Folk duo at Mendelssohn Nov. 17

Charlotte’s Web brings nationally acclaimed Mustard’s Retreat to Mendelssohn stage

Mustard’s Retreat, a nationally acclaimed folk duo, is making its Web debut at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St. Help us welcome David Tamulevich and Michael Hough as they celebrate 31 years as Mustard’s Retreat, performing “Music to cure what ails you.”

They have a long history as audience pleasers. Whether singing their own gentle love songs and vivid ballads, telling tall tales or offering treasures from America’s vast traditional song bag, a Mustard’s Retreat show always feels like it’s designed for the people who have come to see them that day. Spike Barkin, who produces the prestigious Roots of American Music Festival at New York City’s Lincoln Center, thanked them for their “folk from the heart,” saying it seemed like David and Michael “take your living room on the road with you and invite people in as friends.”

Michael and David met in 1974, in Ann Arbor, Mich., where they had attended the University of Michigan. They got together plunking guitars and singing folk songs with their friends. They also worked as cooks in the Brown Jug Café. They first sang together at the Ark coffeehouse in Ann Arbor, and once they discovered their love of folk music, worked up three songs and took them to the club. They were immediately asked for a showcase night, and within a couple months, were the “house band” at a local coffeehouse. The group’s name comes from a musical friend named Nancy Mustard.

In 1980, they both settled into family lives and other careers, but audiences called for them. They also began playing more children’s and family shows. Through the years, they have released eight records, including an often hilarious live CD called 5 Miles or 50,000 Years, and a warmly reflective set of original songs called Wind and the Crickets.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; The Postal Shoppe, Edgebrook Center, 397-7301 and 2205 S. Perryville, 484-0940; The Kilt & Clover, 1314 N. Main St., 962-5458; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue

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