Franklin Countys First News

Simon and Goodwin to perform at North Church

Renee Goodwin and Bob Simons

FARMINGTON - The Farmington Historical Society and music patrons of Franklin and surrounding counties welcome back Renee Boghosian Goodwin. Renee was a middle class student at the Ingalls School from 1956 to 1960 and would have been in the High School class of 1964. Many classmates remember her fondly and Renee has childhood memories of attending functions at the North Church. She and Bob Simons will share the stage on June 23 at the North Church beginning at 7 PM.

Simons and Goodwin got their beginning back in the 1960's when they met while performing in the Boston and Cambridge coffeehouses. Bob Simons was a single act while Renee Boghosian (later Goodwin) was performing with the now well-known folk artist Bill Staines. Boston's folk music scene in the 60's was, along with New York's Greenwich Village, teeming with folk performers who became major names in the industry. It was the place to be, and it was the place to acquire the musical and performance skills needed to become successful as folk performers. Bob and Renee did just that!

Their individual talents did not come together, however, until 2006 when their long friendship turned into 'Simons and Goodwin'. After years of performing alone, or with other people, joining forces was suggested and the combination clicked.

Simons and Goodwin have a smooth sound consisting of intricate arrangements, tight expression and beautiful harmonies. They have an eclectic repertoire with performances tailored to the audience. While primarily a folk duo they can treat country, old rock, jazz and blues standards with similar musical skill. In addition, they do a number of Bob's original songs including the extremely popular song "The Portland", which is about the foundering of the steamer Portland in the great Portland Gale of 1898.

A comment that is heard after almost every performance is "those two voices belong together". This, combined with Bob's unique finger style guitar work, and their pleasing solo voices make for a delightful evening of acoustic entertainment.

Renee (pronounced Renny) moved to Boston from Augusta, Maine in the early '60's and discovered the Boston/Cambridge folk music scene which was flourishing with the likes of the Cafe Yana, The Unicorn, The Loft, The Orleans, The Sword in the Stone and of course the renowned Club 47. It was then that she began her professional performing career, working for about a year with legendary folk artist Bill Staines in a duo aptly titled, “Bill and Renee”. Together, they had an active performance schedule and, along with John Synnott, recorded an album entitled, “A Bag of Rainbows” which has become a collectors item in recent years.

For a short while, following her time with Bill, she performed in the Boston area with another singer-songwriter, Mike Orlen.

In late ’69, she moved back to Augusta, settled down and raised a family. However, she continued to perform in numerous venues throughout Maine, including local coffeehouses, taverns, community musical theater and dinner theaters.

Bob started performing solo in the 60's as well, at places such as the King's Rook in Ipswich, MA, the New World Gallery in Portsmouth, NH and on to the Sword and the Stone and the Turk's Head on Charles Street in Boston.

In the 70's he joined his long time friend Jim King and formed the duo called the Watkins Marsh Bumppe Shoppe. Together they had an active performing schedule, including being the first performers at the Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead and reached opening act status at Passim's in Cambridge. The Bumppe Shoppe recorded one album called "Bumpper Croppe"

In the 80's Bob joined with Jon Roper and Myra Franks (now Myra MacLeod) and formed the Generic String Band which evolved into Frosty Morn' with the addition of hammered dulcimer player Sally McKnight. Frosty Morn' performed into the 90's releasing one album entitled "Thin Ice".

Bob has written over 90 songs, some of which have made it into the Simons and Goodwin repertoire, and has released a solo CD called "Falling Through the Years".

The North Church is located at 118 High Street in Farmington. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a “pie social” and jam session. Anyone interested in joining the jam session only needs to bring an instrument. Children participating get free admission to the performance. For the general population tickets are $15. High school and college students pay $10. Elementary students pay $5.

For reservations call 207-778-2006.

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