Show poster designed by Swamp Yankee

A pair of the region’s top singer-songwriters are coming to the renowned Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Providence Saturday, February 26. Allysen Callery and Avi Jacob are dual headlining a 7PM show at the Music Mansion, the current home of Stone Soup, at 88 Meeting Street on the East Side of Providence.

It’s the first show in several months for the state’s longest-running coffeehouse that has hosted artists as diverse as Dar Williams, The Low Anthem, and Pete Seeger. Established in 1981, Stone Soup has shifted venues more than once over the years, with concerts now being held at the Mansion on College Hill. 

I spoke to both performers last week ahead of the show and picked up on an overriding theme … it’s good to get back to playing live shows.

“It’s such an incredible honor to be able to play such a venerable establishment such as Stone Soup coffeehouse, they’ve been around since before I even started playing guitar,” said Callery. “I’ve been the opener a few times over the years, but this is my first concert where I get to be the main act, co-billing the night with Avi Jacob who is amazing. I’m very excited to share his talent with my listeners.”

Like many performing artists, the Bristol, RI resident saw her touring schedule pretty much disappear during the pandemic.

“I went from playing eight shows a month, down to one or two online shows per month,” she explained. “It was kind of fun at first, but nothing compares to playing music live and being able to share in the experience with others in the audience. There’s a special magic that happens in these rooms, and you can’t get that from a computer screen.”

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Callery occupies a distinct place in the folk singer-songwriter stratosphere. She’s often labelled a “whisperer,” and excels in a sub-genre dubbed “ghost folk,” also the title of her latest album, released on Halloween in 2020. The album showcases the evolution of her sound, rooted in traditional British Isle Folk, but fresh and innovative, full of songs that enchant the listener.  

“I released my latest record Ghost Folk during the height of the pandemic, so I’m considering this my record release show,” remarked Callery. Check out her full catalog on Bandcamp here.

For his part, Avi Jacob is also excited to play Stone Soup “my first indoor show since March 7, 2020,” he noted. Jacob had previously toured nationally and opened for Dr. John, among others.

Jacob is best known for his confessional songwriting, which has won the attention of national music publications including American Songwriter. He’s one of the most honest artists you’ll come across, baring his soul in his music. His 2020 EP Preservation is a good introduction – click here for a listen.

Jacob is currently working on an upcoming release and has posted a song “New England Woman,” available on his Bandcamp site here.

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A few seats remain for the show, click here for details.

And remember, at Stone Soup, “the cups go in the kitchen, the chairs go against the wall.”

Upcoming shows at Stone Soup Coffeehouse:

March 26: Pamela Means

April 30th: The Revenants

May 21st: Pete Silva and Paula Clare, Corinne Wahlberg opening

Click here for further information.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.