The FolksTogether Homepage

Just added, more Pix

from Jeff Olson Benefit

Visit our new PILGRIMS page. Includes lyrics and background information..

CD Review

New cuts from PILGRIMS

at myspace.com

Purchase PILGRIMS at

American Acoustic Music... Contemporary & Classic

Click on photos to email the individual members of FolksTogether

Photos by Al Tetreault - Watercolor by Barbara Kemper

Rick Bellaire


Donna Olson

John Dunn

Vincent Pasternak

Jeff Olson

FolksNotes: Updated October 2008
WE have just added new photos from the Jeff Olson Benefit concert (Thanks to Val Ottone for the new pix and Kari Tieger for the first batch) Special thanks to everyone who took part in the benefit for Jeff Olson. Jeff is doing much better and should be back performing soon.
CD Review "Pilgrims" from the August 16, 2006 edition of Motif Magazine

in the groove
FolksTogether's 'Pilgrims' shows experience
By: Don DiMuccio

In this post-modern world of fast-cut music videos, short attention spans and airwaves consumed overwhelmingly with drivel, it's quite jarring to hear music the likes of that found on Pilgrims, the new release from Rick Bellaire's project FolksTogether. With so many bands focusing their career concentrations on image and swagger, these superb performers give a much-needed reminder that it really should be all about the song. In the same way The Band served a similar admonition to a multi-colored, psychedelic rabble of the late 1960s, FolksTogether write, perform, and record the kind of music that not only entertains the ears but also dazzles and heals the soul. The composing acumen of this outfit is by no means an accident of chance, but rather the coming together of some of the area's top seasoned songwriters. Rick Bellaire (vocals, guitars, banjo) and John Dunn (vocals, bass) have made a name for themselves over the years as a successful and appropriately titled acoustic duo Bellaire & Dunn. Along with Rick's wife Carleen Machado, these members of both the Rhode Island and Nashville Songwriters Association contribute their writing skills to much of FolksTogether's original material. Another resident literary, Vincent Pasternak adds violin, mandolin, and vocals, as well as writing credit on three of the disc's fifteen tracks. Rounding out FolksTogether is the spousal team of Jeff & Donna Olson, the latter possessing a uniquely gifted voice, lending it to five songs on Pilgrims. With all the talk of the group's songwriting prowess, it should be noted that FolksTogether are certainly not above throwing a cover into the mix, and with the disc's first song "Wasn't Born To Follow," the quintet did just that. The Gerry Goffin & Carole King track originally appeared on King's first solo album in 1968, though is probably best remembered for its immortalization by The Byrds in the classic film Easy Rider. It is that version that Bellaire and the troop align themselves with, and thus set the mood for what's about to unfold in this rootsy, acoustic opus. The repeated refrain of the CD's third track "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" guilefully sums up my feelings on the kind of music these five artisans put forth. Another highlight, "Texas Tonight" is a bit of tongue-in-cheek lamentation over the author's desire to be a cowboy, when reality places him deep in the heart of Yankee territory: "I was born a wannabe cowboy in the city of Chester, PA ­ But Bill Haley hopped on his comet and the skies are all cloudy all day..I listen to Gene Autry records over & over each day... I wish I was born down in Texas where the weather is sunny and bright - There's nothing wrong with an old cowboy song ­ But I'm a long way from Texas tonight." As their liner notes boast, "With the exception of the bass guitar, only acoustic instruments were used". This statement serves as more than simply the want of five talented musicians, but rather it cuts right to the very heart of what FolksTogether represent. The fusing of roots, country, rock, and folk is their calling card and like the legendary mavens who came before with names of Parsons, Dylan, Seeger, et al, FolksTogether always make it about the song.

You can buy copies of "Pilgrims" and our previous release "Looking Back" by clicking on the Woodstock CD link below...


Who is FolksTogether?

Click on photos for bios of the members of FolksTogether

Rick Bellaire:

Vocals, Guitar.Mandolin, Banjo Percussion

John Dunn:

Vocals, bass guitar, guitar

Donna Olson

Vocals, Percussion

 Jeff Olson

Vocals. Acoustic Guitars, Percussion

 Vincent Pasternak

Vocals, Violin and Viola. Mandolin. Classical Guitar

The above photos were taken at our last performance at the Hardware Cafe in Merion, MA by our good friend and number one fan, Barbara Kemper. The Hardware Cafe was a very unusual venue. It was part hardware store, part ice cream parlor, and part coffeehouse. Unfortunately, the competition from the hardware giants made it impossible for the owners to make ends meet. After several failed attempts to relocate they have, for now at least, decided to calll it a day... RIP "The Hardware Cafe." 


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 On the Road in Maine 1997-2000

 BEACON, NY 1997


Beacon, NY Strawberry Festival 1998



FolksTogether 2002/2003

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 Return to Folks Together Homepage

 Contact Folks Together

FolksTogether Recordings....

 Bellaire & Dunn

From Now On

 Wire & Wood

with Folks Together

"The Age of the Grand Carousel"

Looking Back

A Folks Together Anthology


"I sat me down to write a simple story - that maybe in the end became a song"


Click on the cover to visit the new Pilgrims page

Listen to cuts from Pilgrims at myspace.com

Purchase PILGRIMS at

Purchase a copy of Looking Back at



Copies of all the above CD's are available by emailing FolksTogether

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  Contact FolksTogether



Read this great BLOG by Narrows Center for the Arts Emcee Steve Hug and you'll get the inside scoop on happenings at the Narrows plus information on the Roots Music Scene

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