2010 – 2011 Concerts & Events

Note: This is a previous season concert. The current season is 2019-2020.

Mark Stepakoff

Mark Stepakoff


Time & Place
Saturday, February 19, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
General Admission $16
Seniors, Military & Students w/ID $13
TFFM Members $12
Children 7–17 w/paying adult 1/2 price
Children under 7 free

With three acclaimed CDs and a host of songwriting awards, Boston-based singer-songwriter Mark Stepakoff is widely regarded as one of the area's sharpest songwriting talents. The many awards bestowed upon him over the past few years include 1st Prize in both the Great American Song Contest and American Songwriter magazine's lyric contest; he is also a three-time finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition, was a semi-finalist in the folk/singer-songwriter category in this year's International Songwriting Competition and received honorable mention in the folk music category in this year's John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Mark's debut album, Amateur Hour, was released in 2002 to strong reviews and hit the national folk airplay charts. Based on the strength of Amateur Hour and Mark's live performances, long-time Boston indi-music journal The Noise dubbed him "Boston's biggest songwriting secret" and selected him as one of the cities top 10 unknown or under-known acts.

The follow-up to Amateur Hour, There Goes The Neighborhood, was released in 2005 and hit number 21 on the national Folk-DJ radio airplay chart. Among the musicians backing Mark on the CD were guitar legend Duke Levine and acclaimed performers Mark Erelli and Jake Armerding. The CD generated enthusiastic reviews from numerous publications, including Performing Songwriter magazine, which called it "unbeatably original" and designated it one of its top 10 monthly DIY selections.

In 2009 Mark released his 3rd album, Some Assembly Required, featuring 11 new songs and backing from some of the finest musicians on the Boston scene, including Duke Levine fiddle, Joyce Andersen, and Sean Staples and Paul Kochanski of the Resophonics. Like There Goes The Neighborhood, Some Assembly Required was co-produced by Mark with Tom Eaton. The CD drew comparisons to the work of artists such as John Prine and Steve Earle, and spent a total of four months on the national folk airplay charts. Six separate tracks from the CD have received songwriting awards from, respectively, the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the USA Songwriting Competition, the International Songwriting Competition, the Great American Song Contest, American Songwriter magazine, and the Dallas Songwriters Association.

Opening: Ron Ireland

Opening: Ron Ireland

Ron Ireland is a singer-songwriter from Virginia Beach. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, a long time ago and started making music as a young man, playing tenor and alto sax, but when he found an old Silvertone guitar with three strings and taught himself to play, his attention turned to folk music. He started writing songs in the late 1960s but the necessities of life interrupted his music until 2007 when his son, a New York musician, told him, "Some of your songs aren't too bad." After receiving that high praise, Ron picked up his resonator guitar and started writing and performing again. His most recent live performances have been at Mason Dixon, and Piano’s in NYC, and Musica in Hudson, NY. Ron has also performed twice at Tidewater Friends of Folk Music concerts in 2009 and 2010.

Ron’s debut CD, "Resonator Ghost — Live," released in 2010, was recorded live at a benefit concert sponsored by the Tidewater Friends of Folk Music in December 2009. All songs on the CD are originals written by Ron himself and performed by Ron (vocals and guitar) and David Santacruz (guitar). It's all acoustic, it's all memorable. If you like the feel of a house concert or a small folk music venue, you'll like this CD.

Ron has a unique, recognizable voice that is brilliant in its interpretation and phrasing. He is also a super-fine fingerpicking-style guitarist whose musical range is astounding. His songs range from hauntingly beautiful — to heartbreakingly sad — to quirky and humorous. His lyrics are often punctuated by literary references and jokes, and his bridges and changes are beautiful and surprising. Ron says in his description of the CD that his songs feature "a touch of country, a little blues, a pinch of rockabilly, and some old fashioned finger picking folk songs." In addition to guitar and tenor sax, Ron also plays mandolin, harmonica and keyboard.

It's not fair to compare artists to one another, but this needs to be said: "If you like John Fahey, you will love Ron Ireland's music."