winner of multiple Wammies over the years, in 2002 he was one of three artists inducted into the Washington D.C. Area Music Association Hall of Fame along with Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Philip Sousa.Nick Lowe describes Bill as “… a devastating culmination of the elegant and funky… a really sensational musician, with enormous depth.”

In demand on the lecture circuit, he has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC as part of the “Electrified, Amplified and Deified – The Electric Guitar” exhibition and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was interviewed on the national TV special “Yesterday and Today: Honky Tonk & Western Swing” at the Broken Spoke in Austin, TX, where he performed along with Hank Thompson, Doug Sahm, Don Walser and more. Bill was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Elvis Presley in Memphis and currently finds time to lead workshops and instruct at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch and the Augusta Heritage Center.

Justly famous for his indelible Telecaster sound, Bill Kirchen has been everywhere over the span of a 40-plus-year career: he was a founding member of the legendary Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen; he released eight critically acclaimed solo albums; he toured internationally with Nick Lowe and has performed with Doug Sahm, Gene Vincent, Elvis Costello, Dan Hicks, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby and Link Wray.

Now living in Austin Texas, Bill maintains his rigorous and far-reaching tour schedule and also teaches at Augusta Heritage Center, Centrum Voiceworks and Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch.

Artist Website: www.billkirchen.com

To many, Mike Esposito is one of the finest country/blues guitarists to be found anywhere, especially with his exquisite touch on the Dobro and National Steel resonator guitars.

A New Jersey native and resident, Mike  is unique in the world of American roots music; his live shows are a virtual panorama of this country’s musical tradition. It’s blues, it’s bluegrass, country, rhythm & blues, rock n’ roll, Appalachian folk, New Orleans jazz and even a little bebop for good measure. A virtuoso performer on bottleneck slide, Dobro, lap steel, acoustic and electric six-string guitar and even electric bass and ukulele, Mike could easily adopt a swaggering air of braggadocio, the blues man’s traditional stock in trade, yet he remains a humble man, quietly exuding confidence in his talent and abilities. With interest in American roots music at an all-time high, guitar ace Mike Esposito, as a solo act and with his band, is a unique and talented performer who will be impressing his loyal followers for years to come with feats of instrumental and vocal virtuosity.

The new Riverside Amphitheater at Ramsaysburg.

The Riverside Amphitheater is positioned under a canopy of trees between the historic barn and the Delaware River. It was recently developed by members of the Knowlton Township Historic Commission with help from Ramsaysburg Historic Homestead supporters.   This beautiful setting is available for concerts, weddings and community events. The Sunday, August 26th concert with Bill Kirchen will debut the use of the Riverside Amphitheater.

Drum Circle to Welcome the Summer Solstice: June 22, 2018

“Aduna” (The Tree of Life) group will  hold a drum circle to unite people and listen to the healing rhythms of West Africa: Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Ivory Coast .

The event will be hosted by Laura Dempsey, lead drummer, Shelley Janes, lead drummer, Lori Gold, back up drummer, and guests.
Some of the instruments we will perform with are Djembe, Djun Djun, Congas.
The group is always growing, changing, learning, studying the vast rhythms of Africa.
Drum circles are a unique experience, healing of the soul, lots of fun, and a great way to unite people.

All are welcome. No experience is necessary to come and join us at 6pm in the barn.