Geoff Bartley appreciation night at The Cantab in Cambridge

Bluegrass folks in and around Boston have a real treat in store on May 10, as do grassers all over the world with an internet connection, when The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA hosts a special edition of Bluegrass Tuesdays in the form of a Geoff Bartley appreciation night tomorrow evening.

Geoff was the original host of this Tuesday Beantown tradition, lasting for 27 years until the pandemic shutdowns forced its demise. His hard work and dedication to keeping bluegrass active at The Cantab has been a big part of its ongoing success, and though Tony Watt has since taken over management of Bluegrass Tuesdays since The Cantab reopened, all of the local bluegrass community feels a deep debt of gratitude to Bartley.

So with Geoff returning tomorrow to join the proceedings, Tony has put a big show together in his honor. Boston’s top traditional bluegrass band, The Reunion Band, featuring Richard Brown on mandolin, BB Bowness on banjo, and Laura Orshaw on fiddle, will perform for the first time in two years, as will Bartley’s group, The Wabash Cannibals.

Given the historic nature of the evening’s entertainment, and a sincere desire to recognize Geoff for his many years of hard work promoting bluegrass, Watt will also be live-streaming the show on Facebook. Bluegrass Tuesdays have always had an unpredictable sense of spontaneity, with guest pickers showing up without notice, and Tony says that there are a number of surprises in the works for tomorrow night as well.

Everything starts at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, and as The Cantab is not a large venue, Bostonians who would like to get a seat are encouraged to come early. The rest of us can simply RSVP for Tony’s Bluegrass Tuesdays Facebook Event, and you will get a notification when it goes live.

Over the years, thousands of people who went to college in Boston spent time enjoying the bluegrass music and jamming at The Cantab, but have since left the region for work or family reasons. Here is a great opportunity to relive the experience virtually, and see Geoff Bartley back on the stage.

Here’s the lineup for the next few weeks as well:

  • May 17 – Andy Reiner & Better Gnomes and Gardens (G Rockwell’s Jam opens)
  • May 24 – The Ruta Beggars (The New Grown-Ups open)
  • May 31 – Josh “Jug” Rinkel of The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (The Splinters open)
  • June 7 – Andy Cambria & Friends (Deviant Folk opens)

You can always find details about Bluegrass Tuesdays at The Cantab Lounge online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.