Tret Fure’s award winning career spans over 48 years, including such honors as winning the South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2 out of 3 categories, the prestigious Jane Schliessman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Music, the Janine C Rae Award for her work in Women’s Music, and the “Pride In The Arts Favorite Female/Lesbian Musician”. Last year Tret took second place in the “Musicians United To Protect Bristol Bay” song contest with her song “The Fishermen of Bristol Bay” from her 15th CD “Rembrandt Afternoons”. Her song “Freedom” from the same album has been arranged for choir and is being performed in numerous choruses and choirs across the country. In addition to concerts, Fure also performs special music and “Sermon as Song” in UU and other churches across the country. She markets of her own line of clothing named after her popular song “Tomboy girl” and, while not on the road, Tret teaches guitar and songwriting individually and in workshop settings. An accomplished cook, Fure has also published a cookbook, “Tret’s Kitchen”. Plus, she paints pet portraits on commission! Along with bridging the marketing, production, music and art worlds, Tret served for 6 years as President of Local 1000, The Traveling Musicians Association–a union geared toward helping traveling musicians find security and longevity.
Crys Matthews is nothing if not ambitious. In August, the North Carolina native turned Virginia resident simultaneously released both a new full-length album, The Imagineers and an EP, Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers. These collections showcase two sides of Matthews’ dynamic songwriting; The Imagineers is a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life while Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers tackles social justice themes. Songs from both projects have already won her recognition and awards. She was one of ten finalists (from a pool of 5,000) in this year’s NewSong Music Competition and, after performing at Lincoln Center on November 30th, she was named grand-prize winner. Matthews also won the People Music Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, and was selected as an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International in February.
Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies and punctuated by honest, original lyrics. Having been compared to everyone from Toshi Reagon to Tracy Chapman to Ruthie Foster, Matthews’ eclectic infusion of genres has won her honorable mentions at the 2013 and 2014 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and extensive radio play from Woman of Substance radio to WTJU-Charlottesville and WMRA-Harrisonburg to KBOO-Portland. Matthews has shared stages with Melissa Ferrick, Chris Pureka and Liz Longley, as well as several regional artists such as Owen Danoff, Eliot Bronson, and Heather Mae.
Equally at home in an acoustic listening room as she is on stage at large music festivals, Matthews has quickly gathered a loyal following on the east coast playing such prestigious venues as The Birchmere, The Hamilton, and Jammin’ Java. Matthews’ festival and showcase roster has included BMI’s Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, the 40th Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Folk Alliance International, 30A Songwriters Festival, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and many more.
A prolific lyricist and composer, Matthews has found inspiration in her surroundings; from driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the compelling and heart-breaking love story of Richard and Mildred Loving. Thoughtful, realistic and emotional, Matthews’ songs speak to the voice of our generation and remind us why music indeed soothes the soul.
Heather Mae was once just a ukulele-playing folk singer but after recovering from vocal nodules – which left her unable to sing for two years – she is stretching the limits of her music and her voice. Her newest EP, entitled “I AM ENOUGH”, is a collection of five anthemic songs that encourage the listener to search for the best version of themselves, while also shaking their hips to a new wave of pop – think Tegan & Sara, meets Sara Bareilles, meets the vocal tenacity of Etta James. Dubbed “the new queer Adele” by L-Mag, Heather Mae is using her music to shed light on issues not often heard in pop music, such as body positivity, racial justice, and LGBTQ rights. Heather Mae won the 2017 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriter Showcase and has opened for acclaimed musical artists such as Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), Holly Near, Tom Goss, and Danielle Ate the Sandwich.