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Folk music folks will make joyous noise

Folk music fans, who like their songs adorned with an acoustic accompaniment, will be able to hear some top regional acts at two venues this weekend. As an added feature, both concerts will offer open mike sessions to give budding area musicians a chance to perform.

James Hawkins of Sarasota and Tom Stephens of St. Petersburg will be the featured performers tonight at the Woodview Coffee House. Hawkins and Stephens perform together as Cold Harbor.

Hawkins is a Sarasota songwriter, known in the folk community for his haunting lyrics and melody in songs such as Swept Away. He has performed at numerous statewide folk festivals including the local Will McLean Festival. His songs have been recorded by numerous Florida artists. Stephens grew up in East Texas and has performed country blues and original songs across the South.

The coffeehouse is at 2628 Woodview Lane in Lecanto off County Road 491 south of Beverly Hills. The venue is the Fellowship Hall of Unity Church of Citrus County. Doors open at 7 p.m. and open mike performers will perform first. Cold Harbor will take the stage around 8:30 p.m. There is a $3 per person donation at the door. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks are available.

In January, the coffeehouse will ask that audience members bring dry or canned food items for donation to a local food bank. Each guest who brings an item will receive a free coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

On Feb. 4, Woodview will feature Doug Travers and Ellie Daulton, a folk music duo from Lutz. On March 4, multi-instrumentalist Charley Groth will be the featured act. For more information, contact Jim Davis at 726-9814.

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The second folk concert will be the Sunday Sampler concert series at the Dunnellon Lions Club on Walnut Street and Cedar Street (State Road 40 W), one block from the library in Dunnellon.

The featured act, Patchwork, is a band of five women who play original Florida folk, country and bluegrass, '40s swing and rhythm and blues, all on acoustic instruments.

Patchwork is Tammy Murray (banjo and fiddle); Janet Rucker (guitar, piano, bass and banjo); Cathy DeWitt (piano, guitar and vocals); Barbara Johnson (bass); and Jolene Stone Jones (vocals).

Patchwork has performed at many local venues and at area festivals such as the Gamble Rogers Festival in St. Augustine, the Will McLean Festival in Dade City, and the Florida Folk festival in White Springs.

Music begins at 2:30 p.m., continues until 4:45 p.m. and admission is $8. Complimentary refreshments served at intermission. After the concert, there will be an open mike. For more information call (325) 489-3766.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus County. Call 860-7313 or e-mail