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Americana with Gordon Thomas Ward and Caroline Cotter

October 4, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Preservation New Jersey welcomes Gordon Thomas Ward back to the 1867 Sanctuary with singer-songwriter Caroline Cotter for an evening of Americana.

“I’ve got roots that go deep and grow deeper the more I leave my home,” Caroline Cotter sings in the title cut of the sparkling Home on the River, the second full-length major release from the sweetly expressive Americana artist who has found a true home on the road and on diverse musical stages throughout the world. Co-produced by Cotter and Jeff Oehler of Beehive Productions and recorded in scenic Saranac Lake, New York, as well as in Kansas City, MO, “Home on the River” emphasizes both the freedom of wanderlust and a sense of place. The album features 9 original songs plus Cotter’s hauntingly lovely a capella version of Woody Guthrie’s “My Peace”.

Opening “Home on the River” is “Peace of Mind,” a declaration of Cotter’s aspirations, both personally and professionally. “I’ve talked with many people who see the goal of a music career to be wealth and fame,” she says, “but when I thought about it and really dug deep, I realized that everything I’m doing is to move forward with peace of mind. I’m taking the focus off of material wealth and recognizing that none of it matters if you don’t have peace of mind.”

From poignant reflections about her parents (“When I Think of You” and “Hey Mama”) and grandparents (“1 4 3,” which is based on the numbers of letters in the phrase, “I love you”) to the title cut, “Home on the River” stands on a solid ground with a view both inward at the self and outward to the world. Brought to life by vivid, thoughtful lyrics and Cotter’s honeyed soprano, the tunes are lightly tinged with raw emotion and brimming with honest, soul-searching expression. “My music is my honest expression of myself, reaching out to a world who I hope to connect with. There are a few songs that are one take, live with the band. No separations in the studio, just live in one room with bass, drums, electric guitar and me.”

“Home on the River” is the follow-up to Cotter’s acclaimed 2015 debut, “Dreaming as I Do”, which reached No. 5 on the Folk DJ chart. Since that time, Cotter has played over 200 shows per year in such prestigious venues as Boston’s Club Passim and the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon, Florida’s 30A Songwriters Festival, Alaska’s Salmonfest and New York’s legendary Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Along the way, she has shared stages with musicians Loudon Wainwright III, David Wilcox and Dan Bern, was selected for the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in New York and was one of four finalists in the 2018 Freshgrass/No Depression Songwriter of the Year Awards.

“American folk music filled our house, and was sung as lullabies to me,” Cotter says of her earliest musical inspirations, which inform her own body of work. “I remember as young as 3 sitting in the living room by myself, working the record player while sitting on the piano stool plunking out notes from the George Winston, Beach Boys, or Beatles record I was listening to. My favorite was Magical Mystery Tour.”

Over the past 15 years, Cotter’s magical, musical tour has consisted of living in and traveling to 34 countries on five continents. While writing and recording her first album, she spent time working for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in Portland, Maine, as well as teaching yoga throughout the city and at camps, conferences and retreats. Prior to living in Maine, Cotter worked in International Education in Portugal, Spain and Thailand, studied yoga in India, and traveled and studied in South America.

Caroline Cotter grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended college in Maine before setting off on what has become a global quest for adventure and education set to music and she’s not slowing down anytime soon. Since her 2015 release, Cotter has played over 700 shows in 45 states and 13 countries. In 2019 she continues to tour throughout the United States and Europe in support of the release of “Home on the River”.

“The real thread [of ‘Home On The River’] is the peace with being on a journey and carrying my home with me, rather than finding comfort from home in the traditional sense.”

Gordon Thomas Ward is a full-time, GRAMMY-ballotted musician, author, and presenter. He currently lives in Maine and tours primarily in the northeastern United States. Information about his music, concerts, books, and presentations, can be found at www.gordonthomasward.com.

As a touring, celebrated singer-songwriter at festivals and venues, Gordon’s songs have ranked in the Top 10 of the Euro Indie Chart and Top 50 Adult Contemporary Airplay Chart. His record Providence was on the GRAMMY ballot for Best Americana Album for 2019.

Mindy McCall of No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music writes, “[Providence] will likely end 2018 as one of the year’s finest singer/songwriter efforts.”

Lee Zimmerman of Goldmine magazine says, “Few make as immediate and impassioned an impact as Gordon Thomas Ward manages to do on his new album, simply entitled Providence… Evoking a heartfelt sound reminiscent of Dan Fogelberg in particular.”

Furthermore, as a noted author of four books and presenter, his topics include those on history, ghosts, and inspirational topics. His programs are perfect for artist-in-residence programs for libraries, museums, conferences, schools, colleges, houses of worship, and community groups. A former FM radio deejay, Gordon will be soon hosting a podcast called An Artist’s View.

Album: Providence released August 2018
Album: Welcome to the Past released 2013
Single: “Trees” released 2018 and has been featured on the documentary film Under the Great Oak, which is due to be released in 2019.
Single: “The Boys of ’17” released 2018 and has been endorsed by The United States World War One Centennial Commission in Washington, D.C.
Single: “How Many More?,” released in 2016, is my song about gun violence prevention, which is included on my new record Providence, and was featured at the National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., last December. It was also featured at a Concert Across America to End Gun Violence in October of 2016 and October 2018.

Life on the Shoulder: Rediscovery and Inspiration along the Lewis and Clark Trail
A Bit of Earth
Ghosts of Central Jersey
Tracing Infinity: Bridging the Gap between Earth and Heaven

Welcome to the Past
Gateways to History
Rediscovery and Inspiration along the Lewis and Clark Trail
God and Angels on the Lewis and Clark Trail
Tracing Infinity: Following Evidence of God in Our Lives
Ghosts: What They Are and How to Investigate Them
Historic Haunts of Central Jersey
Ghosts I’ve Come to Know

Wheelchair accessibleThe 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center is wheelchair-accessible through a wheelchair ramp through the gate on the left side of the building. All parking is across the street in the Ewing Presbyterian Church lots, including an inner ring across the street for disabled parking. Passengers may be dropped off at the curb directly in front of the main entrance; please use your hazard flashers when stopped there. Concert parking is recommended in the north lot (by the field closest to I-295). For your safety, please cross at the marked crosswalk and press the yellow button to activate flashers.

To Purchase Tickets

  • $20 for General Admission
  • $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary
  • $5 for School and College students with ID
  • $15 per person for Groups of 10 or more**

Tickets can be purchased online or reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing 1867sanctuary@preservationnj.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows. (Sorry – we don’t mail tickets. Tickets will be held at the box office and a receipt will be emailed from PayPal if purchased online.)

**GROUP RATES (10 or more people). Group rates apply only to advance online sales and must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rate tickets cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert.

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For only $30.00 per year ($50.00 for families), members of the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary receive  $5 off our General Admission concert tickets for ALL of 2019!


October 4, 2019
8:00 pm
Event Category:


1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
101 Scotch Road + Google Map